Stewart Malcolm McDonald Portrait

Stewart Malcolm McDonald

Scottish National Party - Glasgow South

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

(since June 2017)
Committee on Standards
14th Jan 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Privileges
14th Jan 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Privileges
14th Jan 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Transport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 1st February 2022
14:00
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The situation in Ukraine and the UK’s response
1 Feb 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
HE Vadym Prystaiko - Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK
Captain Dmytro Donskoi - Ukrainian Defence and Air Attaché
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Fiona Hill - Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution
Shashank Joshi - Defence Editor at The Economist
Anders Aslund - Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 3rd February 2022
09:45
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
3 Feb 2022, 9:45 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP - Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE - Permanent Under-Secretary at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
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Department Event
Monday 21st February 2022
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
21 Feb 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 43 Scottish National Party Aye votes vs 0 Scottish National Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 228 Noes - 313
Speeches
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Ukraine
For reasons we do not need to go over just now, Germany has blocked some NATO allies from providing certain …
Written Answers
Tuesday 14th December 2021
Unpaid Work
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) …
Early Day Motions
Friday 28th January 2022
Edna Clayton 101st birthday
That this House recognises that Edna Clayton, who moved into the Hector House facility in Shawlands last August, will be …
Bills
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th March 2020
8. Miscellaneous
On 26 February 2020, I received the Ukrainian Order of Merit (Third Class) from the President of Ukraine, care of …
EDM signed
Wednesday 19th January 2022
War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation payments
That this House believes that the current process for claiming War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation payments is not fit …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stewart Malcolm McDonald has voted in 243 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stewart Malcolm McDonald 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
Ben Wallace (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Defence
(36 debate interactions)
Johnny Mercer (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(48 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(36 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stewart Malcolm McDonald's debates

Glasgow South 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 Glasgow South signature proportion
Stewart Malcolm McDonald has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Stewart Malcolm McDonald

28th January 2022
Stewart Malcolm McDonald signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Friday 28th January 2022

Edna Clayton 101st birthday

Tabled by: Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)
That this House recognises that Edna Clayton, who moved into the Hector House facility in Shawlands last August, will be 101 years old on 31 January 2022; extends its birthday wishes to fun-loving Edna who is well-known figure around Battlefield and has dedicated her life to her son, James; regrets …
5 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 5
18th January 2022
Stewart Malcolm McDonald signed this EDM on Wednesday 19th January 2022

War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation payments

Tabled by: Owen Thompson (Scottish National Party - Midlothian)
That this House believes that the current process for claiming War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation payments is not fit for purpose and drives many veterans to give up on claims, severely deteriorates many veterans’ mental health, drives many into poverty, and increases the risk of suicides; applauds our veterans …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 32
Labour: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Stewart Malcolm McDonald's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stewart Malcolm McDonald, 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.


Stewart Malcolm McDonald has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Stewart Malcolm McDonald

Monday 17th May 2021
Tuesday 7th January 2020

1 Bill introduced by Stewart Malcolm McDonald


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to prohibit unpaid trial work periods in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 15th June 2018
(Read Debate)

Stewart Malcolm McDonald has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


101 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
27th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether the Government has placed any restrictions upon Invest Glasgow at COP26 in respect of exhibiting at that Conference.

As COP26 Presidency, we are working to encourage the innovation and commitment of everyone – people, business, countries, cities and regions – as we move the global economy to net zero emissions. That is why we undertook an Expression of Interest process for UK Government managed spaces, to ensure we can hear and harness the expertise, insight and experience of those driving climate action. Invest Glasgow was involved in Glasgow City Council's exhibition in the COP26 Green Zone.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the extent of the use of Pegasus project spyware in the UK; and whether any UK citizen has been targeted by the software.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply Lord True gave to Lord Clement-Jones on 21 July, Official Report, column 256.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will undertake a retrospective assessment of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 EU referendum.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQs 908687 and 95208.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Intelligence and Security Committee's 2020 report on Russia, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK's democratic institutions are protected against foreign interference.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQs 908687 and 95208.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department’s press release, Over 200 employers called out for falling short of paying staff the minimum wage, published on 8 December 2021, how many employers were named and fined; how many people were paid back; and what amount of wages were recovered as a result of unpaid trial shifts at the outset of employment.

In the latest naming round, 208 employers were named for failing to pay £1.2m to around 12,000 workers. The employers were also ordered to pay nearly £2m in penalties.

Unpaid working time, which can include unpaid trial shifts, was a factor in 29% of these cases. Further information is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1039498/R18_Education_Bulletin_-_salaried_hours_final.pdf.

Publicly naming these employers sends a clear message that it is never acceptable to underpay workers and that the minority who do so will not get off lightly. It also acts as an important tool that raises awareness of the rules.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have taken part in unpaid work trials at the outset of employment in the 2021 calendar year.

Existing legislation already bans unpaid work trials that are not part of a legitimate recruitment process. They are not permitted if they are simply for the financial benefit of the employer or are excessive in length. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is highly likely to be illegal in all but very exceptional circumstances.

If someone has undertaken an illegal unpaid work trial, I would strongly encourage them to complain to HMRC, who enforce the minimum wage. HMRC consider every worker complaint that they receive.

It is never acceptable to underpay workers and employers who do so do not get off lightly. Where HMRC finds breaches, they order the employer to repay the workers and pay a penalty to government of up to 200%. Once HMRC has completed its investigation, it refers each case to BEIS for consideration for public naming. The Government named 191 employers on 5th August 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employers-named-and-shamed-for-paying-less-than-minimum-wage). This includes employers in the Greater Glasgow area who had breaches involving unpaid work trials.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) wages (b) number of hours lost to unpaid work trials at the outset of employment to date in 2021.

Existing legislation already bans unpaid work trials that are not part of a legitimate recruitment process. They are not permitted if they are simply for the financial benefit of the employer or are excessive in length. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is highly likely to be illegal in all but very exceptional circumstances.

If someone has undertaken an illegal unpaid work trial, I would strongly encourage them to complain to HMRC, who enforce the minimum wage. HMRC consider every worker complaint that they receive.

It is never acceptable to underpay workers and employers who do so do not get off lightly. Where HMRC finds breaches, they order the employer to repay the workers and pay a penalty to government of up to 200%. Once HMRC has completed its investigation, it refers each case to BEIS for consideration for public naming. The Government named 191 employers on 5th August 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employers-named-and-shamed-for-paying-less-than-minimum-wage). This includes employers in the Greater Glasgow area who had breaches involving unpaid work trials.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislation banning the use of unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

Unpaid work trials that are exploitative are already against the law. When recruiting, an employer can ask an individual to carry out a short unpaid work trial to demonstrate that they have the skills required for the job. But if a work trial is excessively long, or not part of a genuine recruitment purpose, employers must pay participants at least the legal minimum wage.

The Government is committed to ensuring that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage receives it. Since 2015, we have ordered employers to repay £100 million of unpaid wages to 1 million workers.

The existing legislation and enforcement are sufficiently robust to ensure that no worker undertakes an exploitative unpaid work trial. It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure they are paying their staff correctly and we will continue to take robust enforcement action against employers who fail to pay the minimum wage.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to assess the potential merits of banning unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

Unpaid work trials that are exploitative are already against the law. When recruiting, an employer can ask an individual to carry out a short unpaid work trial to demonstrate that they have the skills required for the job. But if a work trial is excessively long, or not part of a genuine recruitment purpose, employers must pay participants at least the legal minimum wage.

The Government is committed to ensuring that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage receives it. Since 2015, we have ordered employers to repay £100 million of unpaid wages to 1 million workers.

The existing legislation and enforcement are sufficiently robust to ensure that no worker undertakes an exploitative unpaid work trial. It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure they are paying their staff correctly and we will continue to take robust enforcement action against employers who fail to pay the minimum wage.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to update the guidance on unpaid work trials in the Government's Calculating the National Minimum Wage document.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all employers pay their workers correctly. HM Revenue and Customs considers all worker complaints and will take enforcement action in any cases of abuse.

Unpaid work trials can play an important role in helping people into work opportunities, however they are not permissible if they are excessive or not part of a genuine recruitment process. Following consultation with representatives of workers and employers, the Government updated the Calculated the Minimum Wage guidance to clarify this.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) businesses, (b) trade unions, (c) employees and (d) employment lawyers on the use of unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all employers pay their workers correctly. HM Revenue and Customs considers all worker complaints and will take enforcement action in any cases of abuse.

Unpaid work trials can play an important role in helping people into work opportunities, however they are not permissible if they are excessive or not part of a genuine recruitment process. Following consultation with representatives of workers and employers, the Government updated the Calculated the Minimum Wage guidance to clarify this.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) schools, (b) university and college students and (c) youth groups on how they can engage with COP26.

Officials across Government have been working closely with young people and youth NGOs to ensure COP26 is inclusive and that this is incorporated into the legacy of the UK’s presidency.

On 14th December, BEIS co-chaired a meeting with the Students Organising for Sustainability where 20 young people aged 14-28 from across from the 4 nations came together to discuss how young people can be empowered to engage in the Together for Our Planet Campaign.

We will continue to ensure a diverse range of youth voices are heard in the planning of COP. For example, we have established an international Civil Society and Youth advisory council, chaired by the President of COP26 and young people, which will meet regularly to inform our planning for COP26. As part of our commitment to involving young people and students in COP26 we are also working closely with our partners Italy, who are organising a Youth4Climate webinar series, and the organisers of Mock COP. The President of COP26 helped launch both of these initiatives.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 1951, whether his Department's definition of unpaid working time includes unpaid work trials.

The Government is clear that anyone entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW) should receive it. We are committed to cracking down on employers who fail to pay the NMW/NLW.

It is important to ensure that all working time is considered for minimum wage purposes. Employers are responsible for recognising and recording all working time for their workers. However, not all time constitutes working time. Government guidance entitled Calculating the Minimum Wage provides further information.

A work trial that it is for recruitment purposes and that it is reasonable and not of excessive duration would probably not constitute “work” under a worker’s contract. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is probably illegal in all but exceptional circumstances and would therefore entitle the individual to be paid at least the minimum wage.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to (a) record and (b) name businesses that breach national minimum wage rules as a result of unpaid work trials.

The Government is clear that anyone entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW) should receive it. We are committed to cracking down on employers who fail to pay the NMW/NLW.

The current law makes clear that anyone who carries out “work” for an employer is entitled to the NMW/NLW. Where HMRC enforcement officers identify that there has been an underpayment, including for breaches related to unpaid working time, they may issue a Notice of Underpayment instructing the employer to pay the workers the arrears they are owed, and a penalty of up to 200% of those arrears.

In cases where the total arrears are over £500, the Government considers publicly naming the employer via the NMW Naming Scheme. We publicly name in most eligible cases (almost 95%), and exemption from naming is only granted in the very limited circumstances set out in the NMW enforcement policy document on gov.uk.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when her Department plans to publish its next list of employers for National Minimum Wage breaches under the National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it. This is why we have more than doubled the compliance and enforcement budget for the NMW and NLW to £27.4 million for 2019/20, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16.

I have reviewed the National Minimum Wage Naming scheme and the Department will shortly publish the outcome of that review. This will detail the changes we are making to the scheme to ensure its continued effectiveness as a deterrent to non-compliance. Following this, we will resume the naming of employers who breach NMW legislation.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when her Department plans to publish the outcomes of the review of the National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme announced in June 2019.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it. This is why we have more than doubled the compliance and enforcement budget for the NMW and NLW to £27.4 million for 2019/20, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16.

I have reviewed the National Minimum Wage Naming scheme and the Department will shortly publish the outcome of that review. This will detail the changes we are making to the scheme to ensure its continued effectiveness as a deterrent to non-compliance. Following this, we will resume the naming of employers who breach NMW legislation.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will make it her Department's policy to ban the use of unpaid work trials at the outset of employment in UK businesses.

Unpaid work trials that are excessive and not part of a genuine recruitment process are prohibited by National Minimum Wage legislation. It is simply wrong to exploit workers by setting up excessive unpaid trials.  The law is clear that if someone is “working” for minimum wage purposes, they must be paid at least the National Minimum or National Living Wage.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all employers pay their workers correctly. HMRC consider all worker complaints and will take enforcement action in any cases of abuse.

BEIS published guidance in December 2018 clarifying that unpaid work trials are not permissible if they are excessive or not part of a genuine recruitment process. They can, however, play an important role in helping people into work opportunities, if used correctly.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on allocating additional financial support to (a) music venues, (b) theatres and (c) people who work in creative industries.

DCMS is engaging with a range of departments to support the economic response to Covid-19, and ensuring that the needs of its sectors including live music, theatre and the wider creative industries, and those who work in them, are fully understood. DCMS will continue to work with these valuable sectors to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

To ensure we are assisting all these sectors as effectively as possible, regular ministerially-chaired roundtables are held with business representative organisations and trade associations from across the creative industries. In addition, officials are in regular contact with stakeholders from these sectors, and we continue to speak with HM Treasury colleagues to ensure that the full spectrum of government support reaches the UK's world-leading creative industries.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the potential (a) merits and (b) risks of Confucius Institutes in the UK.

We work closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and other government departments to continue to support the higher education sector and other related bodies to promote mutually beneficial international partnerships and UK values.

Confucius Institutes promote and teach Chinese culture and language globally. UK providers who host Confucius Institutes are responsible for ensuring that their partnerships are managed appropriately, with the right due diligence in place. The government will continue to support the sector to promote mutually beneficial international partnerships in line with UK values.

This government takes seriously any concerns regarding the operation of international organisations at UK universities. We encourage providers, if they have any concerns, to contact the department with any queries regarding their international collaborations.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much her Department spent on trade finance support programmes to Belarus in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) does not invest equity or provide funding into projects. The support provided by the Department is in the form of financing, insurance or guarantees for loans.

UKEF has provided export insurance policy cover for UK exports to Belarus. As no claims have been made on those policies, UKEF has not incurred any outlay. The beneficiary of this insurance is the UK exporter, and not Belarus.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to protect people whose driving theory test has expired and who have been unable to book a practical driving test as a result of the covid-19 outbreak from incurring additional financial costs.

There are no current plans to waive the charge of a theory test for those whose theory test certificates have expired, given that they will have already received the service for which they paid.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pays its contractor, Pearson, per theory test delivered. If candidates were exempted from having to pay for a retake then the DVSA and in turn other fee payers would incur these costs. This would be unfair to fee payers who would not benefit from the arrangement. In addition, applications for a re-test would need to be validated and systems amended to remove the requirement for payment in these cases. The DVSA’s focus should rightly be on developing solutions to address the backlog of practical driving tests that has arisen as a result of the pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on increasing the number of available bookings for driving theory tests.

Since theory tests re-started in August last year, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has implemented measures to provide additional testing capacity. This included extending opening and closing times where possible, and extending the booking window from three months to four months to give candidates more choice of available dates.

Once testing can resume safely, the DVSA will continue to work closely with its theory test provider, Pearson, to monitor demand and explore ways in which it can further expand theory testing capacity and reduce the waiting times for theory tests.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that British veterans living anywhere in the world receive annual uprating adjustments to their State Pensions.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions. Entitlement is based on an individual’s National Insurance record without regard to nationality.

State Pension arrangements are unchanged following the UK's Exit from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement provides up-rating for those who moved to the EU before 1 January 2021 and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides up-rating for those who move to the EU from 1 January 2021

Annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients where there is a legal requirement to do so. For example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating of the UK State Pension. This is a long-standing policy which has been supported by successive Governments for over 70 years. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether British veterans living in the EU will continue to receive annual uprating adjustments to their State Pensions.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions. Entitlement is based on an individual’s National Insurance record without regard to nationality.

State Pension arrangements are unchanged following the UK's Exit from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement provides up-rating for those who moved to the EU before 1 January 2021 and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides up-rating for those who move to the EU from 1 January 2021

Annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients where there is a legal requirement to do so. For example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating of the UK State Pension. This is a long-standing policy which has been supported by successive Governments for over 70 years. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that British veterans living in Commonwealth countries receive the full value of their pension.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions. Entitlement is based on an individual’s National Insurance record without regard to nationality.

State Pension arrangements are unchanged following the UK's Exit from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement provides up-rating for those who moved to the EU before 1 January 2021 and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides up-rating for those who move to the EU from 1 January 2021

Annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients where there is a legal requirement to do so. For example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating of the UK State Pension. This is a long-standing policy which has been supported by successive Governments for over 70 years. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of Spending Review 2020 on increasing the level of statutory sick pay.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid entirely by employers to employees where they are sick or incapable of work and where they meet the qualifying conditions. As such SSP rates are not relevant to Spending Review discussions, which focus on Departmental Admin expenditure plans.

SSP provides a minimum level of income for employees when they are sick or incapable of work. It is designed to balance support for an individual when they are unable to work because of sickness with the costs to employers of providing such support. Some employers may also decide to pay more, and for longer, through Occupational Sick Pay.

This government has a strong safety net that helps people who are facing hardship and are unable to support themselves financially and we have taken steps to strengthen that safety net. SSP is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, for example where they are not eligible for SSP, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances. We have strengthened our wider safety net by temporarily increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit by the equivalent of £20 per week, meaning that claimants will be up to £1,040 better off for the 20/21 tax year.

Background

The government recognises that small and medium employers may struggle to deal with the increased costs of sick pay as a result of coronavirus.

To support businesses with the temporary economic impacts related to coronavirus, small and medium employers with fewer than 250 employees, are currently able to reclaim up to two weeks’ of SSP paid per employee for sickness absences related to coronavirus.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to extend the time limit of the number of days for which a person can claim contribution-based benefits for those jobseekers affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

A person’s entitlement to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is limited to a maximum of 182 days in any period for which entitlement is established by reference to the person’s National Insurance record in the same two income tax years relevant to the claim or claims. The time limit strikes a balance in providing support whilst keeping to the cost of this and other contributory benefits affordable based on the overall income to the National Insurance Fund each year.

People who are entitled to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or whose entitlement ends before they find employment, may have access to income-related support through Universal Credit. Entitlement will depend on individual circumstances.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 September 2020 to Question 85076, if she will make it her policy to publish monthly statistics on the number of people who take part in (a) the sector-based work academy programme and (b) JobCentre Plus work trials.

As previously outlined, we are continuing to work to establish a robust data source for sector-based work academy programme participation.

We do not hold data on work trials arranged by Jobcentre Plus. These opportunities are individually negotiated between the Jobcentre, employer and job candidate at a local level. This data is not available to extract from our systems, and to minimise the burden on Work Coaches’ time we only collect data clerically where it is essential to do so.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how people have taken part in (a) the sector-based work academy programme and (b) JobCentre Plus work trials in the last 18 months.

We are exploring ways to increase the robustness of this data to a point where it can be published.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a breakdown of (a) funding and (b) funding that has been allocated but not yet spent for NHS Test and Trace.

Test and Trace was allocated a £22 billion budget for the financial year 2020/21. Actual audited expenditure will be published as part of the Department’s annual accounts.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish the call logs for the (a) former Foreign Secretary and (b) Permanent Under-Secretary covering the period 31 July 2021 to 15 August 2021.

Following questions at his oral evidence session with the Foreign Affairs Committee on 1 September, the former Foreign Secretary wrote to the Committee on 15 September with a number of answers to questions concerning his and other FCDO Ministers' telephone calls, including during that period, as he promised. We will publish details of all calls and meetings in line with Cabinet Office Transparency requirements in due course. We do not publish details of internal meetings. The PUS had two external calls during the period, with Save the Children and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the humanitarian, economic and political consequences of a full scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation; and if she will make a statement.

We are closely monitoring the situation with our allies. Any military incursion by Russia into Ukraine would be a strategic mistake. The costs to Russia would be catastrophically high and result in massive strategic consequences, including severe economic sanctions. Russia needs to de-escalate now and return to diplomatic channels.

We have been clear, to both Ukraine and Russia, that the UK and our allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Prime Minister underlined this on 7 December in his discussion with President Biden, Prime Minister Draghi, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel. The Foreign Secretary also reflected this in her meetings with Ukraine Foreign Minister Kuleba on 8 December at the inaugural UK-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue, and with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on 2 December.

Our Embassy in Kyiv continues to monitor the situation throughout Ukraine, and will update our travel advice and draw it to the attention of British Nationals via our social media channels as the situation evolves.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with the Home Secretary on the potential for large numbers of refugees fleeing Ukraine in the event of a full scale invasion by the Russian Federation.

We are closely monitoring the situation with our allies. Any military incursion by Russia into Ukraine would be a strategic mistake. The costs to Russia would be catastrophically high and result in massive strategic consequences, including severe economic sanctions. Russia needs to de-escalate now and return to diplomatic channels.

We have been clear, to both Ukraine and Russia, that the UK and our allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Prime Minister underlined this on 7 December in his discussion with President Biden, Prime Minister Draghi, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel. The Foreign Secretary also reflected this in her meetings with Ukraine Foreign Minister Kuleba on 8 December at the inaugural UK-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue, and with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on 2 December.

Our Embassy in Kyiv continues to monitor the situation throughout Ukraine, and will update our travel advice and draw it to the attention of British Nationals via our social media channels as the situation evolves.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when officials in her Department last communicated with the office of the Lord Provost of Glasgow in relation to Taiwan; and if she will publish a minute of those discussions.

An official from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office communicated with the office of the Lord Provost of Glasgow on Friday 12th November. As this was an informal discussion no minute was taken of the conversation.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department plans to take to support the independence of the press in Ukraine following the recent closure of the English language newspaper The Kyiv Post.

The FCDO is committed to supporting freedom of the media, and preserving media plurality, in Ukraine. We do this through targeted project interventions and advocating on media freedom issues in our political messaging, both in public and in private. We are currently providing support to the Ukrainian Public Broadcaster, working with BBC Media Action, and have previously funded projects assisting a number of independent media channels.

The FCDO remains committed to the Global Media Freedom campaign launched in 2018. Through the UK's co-chairing of the Media Freedom Coalition we are working to improve media freedom domestically and internationally. We support, and encourage our European partners to support, the Global Media Defence Fund, managed by UNESCO, to which we have pledged £3 million over five years. The Fund has already supported over 1600 journalists globally, including in Ukraine.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will provide a copy of the FCDO ministerial rota for each day in August 2021.

There is a well-established system across Whitehall of Duty Ministers which ensures that all decisions are made in a timely fashion.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what dates during the month of August 2021 he spoke with (a) US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, (b) NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg and (c) High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

Our immediate focus is on ensuring safe passage for anyone remaining in Afghanistan who needs to leave, supporting the thousands of new arrivals in the UK, and continuing to provide assistance to the Afghan people. The Foreign Secretary told the FAC that he understands the importance of learning the lessons from this response.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what date his 2021 summer holiday commenced.

The Foreign Secretary has been overseeing the FCDO's response to the situation in Afghanistan throughout, including engaging with international partners and directing the FCDO's crisis response.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what dates during the month of August 2021 he spoke to HM Ambassadors to Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

As set out in the Foreign Secretary's statement to Parliament on September 6th, he visited Qatar and Pakistan from 1-3 September and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon visited Uzbekistan and Tajikistan from 1-3 September. The Foreign Secretary has also had telephone conversations with the Uzbek Foreign Minister on 6 September, the Tajik Foreign Minister, on 2 September, and with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on 27 August. Lord Ahmad has additionally called the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, on 3 September, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan on 25 August and Deputy Foreign Minister of Tajikistan on the same day. They held discussions with counterparts on securing safe passage for those fleeing Afghanistan and advancing the government's international priorities. Throughout this crisis the Foreign Secretary had received advice that draws on a range of inputs from HM Ambassadors to Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many financial investigations on Belarussian assets in the UK (a) the Government has undertaken and (b) have led to asset freezes or other repercussions.

We are considering all appropriate and effective means of constraining the finances of the Lukashenko regime. We have already imposed over 90 designations in response to the fraudulent elections and subsequent human rights violations in Belarus and are currently examining the evidence for further designation. We have taken decisive action to tackle economic crime - introducing a range of powers in recent years including account freezing orders and unexplained wealth orders, establishing a new global anti-corruption sanctions regime, and strengthening anti-money laundering requirements on relevant businesses. We will consider all further appropriate and effective measures to prevent the Belarusian regime from making money in the UK.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has planned any ODA spending in Belarus in 2021-22.

For FY2021 - 22, final funding amounts are still to be confirmed for programme spends but we have allocated £1.8 million for the support non-state and other non-government actors, who are working on behalf of the people of Belarus and we are actively looking at ways to increase this.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to run subsequent Belarus-UK seasons following the 2020 event in Minsk.

Prior to the crackdown on human rights in Belarus following last year's fraudulent Presidential elections, our Embassy in Minsk helped to facilitate a UK-Belarus season in conjunction with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce in order to promote the UK's trade and investment interests. There are no current plans to run a subsequent event.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the UK's policy position as was one of the UN Economic and Social Council member states on electing Iran to the Commission on the Status of Women.

We have serious concerns about Iran's human rights record, including with respect to women's rights. We regularly raise human rights directly with the Iranians at all levels as well as in multilateral fora, including at the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly. We continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues.
The UK has a long-standing policy of not revealing how we have voted in international elections.
James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Italian counterpart on expediting applications for the carta di soggiorno elettronica biometric residency card for UK nationals living in Italy.

The Government is engaging closely with the Italian government on citizens' rights, including the delays issuing new residence documents (carta di soggiorno elettronica) evidencing the rights of UK nationals in Italy under the Withdrawal Agreement. These delays have now been addressed by the Italian government. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will raise concerns if significant delays or wider implementation issues arise in Italy, including at the Specialised Committee on Citizens' Rights.

Italy has adopted a declaratory system under the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that UK nationals and their family members who were lawfully resident before the end of the transition period do not need to apply for a new residence status to be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. This is because the rights under the Withdrawal Agreement are conferred automatically by operation of the law. While it is not a prerequisite to having status under the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals are encouraged to obtain the new residence document to evidence their rights. Pending the issuance of a new residence document, existing residence documents or other forms of proof can be used to evidence status under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the the recently declassified report from the US Director of National Intelligence, Assessing the Saudi Government's Role in the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi, if he will take steps to declassify similar intelligence on the Saudi Government's role in the killing of Jamal Jashoggi held by the UK Government and its agencies; and if will he make a statement.

It is the longstanding policy of successive British Governments that we do not comment on our own intelligence assessments.

The UK has always been clear that Jamal Khashoggi's murder was a terrible crime. We condemn his killing in the strongest possible terms, that is why we have sanctioned twenty Saudi nationals involved in the murder under the global human rights regime.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to consult representatives of civil society in conflict-affected communities as part of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

The Integrated Review is informed by a strong and diverse evidence base. FCDO officials have had regular discussions about the Review and its themes with domestic and international contacts. This has supported wider external engagement across Government on key themes as they emerged during the Integrated Review's process.

In addition, the Government launched a Call for Evidence last year to inform the Integrated Review. This was open to anyone with an interest and role in our nation's security and prosperity, and in tackling the global challenges the UK will face over the coming years. We are pleased to have received a diverse range of over 450 submissions covering multiple themes, including conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to add Margarita Simonyan to the UK Sanctions list.

The UK takes the issue of disinformation very seriously. We know that certain states routinely use disinformation as a foreign policy tool and we all have our doubts about the objectivity of the reporting of RT, including through their UK television channel, which remains a tool of propaganda for the Russian State. The UK remains committed to the protection and promotion of human rights in Russia, including via the use of sanctions, however it would be inappropriate to speculate on future listings.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2021 to Question 140169 on Overseas Aid, when his Department plans to (a) allocate and (b) publish its allocations for country budgets.

The Prime Minister has set an ambitious agenda to increase UK impact overseas through closer integration of cross-Government activity. This includes all UK Missions working to a single, whole-of-government set of objectives for which the Head of Mission is fully accountable. Whole-of-Government Country Plans will be crucial to delivering coherent, consistent and impactful international work. We will confirm plans to publish in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to introduce sanctions in relation to Nordstream 2.

The UK remains concerned about the impact Nord Stream 2 will have on European energy security and particularly on the interests of Ukraine. Our focus continues to be supporting resilient European energy markets, including measures that strengthen and diversify gas supply and competition. There are currently no autonomous UK sanctions being imposed with respect to Nord Stream 2. We do not speculate on future designations.

The UK has played a leading role in international sanctions against Russia since 2014 following Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and continued destabilisation of Ukraine.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to impose sanctions as a result of the Russian Federation's (a) alleged poisoning and (b) imprisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the politically motivated detention of Alexei Navalny and calls for a full and transparent criminal investigation into Mr Navalny's poisoning, and for his immediate and unconditional release.

On 15 October 2020 the UK enforced asset freezes and travel bans against six individuals and an entity involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Mr Navalny under the EU's chemical weapons sanctions regime. These listings included senior representatives of the Russian government and the Director of the FSB. Following the end of the Transition Period, these individuals and entity are now designated under the UK autonomous Chemical Weapons regime.

The UK continues to work to protect and promote human rights and support civil society in Russia. We are considering all options for further action. We will continue to work with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and all of our international partners to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention and to hold Russia to account.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what financial impact assessment his Department has made for each country of the Government decision to reduce the aid budget announced in the Spending Review 2020.

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 ODA spend next year, notwithstanding the difficult financial pressures faced.

Country budgets will be allocated based on this strategy as well as considerations of need including levels of poverty, the ability of countries to fund themselves and to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has the greatest impact the UK could help achieve.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether an Early Warning Mechanism using Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability has been triggered for Xinjang.

Her Majesty's Government has not conducted a Joint Assessment of Conflict and Stability on Xinjiang. We keep the human rights situation there under constant review, regularly raising our concerns directly with the Chinese authorities. We track and assess developments in Xinjiang closely, including through speaking to independent experts, consulting with partners and regular visits to the region by British diplomats in order to observe the situation first hand, most recently in October 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Ukraine on Russia's attempts to reverse all unilateral measures that undermine the Minsk agreements.

During the Foreign Secretary's meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on 7 October, he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The UK has been clear on the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We support the Minsk agreements and the work of Germany and France within the Normandy Format. The Russian Federation has taken unilateral steps which undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and run contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the Minsk agreements. We continue to call on Russia to fulfil the commitments it has made under the Minsk agreements and to use its undeniable influence on the armed formations it backs in eastern Ukraine to ensure they do likewise.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with (a) independent media, (b) human rights organisations and (c) community groups in Belarus on the UK's direct support to civil society and independent media in Belarus.

The UK is committed to defending and developing civil society and media freedoms in Belarus. We have doubled our financial support to civil society, with £1.5 million in project funding over the next two years. We are working with partners on reform for vulnerable people in Belarus, including working through UN agencies, to promote the economic empowerment of women. We are supporting and training independent media organisations. On 16 November the Foreign Secretary paid tribute to the courageous work undertaken by journalists by awarding the inaugural Canada-UK Media Freedom award to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). Representatives of independent media and the human rights group, Viasna, briefed the FCDO Permanent Under Secretary on 13 November. FCDO officials continue to engage with Human Rights Watch on the situation in Belarus.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on allegations of detained protestors being tortured in Belarus.

The UK is deeply concerned by the reports of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment that have taken place in Belarus. The UK led sixteen partners in triggering the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism investigation into the allegations of human rights violations in Belarus. The subsequent report concludes that human rights violations have occurred on a massive and systematic scale. The UK has repeatedly raised its concerns directly with the Belarusian authorities. On, 9 December HMA Minsk joined EU, US and Swiss counterparts in a meeting with the Belarusian Foreign Minister and called on the authorities to end impunity, investigate allegations of torture and mistreatment and allow access to the detention centres for international observers. We have raised our concerns in the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council and at the OSCE, including a UK-hosted side event on Belarus at the OSCE Ministerial meeting on 3 December, where the Belarusian Association of Journalists and human rights organisations Viasna and Civil Solidarity briefed international delegations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) Russia and (b) the US on reports that the Russian Government allegedly offered to pay bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill US and UK troops in Afghanistan.

We do not comment on intelligence matters. We regularly discuss with NATO allies our responses to potential threats from Russia and as fellow Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, we engage directly with Russia on matters of international peace and security, including Afghanistan.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with counterparts in (a) the US Administration and (b) the International Criminal Court on the US sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

The UK has always been, and remains, a strong supporter of an effective International Criminal Court (ICC). While we believe that positive reform is required for the ICC to fulfil its mandate as intended under the Rome Statute - and we are working with the Court and other States Parties to achieve this, we also believe that Court officials must be able to carry out their work independently and impartially, without fear of sanction. We continue to speak to our international partners on these issues.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his policies of US sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

The UK has always been, and remains, a strong supporter of an effective International Criminal Court (ICC). While we believe that positive reform is required for the ICC to fulfil its mandate as intended under the Rome Statute - and we are working with the Court and other States Parties to achieve this, we also believe that Court officials must be able to carry out their work independently and impartially, without fear of sanction.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of sanctions against PMC Wagner, its founder Dmitry Utkin, and businessman Yevgeniy Prigozhin.

The UK is concerned about the reporting of Russia's alleged use of mercenaries and other proxy actors globally, and we continue to look into and consider this activity. There are currently no EU or UK sanctions on these individuals or entities. During the Transition Period, EU sanctions will continue to apply in the UK and we will look to carry over existing EU Russia sanctions, at the end of this period.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to publish outcome of his Department's review of the Government's strategy on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

The Government is finalising work on the review of its approach to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) in Armed Conflict. We were unable to meet the previously stated publication date as we were required to adhere to the rules governing the publication of documentation in the run up to the December 2019 General Election. We will aim to publish a document outlining the Government's approach to the PoC by the end of April 2020

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to make an assessment of the current effectiveness of the Budapest Memorandum.

In the Budapest Memorandum, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons, Russia joined the United Kingdom and the United States in reaffirming their obligation to "refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations." Russia is in clear breach of those commitments as well as a number of other international obligations and commitments, including under the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act.

The United Kingdom remains willing to engage on the basis of the Budapest Memorandum and in March 2014 the then Foreign Secretary took part in a Budapest format ministerial meeting. Russia refused to take part in that meeting, and has continued to refuse to engage despite the Budapest Memorandum committing them to such talks.

We remain strong and active supporters of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes building the resilience and capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces through Operation Orbital, and playing a leading role in maintaining sanctions against Russia.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding has been allocated to HMRC to enforce breaches of (a) national minimum wage, (b) coronavirus job retention scheme payments in Budget 2021 compared to (i) the last financial year and (ii) the next three years.

All businesses are responsible for paying the correct minimum wage to their staff. Since 2015-16, the Government has more than doubled the budget for compliance and enforcement of the national minimum wage, rising to £27.5 million for 2021-22. The compliance and enforcement budgets for future financial years will be confirmed in due course.

At Spring Budget 2021, the Government announced the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to expand HMRC’s enforcement activities and tackle non-compliance across the COVID-19 support initiatives.  For 2021-22, the Taskforce received £27 million to undertake additional enforcement activity, rising to £55 million for 2022-23.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, covering February, March and April, is immediately available for applications.

The Government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant.

The Government also announced a significant change in access to the SEISS. Basing the fourth and fifth grants on 2019-20 Self Assessment tax returns means more than 600,000 people are brought into scope who either became self-employed in 2019-20, or were ineligible for previous grants but now may be eligible for the fourth grant on the basis of submitting their 2019-20 tax return.

Individuals must have submitted their 2019-20 tax return by 2 March to be considered for the SEISS. This date balances access for the vast majority of eligible self-employed individuals, with the duty to protect the taxpayer against fraud as the details of the SEISS grants became public. Using these returns requires time to deliver, due to the increased population and new data.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will open the online claims service for the fourth SEISS grant from late April 2021.

HMRC expect to notify potentially eligible people of their personal claim date from mid-April.

The SEISS is just one part of a wider package of support for the self-employed, including Restart Grants, the Recovery Loan scheme, business rates relief, and other business support schemes.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that clinically extremely vulnerable workers who cannot work from home are automatically furloughed by their employers under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenges presented by COVID-19 for all those who have been asked to shield. Individuals who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and cannot work from home have access to the substantial financial package that the Government has introduced at this difficult time.

The CJRS is available to all employers and employees providing they meet the eligibility criteria, and this includes CEV individuals. The Government has sought to ensure that as many people have access to the CJRS as possible.

CEV individuals should speak to their employer as soon as possible to discuss and agree options on work. The furloughing of staff through the CJRS is a voluntary arrangement entered at the employers’ discretion and agreed by employees. That means it is not for the Government to decide whether an individual firm should put its staff on furlough, or take its staff off furlough; that is a decision for the employer, in consultation with the employee.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish immediately when the next self-employment income support scheme grant (a) can be claimed and (b) will be paid.

The Government is committed to supporting self-employed people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third SEISS grant covered the three-month period from November 2020 until January 2021. It was a taxable grant calculated at 80 per cent of three months’ average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment of up to £7,500.

The fourth grant will cover February to April 2021. The Government will set out further details in due course.

Furthermore, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to change the Job Retention Scheme eligibility date for employees on an employer’s PAYE payroll after 23:59 on 30 October 2020 following the lockdown measures announced on 4 January 4th 2021.

For all eligibility decisions under CJRS, the Government must balance the need to support as many jobs as possible with the need to protect the scheme from fraud.

Under the CJRS extension, an employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. The use of RTI allows HMRC to verify claims in the most efficient and timely way, ensuring payments can be made quickly while reducing the risk of fraud. Without the use of RTI returns it would be difficult to verify claims without significant additional checks, which would delay payment for genuine claims.

The 30 October 2020 cut-off date allowed as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, while balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public. Extending the cut-off date further would have significantly increased the risk of abuse because claims could not be confidently verified against the risk of fraud by using the data after this point.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the financial support that is required to assist people working in the (a) TV, (b) film and (c) other creative industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media and Sport on a range of topics. The Government has announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to support self-employed individuals adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme opened on 13 May, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May or within six working days?of completing a claim.?Creative sector businesses are eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan scheme. In addition, the Arts Council in England has made up to £160 million of emergency funding available for cultural organisations and individuals during the outbreak.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to extend the Self Employed Income Support Scheme to (a) newly self employed and (b) new start-ups and enable qualification for that scheme to be income assessed on an early submission of a 2019-20 tax return.

The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helps those adversely affected by COVID-19. It means the UK has one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world.

It has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the SEISS. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons.

The Government recognises that those who started trading more recently will not have submitted a tax return for the 2018-19 tax year, and it considered alternative approaches. HMRC would not be able to distinguish genuine self-employed individuals who started trading in 2019-20 from fake applications by fraudulent operators and organised criminal gangs seeking to exploit the SEISS.

The self-employed can benefit from the Government’s relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) in Universal Credit. They may also have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 43059, on Revenue and Customs: Coronavirus, whether HMRC is investigating employers that are accused of breaching national minimum wage regulations.

Everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) should be able to receive it.

HMRC continue to discharge their legal obligations and essential functions during the COVID-19 outbreak and will do everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this difficult time.

HMRC continue to enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in order to ensure that workers are being paid the wages to which they are legally entitled.

HMRC encourage any worker who suspects they are being paid less than the NMW to contact ACAS on 0300 123 1100 or submit a query online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pay-and-work-rights-complaints.

4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a list of the investigations by HMRC that have been suspended as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

It would not be appropriate for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, HMRC have made clear that they will support legitimate businesses and individuals, while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those promoting avoidance schemes.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this difficult time. That includes prioritising work to support businesses and individuals.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Society of Independent Brewers on continuation of the existing scheme for small breweries' relief.

The Treasury is reviewing Small Brewers Relief (SBR). As part of this review, Ministers and Treasury officials have met regularly with the Society of Independent Brewers.

Details of ministerial meetings can be found on the GOV.UK website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy for HMRC to record the number of complaints it receives on unpaid work trials.

HMRC take seriously and investigate all complaints from workers referred by the Acas helpline, or received via the online complaints form.

Complaint-led National Minimum Wage (NMW) cases often involve a range of different NMW breaches. It is only possible to determine the full extent of any underpayments, and the underlying reasons for these breaches, at the conclusion of an investigation.

In conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, HMRC publish information on completed investigations in an annual compliance and enforcement report. The latest report can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-living-wage-and-national-minimum-wage-government-evidence-on-compliance-and-enforcement-2018

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to publish the results of his Department's consultation entitled, Regulation of pre-paid funeral plans: consultation on a policy proposal, that closed on 25 August 2019.

The government launched a call for evidence on the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans in June 2018 which found that the market is not operating as it should. The government found evidence of harm to consumers and found that there is broad support among funeral plan providers for the voluntary system of regulation to be replaced by a compulsory regulatory regime for the sector.

Under the previous government we committed to ensuring that customers of pre-paid funeral plans are properly protected and consulted on a new legislative framework to bring the pre-paid funeral plan market within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority. The consultation closed on 25 August and a response to the consultation will be published in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of applying vehicle excise duty based on CO2 emissions recorded under laboratory conditions at the point of manufacture; and if he will make a statement.

The Government uses a graduated VED system to encourage the uptake of cars with low CO2 to help meet our legally binding climate change targets.

In July 2019 the Government announced that the UK will use Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) to measure vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 1 April 2020 for VED.

WLTP is a laboratory test which is used internationally, and aims to accurately reflect real world driving conditions. Its implementation will strengthen the link between vehicle taxation and the true environmental impacts of motoring.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the killing of Qasem Soleimani on the safety of interpreters in Iraq who had previously worked for the UK armed forces; and whether her Department plans to update its visa guidance for such interpreters.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to interpreters who risk their lives working alongside UK forces.

Government supported our locally employed staff (LES) in Iraq through the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Scheme. The scheme was open to those who were direct employees of HM Forces or the Ministry of Defence (MOD), provided such staff worked in particularly close association with the UK as an integral and visible part of HMG operations, including having regular, substantial and sustained contact with UK official personnel and regular, substantial and sustained attendance at UK official sites.

The scheme was established in 2007 and administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO). The last date for applications for former LES in Iraq to relocate to the UK was 19 May 2009 and the scheme closed in 2016.

The country policy and information note on ‘perceived collaborators’ published in February 2019 reported the risk level for Iraqi interpreters as low. Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically.

Our country policy and information notes are based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the FCDO.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the level of the threat faced by interpreters who previously worked with UK armed forces in Iraq.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to interpreters who risk their lives working alongside UK forces.

Government supported our locally employed staff (LES) in Iraq through the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Scheme. The scheme was open to those who were direct employees of HM Forces or the Ministry of Defence (MOD), provided such staff worked in particularly close association with the UK as an integral and visible part of HMG operations, including having regular, substantial and sustained contact with UK official personnel and regular, substantial and sustained attendance at UK official sites.

The scheme was established in 2007 and administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO). The last date for applications for former LES in Iraq to relocate to the UK was 19 May 2009 and the scheme closed in 2016.

The country policy and information note on ‘perceived collaborators’ published in February 2019 reported the risk level for Iraqi interpreters as low. Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically.

Our country policy and information notes are based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the FCDO.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with his US counterpart on the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals similar to that country's Foreign Agents Registration Act.

As the Prime Minister outlined in his response to the ISC report on Russia, the Home Office has considered like-minded international partners’ legislation to identify the benefits for adopting a similar approach in the UK. This includes the US’s Foreign Agent Registration Act.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to introduce new measures requiring the registration of foreign agents.

The Home Office has considered like-minded international partners’ legislation on tackling hostile activity by foreign states, in order to identify the benefits for adopting a similar approach in the UK. We intend to introduce our own registration scheme as part of forthcoming legislation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will revoke UK citizenship for (a) family members of the Syrian President and (b) other members of the Syrian Government who hold such citizenship; and if she will make a statement.

I do not comment on individual cases.

The Home Secretary can deprive individuals of their British citizenship where it is conducive to the public good to do so.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what criteria were used by the Civil Aviation Authority in deciding whether to allow General Atomics to fly its SkyGuardian drone in the UK in summer 2021; and whether General Atomics or his Department submitted the request to the CAA to conduct those flights.

During the deployment, SkyGuardian will always operate in controlled airspace in agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS. Whilst flying in the UK, SkyGuardian will be governed by and will operate accordance with CAA regulations and guidance - primarily the Air Navigation Order and CAA Publication CAP722, "Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace". SkyGuardian has previously flown in UK airspace in 2018 when it took part in the Royal International Air Tattoo.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what safeguards and controls he is putting in place to regulate and oversee the use of the Protector military drone during any domestic surveillance operations it conducts in the UK.

Protector will not conduct any domestic surveillance operations in the UK.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has to undertake a public evaluation of the effectiveness of detect and avoid technology, including its safety implications, prior to any certification being given for the Protector military drone to be integrated into UK airspace.

Detect and avoid technology standards are defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Protector will be built and certified against those standards. Protector will be the first Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) to be designed, built and certified against stringent NATO and UK Safety Certification standards as required for all aircraft.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to create a regulatory regime for large drones flying in the UK operated by (a) the Ministry of Defence, (b) other Government agencies and (c) other operators.

The Military Aviation Authority (MAA) is responsible for the regulation of all military Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) (which are divided into categories); the relevant Regulatory Articles (RAs) can be found on www.gov.uk and mandate that all RPAS contained on the UK Military Aircraft Register must be operated in a manner that minimizes the risk and hazards to other airspace users, ground crew and persons over which RPAS are flown.

As the operation of larger RPAS in the Certified Category presents Risk to Life similar to that of crewed aviation, these RPAS are subject to the same regulatory regime as crewed aviation.

The MAA is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (who are responsible for the regulation of non-military RPAS) to ensure coherency and further develop policy and regulation that will meet the requirements of future RPAS/Unmanned Air System (UAS) operations in the UK to ensure that large RPAS/UAS are safe to operate and operated safely.

Further information on Categorization can be found in Regulatory Article (RA) 1600 - Remotely Piloted Air Systems. The RAs specific to RPAS can be found within the RA 1600 Series and RA 2000 Series.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned flights of SkyGuardian are in 2021 in the UK; what routes those planned flights will be using; how long those planned flights will be operating for each day; and when those planned flights will (a) begin and (b) end.

SkyGuardian will always operate in controlled airspace in agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and National Air Traffic Services (NATS), just like any other aircraft within UK airspace.

It will fly only in approved areas and it will not be flying at low altitude over any population centres.

The CAA will publish an airspace coordination notice covering all the above aspects in due course.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has contacted local authorities and residents in the vicinity of RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Waddington to inform them about the planned arrival of SkyGuardian and its operations.

Details on the SkyGuardian demonstrations are already being shared nationally through the RAF and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) websites and via social media outlets. Both stations will engage with local authorities and residents through existing community engagement channels and social media prior to the arrival of the SkyGuardian aircraft.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) military and (b) policing support his Department provided to Belarus in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

In 2020, UK Ministry of Defence support to Belarus included Winter Survival Training and English language training (in support of Belarusian Personnel destined for UN Peacekeeping Operations). One Belarusian Officer completed the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy (started in 2019). The UK also provided a small amount of PPE (sourced in Belarus) to the Red Star Military Hospital.

In August 2020 the UK suspended our Defence engagement programme with Belarus and ceased support to the Belarusian armed forces.

The UK Ministry of Defence has only engaged with the Belarusian Ministry of Defence and armed forces, there has been no engagement with any aspect of the Belarusian Police.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of service personnel who will be stationed in Scotland by 2025.

Defence remains committed to maintaining a strong Armed Forces presence in Scotland. Following the publication of the Defence Command Paper last month, the Armed Forces will take time to reshape. Further detail on Armed Forces structures, including in Scotland, will be announced later in the year.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what costings have been made for the acquisition of new nuclear weapons up to a total of 260 as announced in the Integrated Review.

The Integrated Review announced the UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads. This is a stockpile ceiling and we will remain deliberately ambiguous about the exact number of warheads to avoid simplifying the calculations of potential adversaries. The cost estimates for the wider warhead programme are undergoing consideration as part of Departmental budgeting.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with representatives of the armed forces on reports that the Russian Government allegedly offered to pay bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill US and UK troops in Afghanistan.

It would not be appropriate to comment on sensitive intelligence matters, but the safety of our Service personnel is of paramount importance to the Ministry of Defence. We take all necessary measures to ensure that our Armed Forces are properly trained, equipped and prepared to face any eventuality. We regularly review our force protection posture and take all necessary steps to mitigate the risks. That is no different in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence continues to collaborate with allies and partners, including in the intelligence domain, to fully and robustly respond to the challenges Russia presents. In responding to this malign activity, the UK is a world leader. We led the global effort to expel more than a hundred diplomats from around the world after the Salisbury attack in 2018 and we were the first international partner to deploy a military training team to Ukraine following the illegal annexation of Crimea.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish (a) the cost of, (b) who requested and (c) which Department approved the planned works to RAF Voyager.

The total forecast cost for completing the repaint of the RAF Voyager VIP aircraft (including related costs) is approximately £900,000. The project will be carried out by Marshall Aerospace Defence Group (MADG) in Cambridge.

The decision to repaint the VIP Voyager - and approval of a design that best projected Global Britain - was taken on a cross-Government basis, to be funded by the Ministry of Defence.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which contractor is responsible for perimeter security at Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport; and what the financial value is of that contract.

While the Ministry of Defence use private contractors where appropriate to undertake fencing and perimeter upkeep, the Naval base Commander at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde is responsible for security of the Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport, using Ministry of Defence Police, Ministry of Defence Guard Service and Armed Forces personnel to provide security monitoring, patrols and proportionate response.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2020 to Question 10395 on Nuclear Weapons: Military Bases, whether funding for defence projects (a) has and (b) will be reduced to fund the additional £1.35 billion required for projects set out in the NAO's report entitled, Managing infrastructure projects on nuclear-regulated sites, published on 10 January 2020.

The costs have been managed through business as usual budgetary processes within the Nuclear Enterprise, alongside changes in forecast costs elsewhere in the wider defence equipment programme, against overall funding available. Consequently, identifying specific funding decisions for individual projects is not possible.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 24 January to Question 3807 and with reference to the key findings on page 7 of the NAO's report entitled Managing infrastructure projects on nuclear-regulated sites, published on 10 January 2020, which projects managed by his Department funding will be re-allocated from to fund the £1.35 billion combined cost increase in respect of the three projects examined by the NAO.

The £1.35 billion cost increase reported in the NAO publication 'Managing Infrastructure on Nuclear-Regulated sites', represent the difference between initial cost estimates and the latest position for the projects reviewed. These costs have been absorbed and accounted for through business as usual budgetary processes within the Enterprise.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the cost of (a) HMS Queen Elizabeth and (b) HMS Price of Wales.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Question 7177 from the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) on 28 January 2020.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to review its safety procedures for transporting nuclear weapons and radioactive materials.

The transportation of Defence Nuclear Material, which includes nuclear weapons, is carried out to the highest standard in accordance with stringent safety regulations. These procedures are continuously reviewed to ensure all operations are carried out safely and securely.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the key performance findings on page 7 of the National Audit Office report, Managing infrastructure projects on nuclear-regulated sites, published on 10 January 2020, whether funding will be reallocated from other defence projects to cover the additional £1.35 billion cost increase associated with the three projects examined and reviewed by the National Audit Office.

Like any large organisation we allocate funds to those activities that are the highest priority.

We are committed to strengthening the management of nuclear programmes, including investing significantly in infrastructure and working closely with regulators and industry partners.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)