Stewart Malcolm McDonald Portrait

Stewart Malcolm McDonald

Scottish National Party - Glasgow South

First elected: 7th May 2015


Foreign Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 9th Jan 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)
20th Jun 2017 - 12th Dec 2022
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


Scheduled Event
Friday 15th March 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 41 Scottish National Party Aye votes vs 0 Scottish National Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 226 Noes - 287
Speeches
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
Q3.   Last year, the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers were given the conclusions of a Government audit of research …
Written Answers
Monday 22nd January 2024
Yemen: Military Intervention
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has (a) had discussions with his US counterpart on and …
Early Day Motions
Friday 26th January 2024
70th Anniversary of St Mirin's Primary School
That this House congratulates St Mirin's Primary School on reaching its 70th anniversary; recognises the dedication and commitment of the …
Bills
Tuesday 16th January 2024
Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to prohibit unpaid trial work periods; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 3rd October 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Yalta European Strategy Ltd
Address of donor: Third Floor, 95 The Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1HH
Estimate of …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Alan Bates and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool
That this House supports the call for the Freedom of the City of Liverpool to be bestowed upon Liverpool-born Post …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 25th April 2023
Universal Jurisdiction (Extension) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to provide that offences of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes may be tried in the United …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Stewart Malcolm McDonald has voted in 532 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)
(49 debate interactions)
James Heappey (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
(17 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(76 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(45 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).

Stewart Malcolm McDonald has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Stewart Malcolm McDonald

19th February 2024
Stewart Malcolm McDonald signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

Alan Bates and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House supports the call for the Freedom of the City of Liverpool to be bestowed upon Liverpool-born Post Office Horizon campaigner Alan Bates; notes this is the highest civil award in the city and has previously been awarded to those who have left an indelible mark on the …
33 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Scottish National Party: 7
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
21st February 2024
Stewart Malcolm McDonald signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
70 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 40
Scottish National Party: 29
Independent: 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

2 Bills 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.

Commons - 40%

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

A Bill to prohibit unpaid trial work periods; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 16th January 2024
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 15th March 2024
Order Paper number: 10
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

197 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
5 Other Department Questions
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when she plans to publish a response to the consultation entitled Banning conversion therapy, published on 29 October 2021.

No one in this country should be harmed or harassed for who they are and attempts at so-called ‘conversion therapy’ are abhorrent. That is why we are carefully considering this very complex issue. We will be setting out further details on this in due course

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) adults subject to conversion practices; (b) children and young people under 18 subject to conversion practices; and (c) children and young people under 18 taken out of the UK for the purposes of conversion practices since July 2018.

No one in this country should be harmed or harassed for who they are and attempts at so-called ‘conversion therapy’ are abhorrent. That is why we are carefully considering this very complex issue. We will be setting out further details on this in due course

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether the Government plans to ban sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices.

No one in this country should be harmed or harassed for who they are and attempts at so-called ‘conversion therapy’ are abhorrent. That is why we are carefully considering this very complex issue. We will be setting out further details on this in due course

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Government has made on a ban on all forms of conversion therapy.

The Government remains committed to protecting everyone who is at risk of conversion practices from harm, and will shortly publish a draft Bill and consultation response setting out our approach to banning these abhorrent practices. The draft legislation will go for pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee in this parliamentary session.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of the use of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in (a) government (i) properties and (ii) services and (b) national infrastructure; and what steps he is taking to mitigate potential risks of the use of those modules.

I refer the Hon Member for Glasgow South to my answer on 26 July 2023 (UIN 194823).

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the National Security Council has carried out a national security risk assessment of the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has had recent discussions with the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee on implementing the Committee's recommendations in its report entitled China, published on 13 July 2023.

The government’s approach to China is guided by three pillars: strengthening our national security protections, aligning and cooperating with our partners, and engaging where it is consistent with our interest. Recent steps to strengthen our national security protections include: scrutiny of foreign investment in the UK under the National Security and Investment Act and passing the National Security Act, which overhauls the United Kingdom’s espionage laws.

The government greatly values the independent oversight provided by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The Cabinet Office regularly engages with the Committee to support their oversight, including on China, and to provide updates on our response to policy recommendations found in a wide range of ISC reports.

The steps the government has taken to implement recommendations in the China report can be found in the Government Response to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Report ‘China’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-isc-china-report

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament report entitled China, published on 13 July 2023, what recent steps his Department has taken to protect (a) the economy and (b) national security from Chinese interference.

The government’s approach to China is guided by three pillars: strengthening our national security protections, aligning and cooperating with our partners, and engaging where it is consistent with our interest. Recent steps to strengthen our national security protections include: scrutiny of foreign investment in the UK under the National Security and Investment Act and passing the National Security Act, which overhauls the United Kingdom’s espionage laws.

The government greatly values the independent oversight provided by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The Cabinet Office regularly engages with the Committee to support their oversight, including on China, and to provide updates on our response to policy recommendations found in a wide range of ISC reports.

The steps the government has taken to implement recommendations in the China report can be found in the Government Response to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Report ‘China’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-isc-china-report

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament report entitled China, published on 13 July 2023, what recent steps his Department has taken to mitigate the potential risks highlighted in that report associated with UK-China investment initiatives.

As highlighted in the government’s response to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on China, the government will not hesitate to use our powers to protect national security where we identify concerns.

The government continues to provide guidance to businesses to protect investments, including the National Protective Security Authority’s ‘Secure Innovation Campaign’.

The government has powers under the National Security and Investment Act 2021 to scrutinise and, where necessary, intervene in acquisitions of control over entities and assets in or linked to the UK that may pose national security risks. Of the 15 final orders issued during the 2022-2023 financial year, eight involved acquirers associated with China. The government carefully monitors the effect of this system in mitigating risks. This includes seeking frequent feedback, such as through the recent Call for Evidence launched on 13 November 2023.

The steps the government has taken related to the China report recommendations can be found in the Government Response to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Report ‘China’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-isc-china-report

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules on national security infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure its critical infrastructure and resilience.

The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative UK companies. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify Government and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community. The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Additionally, the Government has taken specific action regarding devices on the Government estate. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster published a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2022 detailing instructions for departments to disconnect such surveillance equipment from core departmental networks, where it had been produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China. Government departments have been implementing these policies along with other protective security controls and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary.

The Cabinet Office keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology/components under close review as part of its overall approach to security, and in line with GSG, NPSA and NCSC guidance.

17th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Autumn Statement's commitments made on 17 November 2022 on the defence spending and the Integrated Review, if he will confirm a date for the publication of the Integrated Review refresh.

The Government will refresh the Integrated Review. The date of publication will be confirmed in due course.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2022 to Question 71122 on the Integrated Review, if he will publish a timetable for a decision regarding the Integrated Review refresh.

The Government has decided to continue with the Integrated Review refresh. The date of publication will be confirmed in due course.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2022 to Question 48400 on the Integrated Review, if he will publish a timetable for the update to the Integrated Review.

The Prime Minister has committed to producing a ‘refresh’ of the 2021 Integrated Review by the end of the year to ensure that the UK’s security, defence, development and foreign policy architecture is keeping pace with the evolving international environment.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to update the Integrated Review.

Details on an update to the Integrated Review will be announced in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his visit to Saudi Arabia in March 2022, whether he had discussions with Saudi officials on (a) the case of Raif Badawi, (b) the murder Jamal Khashoggi and (c) the ongoing imprisonment of 28 journalists in Saudi Arabia.

I raised human rights concerns during my visit to the Kingdom. No aspect of our relationship with Saudi Arabia prevents us from speaking frankly about human rights.

We welcome the release of Raif Badawi on 11 March, but will continue to raise concern over the imposition of travel bans on individuals such as Mr Badawi. The UK has always been clear that Mr Khashoggi's murder was a terrible crime and that Saudi Arabia must ensure such an atrocity can never happen again. We condemn his killing in the strongest possible terms, which is why we have sanctioned twenty Saudi nationals involved in the murder under the global human rights regime. The UK remains concerned over the arrests and continued detention of a number of individuals, particularly those detained for expressing their views.

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
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
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
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
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
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules on business infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure its critical infrastructure and resilience.

The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative UK companies. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify Government and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community.

The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Additionally, the Government has taken specific action on Chinese-made devices on the Government estate. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster published a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2022 detailing instructions for departments to disconnect such surveillance equipment from core departmental networks, where it had been produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China.

Government departments have been implementing these policies along with other protective security controls and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary. The Government keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology components under close review as part of our overall approach to security, and in line with GSG, NPSA and NCSC guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) prevalence of the use and (b) reliance on the supply of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in business infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure its critical infrastructure and resilience.

The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative UK companies. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify Government and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community.

The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Additionally, the Government has taken specific action on Chinese-made devices on the Government estate. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster published a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2022 detailing instructions for departments to disconnect such surveillance equipment from core departmental networks, where it had been produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China.

Government departments have been implementing these policies along with other protective security controls and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary. The Government keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology components under close review as part of our overall approach to security, and in line with GSG, NPSA and NCSC guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, with reference to his Department’s press release entitled More than 200 companies named for not paying staff minimum wage, published on 21 June 2023, how many employers were (a) named and (b) fined; how many people received pay arrears; and what amount of wages were recovered as a result of unpaid trial shifts at the outset of employment.

In the latest naming round, 202 employers were named for failing to pay almost £5 million to 63,000 workers. The employers were also ordered to pay nearly £7 million in penalties.

Unpaid working time, which can include unpaid trial shifts, was a factor in 39% of these cases. Unpaid working time can arise for a number of reasons, outlined in our recently published educational bulletin, which can be found here: National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme R19 Educational Bulletin.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make it her policy to ensure that the UK joins the US-EU Task Force on the Inflation Reduction Act.

We are having regular discussions with the US to represent the interests of UK firms and ensure the UK benefits from any flexibilities in the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Prime Minister raised UK concerns in his meeting earlier this month with President Biden and the DBT Secretary of State has recently had calls with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. We will continue to work with the US bilaterally on this issue, as well as engaging closely with other key trade partners, including the EU.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent discussions she has had with his counterparts in the US-EU Task Force on the Inflation Reduction Act on the potential impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on the UK economy.

We are having regular discussions with the US to represent the interests of UK firms and ensure the UK benefits from any flexibilities in the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Prime Minister raised UK concerns in his meeting earlier this month with President Biden and the DBT Secretary of State has recently had calls with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. We will continue to work with the US bilaterally on this issue, as well as engaging closely with other key trade partners, including the EU.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if her Department will publish a consultation on a social energy tariff ahead of the Autumn Statement.

As set out in the 2022 autumn statement, we are exploring the best approach to consumer protection, as part of wider retail market reforms. The Government continues to monitor the situation and will keep options under review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) prevalence of the use and (b) reliance on the supply of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in energy infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously, including the security of its critical infrastructure. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero works with other government departments and agencies, as well as with industry partners, to ensure threats to energy infrastructure are understood and appropriate mitigations are established including for the supply chain and in line with NPSA and NCSC guidance. The Department is working with the National Cyber Security Centre to monitor risks to the energy sector from increasing digitalisation in the UK’s energy system, including security issues associated with internet-facing components.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether her Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules to energy infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously, including the security of its critical infrastructure. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero works with other government departments and agencies, as well as with industry partners, to ensure threats to energy infrastructure are understood and appropriate mitigations are established including for the supply chain and in line with NPSA and NCSC guidance. The Department is working with the National Cyber Security Centre to monitor risks to the energy sector from increasing digitalisation in the UK’s energy system, including security issues associated with internet-facing components.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the regulatory framework for Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules.

The Government is monitoring the security threats unique to cellular internet-of-things modules. We have already taken action to ensure that emerging security threats relating to consumer IoT products can be addressed through the security regime established by the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022. We will introduce further security requirements using the powers in this Act if necessitated by the evolving threat landscape. The Integrated Review Refresh, published in March 2023, highlighted the challenge posed by China. The Government is updating the UK’s approach to China to keep pace with the evolving challenge it poses to the international order.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent discussions she has had with representatives of the technology sector on the forthcoming UK Semiconductor Strategy.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has been reviewing the UK government’s approach to the semiconductor sector and intends to set out its plan for the sector in the forthcoming UK Semiconductor Strategy. This has been developed through extensive engagement with industry experts, representative bodies and the wider global community. The Department continues to engage regularly with the sector on the strategy and related issues.

15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February to Question 137859 on Semiconductors, whether he plans to publish the UK's semiconductor strategy in this parliamentary session.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has been reviewing the UK government’s approach to the semiconductor sector and intends to set out its plans for the sector in the forthcoming UK Semiconductor Strategy. The Strategy will be published as soon as possible.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban employers from using unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

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 excessive in length. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is highly likely to be illegal in all but very exceptional circumstances.

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.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of banning unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

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 excessive in length. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is highly likely to be illegal in all but very exceptional circumstances.

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. Since 2015 we have ordered employers to repay £100 million of unpaid wages to 1 million workers.

21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the energy price cap to business energy contracts which are agreed for the purpose of supplying energy to communal areas of residential buildings.

The energy price cap addresses the loyalty penalty that certain groups of domestic customers were found to be paying.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for eligible non-domestic customers whose prices have been significantly inflated due to global energy prices. The Scheme will initially run for 6 months from 1st October 2022 until 31st March 2023, with a review to be published after 3 months. We expect businesses and other organisations to pass on the benefits to the end user in a reasonable way, which will ensure support for customers paying for energy through a contract with their landlord.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) domestic property factors and managers and (b) energy suppliers regarding their utilisation of domestic-use only contracts in order to ensure that property (i) owners and (ii) tenants benefit from Ofgem's energy price cap.

Ofgem’s Standard Licence Conditions stipulate the criteria to determine whether a premises should be classified as a domestic or non-domestic premises. These Licence Conditions therefore determine whether the premises is eligible for a default or standard variable tariff and therefore whether the price cap applies to energy supplied to that premises.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure those who (a) cannot use or (b) do not have access to technology are able to the access the stamp swap out scheme.

The operation of Royal Mail’s products and services, including the ‘Stamp Swap Out’ scheme, is a matter for the company’s management and, as a private company, the Government is not involved in Royal Mail’s operational or commercial decisions.

It is Royal Mail’s responsibility to ensure its customers are aware of the introduction of barcoded stamps and the arrangements for exchanging old stamps. Royal Mail has announced further details about the ‘Stamp Swap Out’ scheme on its website and this includes details of how those who cannot use or do not have access to technology can participate. This information can be found at www.royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps.

16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with business representatives on ensuring that they do not (a) advertise and (b) use unpaid work trials as part of a recruitment process.

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 Calculating the Minimum Wage guidance to clarify this:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/calculating-the-minimum-wage.

HM Revenue and Customs and BEIS speak regularly to businesses, reminding them of their responsibilities.

16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) trade unions and (b) employees on the potential merits of banning the use of unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

The Government regularly speaks to stakeholders including trade unions, on a wide range of employment issues. If someone has undertaken an unpaid work trial and thinks they should have been paid NMW, they can call the ACAS helpline or use the online helpline tool for free, confidential advice about their rights and entitlements. If they want to make a complaint through HMRC, they can do so in complete confidence.

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.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to compensate people who have been mis-sold Green Deals.

Under the Green Deal Framework Regulations, the Secretary of State has the power to reduce or cancel loans where there has been a breach of the relevant rules, and he is satisfied that the consumer has suffered, or is likely to suffer, a substantive loss. This is the extent of the Secretary of State’s power with regard to breaches. The Department plans to review all outstanding Green Deal complaints so that the Secretary of State can take decisions on them, in line with the Regulations, as soon as possible.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's 31 December 2020 press release entitled Rogue employers named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage, what proportion of those 95,000 workers received backpay as a result of unpaid work trials.

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.

The naming scheme is an important tool in raising awareness of minimum wage enforcement and deterring any employers who might otherwise be tempted to break minimum wage law.

There were a variety of reasons for underpayment in the most recent Naming round. Some of most common reasons include deductions or payments that took pay below the minimum wage, unpaid working time or a failure to pay the correct rate to apprentices.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential financial impact of leaving the EU on students who wish to study abroad; and whether she plans to provide funding to support those students.

English-domiciled students attending an overseas institution as part of their UK course are charged a tuition fee of up to £1,350 for their overseas year of study, 15% of the full year fee rate, and they also qualify for fee loans to meet the full costs of their tuition. The department is freezing maximum tuition fees for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years to deliver better value for students and to keep the cost of higher education (HE) under control. By 2024/25, maximum fees will have been frozen for seven years.

English-domiciled students attending an overseas institution as part of their UK course also qualify for partially means-tested loans for living costs paid at the overseas rate. We have increased maximum loans for living costs each year with a 2.8% increase for the current 2023/24 academic year.

The Government prioritises support for eligible English-domiciled students undertaking designated courses at UK HE institutions to ensure the student finance system remains sustainable.

The Turing Scheme, the UK Government’s global programme for students to study and work abroad, also exists to support students at UK institutions who wish to do so. This is on top of the student finance support that HE participants may already qualify for. A UK-wide scheme, funding is available at set rates to contribute to the living costs of participating students. All schools and further education participants will receive funding for travel costs, as well as HE students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Funding also covers visas, passports and related travel insurance for all participants from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as up to 100% of actual additional costs participants might incur as a result of being disabled and/or having a special educational need.

Turing Scheme funding for students across the UK is only available for students who are studying at registered UK education providers. The Scheme supports international mobilities of up to a year, and not the entire duration of a course of study or training undertaken overseas.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
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
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the forthcoming extended producer responsibility for packaging scheme on the amount of disposable vape packaging (a) used, (b) recycled and (c) going to landfill in each of the next five years.

We do not plan to make a specific assessment of the potential impact of the forthcoming Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging scheme on disposable vape packaging. However, we expect EPR to both reduce household packaging waste and improve its recyclability, thereby reducing the amount of packaging that is sent to landfill.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 25 July 2023 to Question 194820 on Smart Devices: China, which agency is responsible for monitoring the potential security threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in critical infrastructure.

Lead Government Departments, informed by threat assessments from a range of organisations, are responsible for leading work to determine national security risks to critical national infrastructure in their sectors. This is done in collaboration with partners including the National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority as UK national technical authorities for cyber and physical security.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 25 July 2023 to Question 194820 on Smart Devices: China, which areas of the transport sector employ cellular internet of things module technology as of 22 November 2023.

A cellular internet of things (IoT) device can be considered to be a low-power device with long battery life, which sends small amounts of data on an infrequent basis. The UK’s transport sector currently employs only a limited amount of devices that match this specification. As mobile network operators upgrade their networks, new low-power wide-area networks are emerging that have been developed to enable a wide range of IoT devices and services as part of the continued development and roll out of 5G connectivity.

Lead Government Departments, informed by threat assessments from a range of organisations, are responsible for leading work to determine national security risks to critical national infrastructure in their sectors. This is done in collaboration with partners including the National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority as UK national technical authorities for cyber and physical security.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules to (a) aviation, (b) cars, (c) roads, (d) the rail network and (e) other parts of the UK transport system.

The Department takes transport security very seriously and regularly monitors for any potential security threats. Whilst the UK’s transport sector employs a limited amount of cellular internet of things module technology, reliance is low. The Department encourages the transport sector to follow Government Security Group, National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority supply chain guidance when selecting a technology supplier.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) prevalence of the use and (b) reliance on the supply of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in (a) aviation, (b) cars, (c) roads, (d) the rail network and (e) other parts of the UK transport system.

The UK’s transport sector employs a limited amount of cellular internet of things module technology. Reliance on this technology across the various transport modes is low. The Department encourages the transport sector to follow Government Security Group, National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority supply chain guidance when selecting a technology supplier.

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.

3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to ensure people on transitional Severe Disability Premium are not adversely financially affected as a result of Universal Credit uprating.

The transitional Severe Disability Premium (SDP) element’s (SDP TE) serves as part of the wider transitional protection in place and is designed to support eligible claimants in their transition from legacy benefits to Universal Credit (UC).

The Social Security Up-rating Regulations 2023 amended the rates used to calculate SDP TE for eligible new claims from 10th April 2023. This uprating aligns awards of the transitional element with the rate of uprating for wider benefits within the annual uprating order.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of adding Housing Benefit to the list of qualifying benefits for eligibility to access the Cost of Living payment.

Housing Benefit is not an income replacement benefit; it is intended to cover only housing costs. Those with the lowest incomes may be able to claim a qualifying means-tested benefit alongside Housing Benefit to cover their other living costs, which would make them eligible for a Cost of Living Payment.

Housing Benefit is administered by Local Authorities, and is sometimes paid directly to a landlord. Payments to those receiving only Housing Benefit could not therefore be delivered in a quick, accurate and straightforward manner.

For those who require additional support the Government is providing an additional £1 billion of funding, including Barnett impact, to enable a further extension to the Household Support Fund in England. In England, this will run from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, backed by £842m. Local Authorities use the Fund to help households with the cost of essentials, and they are expected to help households in the most need, particularly those who may not be eligible for the other support the government has recently made available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing benefits in line with (a) inflation and (b) the cost of living; and if he will review his Department's processes for recovering social security debt.

State pensions and benefits will increase by 10.1% in April 2023. This is in line with the increase in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Prices Index in the year to September 2022.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the current exceptionally high cost of living, which is why, in addition to the £37 billion of support we have provided for cost of living pressures in 2022/23, we are acting now to ensure support continues throughout 2023/24. Subject to passage of the necessary legislation, this will include further Cost of Living Payments of up to £900 for households in receipt of qualifying means-tested benefits and £150 for people in receipt of qualifying disability benefits. In addition, eight million pensioner households will receive a further £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment as a top-up to their Winter Fuel Payment.

The Government will also continue to provide support to all households through the Energy Price Guarantee, which caps the price paid for each unit of energy. From April, the typical household will now pay on average £3,000 a year.

With respect to the Department’s processes for recovering social security debt, anyone who is repaying a benefit overpayment and feels they cannot afford the proposed rate of recovery is encouraged to contact the Department to discuss their situation. The Department has a well-established process for working with individuals to support them to manage their debts.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure those migrated from legacy benefits to Universal Credit do not incur a loss of income as a result.

The vast and on majority an average 55% of claimants will be £220 better off on Universal Credit. Where a claim for Universal Credit stops entitlement to a DWP income-related legacy benefit, a claimant will automatically receive a two-week run on of those benefits. Those entitled to Housing Benefit will also receive a two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.

In addition, those claimants the Department moves from legacy benefits to Universal Credit through the managed migration process will be assessed for transitional protection at the point they move to Universal Credit. Transitional protection will be paid to eligible claimants who would see a lower entitlement on Universal Credit. The aim of this temporary payment is to maintain the same level of entitlement at the point of transition so that claimants will have time to adjust to the new benefit system.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing personal independence payment (PIP) criteria so that people with worsening health conditions who did not receive the mobility component of PIP prior to reaching retirement age can claim that component (a) on and (b) after reaching retirement age in the event that their health condition worsens.

The aim of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is to focus additional help with the extra costs of disability on people who become severely disabled earlier in life and who, as a consequence, face limited opportunities to work, earn and save compared with other people. Once PIP has been awarded, and subject to the conditions of entitlement continuing to be met, it can continue in payment after reaching State Pension age (SPa).

It is normal for social security schemes to contain different provisions for people at different stages of their lives, which reflect varying priorities and circumstances. For PIP, claimants who are in receipt of the benefit when they reach SPa can continue to receive it after that point but cannot establish a new entitlement to the mobility component or receive a higher award of the mobility component if they were receiving the standard rate. This was also the case for Disability Living Allowance which PIP replaces.

These rules recognise that developing mobility needs is a common and foreseeable feature of the ageing process and puts PIP recipients in the same position as someone over State Pension age who claims Attendance Allowance which does not have a mobility component.

We have no plans to review these rules.

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 Transport)
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 Transport)
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)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the time limit of the number of days for which a person can claim contribution-based benefits on 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)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the security and privacy of patient data transmitted through Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules.

The Department keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology/components, including implications for patient data, under close review as part of its overall approach to security, and in line with Government Security Group, National Protective Security Authority and National Cyber Security Centre guidance. The Data Security and Protection Toolkit, which sets the cyber security standard for health and care organisations, sets out expectations regarding organisations using appropriate technical controls, such as encryption, to protect data.

The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative companies within the United Kingdom. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify the Government and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community. The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) prevalence of the use and (b) reliance on the supply of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in the NHS.

The United Kingdom takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure its critical infrastructure and resilience. The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative UK companies. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify Government, and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community. The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Additionally, the Government has taken specific action on Chinese-made devices on the Government estate. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster published a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2022 detailing instructions for Departments to disconnect such surveillance equipment from core Departmental networks, where it had been produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China. Government Departments have been implementing these policies, along with other protective security controls, and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary.

The Department keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology and components under close review as part of its overall approach to security, and in line with Government Security Group, National Protective Security Authority and National Cyber Security Centre guidance.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules to the NHS.

The United Kingdom takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure its critical infrastructure and resilience. The National Security and Investment Act allows the Government to intervene where foreign direct investment is targeted at innovative UK companies. Where such investment is within critical sectors, it is mandatory to notify Government, and this is subject to thorough assessment by the national security community. The Procurement Bill will also provide powers for the Government to exclude and debar companies from public procurement where the Government assesses there to be an intolerable national security risk.

Additionally, the Government has taken specific action on Chinese-made devices on the Government estate. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster published a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2022 detailing instructions for Departments to disconnect such surveillance equipment from core Departmental networks, where it had been produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China. Government Departments have been implementing these policies, along with other protective security controls, and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary.

The Department keeps the security issues associated with internet facing technology and components under close review as part of its overall approach to security, and in line with Government Security Group, National Protective Security Authority and National Cyber Security Centre guidance.

25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that people affected by the infected blood scandal receive compensation.

The Government accepts there is a moral case for compensation. Interim payments were made last year to recognise the urgent need of infected people and bereaved partners enrolled on the existing support schemes.

We are now considering Sir Brian Langstaff’s second interim report. As my Right Hon. Friend, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office (Jeremy Quin) said on 19 April, we are very focused on responding as soon as possible after the Inquiry concludes this autumn.

This does not preclude earlier announcements as we progress our work.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timetable is for (a) interim and (b) final payment of compensation to individuals (i) infected and (ii) affected by infected blood.

The Chair of the Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, published a first interim report on the subject of interim compensation for victims of infected blood.

In August 2022, the Government accepted the Inquiry recommendation to make interim compensation payments to those infected and bereaved partners currently registered on United Kingdom infected blood support schemes. Payments of £100,000 were made to eligible beneficiaries by the 28 October 2022. The commitment to pay interim compensation meets, in full, the recommendations set out by Sir Brian in his first interim report.

Sir Brian Langstaff published a further interim report on compensation 5 April. Work is underway across Government to consider the second report’s recommendations alongside the timetable for further interim compensation payments. We understand that time is of the essence for the infected and affected community, we are taking this matter seriously and consider it a high priority.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the potential risk to civilians of a closure of Hudaydah port.

Yemen is almost entirely reliant on imports for food, importing approximately 90 per cent of food staples such as wheat. Hodeidah Port is key to food security in Yemen, as it receives 40 to 50 per cent of the country's food imports, as well as essential food aid.

The disruption to shipping in the Red Sea caused by Houthi attacks, risks driving up costs of supplies of food and humanitarian aid in the region, including to Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Lebanon.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the Answer of 27 November 2023 to Question 3279, how many government-funded foreign infrastructure projects included delivery partners that were (a) state owned enterprises and (b) companies registered in the People's Republic of China in each of the last 10 years.

The UK has funded a large number of foreign infrastructure projects, including through the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and British International Investment (BII). PIDG and BII both operate with high standards of due diligence and a low tolerance for operational and compliance risk, including compliance breaches from downstream partners. The lifecycle of individual PIDG and BII projects often span multiple years, and involve close working relationships with a large number of delivery partners globally, meaning that risks can be spotted, communicated, and acted upon in a timely manner. The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the Answer of 21 November 2023 to Question 1621 on Sri Lanka: Ports, how much UK funding was allocated for infrastructure projects that received funding under the Belt and Road Initiative in each of the last 10 years.

There is no formal definition of what is or what is not a Belt and Road Initiative project. China is an important source of trade and investment for many countries, but we recognise that this also presents risks. China cannot be ignored, but we must be clear eyed. In HMG's engagement, we will always work to protect ourselves, our democracy and our economy. HMG's policy on China is set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament report entitled China, published on 13 July 2023, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies on appointments in international investment initiatives of the findings of that report.

The UK Government recognises China as an epoch-defining and systemic challenge, and has taken robust action to build our domestic resilience and safeguard our national security. HMG is grateful for the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament's China Report and has put in place a range of measures to protect our infrastructure and supply chains, including the National Security and Investment Act. In addition, the National Security Act brings together vital new measures to protect our national security.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his Department's strategy is on engaging with countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative.

China is an important source of investment for many developing countries. Chinese investment, including under its Belt and Road Initiative, can help fill the global infrastructure gap. However, we recognise the potential risks that Chinese overseas investment can present, including on debt sustainability and linkages to increasing China's economic and political influence. We will work with others to encourage China to make contributions to economic development that are transparent and push back against Chinese attempts to coerce or create dependencies when needed. Through British Investment Partnerships, we help build transparent economic partnerships, enabling high quality investment into developing countries and helping to bridge investment and infrastructure gaps.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his Chinese counterpart on the Colombo Port City project.

The Sri Lankan Government and Chinese Governments jointly launched the Port City Colombo development project in 2014. China is an important source of trade, investment and support for many countries with infrastructure, including under a Belt and Road Initiative badge, helping fill the global infrastructure gap alongside other infrastructure initiatives. However, we recognise the potential risks that Chinese overseas investment can present, which is why we must be clear eyed. In our engagement, it is vital that we protect ourselves, our democracy and our economy at home. HMG's policy on China is set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Colombo Port City project on geopolitical stability; and what steps he is taking to help mitigate that impact.

The Sri Lankan Government and Chinese Governments jointly launched the Port City Colombo development project in 2014. China is an important source of trade, investment and support for many countries with infrastructure, including under a Belt and Road Initiative badge, helping fill the global infrastructure gap alongside other infrastructure initiatives. However, we recognise the potential risks that Chinese overseas investment can present, which is why we must be clear eyed. In our engagement, it is vital that we protect ourselves, our democracy and our economy at home. HMG's policy on China is set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the potential use of the Colombo Port City project in Sri Lanka as a Chinese military outpost.

The Sri Lankan Government and Chinese Governments jointly launched the Port City Colombo development project in 2014. China is an important source of trade, investment and support for many countries with infrastructure, including under a Belt and Road Initiative badge, helping fill the global infrastructure gap alongside other infrastructure initiatives. However, we recognise the potential risks that Chinese overseas investment can present, which is why we must be clear eyed. In our engagement, it is vital that we protect ourselves, our democracy and our economy at home. HMG's policy on China is set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made an assessment with Cabinet colleagues of how the UK's contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine will be financed if there is a shortfall in the amount expected to be raised by Russian sanctions.

The UK is helping Ukraine secure support for its recovery and reconstruction needs. The Ukraine Recovery Conference on 21-22 June raised more than $60 billion in new support, including a further $3 billion in UK guarantees to World Bank lending and up to £240 million of UK bilateral assistance. We are working with partners to ensure that Russia pays for the consequences of its illegal war. We have sanctioned over 1,600 individuals and entities, freezing over £18 billion of assets in the UK. On 19 June we introduced legislation enabling sanctions on Russia to be maintained until Moscow pays compensation to Ukraine.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department plans to take to support the development of Ukraine's tourism industry following its recovery; and what steps he plans to take with Cabinet colleagues to encourage tourists from the UK to visit Ukraine.

The FCDO continues to advise against all travel to Ukraine while Russia's illegal invasion continues. The UK is committed to helping Ukraine secure support for its recovery and reconstruction needs. The Ukraine Recovery Conference (21-22 June) raised over $60 billion in new support, including a further $3 billion in UK guarantees to World Bank lending and up to £240 million of UK bilateral assistance. We are focused on supporting the Government of Ukraine's immediate recovery priorities including health, energy and critical infrastructure, which have suffered damage in Russia's indiscriminate airstrikes. The UK-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Agreement sets parameters for longer-term co-operation on tourism.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect LGBTQ rights internationally.

LGBT+ rights are human rights. Through our network of over 280 missions, we engage diplomatically and deliver programmes to further our key priorities of tackling violence, reforming laws, championing inclusion and supporting LGBT+ people during crises and conflict. For example, in The Commonwealth, since 2018 we have provided over £13.5 million to build the capacity of grassroots LGBT+ organisation and human rights defenders.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Ugandan counterpart on the anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would make homosexual acts punishable by death in that country.

I [Minister Mitchell] have expressed the UK's deep disappointment with the decision of the Parliament of Uganda on 21 March 2023 to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The UK is alarmed by the increasing criminalization of LGBT+ people in Uganda. This Bill threatens minority rights and risks persecution and discrimination of all people across Uganda. Amendments to the Bill, including introduction of the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality', are very worrying. The UK Government is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Government is committed to publishing a China strategy

Our approach to China is coordinated across Government. The FCDO is at the heart of the cross-Whitehall strategic approach to China, in line with the Integrated Review. It remains the case that we do not publish National Security strategies on China or other issues.

We continue to implement a comprehensive and coordinated approach to China in support of UK national interests, engaging our like-minded international partners as we do so.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Government is committed to the Integrated Review refresh by the end of the year.

The UK Government will make a decision on the Integrated Review refresh in due course.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the implications for the effectiveness of the Government's policies on sanctions against Russia of the potential use of proceeds accruing to the National Bank Trust from the sale of properties in the UK.

We assess that the National Bank Trust is owned by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). The CBR is subject to a ban on the provision of financial services for the purposes of foreign exchange and asset management.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has considered imposing sanctions on National Bank Trust.

We assess that the National Bank Trust is owned by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). The CBR is subject to a ban on the provision of financial services for the purposes of foreign exchange and asset management. Over 3 million Russian companies, including National Bank Trust, are barred from raising money in the UK's capital markets. While we do not speculate on future sanctions, nothing and no one is off the table and we will continue to ratchet up the pressure on Putin and his regime.

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
Home Secretary
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.

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.

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
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will provide a full copy of his call logs for 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of August 2021.

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 and 25 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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Home Secretary
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.

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
Home Secretary
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
Home Secretary
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.

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
Home Secretary
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.

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
Home Secretary
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) prevalence of the use and (b) reliance on the supply of Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules in the UK's finance infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously, including the security of its critical infrastructure and all sectors of the economy. We encourage all organisations to follow National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority supply chain security guidance when selecting a technology supplier. This guidance sets out the considerations that organisations should be making during the procurement process.

For the finance sector, the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have set clear expectations for how regulated firms should manage the risk posed by third parties.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department is taking steps to monitor the potential threat posed by Chinese-made cellular internet of things modules on finance infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously, including the security of its critical infrastructure and all sectors of the economy. We encourage all organisations to follow National Cyber Security Centre and National Protective Security Authority supply chain security guidance when selecting a technology supplier. This guidance sets out the considerations that organisations should be making during the procurement process.

For the finance sector, the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have set clear expectations for how regulated firms should manage the risk posed by third parties.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has had recent discussions with Capita on the potential impact of the cyber attack on their systems on members of the USS pension fund.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has not held discussions with Capita on the potential impact to members of the USS pension fund from the recent cyber incident.

HM Treasury has worked closely with the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority, and the National Cyber Security Centre to monitor any impacts in the finance sector of the cyber incident. The financial regulators have engaged directly with Capita.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department is taking steps to help support people who (a) took out mortgages before 2008 and are unable to switch to cheaper mortgage deals and (b) are likely to have high interest rates on their new mortgage deals.

The Government has worked with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to implement changes to its mortgage lending rules, removing the regulatory barrier that prevented some customers, who otherwise may have been able to switch, from accessing new products.

Ultimately, the pricing of mortgages is a commercial decision for lenders, and the Government cannot force lenders to lend to borrowers that sit outside of their risk appetite. While we remain open to practical and proportionate solutions to help those who may be unable to switch to new mortgage deals, any further work on this issue must consider their effects on the wider mortgage market, including the resilience of firms and fairness to other borrowers.

If mortgage borrowers do fall into financial difficulty, FCA guidance requires firms to provide support through tailored forbearance options. In December, the Chancellor held a roundtable with the major mortgage lenders, the FCA and Martin Lewis to discuss support for vulnerable mortgage borrowers. In this meeting, attendees confirmed the support lenders will provide and the steps borrowers should take to help those who are struggling return to a position where their mortgage is affordable and sustainable over the long term. The Chancellor also made clear his expectation that every lender live up to their responsibilities and support any mortgage borrowers who are finding it tough right now.

The Government has also taken a number of measures aimed at helping people to avoid repossession, including Support for Mortgage Interest loans for those in receipt of an income-related benefit, and protection in the courts through the Pre-Action Protocol, which makes clear that repossession must always be the last resort for lenders.

More broadly, the Government has taken decisive action to support households across the UK through the cost-of-living challenges ahead, whilst remaining fiscally responsible. In addition to the £37 billion of support for the cost of living already announced for 2022-23, the Government has announced further support for next financial year designed to target the most vulnerable households. This cost-of-living support is worth £26 billion in 2023-24, in addition to benefits uprating, which is worth £11 billion to working age households and people with disabilities. The Government is also continuing to provide support to all households through the Energy Price Guarantee, which will save the average UK household £500 in 2023-24.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the weekly tax relief of £6 per week for people working from home to mitigate increased gas and electricity costs and other increases to the cost of living.

Eligible employees can claim tax relief on the allowance of £6 per week without the need to provide evidence of expenditure. The amount was increased from £4 per week in April 2020.

As with all aspects of the tax system, the Government keeps tax reliefs under review and any decisions on future changes will be taken in the context of the wider public finances.

Employees who are eligible for tax relief for working from home can claim relief on the actual amount of additional household costs, providing they can provide evidence of the increased amount.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional financial support to those in receipt of Carers Allowance in the context of the rise in the cost of living.

The Government recognises the difficulties that carers are facing due to the rising cost of living and values the vital contribution made by carers to society. That is why millions of the most vulnerable households, including carers, will receive at least £1,200 of one-off support in total this year to help with the cost of living.  Nearly 60% of the 1 million working age Carer’s Allowance recipients receive a means-tested benefit, a disability benefit, or both and will therefore benefit from one or both of the £650 Means-Tested Benefit Cost of Living Payment and the £150 disability Cost of Living Payment. Carers with a pensioner in the household will benefit from an extra £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment and carers will benefit from the £400 per household universal support provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Previously announced measures to help people tackle the cost of living will also benefit carers, including cuts to the Universal Credit (UC) taper rate, cuts to fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, council tax rebates and the rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour.

For carers that are not eligible for Cost of Living Payments or for those that need additional support, the government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund. The Fund will be extended from this October to March 2023, bringing total funding for the scheme to £1.5 billion.

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
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
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.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to reduce VAT on ticketing for (a) music venues, (b) theatres and (c) other creative venues.

Admissions to cultural venues are already exempt from VAT if they are provided by a local authority or an eligible body such as a charity, otherwise they attract the standard rate of VAT.

Extending this relief would carry a very significant cost to the Exchequer and must be viewed in the context of almost £50 billion of requests for relief from VAT since the EU referendum and in response to Covid-19. The Treasury keeps all taxes under review.

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.

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
President of the Board of Trade
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.

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, 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
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
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

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.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on reports of secret Chinese police stations operating in the UK.

As I said to the House in my statement on 1 November, reports of undeclared ‘police stations’ in the UK are of course very concerning and are taken extremely seriously.

The Government regularly assesses potential threats to the UK, and takes the protection of individuals’ rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously. As you would expect, Home Office officials work closely with the FCDO and DLUHC as well as other Government departments to ensure that the UK is a safe and welcoming place.

The Home Secretary regularly discusses issues regarding national security with her counterparts, including the Foreign Secretary.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa extension for individuals from Hong Kong born after 1997 with at least one parent with BNO status will apply to young people whose parent is deceased.

On 24 February 2022, the Government announced in a Written Ministerial Statement a change to the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) route which will allow adult children of BN(O) status holders born on or after the 1 July 1997, who are currently unable to apply for the BN(O) route independently to do so. The statement is available at: Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament.

Under the new provisions, children born on, or after, 1 July 1997, whose deceased parent held BN(O) status, will be able to qualify for the route, providing they meet all other requirements for the route. Applicants will need to show evidence of the BN(O) status of at least one parent.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the suspension of tourist visas for Russian citizens wishing to visit the UK.

Russian nationals are permitted to make UK visa applications as there may still be legitimate reasons why they might seek to come to the UK, such as to visit family members.

We have introduced measures for Russian nationals applying for visas which includes additional and robust checks.

The Nationality and Borders Act (NABA) 2022 also gave the Home Secretary powers to impose visa penalties on any country, including those that pose a risk to international peace and security. We keep this under constant review.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she received assurances that Rwanda will release the findings from its investigations into the shooting of 12 people at Kiziba refugee camp in 2018 prior to signing the Memorandum of Understanding relating to the processing of asylum seekers in that country.

The Rwandan National Human Rights Commission released the findings of its inquiry into this tragic event in Kiziba. The UK - Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership contains strong protections both on the treatment of migrants as well as their access to services like appropriate accommodation, food and healthcare.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of providing financial support for (a) top up courses and (b) first aid courses for security officers on low incomes seeking to renew their Security Industry Authority licences.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) works closely with the private security industry and with training providers to develop qualification specifications and other requirements for all current and prospective licence-holders across the UK.

The SIA recognises the importance of supporting licence-holders and applicants and has worked with the training providers’ awarding bodies to ensure that training is as flexible and cost-effective as possible. Options include a mixture of self-study, virtual classrooms, and face-to-face training.

Neither the Home Office nor the SIA regulates the delivery of training which is the responsibility of dedicated agencies across the devolved administrations.

There are currently record numbers of licensed security operatives in the register of SIA licence holders.

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.

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.

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.

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.

15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the 2022 Political Declaration on strengthening the protection of civilians from the humanitarian consequences arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, what steps he is taking to (a) prevent and (b) mitigate the potential impact on civilians of military strikes in Yemen.

The UK is proud to be a signatory of the 2022 Political Declaration on use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The UK has robust procedures to ensure that all military operations, including airstrikes, are conducted in full compliance with International Humanitarian Law and in a manner that reflects the UK's clear commitment to the protection of civilians. In planning military strikes in Yemen, as with all military operations, particular care was taken to minimise any risk of civilian casualties. As my Rt Hon friend the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House on 15 January (Column 577), we have seen no evidence of any collateral damage or civilian casualties arising from the strikes conducted by the Royal Air Force on Houthi military facilities.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has (a) had discussions with his US counterpart on and (b) put in place mechanisms for civilian harm tracking in relation to UK-US military operations.

UK Ministers and officials speak regularly with US counterparts to ensure coherence and alignment between our two nations, including on joint military activities. The UK has robust procedures to ensure that all military operations, including airstrikes, are conducted in full compliance with International Humanitarian Law and in a manner that reflects the UK’s clear commitment to the protection of civilians.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish his Department's response to the LGBT Veterans Independent Review Final Report, published in May 2023.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 June 2023 to Question 190453 to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South (Mr Morgan).

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will conduct an investigation into potential civilian harm in Mosul resulting from British strikes in support of the US-led coalition from 2016-2017

The UK has robust procedures to ensure that all military operations, including airstrikes, are conducted in full compliance with International Humanitarian Law. Every care is taken during UK military operations to minimise the potential for civilian casualties. To that end, we conduct a rigorous assessment before and after striking a target and will investigate any credible reports that UK actions may have caused civilian casualties.

Over the course of Operation SHADER, the UK's contribution to the international coalition to counter Daesh, we have previously identified one civilian casualty that occurred during an UK airstrike on Daesh fighters in eastern Syria on 26 March 2018.  This incident was subject to a Written Ministerial Statement on 2 May 2018 (HCWS665). RAF aircraft did not conduct an attack near Al Bab in Syria on 20 December 2016. Despite our best efforts to identify whether there have been civilian casualties, no evidence we have suggests these occurred as a result of strikes carried out by the RAF in Mosul in 2016-17.

However, we accept the possibility that there could be instances of civilian casualties about which we are unaware, despite our best efforts to identify. We will always re-examine any new information or evidence relating to a potential civilian casualty incident submitted to us, where it is possible that UK forces may have been involved.

Parliament will always be informed of any instance where we assess a UK airstrike is responsible for a civilian casualty incident, whether incurred during a new strike, or as a result of re-examining historic strikes using new information. National security considerations might prevent full disclosure of detail where this risks jeopardising operational security considerations.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will conduct an investigation into potential civilian harm in Northern Syria resulting from the 20 December 2016 RAF drone strike in Al-Bab

The UK has robust procedures to ensure that all military operations, including airstrikes, are conducted in full compliance with International Humanitarian Law. Every care is taken during UK military operations to minimise the potential for civilian casualties. To that end, we conduct a rigorous assessment before and after striking a target and will investigate any credible reports that UK actions may have caused civilian casualties.

Over the course of Operation SHADER, the UK's contribution to the international coalition to counter Daesh, we have previously identified one civilian casualty that occurred during an UK airstrike on Daesh fighters in eastern Syria on 26 March 2018.  This incident was subject to a Written Ministerial Statement on 2 May 2018 (HCWS665). RAF aircraft did not conduct an attack near Al Bab in Syria on 20 December 2016. Despite our best efforts to identify whether there have been civilian casualties, no evidence we have suggests these occurred as a result of strikes carried out by the RAF in Mosul in 2016-17.

However, we accept the possibility that there could be instances of civilian casualties about which we are unaware, despite our best efforts to identify. We will always re-examine any new information or evidence relating to a potential civilian casualty incident submitted to us, where it is possible that UK forces may have been involved.

Parliament will always be informed of any instance where we assess a UK airstrike is responsible for a civilian casualty incident, whether incurred during a new strike, or as a result of re-examining historic strikes using new information. National security considerations might prevent full disclosure of detail where this risks jeopardising operational security considerations.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Government's target is for defence spending by 2030.

Information regarding the Government's spending plans are currently due to be announced in the Autumn Statement on 17 November.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will set out the basis for drone strikes by the Royal Air Force in Iraq following the end of the Coalition forces’ combat mission in December 2021.

The basis for our continued air campaign is the mandate from Parliament and the consent of the Government of Iraq. In December 2021, the Global Coalition to Defeat Da'esh transitioned to an 'advise, assist, enable' mission. As part of this, the UK provides air support to the Iraqi Security Forces to secure the enduring defeat of Da'esh, which poses an ongoing threat in Iraq, Syria, and beyond.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse was of Continuity of Education allowances for placements at (a) Eton College, (b) Winchester College, (c) Westminster School and (d) Millfield School in the last five years.

The table below details the cost to the public purse of Continuity of Education allowances for placements at Eton College, Winchester College and Millfield School in the last five years.

No Continuation of Education Allowance values were recorded for Westminster School.

Tax Year

Eton College- Windsor

Millfield School- Street

Winchester College- Winchester

Grand Total

2017-18

£230,294.70

£607,592.36

£95,605.83

£933,492.89

2018-19

£184,591.80

£570,142.51

£60,924.60

£815,658.91

2019-20

£115,259.00

£617,390.25

£84,904.40

£817,553.65

2020-21

£182,416.42

£656,840.03

£101,204.60

£940,461.05

2021-22

£172,603.50

£665,306.84

£94,164.00

£932,074.34

Grand Total

£885,165.42

£3,117,271.99

£436,803.43

£4,439,240.84

Actual costed value between 01 April and 31 March each year. Adjusted for Retrospective Payments and Collection of Overpayments.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Armed Forces claimed Continuity of Education Allowance in 2021-22 for UK-based private school fees; and how many claimants there were at each NATO rank.

The below table details the number of Service Personnel that have received Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) for UK-based Private School fees in 2021-22 broken down by NATO Rank.

Nato Rank

Distinct Count of Employees

OF1

~

OF2

260

OF3

340

OF4

470

OF5

240

OF6

70

OF7

20

OF8

10

OF9

~

OR2

30

OR3

50

OR4

260

OR6

350

OR7

320

OR8

190

OR9

90

Grand Total

2,720

Rounded figures are to the nearest five, with numbers below five replaced by the tilde symbol ('~'). All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid systematic bias. Totals have been rounded separately and therefore may not equal the sum of their rounded parts.

Due to the possibility of rank changes in year between CEA claims, only the most senior rank for each individual has been retained in order to avoid counting the same individual twice.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much funding was allocated to Continuity of Education Allowance for boarding schools in the UK in 2021-22.

Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) is provided by the Ministry of Defence to eligible Service Personnel (SP) to assist them funding a place in a boarding school to achieve continuity of education for their children that would otherwise be denied in the maintained day school sector if their children accompanied them on frequent and consecutive assignments. CEA is available to all SP irrespective of rank, subject to them satisfying the eligibility criteria.

The total spend on CEA in Financial Year 2021-22 was £83,460,088. SP are required to make a personal contribution of 8% for the state sector, or 10% for the independent sector. CEA is subject to a termly cap and SP are required to pay any fees in excess of this.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many cases of fraud relating to the Continuity of Education Allowance have been recorded since 2012.

The number of cases of fraud relating to the Continuity of Education Allowance recorded since 2012 is 12.

Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) assists Service personnel to achieve continuity of education for their children that would otherwise be denied in the state-maintained day school sector due to the mobility of their family. CEA is available to all Service personnel, irrespective of rank, subject to them satisfying the qualifying criteria. Service personnel may select from a wide variety of schools across the UK from within the independent and state-maintained sectors that meet set criteria.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) will have any civil society organisations on the Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas prior to the final round of negotiations on that declaration.

UK Government officials have held numerous discussions with multiple civil society organisations on the Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas and will continue to do so ahead of the final round of negotiations.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what mechanisms are in place to enable members of the UK's armed forces or legal officers to report concerns about the legality of a military action.

The UK is bound to ensure that the Law of Armed Conflict is widely disseminated and this includes the provision of training by service lawyers for all military personnel. Members of the UK's armed forces must individually comply with the Law of Armed Conflict and report any concerns surrounding potential violations to their chain of command. Military commanders are responsible for preventing violations of the law, for reporting possible serious offences to the service police and for taking any necessary disciplinary action.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's process is for assessing the credibility of reports of civilian harm submitted to it.

Every care is taken to avoid or minimise civilian casualties. To this end, the UK has robust procedures to ensure that our actions, including airstrikes and subsequent battle damage assessments, are conducted in accordance with UK law and International Humanitarian Law.

However, we accept the possibility that there could be instances of civilian casualties about which we are unaware, despite our best efforts to assess battle damage. For that reason, in 2016, the then Defence Secretary committed that Ministry of Defence officials would work with civil society organisations on this issue. As a result, we always re-examine any new information relating to a potential incident submitted to us by such organisations, where it is possible that UK forces may have been involved.

Parliament will always be informed of any instance where we assess a UK airstrike is responsible for a civilian casualty incident, whether incurred during a new strike, or as a result of re-examining historic strikes using new information.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment the Government has made of the impact of Protector military drone flights on local people in and around the area covered by the Airspace Change Proposal initiated for RAF Waddington.

In developing its Air Change Proposal for the area around RAF Waddington, the MOD is following the CAP1616 process as mandated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with respect to any air space changes within the UK.

The CAP1616 process prescribes the information required by the CAA, including any potential impact on affected areas, and how stakeholder and public consultations are to take place.

The MOD expects to carry out a full consultation with communities within any potentially affected areas later this year. This will provide an opportunity for the public to understand any potential impact and offer their views on the proposal.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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.

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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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.

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.

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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)