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Date Title Questioner
5 Nov 2019, 5:39 p.m. Middle East: Humanitarian Aid Lord Truscott

Question to the Department for International Development

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have spent on humanitarian aid in the Middle East over the last 12 months.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

2019 UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend will be published in Autumn 2020.

The UK spent £393 million of bilateral ODA on humanitarian aid in the Middle East in 2018.

The UK’s core funding to multilateral agencies also contributes to humanitarian aid in the Middle East.

5 Nov 2019, 5:25 p.m. Syria: Conflict Resolution Lord Truscott

Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to bring peace to Syria.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK's priority remains to end the conflict in Syria through a negotiated political settlement. We are providing active support to the UN-led Geneva process between the Syrian parties, which remains the forum to achieve this. We welcomed the launch of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva on 30 October, which we hope will be a first step towards a negotiated settlement. Absent such a settlement, we are clear that we have no plans to re-open our Embassy in Damascus, remove sanctions or provide any reconstruction assistance.

5 Nov 2019, 5:25 p.m. Syria: Kurds Lord Truscott

Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to protect the Kurdish population of Northern Syria.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK has taken bilateral and multilateral action to end the Turkish military incursion into north-east Syria. We have been consistently clear with Turkey on our opposition to its military action– the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Minister for the Middle East and North Africa each communicated this to their Turkish counterparts, most recently on 26 October. We therefore welcome the fact that the ceasefire is holding and that Turkey has confirmed it has no plans for a further offensive. We continue to call for all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and unhindered, safe and sustainable humanitarian access throughout Syria, including at the UN Security Council.

5 Nov 2019, 5:22 p.m. Immigration: Windrush Generation Afzal Khan

Question to the Home Office

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she is aware of meetings that have taken place between the office of Wendy Williams and stakeholder (a) individuals and (b) organisations on the Windrush lessons learned review.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

We are aware that the review has engaged with a broad range of stakeholders as set out in the published methodology. As the review is independent, other than those publicly advertised, the detail of that engagement is not known by the Department.

5 Nov 2019, 5:20 p.m. Yemen: Baha'i Faith Lord Dholakia

Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of the repression of members of the Bahá'í community in north Yemen; and what representations they have made to representatives of the Houthis about freedom of religion or belief in those areas under their de facto governance.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

The UK strongly condemns the mistreatment of Baha’is who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs in areas under the control of the Houthis. We are working closely with our partners to raise these concerns directly with the Houthi authorities and urge the release of detained individuals. We continue to call on the parties to the conflict for the human rights of all Yemenis to be respected.

I raised the religious persecution of the Baha’i community in my statement of 22 October on human rights. We continue to follow the treatment of the Baha’is in Yemen closely, including through meeting their representatives in the UK and lobbying the relevant authorities.

5 Nov 2019, 5:20 p.m. Syria: Armed Conflict Lord Hylton

Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UN Secretary-General's appeal on 14 October for safe access for civilians in need in north-east Syria; and what assessment they have made of whether the ceasefire in that area (1) is being respected, and (2) will be fully supervised and made permanent.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​We welcome the UN Secretary-General's statement on 14 October for safe access for civilians in need in north-east Syria. Our assessment is that the ceasefire in north-east Syria continues to broadly hold, and we welcome the fact that Turkey has confirmed it has no plans for a further offensive. Implementation of the ceasefire is for the parties directly involved but we have made clear our expectation that all parties abide by the agreed ceasefire, which we wish to see become permanent, and by their obligations under international humanitarian law.

5 Nov 2019, 5:19 p.m. Yemen: Religious Freedom Lord Dholakia

Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of religious minority communities in Yemen; what information they have about the appeal against a death sentence in the case of Hamid bin Haydara; and whether they will release that information.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We stressed our concerns about Mr bin Haydara’s case with the Houthis directly on 6 October. We strongly condemn Mr bin Haydara's death sentence and the continued persecution of Baha'is in Yemen for their religious beliefs. We continue to follow the treatment of the Baha’is in Yemen closely, including through meeting their representatives in the UK and lobbying the relevant authorities. We continue to call on the parties to the conflict to respect the human rights of all Yemenis.

5 Nov 2019, 5:07 p.m. Ministry of Justice: Honours Seema Malhotra

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of staff in his Department in receipt of each category of Honour in (a) December 2018 and (b) June 2019 were (i) from ethnic minority backgrounds and (ii) female aged (A) under 30, (B) 31 to 40, (C) 41 to 50 and (D) aged over 50.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Government is committed to ensuring that the honours system is fully representative of UK society. The proportion of women and people from ethnic minorities receiving recognition on each honours list is available on GOV.UK as is a breakdown of ethnicities of recipients is published on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/honours-recipients-by-ethnicity

Information on ages is not correlated with other diversity factors. We also publish the proportion of honours by independent committee on GOV.UK. The numbers of honours recipients in the Ministry of Justice are very small and vary from year to year. Releasing the requested data would identify the individuals and they have given permission for their data to be used for statistical purposes only.

5 Nov 2019, 5:02 p.m. Rehabilitation: Conferences Lord Wigley

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care

To ask Her Majesty's Government which representatives attended the World Health Organisation Second Global Rehabilitation 2030 meeting in Geneva on 8 and 9 July.

Answer (Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford)

There were no United Kingdom Government representatives on the final list of participants for the Second Global Rehabilitation 2030 Meeting in Geneva on 8 and 9 July 2019. A number of medical, academic and other representatives from the UK did however take part. The list of participants is attached due to the size of the data.

5 Nov 2019, 5:02 p.m. General Election 2019: Costs Lord Truscott

Question to the Cabinet Office

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated cost to the public purse of the General Election on 12 December.

Answer (Earl Howe)

The full cost of the election will not be known until after the poll, once all expenses claims have been received and settled and Royal Mail invoices paid.