Written Question
Coronavirus: Death
3 Aug 2020, 4:33 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Marlesford

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 28 May (HL4424), what estimate they have made of the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the UK in each week since 1 May.

Answer (Lord True)

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Dear Lord Marlesford,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 28 May (HL4424), about the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the UK in each week since 1 May (HL7234).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales. The most recent annual figures published are for deaths registered in 2019[1]. However, we do publish provisional weekly deaths registrations, which are currently available for deaths registered up to 10 July 2020[2]. National Records Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19, as either a contributory or underlying cause of death, are identified by the ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2.

The accompanying dataset2 to our provisional weekly deaths bulletin includes UK data on deaths involving COVID-19, which refer to deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate.

Table 1 shows the provisional number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered each week in the UK from the week ending 8 May up to the week ending 10 July 2020, broken down by country.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered each week in the UK, week ending 8 May up to the week ending 10 July 2020[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Week number

Week ended

UK

England

Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

19

08-May-20

4,426

3,716

211

415

84

20

15-May-20

4,214

3,624

180

336

74

21

22-May-20

2,872

2,455

134

230

53

22

29-May-20

2,000

1,715

105

131

49

23

05-Jun-20

1,697

1,488

100

89

20

24

12-Jun-20

1,204

1,057

57

69

21

25

19-Jun-20

849

744

39

49

17

26

26-Jun-20

651

574

30

35

12

27

03-Jul-20

561

497

35

18

11

28

10-Jul-20

388

344

22

13

9


[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdrreferencetables

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales

[3]Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes U07.1, U07.2

[4]Figures are based on deaths registered up to 1 May 2020

[5]All figures for 2020 are provisional

[6]Weekly deaths for Scotland are produced by NRS: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

[7]Weekly deaths for Northern Ireland are produced by NISRA: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

[8]England, Wales and Northern Ireland weekly deaths run from Saturday to Friday, Scotland deaths run from Monday to Sunday

[9]Northern Ireland week allocation differs from other countries. For example, week 1 is week ending 10-Jan. This has been adjusted for the purpose of aggregating the data


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:32 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to instruct the intelligence agencies to produce a plan to address any interference by the government of Russia in UK (1) democratic processes, and (2) society.

Answer (Lord True)

The Security and Intelligence Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections. In July 2019 we announced the Defending Democracy programme to bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to ensure our democracy stays open, vibrant and transparent.


Written Question
Subversion
3 Aug 2020, 4:32 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to make certain that no future (1) election, or (2) referendum, in the UK will be subject to outside interference.

Answer (Lord True)

The Security and Intelligence Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections. In July 2019 we announced the Defending Democracy programme to bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to ensure our democracy stays open, vibrant and transparent.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
3 Aug 2020, 4:31 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further plans they have to change regulations relating to COVID-19; and how any such plans have been influenced by the behaviour of any ministers or advisors who may have previously violated those regulations.

Answer (Lord True)

We are at a stage of the epidemic where the number of infections has come down considerably from its peak and the virus is broadly under control in the majority of the UK. The Government keeps the situation under constant review and remains ready to take further action if required. We have made regulations in response to local outbreaks. We have also amended the border restrictions on various occasions in response to changes in the spread of the virus in other countries. As is always the case, decisions on health and other such measures are made on the basis of official advice, informed by expert scientific advisers.


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:31 p.m.

Questioner: Viscount Waverley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Russia, sent to the Prime Minister on 17 October 2019, was not published until 21 July.

Answer (Lord True)

As the Government has set out previously, the report is the property of the independent committee. It is for the Intelligence and Security Committee to lay their reports before Parliament and the reconstituted Committee did so on 21 July.


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Questioner: Viscount Waverley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Russia, published on 21 July, what assessment they made of the open source studies which found evidence to suggest that Russia was attempting to influence the outcome of the EU referendum and which “pointed to the preponderance of pro-Brexit or anti-EU stories and the use of ‘bots’ and ‘trolls’”.

Answer (Lord True)

We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum. The Government has published its response to the Intelligence and Security Committee report.


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Questioner: Viscount Waverley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Russia, published on 21 July, what assessment they have made of why Russia may have attempted to influence the outcome of the EU referendum.

Answer (Lord True)

We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum. The Government has published its response to the Intelligence and Security Committee report.


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:29 p.m.

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the risk of Russian interference in UK democratic processes; and what steps they are taking to enable the rapid publication of the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee Russia, sent to the Prime Minister on 17 October 2019.

Answer (Lord True)

The Intelligence and Security Committee published its Russia Report on 21 July 2020. The Government published its response to the report on the same day.

I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement made on 16 July 2020 by the Foreign Secretary, which was repeated in this House (HLWS376).


Written Question
Public First
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) the Prime Minister and (b) his advisors were involved in the procurement of the focus group contract awarded to Public First.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Public First
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prime Minister or any of his advisors have met with representatives of Public First in the last 12 months.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Public First
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the focus group contract awarded to Public First was not put out for competitive tender.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Government: Contracts
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the value was of each of the last 15 focus group contracts procured by the Government.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Public First
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) the Prime Minister and (b) any of his advisors were required to sign off the award of the focus group contract to Public First.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Public First
31 Jul 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Questioner: Neil Gray

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish all documentation, emails and correspondence relating to the award of the focus group contract to Public First.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.


Written Question
Emergencies: Planning
28 Jul 2020, 5:23 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to include economic impact in the next cross-departmental exercise on disaster management; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

As has been the case for some time, exercises are part of the UK approach to developing and validating resilience capabilities against a range of risks and impacts. It is a principle of the exercise programme that it achieves over time a balanced coverage of different risks and resilience capabilities, exercises the different phases of crisis and emergency management and recovery, and also reflects on lessons identified from previous crises to ensure they are learned for the future. Recovery management and associated considerations of economic impact will be included in the future exercising programme, and HM Treasury has been part of previous exercises.


Written Question
UK Government Union Capability Independent Review
28 Jul 2020, 5:10 p.m.

Questioner: Margaret Ferrier

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2020 to Question 904850, for what reason the Government has not yet published the recommendations of Lord Dunlop's Review of UK Government Union Capability.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The Government is giving full consideration to the recommendations of Lord Dunlop’s Review of UK Government Union Capability.

The Government is grateful for the work Lord Dunlop has undertaken.


Written Question
Home Office: Bullying
28 Jul 2020, 5:10 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the investigation into allegations of bullying by the Home Secretary (a) commenced and b) is planned to be published.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster set out to the House on 2 March, the Government takes complaints relating to the Ministerial Code seriously. In line with the process set out in the Code, the Prime Minister asked the Cabinet Office to establish the facts. To protect the interests of all involved the Government does not comment on the specifics of such ongoing work.

The Prime Minister will make any decision on the matter public once the work has concluded, and the Independent Adviser publishes an Annual Report. I refer the Rt. Hon. member to the most recent report.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
28 Jul 2020, 5:09 p.m.

Questioner: Simon Baynes

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the devolved Administrations on tackling the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

There have been regular discussions between the UK government and Devolved Administrations throughout the crisis, including through the COBR committee and Ministerial Implementation Groups. This is in addition to regular official and ministerial engagement, including weekly calls led by the Secretary of State for Health.

As was the case under the previous administration, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster continues to lead engagement with the Devolved Administrations through regular calls with the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, and the First and deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland. The most recent call took place on 24 July.


Written Question
Cabinet Office: Renewable Energy
28 Jul 2020, 12:14 p.m.

Questioner: Layla Moran

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60651 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by the Cabinet Office, active consideration will be given to installation.


Written Question
Trade
27 Jul 2020, 5:24 p.m.

Questioner: Dr Lisa Cameron

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that a UK trade deal with the (a) US and (b) EU will be compliant with the (i) UK's climate action commitments and (ii) UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The UK is committed to using its free trade agreements to support our climate commitments, such as net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and promote sustainable development, as our published UK objectives for negotiations with the EU and US make clear.

In both agreements, the UK is seeking provisions that support and help further the Government’s climate ambition.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Inquiries
27 Jul 2020, 11:47 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the terms of reference of the independent inquiry into COVID-19, announced on 15 July; and whether that inquiry will examine the prevalence of diabetes and obesity as key risk factors for patients with COVID-19.

Answer (Lord True)

The Government has always been clear that there will be opportunities to look back, analyse and reflect on all aspects of COVID-19. As the Prime Minister has said, this will include an independent inquiry at the appropriate time. For now the Government is focused entirely on responding to the pandemic and saving lives. Further details will be set out in due course and announced in the usual way.


Written Question
UK Trade with EU
27 Jul 2020, 11:47 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Berkeley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, when negotiating future trade arrangements with the EU, they plan to adopt a policy of linking greenhouse gas trading systems in relation to common operational procedures and technical standards, similar to that included in the proposed agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation (COM (2020) 255).

Answer (Lord True)

As stated within the Government’s publication: The Future Relationship with the EU, The UK’s Approach to Negotiations, the UK is committed to carbon pricing as a decarbonisation tool. We will establish a UK system that supports our world leading climate ambition, including net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This will enable UK energy generators, heavy industry and aviation to decarbonise their operations in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

In the context of our approach to carbon pricing, the UK remains open to considering a link between any future UK Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the EU ETS (as Switzerland has done with its ETS), if it suited both sides’ interests.


Written Question
Nitrous Oxide: Death
27 Jul 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have died from inhaling nitrous oxide.

Answer (Lord True)

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Dear Lord Kennedy,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people have died from inhaling nitrous oxide (HL7033).

In March 2018 we published a report providing the number of deaths related to volatile substance abuse and helium in England, Wales and Scotland[1]. This report describes trends in deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016 in Great Britain. Please see table 1 below for data where types of volatile substance are mentioned on the death certificate from the March 2018 publication. We would recommend referring to the report, where possible, due to the complexity of the methodology surrounding the use of coroner’s text to identify relevant deaths.

Following the March 2018 publication, we published ad-hoc requests from members of the public, which include: the number of deaths in England and Wales involving nitrogen and nitrous oxide 2001-2016[2]; and deaths where nitrous oxide was mentioned on the death certificate 1993-2017[3]. Please note, published figures differ across these datasets due to the methodology used and the differing definitions of nitrous oxide deaths.

We intend to publish an update of the volatile substance report and accompanying datasets later this year. This is dependent on resource due to the current pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths related to volatile substance abuse, where types of volatile substance mentioned on the death certificate, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2001 to 2016[4][5][6][7][8]

Registration Year

Nitrogen related deaths

2001

1

2002

1

2003

0

2004

1

2005

1

2006

1

2007

5

2008

2

2009

3

2010

5

2011

4

2012

2

2013

5

2014

9

2015

16

2016

23


[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/deathsrelatedtovolatilesubstancesandheliumingreatbritain/latest

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/008203deathsinvolvingnitrogenandnitrousoxideinenglandandwales2001to2016

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/009096drugrelateddeathsinvolvingnitrousoxideinenglandandwales1993to2017

[4]Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth revision (ICD-10) codes.

[5]Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

[6]Figures are for deaths registered rather than occurring in each calendar year.

[7]Specific substances included in each category, details are available in the published dataset.

[8]Counts total to more than the total number of VSA deaths, because more than one substance group can be involved in a single death.


Written Question
Public Inquiries: Coronavirus
27 Jul 2020, 9:45 a.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what advice his Department provides to other Departments on the threshold required to be met before a public inquiry can be convened; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Section 1 of the Inquiries Act 2005 sets out the extent of ministers’ powers to establish an inquiry under that Act. Inquiries may also be established on a non-statutory basis, for which no legislative threshold applies.


Written Question
Government Departments: Reviews
24 Jul 2020, 1:25 p.m.

Questioner: John McDonnell

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the results of the zero based review taking place in different business units in his Department; and whether the Government plans to undertake those reviews in each Department.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

As has been the case under successive administrations, ministers routinely review their departments to ensure they are delivering the Government’s agenda in the most effective and efficient way. Significant changes are communicated to the House in the usual way.