Sarah Champion Portrait

Sarah Champion

Labour - Rotherham

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
12th May 2021 - 24th Jun 2021
Women and Equalities Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
15th Jan 2018 - 4th Jun 2018
Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities
6th Oct 2016 - 16th Aug 2017
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
25th Jul 2016 - 6th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
18th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015
Transport Committee
10th Dec 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
09:00
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact - Oral evidence
Subject: ICAI's review on International Climate Finance: UK aid for halting deforestation and preventing irreversible biodiversity loss
20 Oct 2021, 9 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Dr Tamsyn Barton - Chief Commissioner at Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Nigel Thornton - Review Team Leader, ICAI, and Director, Agulhas at Independent Commission for Aid Impact & Agulhas
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
The Right Hon. the Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park - Minister for Pacific and the Environment at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Sally Taylor - Deputy Director at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Maggie Charnley - Deputy Director, International Climate Finance: Forests, Land Use and Carbon Markets Department at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
14:20
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the National Security Adviser
20 Oct 2021, 2:20 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Stephen Lovegrove - National Security Adviser at Cabinet Office
David Quarrey - Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser at Cabinet Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
09:15
Division Votes
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 160 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 300
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy

I thank my hon. Friend for the very hands-on approach she has taken to feeding her families, but does she …

Written Answers
Tuesday 28th September 2021
Sex and Relationship Education: Females
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government is working with representatives of local Violence Against Women …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 9th June 2015
SUE RYDER DYING DOESN'T WORK 9 TO 5 CAMPAIGN
That this House expresses support for Sue Ryder's campaign, Dying doesn't work 9 to 5 and believes that all dying …
Bills
Tuesday 16th December 2014
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 14th April 2020
1. Employment and earnings
From 16 April 2019, a National Counselling Society Ambassador. Address: 19 Grafton Road, Worthing BN11 1QT. Until 2 April 2020, …
EDM signed
Thursday 15th March 2018
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TELFORD
That this House expresses concern about the scale of child sexual exploitation in Telford; notes that, in 2015-16, Telford had …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision about the administration to persons under the age of 18 of botulinum toxin and of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Sarah Champion has voted in 257 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

20 Dec 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Sarah Champion voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 162 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 234
View All Sarah Champion 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
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(51 debate interactions)
Sarah Jones (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
(38 debate interactions)
Chris Philp (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
(28 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(186 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(12 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Sarah Champion's debates

Rotherham 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 Rotherham signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.


Latest EDMs signed by Sarah Champion

15th March 2018
Sarah Champion signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 15th March 2018

CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TELFORD

Tabled by: Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
That this House expresses concern about the scale of child sexual exploitation in Telford; notes that, in 2015-16, Telford had the highest number of child sexual offences recorded, per head of population, in each of the 317 community safety partnerships in England and Wales; recognises the horrific abuse and suffering …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Mar 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Conservative: 16
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
21st June 2017
Sarah Champion signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 21st June 2017

SOCIAL SECURITY (PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS

Tabled by: Jeremy Corbyn (Independent - Islington North)
That the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (S.I., 2017, No. 194), dated 22 February 2017, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 February in the last Session of Parliament, be revoked.
45 signatures
(Most recent: 10 Oct 2017)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 36
Independent: 4
Scottish National Party: 4
Green Party: 1
View All Sarah Champion's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Sarah Champion, 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.


Sarah Champion has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Sarah Champion has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Sarah Champion



Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 16th December 2014

404 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
3 Other Department Questions
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the Government's policy is on enacting section 106 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Government continues to keep section 106 of the Equality Act 2010 under review but is of the view that political parties should lead the way in improving diverse electoral representation through their selection of candidates.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Government's period poverty taskforce has made in its objectives since (a) that taskforce was established and (b) the start of the Parliamentary session.

The Period Poverty Taskforce has begun a programme of work to tackle stigma and shame surrounding menstruation; established research priorities to improve the evidence surrounding period poverty and menstrual stigma in the UK and has begun to identify access barriers and the groups that are most affected by them. In addition to this, The Department for Education launched a new scheme which makes free period products available in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England, to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to young people’s learning.

The work of the Taskforce was paused on 20 March 2020 in light of COVID-19 to allow the GEO secretariat to be redeployed to respond to the pandemic, and to ensure that we were not asking businesses to volunteer resources at this difficult time. Further announcements on the plans and the work of the Taskforce will be made in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to continue the work of the Period Poverty Taskforce; and when future plans for that taskforce are planned to be announced.

The Period Poverty Taskforce has begun a programme of work to tackle stigma and shame surrounding menstruation; established research priorities to improve the evidence surrounding period poverty and menstrual stigma in the UK and has begun to identify access barriers and the groups that are most affected by them. In addition to this, The Department for Education launched a new scheme which makes free period products available in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England, to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to young people’s learning.

The work of the Taskforce was paused on 20 March 2020 in light of COVID-19 to allow the GEO secretariat to be redeployed to respond to the pandemic, and to ensure that we were not asking businesses to volunteer resources at this difficult time. Further announcements on the plans and the work of the Taskforce will be made in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many times the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme has been used in each of the last five years.

The Law Officers referred a sentence imposed on an offender to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme on 136 occasions in 2015, 190 in 2016, 173 in 2017, 140 in 2018 and 93 in 2019.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many times the Unduly Lenient Sentencing scheme has been used as regards people convicted of offences related to the online sexual exploitation of children in each of the last five years; and on how many occasions that scheme has led to a longer sentence being imposed.

Online child sexual exploitation may involve the commission of different criminal offences: it is not reflected in a single offence or set of offences but instead is reflected in the facts of an offence. The facts of the offences of those cases referred by the Law Officers to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme suggest that in 2015, 6 cases were referred in which 5 sentences were increased; in 2016, 9 referred and 7 increased; in 2017, 15 referred and 11 increased; in 2018, 4 referred but none increased; in 2019, 3 referred and 1 increased.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps her Department is taking to secure victim impact statements for children in the Philippines who have suffered online sexual exploitation by UK-based offenders; and whether such statements been used in the (a) prosecution and (b) sentencing of UK-based offenders.

The CPS works closely with the relevant investigatory agencies to secure evidence, which may include victim statements, if the victims are known or identifiable.

The CPS does not centrally record or hold the data on whether victim impact statements from children in the Philippines who have suffered online sexual exploitation by UK-based offenders have been used in the (a) prosecution and (b) sentencing of UK-based offenders. The information could only be obtained by completing manual case file reviews, which would be at a disproportionate cost.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2020 to Question 85069 on Blood: Contamination, what the Government's timescale is for publication of the framework for compensation.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and a compensation framework is being explored. A statement will be made in the House shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to resolve delays to UK exports in reaching their final destination in the EU.

The Government has been supporting businesses to follow the new rules and processes which apply now that the UK has left the EU customs union and Single Market. The support available includes helplines, regular webinars with policy experts, and the Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK which gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.

Officials have regular operational contact to identify and resolve technical border issues with Dutch, French, Irish and Spanish counterparts. We also co-operate with Member State officials on events to provide technical awareness and guidance of procedures and systems on key routes for EU and UK audiences.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a limit applies to the number of adults from the same household visiting essential retail venues during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown in England. Details and guidance are available on gov.uk, as well as information on restrictions applicable in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Visiting essential retail venues constitutes an essential activity that is legally permitted. The guidance states that you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services but that you should stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

The number of adults from the same household permitted to visit essential retail venues is at the discretion of the store with customers asked to respect the measures essential retailers are putting in place to help manage social distancing in stores.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish the 2019-20 annual reports for the (a) Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and (b) Prosperity Fund.

The Prosperity Fund Annual Report was published on 5 November 2020 and can be found online. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Annual Report was delayed as a result of COVID-19 but will be published in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether educational activities for home schooled children are exempt from the requirements of the covid-19 rule of six.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 exempt all gatherings reasonably necessary for the purposes of education or training.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including in the criteria for forfeiture of honours (a) convictions (b) cautions and (c) cases decided by trial of the facts in relation to child sexual abuse.

The government has transformed its response to tackling child sexual abuse. The honours system has been substantially reformed over the last 25 years, with police checks carried out on all nominees.

Forfeiture cases are considered through the Independent Forfeiture Committee and for forfeiture policy through the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (known as HD Committee). The Committees will carefully consider the recommendations made by the Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on revising policies on whistleblowing that cover child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Civil Service takes safeguarding of children, as well as other vulnerable groups, very seriously and has taken steps to support departments to encourage positive workplace behaviours and ensure appropriate measures are in place to handle concerns raised by employees.

Departments have a whistleblowing policy in place, which has been reviewed and refreshed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to ensure that Government Departments (a) review their child safeguarding policies and to (b) publish the procedures to accompany those policies.

The Civil Service takes safeguarding of children, as well as other vulnerable groups, very seriously and has taken steps to support departments to encourage positive workplace behaviours and ensure appropriate measures are in place to handle concerns raised by employees.

Departments have a whistleblowing policy in place, which has been reviewed and refreshed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) funding from the public purse and (b) tax incentives have been provided to Rolls Royce to support the development of that company's facility in Rotherham.

The Government provided £15.43m of grant support through the Grant for Business investment for the construction of a new facility to manufacture single crystal turbine aerofoils at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Rotherham.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to maintain the current level of funding for the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

On Tuesday 26th January, my Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, having concluded the ODA allocations of the Spending Review, issued a statement outlining each Department’s total ODA settlement. At present, I am working with officials to determine how best to allocate BEIS’s allocation on a fund-by-fund basis, in line with the Strategic Framework for UK ODA.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to people with energy costs during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Department secured a voluntary agreement with energy companies on 19th March 2020 to support customers impacted by Covid-19. The voluntary agreement remains in place, requiring suppliers to support those struggling with energy bills, and take necessary action to keep them on supply.

The Government has launched the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, that makes £170m available to local authorities in England to provide support for vulnerable households with food, heating and energy costs, water bills and other associated essentials, this winter.

The Government continues to provide a significant package of financial support for households impacted by covid-19 including the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit that will continue through to March 2021 and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme that have been extended until the end of April 2021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the criteria for allocating funding from the Future Fund.

The eligibility criteria for the allocating of the Future Fund loans, and indeed all coronavirus loan schemes is freely available on the British Business Bank website:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/future-fund/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether aesthetics clinics are permitted to reopen on 4 July 2020 as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak; and whether his Department plans to publish industry-specific guidance on operating in a covid-19 environment.

All businesses that provide cosmetic procedures or treatments for aesthetic and beauty purposes fall into the definition of a beauty salon. These are currently required to remain closed until further notice.

We have already provided (23 June) guidance for close contact services so that they can prepare to reopen where they are currently unable to. The Government continues to work with the sector to provide advice on which premises are permitted to reopen. We will provide further information as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the BBFC's recent survey entitled Age ratings on subscription streaming services - April 2021 and its finding that parents want age ratings to be consistent between cinema, DVD and video-on-demand platforms; and if he will take steps to ensure that platforms respond to that finding and use age ratings based on UK standards.

The Government welcomes the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) recent report, which contributes to our understanding of this matter and builds on wider evidence regarding best practice age ratings for film content.

The Government will consider the report and its findings, and continue to support the adoption of BBFC ratings for content on video on demand platforms. To that end, we were particularly pleased to see Netflix announce on 1 December 2020 that they have become the first platform to achieve complete coverage of their content under the BBFC’s ratings.

We will keep the evidence for legislation in this area under review.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish the online media literacy strategy.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper confirmed our commitment to publishing a Media Literacy Strategy. The Strategy will review the existing UK media literacy landscape and set out plans to ensure a strategic and coordinated approach to online media literacy education.The Strategy will be published later this year.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the phase of the Government’s plan to ease coronavirus restrictions under which community music rehearsals and performance are planned to be permitted to resume.

On 22 February the Prime Minister set out the roadmap gradually ending the current lockdown for England.

At step 3 of the roadmap, no earlier than 17 May, the restrictions on social mixing indoors will be eased and individuals will be able to meet socially distanced in a group of 6 or with 1 other household. Non-professional activities, such as community music rehearsals and performances, will be able to resume from this time.

The timings outlined in the roadmap are indicative, and the Government will be led by data, rather than fixed dates. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data and will only ease restrictions further if it is safe to do so. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals in line with New Zealand legislation extending regulation of classification of films and DVDs to online streaming platforms from 2021.

The Government will continue to unlock the huge opportunities presented by digital technologies while seeking to minimise the risks to online consumers. While adoption of the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) best practice age ratings by online platforms is currently voluntary, we welcome Netflix’s commitment to work towards complete coverage of its content under the BBFC’s ratings and support the BBFC’s drive to encourage other Video On Demand platforms to follow suit. By doing so, this will provide consumers with well recognised age ratings and consumer advice.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of including community music group rehearsals in the list of activities exempt from the rule of six during the covid-19 outbreak.

As of 14 September non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than six at any time. If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than six (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.

We will continue to work with the Performing Arts sector to understand how the new regulations affect those engaging in activity. We have always been clear that the easing of restrictions depends on the prevalence of COVID-19.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government is working with representatives of local Violence Against Women and Girls sector organisations to implement relationship and sex education.

The department has not engaged specifically with any local representatives of sector organisations focused on violence against women and girls in relation to the implementation of the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, which came into force in September 2020. The department commissioned Ofsted to undertake a review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges and they published their report in June 2021. The government accepted the findings in full. The department is developing a new support package for teachers, and we plan to engage with a range of stakeholders, including organisations with expertise in sexual abuse and violence against women and girls to inform that.

We will publish non-statutory RSHE guidance covering specific topics mentioned by the Ofsted review and in response to the Violence against Women and Girls strategy.

To support teachers further, we also plan to host a national webinar on specific topics in RSHE for teachers and other interested professionals using subject sector experts from the field and run smaller RSHE regional events to support teachers to network and share best practice.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that children not in mainstream education receive relationship and sex education.

Relationships education is compulsory for all primary school pupils, relationships and sex education is compulsory for all secondary school pupils, and health education is compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools. This includes pupils in special schools and pupil referral units. In teaching the new curriculum, schools must have regard to the statutory guidance.

To support all teachers to deliver the curriculum, the department has developed a package of support which can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. To further support teachers of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), we have delivered a national webinar as well as regional training events for primary and secondary schools:

https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/content/send-hub;

https://nasen.org.uk/resources/supporting-effective-delivery-new-statutory-rshe-curriculum-pupils-send-primary-focused;

https://nasen.org.uk/resources/supporting-effective-delivery-new-statutory-rshe-curriculum-pupils-send-secondary-focused.

We have also developed a teacher training module specifically about teaching relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) to pupils with SEND: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#pupils-with-send.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver RSHE, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of training for teachers delivering the new Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education curriculum.

The consultation on the statutory guidance for relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum revealed that many teachers and subject leads needed training and support to deliver the new content. The department invested in a package of support to develop teacher capability and competence to teach high quality RSHE. The package of support included a training and peer support programme, delivered by teaching schools and based on the department’s training modules which were developed with subject experts and tested with teachers. In the 2020/21 academic year, the programme reached 3,800 schools, and provisional data for the last wave, which ended in July, shows a further 1,000 schools have been supported. This is a cascade model of training whereby those trained are expected to share the training with other teachers in their school and wider school networks. Teaching schools have made their training materials and other resources freely available on their websites. The department’s training modules are also freely available for all schools to download via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

The department is developing plans to monitor national implementation of RSHE over time, including new quantitative and qualitative research, which will seek to understand the quality of implementation, including teacher confidence in teaching the statutory requirements, and identifying training and support needs to inform future policy development.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the national set of standards for independent and semi-independent placements for children in social care.

The government will be introducing national standards for independent and semi-independent settings for children in care and care leavers aged 16 and 17, to raise the bar for this provision. This was set in our response to the consultation on reforms to the use of unregulated provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/unregulated-provision-for-children-in-care-and-care-leavers.

The national standards will work towards ensuring that local authorities can be confident when making placements in this provision. They will also strengthen our ability to take action against poor providers. Most importantly, they will ensure that our children and young people are safe and have the best possible chances of success in life.

We know that this new regime will represent a major change for local authorities and providers. This is why we are committed to designing and implementing this regime in collaboration with the sector and with care-experienced children and young people. We are working closely with a range of partners across the sector to prepare a consultation on the content of the national standards and accompanying Ofsted regime.

We will publish this consultation shortly, which will include a draft version of the national standards.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to issue additional covid-19 guidance on restrictions on group education activities for home schooled children.

The Government recognises the important role group education activities play in providing enrichment opportunities which support the education of electively home educated children and young people. We also acknowledge the benefits they provide to the development of social skills and attitudes which promote their wellbeing and enhance their physical and mental health.

Any group activities undertaken by home educators should be carried out in line with government guidance.

From 8 March 2021, out-of-school settings (including tuition providers) have been able to open to all children for certain essential purposes. These essential purposes include where the provision is being used by vulnerable children and young people, and other children, where the provision is:

  • reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group;
  • being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education; and
  • being used as part of their efforts to obtain a regulated qualification, meet the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments.

We have published updated guidance for providers, setting out the measures they should take to open for more children as safely as possible.

The Department will continue to review the guidance for out-of-school settings in line with the roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions.

Further information is provided here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to introduce mandatory Relationship education for primary schools.

The regulations for the new subjects of Relationships Education (for all primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for all secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) came into force in September 2020. Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement allows some flexibility over when schools discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their delivery of the new curriculum.

The support programme includes grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. The training materials and other resources developed for this programme by the lead Teaching Schools will be available for access by all schools from April 2021.

Furthermore, Oak National Academy provides free remote education video lessons and resources covering the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum. To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, Oak National Academy was very quickly brought together by over 40 teachers, their schools and other education organisations. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Information about Oak National Academy and the resources available can be accessed via this link: https://www.thenational.academy.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to require universities with charitable status to (a) register with the Charity Commission and (b) file a serious incident report in the event that an adverse event, actual or alleged, occurs.

Most universities in England are exempt charities, which means they are exempt from registration with, and direct regulation by, the Charity Commission.

Exempt charities have a principal regulator appointed, whose duties include promoting compliance with charity law.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the higher education regulator in England, and in accordance with charity law, is the principal regulator for higher education exempt charities in England.

Universities registered with the OfS are subject to ongoing conditions of registration. The OfS may investigate any adverse event, actual or alleged, where a breach of these conditions may have occurred, and take action as necessary, in accordance with its role as the regulator of higher education, and principal regulator of higher education exempt charities of England.

This can include engaging with the Charity Commission on the possible use of its powers under charity law.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the external oversight of universities in the handling of cases of sexual misconduct.

Departmental officials are working closely with departments across government to tackle sexual misconduct in universities. The government continues to work closely with Universities UK (UUK) on implementing its Changing the Culture framework.

Underreporting of sexual harassment and sexual violence is common within society and it is important that providers break down barriers to reporting and that students feel safe and able to report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The most recent UUK progress report, published in October 2019, showed that progress is being made, with 72% of responding institutions having developed or improved the recording of data on harassment and discrimination incidents with a more centralised approach.

The government expects providers to take their responsibilities to students seriously and to have in place appropriate policies and procedures to tackle sexual misconduct, report incidents and make complaints. The government also expects the provider to support the student in making a decision about the way forward, including whether to make a report to the police. Any student who feels that their complaint has not been dealt with appropriately or satisfactorily can escalate their complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

The Office of Students (OfS) has an extremely important role to play in ensuring there are appropriate mechanisms in place to safeguard students and it is clearly important that the OfS has the appropriate powers to address these issues effectively. The OfS has provided £4.7 million for safeguarding schemes.

The OfS has committed to going further to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct, announcing consultation proposals setting out expectations for all HE providers to prevent and address hate crime, harassment and sexual misconduct. The consultation is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The OfS are still accepting online submissions in relation to the consultation and are responding to queries. Further details are available on their webpage: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/consultation-on-harassment-and-sexual-misconduct/.

The government will continue to urge university leaders to prioritise a zero-tolerance culture to all harassment and sexual misconduct and improve the systems for reporting incidents.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of whether early years provision based on school sites should remain open under January 2021 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced on 4 January 2021 that early years settings remain open for all children during the national lockdown.

Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

Schools have been restricted because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus. The wider significant restrictions in place as part of the national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the community enable us to continue prioritising keeping nurseries and childminders open, supporting parents and delivering the crucial care and education needed for our youngest children.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission. There is no evidence the new strain of the virus causes more serious illness in either children or adults and there is no evidence that the new variant of COVID-19 disproportionately affects young children.

PHE advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments. This report from PHE shows that, at present under 5s have the lowest confirmed case rate of all age groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE evidenced in the report: Modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for relaxing school closures showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools. The report is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886994/s0257-sage-sub-group-modelling-behavioural-science-relaxing-school-closures-sage30.pdf.

Early years childcare providers were one of the first sectors to have restrictions lifted last summer, in recognition of the key role they play in society. Childminders and nursery staff across the country have worked hard to keep settings open through the COVID-19 outbreak so that young children can be educated, and parents can work. The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

These plans are being kept under review in the light of emerging scientific evidence. We are working with the scientific community to understand the properties and dynamics of the new variant VUI-202012/01 in relation to children and young people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans for Key Stage 2 SATs to proceed as scheduled in 2021.

The Department recognises that due to the further disruption caused by the move to restricted attendance in schools, primary assessments cannot continue as intended. The Department has cancelled the statutory key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments planned for summer 2021, including the key stage 2 tests in reading and mathematics, and statutory key stage 1 tests and teacher assessments.

Schools are expected to continue to use assessment during the summer term to inform teaching, to enable them to give information to parents on their child’s attainment in their statutory annual report and to support transition to secondary school. The Department strongly encourages schools to use past test papers in their assessment of pupils.

These arrangements will apply for summer 2021 only, and the Department is planning for a full programme of primary assessments to take place in the 2021/22 academic year. This will include the introduction of the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment and Multiplication Tables Check as previously announced. We will confirm full details for 2021/22 primary assessments in due course.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether music tuition in a pupil’s home is permitted under the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020, out-of-school activities such as private tuition may continue to operate during the period of national restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020. This includes activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which could include, for example, private tutors). Providers may continue to operate for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions.

Where online lessons are not reasonably possible, providers are permitted to offer face-to-face provision in pupils’ homes, where it is necessary for them to continue to work.

Tutors that continue to operate face-to-face provision during this period should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in the protective measures for holiday clubs and after-school clubs and other out-of-school clubs for children during the COVID-19 outbreak guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Providers operating out of other people’s homes should also implement the guidance on working safely in these environments: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes and that can offer remote education, should close for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This will minimise the amount of mixing between different groups of people, and therefore reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to consult with the manufacturing industries on support for skills that will be required in those industries in the next 10 years.

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including manufacturing to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

Labour market information is important to understand futures skills needs and to inform consultation and debate with business, providers, learners and local stakeholders. The department provides quantitative labour market and skills projections for the decade ahead in Working Futures 2017-27, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017-to-2027.

Working Futures helps to identify future skills needs and informs debates about how they should be met by providing detailed forecasts of employment by sector, occupation and geography including local areas. It is one of the main sources of data used by Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs).

SAPs will bring together employers, local authorities, universities, colleges and other training providers. These partners will work together to pool their knowledge and expertise and decide what skills are really needed across a sub-region. This will help ensure we match training to the jobs available in the local area.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for the National Skills Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, we will be fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.

The Prime Minister, also announced digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies by providing valuable skills. Adults in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region can now register their interest to take part in the digital bootcamps. In early 2021 the digital bootcamps will also be available in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to consult with (a) businesses and (b) local authorities on funding for employment skills needed in the future.

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including manufacturing to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

Labour market information is important to understand futures skills needs and to inform consultation and debate with business, providers, learners and local stakeholders. The department provides quantitative labour market and skills projections for the decade ahead in Working Futures 2017-27, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017-to-2027.

Working Futures helps to identify future skills needs and informs debates about how they should be met by providing detailed forecasts of employment by sector, occupation and geography including local areas. It is one of the main sources of data used by Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs).

SAPs will bring together employers, local authorities, universities, colleges and other training providers. These partners will work together to pool their knowledge and expertise and decide what skills are really needed across a sub-region. This will help ensure we match training to the jobs available in the local area.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for the National Skills Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, we will be fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.

The Prime Minister, also announced digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies by providing valuable skills. Adults in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region can now register their interest to take part in the digital bootcamps. In early 2021 the digital bootcamps will also be available in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend the clawback for the Apprenticeship Levy to 48 months from the existing 24 months to support companies that have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and support employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships for all employers – both in employers who pay the levy and employers who do not. Funding from the levy is available to spend on apprenticeship training and assessment costs as outlined in the funding rules.

From the point at which funds enter an employer’s account, they have 24 months to spend them. Unused funds only begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis 24 months after they enter an employer’s account. Levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to help support apprenticeship starts in their supply chain or to meet local skills needs.

The department believes that 24 months provides employers with a sufficient opportunity to make use of their levy funds. We currently have no plans to extend the expiry period for employers’ levy fund or to review what these funds can be spent on. We continue to engage closely with businesses, listening to their views about apprenticeships and the operation of the levy so it continues to deliver the skilled workforce that employers need.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to allow companies to spend the Apprenticeship Levy on (a) training equipment and (b) apprentices' salaries.

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and support employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships for all employers – both in employers who pay the levy and employers who do not. Funding from the levy is available to spend on apprenticeship training and assessment costs as outlined in the funding rules.

From the point at which funds enter an employer’s account, they have 24 months to spend them. Unused funds only begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis 24 months after they enter an employer’s account. Levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to help support apprenticeship starts in their supply chain or to meet local skills needs.

The department believes that 24 months provides employers with a sufficient opportunity to make use of their levy funds. We currently have no plans to extend the expiry period for employers’ levy fund or to review what these funds can be spent on. We continue to engage closely with businesses, listening to their views about apprenticeships and the operation of the levy so it continues to deliver the skilled workforce that employers need.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to publish guidance for schools on how they can continue to prepare for the implementation of Relationships and Sex Education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-05/55660/

The answer sets out that schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

The Department is also developing a new online service which will feature innovative training materials, an implementation guide and case studies. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive of all pupils. The first training material on mental wellbeing is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content will be added in the coming months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will provide a revised timetable for the implementation of Relationships and Sex Education in England’s schools.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-05/55660/

The answer sets out that schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

The Department is also developing a new online service which will feature innovative training materials, an implementation guide and case studies. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive of all pupils. The first training material on mental wellbeing is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content will be added in the coming months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) education and (b) health and wellbeing of LGBT young people; and what support he will provide to tackle any gaps identified in the provision of services to those people.

All children and young people in the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. There have also been concerns around LGBT young people who are isolated in homes with families who are not supportive of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In September, we plan to welcome all children and young people, in all year groups, back to school. We are working towards this because school is the best place for children to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to be around their peers, carers and teachers, and have access to the pastoral support schools offer.

Education recovery lies at the heart of our ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why the government has announced a £1 billion package of support to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most. We have also encouraged schools to focus on pastoral support as pupils return and have given schools the flexibility to have a face-to-face ‘check-up’ with all pupils during the summer term. This is in addition to guidance on how to support children’s mental wellbeing while they are not at school. Leading mental health charities are also being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund and a further £4.2 million that be awarded to charities, including Samaritans and Young Minds.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. These are available for children and young people as well as adults. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to issue revised guidance to local authorities on facilitating face to face contact between parents and looked after children during covid-19 restrictions.

Revised COVID-19 guidance for children’s social care services is currently being updated and is expected to be published by the end of June.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether British national (overseas) status holders and their dependants will be subject to (a) international or (b) home student fees for higher education if they study in the UK.

To qualify for home fee status in England, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the UK. This includes persons who are covered by EU law, have long residence in this country or who have been granted international protection by the Home Office. There are also requirements associated with ordinary residence in the UK.

Subject to meeting the normal eligibility requirements, British Nationals (Overseas) status holders will be able to qualify for home fee status once they have acquired settled status in the UK. The same applies to the dependents of such persons.

Higher Education Providers have discretion to charge a student who is not eligible for home fee status whatever fee they deem appropriate, including the same fee as they charge students who have home fee status.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue national guidance on payments to (a) exam invigilators and (b) other school ancillary staff employed on zero hour contracts who have not been offered any work hours during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is for schools and local authorities to make appropriate decisions to protect the interests of their staff and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Procurement Policy Notice 02/20 sets out information and guidance for contracting authorities, including schools, to consider before making individual decisions regarding payment of their suppliers. The guidance sets out that, under certain circumstances, public bodies can make payments of 80% of previously agreed rates to suppliers and contingent workers.

The Department is not involved in arrangements between suppliers and schools. We encourage schools to follow the guidance, but the guidance is advisory and does not mandate or prescribe what schools should do in individual circumstances.

This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the (a) Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulation 2020 and (b) relaxation of regulations in respect of children in residential care on child victims of trafficking and children at risk of exploitation.

The safety of vulnerable children remains paramount for the government during the COVID-19 outbreak which is why the vast majority of statutory duties remain unchanged. The Regulations allow some temporary and limited flexibility to be used when absolutely necessary, with oversight by senior management, and must be consistent with the overarching safeguarding and welfare duties that remain in place.

The amendments do not reduce or remove any responsibility that local authorities have towards children, nor should they be at the expense of the rights and protection of children in care. The duties on local authorities and providers to report their decision-making remains the same.

Ofsted inspections continue where there are safeguarding concerns, and new regional education and children’s teams are working around the country to improve our understanding about the risks facing children and local authority and wider multiagency partners’ response to those risks. We continue to work with the Home Office to protect children at risk of exploitation or trafficking.

The Regulations will expire on 25 September unless extended and we are committed to continuously reviewing them, with feedback from stakeholders, so they will remain in place only as long as they are needed.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report published in March 2020 by the Menstrual Health Coalition entitled Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – breaking silence and stigma, what steps his Department is taking to ensure effective and comprehensive relationships and sex education in schools in England; and if he will make a statement.

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. From September, we are making relationships education compulsory for all primary pupils, relationships and sex education compulsory for all secondary pupils, and health education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools.

To support schools in their preparations, the Department is investing in a central support package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice. We are currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, case studies and support to access resources. This will be available from April 2020 with additional content added through the summer term, covering all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance. The implementation guide will also be provided to all schools as part of this service, and training offers will be available for schools that need additional support.

The statutory guidance sets out that as part of health education, primary and secondary pupils should be taught about menstrual wellbeing including key facts about the menstrual cycle. This should include the implications for emotional and physical health. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Schools also have the flexibility to design the content of their curriculum in an age appropriate way to support their cohort of pupils. To help schools design their curriculum, we have signposted them to expert advice from Public Health England on reproductive health.

We are also funding access to free period products in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the new relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education guidance requires schools to teach pupils (a) what constitutes domestic abuse and (b) how that abuse might manifest in their own (i) LGBT+ and (ii) other relationships.

We are committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to introduce relationships education (primary school pupils), relationships and sex education (secondary school pupils), and health education (state-funded school pupils) to a high standard from September 2020.

Through relationships education and relationships and sex education, schools will teach pupils the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse in an age and developmentally appropriate way.

In primary schools, this will be delivered through focusing on boundaries and privacy in relationships with peers and family, including online. Pupils will also be taught how to report concerns or abuse.

At secondary school, content such as grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, should also be addressed sensitively and clearly. Pupils should know the concepts of the law relating to sexual consent, exploitation, domestic abuse, rape, honour-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation, and how these can affect current and future relationships and where to access support if they are at risk.

All pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. The guidance recommends that LGBT specific content, when taught, is fully integrated in schools’ programme of study for this area of the curriculum.

Relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education will also support the statutory ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance for schools, which they must consider when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of staff involved in food safety testing having to self-isolate as a result of covid-19 on food supply chains.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is engaging closely with the sector to monitor industry concerns relating to their own food safety testing in the light of reduced staff availability from positive Covid-19 tests and a requirement to self-isolate, with a view to taking risk management steps as required to minimise impacts for consumers. The addition of FSA roles to the self-isolation exemptions list will also help to mitigate the risk over the coming weeks.

The FSA has also assessed Official Laboratories at the beginning and throughout the pandemic. This has shown that labs are operational and could access services from other Official Labs were there to be an increase in absences. The FSA has not received any recent reports from labs on concerns around reduced staff numbers as a result of self-isolation, and this is being continually monitored.

In view of the impact of the pandemic on local authority (LA) services, on 16 June the FSA issued specific advice in the form of a LA Recovery Plan on its expectations of LAs with regard to the delivery of food law official controls from 1 July 2021. LAs should inform the FSA as early as possible should they be unable to deliver against the plan during the recovery period.

Overall, the UK has a resilient food supply chain built on strong domestic production and open markets, and which has continued to respond strongly to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and labour shortages. We have been working with colleagues across Government and with the industry to ensure that our food supply chain has the support that it needs. Overall, the UK has a resilient food supply chain built on strong domestic production and open markets, and which has continued to respond strongly to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and labour shortages. We have been working with colleagues across Government and with the industry to ensure that our food supply chain has the support that it needs. This includes enabling critical sites across the food supply chain to carry out Daily Contact Testing to minimise disruption from self-isolation, and ensure that food supply continues to operate. So far, the roll out of DCT has focussed on over 500 of the largest sites across the food chain, including supermarket and wholesale distribution centres, large manufacturing sites and processing plants.

Since 16 August those who are fully vaccinated, participants of approved vaccine trials or those unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons are exempt from self-isolation if they are a close contact of a positive case. Children and those under the age of 18 years and 6 months are also exempt if they are a close contact. These groups still need to self-isolate if they develop symptoms or if they test positive. Those who are no longer required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case continue to be advised to take a PCR test. Age-appropriate testing will be advised for those under the age of 18 years and 6 months.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has for consultation with zoos and aquariums in response to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and the development of the Secretary of State's standards for modern zoo practice.

Defra and the UK’s Zoos Expert Committee (ZEC) are in the process of revising the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoos Practice (SSSMZP). We aim to run a targeted consultation amongst key stakeholders on a draft of the revised SSSMZP by the end of this year (2021). All licensed zoos and aquariums in Great Britain will be invited to take part in the consultation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will extend the 2026 deadline to record historic footpaths and bridleways onto Definitive Maps.

Defra intends to pass legislation this year to streamline the processes for recording and changing rights of way. This will make it easier and quicker for local authorities to process applications and add rights of way onto the definitive maps, protecting them for the future. As part of this we will bring into force the cut-off date which is the deadline for registering historic rights of way. This will provide certainty about where rights of way exist.

The cut-off date is currently 2026 and could be extended by regulations for a maximum of five years. An earlier cut-off date will provide certainty on where rights of way exist for both users and landowners. A later cut-off date would allow more time for unrecorded rights of way to be recorded. Defra is working closely with stakeholders to understand these different views and will take them into account when reaching a decision.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to extend the Zoo Animals Fund beyond 29 January 2021; and whether that fund is planned to be made more accessible to large zoos and aquariums.

The Zoo Animal Fund remains open for applications until 29 January 2021 and provides support up until the end of March 2021. We are considering whether an extension to this application deadline may be possible. The Zoo Animals Fund is an envelope of funding to provide for zoos who, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals between now and the start of the next peak visitor season, which is normally around Easter time. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals' welfare. To make the Fund even more accessible we expanded the eligibility criteria so that grant payments to zoos begin when zoos reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves, rather than 6 weeks, and so that zoos can apply for funding at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many zoos have (a) successfully made a claim from the Zoo Animals Fund and (b) had an application rejected from that scheme.

21 applications for the Zoo Animals Fund have been received so far and none have been rejected. 3 grants have been awarded and the other applications are being processed. The Fund is open for applications until 16 November 2020 and provides support up until March 2021. We encourage zoos who are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals to apply.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support zoos conservation work worldwide before they reach their final financial reserves.

The Darwin Initiative is a UK Government grant scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide. The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund also provides support to projects around the world that are tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

The Government has also announced a doubling of the UK’s contribution to International Climate Finance, to £11.6 billion from 2021-2025, including for nature-based solutions; a £220 million International Biodiversity Fund, including a new £100 million Biodiverse Landscapes Fund; significant uplifts to the Darwin Initiative and funding to tackle illegal wildlife trade; £30 million in funding to stop illegal deforestation and £9.6 million for a Just Rural Transition programme to help make farming more sustainable.

Zoos are able to apply for the full range of Covid-19 financial support that the Government has made available. The Zoo Animals Fund is an animal welfare fund, in addition to all of the other financial support being provided to zoos.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to end the export of live animals for consumption.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given to the Rt Hon Member for Chipping Barnet on 11 June 2020, PQ UIN 55899.

[questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-08/55899]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to extend the support scheme for zoos to all zoos facing financial difficulties.

On 3 August we announced the Zoo Animals Fund. This fund is an envelope of up to £100 million for England’s zoos and aquariums and builds upon the previous Zoos Support Fund which operated until the end of July. The current Zoo Animals Fund already provides financial support to all zoos facing financial difficulties. The eligibility criteria for the current fund were extended beyond those of the initial fund. In particular, grant payments to zoos now begin when zoos reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves, rather than 6 weeks. Zoos can now also apply for funding at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning. This fund is there to help all zoos who due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing financial difficulties and therefore need support in caring for their animals. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals’ welfare. Due to the Coronavirus State Aid Temporary Framework any support from this fund has to be committed by 31 December 2020, and the deadline for applications is 16th November. Grants which are awarded this year will be able to cover the financial difficulties zoos are facing up to 31 March 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress he has made in bringing forward legislative proposals to introduce five-year maximum sentences for acts of animal cruelty in England and Wales.

The Government is supporting the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as it makes its way through Parliament. Second Reading of the Bill is scheduled for 23 October. The Bill will increase the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty from six months' imprisonment to five years' imprisonment.

The new maximum penalty of five years is in line with campaigns by key stakeholders such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust and the RSPCA. This is a positive step forward in improving animal welfare and will act as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect. Northern Ireland has already set the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences at five years' imprisonment, and the Scottish Government has now passed the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020. The Welsh Government has confirmed that the new maximum penalty being proposed should apply in Wales. The increase to five years' imprisonment will provide one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure enforcement of the Live transport: welfare regulations to prevent pregnant dogs in their last 10 per cent of pregnancy from being imported into the UK.

We operate one of the most rigorous border-checking regimes in Europe. When animals are transported for a commercial purpose, their transportation must comply fully with legal requirements aimed at protecting their welfare. The current EU Regulation which provides protection for animals during transport sets out those animals which are not considered fit for transport, and this includes those that are in the last 10% of gestation.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) takes an intelligence-led approach at the border aimed at disrupting the illegal trade in dogs. As part of this activity APHA identifies and acts to safeguard the welfare of animals where transport is non-compliant with the requirements of the law.

During 2020, eight dogs were detained by APHA as being in the last 10% of gestation. An additional 11 pregnant bitches not in their last 10% were also detained.

APHA continues to work closely with its local authority enforcement partners to support enforcement action and prosecution of those involved in this trade.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of dogs in the last 10 per cent of their pregnancy that have been illegally brought into the UK in 2020.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) only holds records of pregnant dogs where other non-compliances were found at time of interception on entry to Great Britain. APHA does not record details of compliant animals which were pregnant at time of interception.

According to APHA records, eight dogs were seized in 2020 under Council Regulation (EC) no 1/2005, Annex I, FITNESS FOR TRANSPORT, Chapter I, 2(c) ‘pregnant females for whom 90% or more of the expected gestation period has already passed’. An additional 11 pregnant bitches not in their last 10% were seized in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the rate of pregnant dogs illegally brought into the UK and seized by the Animal and Plant Health Agency since 2019.

According to Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) records, a total of 42 pregnant dogs have been seized since 2019; 23 dogs were seized in 2019 and a further 19 have been seized to date in 2020.

The APHA only holds records of pregnant dogs that were intercepted on entry to Great Britain via Dover Port if there are other non-compliances found at time of interception.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering for the animals affected and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has issued sector specific guidance for the operation of animal rescue shelters and adoption services as a result of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

The Government has not issued any specific guidance in this area, but guidance has been published by the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) which advises the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers. The CFSG guidance provides animal rescue and rehoming centres with advice about how to work during the Covid-19 crisis and in the context of Government restrictions in respect of social distancing and essential travel and was developed in consultation with Defra. A copy of the CFSG guidance can be found here on their website:

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/CFSG%20Guidance%20for%20Pet%20Rescues.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on levels of hunger across the globe; and what steps she is taking to prevent hunger levels rising.

The current combination of multiple crises could lead to a major food security crisis and even famine, triggered or made worse by COVID-19. Many countries are already experiencing severe food insecurity - due to conflict, climate change, shocks such as locusts, and poor economic performance. There is increasing evidence that COVID-19 is making this worse and may drive new hunger hotspots.

We know the situation is worsening. To prevent the food security crisis from skyrocketing, the international community will need to step up. DFID is playing its part. We are tracking the situation closely and our humanitarian assistance programmes help ensure we can get life-saving support to those who need it the most. We are adapting programmes in agriculture, nutrition and food security, to build resilience and prepare the ground for a sustainable recovery.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with G20 colleagues on the (a) funding and (b) distribution of emergency cash transfers to tackle malnutrition.

Prevention and treatment of malnutrition remains a priority for the UK as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children, particularly as countries face worsening levels of malnutrition in the face of COVID-19.

In April the UK worked closely with other G20 members to agree a statement of the G20 Agriculture Ministers committing to close cooperation and action to safeguard global food security and nutrition. This included the commitment to work together to help ensure that sufficient, safe, affordable, and nutritious food continues to be available and accessible to all people.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will maintain her Department's commitment to more than double its use of cash and vouchers by 2025 to 32 per cent.

The UK is a leading supporter of cash in humanitarian response as an effective, efficient, and accountable way of helping people affected by crisis meet a range of basic needs. A considerable proportion of our humanitarian assistance is currently delivered as cash (and vouchers) as per the UK Government's commitment at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. The UK also co-convenes the Grand Bargain Cash Workstream with the World Food Programme.

As the Prime Minister has set out, the UK is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on development. We continue to look at how this money can be spent most effectively in our national interest including through the Integrated Review, which will report in the Autumn and inform the new department's priorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking along with other G20 countries to ensure that the G20 covid-19 action plan includes a dedicated strategy for economic recovery in countries affected by fragility, crisis, and displacement.

The UK Government is committed to supporting vulnerable countries suffering from the economic, financial and social impacts of Covid-19 including countries affected by crisis, conflict and displacement.

The UK played a leading role in the development of the G20 Action Plan supporting the global economy through Covid-19, ensuring the Plan has clear commitments to help the poorest countries. This includes the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, which saw G20 members suspend debt service payments for the poorest, and most vulnerable, countries until at least the end of 2020.

We continue to work closely with G20 members to ensure robust implementation of the Action Plan

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to take steps to help strengthen rules to prevent the movement of money from corruption (a) leaving and (b) entering developing countries.

The UK is at the forefront of efforts to prevent the proceeds of corruption from developing countries being laundered or transferred overseas. The Government supports developing countries to improve rules and capabilities directly through a range of regional and in-country programming, such as the Countering Illicit Financial Flows Programme in Southern Africa. The UK also supports highly respected global programmes that seek to help developing countries implement international standards, such as the International Centre for Asset Recovery based in Basel and the World Bank-UNODC Stolen Asset Recovery (STAR) Fund. And, through its wider international engagement, the UK influences the evolution of global rules and norms, for example championing the adoption of beneficial ownership transparency standards.

The Government's future plans for tackling the proceeds of corruption from developing countries will be based on existing strategies such as the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022 and the National Economic Crime Plan 2019-2022, as well as the priorities set in the ongoing Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy and subsequent Spending Review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the job security of staff in her Department at grade A2/G7 and above who were appointed in country (SAIC); whether the additional Foreign and Commonwealth Office vetting procedures will affect that job security; and whether the employment protections afforded to those staff will be extended to EU citizens working in her Department.

There will be no compulsory redundancies for DFID employees as a result of the decision to create a new Department. Some roles may change due to business needs and any changes will be handled in compliance with relevant civil service policy and guidance or local labour law for staff appointed in country overseas.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether it is the Government's policy to maintain the Programme Quality Index after the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth Office in September 2020.

The Portfolio Quality Index will continue to be calculated, however, is just one of the tools DFID used to assess the performance of programmes.

Achieving value for money has always been a core objective of all spend on Official Development Assistance. The Prime Minister was clear in his statement to the house on 16th June that delivering maximum value for the British taxpayer will continue to be a key objective of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to support (a) Ghana in-country programmes to prevent (i) corruption and (ii) laundering of proceeds from corruption and (b) other country-specific corruption strategies.

DFID Ghana is currently implementing an anti-corruption programme - Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC). The programme engages with law enforcement agencies and policy makers to strengthen the Government of Ghana's capacity to detect, investigate and prosecute corruption, as well as supporting civil society to hold government to account. This programme supported a Parliamentary Act in Ghana that established the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which has independent powers to make inquiries into corruption and bribery, and has helped strengthen investigative systems in the Financial Intelligence Centre. It is also supporting Ghana to implement an effective action plan, after it was grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force in October 2018, including drafting of a new Anti-Money Laundering Bill and development of a beneficial ownership register.

There is strong coordination among HMG departments on tackling corruption and Serious Organised Crime (SOC) in Ghana. Under the FCDO, a new successor programme will be designed to tackle corruption and organised crime, both of which remain top UK Government priorities. In particular, it will seek to establish UK-Ghana partnerships to tackle illicit financial flows and provide asset-tracing and recovery of the proceeds of crime. Under the FCDO, a refreshed anti-corruption strategy will also be developed.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has been made of the potential level of reductions in non-urgent funding to the UN and other multilateral or regional institutions; and whether those reductions will be fully implemented before reductions in funding for bilateral and existing programming are made.

As the Chancellor has set out, like many other nations across the world the UK is experiencing a severe economic downturn as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, the First Secretary chaired a review process across government looking at all strands of the ODA budget, evaluating the impacts of spend and making sure the UK can maintain operational capacity. This process also has made sure there is continued support for five ODA priorities; bottom billion poverty reduction, climate change, girls' education, Covid-19 and Britain as a force for good.

All ODA spending Departments will now work with respective partners to make these savings in a responsible and efficient way.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will ensure that future allocations of aid will contribute to achieving universal (a) primary education and (b) healthcare.

The UK Government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and to spending 0.7% of GNI towards this. This includes achieving the goal of universal health coverage, under SDG3, in particular ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030; and quality education for all, under SDG4, in particular universal primary education and greater opportunities for girls. Through our bilateral programmes and as the largest contributor to both the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, we are also proud to be a leading donor in support of basic education.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress her Department has made on Millennium Development Goals in relation to tackling (a) child mortality, (b) covid-19 and (c) other diseases.

The Millennium Development Goals expired in 2015 and were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which run until 2030. Significant progress has been made in recent decades on global health, for example the global neonatal mortality rate fell from 31 deaths per thousand live births in 2000 to 18 deaths per thousand in 2018, while the number of global malaria deaths fell from 840,000 to 405,000 over the same period.

The UK has played a strong part in this. UK investment in Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance since 2000 has supported the immunisation of 760 million children and contributed to preventing thirteen million deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. The UK is also the second-highest country donor on malaria.

COVID-19 risks reversing these earlier gains. The UK is committed to supporting developing countries’ health systems to respond to COVID-19 and to achieving the health-related SDGs. We will do this with a particular focus on ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030 and also through increasing UK leadership on malaria.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office plan to take to ensure that allocations of aid will contribute to environmentally sustainable development as set out on the (a) Millennium Development Goals and (b) the International Development Act 2006.

As the only G7 country to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development, the UK remains committed to environmentally sustainable development set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, agreed in 2015. We will continue also to report on our aid expenditure as required by the International Development Act 2006.

Climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss all pose a threat to sustainability – with the poorest and most vulnerable most at risk. In September 2019 the Prime Minister committed to doubling the UK’s International Climate Finance over the next five years. The UK is prioritising protecting the environment and reversing biodiversity loss in line with the Government’s manifesto. Uniting development and diplomacy in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will provide an opportunity for the UK to have even greater impact in this area and on other development priorities.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to Recommendation 12, paragraph 45 of the 12th Report of the International Development Committee of Session 2017-19, on the UK's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Voluntary National Review, HC 1732, if the Government will take the opportunity of the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to review the location of responsibility for leading and reporting on the UK’s domestic performance against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK remains committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the SDGs will play an important role in collective approaches to post-COVID-19 recovery. Responsibility for the oversight of the SDGs will need to be considered in the round as part of the formation of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Notwithstanding this, all government departments have responsibility for the aspects of the SDGs that relate to their respective policy responsibilities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when her annual report will be laid before the House as required by the International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Act 2006.

DFID’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 will be laid in Parliament and published on gov.uk on 21 July 2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government will take to ensure that Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office expenditure on Official Development Assistance is subject to independent review as required under the provisions of the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. We remain committed to full transparency in our aid spending and there will continue to be parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget – the form this takes following the merger will be set out in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government has taken to (a) embed gender equality and (b) empower women through UK Official Development Assistance in the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Advancing gender equality and women’s rights are a core part of this Government’s mission, and vital to fulfilling every girl’s right to 12 years of quality education. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to this agenda.

We remain committed to spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on development. The UK International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 also makes a consideration of gender equality in all UK Overseas Development Assistance a legal requirement.

The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy is expected to conclude later in the year. This will define the Government’s ambition for the UK’s role in the world and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the new Department, including on gender equality and women’s rights. Both the review and the merger are evidence of the Prime Minister’s commitment to a unified British foreign and development policy that will maximise our influence around the world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goal 8 and towards the development of an open trading system and debt relief in low income countries.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expired in 2015 and were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UK is committed to the SDGs and last year published a Voluntary National Review of progress to date.

COVID-19 poses real risks to eroding progress on the SDGs and there is a need to accelerate global action to reach the Goals by 2030. The UK, G20 and Paris Club, will suspend up to $12 billion of debt repayments from the poorest countries due this year under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. The UK has also committed up to £150 million to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, to fund the poorest countries’ debt repayments to the IMF.

The UK is also committed to supporting developing countries to integrate into the rules based international system so as to benefit from free and open trade. Our Trade Advocacy and Investment Fund supports low income countries to participate fully in WTO negotiations. More broadly, our Aid for Trade portfolio supports developing countries to benefit from WTO Agreements and open trade, including our major contribution to the Enhanced Integrated Framework.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to integrate its (a) development and (b) humanitarian initiatives to protect children from violence in its response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children and helping them to grow up free from violence through COVID-19 and beyond. DFID is working with international partners to ensure that child protection is prioritised and integrated into the multi-sectoral response to the pandemic.

We have committed £296 million to support the global health response and vulnerable countries, including £145 million to UN appeals. This includes: £20 million to UNICEF to support the continuity of essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection; £20 million to UNHCR to ensure continuity of critical protection activities, including child protection, through community-based interventions, remote protection interventions and counselling using a variety of channels and; £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to support children in crisis settings while they are out of school.

DFID is also working with all our humanitarian partners to ensure that they mainstream child protection within their operations and use available guidance and tools, including the 2019 Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. DFID’s existing development programmes – which often support crisis-affected communities - have also adapted to the pandemic, integrating urgent response measures to keep children safe. For example, our Children on the Move programme, which is improving the child protection system for children migrating in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, has now established hotline services for children affected by the pandemic and is training social workers in family tracing.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to prioritise child protection in its response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children and helping them to grow up free from violence through COVID-19 and beyond. DFID is working with international partners to ensure that child protection is prioritised and integrated into the multi-sectoral response to the pandemic. We have provided £20 million to UNICEF to support the continuity of essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection.

DFID is adapting its child protection programming to respond to COVID-19. For example, our support to the UN Global Programme to End Child Marriage is responding across 12 countries by strengthening national child helplines and the social welfare workforce and raising awareness on child marriage risks through radio stations. In Ethiopia we have provided an additional £5 million to UNICEF, which is supporting the provision of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support services to affected children and families and capacity building for frontline health and education workers on child protection risks.

Keeping children safe while they are out of school is a priority for DFID. The UK is the largest donor to Education Cannot Wait and we recently agreed an additional £5 million of funding for the COVID-19 response that is supporting emergency education measures and information campaigns, and upgrading water and sanitation facilities in schools. As the largest donor to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children our £5 million contribution to the Safe to Learn campaign is now focusing on keeping children safe in the out-of-school learning environment.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to progress its work on ending child marriage after the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK remains resolute in our commitment to end child marriage, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The UK’s Strategic Vision on Gender Equality is clear on this.

Through our flagship investments, DFID committed a total of £39 million over 5 years (2015-2020) to support international efforts to end child marriage, in 12 high prevalence countries across the world. Since 2015 the programme has reached over 7.7 million girls with schooling initiatives, skills training and girls’ clubs to prevent and respond to child marriage.

This programme is now adapting to respond to COVID-19 by strengthening national child helplines and the social welfare workforce and raising awareness on child marriage risks.

DFID also tackles child marriage through a range of other programmes, including on women and girls’ empowerment and girls’ education. Making progress on ending child marriage will remain a key focus through and beyond COVID-19, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister’s commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to integrate its policy on (a) mental health support, (b) psychosocial support and (c) child protection in its response to the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on children.

The UK Government is committed to supporting vulnerable populations during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, including children. We have committed £296 million to support the global health response and vulnerable countries, including £145 million to UN appeals. This includes £20 million to UNICEF to support essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection, and £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to support children in crisis settings while they are out of school including mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) interventions.

DFID’s country programmes supporting vulnerable children have also adapted to Covid-19, including in Ethiopia where we have provided an additional £5 million to UNICEF to support the provision of MHPSS services to affected children and families.

DFID will be publishing a new Position Paper and Theory of Change on mental health to act as a global tool for Covid-19 responses. This has been developed in consultation with the mental health sector and provides practical advice for DFID and the sector as to how to support those with mental health and psychosocial disabilities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on her Department's humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In June 2020, the UN published revised estimates that 25.6 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in DRC, an increase from the previous estimate of 15.6 million. This increase is primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on food security and the already fragile healthcare system. In addition, access challenges, disruption to supply chains, and increased insecurity will continue to exacerbate humanitarian needs.

The UK is continuing to respond at scale to meet urgent humanitarian needs and has adapted our programmes to reduce the risk of, and respond to, COVID-19 transmission.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to (a) assess and tackle the increased risk of child labour as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and (b) ensure its covid-19 response prioritises the protection of children.

DFID is working as quickly as possible to assess and respond to the unprecedented challenges arising from COVID-19 and provide support to vulnerable populations most at risk, especially children.

We are working closely with delivery partners on the ground to adapt our programmes to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19. We continue to push for coordinated action to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking at the international level to mitigate the primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic.

For example, through the £26 million Asia Regional Child Labour Programme, UNICEF is identifying and tracking vulnerable children in India and Pakistan and linking them to social protection systems. They are also supporting governments and local communities with psychosocial support services, hygiene activities and efforts to reduce stigma.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on her Department's support for the Rohingya refugees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Rohingya refugee camps. From the start of the crisis, DFID has worked with partners to help mitigate the impact of the virus on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Our existing work has been adapted to respond to the crisis. UK funding has helped to establish isolation and treatment centres, such as a 60-bed facility, to treat severe and critical cases, as well as the delivery of home-based healthcare and monitoring. We are supporting WHO to coordinate the health response with the Government. Our funding is also distributing soap and building more handwashing structures; and producing and rolling out a range of communication tools to share vital information.

While we have prioritised budget and activities to focus on the immediate impact of COVID-19, we continue to deliver our routine support comprising providing food and nutrition, shelter, health, protection, water and sanitation, targeted support for women and girls, and the elderly. We also fund the education sector which – while learning centres are closed - is supporting caregivers for learning at home and preparing for the Myanmar curriculum pilot rollout.

Whilst every effort is being made to minimise transmission in the camps, the highly congested conditions and vulnerability of the population will pose major challenges when cases reach peak levels. We will continue to work closely with our implementing partners and the humanitarian community in Cox’s Bazar to respond as best as possible.

We remain committed in our support of Rohingya refugees in both Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Development Secretary has recently undertaken a virtual visit to Bangladesh and had the opportunity to see the continued humanitarian needs of the Rohingya. She stressed the UK’s continued commitment to helping Bangladesh and the refugees the country is hosting.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the trade unions of the Department for International Development staff members (a) were consulted before the merger between those departments announcement and (b) will be consulted as part of the merger process.

There was no formal consultation with our trade unions (PCS and FDA) prior to this decision being made. We have now commenced discussions and they will have a key role to play as we develop the new organisation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the staff of the Department for International Development were notified of (a) the merger between that department and his Department and the (b) implications for their jobs of that merger.

It is an important principle that announcement of a change such as this should be made by the PM in Parliament first. Staff were informed straight after the announcement. We will work closely with staff throughout the process of implementing the merger. Merging the departments will bring together the best of what we do in aid and diplomacy, and create new opportunities for staff. The ambition, vision and expertise of DFID staff will be at the heart of the new department – taking forward the work of UK aid, which will remain central to our mission. There will be no compulsory redundancies.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if the Government will support the ACT Accelerator and its grantees to work with the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool.

The UK has welcomed the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator since its launch on 24 April 2020. We look forward to further engagement with this collaborative initiative and continue to support the work done under the ACT Accelerator to develop new vaccines, treatments and tests, and to accelerate global access?to these essential health technologies for?everyone. The UK has also long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines through our funding. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the?COVID-19?Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), supporting equitable access to COVID-19 medical technologies.

We are seeking additional detail from the World Health Organisation on how the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) will fit into the wider global governance for development of COVID-19 medical technologies (including the ACT-Accelerator). The UK supports the work of the Medicines Patent Pool as an existing mechanism to facilitate pooling and IP sharing. We remain committed to collaborating with public and private partners on additional arrangements to support equitable and affordable access, including options for non-exclusive voluntary licensing. We believe that a voluntary approach to intellectual property has advantages over mandatory approaches, and creates a sounder basis for long-lasting, beneficial relationships, and incentives to create new much-needed innovations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what additional budget allocations her Department has made to programmes in Cox’s Bazar to (a) support the covid-19 response and (b) maintain and expand gender-based violence services in light of the prevalence of gender-based violence in the camps.

The UK has provided an initial £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. This has been allocated to existing UN and Non-Governmental Organisation UK partners. It is also maintaining essential humanitarian services in the camps, such as shelter, food, registration and civil documentation, healthcare, water and sanitation, and hygiene.

Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including activities disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV role modelling activities with adolescent boys and girls.

The Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar district has been reduced to only critical services since 8 April. While women and girls’ safe spaces are not functioning as normal (to prevent the spread of the virus), all protection services including GBV services have continued throughout. DFID officials are collaborating with UN agencies on the provision and continuity of GBV services. UN agencies have worked closely with the Bangladesh government to prepare and respond to COVID-19 in the refugee camps and ensure vital and lifesaving operations are not jeopardised.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what representations she has made to (a) UN agencies and (b) the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that gender-based violence (GBV) services are designated as essential in order to allow for continuity of GBV service provision in Cox’s Bazar throughout the covid-19 response.

The UK has provided an initial £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. This has been allocated to existing UN and Non-Governmental Organisation UK partners. It is also maintaining essential humanitarian services in the camps, such as shelter, food, registration and civil documentation, healthcare, water and sanitation, and hygiene.

Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including activities disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV role modelling activities with adolescent boys and girls.

The Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar district has been reduced to only critical services since 8 April. While women and girls’ safe spaces are not functioning as normal (to prevent the spread of the virus), all protection services including GBV services have continued throughout. DFID officials are collaborating with UN agencies on the provision and continuity of GBV services. UN agencies have worked closely with the Bangladesh government to prepare and respond to COVID-19 in the refugee camps and ensure vital and lifesaving operations are not jeopardised.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the scale of gender-based violence (GBV) in Cox’s Bazar (a) before and (b) during the covid-19 pandemic; and with reference to International Rescue Committee research indicating at least one in four women and girls that organisation screens have experienced GBV, what plans her Department has to help maintain and expand provision of GBV services.

Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a constant threat in refugee camps, especially to women and girls. The scale of GBV in the Rohingya camps is too high, though still not fully known. As GBV is generally underreported due to stigma and fear, the recorded cases are likely to represent only a small fraction of the overall number. However, an information management system is ensuring vital data is collected and analysed from recorded cases.

We agree with the International Rescue Committee that we need to expand GBV programming to address unmet needs, including prevention activities; and that these needs are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19. The UK is the second largest donor to the Rohingya response, contributing £256 million to-date, and we play a leadership role in ensuring anti-GBV efforts are prioritised.

DFID has continuously supported efforts to reduce GBV in Rohingya camps and also in host communities. UK aid-supported GBV activities are being implemented across 34 camps, in 35 women friendly spaces/integrated women centres, and have helped more than 12,000 individuals receive GBV case management support since 2017.

The UK has provided £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV activities with adolescent boys and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the findings of the International Rescue Committee’s report entitled The Shadow Pandemic: Gender-Based Violence amongst Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, and what steps she plans to take to ensure that funding for gender-based violence services is (a) maintained and (b) increased in Cox’s Bazar.

Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a constant threat in refugee camps, especially to women and girls. The scale of GBV in the Rohingya camps is too high, though still not fully known. As GBV is generally underreported due to stigma and fear, the recorded cases are likely to represent only a small fraction of the overall number. However, an information management system is ensuring vital data is collected and analysed from recorded cases.

We agree with the International Rescue Committee that we need to expand GBV programming to address unmet needs, including prevention activities; and that these needs are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19. The UK is the second largest donor to the Rohingya response, contributing £256 million to-date, and we play a leadership role in ensuring anti-GBV efforts are prioritised.

DFID has continuously supported efforts to reduce GBV in Rohingya camps and also in host communities. UK aid-supported GBV activities are being implemented across 34 camps, in 35 women friendly spaces/integrated women centres, and have helped more than 12,000 individuals receive GBV case management support since 2017.

The UK has provided £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV activities with adolescent boys and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Government’s announcement of 2 June 2020 on a new £160 million humanitarian aid package for Yemen, what (a) public health expertise and (b) medical equipment the Government is planning to provide to the Yemen under that aid package to help tackle the ongoing humanitarian crisis in that country; and whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of using the UN-backed International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen to deliver such resources.

As part of our £160 million commitment in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year, the UK expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

The UK also continues to engage closely the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including through advice and support, to help them with their COVID-19 response in Yemen.

We are also working with the British NGO UK Med to explore the possibility of seconding medical experts to support the UN’s COVID-19 response.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of providing (a) financial assistance and (b) medical supplies to (i) the UN-backed International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen and (ii) UN-backed Yemeni-led frameworks established to support the WHO’s response to the covid-19 pandemic in Yemen.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June.

As part of this commitment, the UK will support the UN’s plans to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Yemen and expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment, and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the provision of additional funding to slow the spread of covid-19 in Yemen.

Over the last month the International Development Secretary and I have held several calls with our counterparts, including from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, to stress the importance of donors providing additional funds to the humanitarian response in Yemen.

UK officials have also held similar discussions with their counterparts around the world.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June, taking our total commitment since the conflict began to £970 million.

We will continue to encourage further funding from other donors over the coming months.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether it is the Government's policy to support calls for research projects funded through the COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to be subject to mandatory inclusion into the World Health Organisation COVID-19 Intellectual Property Pool.

The UK has welcomed the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator since its launch on 24 April 2020. We look forward to further engagement with this collaborative arrangement and continue to support the work done under the ACT Accelerator to develop new vaccines, treatments and tests, and to accelerate global access?to these essential health technologies for?everyone. We are engaging with our international partners on the best ways to support equitable and affordable access to new innovations, and the UK is committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally. This includes exploring voluntary arrangements and approaches such as non-exclusive voluntary licensing, which promote affordable access for all while also providing incentives to create new inventions. We believe that a voluntary approach to intellectual property has advantages over mandatory approaches, and creates a sounder basis for long-lasting, beneficial relationships, and incentives to create new innovations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, following the World Health Assembly and pre-launch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 Intellectual Property Pool, whether the Government plans to support the WHO to establish an effective global pool of rights for Covid-19 health technologies.

The UK believes that a robust and fair intellectual property system is a key part of the innovation framework that allows economies to grow, while enabling society to benefit from knowledge and ideas. We have long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines, including in low and middle-income countries. We are committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally. This includes exploring voluntary arrangements and approaches that promote affordable access for all while also providing incentives to create new inventions, to accelerate development and equitable access in all countries and to ensure affordable health technologies for responding to COVID-19. There are a number of existing mechanisms that facilitate pooling and sharing intellectual property that could be expanded to cover COVID-19, such as the Medicines Patent Pool, which have the potential to provide a more efficient way forward than creating new mechanisms.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal from the Government of Costa Rica for the World Health Organisation to create a global pool of rights in covid-19 related technologies for the detection, prevention, control and treatment of covid-19.

Proposals for the development of, and access to, new COVID-19 tools are currently being discussed, including at the World Health Assembly. The UK has long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines, vaccines and other health commodities in the UK and globally, and has worked with others to make that happen through global and national partnerships. We are committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally, including exploring existing voluntary arrangements, such as patent pools, to accelerate development.

The UK is also at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. This funding, alongside our £1.65 billion pledge to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people in the Global South.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to use its position as co-host of the Coronavirus Global Response Summit to support legally binding arrangements with private and public partners to ensure that health technologies resulting from public investment are (a) priced fairly and affordably to healthcare payers and (b) free to the public at the point of care in all countries.

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and is funding key organisations central to the global response. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. This, alongside our £1.65 billion pledge to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people in the Global South.

We are proud to have co-led the successful Coronavirus Global Response Initiative pledging event on 4 May, which raised 7.4 billion Euros. The Prime Minister took part by video message, reiterating his call at the G20 in March for leaders to collaborate to rapidly develop a vaccine, making it available to everyone who needs it. We are committed to continued collaboration with public and private partners in the UK and internationally to this end. The Foreign Secretary welcomed the Action for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative to support international collaboration on development and global access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics at its launch on 24 April.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that humanitarian (a) access and (b) policies are protected in the global response to the covid-19 pandemic.

To date, the UK has committed £744 million of UK Aid to support global efforts to combat COVID-19. We are working with all our international partners to ensure aid is effectively distributed to vulnerable countries.

The UK is a key contributor to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), which focuses on humanitarian access, through securing the continuity of the supply chains for essential commodities and services, and supporting the most vulnerable, including protecting and assisting refugees, Internally Displaced Peoples, migrants and host communities.

We are co-leading work with Italy through the G7 to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable countries. A large part of this work is to ensure unhindered humanitarian access for vulnerable populations, and to make sure the global response is prioritising the most in need.

We are also using diplomatic channels to ensure that international humanitarian law and global commitments regarding the rights and protection of refugees and access to asylum are upheld in this crisis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that critical services to prevent (a) maternal, (b) newborn and (c) child deaths in developing countries are maintained during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK government’s commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030 is more essential now than ever given the COVID-19 outbreak. DFID is stepping up efforts to ensure sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services continue to be prioritised in our response to the pandemic, to stop mothers and babies dying unnecessarily.

We are funding and working with agencies such as the World Health Organisation, UN Population Fund, the Partnership for Maternal New-born and Child Health and the Global Financing Facility (GFF) to support governments to maintain health systems in affected countries, provide technical guidance and advocate for sustained reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health services. This includes filling essential supply chain gaps and supporting frontline health workers. The UK supported the GFF Investors Group last week in calling for strong, collective action to avoid a potential secondary health crisis from disruptions in health services from COVID-19.

The Global Vaccine Summit in June is also seeking to raise at least US $7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance 2021 – 2025 strategy. The UK has committed £1.65 billion, the equivalent of £330 million per year, to support Gavi’s goal to immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that charges for healthcare are not a barrier to the treatment of covid-19 in developing countries.

The UK has, so far, pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, in support of the coordinated international response through the international financing institutions, multilaterals and global health initiatives, and DFID programmes. This is to meet the urgent health, humanitarian and economic needs of vulnerable people in developing countries and to support developing new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

The UK continues to champion universal health coverage (UHC) as vital to ensuring access to quality essential services for all and helping to protect everyone from infectious diseases, including COVID-19. UHC includes ensuring that no one is impoverished through paying for health services and reducing financial barriers for essential services, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, from which budget allocation the £46 million package for funding a coronavirus vaccine has come from.

The global race to find a vaccine for coronavirus has been bolstered by our £46 million package which has been funded from the UK ODA Crisis Reserve, which was established as part of the UK Aid Strategy in 2015.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to extend safeguards on steel imports beyond their expiry in June 2021.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the steel safeguard measure on 1st October 2020.

We anticipate that TRID – which will become the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) on 1st June – will complete the review in time for a decision by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade before the measure expires on 30th June.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the UK has changed its position on the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO that would suspend global patent rules during the covid-19 pandemic in response to the US government supporting that proposal.

I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave earlier today (UIN: 448).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to reduce or remove any tariffs in the egg industry for non-EU countries in 2021.

The agricultural products that are protected by tariffs have been selected according to the principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018. Where tariff lines have been retained in sectors such as agriculture, this has been done to tailor the policy to the needs of the UK economy and to balance the interest of both producers and consumers.

Analysis showed that some production would be significantly impacted in an adverse manner by liberalisation. Therefore, tariffs on certain products, such as eggs, are being retained but simplified.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to research published by Wageningen University in its report The Competitiveness of the UK Egg Sector, an international comparison of production costs, base year 2018, published in 2019, whether her Department has carried out an assessment of the effect on the British egg industry in the event that tariffs are reduced or removed across different tariff lines.

The Government has followed an evidence -based approach throughout the development of the UK Global Tariff (UKGT).

The Government used a range of analytical tools and evidence to develop the UKGT, including responses to the public consultation and analysis of international trade flows. This evidence was carefully considered along with a range of factors, such as the five principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if her Department will (a) protect the British egg industry’s current standards in trade negotiations with the US and (b) prevent tariff-free access for eggs and egg products that are produced from hens kept in barren battery cages and similar systems.

The Government has made it clear that any future deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers and food manufacturers, as well as protect the UK’s high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. The UK’s Food Standards Agencies will continue to ensure that all imports meet domestic standards, and the EU Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing provisions onto the UK statute book.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide a list of incidents in which gantry notification systems were out of operation on the M1 between junctions 32 and 35a in the last three months.

Highways England currently holds data to reflect the percentage of time that roadside technology is operable rather than the number of occasions that a device is offline.

Highways England assesses that, using the time period of January 1st, 2021 through to March 31st 2021, the latest period for which data is available, that all of the technology within the M1 Junctions 28 to 35a scheme boundary was operable for 97.11% of the time.

The boundaries of M1 Junctions 28 to 35a scheme are as stated within Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 1701.

There are maintenance standards associated with the service restoration time for the various devices associated with roadside technology (including those associated with smart motorways) that work to ensure the operability is maintained. There are factors such as accessing the roadside in a safe manner that could affect restoration times.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on how many occasions gantry notification systems on smart motorways were inoperable as a result of technical failure in the last 12 months.

Highways England currently holds data to reflect the percentage of time that roadside technology is operable rather than the number of occasions that a device is offline.

Highways England assesses that, using the time period of April 1st, 2020 through to March 31st, 2021, that all of the relevant technology for Smart Motorways are operable for 99.38% of the time nationally, whilst, this operable figure for the Yorkshire North East region is 99.41% of the time.

There are maintenance standards to do with the service restoration time for the various devices associated with roadside technology (including those associated with smart motorways) that work to ensure the operability is maintained. There are factors such as accessing the roadside in a safe manner, that could impact restoration times.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents in which a vehicle was stranded in a live lane have taken place between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in the three years prior to March 2017.

The table below records all breakdown incidents that have been recorded in a live lane between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1, in both directions in the three years prior to March 2017.

Month/Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

January

11

6

65

42

February

5

5

75

58

March

10

4

80

51

April

20

3

75

53

May

8

15

79

63

June

12

19

72

77

July

15

23

62

67

August

19

26

64

64

September

13

27

59

49

October

11

39

52

66

November

17

55

45

71

December

26

46

57

68

There has been significant interest in the number of live lane breakdowns on motorways. It is important to note that live lane breakdown data is not a reliable safety indicator to correlate with serious or fatal casualties.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents involving (a) serious injury and (b) death occurred between Junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in (i) each year since March 2017 and (ii) each of the three years before March 2017.

The number of fatal and serious reported road accidents between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 from 2014 to 2019 can be found in the table below.

Reported road accidents with a personal injury between junctions 32 and 35A on the M1¹ by severity, 2014 - 2019

Calendar year

Fatal accidents

Serious accidents

2014

0

2

2015

1

2

2016

2

6

2017

1

4

2018

0

6

2019

1

5

Source: DfT, STATS19

1. does not include off ramps at junction 35a

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many serious collisions involving vehicles being stranded in a live lane have taken place from (a) junction 32 to (b) junction 35A of the M1 since March 2017.

Between Junctions 32 and 35a of the M1, from March 2017 and up to 31 December 2019 (the latest period for which validated collision data is available), there was 1 collision which involved stationary[1] vehicles.

M1 J32-35a

2017*

2018

2019

Fatal and Serious collisions with stationary vehicles in a live lane

0

0

1**

* Assumed SM ALR opening is March 2017 ** 1 collision led to 2 casualties

[1] In the absence of a Stats19 collision data field that identifies whether a vehicle was broken down or stranded, the field ‘parked’ has been used as a proxy. This will indicate that the collision involved a vehicle that was stationary without offering commentary on the reasons for it being so.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many serious collisions occurred involving a vehicle in the hard shoulder between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in the three years prior to March 2017.

There were no serious or fatal reported road accidents involving a vehicle on, entering, or leaving a lay-by or hard shoulder between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 between March 2014 and February 2017.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many additional smart motorway emergency refuges have (a) been constructed and (b) entered the design phase on the M1 since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since March 2020, six emergency areas have been constructed as part of the upgrade project between J13 and J16, which is currently in construction. These emergency areas will come into use when the first section of this project (Junction 13 to Newport Pagnell services) opens to traffic in Spring 2022. There are currently no other All Lane Running (ALR) upgrade schemes on other stretches of the M1 that have entered into design since March 2020.

The Government’s Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan asked Highways England to accelerate its plans and install stopped vehicle detection technology (SVD) on ALR motorways within the next 36 months. The roll out of SVD is planned across the network by March 2023. Page 29 of Highways England’s Delivery Plan 2020-25 sets out an indicative delivery programme over the years 2020-23 for each section of ALR motorway.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many miles of smart motorway on the M1 were covered by stopped vehicle detection technology in (a) March and (b) December 2020.

Since March 2020, six emergency areas have been constructed as part of the upgrade project between J13 and J16, which is currently in construction. These emergency areas will come into use when the first section of this project (Junction 13 to Newport Pagnell services) opens to traffic in Spring 2022. There are currently no other All Lane Running (ALR) upgrade schemes on other stretches of the M1 that have entered into design since March 2020.

The Government’s Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan asked Highways England to accelerate its plans and install stopped vehicle detection technology (SVD) on ALR motorways within the next 36 months. The roll out of SVD is planned across the network by March 2023. Page 29 of Highways England’s Delivery Plan 2020-25 sets out an indicative delivery programme over the years 2020-23 for each section of ALR motorway.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many additional smart motorway emergency refuges have (a) been constructed and (b) have entered the design phase since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since 12 March 2020, 10 additional emergency areas have been installed on the M25, in line with Action 5 of the Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan. A further 27 emergency areas have been built as part of new upgrades currently in construction and which come into use as those projects open to traffic.

In March 2020, there were 23.86 miles of smart motorway covered by stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology. At the end of December 2020, there will be 36.78 miles. This is in line with Highways England’s programme to install SVD on all existing all lane running (ALR) sections of the motorway network, by March 2023, which it is on course to achieve.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many miles of smart motorway were covered by stopped vehicle detection technology in (a) March and (b) December 2020.

Since 12 March 2020, 10 additional emergency areas have been installed on the M25, in line with Action 5 of the Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan. A further 27 emergency areas have been built as part of new upgrades currently in construction and which come into use as those projects open to traffic.

In March 2020, there were 23.86 miles of smart motorway covered by stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology. At the end of December 2020, there will be 36.78 miles. This is in line with Highways England’s programme to install SVD on all existing all lane running (ALR) sections of the motorway network, by March 2023, which it is on course to achieve.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department has spent on retrofitting smart motorways with additional safety measures since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since the publication of the Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan in March 2020, Highways England has spent £26.4 million on safety measures identified in the action plan. The work undertaken includes constructing new emergency areas and making all emergency areas more visible, starting programmes of work to install stopped vehicle detection technology in additional locations and works to upgrade 66 miles of dynamic hard shoulder motorways to all lane running. Highways England has also been creating a national targeted campaign to increase road user confidence and awareness of what to do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway and working to update the Highway Code.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 November 2020 to Question 113113, whether a parent visiting under-age children overseas is a legally permitted reason for overseas travel under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.

You can travel internationally if travelling for a reason which would permit you to leave your home under the national lockdown rules.

Exception 9 under the new national restrictions, as defined in the regulations: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/part/2/made outlines the legally permitted reasons for an individual to be exempt from the new national restrictions with regards to children.

Individuals should assess themselves against the regulations to determine whether they may qualify for an exemption.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Government's covid-19 restrictions on travel overseas from 5 November to 2 December 2020, whether those restrictions apply to people travelling overseas for the purpose of visiting under-age children; and whether the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in the UK applies to people having travelled overseas for that purpose.

Under the new national restrictions, you cannot travel abroad unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons, as defined in the regulations: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/part/2/made

Individuals should assess themselves against the regulations to determine whether they may qualify for an exemption.

Guidance for overseas travel during the new national restrictions is published on gov.uk, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

The requirement for self-isolation on arrival in England will depend whether the country of departure is on the list of travel corridors or not. The most up-to-date list is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. Individuals arriving to Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales should follow the guidance of the relevant Devolved Administration.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Government's covid-19 restrictions on travel overseas from 5 November to 2 December 2020, what forms of proof are acceptable to demonstrate that overseas travel is for the purpose of work.

Under the new national restrictions, you cannot leave or be outside of your home unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. This necessarily means that you cannot travel abroad unless the travel is for one of those legally permitted reasons.

Individuals should assess themselves against the requirements to determine whether they may quality for an exemption and, where they do, ensure they travel with the appropriate supporting documentation to demonstrate this if asked.

Guidance for leaving home for work during the new national restrictions is published on gov.uk, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#going-to-work.

If you are planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate upon arrival. You will still be required to abide by the national lockdown restrictions even if you do not need to isolate.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority on enforcement action to ensure that airlines comply with their obligations to passengers when issuing refunds for cancelled flights.

My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and it has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

We recognise the need to take a balanced and proportionate approach to enforcement during this crisis, recognising the challenges businesses are facing, but have been clear that where the consumer asks for a cash refund then this must be paid. We have also been clear of the need to review this situation.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial support he plans to make available to the UK aviation sector during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK aviation sector is able to compete globally after the covid-19 outbreak.

Aviation is an important sector for the UK’s economy and businesses across the industry will be able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time. This includes a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, two business interruption loan guarantee schemes for different sizes of business, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

If businesses across the sector find themselves in severe and urgent financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus, even following the government’s cross-economy wage and financial interventions, then we remain open to discussions about bespoke financial support but only as a last resort. Any intervention would need to be on terms to protect the interests of taxpayers. Requests may be made formally, in writing, to the Secretary of State.

In relation to the future of the UK aviation sector, we are working across Government and closely with the sector on establishing a clear vision and objectives for the recovery of the sector, protecting global travel routes, continue repatriation, freight and maintain vital connectivity.

We have established an aviation expert steering group. The Group comprises of representatives across the sector, including airports, airlines, ground handlers, industry bodies, officials from across government and unions, and will focus on the immediate issues around restarting the sector and its longer-term growth and recovery.

24th Feb 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents in which a vehicle was stranded in a live lane have taken place between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 since March 2017.

We want our roads to be as safe as possible. That is why the Secretary of State asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents involving (a) serious injury and (b) death occurred between Junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in (i) each year since March 2017 and (ii) each of the three years before March 2017.

Any death on our roads is one too many. We want our roads to be as safe as possible. That is why I’ve asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads. The Roads Minister will write to you as soon as the stocktake is completed to answer your specific question.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
14th Jan 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department undertook a public consultation before to the decision to proceed with the conversion of Junctions 34-35A of the M1 to an all lanes running system.

The Highways Agency held a public consultation, from 17 December 2012 to 11 February 2013, on the proposed regulations to introduce variable mandatory speed limits on the M1 junctions 32 to 35A smart motorway scheme.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the all lane running system became operational between Junctions 34 and 35A of the M1.

The M1 J32 to 35a scheme opened to traffic in March 2017.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people applied for (a) attendance allowance, (b) pension credit and (c) carers' allowance in (i) the UK and (ii) Rotherham from April to September in (A) 2019 and (B) 2020.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to amend the availability for work requirements for claimants of universal credit with child care responsibilities as a result of amended school timetables during the covid-19 outbreak.

Where a claimant is the lead carer of a child under the age of 13, their work related requirements can be tailored to take into account amended school timetables during the covid-19 outbreak.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that universal credit payments made to key workers are not reduced as a result of bonus payments made by their employer in recognition of their work during the covid-19 outbreak.

A Universal Credit award is calculated on the basis of the set benefit rate against money coming in to ensure fairness of treatment for all claimants against the money that they have earned. This means as earnings increase Universal Credit is gradually reduced. This is a long-standing principle of means-tested benefits.

Bonuses are earnings for all workers and are treated in the same way as any other earnings. This is already true for tax and other purposes, regardless of whether or not an individual is claiming a benefit. All earnings are subject to the taper rate and the Universal Credit award is calculated on that basis.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders to help ensure that people who received doses of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine produced in India are able to demonstrate their vaccination status when travelling overseas.

The Government continues to liaise with international partners and other organisations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Organization, to support the work on certification to ensure that global travel is unhindered and supported by a common approach.

All doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India and administered in the United Kingdom are the same product, under the same authorisation as all other AstraZeneca vaccine doses deployed in the UK, now known commercially Vaxzevria. They appear on the NHS COVID Pass as such, which has been available for international travel since May. Decisions on which vaccines countries will accept at their borders are for respective Governments and we continue to actively engage with these countries to ensure all AstraZeneca doses administered in the UK, including those manufactured in India, are recognised.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's timeframe is for (a) evaluating the adult community eating disorder waiting time pilots and (b) deciding whether to introduce an access standard for adults with an eating disorder.

The adult community mental health waiting time pilots, including those for eating disorders, have been evaluated. A summary report containing learning from this field testing was published on 22 July 2021 and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/mental-health-clinically-led-review-of-standards-models-of-care-and-measurement/

NHS England and NHS Improvement then launched a public consultation on the mental health standards that have been developed with the pilot and early implementer sites. The standards being consulted on include the proposal for adults presenting to community-based mental health services, including for adult eating disorder services, to start receiving help within four weeks from referral. This consultation closed on 1st of September 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will analyse the consultation responses which will inform a recommendation to the Government on whether and how to implement any new standards in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of exempting fully vaccinated staff involved in food safety testing from covid-19 self-isolation requirements.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) view inspection staff such as Veterinary, Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Plant Inspection Assistants as critical to maintaining the integrity and smooth running of the food chain. Inspection staff have been included in the new scheme in England where, following advice, they may be able to leave self-isolation to attend work. We will participate in the controls and checks put in place to allow this scheme to run and maintain the food supply chain.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for making all emergency service providers exempt from self isolation requirements.

We have no plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and experts as part of its response to the Women’s Health Strategy consultation.

A call for evidence was launched to inform the priorities, content and actions of the Women’s Health Strategy, which closed on 13 June. We engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including researchers, academics, organisations and charities. Analysis of the evidence gathered is currently underway. We will continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as part of ongoing work on the Women’s Health Strategy.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Sexual and Reproductive Strategy will help ensure that girls are supported with their menstrual wellbeing from a young age.

Whilst menstrual wellbeing will not be covered in the Sexual and Reproductive Health strategy, it is being considered as part of ongoing work on the Women’s Health Strategy. A call for evidence was launched to inform the priorities, content and actions of the Strategy, which included questions on menstrual health. We are analysing the evidence gathered and we aim to publish the Strategy later this year.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the average waiting time for children to complete neurodevelopmental assessments in England.

It is not possible to estimate reliably the average waiting time for children to complete neurodevelopmental assessments in England from data currently held by NHS Digital.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has in place to improve cross-Government co-operation on matters relating to the commissioning of menstrual health and reproductive health services in the Women’s Health Strategy; and what steps he is taking to improve the cohesiveness of decision-making by commissioners.

Issues related to reproductive health will be addressed in the new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which is due to be published later this year. We will be considering ways to improve the cohesiveness of existing commissioning arrangements as part of the Strategy’s development process.

Improving menstrual health will be considered as part of the Women’s Health Strategy. The 14-week call for evidence included questions on menstrual health and reproductive health. The responses to the call for evidence will inform the priorities in the strategy. We will respond to the call for evidence after summer and aim to publish the Women’s Health Strategy by the end of the year. We will work to ensure cohesion between the two strategies.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timetable is for publication of the Government's women’s health strategy.

The 14-week call for evidence closed on the 13 June. We will publish a response to the call for evidence in the autumn and aim to publish the full Women’s Health Strategy by the end of the year.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence the Government has used to support the introduction of calorie labelling on menus to tackle obesity.

The Government’s response to its public consultation on calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector and accompanying impact assessment set out the evidence used to support the policy. The consultation response and impact assessment are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of split commissioning on the effectiveness of women’s health services in England; and whether he plans to recommend changes to the current system through the forthcoming women’s health strategy.

No such assessment has been made.

All evidence regarding commissioning of services will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the strategy.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) sexual and reproductive health strategy and (b) women’s health strategy will include provisions to improve clinical awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding and associated diagnostics and treatments as recommended by the Menstrual Health Coalition’s report Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – breaking silence and stigma, published in March 2020.

To ensure the Women’s Health Strategy reflects what women identify as priorities, the Government launched a 12 week call for evidence which will run until 30 May 2021 to gather women’s experiences and views regarding their health and care. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on menstrual health, heavy menstrual bleeding and other women-specific health concerns and will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the Strategy.

Accessible information on sexual and reproductive health for women, including access to contraception, will be considered during the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. Heavy menstrual bleeding will not be covered in this Strategy.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) sexual and reproductive health strategy and (b) women’s health strategy will include provisions for creating a central hub of accessible information for patients on menstrual health and other women-specific health concerns.

To ensure the Women’s Health Strategy reflects what women identify as priorities, the Government launched a 12 week call for evidence which will run until 30 May 2021 to gather women’s experiences and views regarding their health and care. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on menstrual health, heavy menstrual bleeding and other women-specific health concerns and will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the Strategy.

Accessible information on sexual and reproductive health for women, including access to contraception, will be considered during the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. Heavy menstrual bleeding will not be covered in this Strategy.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to publish standard operating procedures for local authorities to (a) identify and (b) log unpaid carers to enable those carers to be vaccinated against covid-19.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for unpaid carers was published on 8 March 2021. The SOP draws on national and local sources for known carers, to help identify and enable them to be invited quickly for a vaccination, as well as making provision for those unpaid carers who may not already be known to the health and social care system to come forward. The SOP is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/C1182-sop-covid-19-vaccine-deployment-programme-unpaid-carers-jcvi-priority-cohort-6.pdf

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising children under 16 with Down’s Syndrome for covid-19 vaccination.

Based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), children aged under 16 years old, including those with Down’s Syndrome, are not included for routine vaccination. Overall, there is a relatively low risk to children from COVID-19 and very limited existing data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children. The evidence does not yet support recommending children should be routinely vaccinated. However, the JCVI’s current advice is that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination.

Decisions on vaccination, including for COVID-19, are ultimately for the clinician leading on an individual’s care. The JCVI advises that where vaccination is considered for someone under 16 years old, clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to publish guidance on an approved standard for face coverings for the general public during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our guidance, sets out the requirements for face coverings. They should:

- cover the nose and mouth while allowing comfortable breathing;

- fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face; and

- be made of a comfortable and breathable material, such as cotton and ideally include at least two layers of fabric - the World Health Organization recommends three depending on the fabric used.

We have not set a standard for a face covering to maximise easy access and compliance with the rules. Members of the public may make their own face covering at home, using readily available textiles that can be washed and reused after every use. We have published guidance online on what materials can be used. Alternatively, face coverings can be purchased with guidance available online which can be accessed beforehand to ensure they are safe. We keep our face covering policy under review, guided by the advice of our scientific and medical experts.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a mass vaccination site will open in Yorkshire.

There are now over 100 mass vaccination centres across the United Kingdom, including seven in Yorkshire.

Information on the location of vaccination sites is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for arranging a covid-19 vaccination for carers employed directly by their client rather than by the NHS, a local authority or a private company.

All frontline health and social care workers are eligible regardless of who they are employed by as long as they are providing care and support to someone who is clinically vulnerable to Covid-19. This includes social care workers providing care in people’s own homes, day centres, care homes for working age adults or supported housing; whether they care for clinically vulnerable adults or children; or who they are employed by, whether private companies, charities, local authorities or the NHS.

If a carer is caring for multiple patients particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the carer would be considered a frontline social care worker and therefore eligible for vaccination as a part of cohort 2.

Local authorities and employers will work together to identify frontline social care workers that are eligible to receive the vaccine, including directly employed personal assistants.

The Department advise self-employed social carer workers to contact the Adult Social Care lead for their Local Authority at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-form-and-letter-for-social-care-staff.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support healthcare students who assisted throughout the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to forgive current debt for all current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

All healthcare students in England opting in to paid placements during the pandemic receive a salary and automatic National Health Service pension entitlement at the appropriate band, and maintain their eligibility for relevant student support packages from the Student Loans Company, in addition to non-repayable funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

While students are undertaking a paid placement, they remain on their course and continue to be supported by their university/approved education institution. Additional support measures have been put in place by the NHS including access to broadly equitable support to NHS staff, such as being classed as essential workers for the purpose of testing, travel and access to childcare places, having access to appropriate personal protective equipment for placement duties and health and wellbeing support.

The Government has no plans for a specific student borrowing write-off or reimbursement scheme for nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to introduce a universal, living maintenance grant for healthcare students in England.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to reimburse tuition fees or forgive current debt for all current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the financial effect of tuition fees on healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to roll out mass lateral flow testing to Rotherham.

Community testing using lateral flow devices commenced in Rotherham on 18 January 2021.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decision not to include unpaid carers on the priority list for covid-19 vaccination of the policy whereby unpaid carers do have priority status for the influenza vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ask the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to revise its recommendation not to include unpaid carers on the priority list for covid-19 vaccinations.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to support the World Health Organisation’s strategy to eliminate cervical cancer.

The United Kingdom supports the World Health Organization’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer and continues to work towards increasing uptake rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. For instance, in response to a recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the HPV vaccine programme was expanded in September 2019 from girls to also include boys of 12 to 13 years old. The vaccine protects men from HPV-related diseases, including certain cancers and also helps to reduce the overall number of HPV-associated cancers in women, such as cervical cancer. The National Health Service also runs a national cervical screening programme in England to assist in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cervical disease. In December 2019, HPV became the primary test for in this programme to effectively let women know their risk of developing cervical cancer.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to pages 19 and 20 of the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 201920 to 2023-24, when the specific baseline on access to NHS-funded mental health treatment for 18 to 25 year olds will be published.

The work around validating and publishing baseline data on access to mental health services for 18 to 25-year olds is ongoing.

NHS England does not yet have a revised publication or dissemination date. Work on the development of metrics has been slowed due to the pandemic but is continuing in order to ensure delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to increase access and improve experience of care for this age group.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government’s expansion of weight management services will include specific support for people living with binge eating disorder.

Further details about the measures on weight management announced in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ will be available later in the year.

We will continue to consider the views of a wide range of experts as we developed our plans for implementing the obesity strategy including the expansion of weight management services and we will continue to listen going forwards.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce a bereavement support bubble policy in South Yorkshire to enable grieving households to form a support bubble with one other household whilst the (a) November 2020 national lockdown or (b) Tier 3 local covid alert level lockdown restrictions are in place.

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult for people of all ages, particularly during the pandemic where usual systems of support are harder to access.

The regulations make exemptions to the restrictions on gatherings for support groups for those who have suffered bereavement, as well as making provision for ‘linked households’, known as ‘support bubbles’.

A ‘support bubble’ is a network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more children who are under the age of 18. In effect, this support bubble acts as a single household with people from another household as if they were a member of a household.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 are the current set of restrictions, which will expire 2 December 2020, and an announcement on their replacement will be made in due course. The government continues to follow the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and is regularly monitoring current guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions going forward.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending support bubble arrangements to grieving households of any size during periods of (a) national and (b) regional Tier 3 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult for people of all ages, particularly during the pandemic where usual systems of support are harder to access.

The regulations make exemptions to the restrictions on gatherings for support groups for those who have suffered bereavement, as well as making provision for ‘linked households’, known as ‘support bubbles’.

A ‘support bubble’ is a network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more children who are under the age of 18. In effect, this support bubble acts as a single household with people from another household as if they were a member of a household.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 are the current set of restrictions, which will expire 2 December 2020, and an announcement on their replacement will be made in due course. The government continues to follow the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and is regularly monitoring current guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions going forward.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations the Government has received from specialist bereavement organisations on a bereavement support policy during periods of (a) national and (b) regional Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

We are taking a cross-Government approach to address bereavement support and help ensure that families and friends of those deceased get the support they need – particularly during this difficult time. We are engaging with a range of specialist bereavement organisations to assess the need for support.

We will continue to engage with specialist bereavement organisations to assess how we can support them in doing their important work.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to support equal access to contraceptive services, including long-acting reversible contraception, in line with Public Health England and NICE guidance.

The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including the provision of free contraception. Contraception is also widely available free of charge through general practice. Ensuring equal access to contraception will be a key theme of our new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.

Public Health England have recently launched the National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This new national framework will allow local authorities and service providers to purchase an expanded range of on-line services including emergency contraception and the contraceptive pill.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department holds estimates for the number of women who became pregnant while on waiting lists for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) fittings in 2019.

The Department does not hold this information centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the limit is on attendance for the scattering of ashes in each of the three tiers of covid-19 restrictions.

We understand how important the grieving process and related formal and informal rituals through which we mourn the passing of loved ones are for the health and wellbeing of the bereaved


For these reasons in all local COVID-19 alert levels, funerals can take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events, such as scattering ashes, before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will implement the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report entitled First Do No Harm, published on 8 July 2020.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) women and (b) girls with their mental health.

We are absolutely committed to supporting everyone’s mental wellbeing, including women and girls, especially during this unprecedented period. National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout this time, including delivering support digitally and by phone. For those with severe needs or in crisis, NHS mental health providers have established all-age 24 hours per day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

Women and girls will benefit from our commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan that 2 million more people will be able to access mental health services by 2023/24. This includes expanding access to specialist perinatal mental health care and mother and baby inpatient services for women with serious mental health issues.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when Public Health England plans to publish its Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan; and whether his Department plans to use that strategy to inform his Department’s women’s health strategy.

Prior to COVID-19, Public Health England led the development of a Women’s Reproductive Health Action Plan (WRHAP), taking a life course approach from menstruation to menopause. Publication was delayed due to COVID-19. However, many of its actions are being taken forward and the document is being revised to take account of the impact and evolving landscape in relation to COVID-19. The high-level recommendations and findings from the revised plan will form a key element of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy that is planned for publication in 2021. The WHRAP will then be published as one of the Strategy implementation documents.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what dates the Women’s Health Taskforce for England has met since January 2020; and what the topics of discussion were at each of those meetings.

The Women’s Health Taskforce has not held any meetings since January 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what topics will be included in his Department’s women’s health strategy; and when his Department plans to publish that strategy.

It has become clear over the last few years that we can do better both in terms of the services we provide for women, and how the system listens to women’s voices.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy were temporarily paused due to the initial response to COVID-19. We have however, recently restarted work in this area and we are currently working with officials to consider priorities for women’s health including how we can ensure that women’s voices are heard more effectively moving forward.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89709 on Food: Labelling, which organisations and experts he has met with as part of developing plans to introduce calorie labelling on menus.

Our consultation on introducing mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling received feedback from a wide range of organisations and experts, including clinical and medical professionals. Departmental officials recently met with representatives from BEAT, an eating disorder charity, to discuss implementation of the policy and we intend to continue to engage with them as our plans develop. In addition, the Minister of State for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Ms Nadine Dorries MP) recently met with BEAT and the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to investigate reports of mobile and home-based practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments in unsuitable premises with poor hygiene.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. The Government expects all providers to safely deliver the treatments they offer and adhere to hygiene standards, in line with health and safety legislation.

Concerns about the hygiene standards or suitability of premises used by mobile and home-based practitioners can be reported to the Health and Safety Executive, or any relevant professional body the practitioner is registered with. Concerns about the fitness to practise of regulated healthcare professionals carrying out cosmetic procedures should be reported to their regulatory body.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the daily testing capacity of covid-19 testing sites in Rotherham was in the week commencing 7 September 2020; and how many tests were conducted at those testing sites on each day of that week.

We publish data on the number of pillar 2 tests processed in each local authority weekly alongside the Test and Trace statistics publication at GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The total number of pillar 2 tests processed in Rotherham in the week commencing 7 September was 5,114, with a daily average of 730.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase public awareness of (a) the risks associated with non-surgical cosmetic treatments and (b) where to make a complaint in relation to unsafe practices.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.

During May and June 2019, the Department ran a communications campaign to increase public awareness of the potential risks of cosmetic procedures and encourage people to make safe decisions about their care. The campaign materials were developed in conjunction with stakeholders including professional associations, the healthcare regulatory bodies and psychologists. The campaign offered guidance on choosing a qualified practitioner and how to escalate patient safety concerns. Advice and information about cosmetic procedures has also been reviewed and updated on NHS.UK.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the regulation of (a) mobile and (b) home-based practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. The Government expects providers of cosmetic procedures to operate responsibly and hold the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Where applicable, practitioners should also consider any guidance issued by the healthcare regulators or a relevant professional body.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to consult people (a) with lived experience of eating disorders and (b) experts in the field of eating disorders before introducing calorie labelling on menus.

We recognise concerns about calorie labelling and are committed to striking a careful balance between informing and educating people to make healthier choices whilst not negatively impacting people with eating disorders or those in recovery from eating disorders. We will continue to meet with experts and those with lived experience of eating disorders as we develop our plans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish details of the expansion of weight management services as part of the obesity strategy; and whether that expansion will include specific support for people affected by binge eating disorder.

Through the new obesity strategy, we are delivering a range of measures on weight management including a National Health Service 12-week weight loss plan app, expanding weight management services to help more people get the support they need, accelerating the expansion of the NHS diabetes prevention programme and making conversations about weight in primary care the norm. Further details about these measures will be available later in the year and we will engage stakeholders throughout this process.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the cause of the national shortage of Hormone Replacement Therapy products in the UK; and what steps he is taking to prevent a further shortage of the products.

The Department is aware of supply issues that have affected some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparations for various reasons including regulatory or manufacturing issues and commercial decisions made by some companies to divest some products. While a limited number of HRT products are currently affected, most HRT products including alternatives to those experiencing supply issues are currently available.

We have been working closely with all suppliers of HRT medicines to maintain overall access to patients and have provided regular updates about these issues and management advice to the National Health Service. The overall situation has been improving since the end of February 2020 and will continue to improve in the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that women with heavy menstrual bleeding receive a timely diagnosis (a) as covid-19 restrictions are eased and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government agrees that it is important for women to have access to support (including information and treatment) for conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner. Advice is also available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help.

We can also advise that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

The National Health Service wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that women with (a) heavy menstrual bleeding and (b) other women-specific conditions are not deterred from presenting at primary care by covid-19 concerns.

The Government agrees that it is important for women to have access to support (including information and treatment) for conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner. Advice is also available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help.

We can also advise that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

The National Health Service wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that women and girls can receive treatment for (a) heavy menstrual bleeding and (b) other women-specific conditions during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

To ensure women and girls can receive treatment for other women-specific conditions, many GPs and clinicians are currently offering telephone consultations or consultations via social media apps to assist during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if a representative from his Department will meet with the Menstrual Health Coalition to discuss how new ways of working during the covid-19 outbreak can benefit women’s health services in the future.

The Government welcomes initiatives which raise awareness on menstrual health and is keen to capture learning from new ways of working during COVID-19.

With this in mind, I have asked my officials to meet with the Menstrual Health Coalition to discuss benefits to women’s health services in the future.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have sufficient funding to ensure women’s health services are available for people who require diagnosis and treatment during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what step he is taking to help ensure that variation in access to women’s health services is not exacerbated further by service closures during the covid-19 outbreak..

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of specialist health practitioners and services in women’s health during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support specialist health practitioners in the area of women’s health to implement new ways of working during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the capacity of covid-19 testing resources deployed to Rotherham to meet demand; and whether he plans to allocate additional resources to testing centres in Rotherham.

Testing is a key part of the United Kingdom’s response to COVID-19, and, following the publication of the Government’s Testing Strategy we have rapidly expanded our capacity.

At present there are two mobile testing units in the Rotherham area, which have been well attended in line with the Director of Public Health’s strategy. However, mobile testing units are designed to be deployed on a daily basis.

To give Rotherham a more sustainable solution, a three-month testing capability in the form of a local testing unit, is currently being commissioned. There is also a regional testing site at Meadowhall Sheffield.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to routinely publish regional data on pillar 2 testing for covid-19.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

It contains information at upper tier local authority and lower tier local authority level on cases and rates, and is updated daily.

Information on Pillar 2 tests processed is also available by lower tier local authority on the NHS Test and Trace weekly statistics page, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to introduce a threshold for regional covid-19 cases to trigger the implementation of a local lockdown.

There are currently no plans to use a hard threshold as a trigger for implementing local lockdowns. A wide range of qualitative and quantitative information are used to monitor the incidence of COVID-19 nationally and in local areas, and to understand progress made in tackling outbreaks. These are reviewed every day and are considered in light of both the changing national picture and on-the-ground reporting on how situations are being managed.

Taken together these inform the decision made about which local Alert Level is appropriate for everyone.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to cases where death from covid-19 is linked to an underlying health condition, whether both conditions as causes of death are recorded on death certificates.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD.

The MCCD is set out in two parts, in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. Starting with the immediate, direct cause of death in part one, going back through the sequence of events or conditions that led to death on subsequent lines, until reaching the one that started the fatal sequence. Part two of the certificate should include any other diseases, injuries, conditions, or events that contributed to the death, but were not part of the direct sequence.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to covid-19; how many of those people have received a letter from the Government informing them that they are categorised as such; and how many (a) clinically and (b) non-clinically vulnerable people require assistance for accessing food supplies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Around 2.2 million people have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and asked to shield themselves. Comprehensive information on the number of letters sent out is not yet available.

As at 20 May 2020, 341,500 clinically extremely vulnerable people were registered as requiring assistance for accessing food supplies. Information on the number of clinically vulnerable and non-clinically vulnerable people eligible for food supplies though the appropriate channels is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of the EU’s proposed World Health Assembly 73 Resolution on the covid-19 response.

The United Kingdom engaged actively in negotiations on the Resolution, which we have co-sponsored. We are pleased to see the draft Resolution on the COVID-19 response has been adopted by the 73rd World Health Assembly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has made an estimate of the effect on the economy of women leaving employment as a result of of living with heavy menstrual bleeding; and if he will make a statement.

No estimate has been made of the effect on the economy of women leaving employment as a result of heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advise that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’ can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women and girls have been (a) diagnosed with and (b) treated for heavy menstrual bleeding by the NHS in each calendar year since 2015.

Figures on how many women and girls have been diagnosed and treated by the National Health Service for heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) per calendar year are not held centrally.

NHS England advise that there is not always an underlying cause for heavy periods, which can be common, however they can also result from problems such as fibroids or endometriosis. It is therefore important to get persistent symptoms checked out by speaking to a general practitioner (GP). Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’ can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, of 28 January 2020, Official Report column 658, what steps he is taking to ensure that PReP is accessible to women; and how the roll-out of PReP to women is monitored by his Department.

A core function of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial Community Advisory Board (CAB) is to raise awareness and uptake of PrEP in key populations, including women. Further information about PrEP Impact Trial CAB activities and participating community groups can be found at the following links:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/spec-services/npc-crg/blood-and-infection-group-f/f03/prep-trial-updates/

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/faqs

A subgroup of the PrEP CAB aims to specifically address PrEP Impact Trial access for women. The subgroup has developed a questionnaire to use with women attending sexual health clinics in order to increase knowledge and awareness among women and to aid discussions about PrEP with health workers. More information can be found at the following link:

https://sophiaforum.net/index.php/women-and-prep/

In addition, Public Health England’s Innovation Fund has supported a number of community based projects aimed at increasing PrEP awareness in women; information on the projects funded in 2018 can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/innovative-hiv-prevention-projects-reached-170000-people-in-2018

As at October 2019, places filled by women and other groups account for over 4% of total trial participants. As of 12 February 2020, all participating Trial clinics were open to recruitment for women, trans men and heterosexual men. Information on the enrolment status of participating clinics is regularly updated on the PrEP Impact Trial website at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/join-the-trial

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, in cases where general practitioners have declined to accept prescribing responsibility for products related to gender identity (a) how people requesting those medications received that medication via other NHS routes and (b) what signposting information NHS England provides for those people on accessing medication other than via their general practitioner.

In accordance with current clinical protocols and NHS England commissioning documents, responsibility for prescribing hormone treatments rests solely with the individual’s general practitioner (GP) on the recommendation of a specialist gender dysphoria team. If a patient is refused a prescription by their GP then a patient has no alternative other than registering with a new GP.

To address this, in 2019 NHS England updated its service specification so that an individual will only be transferred from a Gender Dysphoria Clinic to primary care when their clinical condition is stable or predictable. Additionally, the Gender Dysphoria Clinic will retain responsibility for providing prescriptions and monitoring until the GP has agreed to a transfer of responsibility through a shared care agreement.

NHS England has established a working group, chaired by the Royal College of General Practitioners and comprising of representatives of the British Medical Association and British Association of Gender Identity Specialists, to provide advice on effecting these changes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, what information his Department holds on how many general practitioners have declined to accept prescribing responsibility for products related to gender identity.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, what steps his Department takes when general practitioners do not comply with Public Sector Equalities Duties and the Equalities Act 2010 in respect of the treatment of transgender and non-binary patients.

The Department discharges its responsibilities through bodies such as the Care Quality Commission, clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and the General Medical Council, which have various legal, contractual and regulatory powers. The Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association also have a role in the advice and guidelines that they provide to general practitioners.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will instruct Clinical Commissioning Groups to fund the cost of prescribing products related to gender identity for transgender and non-binary patients to ensure compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 throughout the health service.

The Department is aware of some general practitioners who have declined to accept prescribing responsibility, but we are not aware of any clinical commissioning groups refusing to fund the drugs.

All National Health Service organisations are expected to comply with Public Sector Equalities Duties and the Equalities Act 2010.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the completion of the procurement process for the new NHS Gender Identity Services for Adults.

The contracts will be awarded to successful bidders in the procurement process for implementation from April 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the procurement of the new NHS England Gender Identity Services for Adults will have adequate capacity to ensure that the NHS 18-week first referral to treatment target will be met.

The outcome of the procurement for Gender Dysphoria Services for Adults (Non-Surgical Interventions) is not yet complete, and decisions about contract award have not been notified to bidders.

In light of the substantial increase in demand for these services, the historical model for service delivery within designated Gender Dysphoria Clinics will not be able to address the need.

To meet this need, new and innovative service models are being piloted by NHS England in primary care, sexual health services, and other local health settings across England to increase clinical capacity and improve patient access. This is supported by a new Gender Identity Healthcare Credential Programme to build the clinical workforce to deliver care.

The Gender Identity Healthcare Credential offers the first accredited qualification of its type in the United Kingdom. It has been developed by the Royal College of Physicians with funding from NHS England. The programme has been created to support the development of gender dysphoria health services by suitably trained health professionals. It is an interprofessional programme, focused on the next generation of clinical leaders. This will enable the NHS to meet the workforce needs and allow the delivery of increased gender dysphoria healthcare.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what provisions he has put in place in the new NHS Gender Identity Services specification for people who define as non-binary .

The specification is clear that access to the National Health Service-funded pathway of care is dependent on a clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a specialist health team.

The specification recognises and respects diversity in gender identity and its expression.

It recognises that there are other identities than the traditional (binary) identities associated with ‘man’ and ‘woman’, and that gender diverse people with such identities (such as non-binary, trans-feminine, trans-masculine, Genderqueer, non-gender and others), who meet the criteria for access to the NHS pathway of care, must have access to treatment and the interventions described in the specification.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to clinical commissioning groups was of prescribing products related to gender identity for transgender and non-binary patients in each of the last five years.

The information regarding cost to clinical commissioning groups for prescribing products related to gender identity, transgender and non-binary use is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Gender Identity Services patients identified as (a) binary and (b) non-binary in each of the last five years.

Information regarding patients’ gender identity is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to consult and get input from women’s rights organisations and experts in developing the Government’s new International Development Strategy.

We look forward to engaging with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, on the International Development Strategy over the coming months. Women's rights organisations are critical to achieving lasting transformation in women's and girls' rights, and the Integrated Review specifically commits FCDO to work closely with them to tackle the violence and discrimination that hold women back.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to consult local communities in (a) lower and (b) middle income countries to ensure that the reduced ODA budget is spent in a way that is as responsive as possible to their needs.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is committed to locally-led development. This year, we have continued to work together with local partners and suppliers to ensure the UK can continue to make the most difference and achieve maximum strategic coherence, impact, and value for money. For example, we have protected funding to a new 10-year, £60 million co-funded partnership with Comic Relief that will test innovative approaches to building the capacity and sustainability of civil society organisations in Ghana, Zambia and Malawi to help them pursue their own strategic objectives.

Following announcement of the temporary reduction of ODA in 2021, FCDO Ministers engaged with over 80 NGOs, partners and parliamentarians, including through a roundtable for civil society. For 2021/22 spend, the Foreign Secretary completed a cross-government review of how ODA should be allocated against the government's priorities and set out in the results in a WMS on 26 January.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to a smaller budget for Official Development Assistance, what steps he is taking to promote a locally-led approach to programming in UK aid spending.

The FCDO is already committed to championing locally led development and the upcoming International Development Strategy will be an opportunity to refresh our approach across Government.

Demands to recognise, respect and strengthen, the role of local people and organisations represent a challenge for the whole aid sector that we must face together. Part of our approach is ensuring that we understand when and how our funding reaches local and national actors and promote good practice. For example, our new guidelines for our Rapid Response Facility, improve the tracking of FCDO funds going to local organisations, and ensure that their indirect costs are covered by our funding. In addition, our tender evaluation criteria require lead bidders to demonstrate use of local expertise and to consider the additional Social Value that their teams will deliver, with bids scored accordingly. We are also exploring other models for empowering local people to meet their own priorities. For example, our new 10-year, £60 million co-funded partnership with Comic Relief, will feature local grant making panels and test new ways of building the capacity and sustainability of locally led civil society organisations in Ghana, Zambia and Malawi to help them pursue their own strategic objectives. Another programme is supporting Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the developing countries to ensure that the priorities of people with disabilities are being addressed.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) plans he has and (b) his timescale is for consulting with relevant stakeholders on the Government’s International Development Strategy.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary is leading work on the new International Development Strategy, which will be cross-government in scope. The International Development Strategy will set out the UK's approach to development, in line with the Integrated Review. We look forward to engaging with a range of external stakeholders on the development of the strategy over the coming months. This will build on the extensive engagement and call for evidence that was undertaken to inform the Integrated Review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of its humanitarian support that reaches the most vulnerable communities around the world.

Since 2015, the UK has provided over £11.1 billion in humanitarian funding reaching over 33.7 million people with life-saving humanitarian assistance, with people in need in Africa and MENA regions receiving the most support. The FCDO has committed to spend £906 million this financial year to support the world's most vulnerable communities suffering in crisis.The FCDO is also uniquely placed to bring together diplomatic clout and humanitarian expertise to drive more effective approaches to crisis prevention, preparedness and response, such as the first ever G7 Compact to tackle the drivers of famine or our ongoing work on Tigray.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2021 to Question 19597 on Caribbean: Overseas Aid, of the £456 million of Official Development Assistance in the priority ODA-eligible Caribbean countries, how much was spent on advancing global LGBT rights in (a) Antigua & Barbuda, (b) Belize, (c) Dominica, (d) Grenada, (e) Guyana, (f) Jamaica, (g) St Lucia and (h) St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The UK is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of LGBT+ people around the world, including in the Caribbean. We have several global programmes that have had specific Caribbean components, not least those supporting the work of The Commonwealth Equality Network. Due to the classifications set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the regional nature of some of this project work, we do not hold information on country by country spend on LGBT+ rights.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement on Afghanistan on 8 July 2021, Official Report, cols 1104-20, what the budget headings are for allocation of the £100 million of Official Development Assistance for 2021-22; and whether those funds are in addition to the £37.7 million listed on DevTracker.

As the Prime Minister said, in addition to the £3.3 billion of UK support to Afghanistan since 2002, we will provide over £100 million of development assistance to Afghanistan this year. This includes the programmes currently listed on DevTracker and others where we are still working out detailed allocations in accordance with the priorities outlined by the Foreign Secretary.

Final and audited spend for 2020/21 will be published in our annual report later this year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of reductions in the overseas development budget on his ability to fulfil his responsibilities in complying with the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014.

Promoting gender equality and advancing women and girls' rights around the world is a priority for the UK Government, and the UK's Gender Equality Act 2014 requires Ministers to have regard to the need to provide assistance in a way which reduces gender inequality before providing overseas development funding and this continues to apply. This is evidenced by our co-hosting of the Global Partnership for Education replenishment, a focus on gender at COP26 and the UK's G7 Presidency, which places gender equality at the centre of our COVID-19 response and recovery.

During the 2021/22 ODA allocation process, the FCDO considered risks and impacts to inform advice to Ministers and an overarching Equalities Impact Assessment analysed impacts across bilateral country spend. The FCDO will continue to champion gender equality and women's rights because that's the only way we will create a fairer, safer and more prosperous world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many programmes reduced or discontinued as a result of a reduction in Official Development Assistance targeted those with protected characteristics.

Allocation decisions have been taken by Ministers in line with the objectives set out in the Integrated Review. These took account of a full range of factors, including analysis of potential impacts on beneficiaries of UK aid. Ministers were appraised of qualitative analysis, sectoral analysis of thematic trends, and further quantitative analysis of draft business plans to assess the impacts of ODA reductions. Ministers have considered the impact on people with protected characteristics, including any potential impact on equalities. Ministers have also considered the impact on supply partners, drawing on FCDO programme managers' advice on how best to manage reductions to specific programmes.

The UK will continue to act as a global development actor focused on supporting the world's poorest people. This is a key objective in the UK's diplomatic and development work. We remained committed to protecting human rights and contributing to a fairer and more prosperous world.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his planned timetable is for the publication of the Government’s international development strategy.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary is leading work on the new International Development Strategy, which will be cross-government in scope. We intend to publish the strategy later this year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK’s support to Nepal’s covid-19 vaccination programme; and what discussions he has had with international counterparts on further support from the international community to that programme.

The UK is a leading donor to COVAX, the multilateral mechanism set up to support international co-operation on vaccines, having committed £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has delivered 348,000 doses to Nepal so far with further tranches on the way. As G7 chair this year the UK has also secured a commitment to donate 1 billion vaccine doses to the developing world by June 2022, including 100 million donated by the UK - the first 5 million in the coming weeks. The majority of these doses will be donated to COVAX. COVAX remains best-placed to allocate vaccines to where they will be most effective. As shareholders and contributors to both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the UK has also pushed hard for multilateral organisations to provide finance to countries for vaccine procurement, including Nepal. The World Bank has now made at least $75 million available to the Government of Nepal for that purpose; a further $165 million will soon be proposed to the board of the Asian Development Bank, which the UK will also support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed reduction in Official Development Assistance on the UK’s role in tackling global marine plastic pollution.

The huge impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5% of GNI. We will remain a world-leading development donor and are on track to spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

Following a thorough review, the Foreign Secretary has allocated FCDO's ODA in accordance with UK strategic priorities, focusing our investment and expertise where the UK can make the most difference and achieve maximum strategic coherence, impact, and value for money.

Research estimates that between 5 and 13 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year and, if action is not taken, the total plastic in the ocean could treble by 2025. Domestically we have taken action, and internationally, the Government is supporting efforts to tackle plastic pollution, by funding innovation and research, and by working with governments, businesses and communities on national and local initiatives.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will list the current and future strategies being developed to implement the Integrated Review.

The Integrated Review was published on 16 March and can be found on gov.uk. The review is the most comprehensive articulation of security, defence, development and foreign policy published by a British Government in decades. The IR sets out a vision for the UK in 2030, offers an assessment of the international context to 2030, a Strategic Framework to guide action to 2025, sets out the Government's major national security and international policy objectives and sets direction for cross-government activity, including the development of more detailed strategies where necessary.

The Integrated Review includes commitments to develop the following strategies:

  • Defence and Security Industrial Strategy
  • Comprehensive Cyber Strategy
  • International Development Strategy
  • Updated Investment Strategy
  • National Space Strategy
  • Defence Command Paper
  • Defence AI Strategy
  • Media Literacy Strategy
  • Comprehensive National Resilience Strategy
  • Revised Biosecurity Strategy
James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish the (a) full methodology and (b) results of the equalities impact assessment that the Government carried out to decide where the reductions would be made to the Official Development Assistance budget for 2021-22.

During the 2021/22 ODA allocation process, the FCDO considered risks and impacts to inform advice to Ministers. An overarching Equalities Impact Assessment analysed impacts across bilateral country spend. The assessment was considered by Ministers before decisions were made. It showed no evidence that programmes targeting those with protected characteristics are more likely to be reduced or discontinued than other programmes.

The FCDO is reviewing the case to put the assessment into the public domain.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to eliminate systemic and gendered barriers that prevent girls from accessing and completing education, globally.

Meeting under the UK Presidency, G7 Foreign and Development Ministers endorsed two new, global, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4 milestone targets on girls' education, which we are calling on the world to help deliver. Ministers also endorsed a girls' education declaration, which specifically states the G7 will work in collaboration with developing country partners, multilateral institutions, civil society, girl-led groups, and youth leaders, to remove the obstacles to education that stand in girls' way. This includes addressing the social, environmental, and institutional barriers to education such as reducing violence in and out of schools, reducing harmful cultural practices such as child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and amending restrictive policies or legislation which prevent girls thriving in school.

For example, FCDO's support to international efforts to end child marriage has contributed to a 15% reduction in the global prevalence of child marriage over the last decade, averting 25 million child marriages. The UK is proud to be a global leader in efforts to end violence against women and girls. Through our What Works to Prevent Violence Programme, we pioneered approaches worldwide that have shown reductions in violence of around 50%, proving violence is preventable.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance the Government has spent in the Caribbean in the last five years; and how much of that spending was disbursed for the purpose of advancing global LGBT+ rights.

Between 2015 and 2019, the UK Government has spent over £456 million of Official Development Assistance in the priority ODA-eligible Caribbean countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and over £1.1 billion in the wider Americas region. The UK plays an active role globally in support of LGBT+ rights. We have consistently committed funding to LGBT+ rights programme work across the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa; and what plans his Department has to continue to support small-scale food producers in that country.

The UK's engagement with Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa has primarily focused on strengthening regional food trade and resilience within the continent and collaborating with members of the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa-led Partnership for Inclusive Agriculture Transformation in Africa. An evaluation is currently in progress of Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa's effectiveness on its broad set of activities. FCDO sits on the steering group for this work.

We continue to ensure smallholder farmers are integrated into food and agriculture value chain related programmes across our Africa country portfolio as well as our regional portfolio for example through the Africa Food Trade and Resilience programme and AgDevCo - a flagship agribusiness impact investor in Africa.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement of the UK’s Ambassador to the UN Geneva, Launch of Rohingya Joint Response Plan in Bangladesh on 18 May 2021, whether support to the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and Bangladesh host communities will be reduced.

The UK remains a leading donor to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh despite the financial pressures. At the launch of the Joint Response Plan on 18 May, we announced £27.6 million in new funding to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, bringing our total contribution over £320 million since the crisis started in 2017. Our financial contribution will continue to deliver lifesaving aid to both Rohingya refugees and host communities. This includes food assistance, health services, water and sanitation, camp management, shelter, cooking gas, and protection for survivors of gender-based violence. We have prioritised this assistance and the consolidation of the provision of services to achieve better effectiveness, impact, and value for taxpayers' money. In addition to bilateral funding, the UK is providing support to the Rohingya refugee response through global funds such as the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, Central Emergency Response Fund and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. UK funds also support the Rohingya through the UN agencies and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has been able to verify reports of the use of white phosphorus attacks on civilians in Ethiopia; and what plans he has to respond to those reported attacks in the event that those reports are verified.

We are aware of reports alleging that civilians in Tigray have suffered burns that may be consistent with the weaponised use of white phosphorus. The Government of Ethiopia has strongly refuted allegations that such weapons are being used against civilians. The UK strongly condemns direct or indiscriminate attacks against civilians no matter what weapon is used.

The UK Government is working to establish the facts. Access to the affected areas, and to verified information, remains difficult. We have called for communications to be restored and for unfettered humanitarian access. We have also consistently called for access for independent human rights investigators. We will continue to do so and support the efforts of the joint investigation between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, whether reductions to Official Development Assistance will effect UK Aid Match grants.

I am pleased to have been able to protect the UK Aid Match programme, including all active and provisional grants. However, in response to the seismic impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy we have deferred start dates of the provisional grants under round 4 to 1 April 2022. The latest round 5 of UK Aid Match is progressing as planned with the expectation that successful projects would start after 1 April 2023.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan; and what (a) practical assistance and (b) expertise support the Government plans to provide to that country to support its response to the pandemic.

The UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan throughout the pandemic. We have already provided £17 million of UK aid to help Pakistan fight COVID-19. This includes funding the World Health Organization (WHO) to build laboratory testing capacity through training and provision of equipment across Pakistan.

The UK is also supporting the equitable rollout of vaccines in Pakistan through COVAX, an international alliance co-led by Gavi, CEPI and WHO. The UK has contributed £548m to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment, which is helping to provide supply of 1 billion doses for up to 92 developing countries, including Pakistan, in 2021. The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will share the majority of any future COVID-19 vaccines from our supply that are surplus to domestic needs with COVAX.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the British Embassy in Ethiopia is resourced to quickly respond to concerns relating to human rights abuses in that country.

We are deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia's Tigray region. We condemn violations as consistent with an apparent policy of collective punishment of Tigrayans. We have and continue to press hard for unfettered access for independent international human rights organisations.

Staffing at the British Embassy Addis Ababa was supplemented by three extra humanitarian staff in late 2020, but is now returning to pre-Pandemic levels. Tigray is one of the Embassy's top priorities and staff from across the Mission, from Political to Humanitarian, are working together to respond to the fast moving situation. Staff at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa are making frequent visits to the Tigray region and have heard first hand testimony from survivors. Further to this, preparations are underway to deploy expertise from the UK Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Team of Experts to the region, building on a specific protection mission to Shire, in the Tigray region, conducted by British Embassy staff.

20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism; and whether the UK Government provides funding for that mechanism.

The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), is a temporary mechanism to allow the entry into Gaza of large amounts of materials considered by Israel to have 'dual-use' civil and military capacity. We consider the GRM has been successful in facilitating reconstruction since the last conflict in 2014. As of 31 March 2021, 9,887 out of 11,000 totally damaged houses had been rebuilt, as well as over 88,000 homes with major or minor damage, indicating reconstruction of homes was in its final stage. In the long term, a more comprehensive lifting of restrictions as part of a political agreement is the only solution.

Since the establishment of the GRM in October 2014, the UK has provided a total of £2.5m in funding. The UK will continue to urge the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to ensure Gaza's reconstruction and economic recovery.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) the implications for his policies of the escalations in violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, (b) humanitarian needs and access in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and (c) the implications for UK ODA contributions to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories must stop. The UK is urging the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire, to prevent further humanitarian impact. We are supporting the continued UN, Egyptian and Qatari efforts to that end, as well as working closely with the US.

The UK is deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, including damage and destruction of civilian infrastructure. We remain in close contact with UN agencies and key partners on the ground and will monitor the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the announcement by the Government on 12 May 2021 of £55 million of funding for The What Works Hub for Global Education, over what period that funding will be spent; and whether that funding forms part of the £400 million for girls’ education announced in the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, HCWS935 on UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22.

The What Works Hub for Global Education is a multi-year investment, with £55 million planned over 8 years. A small proportion of it will be spent in this financial year, contributing to the £400 million for girls' education as announced in the Written Ministerial Statement of 21 April 2021.

The Hub will drive more effective education spending by both national governments and donor funds to improve learning outcomes for girls (and boys). It will do this through supporting governments in using evidence in a way that accurately identifies the barriers to learning, and tailors solutions to specific contexts.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Saudi counterpart on the cases of (a) Samar Badawi, (b) Nassima al-Sadah and (c) other women's rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia; and if he will call for their immediate and unconditional release.

In September 2020, the UK signed a UN Human Rights Council statement calling for the release of all political detainees. On 29 November 2020, the UK Ambassador for Human Rights and six European counterparts released a joint statement reiterating our call for the release of all political detainees, including women's rights defenders. Our position on this is well known within the Saudi system. In February and March 2021, the Foreign Secretary and Lord Ahmed raised the continued detention the women's rights defenders with the Saudi Foreign Minister and the Human Rights Commission respectively.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reported spreading instability in Ethiopia.

We remain concerned by the impact of the continued fighting in the Tigray region and growing ethnic and political tensions and violence elsewhere in Ethiopia.

Since the conflict in Tigray started, the UK has consistently called for an end to fighting, and for all parties to the conflict to prioritise the protection of civilians. We have and will continue to advocate for a political process. A political process is essential to bring an end to the fighting, and agree a sustainable settlement for Tigray. On our most recent visits to Ethiopia both the Foreign Secretary and I pressed on these issues, and also raised concerns about wider political freedoms in Ethiopia.

Most recently, I raised the elections delay to President Sahle-Work on 17 May during the France Africa Summit in Paris. On 14 April, the British Ambassador, alongside Ambassadors and representatives from other Embassies in Addis Ababa, met the Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General. In this meeting the British Ambassador raised concerns about the narrowing of political and civic space across Ethiopia. We will continue to champion open and free political expression and discourse as the best means to resolve conflict in Ethiopia, in Tigray and beyond.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 in Nepal; and what (a) practical assistance and (b) expertise support the Government will offer that country to support its efforts against covid-19.

The UK Government is one of the leading donors to Covax, committing £548m to the scheme, which will provide more than a billion vaccines to developing countries including doses for almost a fifth of Nepal's population. The UK has funded a new £180,000 duplex oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital in Kathmandu to help address oxygen shortages to treat COVID19 patients. The UK is providing £15m of support to international NGOs and the UN to provide shelter, nutrition and other critical needs in Nepal - including cash and voucher assistance to 220,000 vulnerable people's basic needs, nutrition support to 120,000 pregnant and lactating women and infants, 400,000 people with WASH (UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene) support, and 210 truckloads of relief supplies to 52 different destinations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what programmes will be funded by the UK's Official Development Assistance Budget in China in 2021-22; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of that funding.

The Foreign Secretary set out in his Written Ministerial Statement on 21 April that we have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world, following a thorough review against a challenging financial climate of COVID-19. We have cut FCDO aid programming to China by 95 per cent in 2021-2022, focusing the remaining programme funding on specific programmes that support British values around open societies and human rights.

There will be additional ODA in this year only to meet the contractual exit costs of former programmes.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the reductions in Official Development Assistance funding to programmes specifically addressing (a) water, sanitation and hygiene, (b) global LGBT rights, (c) gender equality and (d) violence against women and girls in (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23.

The decision to reduce the overall amount we spend on ODA is temporary, the Government will return to 0.7% once the fiscal situation allows and this is confirmed in the Integrated Review. On this specific issues highlighted in the question, the UK remains committed to advancing gender equality with the Gender Equality Act 2014 legally requiring all overseas development funding to meaningfully consider the impact of how it will contribute to reducing gender inequality. The UK also remains committed to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and we are combining our aid programming, policy leadership and diplomatic strength to take full advantage of the opportunities that 2021 offers to drive more concerted global action, including co-leading a global 'Action Coalition' on gender based violence as part of Generation Equality. We remain a leading global voice on LGBT rights and continue to fund projects in support of this aim. Our support to global health - which embraces many aspects of WASH, also remains a top priority for the UK Aid budget.

Final audited spend for 2020/21 will be published in the Annual Report and Accounts. Final 2020 spend will be published in Statistics on International Development in the autumn this year and will contain detailed breakdowns of the UK's ODA spend for 2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Palestinian elections can go ahead in May 2021 freely as planned.

The UK is working closely with the Palestinian Authority and international partners to support Palestinian elections. The Foreign Secretary met Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr Riad Malki on 22 April and urged parties to continue towards free and fair elections. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 19 April to reiterate the importance of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem being permitted to vote in Palestinian Legislative Council elections. We will continue to encourage the Palestinian leadership to work toward strong, inclusive, accountable and democratic institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the November 2020 OECD report which found that 74 per cent of climate finance has taken the form of loans, what form the UK’s contribution to international climate finance has taken to date; and what form the £11.6 billion it has committed over the next five years will take.

The UK has published full details on our International Climate Finance (ICF) annually since 2014. The reports can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-climate-finance. Over the past five years only 0.12% (£5.9 million) of UK ICF has been delivered through concessional loans, with 87% (£4,854 million) delivered through grants, 10% (£556 million) as equity investments and 3% as other.

Decisions on future programming will be made in due course.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who have been subject to sexual violence in the Tigray Region have access to (a) medical care and (b) support.

We condemned in the strongest terms the reported killings of civilians and acts of sexual violence via a joint statement on Ethiopia with 41 other countries at the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council. We also note the statement on 21 January by Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. We support the UN's call for a "zero tolerance" policy for such crimes and we continue to call for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses. The UK is particularly concerned about the increased risks that conflict presents for women and girls in relation to gender-based violence and to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. We continue to lobby for the protection of women, girls and boys at official level. We encourage the Government of Ethiopia to invite an independent UN fact finding mission to support their current accountability effort on international law compliance.

We note that the Government of Ethiopia has declared a zero policy on sexual violence and the stated intention to establish a national joint taskforce (including the Ministry of Defence with the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth) to investigate alleged cases of sexual violence against women in Tigray. We will monitor the effectiveness of this taskforce in bringing perpetrators to justice. UK-funded aid agencies in Tigray are working hard to deliver support in challenging circumstances, including food, shelter, water and healthcare. The UK is currently working closely with its partners to ensure that survivors have an increasing access to specialised services and justice. I re-enforced the urgency of the need for humanitarian access when I spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador on 24 February.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict dated 21 January 2021, if he will condemn crimes of sexual violence in the Tigray Region and outline the discussions he has had with his international counterparts on condemning those crimes.

We condemned in the strongest terms the reported killings of civilians and acts of sexual violence via a joint statement on Ethiopia with 41 other countries at the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council. We also note the statement on 21 January by Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. We support the UN's call for a "zero tolerance" policy for such crimes and we continue to call for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses. The UK is particularly concerned about the increased risks that conflict presents for women and girls in relation to gender-based violence and to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. We continue to lobby for the protection of women, girls and boys at official level. We encourage the Government of Ethiopia to invite an independent UN fact finding mission to support their current accountability effort on international law compliance.

We note that the Government of Ethiopia has declared a zero policy on sexual violence and the stated intention to establish a national joint taskforce (including the Ministry of Defence with the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth) to investigate alleged cases of sexual violence against women in Tigray. We will monitor the effectiveness of this taskforce in bringing perpetrators to justice. UK-funded aid agencies in Tigray are working hard to deliver support in challenging circumstances, including food, shelter, water and healthcare. The UK is currently working closely with its partners to ensure that survivors have an increasing access to specialised services and justice. I re-enforced the urgency of the need for humanitarian access when I spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador on 24 February.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will call on the Israeli military authorities to cease arresting, detaining and charging Palestinian university students for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression.

We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations, including reiterating the importance of freedom of speech. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146899 on Israel: Political Prisoners, if he will call for the immediate release of Ms Layan Kayed, Ms Elyaa Abu Hijla and Ms Ruba Asi.

We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that reductions to the aid budget are co-ordinated in a strategic manner (i) at regional level and (ii) by his Department in Whitehall.

The Prime Minister has set an ambitious agenda to increase UK impact overseas through closer integration of cross-Goverment activity. This includes all UK Missions working to a single, whole-of-government set of objectives for which the Head of Mission (HoM) is fully accountable.

The Foreign Secretary set out to the House of Commons on 26 November how a new strategic approach will allow us to drive greater impact from our £10 billion of ODA spending next year, notwithstanding the difficult financial pressures faced. Budgets will be allocated based on this strategy as well as considerations of need including levels of poverty, ability of countries to fund themselves and to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has greatest impact the UK could help achieve - previous PQ response

Country Plans are being reviewed at the regional level by Geographic Boards comprising FCDO and XHMG officials, and subject to Ministerial approval, to ensure strategic coherence - new language.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the UK’s total Official Development Assistance spending on (a) least developed countries, (b) lower middle income countries and (c) upper middle income countries in 2020.

Detail on UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending in 2020 is not currently available.

In April, the OECD will publish provisional Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries bilateral ODA by World Bank income group for 2020. The published table will show a UK total by these income groups. When published it will be found in this part of the OECD website: http://www.oecd.org/dac/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-data/

In the Autumn, FCDO will publish "SID: Final UK Aid Spend 2020". This publication will contain detailed breakdowns including finalised UK bilateral ODA by OECD DAC Income Group.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how UK Official Development Assistance relating to conflict and stabilisation will be administered in 2021.

Conflict and Stabilisation funding for 2021 will be administered through both the cross government Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, through a combination of multilateral and bilateral funding. No decisions on allocations for 2021/22 have been made yet.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made on the effect the (a) CDC and (b) Private Infrastructure Development Group investment strategies on the delivery of the Government’s policy to end fossil projects overseas.

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020 that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions. The policies of both CDC and PIDG are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's policy to end fossil fuel investment overseas.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of UK’s total Official Development Assistance spending was spent in each sector in 2020.

Detail on UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending in 2020 is not currently available.

In the Autumn, FCDO will publish "SID: Final UK Aid Spend 2020". This publication will contain detailed breakdowns including UK bilateral ODA by sector.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance will be spent in total in (a) Africa, (b) Asia, (c) Europe and (d) the Pacific in 2021-22.

The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; COVID-19 and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. We are working through our internal business planning process which will allocate the ODA budget across these priorities and geographies. No decisions have yet been made on individual country or sectoral budget allocations for 2020/21.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance was spent in total in (a) the Sahel, (b) the Western Balkans, (c) Ukraine, (d) the Caucasus, (e) sub-Saharan Africa, (f) South Asia, (g) Central Asia, (h) Middle East and North Africa, (i) the Caribbean, (j) Central America, and (k) South America in 2020.

Detail on UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending in 2020 is not currently available.

In April, FCDO will publish "SID: Provisional UK Aid Spend 2020". This publication will contain provisional bilateral ODA totals for FCDO by SID region - Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Pacific.

In the Autumn, FCDO will publish "SID: Final UK Aid Spend 2020". This publication will contain detailed breakdowns as well as activity level dataset. This dataset will enable the UK ODA spend to be separated into the categories set out in the question - (a) to (k).

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his Department’s 10 largest bilateral Official Development Assistance programmes (a) were in financial year 2020-21 and (b) will be in financial year 2021-22.

(a) Please refer to annex B in the latest DFID annual report (DFID Annual Report and Accounts 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which shows the indicative budget allocation of bilateral spend by organisational unit. Final outturn for financial year will 2020-21 will be published in our annual report later this year.

(b) The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. We are working through our internal business planning process which will allocate the ODA budget across these priorities and geographies. No decisions have yet been made on individual country or sectoral budget allocations for 2020/21.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much his Department has committed to spend on (a) the Commonwealth Development Corporation, (b) the Global Fund, (c) European Union international development spending, (d) the GAVI Alliance, (e) Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible in-country refugee costs, (f) ODA-eligible climate changed related work, in 2021-22.

The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; COVID-19 and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. We are working through our internal business planning process which will allocate the ODA budget across these priorities and geographies.

No decisions have yet been made on budget allocations for 2021/22.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of UK Official Development Assistance was spent on technology and technological partnerships with China in 2020.

The UK ended its traditional bilateral aid programmes to China in 2011 and now offers the country expertise and skills to help tackle global issues like climate change and global health. The Statistics on International Development (SID) National Statistics, published on GOV.UK, provides an overview of all UK spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Detailed UK ODA figures for 2020 will be published in autumn 2021, via SID: Final UK Aid Spend 2020. SID is collected and reported in line with the OECD reporting directives, and therefore is captured using the OECD categories. Technology and technological partnerships are not a specified classification for OECD reporting. All ODA is used in a way that reflects the UK's values and takes account of valid national security concerns.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of the UK’s Official Development Assistance spending in China in 2020 related to projects and programmes in Xinjiang.

The Statistics on International Development (SID) National Statistics, published on GOV.UK, provides an overview of all UK spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Detailed UK ODA figures for 2020 will be published in autumn 2021, via SID: Final UK Aid Spend 2020. SID is collected and reported in line with the OECD reporting directives, and therefore is captured using the OECD categories. We do not collect UK ODA information at a provincial level for these official statistics, but I can confirm that we do not have any bilateral ODA-funded programmes in Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she will provide financial assistance for former staff of the Department for International Development who are non-UK citizens and wish to apply for (a) for UK citizenship or (b) a new role in her Department.

Civil Service policy is that departments do not fund naturalisation application costs for staff. Existing non-UK national staff are still able to work in the FCDO and apply for new roles within agreed functions without applying for naturalisation or citizenship.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the complaint submission to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights and Addameer Prisoner Support on the arrest and detention of Layan Kayed, Elyaa Abu Hijla and Ruba Asi by the Isareli military authorities.

We are aware of the complaint submission dated 2 October 2020 to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights and Addameer Prisoner Support on Israel's continued detention of Layan Kayed, Elyaa Abu Hijla and Ruba Asi. The UK remains concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention. According to international law, administrative detention should be used only when security makes it absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to work with representatives of the aid and development sector to ensure UK nationals are required to undertake enhanced DBS checks.

The Government is committed to ensuring that UK aid sector employers have access to the information they need to make informed recruitment decisions.

FCDO and Home Office officials will work with representatives of the aid and development sector to ensure that the existing criminal record disclosure regime is being used as effectively as possible. Officials will seek to clarify the nature and scope of any issues faced by hiring organisations, and will take steps to ensure that employers in the sector are fully aware of the most appropriate route for criminal records checks depending on the location of recruitment decisions and the type of activity involved.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to maintain the current level of funding for the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact has forced the government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of GNI and to take tough, but necessary decisions to maximise impact for our aid spend.

The Foreign Secretary has now completed the overall departmental cross-government allocations of ODA spend for 2021 and laid a Written Ministerial Statement in Parliament [today], summarising the outcomes. The resulting package will drive greater coherence, notwithstanding the difficult financial position we face. We will spend 0.5% (currently forecast as £10 billion) on our priorities of climate and biodiversity; COVID-19 and global health security; girls' education; science and research; open societies and conflict; humanitarian assistance; and trade.

Individual departments will now work through the implications of their spending allocation for the programmes and activities they manage.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will reinstate the Director level board for overseeing the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality.

Gender equality is a core part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office's work as a force for good in the world. The Strategic Vision for Gender Equality continues to reflect and respond to the UK Government's ambitions on this agenda. We will retain and build on the Strategic Vision, including bringing a clear focus on implementation and taking advantage of our diplomatic and development levers. We do not see the core ambitions of the Strategic Vision changing. Our structural re-organisation following the launch of the FCDO continues, including at board level.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve access to ODA for local organisations based in-country as part of his plans to improve his Department’s delivery of aid.

The FCDO is committed to ensuring that both local and UK-based civil society organisations are paid the true cost of work on behalf of the FCDO. This includes paying our fair share of overhead costs and we have recently revised our Humanitarian Funding Guidelines to ensure all partners pass on a fair portion of overhead costs to local organisations. This effectively means FCDO is increasing its financial commitment to local organisations allowing them to play a decisive role in humanitarian response.

Our 10-year partnership with Comic Relief focusses on building the capacity and sustainability of locally-led NGOs in Ghana, Zambia and Malawi. Local organisations based in country are also eligible for funding for project activities through UK Aid Direct.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the training of healthcare professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our bilateral health programme, "Access to Healthcare in the DRC", 2019-2021, provides training to a range of health workers, from lab technicians to administrative personnel and birth attendants. In the first six months of this programme, over 180,000 births were attended by a skilled health worker. I [James Duddridge MP] visited the programme in November 2020. UK funding has also supported training to healthcare workers to identify, respond and treat Ebola cases during the Eastern DRC outbreak as well as, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, training on infection prevention and control measures.

Through our previous health programme, "Access to Primary Healthcare" - 2013-2019, we trained over 170 midwives, 1700 nurses on health and nutrition, more than 1200 health workers on the treatment of severe acute malnutrition and approximately 1300 workers on essential and emergency obstetric and neonatal care.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the recent announcement of potential new settlement building in east Jerusalem does not adversely effect prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.

We consistently call for an immediate end to all actions that undermine the viability of the two-state solution, including settlement expansion within the West Bank. As the UK made clear on 16 October, in a joint statement alongside France, Germany, Italy and Spain, we are deeply concerned by the decision taken by the Israeli authorities to advance more than 4,900 settlement building units in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I also expressed concern about settlement advancement in Givat Hamatos on 18 November and Har Homa on 25 November. The UK regularly raises settlement expansion with the Israeli authorities. The UK's position on settlements is clear. They are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace, and threaten the physical viability of a two-state solution. Settlement expansion is also a counterproductive move in light of the positive developments of normalisation agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. We urge Israel to halt settlement expansion

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department plans to keep the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the barriers girls face in accessing education throughout the world.

The FCDO plays a leading role in championing every girl's right to 12 years of quality education. Through the UK's hosting of the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment summit and our G7 Presidency, for example, we will put girls' education front and centre of the global agenda in 2021.

We understand girls face a wide range of barriers to accessing education and learning from low quality and gender-insensitive teaching practices to gender-based violence and child marriage. The FCDO is working to remove barriers to girls' education and improve their learning outcomes through a wide range of programmes and policies in the education sector and beyond. We will continue to be a progressive force for women and girls, including for their sexual and reproductive health and rights and right to education, as we help lead the global response to coronavirus. We are challenging attempts to roll back rights globally, and we are present and influential in important forums such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of his Department's aid was targeted to projects (a) with gender equality as a (i) principal and (ii) significant objective and (b) that were not-gender related in the last 12 months.

Advancing gender equality and women's and girls' rights are a core part of this Government's mission and we remain steadfast in our commitment to this agenda.

The UK's Gender Equality Act 2014 (an amendment to the 2002 International Development Act, IDA), legally requires all overseas development funding to meaningfully consider the impact of how it will contribute to reducing gender inequality.

All ODA spend reported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is screened against the gender equality policy marker and marked as 'principal' or 'significant' or 'not targeting'. This is a measurement of the proportion of aid that supports gender equality and women's empowerment.

The latest figures available (2019) show that of the former Department for International Development (DFID) and the former Foreign & Commonwealth Office's (FCO) total bilateral spend, 67% was marked as having gender equality as a principal or significant objective. This equates to £5.2 billion. These figures also show that 33% of the former DFID and former FCO's total bilateral spend was marked as not targeting gender equality.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to tackle the change in the level of violence against women and girls as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is deeply concerned about the surge in violence against women and girls (VAWG) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have provided £20 million to UNICEF and £10 million to UNFPA, which includes funding to scale up reporting, protection and support services for women and children affected by violence. In September 2020, we announced new funding of £1 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women's COVID-19 Crisis Response Window, on top of our existing £21 million contribution.

The UK is further stepping up our international leadership on this agenda with our co-leadership of the new Generation Equality global Action Coalition on Gender-based Violence (GBV). We are using this platform to drive more concerted, coordinated and scaled-up global action to prevent GBV. This has included initiating a joint statement on GBV and COVID-19 by the Action Coalition which was launched at the UN General Assembly in 2020. This can be found here: https://forum.generationequality.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/Joint_ACLeaders_statement_GBV_En.pdf.

We are also scaling up our investments, including through plans to launch in 2021 a new seven-year programme to scale up effective interventions to prevent VAWG - What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale. This will be the first global effort to systematically scale-up of VAWG prevention efforts globally.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether any financial assistance will be available to staff from the Department for International Development who are non-UK nationals who wish to become UK citizens or apply for new jobs in his Department.

Civil Service policy is that departments do not fund naturalisation application costs. Non-UK national staff are still able to work in the FCDO and to apply for new roles without applying for naturalization.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether existing international development staff who are non-UK nationals will be (a) able to apply for new jobs and progress their careers in his Department and (b) offered assistance if they wish to become UK citizens.

Existing non-UK national staff in the FCDO remain in the department and are able to apply for roles in a range of functions, continuing their valuable contribution to the Department's work and progressing their careers. In line with Civil Service policy, the FCDO offers support to staff wishing to apply for naturalisation, in the form of providing evidence and supporting statements on request.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the UK’s financial obligations to the EU are, after 31 December 2020, in relation to transfers of funding classified as Official Development Assistance, by financial year.

In the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK committed to contribute its share of the current EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2014-2020 - including Heading IV ODA, and the off-budget European Development Fund (EDF), the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT) and the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The EDF contributions include the UK's share of the EDF 11 (grants) and allocations to the European Investment Bank's investment facility through its external mandate (outside EU).

The actual total spend of the UK ODA commitment to the Heading IV and the EDF will be calculated, audited and officially reported on once those programmes are implemented and finalised and the total UK commitments fulfilled. The annual spend will depend on the speed of implementation for the EU led programming as well as overall exchange rate fluctuations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding classified as Official Development Assistance will remain to be transferred after 31 December 2020 to the (a) the Multi-annual Financial Framework, (b) European Investment Bank, (c) European Central Bank, (d) Facility for Refugees in Turkey, (e) EU Trust Funds, (f) European Development Fund via the (i) Grant Facility and (ii) Investment Facility and (g) other EU managed or administered funds or instruments, by the financial year of those future transfers.

In the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK committed to contribute its share of the current EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2014-2020 - including Heading IV ODA, and the off-budget European Development Fund (EDF), the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT) and the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The EDF contributions include the UK's share of the EDF 11 (grants) and allocations to the European Investment Bank's investment facility through its external mandate (outside EU).

The actual total spend of the UK ODA commitment to the Heading IV and the EDF will be calculated, audited and officially reported on once those programmes are implemented and finalised and the total UK commitments fulfilled. The annual spend will depend on the speed of implementation for the EU led programming as well as overall exchange rate fluctuations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans are in place for UK participation in the European Development Fund Committee after 31 December 2020.

As stipulated in the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK is eligible to attend the European Development Fund (EDF) Management Committee without voting rights. It is our understanding that the EDF Management Committee will cease to exist as of 31 December 2020.

The EU's new development instrument, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Development Instrument (NDICI) will provide funding to the current EDF countries (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and regions from 2021 as part of the EU's new Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The UK is not committed to any new EU funding through the NDICI. The Commission has yet to set out how member states will oversee legacy funding from the 2014-2020 MFF and the EDF as part of the new NDICI governance structure.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) assessment he has made of and (b) representations he has received on the potential merits of an off-budget joint EU/UK contractual facility established via the EU’s external assigned revenue procedure (under Article 21 of the Financial Regulation) to enable the allocation of official development assistance to common strategic priorities; and if he will make a statement.

Beyond our commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has no plans to contribute financially to EU international development programmes under the next EU budget (2021-27) via external assigned revenue or any other procedure. Now that the UK has left the EU, and as we meet our commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement, we will take decisions on where to direct UK ODA based on the conclusions of the upcoming Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what access the UK will have to the EU PEGASE mechanism for providing assurance in relation to overseas development assistance allocated to the Palestinian Authority for paying salaries in the Authority’s health and education services after the end of the transition period.

The UK has been supporting the Palestinian Authority's health and education sectors through the?EU PEGASE?mechanism. Salary payments have been transferred to a dedicated bank account and are then paid to?carefully vetted individuals. Each payment is?independently audited?to ensure it has been received by the intended recipient.

At the end of the transition period, the UK will be able to continue to access the PEGASE mechanism as this is available for use by both EU and non-EU member states.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much UK Official Development Assistance was spent by the EU and EU-managed or administered funds or instruments in 2018-19.

UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spent by the EU and EU-managed or administered funds or instruments in 2018-19 totalled £1,479.4 million, of which: £950 million was the UK's ODA attribution to the EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF)- Heading IV; £435 million was spent through the European Development Fund; £9 million through the Economic Resilience Initiative in the Syria Region programme managed by the European Investment Bank; £64 million through the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey; £1.4 million through the EU's Trust Fund for Africa; and £20 million to the EU programme Support the Palestinian Authority to Deliver Basic Services, build Stability and Promote Reform in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support the mandatory use of WHO COVID Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) by including working with the C-TAP as a condition of receiving UK public funding to support with research into covid-19 medical technologies.

We agree that the world urgently needs access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and other health technologies to enable an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As details of the COVID-19 technology access pool (C-TAP) emerge from the World Health Organisation, we will assess if C-TAP could add value to existing wider innovation and access infrastructure, such as the Medicines Patent Pool, which we helped set up ten years ago.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support the realisation of guaranteed global vaccine access for (a) vulnerable groups and (b) frontline health workers by committing to share a portion of the covid-19 vaccines that the UK Government obtains through advanced purchase agreements with the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment, from the first vaccine shipment.

The UK will deliver on its commitment to global equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines through our commitment to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The UK is the largest funder to the COVAX AMC with a commitment of up to £548 million. This will contribute to 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for 92 developing countries in 2021, and immunisation for up to 500 million people (subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals).

Ensuring frontline health workers globally have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will be a critical part of accelerating an end to the pandemic. The UK supports the role of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) as the lead technical partner in COVAX to provide robust guidance on specific COVID-19 vaccine use strategies to ensure maximum public health and wider impact. This includes the prioritised access to vaccines for health and social care workers and other vulnerable groups.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the £821 million funding figure announced for the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for 2021-22 as part of the Spending Review 2020 is comprised entirely of Official Development Assistance.

To ensure coherence and maximum value for money from the UK's Official Development Assistance spending, the Foreign Secretary will run a short cross-government process to review all discretionary allocations for the next financial year. This is planned to conclude before Christmas.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle racism in the humanitarian sector and (b) to ensure that the Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter is fulfilled.

FCDO maintains an ongoing dialogue with humanitarian actors across a range of important issues, including racism. Specifically, we are engaging with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the main international forum of UN and NGO humanitarian actors, to follow up on the recent statement committing its members to examine and address racism and racial discrimination within their own organisations and in the humanitarian sector. Additionally, we have robust accountability frameworks to ensure that our humanitarian partners uphold humanitarian principles and meet the most urgent needs without discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, gender, disability or other protected characteristics.

Sir Philip Barton signed the BITC Race at Work Charter on day one of the FCDO. We are now developing a strategy for fulfilling all five BITC commitments, which will inform and drive our efforts to improve equality of opportunity in the workplace and help build an inclusive FCDO. The FCDO has fulfilled the first commitment in appointing Sir Tim Barrow as the Board Sponsor for race. Sir Tim launched the FCDO Summit Programme - to support and develop BAME colleagues, in preparation for SCS/SMS. We have also launched the Bridges programme - a positive action mentoring programme for more junior staff, including those with a disability, BAME or from a lower socioeconomic background. Both programmes support the fifth BITC commitment on supporting ethnic minority career progression.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has responded to the Croatian supreme court’s request for the Government to make an intervention in Jonathan Taylor’s case.

Mr Taylor appealed to the Croatian Supreme Court against his extradition. It confirmed that the correct process was not followed at the initial hearing - under EU law, the first instance Court should have enquired whether, as a UK national, the UK wished to extradite him. The National Crime Agency responded to this request that they had no outstanding case against Mr Taylor and therefore did not seek his extradition. There was no other request to the UK from the Supreme Court.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what criteria his Department uses to decide when and how to make representations to an overseas Government on the extradition of a UK citizen which it believes breaches international law or process.

Extradition is a judicial matter, therefore concerns about the extradition process are, in most cases, most effectively and appropriately pursued by a local lawyer. The FCDO has no involvement in extraditions to or from the UK. We can consider intervening in third country extradition cases involving British nationals where we have human rights or fair trial concerns, in line with our public guidance on GOV.UK. Our actions in each case depend on its individual circumstances, the extradition procedures in the country where the British national is facing extradition and the situation in the requesting country.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to publish the outcomes of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Foreign and Development policy; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the changes to the form of the upcoming Spending Review on the form and content of that review's outcomes.

In light of the decision to move to a one-year spending review, the Government is considering the implications for the completion of the Integrated Review and will provide an update in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government's timescale is for publication of outcomes of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy; and what assessment he has made of the implications for that Review's form and content of proposed changes to the term and form of the upcoming Spending Review announced on 21 October 2020.

In light of the decision to move to a one-year spending review, the Government is considering the implications for the completion of the Integrated Review and will provide an update in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact will be a tailored review conducted according to Cabinet Office guidelines.

We will update Parliamentarians on the Terms of Reference for the review of ICAI in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the terms of reference are for the review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact; and when he plans to publish those terms.

We will update Parliamentarians on the Terms of Reference for the review of ICAI in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, who the (a) senior FCDO officials and (b) independent external experts are leading the review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact; and how those individuals were chosen for those roles.

We will update Parliamentarians on the Terms of Reference for the review of ICAI in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will include (a) a call for evidence and (b) consultation with the (i) International Development Committee, (ii) hon. Members, (iii) peers, (iv) aid sector professionals, (v) other stakeholders and (vi) Government departments with experience of being reviewed by ICAI.

We will update Parliamentarians on the Terms of Reference for the review of ICAI in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the UN on its potential recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign state.

The UK's longstanding policy on Taiwan has not changed: we have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan but a strong, unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties. We regularly lobby in favour of Taiwan's participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress the UK has made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; and whether he plans to work with NGOs to achieve those goals by 2030.

The UK Government is committed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both at home and abroad. Last year we published our Voluntary National Review, which comprehensively took stock of progress towards each Goal, as well as identifying challenges and next steps. We currently report data on 78% of SDG global indicators, available on the National Reporting Platform and remain committed to improving data coverage and disaggregation to ensure we leave no one behind.

COVID-19 is already setting back SDG progress and the world must redouble its efforts to meet the Goals by 2030. The UK has remains at the forefront of these efforts - including in its role as co-lead of the UN Financing for Development workstream on Recovering Better for Sustainability. SDG progress is in our national interest and everyone has a role to play. The UK Government continues to work closely with stakeholders including civil society and businesses.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) his Chinese counterpart on the China’s People’s Liberation Army large-scale military exercises in airspace southwest of Taiwan on September 9 and 10, and (b) his Taiwanese counterpart on maintaining peace and stability in the region.

We oppose any action which raises tensions in the region and hinders the chances of peaceful settlement of any issues. The Foreign Secretary has not discussed the military exercises in the Taiwan Strait that occurred on 9 and 10 September with anyone in the region, but all our international partners are clear on the UK's longstanding position

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government remains committed to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee's definition of Official Development Assistance.

As the Foreign Secretary said to the House on 2 September, the UK is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance. It is both a manifesto commitment and is enshrined in law.

Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been clear that development and poverty reduction will be at the heart of the new FCDO. The UK continues to rely on the Development Assistance Committee's definition and rules for what constitutes Official Development Assistance.

We are looking at how our aid budget can be used most effectively in our national interest through the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (IR).

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has held with his counterpart G20 finance ministers to ensure that the G20 covid-19 action plan includes a dedicated strategy for economic recovery in countries affected by fragility, crisis, and displacement.

The UK Government is working closely with international partners to deliver a robust and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the G7, G20 and other fora, and has been advocating for economic resilience and recovery to be at the heart of this approach. With India, the UK pressed for the G20 Action Plan that agreed a package of measures to mitigate the economic impact on the worst affected countries, including through debt relief. The UK is also leading on 'recovering better for sustainability' work which will report to a UN General Assembly meeting later this month.

Specifically, the UK has pledged £774 million to the international response to COVID-19, including for vaccine R&D, support to UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross, as well as over £130 million to accelerate the University of Oxford and Imperial University's vaccines work. Beyond this, many existing programmes have been refocused to address the primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic. On 2 September, the UK launched a global call to action to address the risk of famine, underpinned by £119 million of new UK aid funding.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help ensure that the proceeds of corruption in developing countries do not enter the UK financial system.

This Government is committed to protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK's financial system. Our efforts to tackle economic crime, including corruption in developing countries, are set out in the Economic Crime Plan 2019-2022, a joint public-private initiative. DFID works closely with Her Majesty's Treasury and other Government Departments to implement the international elements of that plan. That has included contributing Official Development Assistance to the establishment of the National Economic Crime Centre, through DFID's Tacking Illicit Finance Globally Programme, enabling it to work with developing countries around the world. It has also included increasing support to developing countries to tackle illicit finance by sharing UK expertise, establishing new Illicit Finance specialist posts in Kenya, Somalia, Mauritius and Nigeria.

The UK's efforts to prevent and pursue the proceeds of corruption from developing countries with a UK connection of course pre-date the current Economic Crime Plan. For example, FCDO has funded the International Corruption Unit in the National Crime Agency, leading to 30 people and companies being convicted of corruption offences linked to developing countries and almost £1bn of stolen assets stolen being restrained, confiscated or returned to developing countries.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that ODA's achieve better value than cash transfers during the next three financial years.

FCDO has strong processes in place to ensure Official Development Assistance is well spent and the principles of value for money are driven throughout each stage of the programme cycle.

Cash transfers can be an effective means of delivering ODA, which is why we use them in appropriate contexts. For example, FCDO currently supports social protection and/or humanitarian cash transfer programmes in more than 30 countries, including Fragile and Conflict Affected States, which support people who are vulnerable to the economic impact of COVID-19 and helps deliver the Global Goals. ICAI conducted a review of DFID's use of Cash Transfers in 2017 which noted that that the portfolio "presents a strong value for money case" and that DFID has "used evidence and learning well to strengthen its results.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the current DFID funding model is retained during the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This Government is committed to spending 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance, which is enshrined in law. The future funding model of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be subject to the conclusions of the upcoming Integrated Review and the Spending Review.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many of his Department's staff are (a) working at posts overseas and (b) have returned from posts overseas as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to ensure that those overseas posts will be maintained after the covid-19 outbreak.

We have sought to protect Health and Humanitarian capacity across our network wherever possible.

Our priority is to help enable our staff to return to post as quickly as possible to deliver Her Majesty's Government priorities. However, this will only happen when it is safe to do so.

As the global impacts of COVID-19 evolve, along with the subsequent implications for our work, we are working to provide as much clarity as is feasible on how and when we can bring staff back to post and return to normal operations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the information note Mapping the UK’s approach to tackling corruption and illicit financial flows, published by ICAI in March 2020, what plans the Government has for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to deliver programmes to promote integrity and transparency of businesses overseas to help tackle corruption.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office lead programmes to promote the integrity and transparency of businesses overseas, such as the Business Integrity Initiative, which supports UK and international small and medium-sized enterprises to guard against bribery and corruption when trading with developing countries.

Programmes are still to be agreed subject to the outcome of the Integrated Review. As the Prime Minister stated during the Parliamentary debate on Global Britain on 16 June, this government remains committed to tackling corruption and illicit finance in the UK and overseas.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussion he has had with his Zimbabwean counterpart on the recent arrest of the journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on the charge of inciting violence as a result of his reporting of alleged corruption at high levels in the Government in Zimbabwe.

The UK is deeply worried by the arrest of Hopewell Chin'ono on 20 July, and by his continued detention. I tweeted on 23 July to express my concern at the treatment of Mr Chin'ono and to urge the Zimbabwean authorities to uphold the right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Zimbabwe's constitution. When I spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, on 8 June, I urged him to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights and respects the rule of law. The British Ambassador to Harare also met with the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on Friday 14 August and raised our concerns. Officials at the British Embassy in Harare are closely following developments on Mr Chin'ono's case.

The UK is committed to the promotion of media freedom and the protection of journalists. Media freedom is an essential quality of any open society. People must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make decisions informed by a strong and robust media. Zimbabwe is one of the UK's Media Freedom Focus Countries: we have called on the Government of Zimbabwe to commit to the Global Pledge on Media Freedom and to end the harassment of journalists, improve legislation and work with the international community to protect media freedom.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will take steps to increase bilateral funding in response to the covid-19 pandemic for (a) primary health and (b) girls’ education programmes.

We have contributed up to £774 million of UK aid to the international effort to fight COVID-19. We are at the forefront of the global response to the pandemic.

The UK is flexing our funding and programming to support health systems to manage the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. We are maintaining our focus on the global Covid response, poverty reduction for the bottom billion and girls' education, plus climate change and delivering environmental outcomes. This includes working with partners to ensure essential health services, including primary health care, continue despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. This is a key part of our pledge to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children.

Education, particularly girls' education, will remain a top priority in the new FCDO. Through our bilateral programmes and as the largest contributor to both the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, we are proud to be a leading donor in support of basic education in developing countries. We recently announced £5.3 million of new UK aid to support the salaries of more than 5,500 teachers in the world's poorest refugee-hosting countries to deliver vital education and child protection services to over 300,000 children. Our Girls' Education Challenge programme is adapting to continue providing at least 1.3 million girls with essential education and support throughout the pandemic, for example through distance learning programmes and support for girls' wellbeing and safety.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the different fee rate caps for national and international experts working on projects funded by her Department, what assessment she has made of the equity of the system of fee rate caps for international, regional and national consultants; and what plans she has to remove those rate caps for national experts paid less than international and regional consultants.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) fee rates benchmark well against those paid by other donors and development organisations and provide good value for money. This was recognised by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact in its first report on our procurement practices. The FCDO currently uses a fee rate database, which allows us to benchmark rates against organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, as well as compare rates with other international aid organisations. This enables us to pay the appropriate rate for the job, based on expertise, experience and market conditions. We do not specify fee rates based on whether experts are international, regional or national. The database also enables us to identify any fee rates above set parameters and ensure suppliers provide a robust justification for any higher rate. This practice does not equate to setting a fee rate cap since we recognise that there will be occasions on which a higher fee rate is justified for example in a more challenging environment, for a niche specialism, or for a particular individual with a world-class reputation or skills.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish a list of projects funded by her Department that have scored a (a) B and (b) C in their annual review in the last 18 months; and what steps her Department has taken to improve the performance of failing programmes.

FCDO publishes annual reviews of its programmes to Devtracker and the International Aid Transparency Initiative. Each annual review contains the programme's score for that year, and all previous scores. There are no plans to publish a specific list of programmes that scored B or C.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the timetable is for the staffing restructure as his Department and the Department for International Development are merged.

The full details of the merger, including the structure of the new department, will be set out in due course. This work will take place over the coming months, and we will engage fully with staff throughout this process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government plans for there to be an accounting officer for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and a separate accounting officer for Official Development Assistance spend after the merger of his Department and the Department for International Development.

The full details of the merger, including the structure of the new department, will be set out in due course.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the Government's cost analysis of the merger of his Department and the Department for International Development.

We will implement this change in the most cost effective way possible. The full details of the merger, including the structure of the new department, will be set out in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of 19 February 2020 UN Special Procedures letter to the Government of the People's Republic of China concerning violations of human rights of healthcare workers in Hong Kong; and what representations he is making to the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on those allegations.

The allegations relating to the mistreatment and arrest of medics at demonstrations are extremely serious. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian norms and laws. These allegations warrant a full and transparent investigation. We have consistently made clear our view that there should be a robust, independent inquiry into events in Hong Kong. We frequently raise issues of concern with senior figures in the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments, and discuss the situation in Hong Kong with our international partners, and will continue to do so. The Foreign Secretary has set out our concerns about the situation in Hong Kong directly to both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to impose Magnitsky-style sanctions on people directly or indirectly responsible for violations of human rights against healthcare workers in Hong Kong and the alleged misuse of teargas and other hazardous substances by the Hong Kong Police Force.

We have announced our intention to establish a UK autonomous Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky-style') sanctions regime. The regulations will come into force once secondary legislation is laid in Parliament in the coming months. It would be inappropriate to comment on potential designations before the regulations come into force.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to develop a coordinated response to the two letters from six United Nations Special Procedures to the Government of the People's Republic of China, on alleged mistreatment of healthcare workers and the use of teargas and other hazardous substances by the Hong Kong Police Force.

The allegations relating to the mistreatment and arrest of medics at demonstrations are extremely serious. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian norms and laws. These allegations warrant a full and transparent investigation. We have consistently made clear our view that there should be a robust, independent inquiry into events in Hong Kong. We frequently raise issues of concern with senior figures in the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments, and discuss the situation in Hong Kong with our international partners, and will continue to do so. The Foreign Secretary has set out our concerns about the situation in Hong Kong directly to both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on support for an international, independent inquiry on the treatment of healthcare workers by the Hong Kong Police Force.

The allegations relating to the mistreatment and arrest of medics at demonstrations are extremely serious. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian norms and laws. These allegations warrant a full and transparent investigation. We have consistently made clear our view that there should be a robust, independent inquiry into events in Hong Kong. We frequently raise issues of concern with senior figures in the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments, and discuss the situation in Hong Kong with our international partners, and will continue to do so. The Foreign Secretary has set out our concerns about the situation in Hong Kong directly to both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to Written Question 8308, whether support has been offered to the 15-year-old girl arrested on UK consulate land in Hong Kong on 11 January 2020; and what representations have been made on the behalf of that girl to the relevant Hong Kong authorities.

The UK has repeatedly made clear that we support the right to peaceful and lawful protest. As in all overseas missions, we maintain regular contact with the police, including discussing the case in question. As Lord Ahmad stated on 15 January, any arrests and judicial processes should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner. We have made clear that we expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international human rights laws and practices.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 1369 on Hong Kong: Human Rights, what the timeline is for the publication of initial proposals for a scheme of Magnitsky-style sanctions; and whether those initial proposals will be subject to (a) public consultation and (b) parliamentary scrutiny.

The United Kingdom will establish an autonomous global human rights sanctions regime in the coming months. We will do this by laying a Statutory Instrument (SI) under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. The SI will be made affirmative and therefore subject to a debate in Parliament within 28 days after it has been laid. A global sanctions regime will allow us to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world. The United Kingdom is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. A human rights sanctions regime will help support our human rights objectives.

The sanctions regime is not intended to target individual countries, but those who commit serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world.

It is not appropriate to confirm who may be designated under the sanctions regime before the designations are in place. To do this could reduce the impact of the designations.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the Government has offered to the 15-year-old girl arrested on UK consulate land in Hong Kong on 11 January 2020.

The UK has repeatedly made clear that we support the right to peaceful and lawful protest. As the Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the UN and South Asia stated on 15 January, any arrests and judicial processes should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner. We have made clear that we expect the Hong Kong authorities abide by international humanitarian laws and practices.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) Hong Kong Chief Executive and (b) representatives of the Chinese Government on the Open Letter to Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam signed by 44 Parliamentarians and public figures from 18 countries.

​The Foreign Secretary has discussed our concerns directly with both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi. The Foreign Secretary has used these opportunities to reiterate the UK position that meaningful and effective political dialogue is the only way to resolve the situation. Since the District Council elections in November, senior officials have remained in regular contact with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the authorities in Beijing. The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern over the current situation in Hong Kong, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration upheld.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the imposition of Magnitsky sanctions against (a) Government officials and (b) police officers responsible for violations of human rights in Hong Kong.

The UK will establish a UK autonomous global human rights sanctions regime once we leave the European Union. A global sanctions regime will allow us to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world. The UK is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. A human rights sanctions regime will help support our human rights objectives. We will look to cooperate with others, including the US and Canada, who use sanctions to address human rights. The proposed human rights sanctions regime is still in development.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Hong Kong Government on police brutality in Hong Kong during the protests there over Christmas and new year.

​We remain seriously concerned at events in Hong Kong. The Foreign Secretary has made a number of statements that have repeated the UK position that protests should be conducted peacefully, within the law, and that the response of the authorities is proportionate. There is now an opportunity to find a way through the crisis with meaningful political dialogue, that reflects the legitimate aspirations of the people of Hong Kong and respects the "One Country Two Systems" model. The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration upheld.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the International Capital Markets Association Green Bonds Principles including nuclear energy, and the Government’s Green Financing Framework excluding nuclear energy, if he will reconsider the exclusion of nuclear energy from the Green Financing Framework.

The government recognises that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 will require power to be generated from low carbon sources. As set out in the Government’s Energy White Paper last autumn, nuclear power will play an important role in achieving net zero. The UK Government Green Financing Framework explicitly states that nuclear power is, and will continue to be, a key part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix.

Some energy sources have been excluded from the UK Government Green Financing Framework, including nuclear energy. This is in line with current international market standards for sovereign green bonds. The Green Bond Principles published by the International Capital Market Association do not address the question of nuclear energy. All other major sovereigns have explicitly excluded nuclear energy in their green bond frameworks.

The UK Government Green Financing Framework does not represent an assessment of what the government considers ‘green’ or affect an expenditure’s eligibility for traditional financing instruments. We will review the framework on a regular basis with the aim of adhering to best practices in the market.

The Government is developing a UK green taxonomy, which will create a shared understanding of which economic activities count as environmentally sustainable and will establish an Energy Working Group to provide expert advice on the treatment of energy in the taxonomy, including nuclear power.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with private creditors on bringing them to the negotiating table to ensure that the Common Framework delivers adequate debt restructuring for countries such as Zambia with high levels of private debt.

In November 2020, the UK and other G20 Finance Ministers and the Paris Club agreed a new Common Framework for Future Debt Treatments. This applies to 73 of the poorest countries in the world and, for the first time, brings together Paris Club and major non-Paris Club creditors to provide joined up debt treatments where required.

The Common framework is an internationally agreed initiative and does not impact the rights of private creditors under UK law. However, under the Framework, debtors will be required to secure a debt treatment from their private creditors on at least as favourable terms as from their official sector creditors.

As G7 president, the UK will push to ensure the full implementation of the Common Framework. I strongly expect all private creditors to provide the debt relief needed to ensure debt sustainability for those countries who request a debt treatment, and we will engage regularly with the private sector to ensure their appropriate participation in restructurings.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy of the Common Framework for debt relief in preventing private creditors using UK law to sue for unpaid debts and (b) implications for his policy on debt relief of 90 per cent of African debt being held under UK law.

In November 2020, the UK and other G20 Finance Ministers and the Paris Club agreed a new Common Framework for Future Debt Treatments. This applies to 73 of the poorest countries in the world and, for the first time, brings together Paris Club and major non-Paris Club creditors to provide joined up debt treatments where required.

The Common framework is an internationally agreed initiative and does not impact the rights of private creditors under UK law. However, under the Framework, debtors will be required to secure a debt treatment from their private creditors on at least as favourable terms as from their official sector creditors.

As G7 president, the UK will push to ensure the full implementation of the Common Framework. I strongly expect all private creditors to provide the debt relief needed to ensure debt sustainability for those countries who request a debt treatment, and we will engage regularly with the private sector to ensure their appropriate participation in restructurings.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of debt owed by countries eligible for G20 Common Framework on Debt Treatments applies to (a) non-official creditors owed to entities resident in the UK and (b) private creditors governed by English law as at 7 December 2020.

The UK strongly supports the Common Framework for future debt treatments which will facilitate quicker and simpler restructurings where required. A total of 77 of the least developed countries are eligible for treatment under the Common Framework.

Under the Common Framework, private sector creditors will be required to implement debt restructurings that are at least equivalent to those agreed by official creditors.

We do not hold a breakdown of the proportion of these countries’ debt that is owed to private creditors governed by English law or entities resident in the UK. However, in 2019 the IMF assessed that 45% of the total outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds by nominal principal amount are governed under English law.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many countries have (a) had, or (b) are expected to have, debt payments to the UK Government suspended under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative in (i) 2020 and (ii) 2021; and how much debt has been suspended for each country.

The UK has been at the forefront of leading the international response in assisting developing countries to deal with debt challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the G20 and Paris Club, the UK has supported a new Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) which has agreed to defer the debt service repayments of low-income countries until at least June 2021, ensuring they can focus their resources on the health and economic response to Covid-19.

As of 13 November 2020, 46 countries have requested to benefit from the DSSI, amounting to an estimated USD 5.7bn of 2020 debt service deferral. In relation to the UK, 10 countries have requested to benefit from the DSSI in 2020. The following table shows the amounts that the government has agreed to defer for 2020.

Country

Estimated deferred amount (USD million1)

Additional remarks2

Angola

0.57

1 contract in US (0.1m USD); 1 contract in EUR (0.43m EUR)

Dominica

0.89

1 contract in USD (0.89m USD)

Grenada

0.31

1 contract in GBP (0.24m GBP)

Lesotho

0.006

EU IDA credits, contract in GBP (4,935 GBP)

Myanmar

2.35

1 contract in GBP (1.72m GBP); 1 contract in USD (0.2m USD)

Nepal

0.51

EU IDA credits, contract in GBP (405,864 GBP)

Pakistan

0.66

1 contract in GBP (0.53mGBP)

Samoa

0.0008

EU IDA credits, recently identified by WBG, contract in GBP (663 GBP)

Yemen, Republic of

0.03

EU IDA credits, contract in GBP (23,325 GBP)

Zambia

0.90

1 contract in USD (0.9mUSD)

1 If the original currency of the agreement/country is not in USD, please convert in USD by using the exchange rates as of 30 April 2020 provided by the IMF

2 EU IDA credits are the UK’s share of EU credits delivered by the World Bank’s International Development Association

We cannot at this stage set out the information requested for 2021 as it remains for individual countries to approach the Paris Club and G20 to request to continue or newly take advantage of the DSSI extension.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to allow companies to defer payments of the Apprenticeship Levy during times of extreme financial stress.

The Government does not consider that a deferral of the apprenticeship levy for businesses is necessary. HMRC have an excellent track record in supporting viable businesses with genuine short-term financial difficulties, including through the use of Time to Pay arrangements. HMRC will always work with all taxpayers, including businesses that are liable for Apprenticeship Levy, to find the best possible solution based on their specific circumstances.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to stop payments being made to the sex party organisers, Killing Kitten via the Future Fund.

The Government publishes aggregate application and approval figures for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund but does not hold specific information relating to individual companies who have accessed these schemes. HMRC publishes weekly management information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and monthly management information on VAT deferrals. On 11 June HMRC published the Official Statistics for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which included a breakdown of recipients by sector, but not individual companies. Therefore the Government does not collect data on the information requested.

Regarding the Future Fund, it is an investor-led scheme with clear and published eligibility criteria. The scheme is being delivered by the British Business Bank and the Government is unable to comment on individual applications.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many sex party companies have received payments from the Government covid-19 business support schemes.

The Government publishes aggregate application and approval figures for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund but does not hold specific information relating to individual companies who have accessed these schemes. HMRC publishes weekly management information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and monthly management information on VAT deferrals. On 11 June HMRC published the Official Statistics for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which included a breakdown of recipients by sector, but not individual companies. Therefore the Government does not collect data on the information requested.

Regarding the Future Fund, it is an investor-led scheme with clear and published eligibility criteria. The scheme is being delivered by the British Business Bank and the Government is unable to comment on individual applications.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64925 on Overseas Aid, what evidence will be used to inform future decisions on department's ODA spending allocation; and what steps the Government is taking to ensure that all future ODA spending (a) maintain high standards of programme delivery consistent with his Department's best practice and (b) is subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

We take into account a full range of information with departments when making adjustments to spending plans and budgets. Departmental Accounting Officers are responsible for assessing and assuring the impact and value for money of their ODA programmes on an ongoing basis in line with Managing Public Money. ODA spending will be presented to Parliament to vote upon through the normal Supply Estimates process and will be audited by the NAO when departments produce their annual report and accounts, as per normal process.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on how the Government will deliver the planned 30 per cent reduction on Official Development Assistance; and how that target will be monitored against delivery.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA. Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year, and therefore commitments of aid spending are being reviewed across all departments.

HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these. We take evidence-based spending decisions and ensure departments maintain high standards of programme delivery that are consistent with HMG best practice.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure money saved by countries as a result of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative is not spent on repaying debts to private external creditors.

HM Government is deeply concerned by the impacts of COVID-19 on low-income developing countries. The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) is an important measure to provide rapid liquidity support to the most vulnerable countries.

The DSSI requires eligible countries to commit to use the created fiscal space to increase social, health or economic spending in response to the crisis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will support monitoring of this. Countries are also required to commit to disclose all public external debt in line with the framework of the IMF and World Bank Group (WBG) multipronged approach for addressing debt vulnerabilities.

The Chancellor and his G20 counterparts called upon commercial creditors to participate in the DSSI on comparable terms to the official sector on a voluntary basis. In 2019 the IMF assessed that 45% of the total outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds by nominal principal amount are governed under English law.

HM Government is working closely with Institute of International Finance (IIF) and commercial creditors to support implementation of comparable debt service suspensions from the private sector. Following a recent meeting with the Paris Club of official creditors, of which the UK is a member, the IIF released a statement that its members have “expressed strong support for the DSSI and are committed to explore how best to advance this initiative on comparable terms”.

HM Government will continue to monitor implementation of the DSSI by private lenders under this voluntary framework closely, as it is important that all creditors work together to help enable countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic to protect their citizens and economies.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative agreed by the G20, what assessment he has made of the proportion of debt payments that are owed to private creditors governed by UK law.

HM Government is deeply concerned by the impacts of COVID-19 on low-income developing countries. The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) is an important measure to provide rapid liquidity support to the most vulnerable countries.

The DSSI requires eligible countries to commit to use the created fiscal space to increase social, health or economic spending in response to the crisis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will support monitoring of this. Countries are also required to commit to disclose all public external debt in line with the framework of the IMF and World Bank Group (WBG) multipronged approach for addressing debt vulnerabilities.

The Chancellor and his G20 counterparts called upon commercial creditors to participate in the DSSI on comparable terms to the official sector on a voluntary basis. In 2019 the IMF assessed that 45% of the total outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds by nominal principal amount are governed under English law.

HM Government is working closely with Institute of International Finance (IIF) and commercial creditors to support implementation of comparable debt service suspensions from the private sector. Following a recent meeting with the Paris Club of official creditors, of which the UK is a member, the IIF released a statement that its members have “expressed strong support for the DSSI and are committed to explore how best to advance this initiative on comparable terms”.

HM Government will continue to monitor implementation of the DSSI by private lenders under this voluntary framework closely, as it is important that all creditors work together to help enable countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic to protect their citizens and economies.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to protect countries complying with the G20 request to suspend debt payments to private creditors from being sued in English courts.

HM Government is deeply concerned by the impacts of COVID-19 on low-income developing countries. The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) is an important measure to provide rapid liquidity support to the most vulnerable countries.

The DSSI requires eligible countries to commit to use the created fiscal space to increase social, health or economic spending in response to the crisis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will support monitoring of this. Countries are also required to commit to disclose all public external debt in line with the framework of the IMF and World Bank Group (WBG) multipronged approach for addressing debt vulnerabilities.

The Chancellor and his G20 counterparts called upon commercial creditors to participate in the DSSI on comparable terms to the official sector on a voluntary basis. In 2019 the IMF assessed that 45% of the total outstanding stock of international sovereign bonds by nominal principal amount are governed under English law.

HM Government is working closely with Institute of International Finance (IIF) and commercial creditors to support implementation of comparable debt service suspensions from the private sector. Following a recent meeting with the Paris Club of official creditors, of which the UK is a member, the IIF released a statement that its members have “expressed strong support for the DSSI and are committed to explore how best to advance this initiative on comparable terms”.

HM Government will continue to monitor implementation of the DSSI by private lenders under this voluntary framework closely, as it is important that all creditors work together to help enable countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic to protect their citizens and economies.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he will take to encourage philanthropy and charitable giving to offset the effect of covid-19 on the charity sector.

The Government promised to match whatever the public donated to the BBC Big Night In fundraising event – which was broadcast on 23rd April – starting with a contribution of at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal. The remainder will be split between the Comic Relief and Children in Need charities. On the night of its broadcast, the event raised £27m.

On 8 April the Government announced a £750 million package of support for charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis. This funding package will help charities providing essential services to continue their operations and to weather the storm until we return to more normal times. Funding for charities will be made available in the coming weeks and further information will be announced on Gov.uk. The Government’s aim is to get funding to those in greatest need as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will publish the full eligibility criteria for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

On 6 September, the Prime Minister gave an update on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), which will provide a safe and legal route for up to 20,000 Afghans in the region over the coming years, with 5,000 in the first year – one of the most generous schemes in British history.

Under this scheme we will work with the United Nations and aid agencies to identify those we should help, as we have done in respect of those who fled the war in Syria. We will also include those who have contributed to civil society or face a particular risk from the Taliban, for example, because of their role in standing up for democracy and human rights, or because of their gender, sexuality or religion. Those arriving through the ACRS will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain, allowing them to benefit from full rights and entitlements and providing them with the certainty and stability they need to build their life here.

We are working urgently to open this route and further details will be announced in due course.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps have been taken to expedite the biometric processing of eligible applications to the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy; and what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues and relevant officials on biometric processing in third countries.

Officials are working with the authorities in countries neighbouring Afghanistan to ensure that biometric enrolment of those eligible to apply under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme can be carried out in as rapid and efficient manner as possible.

Cabinet colleagues and officials have been regularly updated.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what eligibility criteria will her Department apply to (a) family members and (b) dependents seeking to enter the United Kingdom via the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy.

The eligibility criteria for family members and dependants seeking to accompany those relocating under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy are set out in paragraphs 276BE1-276BL1 of the Immigration Rules:

Immigration Rules part 7: other categories - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is additional published guidance for those family members who do not qualify under the Immigration Rules:

Additional guidance on the eligibility of additional family members under the Afghan locally employed staff relocation schemes (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Police Covenant Oversight Board will sit.

The first meeting of the Police Covenant Oversight Board will take place this summer.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the potential effect of the new immigration system on (a) the glass sector and (b) other industries that require the services of temporary specialist workers that are currently entering the UK as frontier workers.

The Home Office undertook extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and employers as part of the development of the new points-based immigration system. The new immigration system provides a wide range of routes for skilled workers and specialist service suppliers which can be utilised by industries such as the glass sector.

EEA or Swiss citizen frontier workers who regularly undertook work in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 can continue to do so if they meet the requirements of The Citizens’ Rights (Frontier Workers) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

Home Office Ministers frequently discuss the operation of the immigration system with Ministerial colleagues in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to clauses 148-150 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, what constitutes a positive requirement; and what assessment she has made of the effect of the positive requirements for registered sex offenders imposed would make to the police’s ability to manage sex offenders.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill includes measures to reform and strengthen the regime for managing sex offenders and those who pose a risk.

Once enacted, the Bill will enable Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO) and Sexual Risk Orders (SRO) to include provisions imposing positive obligations on offenders where appropriate. This could include, for example, requiring an individual to engage in a behaviour change programme or be subject to regular polygraph testing.

The Home Office has published an impact assessment alongside the introduction of the Bill which is available via the following link:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0268/20210304%20HO0383%20-%20PCSC%20Overarching%20IA%20-%20FINAL%20CLEAN%20(signed).pdf

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to publish the end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape.

Rape and sexual assault are devastating crimes. We want all victims to have the confidence to report them, knowing that every investigation will be conducted thoroughly, and everything will be done to bring offenders to justice. That is why we commissioned an end-to-end review of the criminal justice system response to rape.

As indicated in my answer of 27 January, we expect the review to report with actions for cross-system improvement this spring. We want to ensure the review, when published, is as well evidenced as possible, so that it delivers meaningful and long-lasting change.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to FORWARD UK’s February 2021 report entitled Do No Harm: Lived Experiences and Impacts of FGM Safeguarding Policies and Procedures, if the Government will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the safeguarding approach for FGM in the UK.

FGM is a crime and it is child abuse. We will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.

The Government significantly strengthened the law in 2015 to improve protections for victims and those at risk. This included the introduction of a new safeguarding measure which compels certain professionals to report if they have encountered someone who appears to have been a victim of FGM and who is under the age of 18, regardless of what community they are from.

We are committed to ensuring that professionals take the right action to help protect those at risk of FGM and the Government provides free resources, including a resource pack, e-learning, statutory multi-agency guidance and a range of communication materials to ensure that they have the training and guidance they need to provide effective advice and support on this issue. Our Statement Opposing FGM is available in 11 different languages.

The Home Office has recently awarded emergency Covid-19 funding to charities which have so-called 'honour’-based abuse (which includes FGM) as the main or a core part of their remit, including £42,269 to The Vavengers, which supports survivors of FGM.

Over 600 FGM Protection Orders have been issued by the courts since they were introduced in 2015.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what mechanisms are in place to ensure that people who are required by law to notify local authorities or police of a change of name make that notification.

Tough checks and a range of legislative measures are available to the police to manage and monitor known sex offenders living in the community.

Under existing legislation (part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) registered sex offenders are required to inform their offender manager of any change in circumstances, including a change of name. They must do this annually or whenever their details change. A failure to notify the police of a change of name can lead to the offender receiving a further conviction and a prison sentence of up to five years.

The Home Office will continue to work with the police, the courts and the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure these mechanisms are robust and we will take all necessary steps to make sure the public is kept safe.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend the Ask for ANI Scheme to people who are housebound due to the covid-19 pandemic so that (a) people at risk can speak to pharmacy delivery workers to access domestic abuse support and (b) the necessary training can be provided to those delivering from pharmacies to people’s homes.

Home should be a safe place but for those confined with an abuser it is clearly not, that is why the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme is so important.

There are currently more than 2,600 pharmacies participating in the codeword scheme nationwide. Since its launch a few weeks ago, we have seen the scheme been used by a range of victims. We maintain an ongoing sign-up process, and are seeing more pharmacies sign-up each week.

Evaluation of the codeword scheme has begun, and we expect early findings in the Spring. Using the evidence collected we will explore options for further expansion of the scheme into other settings.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, (a) how many times registered sex offenders have been charged with failing to notify the police of a change of name in the past 5 years, and (b) what sentences they received.

The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and we are committed to ensuring that the system is as robust as it can be.

Qualifying offenders are required to notify their personal details to the police. This system is often referred to as the ‘sex offenders’ register’ and requires offenders to provide their local police station with a record of personal details, including their name, address, date of birth, bank details, and national insurance number. Failure to inform the police of a change of name is a breach of the requirements and is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Figures for number of offenders cautioned or conviction for breaches of the notification requirements are published by the Ministry of Justice in the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report, which is available on gov.uk. This does not include a breakdown of the number of individuals charged, however, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of this information which shows 16,298 offenders were charged with breach of the notification requirements between 2015 and 2020.

A breakdown of the nature of the breach or on the sentences received by those convicted is not collated centrally.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to publish the end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape.

Rape and sexual assault are devastating crimes and we want victims to have the confidence to report them, knowing that every investigation will be conducted thoroughly, and everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

The Government is currently conducting an end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape, which includes identifying issues and areas for improvement in the police handling of cases. We want to ensure the review, when published, is as well evidenced as possible, so that it delivers meaningful and long-lasting change. We expect the review to report with actions for cross-system improvement in Spring.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant of the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 132926 on Deed Poll, what steps her Department is taking to monitor gaps in the name changing process in relation to safeguarding.

The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders. These include the notification requirements, which require registered sex offenders to notify their personal details, including their name and address, to the police. They must do this annually and whenever their details change. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of an order which is punishable by up to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will bring forward proposals (a) to remove the right to a change of name for a person convicted of sex offences or who is on the sex offenders register and (b) establish a regulatory body to oversee the name change process.

The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and we are committed to ensuring that the system is as robust as it can be. Tough checks and a range of legislative measures are available to the police to manage known sex offenders living in the community.

Registered sex offenders are required to inform their offender manager of any change in circumstances, including a change of name. A failure to notify the police of a change of name can be considered as a breach of an order, which could lead the offender receiving a five year prison sentence.

We understand the concerns that have been raised about people with a history of sexual offending attempting to change their name in order to hide their identity. We are working with the Courts and the Disclosure and Barring Service to close any monitoring gaps to ensure the public is kept safe.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to include survivors’ voices when designing and delivering its response to modern slavery.

We are committed to embedding the survivors’ voice in future policy. We have recently undertaken a piece of work to engage with survivors directly, to better understand their recovery needs and their experiences of the National Referral Mechanism, placing survivors at the core of policy development.

We have worked with the Care Quality Commission to deliver an independent inspection regime across the new Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract. As part of this work, survivors will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of the support services they receive whilst living in safehouse accommodation and/or in receipt of outreach support.

Through the NRM Transformation Programme we will continue to examine how best we can engage survivors to inform our response to modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the change in the number of (a) British children and (b) Albanian adults being referred to the National Referral Mechanism in the last five years.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery; ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives and that those responsible are prosecuted. The number of National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals has increased every year since the NRM was introduced in 2009.

The increase in referrals is likely to be indicative of greater awareness of the NRM and improved law enforcement activity, as well as an increase in the recorded NRM referrals related to young people involved in county lines activity. The Home Office have published statistics on the nationality of NRM referrals for adults and children on a quarterly basis from Quarter 2 2019. Prior to this the NCA published this data. On 19 October we published the 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery which sets out an assessment of trends in modern slavery in the UK.

Home Office statistics can be found: here:https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

Statistic published by the NCA can be found here: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications

Modern Slavery Annual report can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2020-uk-annual-report-on-modern-slavery

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect on modern slavery of immigration rules that would allow officials to refuse leave to remain in the UK on the grounds that an applicant has been rough sleeping.

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA citizens from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA citizens from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

The safety and security of modern slavery victims remains a top priority. The Victim Care Contract (VCC) provides support to potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery who have received a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and who have consented to support. The VCC provides support through accommodation (where needed), financial support and specialist support workers.

Following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, adult victims will be provided with a period of recovery and reflection of at least 45 calendar days. During that period, support and assistance will be provided on a consensual basis and potential victims will not be removed from the UK. A period of recovery and reflection will not be observed where grounds of public order prevent it.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the (a) process is and (b) agreed timescales are for the return of confiscated mobile phones to asylum seekers by Border Force; and what steps her Department takes to communicate that process to affected asylum seekers.

Immigration Enforcement search all migrants upon arrival at the Tug Haven at Dover. In the event that a mobile phone is discovered it will be seized as part of an investigation into the organised crime group involved in the facilitation.

The migrant will be informed verbally that the phone will be kept for evidential purpose for three to six months. They are provided with a receipt and contact details. Attempts will be made, to communicate this in their first language, although this can be challenging due to external factors.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2020 to Question 86063 on Domestic Abuse: Victims, when the Government plan to publish their findings into changes in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 relating to pre-charge bail conditions.

The Government consultation on the pre charge bail system closed on 29 May, receiving over 1,000 responses. Officials are continuing to engage with key stakeholders from across the criminal justice sector on reforms to the pre-charge bail process and the Government remains committed to improving the effectiveness of this system. We are planning to publish our response to the consultation in early 2021.

Pre-charge bail, including the use of conditions to protect domestic abuse and other victims, continues to be available where it is necessary and proportionate.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers entering at the UK border do not have their mobile (a) photos and (b) contacts seized by border authorities without the owner of the device receiving a copy of that information.

Organised crime groups involved in immigration crime are highly exploitative of vulnerable adults and children, charging large sums of money for their illegal services.

This revenue is often used to fund other forms of criminality. Phones are seized to gather evidence to establish Organised Crime Group links. The dismantlement of these Organised Crime Groups is essential to protect vulnerable migrants. Where there is no requirement to retain the mobile phone for evidential purposes, they are returned to the owner.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department collects data on the country of origin of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Home Office records the nationality of potential victims of modern slavery who enter the National Referral Mechanism. The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics for the National Referral Mechanism, which include nationality information. These can be found using the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of expanding the T5 visa scheme for Hong Kong residents by making it renewable after 24 months until they are eligible for settled status after five years.

The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme with Hong Kong is a reciprocal agreement currently capped at 24 months. In line with similar agreements with other territories it is primarily a cultural exchange programme rather than a route to settlement and it only applies to those aged under 30.

Other immigration routes are available to Hong Kong residents which lead to settlement in the UK, plus we have already announced our intention to create a route to settlement for British National (Overseas) resident in Hong Kong and their dependents.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will conduct an inquiry into (a) trends in the number of British citizens becoming victims of modern slavery and (b) for what reasons those British citizens are so becoming victims of modern slavery.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery; ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives and that those responsible are prosecuted. In 2019, potential victims referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in the UK came from 168 different nationalities. British nationals were the most common. The majority of potential victims, 5,866 (55%) reported that they were exploited as an adult, while 4,550 (43%) were referred for exploitation that occurred as a child. The number of NRM referrals has increased every year since the NRM was introduced in 2009. The reasons for an increase in NRM referrals are likely to include: greater awareness of the NRM; improved law enforcement activity; and an increase in the recorded NRM referrals related to the county lines criminal business model.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes successful awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page/modern-slavery-training-resource-pageresources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

In March we published statutory guidance under section 49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This guidance covers modern slavery indicators and how potential victims can be referred to the NRM and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff and local stakeholders. The guidance also sets out the support victims are entitled to, providing a clear framework of support for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This support is accessed through the NRM and applies equally to victims of modern slavery and trafficking and may include accommodation, financial assistance, medical care, counselling and access to legal aid.

Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area. In addition, the Government is continuing the roll out of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) as part of the NRM Transformation Programme, focused on areas of highest need. ICTGs are currently available in one third of local authorities across England and Wales.

In July, we launched an online modern slavery module for all First Responders. This training will enable them to effectively identify and refer, where appropriate, potential victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism.

We have also allocated a further £2millon to continue funding the police this year under the new Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Programme. This funding will enable us to support the police to drive forward work to enhance their engagement with victims and increase modern slavery prosecutions. It also includes a new focus to build police capability to respond to organised immigration crime.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to increase awareness among the general public of modern slavery; and what steps her Department is taking to educate the general public on how to (a) identify the signs of and (b) report instances of modern slavery.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery; ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives and that those responsible are prosecuted. In 2019, potential victims referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in the UK came from 168 different nationalities. British nationals were the most common. The majority of potential victims, 5,866 (55%) reported that they were exploited as an adult, while 4,550 (43%) were referred for exploitation that occurred as a child. The number of NRM referrals has increased every year since the NRM was introduced in 2009. The reasons for an increase in NRM referrals are likely to include: greater awareness of the NRM; improved law enforcement activity; and an increase in the recorded NRM referrals related to the county lines criminal business model.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes successful awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page/modern-slavery-training-resource-pageresources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

In March we published statutory guidance under section 49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This guidance covers modern slavery indicators and how potential victims can be referred to the NRM and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff and local stakeholders. The guidance also sets out the support victims are entitled to, providing a clear framework of support for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This support is accessed through the NRM and applies equally to victims of modern slavery and trafficking and may include accommodation, financial assistance, medical care, counselling and access to legal aid.

Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area. In addition, the Government is continuing the roll out of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) as part of the NRM Transformation Programme, focused on areas of highest need. ICTGs are currently available in one third of local authorities across England and Wales.

In July, we launched an online modern slavery module for all First Responders. This training will enable them to effectively identify and refer, where appropriate, potential victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism.

We have also allocated a further £2millon to continue funding the police this year under the new Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Programme. This funding will enable us to support the police to drive forward work to enhance their engagement with victims and increase modern slavery prosecutions. It also includes a new focus to build police capability to respond to organised immigration crime.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that victims of (a) modern slavery and (b) human trafficking are supported by her Department; and what steps she is taking to enhance police engagement with those victims to help dismantle those criminal networks.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery; ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives and that those responsible are prosecuted. In 2019, potential victims referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in the UK came from 168 different nationalities. British nationals were the most common. The majority of potential victims, 5,866 (55%) reported that they were exploited as an adult, while 4,550 (43%) were referred for exploitation that occurred as a child. The number of NRM referrals has increased every year since the NRM was introduced in 2009. The reasons for an increase in NRM referrals are likely to include: greater awareness of the NRM; improved law enforcement activity; and an increase in the recorded NRM referrals related to the county lines criminal business model.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes successful awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page/modern-slavery-training-resource-pageresources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

In March we published statutory guidance under section 49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This guidance covers modern slavery indicators and how potential victims can be referred to the NRM and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff and local stakeholders. The guidance also sets out the support victims are entitled to, providing a clear framework of support for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This support is accessed through the NRM and applies equally to victims of modern slavery and trafficking and may include accommodation, financial assistance, medical care, counselling and access to legal aid.

Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area. In addition, the Government is continuing the roll out of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) as part of the NRM Transformation Programme, focused on areas of highest need. ICTGs are currently available in one third of local authorities across England and Wales.

In July, we launched an online modern slavery module for all First Responders. This training will enable them to effectively identify and refer, where appropriate, potential victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism.

We have also allocated a further £2millon to continue funding the police this year under the new Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Programme. This funding will enable us to support the police to drive forward work to enhance their engagement with victims and increase modern slavery prosecutions. It also includes a new focus to build police capability to respond to organised immigration crime.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 July 2020 to Question 55645 on Domestic Abuse: Victims, when the Government plan to their findings into changes in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 relating to pre-charge bail conditions.

The Government consultation on the pre charge bail system closed on 29 May. It received over 1,000 responses from a cross section of the criminal justice sector. Our response will be published later this year. Officials will continue to engage with key stakeholders from across the criminal justice sector, analysing responses before deciding next steps.

Pre-charge bail, including the use of conditions to protect domestic abuse and other victims, continues to be available where it is necessary and proportionate. Decisions on pre-charge bail conditions are operational matters for individual police forces and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she will conduct an updated national assessment of the scale of modern slavery in Britain, to include the (a) economic and (b) social cost of modern slavery; and if she will take steps to formulate an updated strategy to tackle it.

The UK Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and bringing those individuals responsible to justice. Our response is underpinned by the Modern Slavery Strategy 2014 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the first legislation of its kind in the world.

The Government is identifying more victims of modern slavery and doing more to bring perpetrators to justice than ever before. In 2019, the Government’s manifesto included a commitment to continue the campaign to eradicate the scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking. In May 2020, at the Prime Minister’s Virtual Summit on Hidden Harms, the Government reiterated the absolute priority that we place on preventing and protecting those at risk from hidden harms, including modern slavery.

It is crucial that the Government’s policy and operational response to modern slavery is underpinned by robust evidence and we are committed to improving our understanding of this complex crime. In 2018 the Home Office published a report on the economic and social costs of modern slavery and in July 2019, the Government announced a £10 million investment to create a new Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights. As noted by the Office for National Statistics in their March 2020 report the hidden nature of this crime makes providing an accurate measure of its scale difficult. However, we will continue working with the Centre and other partners to strengthen the evidence base of the nature and scale of modern slavery in the UK.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/383764/Modern_Slavery_Strategy_FINAL_DEC2015.pdf

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/contents/enacted

https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F729836%2Feconomic-and-social-costs-of-modern-slavery-horr100.pdf&data=02%7C01%7CHarriette.Smith15%40homeoffice.gov.uk%7Ceb396898fd5446b843e708d84f1bd431%7Cf24d93ecb2914192a08af182245945c2%7C0%7C0%7C637346328223273317&sdata=Guv5dd8VbvKfv7nGSepJ%2FcNs7gdkKxtRfZqYn0u2vPU%3D&reserved=0

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's News story of 29 June 2020, New contract to deliver improved support for modern slavery victims, whether people provided with accommodation under the Victim Care Contract since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak will be able to remain in that accommodation for another three months.

In line with Public Health England guidance in response to COVID-19, the policy change announced on 6 April 2020 meant individuals who were accommodated in the VCC, would have continued access to this accommodation for a three-month period. The policy was reviewed at the end of June, with consideration of government wide COVID-19 advice.

The review determined that the policy will remain in place for a further period of one month from 6 July to the 6 August 2020. This is a transitional period, and from 6 August, the move on processes and periods set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015: statutory guidance for England and Wales will resume as normal.

The Government is committed ensuring the safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract (VCC). Support workers and decision makers will continue to consider government advice, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 on the availability of services and the safety/security of individuals as part of move-on processes.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on the provision of accommodation for individuals supported through the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract at the end of the three month period of government-funded safe accommodation announced by her Department on 6 April 2020.

This Government is absolutely clear that the safety and well-being of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract (VCC) remains a top priority. Contingency planning has, and continues to, consider how essential services and support for all victims of modern slavery can continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as lock down begins to ease.

To help ensure the safety and support of individuals receiving support from the Victim Care Contract, and in line with Public Health England guidance, we announced on the 6 April that all individuals accommodated by the Victim Care Contract would not be required to move on from their Government-funded accommodation for a period of three months, and that this policy would be reviewed at the end of June 2020.

This temporary guidance is currently being reviewed and next steps will be announced shortly.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of the £750 million of funding for charities at risk of financial hardship which provide key frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the covid-19 outbreak has been allocated to prostitution/sexual exploitation specialist support services.

The Government and the Police remain rightly focussed on combatting the harms and exploitation associated with prostitution and helping those that wish to leave sex work. During the current unprecedented circumstances, we have also provided £750m to a range of charities. This will support those organisations at risk of financial hardship that are providing key frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic. We understand that those involved in prostitution can be vulnerable to exploitation. That is why £76m of this funding will be allocated to charities and organisations throughout the country to support the vulnerable in our society during the pandemic, including for victims of modern slavery, sexual violence and domestic abuse. Of this, the Ministry of Justice is providing £10m to support sexual violence services through Covid 19 pressures. A further £3m per annum until 2022 will also be invested in the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors across the country. The Home Office will distribute £7.8 million in emergency support for charities helping vulnerable children who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak (including those supporting children who may be at risk of sexual abuse). Wider funding from the £750m will be provided by the National Lottery Community Fund, which is currently open for applications.

Previously, we have provided funding for women’s charities to help women exit prostitution through the tampon tax and from dedicated funding of £100 million for specialist Violence Against Women and Girls services.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what metrics her Department uses to assess the effectiveness of its spending on prostitution/sexual exploitation specialist support services.

The Government and the Police remain rightly focussed on combatting the harms and exploitation associated with prostitution and helping those that wish to leave sex work. During the current unprecedented circumstances, we have also provided £750m to a range of charities. This will support those organisations at risk of financial hardship that are providing key frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic. We understand that those involved in prostitution can be vulnerable to exploitation. That is why £76m of this funding will be allocated to charities and organisations throughout the country to support the vulnerable in our society during the pandemic, including for victims of modern slavery, sexual violence and domestic abuse. Of this, the Ministry of Justice is providing £10m to support sexual violence services through Covid 19 pressures. A further £3m per annum until 2022 will also be invested in the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors across the country. The Home Office will distribute £7.8 million in emergency support for charities helping vulnerable children who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak (including those supporting children who may be at risk of sexual abuse). Wider funding from the £750m will be provided by the National Lottery Community Fund, which is currently open for applications.

Previously, we have provided funding for women’s charities to help women exit prostitution through the tampon tax and from dedicated funding of £100 million for specialist Violence Against Women and Girls services.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether British national (overseas) status holders and their dependants will be (a) able to apply for work only in shortage occupations and (b) subject to (i) minimum salary requirements and (ii) other restrictions on their ability to apply for work in the UK.

The UK will continue to defend the rights & freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Should China push ahead and impose national security legislation on Hong Kong then we will provide a generous offer to BN(O)s of a bespoke immigration route providing unrestricted access to work and study with a pathway to apply for citizenship.

We are working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and domestic departments on the offer to British Nationals (Overseas) and will set out more detail in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the effect provisions in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 relating to pre-charge bail on victims domestic abuse.

The Government completed its public consultation into the pre-charge bail system on 29 May 2020. This included consideration of the impact on victims to ensure that pre-charge bail is used in a proportionate way which safeguards all involved. Analysis of the results from this consultation is ongoing and the Government response will be published later this year.

Pre-charge bail, including the use of conditions to protect domestic abuse and other victims, continues to be available where it is necessary and proportionate. Decisions on pre-charge bail are operational matters for individual police forces and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 16 March 2020 to Question 28041 on Domestic Abuse: Children, whether the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has been asked to make recommendations to Government on how to address the needs identified in delivering community-based support services.

As I indicated in response to the Hon Member’s Question 28041, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to lead an in-depth exploration of the current support landscape for domestic abuse in England and Wales over 2020/21.

It will be a matter for the Commissioner to determine how to conduct this review and what to include in the report on her findings. However, it is open to the Commissioner to include any such recommendations as she may see fit with a view to driving improvements to the provision of community-based support services across England and Wales.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) Ministers and (b) officials of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the provision of specialist support services for children affected by domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Bill, as introduced on 3 March, includes a new statutory duty on tier one local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation.

We are working with our colleagues across Government, including HM Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to ensure that the resources needed to implement the provisions in the Bill are prioritised as part of the next spending review period from 2021/22.

In the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), also published on 3 March, we indicated that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape to help us better understand the existing routes by which these services are commissioned and funded. The Government will then work with the Commissioner to understand the needs identified and develop options on how best to address them.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) Ministers and (b) officials of HM Treasury on the long-term funding of specialist support services for children affected by domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Bill, as introduced on 3 March, includes a new statutory duty on tier one local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation.

We are working with our colleagues across Government, including HM Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to ensure that the resources needed to implement the provisions in the Bill are prioritised as part of the next spending review period from 2021/22.

In the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), also published on 3 March, we indicated that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape to help us better understand the existing routes by which these services are commissioned and funded. The Government will then work with the Commissioner to understand the needs identified and develop options on how best to address them.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding was allocated to the specialist LGBT+ sector for the provision of domestic abuse services in each year between 2016 and 2020.

The Home Office has provided over £980,000 of funding to specialist LGBT+ organisations for the provision of domestic abuse services between 2016 and 2020.

The financial year breakdown spend is as follows:

FY 2016-2017 – £120,000

FY 2017-2018 – £120,000

FY 2018-2019 – £370,000

FY 2019-2020 – £370,000

This includes £120,000 of funding each year since 2016 for the National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline, which provides emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

It also includes £500,000 funding provided to Galop, a specialist LGBT+ domestic abuse service. This funding includes the provision of training and consultancy to deliver knowledge and understanding of the needs and experiences of LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse to statutory organisations that work with victims of domestic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether statutory agencies have received funding to provide training to increase staff understanding of the experience of domestic abuse for LGBT+ people.

The Home Office has provided over £980,000 of funding to specialist LGBT+ organisations for the provision of domestic abuse services between 2016 and 2020. The financial year breakdown spend is as follows:

FY 2016-2017 – £120,000

FY 2017-2018 – £120,000

FY 2018-2019 – £370,000

FY 2019-2020 – £370,000

This includes £120,000 of funding each year since 2016 for the National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline, which provides emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

It also includes £500,000 funding provided to Galop, a specialist LGBT+ domestic abuse service. This funding includes the provision of training and consultancy to deliver knowledge and understanding of the needs and experiences of LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse to statutory organisations that work with victims of domestic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many dedicated specialist local services there are for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse in England and Wales; and how many victims those services support each year.

While the Home Office has provided over £980,000 of funding to specialist LGBT+ organisations for the provision of domestic abuse services between 2016 and 2020, information on the total number of dedicated local services in England and Wales for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse is not held centrally.

The DA Commissioner has however agreed to seek to survey and get a better understanding of local DA service provision in her new role.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 5 November 2019 to Question 8260, when the Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship scheme will be rolled out nationally.

Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) are currently operational in one third of all local authorities in England and Wales.

Ongoing considerations are underway into the recommendations made by the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 relating to the wider roll out of this service. The Government remains committed to the national roll out of ICTGs.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent progress has been made on Sheffield City Region’s bid to the Delivery Vehicles Competition.

In October 2019 the Government launched the New Development Corporation Competition which invites ambitious proposals from local authorities to support transformational housing and economic growth opportunities, focusing on regeneration. Funding will help places explore delivery models that have been less commonly used in a contemporary context, such as development corporations. We have received a number of bids into the competition and will be making further announcements.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Nov 2020