Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Baroness Merron (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Scottish National Party
John Nicolson (SNP - Ochil and South Perthshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Liberal Democrat
Jamie Stone (LDEM - Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Labour
Jo Stevens (LAB - Cardiff Central)
Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Lord Bassam of Brighton (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Tracy Brabin Rachael Maskell (LAB - York Central)
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Christian Matheson (LAB - City of Chester)
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Alison McGovern (LAB - Wirral South)
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Chi Onwurah (LAB - Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Alex Sobel (LAB - Leeds North West)
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Ministers of State
Julia Lopez (CON - Hornchurch and Upminster)
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Nigel Huddleston (CON - Mid Worcestershire)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Chris Philp (CON - Croydon South)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 19th October 2021
09:30
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
19 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Major cultural and sporting events
View calendar
Debates
Thursday 14th October 2021
Gambling-related Harms
Lords Chamber
Select Committee Docs
Friday 24th September 2021
00:00
21 September 2021
Oral Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Wednesday 21st July 2021
What next for the National Lottery?

Our inquiry examines the competition process to award the next licence for operating the National Lottery. The Gambling Commission is …

Written Answers
Monday 18th October 2021
Sports: Gambling
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 9th September 2021
National Lottery (Revocation and Amendment) Regulations 2021
These Regulations revoke the National Lottery (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1475) and amend the National Lottery Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/189).
Bills
Wednesday 26th May 2021
Charities Bill [HL] 2021-22
A Bill to amend the Charities Act 2011 and the Universities and College Estates Act 1925; and for connected purposes
Dept. Publications
Friday 15th October 2021
17:53

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Sep. 16
Oral Questions
Jun. 22
Urgent Questions
Sep. 22
Written Statements
Sep. 21
Westminster Hall
Sep. 23
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to amend the electronic communications code set out in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 15th March 2021 and was enacted into law.


A bill to make provision about the Commonwealth Games that are to be held principally in Birmingham in 2022; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 25th June 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations revoke the National Lottery (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1475) and amend the National Lottery Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/189).
This Order modifies Part 1 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 to give OFCOM the power to further renew the Multiplex A, B, C, D and Multiplex 2 licences. These are licences to provide television multiplex services - the means by which digital terrestrial television is broadcast (i.e. digital television services received via a conventional aerial).
View All Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secondary Legislation

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).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
485 Signatures
(260 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
303 Signatures
(56 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
15,133 Signatures
(43 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
407 Signatures
(22 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

200,571
Petition Closed
29 Mar 2021
closed 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.

View All Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Julian Knight Portrait
Julian Knight (Conservative - Solihull)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Giles Watling Portrait
Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
John Nicolson Portrait
John Nicolson (Scottish National Party - Ochil and South Perthshire)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Damian Hinds Portrait
Damian Hinds (Conservative - East Hampshire)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Damian Green Portrait
Damian Green (Conservative - Ashford)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Julie Elliott Portrait
Julie Elliott (Labour - Sunderland Central)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Clive Efford Portrait
Clive Efford (Labour - Eltham)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Steve Brine Portrait
Steve Brine (Conservative - Winchester)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Kevin Brennan Portrait
Kevin Brennan (Labour - Cardiff West)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Alex Davies-Jones Portrait
Alex Davies-Jones (Labour - Pontypridd)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Heather Wheeler Portrait
Heather Wheeler (Conservative - South Derbyshire)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Member since 9th November 2020
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: Upcoming Events
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee - Oral evidence
Major cultural and sporting events
19 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Andrew Moger - Director at News Media Coalition
Barbara Slater - Director at BBC Sport
At 11.30am: Oral evidence
James Hampson - Director, UK & External Affairs at British Council
Simon Morton - Chief Operating Officer at UK Sport

View calendar

50 most recent Written Questions

(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

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of ending gambling sponsorship in sport.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements. We are currently considering all evidence carefully and no decisions have been made. A white paper will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many insurance payouts are made annually from the cyber liability insurance scheme.

This information is not held by the government. The insurance scheme referred to is a commercial arrangement between organisations with a Cyber Essentials certificate and IASME, the operators of the scheme.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Barran on 13 February (HL605) and 19 July (HL1998), what discussions they have had with the mobile network operators Three, EE and Vodafone about the reintroduction of roaming charges for UK customers in the EU; and what steps they will take to prevent the reintroduction of these charges.

Ministers and officials have regular discussions with senior representatives of mobile operators on a range of issues, including on the issue of mobile roaming, and HM Government will continue to promote a competitive marketplace that serves the interests of consumers.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many organisations are certified under the Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus schemes.

At the end of August 2021, 75,237 Cyber Essentials certificates had been awarded to organisations in the UK. Of these, 61,481 certificates were awarded at Cyber Essentials level and 13,756 were awarded at Cyber Essentials Plus level.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of support provided by major online gambling companies to tackle problem gambling.

HM Government recognises the role the industry can play in supporting efforts to tackle problem gambling. Operators are required by the Gambling Commission to monitor play to detect customers who are at risk of harm, to intervene to prevent harm, to provide safer gambling tools and self-exclusion schemes including Gamstop, and to direct them to safer gambling information and support.

We welcome recent steps taken to raise standards across the sector, such as the Betting & Gaming Council’s codes of conduct on high value customer schemes and online product design. Gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission are also required to make a contribution to fund research, prevention or treatment of problem gambling. The Government secured a commitment from five major operators to increase their contributions tenfold over 4 years, from 0.1% to 1% of Gross Gambling Yield, raising £100 million for treatment by 2023/24.

The Government is also taking action to tackle problem gambling. Following recent measures such as the ban on credit card gambling and the commitment to increase the number of specialist NHS clinics, we are reviewing the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. We are considering the evidence carefully and aim to publish a white paper outlining any conclusions and proposals for reform by the end of the year.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to request that the British Museum (1) de-accession 11 Ethiopian altar tablets (tabots) which they have held since 1868, and (2) return them to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The British Museum operates at arm’s length and independently of HM Government. Decisions relating to the care and management of the objects in their collections are therefore a matter for its trustees. This responsibility of the trustees is set out in the museum’s legislation, the British Museum Act 1963, which also describes the limited circumstances under which the museum may deaccession items from its collections.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government where the money is directed if a company is fined for failing to report a data breach of personal information to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Any monetary penalty issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is paid into the HM Treasury Consolidated Fund and is not retained by the ICO.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the ability of (a) under-25s, (b) musicians from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds, and (c) working-class musicians, to tour in the EU under the terms of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and (2) the frequency of such musicians doing so.

This government recognises the importance of the UK’s creative and cultural industries, not only to the economy and international reputation of the United Kingdom, but also to the wellbeing and enrichment of our people. We want musicians and performers to be able to tour abroad easily, as we understand it is a vital part at every stage of a musician’s and performer’s career.

Member States of the European Union are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake in the EU. That is why we have spoken to every Member State about the importance of touring. Following these talks 19 out of 27 Member States have confirmed that UK musicians do not require visas or work permits for some short term touring. In the majority of cases this is for at least 30 days. Other Member States, including France and Germany, allow visas or work permits for some short term touring for up to three months. Travellers should always check what requirements they need to fulfill with the EU Member State to which they are travelling.

We want our world-leading creative and cultural artists to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world. That is why we are looking carefully at proposals for a new Creative Export Office that could provide further practical help to support individuals and businesses in touring.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many days of visa free and work permit touring is allowed per visit for a musician based in the UK and with UK citizenship, for each of the 19 EU Member States described as allowing visa and work permit free touring.

This government recognises the importance of the UK’s creative and cultural industries, not only to the economy and international reputation of the United Kingdom, but also to the wellbeing and enrichment of our people. We want musicians and performers to be able to tour abroad easily, as we understand it is a vital part at every stage of a musician’s and performer’s career.

Member States of the European Union are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake in the EU. That is why we have spoken to every Member State about the importance of touring. Following these talks 19 out of 27 Member States have confirmed that UK musicians do not require visas or work permits for some short term touring. In the majority of cases this is for at least 30 days. Other Member States, including France and Germany, allow visas or work permits for some short term touring for up to three months. Travellers should always check what requirements they need to fulfill with the EU Member State to which they are travelling.

We want our world-leading creative and cultural artists to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world. That is why we are looking carefully at proposals for a new Creative Export Office that could provide further practical help to support individuals and businesses in touring.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent progress he has made on delivering the Loneliness Strategy.

Over the last eighteen months, the government has continued to take action in line with the loneliness strategy, including through delivering a response to COVID-19 that recognises the value of social connection.

We have invested over £34 million in charities focused on reducing loneliness and a further £50 million to organisations supporting people with their mental health. This is part of the government's unprecedented £750 million package of support for the sector during the pandemic, which has benefited over 14,000 charities.

We also set up the £4 million Local Connections Fund in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund. Through the Local Connections Fund, we have awarded over 1,300 microgrants to charities and community groups that help people to connect via the things they enjoy. For example, we’ve supported songwriting workshops in Devon, dance classes in Bedfordshire, and online chat services in Durham.

We established the Tackling Loneliness Network, bringing together over 80 organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors to share expertise and develop innovative ways to tackle loneliness. The Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan was published in May 2021 and sets out actions that government and Network members are taking to support social connection in response to COVID-19. A copy of this report will be placed in the Libraries of the House and is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emerging-together-the-tackling-loneliness-network-action-plan

We have continued to share practical tips and signpost support through the ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ campaign. During Loneliness Awareness Week in June this year, our campaign activity reached over 21 million people, including through partnerships with TikTok, BT, Royal Mail and Electronic Arts.

The government publishes a report on its work on loneliness every year. The latest was published in January 2021 and is available online at: [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/loneliness-annual-report-the-second-year/loneliness-annual-report-january-2021 ] The next report will be published in early 2022.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of providing further financial support to the travel sector.

The Government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic and is committed to supporting the safe return of tourism to the UK, as set out in the Government's Tourism Recovery Plan published in June.

Businesses across the economy, including the travel industry, can draw on over £350 billion worth of loans, rates relief, VAT deferrals and the furlough scheme, the latter of which ended on 30 September. The Government continues to take a flexible approach and keep all impacts and policies under review.

The Government is regularly engaging with travel industry bodies - such as UKInbound, the European Tour Operators Association and the Association of British Travel Agents - to monitor the pandemic’s impact and to support the sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support small and medium-sized enterprises within the travel sector.

The Government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic and is committed to supporting the safe return of tourism to the UK, as set out in the Government's Tourism Recovery Plan published in June.

Businesses across the economy, including the travel industry, can draw on over £350 billion worth of loans, rates relief, VAT deferrals and the furlough scheme, the latter of which ended on 30 September. The Government continues to take a flexible approach and keep all impacts and policies under review.

The Government is regularly engaging with travel industry bodies - such as UKInbound, the European Tour Operators Association and the Association of British Travel Agents - to monitor the pandemic’s impact and to support the sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will make provisions to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the travel sector beyond 30 September 2021 when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

The Government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic and is committed to supporting the safe return of tourism to the UK, as set out in the Government's Tourism Recovery Plan published in June.

Businesses across the economy, including the travel industry, can draw on over £350 billion worth of loans, rates relief, VAT deferrals and the furlough scheme, the latter of which ended on 30 September. The Government continues to take a flexible approach and keep all impacts and policies under review.

The Government is regularly engaging with travel industry bodies - such as UKInbound, the European Tour Operators Association and the Association of British Travel Agents - to monitor the pandemic’s impact and to support the sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that volunteer capacity is available to support councils when needed.

Local authorities work closely with the voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector and other organisations, including the public sector and the NHS, to recruit and coordinate volunteers at a local level. The Government aims to empower these local partnerships and ensure national efforts to encourage volunteering complement locally-led responses.

Where there is urgent need for intervention from the Government, we work closely with the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP). The VCSEP is a collection of voluntary and community sector organisations, and is co-chaired by the British Red Cross and National Association for Voluntary and Community Action. The Partnership aims to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. They do this by coordinating and directly providing support to those in need, including mobilising volunteers if the need arises.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of telegraph poles situated on private land in Scotland were installed after 2017.

The Department does not have access to the number of telegraph poles or ducts situated on private land across the UK, as this is a matter for each individual operator.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of PaddyPowerBetfair's introduction of a £500 monthly cap on losses for younger customers.

We welcome recent steps taken by industry to raise standards and increase protections for customers, including PaddyPower/Betfair’s introduction of its £500 cap and the Betting & Gaming Council’s codes of conduct on high value customer schemes and online game design.

The government and the Gambling Commission are continuing work to consider protections in online gambling. Earlier this year, the Gambling Commission launched a consultation and call for evidence on the steps remote operators should be required to take to identify and protect customers at risk of harm, including on issues to do with affordability. It received over 13,000 responses and the Commission has published an interim update on its website outlining next steps.


The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 in December with the publication of a Call for Evidence which received 16,000 responses. The Review will be wide-ranging and evidence-led, and aims to make sure that the regulation of gambling is fit for the digital age. We are considering all evidence carefully and will publish a white paper outlining any conclusions and proposals for reform in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which Department is responsible for Historic England's Government Historic Estate Unit; and how funding has been allocated to that unit.

Historic England is Government’s statutory advisor on heritage and funded by DCMS. The Government Historic Estates Unit (GHEU) is a small, dedicated team within Historic England, which helps government departments and other public bodies, such as the Royal Household, to look after the historic buildings and structures in their care.

In financial year 2021/22 Historic England received £69.2 million baseline Grant in Aid from DCMS. An allocation of this grant for 2021/22 is staffing costs for those working in the GHEU which amounts to £61,000.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support heritage rail.

The UK is a true pioneer in the history of railway development, nurturing and benefitting from the talents of Brunel and Stephenson among others. We are rightly proud of this legacy and must ensure that the next generation is endowed with both the skills and the passion to protect this legacy for the future.

The heritage railway sector is not only a fundamental component of our national heritage, it is an important aspect of our visitor economy with heritage railways attracting around 13 million visitors and bringing an estimated £250 million to the economy annually. It is because of this cultural and economic significance that the Government has supported the heritage rail network over the past year through its unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, which has awarded approximately £15.7 million to railway related organisations across the country.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2021 to Question 43369 on Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Listed Buildings, if she will publish (a) a list of the properties classified as heritage assets owned by her Department, (b) the most recent estimate of the value of those properties and (c) the annual income derived from those properties.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport owns the freehold to the following Listed Buildings:

Property

Estimated value of freehold (2017)

Annual income

22 Park Street, Windsor

£195,000

£50

23 Park Street, Windsor

£210,000

£120

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help preserve sites of historic significance in (a) Morley and Outwood and (b) West Yorkshire.

Though there have been no Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments designated in Morley and Outwood in the last two years, I can confirm that five Listed Buildings have been designated in West Yorkshire in this period - Clough House (Birstall); York Gate Gardens (Leeds); Grave of Charles Waterton (Wakefield); Gawthorpe Water Tower (Wakefield); and Manningham War Memorial (Bradford).

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to encourage people to return to live events following the lifting of covid-19 public health restrictions.

The Government recognises the important contribution that live events make to the UK’s culture and economy. It's important that as we welcome the return of large events such as music festivals, and fans back to our stadiums, we do so as carefully as possible. That’s why we have been working with event organisers to ensure that the lessons learned from the Events Research Programme are being put into practice.

The Government is committed to ensuring the safety of the public through minimising the risks of transmission of Covid-19 and by encouraging vaccination. The evidence from the Events Research Programme pilots was used to inform and shape Government policy and bring about the return of audiences to venues and events across England. The ERP showed that transmission is most likely when large crowds gather, and covid-status certification has been shown to be one method of mitigating this risk. Certification will help to improve confidence in those wishing to attend live events and encourage attendance.

From 19 July, the Government made the NHS COVID Pass available so that individuals can prove their vaccination status. The NHS Covid Pass has been designed to be quick and simple to use, so as not to place any significant burden on settings utilising the resource. Use of the NHS COVID Pass is voluntary for individual organisations. However, we encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass in facilities or events where people are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of people from other households for a sustained period of time.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Sep 2021
What steps she is taking to help prevent people from becoming digitally excluded.

The Government has worked closely with providers to put in place social tariffs. These provide low cost landline and broadband services for people on means-tested state benefits. We are encouraging providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so. The telecoms industry has also removed data caps on fixed broadband packages, and provides free or low cost data boosts on mobile services to support vulnerable consumers.

In February DCMS also launched a £2.5 million Digital Lifeline Fund to reduce the digital exclusion of people with learning disabilities.This fund has provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities, enabling them to connect with friends and family, and access services and support groups, promoting overall well being.

The Government has also introduced a digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications, up to level 1, free of charge.

Finally, around 2,900 public libraries in England provide accessible locations offering free Wi-Fi, computers, and other technology. Library staff, often supported by volunteers, can provide library users with digital support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring publicly funded broadcasters to provide all entertainment content on free to access digital platforms 10 years after first transmission.

The government is supportive of a modern system of public service broadcasting (PSB) that remains relevant and can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future.

Ensuring that content is universally available on a free-to-air basis is a core tenet of PSB, and the government is committed to ensuring this remains the case. This means that PSB content should be delivered via technologies that are commonly available, familiar to audiences, and offer a high-quality viewing experience.

As independent organisations, the UK’s two publicly funded broadcasters – the BBC and S4C – are responsible for negotiating the length of time for which entertainment content is available on their platforms with producers and other rights holders. At present, the BBC allows access to most of its programmes for at least one year on the BBC iPlayer and S4C allows access to its programmes for up to 150 days on Clic.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of privatising BBC Worldwide.

BBC Worldwide, formerly a BBC commercial subsidiary, was merged with BBC Studios in April 2018 and no longer exists. The new BBC Studios is already a commercial subsidiary of the BBC and therefore receives no public funding. Dividends made by BBC Studios are returned to the BBC’s public service arm, supplementing the BBC’s licence fee income.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Borth exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Cardigan exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Lampeter exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Bow Street exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the New Quay exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Aberaeron exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Talybont exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with Openreach on (a) progress on the update of the Llanon exchange and (b) the timeline for completion of that work.

The department regularly engages with Openreach on the progress of their commercial rollout. Details of specific exchanges can be found on the Openreach website at the following address: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband.

It is the government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. The Government is investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage. This will ensure communities are not left behind as the country benefits from a faster, further-reaching commercial investment. More generally across the UK, over half of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support will be made available to the tourism industry after the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

For example, the Government cut VAT for tourism and hospitality activities to 5% last July, with this significantly reduced rate remaining until the end of this month. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months.

We are committed to supporting tourism’s return to pre-pandemic levels ahead of independent forecasts, as set out in the Government's Tourism Recovery Plan published in June. The Government is regularly engaging with stakeholders, including via the Tourism Industry Council, to monitor the pandemic’s impact and to support the sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she plans to take to protect jobs in the travel industry after the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

For example, the Government cut VAT for tourism and hospitality activities to 5% last July, with this significantly reduced rate remaining until the end of this month. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months.

We are committed to supporting tourism’s return to pre-pandemic levels ahead of independent forecasts, as set out in the Government's Tourism Recovery Plan published in June. The Government is regularly engaging with stakeholders, including via the Tourism Industry Council, to monitor the pandemic’s impact and to support the sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's speech at the National Lottery Paralympics GB Homecoming event on 12 September 2021, what the source is of the extra funding for disability sports.

On 15th August, the Government publicly committed to providing £232 million to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The £232 million Grant In Aid funding will be invested into aspiring Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes as well as their coaches and support staff, in addition to funding from the National Lottery.

UK Sport, the strategic lead body for high performance sport in the UK, will be responsible for allocating the funding to athletes for the Paris cycle. Athletes will benefit through their World Class Programme and Progression Funding, which will provide vital support towards reaching the pinnacle of their sports as preparations begin for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's speech at the National Lottery Paralympics GB Homecoming event on 12 September 2021, how the additional funding for disability sports will be allocated.

On 15th August, the Government publicly committed to providing £232 million to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The £232 million Grant In Aid funding will be invested into aspiring Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes as well as their coaches and support staff, in addition to funding from the National Lottery.

UK Sport, the strategic lead body for high performance sport in the UK, will be responsible for allocating the funding to athletes for the Paris cycle. Athletes will benefit through their World Class Programme and Progression Funding, which will provide vital support towards reaching the pinnacle of their sports as preparations begin for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which companies have supplied Union Jack flags to his Department since 2019.

Since 2019 all of the Union flags that have been supplied to the Department have been provided by The Flag Consultancy, a subcontractor of Arcadis, who are contracted to deliver flags and flag services under the current Event Management Services Contract.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of Union Jack flags purchased by her Department in each of the last two years were manufactured in the UK.

All of the 67 Union Flags purchased by the Department in the last two years have been manufactured in the UK.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) YouTube and (b) other social media companies about whether their harmful or dangerous content policies should be extended to cover content including (i) breaking and entering and (ii) vandalism to personal property.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including YouTube, on a variety of issues, including dangerous content. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the GOV.UK website.

The draft Online Safety Bill sets out proposals to impose a new duty of care on tech companies to tackle illegal and harmful content on their services. Companies such as Youtube will have to identify and remove illegal content and protect children from harmful or inappropriate content.

The big social media companies, such as YouTube, will also need to keep their promises to users by taking action against harmful content that is prohibited under their terms of service. Under the new laws, their terms of service will need to cover content that could cause significant physical or psychological harm to users.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to strengthen child protection measures in the draft Online Safety Bill.

The strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. Services in scope will need to prove children are not accessing their service, or they will need to conduct a child safety risk assessment and provide safety measures for child users. Those safety measures will protect children from inappropriate and harmful content.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to assess a potential correlation between company procurement of artificial intelligence platforms and the level of transition to zero-hours contracts.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will ensure that the impact of artificial intelligence on workers is taken into account as part of the Government's AI Strategy.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure that the equalities impacts of artificial intelligence will be taken into account in the development of the Government's AI Strategy.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of how productivity gains from artificial intelligence can be shared with workers.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what definition of equality will be used in the Government's AI Strategy; and what consultation has taken place with equalities groups in the development of that strategy.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to publish a draft AI Strategy.

The Government published its National AI Strategy on 22nd September 2021. It can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy . The Strategy will ensure that the UK continues our global leadership in the research, development, commercialisation and adoption of responsible AI.

The Strategy sets out our ambition to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI.

In particular, the Strategy recognises that issues such as the equalities impacts of AI will be an important consideration as we continue to develop policy on the governance and regulation of AI. We will involve relevant regulators and equalities groups in this work. It also recognises the need to give more people the skills to work with AI, developing an AI-literate workforce.

The diversity of people working with and developing AI is an important component of the AI Strategy. We are already supporting 2,500 new Masters conversion courses in AI and data science across universities in England. Included in this program are up to 1,000 scholarships, which aims to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups and encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in AI and Data Science.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to prevent companies and organisations using automated social media accounts to (a) increase follower numbers on social media platforms and (b) spread disinformation online.

The government continues to put pressure on companies to respond quickly and effectively to the threat posed by misinformation and disinformation.

Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with major social media companies to understand what is happening on their platforms and the steps that they are taking to address misinformation and disinformation, including where it is spread by fake accounts.

We have seen positive steps by platforms to curtail the spread of harmful and misleading narratives, particularly in relation to COVID-19, although there is clearly more to do. We will continue to engage platforms regarding measures that could be put in place to respond to this evolving challenge, and we will put pressure on these companies to ensure that their policies and enforcement are fit for purpose, whilst still respecting freedom of expression.

The draft Online Safety Bill sets out proposals to impose a new duty of care on tech companies to tackle illegal and harmful content on their services. To fulfil their duty of care, the largest social media companies will need to set out what harmful content is and is not acceptable in their terms of service. They will need to enforce these terms of service consistently, including policies that may relate to fake user accounts. Ofcom will have the power to hold companies to account if what is appearing on their platforms doesn’t match up with the promises made to users.



Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to work with social media companies to eliminate automated fake profiles on social media platforms.

The government continues to put pressure on companies to respond quickly and effectively to the threat posed by misinformation and disinformation.

Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with major social media companies to understand what is happening on their platforms and the steps that they are taking to address misinformation and disinformation, including where it is spread by fake accounts.

We have seen positive steps by platforms to curtail the spread of harmful and misleading narratives, particularly in relation to COVID-19, although there is clearly more to do. We will continue to engage platforms regarding measures that could be put in place to respond to this evolving challenge, and we will put pressure on these companies to ensure that their policies and enforcement are fit for purpose, whilst still respecting freedom of expression.

The draft Online Safety Bill sets out proposals to impose a new duty of care on tech companies to tackle illegal and harmful content on their services. To fulfil their duty of care, the largest social media companies will need to set out what harmful content is and is not acceptable in their terms of service. They will need to enforce these terms of service consistently, including policies that may relate to fake user accounts. Ofcom will have the power to hold companies to account if what is appearing on their platforms doesn’t match up with the promises made to users.



Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the absence of pricing standards and regulation for fixed wireless operators on digital exclusion.

Pricing regulation in the telecoms sector is a matter for Ofcom, the independent regulator. However, most providers of fixed wireless access price their services in line with comparable fixed line services and on a national basis.

In 2019 the Government issued Ofcom with a Statement of Strategic Priorities for telecommunications to which it must have regard when exercising its regulatory functions. This includes tackling harmful industry practices and improving the support available to vulnerable consumers.

In order to tackle digital exclusion we have introduced the Broadband Universal Service Obligation to provide a digital safety net, ensuring a minimum level of service to participate in society and the economy, based on information provided by Ofcom. The USO came into effect on 20 March 2020, providing consumers with a legal right to request a decent broadband service, providing download speeds of at least 10 Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps. Whilst there is still more to do, the evidence suggests this approach is working as Ofcom’s Online Nations 2021 report showed that people are using online services more than ever with the number of UK homes with internet access increasing to about 94%.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)