Baroness Deech Portrait

Baroness Deech

Crossbench - Life peer

Became Member: 5th October 2005


2 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Get Refusal, Women and Work
1 Former APPG membership
Holocaust Memorial
Services Committee
28th Jan 2021 - 31st Jan 2024
EU Justice Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee
11th Jun 2015 - 15th Mar 2016
Communications and Digital Committee
22nd Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
23rd Nov 2006 - 8th Apr 2010
Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
23rd Nov 2006 - 8th Apr 2010
Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Joint Committee)
9th May 2007 - 8th Aug 2007


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill [HL]
voted Aye
One of 15 Crossbench Aye votes vs 32 Crossbench No votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 227
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Life Sciences Businesses
My Lords, I wonder whether the atmosphere is too pessimistic. The University of Oxford has propelled itself to the forefront …
Written Answers
Thursday 4th January 2024
National Holocaust Memorial Centre and Learning Service: Victoria Tower Gardens
To ask His Majesty's Government what response they made to the request by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 19th July 2021
Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill [HL] 2021-22
A Bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Deech has voted in 228 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Deech Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(25 debate interactions)
Lord True (Conservative)
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
(15 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(17 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(15 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022
(3,444 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(3,097 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(1,910 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Deech's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Deech, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


6 Bills introduced by Baroness Deech


A bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce.

Lords Completed

Last Event - 3rd Reading: House Of Lords
Wednesday 18th March 2015

A Bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973; and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 27th January 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 19th July 2021
(Read Debate)

A bill to provide for a review by the Secretary of State of the regulations governing gamete storage periods

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Thursday 4th June 2015

First reading took place on 25 February. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled.The 2013-14 session of parliament has prorogued and this Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and to make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 25th February 2014

Baroness Deech has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


216 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 52GC), when they will conclude their analysis of the responses to their consultation on section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 relating to reasonable adjustments to common parts of leasehold homes; and when that section will be commenced.

This consultation will end on 18 August, after which analysis of the responses will take a number of weeks, and then regulations needed prior to commencement will be prepared. I would expect commencement of the legislation on or after October 2023, given the time required for the regulations and issue of guidance for landlords, tenants and other involved parties.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made regarding a public consultation on the implementation of section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 (reasonable adjustments to the common parts of leasehold properties).

On 9 June 2022, the Government launched the consultation on the implementation and commencement of the remaining parts of Section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) and its associated schedules. When commenced, these will place a duty on landlords to make or facilitate reasonable adjustments to the common parts of residential property, where a disabled resident requests this, in England and Wales. The consultation lasts until 18 August.

The consultation is available in a range of accessible formats at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-disabled-peoples-access-to-let-residential-premises-reasonable-adjustments-to-common-parts-a-new-duty

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what assessment has been made of the risk from flooding to Victoria Tower.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. The first floor of the Victoria Tower is 65 feet above ground level - emphasising its stature as the Royal Entrance - which means any flooding would only happen due to leaking pipe work at a higher level, or through the cast iron roof.

It is known that the cast iron roof is in a poor state of repair. There is water ingress from roof level, but it is not yet critical. However, if the roof is left unrepaired its condition will only deteriorate further. In addition, much of the roof drainage system is concealed within stonework, which makes precise assessment of its condition difficult without carrying out thorough intrusive surveys. These surveys would be technically difficult to carry out due to the height, location and design of building.

Water ingress is monitored and options are currently being explored to address the repair of the roof as part of the safety critical repairs to the Victoria Tower stonework.

11th Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker to explain the justification for the exemption from registration of EU pensions to which are attached conditions that a reasonable member of the public might regard as likely to influence their conduct as parliamentarians, as set out in paragraph 68 of the 10th edition of the Guide to the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords (September 2021).

Members are not required to register their pension arrangements. The Committee for Privileges and Conduct (as it then was) has considered several times over a number of years whether EU pensions should be singled out for registration, most recently after the 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The Committee did not recommend such a change to the rules, noting that (a) declaration of EU pensions would be required if the House debated liability for those pensions during exit negotiations, and (b) the perception that support of the EU is a condition of receipt of a pension from an EU institution results from a selective reading of Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

10th Feb 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what steps can be taken against members of the House of Lords who express anti-Semitic opinions falling within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism in the course of their parliamentary duties and activities (1) during, and (2) outside, Parliamentary proceedings.

The Code of Conduct requires members to treat those with whom they come into contact in the course of their parliamentary duties and activities (including parliamentary proceedings) with respect and courtesy. Behaviour that amounts to bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct is a breach of the Code. Under the definitions appended to the Code, harassment is unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of either violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them and is related to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010, including religion or belief. Anti-Semitic behaviour that amounts to harassment would thus be liable to sanction under the Code.


In relation to parliamentary proceedings, however, the Code of Conduct recognises the constitutional principle of freedom of speech and excludes members’ views and opinions from the Commissioner for Standards’ remit. It is open to all members to address offensive behaviour or language used in the course of proceedings.

15th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 11 May (HL7431), what assessment they have made of the impact of the cost limit for responding to freedom of information requests remaining at £600 since 2004 on (1) any curtailment of the time that may be spent in dealing with freedom of information requests, and (2) any increase in the number of refusals of requests as a result of that curtailment.

There has been no curtailment, so no assessment has been made of any increase in the number of refusals as a result of the "curtailment"'. The cost limit is a calculation based on officials’ time and has remained at a flat rate of £25 per hour since 2004.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how the costs of responding to freedom of information requests involving the disclosure of emails are calculated; and when the limit of £600, beyond which cost the request can be refused, was last uprated.

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows public authorities to refuse to deal with any requests where they estimate that responding to the request would exceed the “appropriate limit”, known as the “cost limit”.

If a public authority calculates that responding to a request will take it over the appropriate limit it is not obliged to provide a substantive response. The cost limit is calculated at a flat rate of £25 per hour and since 2004 has been set at £600 for central government departments and £450 for other public authorities. Public authorities can only include certain activities when estimating whether responding to a request would breach the cost limit. These are: establishing whether information is held; locating and retrieving information; and extracting relevant information from the document containing it.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members will be appointed to (1) the Partnership Council, (2) each of the 19 Specialised Committees, and (3) each of the four Working Groups established by the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; and what plans they have to disseminate information about (a) the membership, and (b) the proceedings of those bodies.

Each of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement’s committees is co-chaired by a representative of the UK and the EU. I am the UK co-chair of the Partnership Council. Senior officials in the relevant government departments will be the co-chairs of the Specialised Committees and Working Groups.

The UK delegation for each meeting will be decided to ensure appropriate expertise based on the agenda.

We are committed to facilitating appropriate Parliamentary scrutiny of our actions in these committees, and discussions are ongoing with the relevant Parliamentary committees. We will share draft agendas with Parliament before each Partnership Council and meetings of the Specialised Committees, and issue a statement on the proceedings before Parliament before and after each meeting of the Partnership Council.

4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 54GC), when they will respond to the September 2021 consultation conducted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on making flexible working the default.

The Government will publish its response to the consultation on flexible working in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage investment in (1) so-called 'Wave 2', and (2) other future generations of, vaccines for COVID-19.

The current overall UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, includes vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. Details can be found on the UKRI website.

UKRI will continue to review ongoing needs in this area with the Vaccine Taskforce.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons given by (1) UK Research and Innovation, and (2) the Medical Research Council, for (a) rejecting, and (b) accepting, applications for grant assistance from researchers developing COVID-19 vaccinations.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), including the Medical Research Council, invited applications for research related to COVID-19, including for research into vaccines, through funding routes such as the joint UKRI-Department of Health and Social Care rapid response call, as well as the UKRI rapid response rolling call. The requirements and guidelines for these were published on the respective application pages and decisions were made under a peer review process and in coordination with the Vaccine Taskforce.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage grant funders to support so-called 'Wave 2' vaccines in development.

The current overall UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, includes vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. Details can be found on the UKRI website.

UKRI will continue to review ongoing needs in this area with the Vaccine Taskforce.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government to whom (1) the Medical Research Council, and (2) UK Research and Innovation, are accountable for decisions taken to support research into COVID-19 vaccines.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was established under the Higher Education Research Act 2017. The Medical Research Council is a council of UKRI.

The UKRI Board is accountable to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for the delivery of its functions.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government for what reasons the planned construction of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens has not resulted in the gardens and the Buxton Memorial being placed on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register; and whether they will request that they be so placed.

Heritage assets may be added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register for a variety of reasons, such as poor condition, disuse, and, in some cases, the quantifiable risks of development. Historic England has not made an assessment of the potential risks to Victoria Tower Gardens since the Holocaust Memorial Bill is still under consideration. It will continue to monitor the situation and keep its position under regular review.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what changes they are planning in the future funding of Royal Parks to reflect the use of part of Victoria Tower Gardens for a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will be managed and funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, which will also take responsibility for the management of the relevant parts of Victoria Tower Gardens needed for the duration of the construction period. It is not therefore proposed to make any changes to the funding provided by HM Government to The Royal Parks.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which department or other organisation will have responsibility for the maintenance of the Buxton Memorial following the planned construction of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The Royal Parks will continue to have responsibility for the maintenance of the Buxton Memorial Fountain in Victoria Tower Gardens, which commemorates the Parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will continue to have Departmental responsibility for it.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in response to the draft recommendation of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Report Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, published on 4 July, which recommends reconsideration of their proposal to build a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens.

We take our responsibilities under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention seriously and look forward to discussing the report at the World Heritage Committee meeting in September.

My Department will continue to work with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities and The Royal Parks to ensure that the open space and heritage of Victoria Tower Gardens are preserved for future generations, and that the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre maintains the Outstanding Universal Value of the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church World Heritage Site.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 55GC), what steps they will take to ensure that all sports and clubs fulfil their legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010 to make "reasonable adjustments" to accommodate disabled spectators.

Her Majesty’s Government wants everyone to be able to access and enjoy live sport. We are clear that all sports grounds should be inclusive and accessible to all spectators.

We will continue to work closely with our arm’s length bodies, Sport England,UK Sport and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), to make sport and facilities more accessible. We expect all sports and all clubs to take the necessary action to fulfil their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments so that people with disabilities are not placed at a substantial disadvantage when accessing sports venues.

With the support of Level Playing Field, the SGSA developed the Accessible Stadia document and supplementary guidance as a benchmark of good practice for new and existing sports grounds. It offers practical, clear solutions that will help deliver high-quality grounds with facilities and services that are accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their commitment (1) to protecting, and (2) to accessing, green spaces includes the preservation of Victoria Tower Gardens as a fully open park.

The Government’s commitment to protecting access to all green spaces includes Victoria Tower Gardens. There will occasionally be work or programmed maintenance that will require the temporary closure or the limiting of access to these green spaces, but the Government is committed to ensuring this is kept to a minimum.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy concerning permission for new buildings, not connected with open spaces' or leisure purposes, to be built in Royal Parks.

Any decisions concerning permission for new buildings, not connected with open spaces or leisure purposes to be built in the Royal Parks will be made in line with relevant planning legislation and will be the subject of the usual consent procedures.

The Royal Parks are Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, Regent’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that children are not absent from school to take part in protests.

The government is clear that missing school for events such as political protests is unacceptable and should not be condoned.

The department monitors events closely and has recently written to all schools and local authorities supporting leaders and teachers in taking firm action when necessary. The department encourages schools and local authorities to set clear expectations to parents on attendance and has confirmed that absence for this kind of activity should be treated as unauthorised. The department is clear that school leaders and local authorities should be enforcing attendance policies, and they should take immediate action where these policies have been breached. In the most egregious cases this can mean fines or prosecution. The department has shared this communication with Ofsted to ensure all inspectors are clear on the position.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the responses by the University and College Union and relevant university authorities to complaints by students of anti-Semitism and violence perpetrated by fellow students and staff.

The department is deeply concerned about the growth in antisemitic incidents on campus since the 7 October terrorist attacks against Israel and this government takes antisemitism extremely seriously. Departmental officials have assessed evidence of antisemitism and racial hatred linked to incidents at English universities. There is an online "Reporting Extremism" page from where members of the public can raise concerns to the department directly. Where concerns have arisen, officials have reached out to relevant universities to understand what actions they have taken, including reporting issues to the police where appropriate.

The department is also concerned to see antisemitic motions being passed at some universities. The department urges universities to crack down on inflammatory, politically motivated displays of support for a proscribed terrorist organisation, and on demonstrations which make Jewish staff and students feel unsafe.

My right hon. Friend, The Secretary of State for Education and my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education (HE), wrote to all schools, colleges and universities on 11 October, urging them to respond swiftly to hate-related incidents and actively reassure Jewish students that they can study without fear of harassment or intimidation. Minister Halfon wrote again to Vice Chancellors on 16 November, further emphasising the use of disciplinary measures and the importance of police engagement, as well as the suspension of student visas where the student is a foreign national and requested that the universities review its policies and procedures to ensure that they remain fit for purpose at this challenging time. This was one of the key actions set out in the five-point plan for tackling antisemitism in HE, which was published on 5 November. A link to more information can be found here: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/11/05/how-were-protecting-jewish-students-on-university-campuses/.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Rebecca Tuck KC Independent Investigation into Allegations of Antisemitism within NUS, published on 12 January; and what discussions they have had with the National Union of Students about the implementation of those recommendations.

This is a shocking and sobering report showing that the National Union of Students (NUS) has in effect been a hostile place for Jewish students. This is not acceptable. NUS should be a place that is not just safe for Jewish students, but welcoming as well. The department expects the recommendations will be implemented in full and will be monitoring this process. Once that has occurred, the Minister will re-engage with NUS.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the speech by the Minister for Higher and Further Education on 24 February regarding their response to Dr Philip Augar's Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, published in May 2019, what assessment they have made of the impact on their (1) social mobility policy, and (2) Levelling Up policy, of (a) the decision not to restore maintenance grants for university students, and (b) the extension of the tuition fee loan repayment period.

This government is committed to levelling up and true social mobility. Our higher education (HE) reforms will help ensure that students are doing courses that give them the skills and knowledge to move into high-value employment that benefits both them and our dynamic economy. The HE system must be supported to do this, which is why we are putting in almost £900 million of new investment into HE over the next three years, including the largest increase in government funding for the sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.

Our changes to student loans will make the system more sustainable and fairer for students and taxpayers, while continuing to enable anyone with the ability and the ambition to benefit from HE to do so. There will be up to £75 million to deliver a new national state scholarship to support high-achieving disadvantaged students. We have previously announced that maximum maintenance loans will be increased by 2.3% in academic year 2022/23, following a 3.1% increase in 2021/22, taking the support available for the lowest-income students to record levels in cash terms.

A full assessment of the impacts of the HE reform policies and proposals, including changes to student loans and their regional impacts, has been conducted and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reform-equality-impact-assessment.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Ofsted Chief Inspector's call for (1) a register of children being home educated, and (2) stronger legislation to enable the closing down of illegal schools.

The department agrees with the Ofsted Chief Inspector’s call for a form of register for children not in school, and is committed to this. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘Children Not in School’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming months.

The department has previously committed to taking forward measures to make it easier for Ofsted to investigate and gather evidence of breaches of section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, and prosecute those responsible for running unregistered schools, including in the 2019 Integrated Communities Action Plan. Such measures are planned to be taken forward when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of children that have left unregistered religious schools lacking (1) basic skills, or (2) qualifications, since 2013.

Any educational institution which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is ‘looked after’ or has an education, health and care plan) is required to register with the Secretary of State for Education as a school. It is a criminal offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to conduct an independent educational institution unless it is registered.

The existing definition of full-time education does not capture education providers which offer only a narrow curriculum even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day.

The consultation on regulating independent educational institutions included proposals to consider how to expand on the categories of full-time institutions that will be regulated in the same way that independent schools are currently regulated, and to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such education providers. Taking forward the proposals would bring a range of currently unregistered institutions under the independent education regulatory regime.

The government remains committed to changing the law on the registration of independent educational institutions. We repeated that commitment in the department’s evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and we welcomed the recommendation when the report was recently published.

Publication of the response to the regulating independent educational institutions consultation is expected in early 2022.

The department has not made any estimate of the number of children attending or who have left unregistered schools. Those conducting an unregistered school are committing a criminal offence and they do not generally inform the department about the school’s operation. The same principle applies to the number of children who have suffered serious abuse or corporal punishment at an unregistered school.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their response to the Regulating independent educational institutions consultation, which ran from 14 February 2020 to 27 November 2020.

Any educational institution which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is ‘looked after’ or has an education, health and care plan) is required to register with the Secretary of State for Education as a school. It is a criminal offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to conduct an independent educational institution unless it is registered.

The existing definition of full-time education does not capture education providers which offer only a narrow curriculum even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day.

The consultation on regulating independent educational institutions included proposals to consider how to expand on the categories of full-time institutions that will be regulated in the same way that independent schools are currently regulated, and to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such education providers. Taking forward the proposals would bring a range of currently unregistered institutions under the independent education regulatory regime.

The government remains committed to changing the law on the registration of independent educational institutions. We repeated that commitment in the department’s evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and we welcomed the recommendation when the report was recently published.

Publication of the response to the regulating independent educational institutions consultation is expected in early 2022.

The department has not made any estimate of the number of children attending or who have left unregistered schools. Those conducting an unregistered school are committing a criminal offence and they do not generally inform the department about the school’s operation. The same principle applies to the number of children who have suffered serious abuse or corporal punishment at an unregistered school.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate to close the loopholes that enable unregistered but de facto full-time educational settings to avoid registration.

Any educational institution which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is ‘looked after’ or has an education, health and care plan) is required to register with the Secretary of State for Education as a school. It is a criminal offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to conduct an independent educational institution unless it is registered.

The existing definition of full-time education does not capture education providers which offer only a narrow curriculum even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day.

The consultation on regulating independent educational institutions included proposals to consider how to expand on the categories of full-time institutions that will be regulated in the same way that independent schools are currently regulated, and to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such education providers. Taking forward the proposals would bring a range of currently unregistered institutions under the independent education regulatory regime.

The government remains committed to changing the law on the registration of independent educational institutions. We repeated that commitment in the department’s evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and we welcomed the recommendation when the report was recently published.

Publication of the response to the regulating independent educational institutions consultation is expected in early 2022.

The department has not made any estimate of the number of children attending or who have left unregistered schools. Those conducting an unregistered school are committing a criminal offence and they do not generally inform the department about the school’s operation. The same principle applies to the number of children who have suffered serious abuse or corporal punishment at an unregistered school.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their response to the Children not in school consultation, which ran from 2 April 2019 to 24 June 2019; and whether they plan to introduce the register of children educated otherwise than at mainstream schools outlined in that consultation.

The department remains committed to a form of local authority register for children not in school. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘children not in school’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming weeks.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the High Court decision in Goodred v Portsmouth City Council [2021] EWHC 3057, what steps they are taking to ensure that local authorities are aware of their powers to carry out inquiries to check that home schooled children are receiving "a suitable education", as required by the Education Act 1996.

The department intervened in the Goodred v Portsmouth City Council judicial review as a neutral party to assist the court in understanding relevant guidance and legislation. A judgment was handed down on 16 November 2021, where the claim was dismissed on all grounds.

The government has substantially strengthened its guidance to local authorities on exercising their powers in relation to elective home education. The revised guidance, which was published in April 2019, sets out the steps that local authorities should take to satisfy themselves that the education provided by parents at home is suitable, and the actions that they can take if they are not satisfied. This guidance will be reviewed again in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposals to champion freedom of speech in universities extends to (1) hate speech, and (2) antisemitic speech, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Association.

My right hon. Friend, the Sectary of State for Education, announced new measures to strengthen free speech and academic freedom at universities in England on 16 February 2021, in order to stamp out unlawful silencing on campuses. The new measures set out in the policy paper will help to ensure that our universities are places where free speech can thrive. The policy paper can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-free-speech-and-academic-freedom.

However, the right to free speech does not include the right to harass others, or to incite violence or terrorism. The government has always been very clear that there is no place in our society, including in higher education, for hatred or any form of harassment, unlawful discrimination or racism, including antisemitism. Universities have clear responsibilities in this regard: they and other higher education providers should be at the forefront of tackling hatred.

In October 2020, the Secretary of State wrote to all higher education providers in England urging adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. It is estimated that at least 31 additional institutions have adopted the definition since this letter, with more indicating their intention to adopt. We have been clear that adopting the IHRA definition sends a clear and important signal to students and staff that antisemitism is taken seriously and it will not be tolerated. The IHRA ​definition allows providers better to understand and recognise incidents of antisemitism, which helps them​ to address hatred or unlawful discrimination in higher education settings. We will continue to call on providers to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

The government does not see a conflict between protecting freedom of speech and adopting the IHRA definition. Indeed, our strengthened protections for free speech are likely to support Jewish students who on a number of occasions have had their freedom of speech curtailed by others. Universities have clear legal responsibilities regarding discrimination and harassment, and must balance these with their legal duties to protect free speech.

We will continue to work across government to ensure that racism and religious hatred of any kind is not tolerated anywhere, including in our world-leading universities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by University College London What do Students Know and Understand about the Holocaust, published on 19 April 2018, what plans they have for the reform of holocaust education in schools.

The Government has supported Holocaust education for many years and is fully committed to continuing this support.

In recognition of its importance, the Holocaust is the only historic event which is compulsory within the national curriculum for history at key stage 3. This ensures that young people from every background can continue to learn about the Holocaust and its relevance today. Effective teaching about the Holocaust can support pupils to learn about the possible consequences of antisemitism and extremism and to understand how society can prevent the repeat of such a catastrophe.

The Department for Education further supports school pupils’ and teachers’ understanding of the Holocaust by providing funding for the University College London’s Centre for Holocaust Education, £500,000 in the 2020-21 finanical year match-funded by the Pears Foundation, and the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project, £2.193 million for the 2020-21 financial year. These programmes help reach all types of schools and help to develop high-quality teaching across the school sector.

The University College London Centre for Holocaust Education’s report and wider research informs the continuing professional development work for teachers that the Department for Education funds by identifying key gaps in knowledge and underpins the educational resources that the centre makes available to teachers across the country.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Berridge on 12 May (HL Deb, col 569), what plans they have to ensure that secondary school pupils receive adequate sex education despite the right of parents with objections to request to withdraw them from the lessons.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools, from September 2020.

The statutory guidance sets out that parents will continue to have a right to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, should be granted up to three terms before their child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16, the legal age of sexual consent. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Parents will not be able to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of the science curriculum. There is also no right to withdraw from Relationships Education at primary or secondary as we believe the content of these subjects is essential in supporting pupils’ wellbeing and attainment, and helping young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.

Before granting any such request from parents, it would be good practice for the headteacher to discuss the request with parents and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. Good practice is also likely to include the headteacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child.

Parents should also be given every opportunity to understand the purpose and content of Relationships Education and RSE. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum. This can be an important opportunity to talk about how these subjects contribute to wider support in terms of pupil wellbeing and keeping children safe.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps will be taken to ensure that the right of secondary school pupils to opt in to sex education three terms before they turn 16 will be independently exercised in circumstances where their parents had previously withdrawn them from sex education lessons.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools, from September 2020.

The statutory guidance sets out that parents will continue to have a right to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, should be granted up to three terms before their child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16, the legal age of sexual consent. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Parents will not be able to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of the science curriculum. There is also no right to withdraw from Relationships Education at primary or secondary as we believe the content of these subjects is essential in supporting pupils’ wellbeing and attainment, and helping young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.

Before granting any such request from parents, it would be good practice for the headteacher to discuss the request with parents and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. Good practice is also likely to include the headteacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child.

Parents should also be given every opportunity to understand the purpose and content of Relationships Education and RSE. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum. This can be an important opportunity to talk about how these subjects contribute to wider support in terms of pupil wellbeing and keeping children safe.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether universities in England and Wales (1) have breached the public sector equality duty, and (2) are compliant with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, by permitting Israeli Apartheid Week activities to take place on their campuses.

There is no place in our society - including within higher education (HE) – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism, including antisemitism. The government will continue to work with universities to ensure we stamp out antisemitism in all its forms.

The government expects HE providers to take their responsibilities, including those under the Equality Act 2010 (including the Public Sector Equality Duty) and to promote freedom of speech, seriously. We expect HE providers to have robust policies and procedures in place to meet, and balance, their legal obligations effectively and to investigate and swiftly address reports of hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

We expect HE providers to have clearly set out procedures and policies for events and the hosting of external speakers, which allow for open, transparent events, challenge and debate and ensure that lawful speech can occur on campuses. Under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, HE providers have a legal duty to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for their members, students, employees of the establishment and visiting speakers.

In relation to events occurring under the banner of Israeli Apartheid Week, it is crucial that HE providers handle these appropriately, taking into account their legal obligations to ensure that our values, expectations and laws are upheld.

The government strongly encourages HE providers to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. It is an important tool in tackling antisemitism and a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of SOAS University of London’s compliance with the (1) public sector equality duty, and (2) International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, further to the decision to host a student workshop on advocacy for Palestine on campus on 7 March sponsored by EuroPal Forum; and what assessment they have made of (a) EuroPal Forum’s, and (b) EuroPal Forum’s senior leadership’s, relationship with Hamas.

This government has committed to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities and ensure they are places where free speech and debate can thrive – this includes considering the underpinning legal framework. We have made it clear that if universities do not uphold free speech, the government will.

However, there is no place in our society - including within higher education (HE) – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism, including antisemitism. The government will continue to work with universities to ensure we stamp out antisemitism in all its forms.

The government expects HE providers to take their responsibilities, including those under the Equality Act 2010 and for freedom of speech, seriously. We expect HE providers to have robust policies and procedures in place to meet, and balance, their legal obligations effectively and to investigate and swiftly address reports of hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

We expect HE providers to have clearly set out procedures and policies for events and the hosting of external speakers, which allow for open, transparent events, challenge and debate and ensure that lawful speech can occur on campuses. Under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, HE providers have a legal duty to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure freedom of speech within the law for their members, students, employees and visiting speakers.

The government does not support blanket no-platforming of individuals or organisations. There have been some examples of attempts to restrict free speech under the banner of no-platforming or safe spaces and it is important that this does not become commonplace.

The government adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism in 2016 and has written to HE providers on several occasions encouraging them to consider adopting this definition. The government sees the IHRA definition as an important tool in tackling antisemitism and a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously, which is why we will continue to call on higher education providers to adopt this definition.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to prevent flooding along Millbank; and what measures are involved.

Millbank in Westminster is at risk from two main sources of flooding: surface water flooding caused by heavy rainfall and flooding from the tidal Thames. Lead Local Flood Authorities (London Boroughs) hold responsibility for managing surface water flooding, under the Flood and Water Management Act. As a Category 1 responder, the Environment Agency works with other authorities, where possible, to support their response to surface water flooding.

The Thames' tidal defence network is made up of 330 kilometres of flood walls, embankments, 9 major barriers, pumping stations, and flood gates. The Thames Barrier is at the heart of this network, having made its 200th closure to prevent flooding in central London in October this year. These structures protect over £321 billion worth of property and 1.4 million people from flooding. These structures are all having to work harder due to climate change.

The Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 Plan sets a long-term approach upgrading flood defences to manage rising sea levels whilst delivering wider social, environmental and economic benefits for the Thames Estuary. The Thames Estuary 2100 Plan was designed with climate change at its core. It was the first adaptive flood risk management strategy developed in England and is internationally recognised as a leading example of a climate adaptation strategy. By taking an adaptive approach, we can better anticipate and respond to a range of future climate scenarios, ensuring we are investing in the right flood risk management actions at the right time, to ensure the resilience of the estuary and its communities in the future.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that any financial support they provide to assist the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Gaza and the West Bank is spent as intended.

The UK has pledged £764 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. We?have?delivered?additional vital support in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by providing?£840,000?to WHO and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of?medical equipment,?treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

All UK funding to the OPTs is subject to robust controls against fraud and the diversion of aid, and DFID’s funding agreements also commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter terrorism legislation.?We maintain regular dialogue with all implementing partners to ensure UK funding is spent as intended.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the review of low traffic neighbourhoods announced on 30 July, what steps they plan to take to prevent the introduction of new low traffic neighbourhoods until the review is completed.

The Government’s review of low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) schemes is underway. The Department recommends that local authorities should not be introducing any new LTNs, unless already contractually committed, until after the review has concluded.

Installation of LTNs and other traffic management measures remain the responsibility of local councils, who are accountable for the decisions they take.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they have given to local authorities which are considering traffic restriction schemes of the changes in traffic patterns resulting from (1) the COVID-19 lockdowns, and (2) increased working from home.

It is for local authorities to gather relevant data as part of the development of traffic management schemes, which may include local traffic count and travel demand data.

The Department has published the Active Travel Toolkit which provides advice to local authorities on developing walking and cycling schemes, including advice on travel demand management plans. The Department has also published additional Network Management Duty guidance for local authorities on managing their road networks to provide measures to support active travel. Both are available free on the Department’s website.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 in regards to providing sufficiently for (1) consultation of the public before the implementation of low traffic neighbourhood schemes, and (2) post-implementation consultation.

No such assessment has been made by the Department. Low traffic neighbourhood schemes may be implemented using standard traffic restrictions, which require a Traffic Regulation Order made following the Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. These already include a requirement for ongoing consultation and evaluation for 6-months following the making of an experimental TRO. For permanent TROs, the regulations require consultation on proposed orders, including with a range of statutory consultees.

The Department recommends as good practice that authorities carry out post implementation reviews for all permanent traffic orders.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing a right for local businesses to require a public inquiry in relation to traffic restrictions imposed under the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996.

LTN and traffic filter restrictions require traffic regulation orders (TROs), which must be made following the procedures set out in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. These already include a requirement for ongoing consultation and evaluation for 6-months following the making of an experimental TRO. If an authority wishes to make an experimental TRO permanent, there are additional consultation requirements as part of the process for making a permanent traffic order under section 1 of the 1984 Act.

The regulations also require a public inquiry to be held into objections to proposed permanent orders in certain circumstances. The Department has no plans to amend legislation with respect to public inquiries.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) necessity, and (2) sufficiency, of consultation of the public at the conclusion of a period of experimental traffic orders made under section 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

No assessment has been made by the Department. However, LTN and traffic filter restrictions require traffic regulation orders (TROs), that must be made following the procedures set out in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. These already include a requirement for ongoing consultation and evaluation for six-months following the making of an experimental TRO.

If an authority wishes to make an experimental TRO permanent, there are additional consultation requirements as part of the process for making a permanent traffic order under section 1 of the 1984 Act.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of local authorities introducing traffic filters to reduce nitrogen dioxide pollution; and of whether this displaces such pollution from city centres to city peripheries; and what plans they have, if any, to amend the regulations relating to the use of traffic filters in such circumstances.

Under the NO2 Programme, local authorities with persistent exceedances of nitrogen dioxide concentrations are required to assess and implement measures to reduce and maintain nitrogen dioxide levels to within legal limits in the shortest possible time. Local authorities make their assessment using rigorous transport and air quality modelling. This is informed by impact assessments, which include the consideration of traffic displacement, and extensive public consultation. Measures may include implementation of a Clean Air Zone by a local authority using powers under the Transport Act 2000. Clean Air Zones reduce the frequency of journeys taken by the most-polluting vehicles within the zone and can increase vehicle turnover to cleaner vehicles.

Local authorities monitor NO2 reduction measures throughout their lifetime in collaboration with the DfT/ Defra Joint Air Quality Unit.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 53GC), when they will publish guidance for taxis and private hire vehicles regarding a more inclusive and accessible service; and when they will introduce legislation to make disability awareness training compulsory for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.

On 28 March, the Department published a consultation on updated best practice guidance for local licensing authorities, which advises that every driver should complete disability awareness training. The consultation has now closed, and officials are carefully considering the responses received in order to finalise and publish the substantive guidance document.

The Department remains committed to introducing mandatory disability awareness training for taxi and PHV drivers through new National Minimum Standards for licensing authorities when Parliamentary time allows.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 51GC), when they will issue guidance on the promotion and facilitation of British Sign Language (BSL) and establish a BSL advisory board.

We anticipate that the BSL Board will be established by late Autumn 2022. Guidance on the promotion and facilitation of British Sign Language will follow.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the National Disability Strategy 2022 update.

The Minister for Disabled People provided an update on the National Disability Strategy to the House through a Written Ministerial Statement on Monday 13th June.

In January 2022, the High Court declared it was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations. We are disappointed by and strongly disagree with this finding, and the Secretary of State has sought permission to appeal the High Court's declaration. We remain committed to improving opportunities and outcomes for disabled people as we await the outcome of the appeal.

7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to develop a national tariff for fertility treatment in order to achieve a strategy to achieve best value for the NHS.

A benchmark price for in-vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection remains part of the new NHS Payment Scheme. There are no current plans to develop a national tariff for these treatments.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Nov 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines Fertility problems: assessment and treatment, published on 20 February 2013 and updated on 6 September 2017, what assessment they have made of the access criteria for IVF.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) fertility guidelines are currently under review by NICE, who expects revised guidelines to be published by the end of 2024.

The Women’s Health Strategy sets out our longer-term ambition to work with NHS England and integrated care boards to ensure that the recommendations of the revised guidelines are fully implemented.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that same-sex couples have equal access to IVF provision.

Funding decisions for health services in England, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF), are made by integrated care boards (ICBs) and are based on the clinical needs of their local population.

The Government published the first Women’s Health Strategy on 20 July 2022, which contained several important changes and future ambitions to improve the variations in access to National Health Service funded fertility services. This includes improving access to IVF for female same-sex couples by removing the additional financial burden they face when accessing treatment. NHS England are developing guidance for ICBs to assist in their commissioning plans, which will be published shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they take to monitor disparities in access to fertility treatment caused by local health authorities, in particular surrounding access of same-sex couples to treatment.

As part of the first-year commitments in the Women’s Health Strategy, we published our in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) transparency tool on GOV.UK in July 2023. This tool compiles published integrated care board policies on their local fertility treatment offer, to inform patients, to keep track nationally of implementation progress, and to highlight poor performers.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that young people considering gender transition have adequate access to information about long-term health effects of gender reassignment surgery and drugs.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to reinstating routine tongue-tie checks for newborn babies.

While there is no specific national screening programme or requirement for routinely checking for tongue-tie in newborn babies, where there are difficulties with breast feeding, it is a factor to be considered by health professionals. The Healthy Child Programme will be updated later this year to include guidance on supporting families to connect with services to manage the condition.

We have also recently announced £50 million to improve breastfeeding support. Local authorities will have flexibility in deciding how this funding is used to support families. This may include investing in staff training to discuss additional needs, such as tongue-tie or challenges with lactation and ensuring timely support and treatment is available and accessible.

10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Kamall on 9 November (HL Deb, col 1588) that the time limit for storage of gametes and embryos will be amended by legislation to extend it beyond 10 years "when parliamentary time allows", when they expect that to be achieved.

The Department is in the process of finalising the details of the policy. The detailed implementation of the policy will be announced in due course.

7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their proposal to increase the current 10-year storage limits for eggs, sperm and embryos, whether they will immediately introduce a moratorium on the destruction of eggs that reach their 10-year limit before the legislation is passed.

The detailed implementation of the policy will be announced in due course.

21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bethell on 20 October 2020 (HL9219) and 25 June (HL1299), why they have not yet published the outcome of their consultation on gamete and embryo storage limits.

We intend to publish the Government’s response after the summer recess.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date they will publish the outcome of their consultation on gamete (egg, sperm) and embryo storage limits, which closed on 5 May 2020.

We aim to publish the Government’s response to the consultation before the summer recess.

11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to answer the Written Question asked by Baroness Deech on 8 February (HL13065); for what reasons their answer has been delayed; and when they expect to respond to the consultation on Statutory Storage Limits for eggs, sperm and embryos.

I responded to the noble Lady’s question on 12 March.

The Department has been considering the responses to the public consultation about egg, sperm and embryo storage limits and options for a revised scheme. A Government response to the consultation will follow in due course.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to renew their extension of the storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos, announced in April 2020, so that the limit covers the duration for which the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic are in place.

There are no current plans to renew the two year extension to storage limits for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos. However, we will keep this under active review in the light of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the outcome of their consultation on gamete (egg, sperm) and embryo storage limits.

The Department has been considering the responses to the public consultation. A Government response will follow in due course.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the study from the Clalit Research Institute, published on 13 January, which found that the efficacy of one dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination was 33 per cent.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed preliminary data from the Clalit Research Institute on vaccine effect, including the vaccine effectiveness estimate at day 14 after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The JCVI concluded that the results are preliminary and there is a need for greater clarity, including full information on the dataset, before further consideration or comment. The JCVI will review this data carefully once the full study details are released.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Doctors' Association, reported in The Times on 21 January, to guarantee that all patients will be given their second COVID-19 vaccinations within 12 weeks of the first “at the absolute latest”.

Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that we should prioritise giving as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing two doses in as short a time as possible. The four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers agree this will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the National Health Service and equivalent health services. The evidence shows that one dose of either vaccine provides a high level of protection from COVID-19.

For both vaccines, data provided to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency demonstrates that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered, both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. Everyone will receive their second dose within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether a patients' consent to have a COVID-19 vaccination followed by another approximately three weeks later is still effective if the second vaccination is delayed.

The process for consent applies to all vaccines, including those against COVID-19. An individual gives consent to receive a full course of treatment rather than consenting to a time frame for when the treatment is to be received. Consent remains valid unless the individual who gave it withdraws it.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opinion expressed by consultants at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, as reported in The Times on 21 January, that delaying the second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations risks (1) lower effectiveness, and (2) viral mutation.

We have made no such assessment.

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring the effectiveness of the vaccines, including the effects of dosage schedules. Data from the programme shows the first dose of either the BioNTech/Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provides substantial protection within two to three weeks of vaccination. Additionally, data from PHE’s SIREN study shows that both these vaccines provide high protection against COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers after a single dose, beyond 56 days of having been vaccinated. The second dose completes the course and is vital for longer term protection. By the end of March 2021, it was estimated that a total 10,400 deaths were averted as a consequence of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

PHE is conducting enhanced surveillance for the small number of individuals who may develop COVID-19 post-vaccination. This enhanced surveillance, including viral whole genome sequencing which detects viral mutation, can identify whether an individual did not successfully mount an immune response to a vaccination, or whether the disease presented despite evidence of an immune response to vaccination. Understanding these factors are an important part of ensuring the success of the vaccination programme and allows the Government to understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond swiftly.

13th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 12 January (HL Deb, col 596), what data they have used to determine that delaying a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine beyond 42 days from the first dose is effective and free of risk; and where, if anywhere, this data has been published.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered data on the efficacy of a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It concluded that a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine would remain highly effective in the weeks following administration. The JCVI’s statement Optimising the COVID-19 vaccination programme for maximum short-term impact: Short statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is attached.

Public Health England publishes a monthly report on vaccine effectiveness. The most recent study, published on 17 March, shows that vaccines provide high protection against COVID-19 infections after a single dose, beyond 56 days of having been vaccinated. A copy of Public Health England vaccine effectiveness report is attached.

5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have of the impact on the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination of postponing a second dose of the vaccination beyond 21 days from the first compared to giving such a dose within 21 days.

A phase three clinical trial study on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy demonstrated a two-dose vaccine efficacy of 95% with a second dose delivered between 19 and 42 days. A copy of the study Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine is attached.


Using data available from this study, Public Health England estimated that short term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be approximately 89%. This is the efficacy calculated 15 to 21 days after the first dose.


The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s view is that protective immunity from the first dose likely lasts for a duration of 12 weeks.

5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to collect evidence of the effectiveness of the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination being administered more than 21 days after the first.

Based on the data available to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation the first dose of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provides substantial protection within two to three weeks of in particular for severe COVID-19 disease. The second vaccine dose is likely to be more important for duration and sustaining such protection. An appropriate dose interval may further increase vaccine efficacy. In the short term, the additional increase of vaccine efficacy from the second dose is likely to be modest as the great majority of the initial protection from clinical disease is after the first dose of vaccine.

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring the effectiveness of the vaccines in the real world, including the effects of dosage schedules. Early data from PHE’s SIREN study shows a promising impact of vaccination on infection in healthcare workers aged under 65 years old.

Data shows one dose reduces the risk of catching infection by more than 70%, rising to 85% after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the outcome of the consultation on egg, sperm and embryo storage limits.

The public consultation for Statutory Storage Limits for eggs, sperm and embryos completed earlier this year and received a large number of responses, with a wide range of views on this issue.

The Department is currently reviewing these responses and a Government response to the consultation is expected to be published in early 2021.

5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 1 October (HL Deb col 287), how they calculated the figure that 89 per cent of the population have telephones whose hardware and software is compatible with the NHS COVID-19 application; and what assessment they have made of the accuracy of this calculation in the light of (1) Office for National Statistics data on smartphone ownership, and (2) reports of the application's lack of compatibility with some smartphone operating systems.

Estimates using the latest data directly from Apple and Google show that 89% of people with a smartphone in the United Kingdom are able to use the app. These are a device that can install a version of the iOS or Android operating system with the contact tracing technology the National Health Service COVID-19 app uses. For Apple this is iOS versions 13.5 and higher and for Android version Marshmallow (v6.0) and higher. The 89% estimate is made up of 87% of iOS smartphone owners and 93% of Android smartphone owners.

1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Fertility treatment 2018: trends and figures, published on 30 June, which reported that "since 2013, the number of egg and embryo storage cycles increased fivefold to just under 9,000 cycles in 2018", what plans they have to expedite legislation to remove the 10-year time limit for which frozen eggs and embryos can be stored.

The Government ran a public consultation between 11 February and 5 May 2020, seeking views about changing the statutory storage limits for embryos and gametes. The Department is currently analysing responses. We intend to publish a Government response to the consultation later this year, which will our outline our plans.

In the meantime, the Government has given a two-year extension to all those with embryos and gametes in storage, who have been affected by delays to treatment caused by the response to COVID-19. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 were laid on 3 June 2020 and cover anyone who has not been able to access treatment as a result of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority temporarily suspending fertility treatment services on 23 March 2020.

7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following reports that perpetrators of the 7 October terrorist attacks on Israel will be financially rewarded via welfare payments funded by the Palestinian Authority, what steps they are taking to ensure that aid coming from the UK does not support any such arrangements.

Following Official Development Assistance (ODA) prioritisation exercises undertaken in March 2021, the UK no longer provides direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. All UK support to the Palestinian Authority is provided through technical advice, procured through commercial suppliers. No UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners, or their families or the Martyrs Fund, nor has it ever been. We continue to deliver a clear and long-standing message to the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority that the prisoner payments system should be reformed so that it is needs-based, transparent and affordable. FCDO officials maintain a regular dialogue with international partners on this issue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to make representations to the government of Egypt concerning the importance of including the Jewish community in official ceremonies related to the Ben Ezra synagogue and similar historical and cultural landmarks in that country.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Egypt in regard to the right of access and freedom of worship in the newly restored and historically significant Ben Ezra Synagogue in that country.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for religious freedom of the removal by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities of a geniza, a resting place for discarded documents containing the name of God, from a Jewish burial ground in Cairo without guarantee of access for the Jewish community.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what safeguards they have put in place to ensure that no UK funds go directly or indirectly through the Palestinian Authority's so called "Martyrs Fund" to the those responsible for murdering Lucy Dee, Maia Dee and Rina Dee in April.

The Government was appalled by the horrific murder of Lucy, Maia, and Rina Dee in a terrorist attack earlier this year. I [Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon] and the Foreign Secretary also passed on their condolences to Rabbi Leo Dee when they met him in person in June. Our thoughts continue to be with Rabbi Dee and his family in the wake of this tragedy. Following Official Development Assistance (ODA) prioritisation exercises undertaken in March 2021, the UK no longer provides direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. All UK support to the Palestinian Authority is provided through technical advice, procured through commercial suppliers. No UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners, or their families or the Martyrs Fund, nor has it ever been. We continue to deliver a clear and long-standing message to the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority that the prisoner payments system should be reformed so that it is needs based, transparent and affordable. Officials maintain a regular dialogue with international partners on this issue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what audit reports have been carried out on payments they have made to the Palestinian Recovery and Development Programme.

Following official development assistance (ODA) prioritisation exercises undertaken in March 2021, the UK no longer provides direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. All UK support to the Palestinian Authority is provided through technical advice, procured through commercial suppliers. The audits relate to UK funding provided through the World Bank's Palestinian Recovery and Development Programme, which has now closed, to the Palestinian Authority.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 4 April (HL6671), what guidance is given to British diplomats on maintaining political impartiality when they are acting privately in a public setting, as distinct from carrying out their diplomatic responsibilities.

British diplomats are respected around the world because of the high standards to which they hold themselves, of which the Diplomatic Service Code is a key part. The private conduct of British diplomats is governed by the Diplomatic Service Code, contained in the Diplomatic Service Regulations (DSRs) as DSR1. DSR36 of these Regulations also highlights the requirements relating to political activity.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the actions of British diplomats stationed in Jerusalem who participated in the Palestine Marathon on 10 March, started by a Fatah official who was under investigation by FIFA for glorifying terrorism; and whether they have assessed the conduct of those diplomats in respect of Articles 13–15 of the Diplomatic Service Code.

British diplomats are respected around the world because of the high standards to which they hold themselves, of which the Diplomatic Service Code is a key part. Those who participated in the marathon did so privately but we do remind staff to be mindful of their responsibilities as diplomats. The UK's position in relation to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is long-standing: we wish to see a viable two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace, prosperity and security. The Foreign Secretary and I [Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon] were pleased to welcome Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen on 21 March to sign the 2030 UK-Israel Roadmap, which outlines how the UK and Israel intend to work together to strengthen our partnership and to strengthen economic security for Palestinians.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of (1) Hindus, (2) Christians, and (3) other non-Muslim minorities, by the government of Pakistan; and whether they will make representations to that government concerning the enforcement of the law of blasphemy against those minorities.

Protecting minority communities continues to be central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. I [Lord Ahmad] discussed the need to safeguard the rights of religious minorities and raised the proposed amendments to the blasphemy laws during my meeting with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, on 30 January. I also discussed blasphemy laws and the importance of promoting respect for all religions during my meeting with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 14 December 2022.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of continuing negotiations with the government of Iran regarding a nuclear deal, given (1) that country's past breaches of it, and (2) Iran's progress towards manufacturing nuclear bombs.

After many months of negotiations, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Coordinator tabled viable deals in March and again in August 2022 which would have returned Iran to full compliance with its JCPoA commitments and returned the US to the deal. Iran refused to seize a critical diplomatic opportunity to conclude the deal with continued demands beyond the scope of the JCPoA.

Iran's actions over the past months have made progress towards a diplomatic solution much more difficult. We remain determined that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon. We are considering next steps with our international partners.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Iraq on compensation for property deprived of the Iraqi Jewish community in the 1940s and 1950s.

The UK has not specifically discussed compensation for property deprived of the Iraqi Jewish community in the 1940s and 1950s with the Government of Iraq. However, the UK is firmly committed to protecting ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, including the Jewish community. We regularly discuss the importance of the rights of minority communities with the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government and we will continue to press these issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Iraq on the preservation of Jewish heritage sites in that country.

The UK is firmly committed to protecting ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, including the Jewish community. We regularly discuss the importance of the rights of minority communities with the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional government. We recognise the importance of protecting and preserving religious heritage sites for groups and through British Council and HMG funding we have delivered eight cultural heritage projects in Iraq. We will continue to highlight the importance of the preservation of heritage sites with the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 30 January (HL4764 and 4765), what assessment they have made of the Jewish right to visit, as distinct from worship at, the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif); and the significance of this right for the peace process.

The UK believes in the importance of upholding the 'Status Quo' arrangements, which enable all three Abrahamic faiths to worship in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the view of the UK, the Status Quo is clear that those of other faiths are able to visit the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, but that only Muslims are permitted to worship there. A final determination of the status of Jerusalem should be sought as part of a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. Until then, the Status Quo preserves the safety and security of the holy sites and those who visit and worship there.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of (1) Jordan, and (2) Saudi Arabia, on the admission and freedom of worship of Jews in those countries.

We have not raised the freedom of worship of Jews as a standalone issue in either Saudi Arabia or Jordan. However the UK discusses Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and wider human rights on a regular basis with the Saudi and Jordanian authorities. Promoting the right to FoRB is a longstanding human rights priority for the UK and we will continue to engage with governments, civil societies and human rights groups to ensure that people of all faiths, including Jews, are able to practice their religion without persecution or fear.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the government of Pakistan (1) to protect the Jewish community in that country, and (2) to support freedom of worship and belief.

Protecting freedom of religion or belief for minority communities is central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. We regularly raise the treatment of minority communities at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. On 30 January, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, discussed the need to protect religious minorities with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada. Lord Ahmad also discussed the importance of promoting respect for all religions during his meeting with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 14 December 2022.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Jewish right to visit the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) under the terms of the Status Quo arrangement.

The UK continues to be supportive of the Status Quo arrangements which enable all three Abrahamic faiths to worship in the Old City of Jerusalem. I reiterated this position during my recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate General in Jerusalem regularly raise issues of religious freedom with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. We continue to call on all sides to uphold the historic status quo at the Holy Sites.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Pakistan, if any, about the (1) safety, and (2) well-being, of around two hundred Jews living in that country.

Protecting religious minorities is central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. We regularly raise the treatment of minority communities at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. Most recently, on 14 December, I discussed freedom of religion or belief and the need to promote respect for all religions with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Jordan to ensure safe visits by Jews to the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif).

The UK values and supports Jordanian Custodianship of Christian and Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem. We engage with the Jordanian Waqf in Jerusalem frequently about access and movement to the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount. The UK continues to be supportive of the Status Quo arrangements which enable all three Abrahamic faiths to worship in the Old City of Jerusalem. I reiterated this position during my recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Henry Jackson Society UNRWA's Future Reconsidered, published on 23 February 2020, which referred to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as a significant road block to peace and a Two State solution, whether they will review the $92m annual funding they provide to the Agency.

We remain longstanding supporters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and their work to support Palestinian refugees across the region including Gaza. Minister Milling had the opportunity to see the UNWRA supported refugee camp in Jerusalem during her recent visit to the region in June 2022 and saw first-hand the challenges refugees face along with the impact of valuable UK support. At the UNRWA pledging conference in New York in June, we announced a new multi-year funding programme with the agency providing £15 million in 2022, which helps UNRWA provide education to over 533,000 children a year (half of them girls), and access to health services for 3.5 million Palestinian refugees.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, during their chairmanship of the 2024 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, to prioritise the case for Poland to set up a scheme (1) to make restitution of, and (2) to commemorate, private property stolen during the Holocaust.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an important intergovernmental organisation uniting governments and experts to strengthen Holocaust remembrance. The UK is still considering the focus of its chairmanship in 2024. IHRA's remit does not include property restitution.

The UK continues to meet its commitments under the Terezín declaration. The UK has raised concerns with the Polish Government about legislation introduced last year on property restitution. The UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles, has followed developments closely and, through the British Embassy in Warsaw, we have been acting in consultation with our likeminded partners to engage with the Polish Government. Following the passage of the legislation, which the UK Government judges will have a negative effect on legitimate claimants, the then Minister for Europe (Wendy Morton) publicly expressed her disappointment and called for legal avenues for claims to remain open. Lord Pickles will chair a discussion on restitution at the Terezín Declaration Conference on the 3rd of November 2022. Working with like-minded partners and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO), FCDO will continue to urge Poland to fairly, objectively and sensitively deal with Holocaust-era property restitution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, during their chairmanship of the 2024 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, to call on Poland (1) to honour its commitment to the democratic principle of property rights, and (2) to resolve the claims of those whose property was stolen in Poland during the Holocaust.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an important intergovernmental organisation uniting governments and experts to strengthen Holocaust remembrance. The UK is still considering the focus of its chairmanship in 2024. IHRA's remit does not include property restitution.

The UK continues to meet its commitments under the Terezín declaration. The UK has raised concerns with the Polish Government about legislation introduced last year on property restitution. The UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles, has followed developments closely and, through the British Embassy in Warsaw, we have been acting in consultation with our likeminded partners to engage with the Polish Government. Following the passage of the legislation, which the UK Government judges will have a negative effect on legitimate claimants, the then Minister for Europe (Wendy Morton) publicly expressed her disappointment and called for legal avenues for claims to remain open. Lord Pickles will chair a discussion on restitution at the Terezín Declaration Conference on the 3rd of November 2022. Working with like-minded partners and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO), FCDO will continue to urge Poland to fairly, objectively and sensitively deal with Holocaust-era property restitution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the government of Poland regarding the restitution of property seized from Polish Jewish citizens during the period of Nazi occupation; and what was the outcome of any such discussions.

The UK continues to meet its commitments under the Terezín declaration.

Her Majesty's Government (HMG) raised concerns with the Polish Government about legislation introduced last year concerning the restitution of property seized during the Nazi occupation. The UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, Lord Pickles, has followed developments closely and through the British Embassy in Warsaw, we have been acting in consultation with our likeminded partners to engage with the Polish Government. Following the passage of the legislation, which HMG judges will have a negative effect on legitimate claimants, the then Minister for Europe (Wendy Morton) publicly expressed their disappointment and called for legal avenues for claims to remain open.

The UK will continue to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Lord Pickles is chairing a discussion on restitution at the Terezín Declaration Conference on 3 November. Working with like-minded partners and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO), the FCDO will continue to urge Poland to fairly, objectively and sensitively deal with Holocaust-era property restitution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's reported removal of surveillance cameras from the nuclear sites in that country; and what assessment they have made of the impact that this will have on the International Atomic Energy Agency's ability to track Iran's advance towards a nuclear programme.

Iran has confirmed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) its decision to end all JCPoA-related transparency measures. The removal of IAEA surveillance cameras jeopardises the ability of the IAEA to restore continuity of knowledge on key parts of the Iranian nuclear programme, including on the production of centrifuges. We urge Iran to cease its nuclear escalation and urgently take the deal on the table that would return it to its JCPoA commitments, and bring US back to the deal.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take, if any, to re-introduce sunset clauses to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA).

We are at the end of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The deal on the table is a result of intensive negotiations and is based on input from all JCPoA participants, and the United States. The US has offered to lift JCPoA-related sanctions which would benefit the Iranian people. In exchange, Iran would reverse its nuclear escalation, return its nuclear programme to strict JCPoA limits and restore extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The sunset clauses will remain in a restored JCPoA.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the adequacy of oversight of Iran's nuclear programme in the renegotiated Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA) agreement; and (2) the possibility of re-imposing sanctions in the event of breach of the agreement.

We are at the end of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The deal on the table is a result of intensive negotiations and is based on input from all JCPoA participants, and the United States. The US has offered to lift JCPoA-related sanctions which would benefit the Iranian people. In exchange, Iran would reverse its nuclear escalation, return its nuclear programme to strict JCPoA limits and restore extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The ability to re-impose sanctions in response to Iranian non-compliance with its commitments is a key part of the JCPoA, and the process for doing this is set out in the JCPoA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of cash that will become available to Iran in the event of the renegotiated Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA) agreement coming into effect.

We are at the end of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The deal on the table is a result of intensive negotiations and is based on input from all JCPoA participants, and the United States. The US has offered to lift JCPoA-related sanctions which would benefit the Iranian people. In exchange, Iran would reverse its nuclear escalation, return its nuclear programme to strict JCPoA limits and restore extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the funding of (1) the Iranian Foundation Bonyad Taavon Basij, and (2) the Basij Resistance force; and what assessment they have made of the reported use of child soldiers by that force.

Should the deal in Vienna be concluded, the UK would not lift any sanctions. The UK maintains a number of sanctions consistent with the nuclear deal, including sanctions related to human rights, proliferation and terrorism. The full UK Sanctions List is available on the GOV.UK website (www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list), which provides details of those individuals and entities designated under sanctions regulations made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act. We keep all regimes and designations under close review.

The UK will continue to condemn the IRGC's destabilising regional activities and maintains a range of sanctions aimed at deterring such behaviour. This includes IRGC political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, and militias in Iraq. The UK stands firmly against recruitment and use of child soldiers in conflict, as outlined by the Paris Principles which the government has endorsed.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sanctions, if any, they have placed on the Central Bank of Iran and the National Development Fund; what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of those sanctions; what assessment they have made of the possibility of lifting those sanctions in a re-negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA); and what assessment they have made of the reported funding by those entities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force, and Hezbollah.

Should the deal in Vienna be concluded, the UK would not lift any sanctions. The UK maintains a number of sanctions consistent with the nuclear deal, including sanctions related to human rights, proliferation and terrorism. The full UK Sanctions List is available on the GOV.UK website (www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list), which provides details of those individuals and entities designated under sanctions regulations made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act. We keep all regimes and designations under close review.

The UK will continue to condemn the IRGC's destabilising regional activities and maintains a range of sanctions aimed at deterring such behaviour. This includes IRGC political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, and militias in Iraq. The UK stands firmly against recruitment and use of child soldiers in conflict, as outlined by the Paris Principles which the government has endorsed.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sanctions, if any, they have placed on the Iranian Foundation Bonyad Taavon Basij; what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of any such sanctions; and what assessment they have made of the possibility of lifting any such sanctions in a re-negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA).

Should the deal in Vienna be concluded, the UK would not lift any sanctions. The UK maintains a number of sanctions consistent with the nuclear deal, including sanctions related to human rights, proliferation and terrorism. The full UK Sanctions List is available on the GOV.UK website (www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list), which provides details of those individuals and entities designated under sanctions regulations made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act. We keep all regimes and designations under close review.

The UK will continue to condemn the IRGC's destabilising regional activities and maintains a range of sanctions aimed at deterring such behaviour. This includes IRGC political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, and militias in Iraq. The UK stands firmly against recruitment and use of child soldiers in conflict, as outlined by the Paris Principles which the government has endorsed.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent Russian demands in negotiations with Iran towards a new Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement.

We are at the end of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). There is a fair and comprehensive deal on the table which would reverse Iran's nuclear programme, return its programme to strict JCPoA limits, and restore extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It would also provide economic benefit to the Iranian people.

The sanctions in place on Russia due to their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine are entirely separate to the Iran nuclear deal. We reject attempts to exploit JCPoA negotiations to obtain assurances that are separate to the JCPoA. We urge all parties to focus on rapidly concluding the deal and implementing it in full.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the nuclear security risk of continuing negotiations with Iran towards the return of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) agreement, given the potential threat of the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict.

We are at the end of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPoA). There is a fair and comprehensive deal on the table which would reverse Iran's nuclear programme, return its programme to strict JCPoA limits, and restore extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It would also provide economic benefit to the Iranian people.

We urge all parties to focus on rapidly concluding the deal and implementing it in full.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the appointment of Ahmad Vahidi as Minister of the Interior in the government of Iran.

We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We have called and will continue to call President Raisi and his government, including the Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi, to set Iran on a different course. This includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of the UK contribution to the Palestinian Authority in the last 12 months; and what assessment they have made of the sources of funds for the Palestinian Authority Martyrs’ Fund.

In financial year 2020/21 we provided £20m in funding to the Palestinian Authority to support the salaries of education workers in the West Bank. No UK aid is used for the Martyrs Fund directly or indirectly.

9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of the UK contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency in the last 12 months; and what steps have they taken to ensure that school books for children supplied by the UN Relief and Works Agency do not (1) glorify terrorism, and (2) incite violence and hatred.

In Financial Year 2020/2021, the UK provided £63.6m to UNRWA, which includes £7million to the Syria Emergency Appeal and £3.8million to the Occupied Palestinian Territories Emergency Appeal. On 20 May, Minister Cleverly announced that the UK is providing an initial £3.2million to UNRWA's emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May.

The UK Government strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement to hatred and will continue to monitor UNRWA's implementation of its curriculum framework to ensure lessons taught by UNRWA are in line with UN values. We accompany our support for UNRWA with stringent attention to implementation of their neutrality policy, including how they apply this to textbooks.

11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of a (1) chemical, (2) biological, (3) radiological, or (4) nuclear attack from a group supported by the government of Iran by 2030.

The Government has long been clear about its concerns over Iran's continued destabilising activity, including its political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups. The Government continues to take every possible measure, in coordination with our international partners, to counter such threats in order to keep the British people safe and support regional and international security.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure any new agreement with the government of Iran permanently impedes that country's ability to develop and proliferate (1) nuclear, and (2) non-nuclear weapons.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs has been clear that Iran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, and we are committed to working with our international partners to find a solution to Iranian proliferation in the region. The Government believes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action represents the best - and currently the only - way of constraining Iran's nuclear programme, and we are working hard to find a diplomatic way forward which brings Iran back into compliance with its commitments and restores the non-proliferation benefits of the deal.

We have always been clear that any sustainable solution will need to address a range of issues, including Iran's ballistic missile programme and destabilising activity in the region. The UK continues to enforce the EU arms embargo through domestic legislation; UN ballistic missile restrictions on Iran will also remain in place until 2023. There are also other sanctions regimes which restrict Iranian ability to proliferate weapons in the region, including those established by UN Security Council Resolutions 1540, 1701 and 2216.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to withdraw from events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to their participation in the United Nations General Assembly’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban in 2001.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. However, some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Third World Conference against Racism and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. Therefore we will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reported decision of government of Iran to block daily access of UN inspectors to its nuclear facilities; and what representations they have made to the government of Iran.

The UK remains committed to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). We are concerned by Iran's continued and systematic non-compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPoA. The UK has repeatedly made clear in public and in private, both bilaterally and with the governments of France and Germany (as E3), that Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments. In his call with President Rouhani on 10 March, the Prime Minister stressed that while the UK remains committed to making the JCPoA a success, Iran must stop all nuclear activity that breaches the terms of the deal and come back into compliance. The E3 has made frequent official level representations to the Iranians on this issue both in Tehran and Vienna. Iran's announcement on 16 April that they have started uranium enrichment up to 60% using advanced centrifuges is a serious and deeply worrying development. As the E3 said in a statement on 14 April, the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.

We fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguards mandate, which is an essential part of the global non-proliferation system. The UK, unilaterally and as E3, has urged Iran to fully co-operate with the IAEA, including on all issues related to the IAEA's separate safeguards investigation. We remain concerned by Iran's decision to restrict access and oversight by the IAEA of its nuclear programme from 23 February.

Iran's continued systematic non-compliance with its JCPoA commitments is undermining the non-proliferation benefits of the deal and jeopardising our efforts to preserve it. We continue to work with the parties to the JCPoA and the US Administration to find a diplomatic way forward that realises the benefits of the deal, and call upon Iran not to take any further steps which violate its JCPoA commitments and make a return to mutual compliance harder to achieve.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, published on 31 March, which stated that Iran "was using 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges installed in 30 cascades, 696 IR-2m centrifuges installed in four cascades and 174 IR-4 centrifuges installed in one cascade to enrich natural UF6 up to 5 per cent U-235 at FEP"; and what representations they have made to the government of Iran about those reported breaches of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The UK remains committed to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). We are concerned by Iran's continued and systematic non-compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPoA. The UK has repeatedly made clear in public and in private, both bilaterally and with the governments of France and Germany (as E3), that Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments. In his call with President Rouhani on 10 March, the Prime Minister stressed that while the UK remains committed to making the JCPoA a success, Iran must stop all nuclear activity that breaches the terms of the deal and come back into compliance. The E3 has made frequent official level representations to the Iranians on this issue both in Tehran and Vienna. Iran's announcement on 16 April that they have started uranium enrichment up to 60% using advanced centrifuges is a serious and deeply worrying development. As the E3 said in a statement on 14 April, the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.

We fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguards mandate, which is an essential part of the global non-proliferation system. The UK, unilaterally and as E3, has urged Iran to fully co-operate with the IAEA, including on all issues related to the IAEA's separate safeguards investigation. We remain concerned by Iran's decision to restrict access and oversight by the IAEA of its nuclear programme from 23 February.

Iran's continued systematic non-compliance with its JCPoA commitments is undermining the non-proliferation benefits of the deal and jeopardising our efforts to preserve it. We continue to work with the parties to the JCPoA and the US Administration to find a diplomatic way forward that realises the benefits of the deal, and call upon Iran not to take any further steps which violate its JCPoA commitments and make a return to mutual compliance harder to achieve.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the Israel and Palestine peace process of the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 5 February that the ICC’s jurisdiction extends to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision on 5 February that its jurisdiction extends to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, what assessment they have made of the implications of that decision for (1) the legitimacy of the ICC, and (2) the enforcement of its subsequent rulings.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of their Memorandum of Understanding with the Palestinian Authority, following the publication of the report by IMPACT-se Review of UNRWA-Produced Study Materials in the Palestinian Territories, published in January, which found the reported use of inciteful material in educational textbooks used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza Strip and West Bank schools.

We are aware of the IMPACT-se report and have contacted United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regarding this issue. We understand that once the issue was identified, UNRWA introduced additional quality assurance processes and will continue to develop new systems to ensure lessons taught by UNRWA are in line with UN values. The UK Government strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement to violence and will continue to monitor UNRWA's implementation of its curriculum framework and self-learning materials to ensure lessons taught by UNRWA are in line with UN values. We use a variety of tools to monitor the UNRWA performance and ensure it continues to deliver quality services including via programme monitoring and annual assessments. We have a regular dialogue with both the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel in which we reiterate the need for both sides to prepare their populations for peaceful coexistence, including by promoting a more positive portrayal of one another to contribute to building the conditions needed for peace.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the governments of Canada and Australia to investigate their contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency because of its reported use of inciteful material in educational textbooks; and what plans they have to establish their own investigation.

We are aware of the IMPACT-se report and have contacted United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regarding this issue. We understand that once the issue was identified, UNRWA introduced additional quality assurance processes and will continue to develop new systems to ensure lessons taught by UNRWA are in line with UN values. The UK Government strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement to violence and will continue to monitor UNRWA's implementation of its curriculum framework and self-learning materials to ensure lessons taught by UNRWA are in line with UN values. We use a variety of tools to monitor the UNRWA performance and ensure it continues to deliver quality services including via programme monitoring and annual assessments. We have a regular dialogue with both the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel in which we reiterate the need for both sides to prepare their populations for peaceful coexistence, including by promoting a more positive portrayal of one another to contribute to building the conditions needed for peace.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with representatives of the government of Poland about the restitution of property seized from Polish Jewish citizens during the period of Nazi occupation; and what was the outcome of any such discussions.

The UK continues to meet its commitments under the Terezin declaration.

HMG have been in regular discussions with the Polish Government about the restitution of property seized during the Nazi occupation. As the Minister for the European Neighbourhood and Americas noted in the House in July 2020, the British Ambassador to Poland has raised our concerns with the Polish Foreign Minister and the Speaker of the Polish Parliament. Lord Pickles, the UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, and the Minister for the European Neighbourhood and Americas have also engaged the Polish Government on this sensitive issue since it was last discussed in the House.

We regret that, despite this, the Polish Senate passed legislation in September 2020 which may make property restitution more difficult for some claimants in Warsaw. The UK will continue to take a strong stand on the issue of property restitution, in line with our unwavering commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors. Working with like-minded partners and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO), the FCDO will continue to urge Poland to introduce comprehensive national legislation to deal with Holocaust-era property restitution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of efforts by Hezbollah and the government of Lebanon to impede the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon from carrying out its mandate; and what steps they have taken to raise this at the UN Security Council.

The UK remains concerned by Hizballah's activities within Lebanon which are in clear breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1509 and 1701. We regularly raise our concerns at the UN Security Council, and call on all parties to abide by the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of increased tensions along the Israel–Lebanon border and the readiness of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to mediate effectively between the governments of Israel and Lebanon as well as to diffuse any increase in hostilities.

We are aware of reports of increased tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border. The UK condemns all violations of UN Security Council Resolutions 1509 and 1701, and call for all sides to adhere to the relevant resolutions. We welcome United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon's efforts to mediate between parties and decrease tensions.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for (1) the rule of law, and (2) the principle of judicial independence, of the EU’s decision to terminate the appointment of advocate general Eleanor Sharpston QC’s term at the European Court of Justice, which was not due to expire until October 2021.

This is matter for the European Union to be decided in accordance with EU law. Since the UK has left the EU, we shall not comment on this matter.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reporting that Israel has had a role in spreading COVID-19; what steps they are taking to address any fake news about such a role; and what discussions they are having with governments that endorse such news.

Misinformation about coronavirus is dangerous and hampers the global fight against the disease. We urge all authorities to do all they can to prevent the circulation of such misinformation. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem are in regular contact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities respectively. We welcome the ongoing cooperation between the PA and Government of Israel in their respective responses to COVID-19.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the forthcoming expiration of the UN-imposed arms embargo on Iran in October 2020 on stability in the Middle East and the security of UK allies.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) is a reciprocal deal: it lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will also remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of arms embargo expiry and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they propose to bring into force section 9 of the Public Order Act 2023, which provides for a safe buffer zone around abortion clinics.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to proscribing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation.

While the UK Government keeps the list of proscribed organisations under review, we do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not being considered for proscription.

The UK Government has long been clear about our concerns over the malign activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The UK maintains sanctions on over 300 Iranian individuals and entities covering human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The Government has also imposed sanctions on the IRGC in its entirety and on several senior security and political figures in Iran, including senior commanders within the IRGC and its Basij force. The Government will continue to hold Iran and the IRGC to account.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 3 March to investigate individuals in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, what assessment they have made of the risk to British Armed Forces personnel of investigation by the ICC into alleged war crimes, regardless of the adequacy of investigations into the allegations within the UK.

I refer the noble Baroness to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for the Armed Forces (James Heappey), in the House of Commons on 9 March 2021 to the hon. Member for Bolton West (Chris Green) in response to Question 160692.

18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what response they made to the request by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that the plan to build a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens on the Westminster World Heritage site be abandoned; and what discussions they had with the World Heritage Committee at its meeting in 2023 about that matter.

The Government noted that the independent planning inspector concluded, following an extensive public inquiry in 2020, that “…the proposed UKHMLC would not result in compromise to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site because it does not harm it or its setting, thus conserving it”. DCMS, acting as State Party to the World Heritage Convention, will continue to keep UNESCO updated.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what arrangements, if any, they have made to transfer control of all or part of Victoria Tower Gardens to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, or another department, to enable the planned construction of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and whether they intend to attach conditions to such a transfer to safeguard the interests of the Gardens' current users.

The Government’s aim, as part of the programme to establish the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, is to enhance Victoria Tower Gardens so that they can continue to be appreciated by everyone living in, working in or visiting the area. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are discussing the arrangements which can best ensure safe and efficient construction while maintaining access to the Gardens. Those arrangements may include transfer of title for part of the gardens, especially in order to provide a suitably long lease for the Memorial and Learning Centre.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what options they are considering for the future management of the parts of Victoria Tower Gardens which will not be occupied by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Decisions on the future management arrangements for Victoria Tower Gardens will be agreed in good time before the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre opens.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of excavation in Victoria Tower Gardens to create space for the proposed Learning Centre associated with the Holocaust Memorial; and what savings in costs would be made if the Learning Centre were located in an existing building in the area.

Cost estimates for excavation at the chosen site are commercially sensitive and not suitable for publication at this time. No estimates have been made for locating the Learning Centre at a hypothetical site.

Information about the Learning Centre's content was presented at the public inquiry and is available on the Westminster City Council website: westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/cd_8.9_proof_of_evidence_of_stephen_greenberg_1.pdf .

Baroness Swinburne
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the planned contents of each exhibition room in the proposed Holocaust Memorial Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens.

Cost estimates for excavation at the chosen site are commercially sensitive and not suitable for publication at this time. No estimates have been made for locating the Learning Centre at a hypothetical site.

Information about the Learning Centre's content was presented at the public inquiry and is available on the Westminster City Council website: westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/cd_8.9_proof_of_evidence_of_stephen_greenberg_1.pdf .

Baroness Swinburne
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 22 June (HL Deb col 329) concerning the proposed Holocaust memorial, whether they will clarify what was meant by the statement that "The view of Parliament from the memorial will serve as a permanent reminder that political decisions have far-reaching consequences".

Detailed information on the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre published as part of the planning application includes an assessment of the significance of the chosen location (see especially the proof of evidence of the UK Holocaust Memorial co-chairs (document cd 8.1) and the assessment of alternative sites (see environmental statement volume 2 revised chapter 4 (cd 6.49)). The information remains available on Westminster City Council’s website.

In addition to the planning application information, the answers I provided on 12 April 2023 (HL6914) and 5 May (HL7432) provide detailed figures on the areas used for the proposed development. For clarity, the figure of approximately 7.5% relates to the total area of Victoria Tower Gardens and the figure of around 85% relates to the area of green space at Victoria Tower Gardens.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 22 June (HL Deb col 328), in relation to the consideration of alternative sites for a Holocaust memorial, that “all that work was done many years ago”, whether they intend to publish their assessment of sites alternative to Victoria Tower Gardens.

Detailed information on the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre published as part of the planning application includes an assessment of the significance of the chosen location (see especially the proof of evidence of the UK Holocaust Memorial co-chairs (document cd 8.1) and the assessment of alternative sites (see environmental statement volume 2 revised chapter 4 (cd 6.49)). The information remains available on Westminster City Council’s website.

In addition to the planning application information, the answers I provided on 12 April 2023 (HL6914) and 5 May (HL7432) provide detailed figures on the areas used for the proposed development. For clarity, the figure of approximately 7.5% relates to the total area of Victoria Tower Gardens and the figure of around 85% relates to the area of green space at Victoria Tower Gardens.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 22 June (HL Deb col 328) that the proposed design for a Holocaust memorial “uses approximately 7.5 per cent of the area of Victoria Tower Gardens”, and the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) on 4 July 2019 (HC270274), which refers to around 85 per cent of green space being retained, whether they will clarify the amount of green space that would be lost; and what assessment they have made of the calculation by the London Historic Parks & Gardens Trust that 29.6 per cent of the green space, excluding the mound, would be lost.

Detailed information on the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre published as part of the planning application includes an assessment of the significance of the chosen location (see especially the proof of evidence of the UK Holocaust Memorial co-chairs (document cd 8.1) and the assessment of alternative sites (see environmental statement volume 2 revised chapter 4 (cd 6.49)). The information remains available on Westminster City Council’s website.

In addition to the planning application information, the answers I provided on 12 April 2023 (HL6914) and 5 May (HL7432) provide detailed figures on the areas used for the proposed development. For clarity, the figure of approximately 7.5% relates to the total area of Victoria Tower Gardens and the figure of around 85% relates to the area of green space at Victoria Tower Gardens.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the written answer by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 21 April (HL6913) relating to the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, whether they will set out the measurement in square metres of each of the items (a) to (g) in item 9 of the table included in that answer.

The measurements for the items in 9) are:

Area to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre

1412 m2

Of which….

Entrance pavilion

113 m2

Courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre

1058 m2

Associated hard standing

48 m2

Service access

4 m2

Access paths

53 m2

The parts of the mound not accessible to the public (fins and ha-ha)

153 m2

Service elements of café building

17 m2

Total surface area to be occupied by Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre

1429 m2

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) for the contents of the Learning Centre to be attached to the UK Holocaust Memorial, and (2) to specify the populations whose genocides are to be commemorated therein.

The main focus of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre's exhibition content is to ensure that the story of what happened during the unique events of the Holocaust resonates with the public. This will include raising questions about Britain's role at the time. The content will also address genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of freedom of information requests received in the past 12 months by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were withheld in full because of the cost of the response exceeding the limit.

The Cabinet Office publishes information on the handling of freedom of information requests on Gov.uk. This published information shows that for 2022 17% of the 867 requests for information received by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were refused on the grounds of cost.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the floor area in square metres of the proposed underground construction of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what percentage of this underground area will be used for exhibitions and public space as part of the Learning Centre.

Extensive information about the design of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was considered at the Planning Inquiry in October 2020 and remains publicly available on Westminster City Council’s website. The additional detail requested is set out in the table below and to provide further assistance and to illustrate the answers I am placing the three source documents in the Library:

  • Gross Internal Area (GIA) & Building Area Breakdown Schedule which shows the area in square metres of every internal space within the proposed Learning Centre, the Entrance Pavilion and the Café/Kiosk.
  • Park Area Diagram rev 2 which shows both the size of Victoria Tower Gardens and the area taken by the Holocaust Memorial above ground within the park.
  • Playground Area Adjustment which shows the boundaries and areas of the current playground and proposed reconfigured playground. It also shows the area between the Spicer Memorial in its proposed new location and the Holocaust Memorial’s entrance pavilion. This area would provide circulation space for all park users between the boundary of the reconfigured playground and the Memorial’s Entrance Pavilion.

Question

Answer

Source

1

The floor area in square metres of the proposed underground construction of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

3258 m2 * (includes 373m2 of unusable spaces such as voids, risers and areas with limited headroom) * all areas are gross internal floor area (GIFA) i.e. excluding external walls.

GIA & Building Area Breakdown Schedule

2

Percentage of the underground area that will be used for exhibitions and public space as part of the Learning Centre.

52.85% Mezzanine Level Lobby (103m2) Learning Centre (349 m2) Basement Level Threshold (314m2) Learning Centre (956 m2) Total = 1722 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

3

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole, that will be enclosed to guarantee security around the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in addition to the area occupied by the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre itself.

Zero as an addition to the 1429 m2 occupied by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

4

Proportion of (3)

Zero

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

5

Size in sqm of the current playground in Victoria Tower Gardens

1010 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

6

Size in sqm of the intended new playground

945 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

7

Size in sqm of the intended new café

15 m2 Café/Kiosk 38 m2 including generator and storage

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

8

Size in sqm of the part of the current playground to be occupied by UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre ticketing and associated works

23m2 Café/Kiosk generator and storage. Zero occupied by ticketing operations in the Entrance Pavilion. Footfall area 155 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule Playground Area Adjustment

9

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole that will be occupied by the intended UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including (a) the entrance pavilion, (b) courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre, (c) associated hard standing, (d) service access, (e) new access paths, (f) the parts of the mound not accessible to the public, and (g) areas to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre.

1429 m2

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

10

Proportion of (9)

7.58%

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) area in square metres, and (2) proportion of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole, will be enclosed to guarantee security around the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in addition to the area occupied by the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre itself.

Extensive information about the design of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was considered at the Planning Inquiry in October 2020 and remains publicly available on Westminster City Council’s website. The additional detail requested is set out in the table below and to provide further assistance and to illustrate the answers I am placing the three source documents in the Library:

  • Gross Internal Area (GIA) & Building Area Breakdown Schedule which shows the area in square metres of every internal space within the proposed Learning Centre, the Entrance Pavilion and the Café/Kiosk.
  • Park Area Diagram rev 2 which shows both the size of Victoria Tower Gardens and the area taken by the Holocaust Memorial above ground within the park.
  • Playground Area Adjustment which shows the boundaries and areas of the current playground and proposed reconfigured playground. It also shows the area between the Spicer Memorial in its proposed new location and the Holocaust Memorial’s entrance pavilion. This area would provide circulation space for all park users between the boundary of the reconfigured playground and the Memorial’s Entrance Pavilion.

Question

Answer

Source

1

The floor area in square metres of the proposed underground construction of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

3258 m2 * (includes 373m2 of unusable spaces such as voids, risers and areas with limited headroom) * all areas are gross internal floor area (GIFA) i.e. excluding external walls.

GIA & Building Area Breakdown Schedule

2

Percentage of the underground area that will be used for exhibitions and public space as part of the Learning Centre.

52.85% Mezzanine Level Lobby (103m2) Learning Centre (349 m2) Basement Level Threshold (314m2) Learning Centre (956 m2) Total = 1722 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

3

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole, that will be enclosed to guarantee security around the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in addition to the area occupied by the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre itself.

Zero as an addition to the 1429 m2 occupied by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

4

Proportion of (3)

Zero

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

5

Size in sqm of the current playground in Victoria Tower Gardens

1010 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

6

Size in sqm of the intended new playground

945 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

7

Size in sqm of the intended new café

15 m2 Café/Kiosk 38 m2 including generator and storage

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

8

Size in sqm of the part of the current playground to be occupied by UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre ticketing and associated works

23m2 Café/Kiosk generator and storage. Zero occupied by ticketing operations in the Entrance Pavilion. Footfall area 155 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule Playground Area Adjustment

9

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole that will be occupied by the intended UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including (a) the entrance pavilion, (b) courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre, (c) associated hard standing, (d) service access, (e) new access paths, (f) the parts of the mound not accessible to the public, and (g) areas to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre.

1429 m2

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

10

Proportion of (9)

7.58%

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the size in square metres of (1) the current playground in Victoria Tower Gardens, (2) the intended new playground, (3) the intended new café, and (4) the part of the current playground to be occupied by UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre ticketing and associated works.

Extensive information about the design of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was considered at the Planning Inquiry in October 2020 and remains publicly available on Westminster City Council’s website. The additional detail requested is set out in the table below and to provide further assistance and to illustrate the answers I am placing the three source documents in the Library:

  • Gross Internal Area (GIA) & Building Area Breakdown Schedule which shows the area in square metres of every internal space within the proposed Learning Centre, the Entrance Pavilion and the Café/Kiosk.
  • Park Area Diagram rev 2 which shows both the size of Victoria Tower Gardens and the area taken by the Holocaust Memorial above ground within the park.
  • Playground Area Adjustment which shows the boundaries and areas of the current playground and proposed reconfigured playground. It also shows the area between the Spicer Memorial in its proposed new location and the Holocaust Memorial’s entrance pavilion. This area would provide circulation space for all park users between the boundary of the reconfigured playground and the Memorial’s Entrance Pavilion.

Question

Answer

Source

1

The floor area in square metres of the proposed underground construction of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

3258 m2 * (includes 373m2 of unusable spaces such as voids, risers and areas with limited headroom) * all areas are gross internal floor area (GIFA) i.e. excluding external walls.

GIA & Building Area Breakdown Schedule

2

Percentage of the underground area that will be used for exhibitions and public space as part of the Learning Centre.

52.85% Mezzanine Level Lobby (103m2) Learning Centre (349 m2) Basement Level Threshold (314m2) Learning Centre (956 m2) Total = 1722 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

3

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole, that will be enclosed to guarantee security around the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in addition to the area occupied by the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre itself.

Zero as an addition to the 1429 m2 occupied by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

4

Proportion of (3)

Zero

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

5

Size in sqm of the current playground in Victoria Tower Gardens

1010 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

6

Size in sqm of the intended new playground

945 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

7

Size in sqm of the intended new café

15 m2 Café/Kiosk 38 m2 including generator and storage

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

8

Size in sqm of the part of the current playground to be occupied by UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre ticketing and associated works

23m2 Café/Kiosk generator and storage. Zero occupied by ticketing operations in the Entrance Pavilion. Footfall area 155 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule Playground Area Adjustment

9

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole that will be occupied by the intended UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including (a) the entrance pavilion, (b) courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre, (c) associated hard standing, (d) service access, (e) new access paths, (f) the parts of the mound not accessible to the public, and (g) areas to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre.

1429 m2

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

10

Proportion of (9)

7.58%

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) area in square metres, and (2) proportion, of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole will be occupied by the intended UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including (a) the entrance pavilion, (b) courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre, (c) associated hard standing, (d) service access, (e) new access paths, (f) the parts of the mound not accessible to the public, and (g) areas to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre.

Extensive information about the design of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was considered at the Planning Inquiry in October 2020 and remains publicly available on Westminster City Council’s website. The additional detail requested is set out in the table below and to provide further assistance and to illustrate the answers I am placing the three source documents in the Library:

  • Gross Internal Area (GIA) & Building Area Breakdown Schedule which shows the area in square metres of every internal space within the proposed Learning Centre, the Entrance Pavilion and the Café/Kiosk.
  • Park Area Diagram rev 2 which shows both the size of Victoria Tower Gardens and the area taken by the Holocaust Memorial above ground within the park.
  • Playground Area Adjustment which shows the boundaries and areas of the current playground and proposed reconfigured playground. It also shows the area between the Spicer Memorial in its proposed new location and the Holocaust Memorial’s entrance pavilion. This area would provide circulation space for all park users between the boundary of the reconfigured playground and the Memorial’s Entrance Pavilion.

Question

Answer

Source

1

The floor area in square metres of the proposed underground construction of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

3258 m2 * (includes 373m2 of unusable spaces such as voids, risers and areas with limited headroom) * all areas are gross internal floor area (GIFA) i.e. excluding external walls.

GIA & Building Area Breakdown Schedule

2

Percentage of the underground area that will be used for exhibitions and public space as part of the Learning Centre.

52.85% Mezzanine Level Lobby (103m2) Learning Centre (349 m2) Basement Level Threshold (314m2) Learning Centre (956 m2) Total = 1722 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

3

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole, that will be enclosed to guarantee security around the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in addition to the area occupied by the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre itself.

Zero as an addition to the 1429 m2 occupied by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

4

Proportion of (3)

Zero

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

5

Size in sqm of the current playground in Victoria Tower Gardens

1010 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

6

Size in sqm of the intended new playground

945 m2

Playground Area Adjustment

7

Size in sqm of the intended new café

15 m2 Café/Kiosk 38 m2 including generator and storage

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule

8

Size in sqm of the part of the current playground to be occupied by UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre ticketing and associated works

23m2 Café/Kiosk generator and storage. Zero occupied by ticketing operations in the Entrance Pavilion. Footfall area 155 m2

GIA and Building Area Breakdown Schedule Playground Area Adjustment

9

Area in square metres of Victoria Tower Gardens as a whole that will be occupied by the intended UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including (a) the entrance pavilion, (b) courtyard and ramp into the Learning Centre, (c) associated hard standing, (d) service access, (e) new access paths, (f) the parts of the mound not accessible to the public, and (g) areas to be enclosed to ensure the security of the Centre.

1429 m2

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

10

Proportion of (9)

7.58%

NHM Park Area Diagram rev 2

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 56GC), when they plan to implement the findings of the research they have carried out on Part M of the building regulations.

As set out by Baroness Stedman-Scott, Government is conducting research as part of a full review of Part M. The research is still ongoing and once completed will help government consider, in due course, changes to statutory guidance to the building regulations covering access to and use of buildings.

4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 52GC), when they will introduce the standards and a regulatory framework to deliver accessible new homes.

As set out by Baroness Stedman-Scott, Government has consulted on options to raise the accessibility of new homes and we have been considering all responses and evidence to inform how we can best improve standards. We will be setting out our plans in a government response to the consultation in due course.

28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 22 June (HL772), what proportion of responses to freedom of information requests made to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were completed and communicated to the requester within 20 working days during the first quarter of 2022.

The Cabinet Office has responsibility for Freedom of Information policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and publishes information on the handling of requests (attached): https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/freedom-of-information-statistics-january-to-march-2022

During the first quarter of 2022 the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities received 243 requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. Of these requests, 91% were responded to within 20 working days, or a permitted extension.

27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 22 June (HL771), whether they will provide the information requested in FOI 17451012 about optimism bias in the costing of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The estimated cost of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre has been produced in line with Green Book guidance. The publication of further information about costs will be addressed when costs are no longer commercially sensitive.

9th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 8 June (HL337) regarding the cost of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, where the information concerning the costs was published in September 2021.

Information concerning costs was given in response to written questions in the House of Commons and published on 13 September 2021 as UIN 41607 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-09-03/41607 )

and UIN 41608 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-09-03/41608 ).

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the maximum time for internal reviews of freedom of information responses from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; and what proportion of responses were completed and communicated to the requester within 20 working days during the first quarter of 2022.

There is no statutory time limit on responding to internal reviews relating to Freedom of Information requests. Internal reviews can vary in complexity, including large volumes of information, and the need to consult with third parties. The Freedom of Information Code of Practice provides guidance for public authorities on best practice in meeting their responsibilities under Part I of the Act. It sets the standard for all public authorities when considering how to respond to internal reviews.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they used the section 21 Freedom of Information Act 2000 exemption in their 27 May response to a request relating to optimism bias in the costing of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre (FOI 17451012); and where the information requested is already available on the (1) percentage allowance for optimism bias, (2) category of project, (3) mitigation factor, and (4) optimism bias factor.

We received a request for information which precisely matched a parliamentary question. The answer to the parliamentary question is publicly available (attached) https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-10-15/56726.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 28 April (HL7855), why the answer did not provide the information requested regarding (1) spending to date, and (2) further sums already committed.

The information is still being assessed.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have published no information about the cost of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre since December 2018.

Information on costs was published in September 2021.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 28 April (HL7856), what criteria will determine when is the appropriate time to publish further information about the cost of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Publication will be considered when costs are no longer commercially sensitive.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 28 April (HL7853), what steps they took before July 2019 to (1) ascertain, and (2) secure, the ownership of Victoria Tower Gardens for the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what assessment they made of the statutory provisions that existed relating to the use of the land.

Victoria Tower Gardens is Crown land. The feasibility of the site was discussed with key stakeholders, including DCMS, Westminster City Council, and The Royal Parks, and no technical obstacles were raised that would prevent the Memorial and Learning Centre being built in Victoria Tower Gardens.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 28 April (HL7855), when the cost of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was last reviewed.

Costs are currently being reviewed in light of the delay due to the High Court judgement.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will (1) publish a list of the elements of the capital and running costs of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre which are commercially confidential, with the reasons in each case, (2) indicate what steps are required before each aspect ceases to be commercially confidential, and (3) provide their assessment of which aspects will remain confidential at the time of the next Government Major Projects Portfolio report.

These costs will be determined through competitive tender and releasing details could affect our ability to achieve best value for money. The costs will be published at the appropriate time in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much, to date, has been spent on the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what further sums have been committed under contracts for the design, project management, site preparation and construction of the Centre.

Costs are regularly reviewed and updated figures will be published in due course in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process. Additional costs resulting from the delay due to the High Court judgement are being assessed.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took between October 2015 and June 2019 to ascertain whether there were any restrictions on the use of Victoria Tower Gardens.

Professional advisers carried out checks as part of the normal planning process, including searching land registry.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what value for money assessments they conducted on the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre (1) before £50 million was committed to the project, and (2) before that sum was increased to £75 million; what criteria were used in each case to assess the effectiveness and value for money of the proposal; and whether they will place copies of these assessments in the Library of the House.

Value for money has been assessed in the business case in line with Green Book guidance.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the legal advice they have received since July 2019 concerning the impact of the London County Council (Improvements) Act 1900 on the proposal for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following reports of intimidation of a group of Jewish youths on Oxford Street, London, on 29 November, what assessment they have made of antisemitism in the UK; and what steps they are taking to address this.

Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society, which is why we’re taking a strong lead in tackling it in all its forms.

This year we have provided £14 million to the Protective Security Grant to provide safety for Synagogues and other Jewish Institutions. We are bringing forward the Online Safety Bill to address hatred that manifests online and we will be introducing a new Hate Crime Strategy in 2022.

16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to encourage UK media organisations to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

Antisemitism has no place in our society and this Government remains absolutely committed to tackling it.

We became the first country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism in 2016, and we continue to encourage organisations to take this important step in combatting this form of hatred. It is encouraging that, following the Government’s encouragement, organisations such as the Premier League, the Football Association, over 80 universities and over three-quarters of councils have adopted the definition – demonstrating their willingness to support the Jewish community.

We will continue to encourage organisations and combat antisemitism in all its forms.

16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 15 November (HL3617), what assessment they have made of the plans for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in respect of protecting access to green spaces, including Victoria Tower Gardens.

We look forward to the completion of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including the improvements that development will bring to the quality and accessibility of Victoria Tower Gardens.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission Report, published on 27 January 2015, what steps they are taking towards implementing its recommendations.

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation has been established to advise the Government on the recommendations made by the Holocaust Commission in their 2015 report. Good progress is being made with the implementation of that report and updates on specific elements will be provided at the appropriate time.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for the management of the (1) Holocaust Memorial, and (2) Learning Centre, in Victoria Tower Gardens.

We are considering a range of operating models for the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission Report, published on 27 January 2015, why they do not regard the new Holocaust Galleries at the Imperial War Museum as the Holocaust Learning Centre.

The case for a Learning Centre was set out in Britain’s Promise to Remember, the report of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission, published in January 2015.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the flood risks to the Victoria Tower Gardens site proposed for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre were last reviewed; and whether the floods in central London this year have been taken into account.

Flood risks have been considered throughout the development of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. The Environment Agency have given their consent to the proposal subject to conditions which will be complied with in full.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been raised so far in private funding for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what is the source, if any, of any commitments to raise private funding.

Costs are regularly reviewed and updated figures will be published in due course in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the annual running costs of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Costs are regularly reviewed and updated figures will be published in due course in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been spent to date on the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Costs are regularly reviewed and updated figures will be published in due course in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when was the last review of the total cost of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; what were the findings of that review; what is the most recent total cost estimate to (1) build, and (2) open, the Centre; and what are the reasons for the changes, if any, in those costs.

Costs are regularly reviewed and updated figures will be published in due course in line with the Government Major Projects Portfolio reporting process.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the estimate of £25 million private funding required to support the delivery of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre remains an accurate estimate of what is required; and whether the requisite amount of private funding will be available before construction commences.

The independent fund-raising campaign is expected to secure at least £25 million. Funding arrangements will be in place before main construction begins.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a formal agreement between the Imperial War Museum and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government or the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre Foundation relating to cooperation or sharing of content of their respective Holocaust exhibitions; and whether agreement has been reached as to how the grant-in-aid to the Imperial War Museum will be affected by Government support for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

We have the benefit of the Imperial War Museum’s (IWM) support and encouragement for the development of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; no formal agreement is envisaged. Grants to the IWM is a matter for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is not affected by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12940), whether, in the event that any lease of the planned UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre relates to only the portion of Victoria Tower Gardens that it occupies, Royal Parks, as managers of the remainder of Victoria Tower Gardens, will receive an increased contribution to cover any additional running costs that result from the project.

Decisions on the leasehold and management of Victoria Tower Gardens will be taken in due course.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12785), who will hold management responsibility for the planned UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; whether that Centre will own the leasehold; if not, who will be its leaseholder; and whether any such lease will include the whole of Victoria Tower Gardens or only that part occupied by the planned UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Decisions on the leasehold and management of Victoria Tower Gardens will be taken in due course.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12938), whether construction of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, if permitted, is projected to start before the £25 million aimed to be raised through charitable donations has been secured; and what measures are in place should they fail to raise £25 million.

Funding arrangements will be in place before main construction begins.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12786), whether the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will have unlimited free entry; and what measures are in place to ensure that costs can be met if the estimated £6 million annual running cost is exceeded.

Entry to the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will be free. We are considering various operating models and will put in place a sustainable long-term plan.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 17 February (HL 13247), when (1) a decision will be taken to establish a chair of Holocaust Studies, and (2) an endowment fund will be established to support such studies; what estimates they have made of the costs of such a chair and endowment fund; and whether they continue to be committed to such aims, six years after the then-Prime Minister accepted those recommendations of the Holocaust Commission Report.

The Holocaust Memorial Foundation continues to consider how best to deliver all the recommendations made in the Commission’s report Britain’s Promise to Remember.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 17 February (HL 13245), what environmental impact assessment was carried out before the choice of Victoria Tower Gardens as the site for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre was made.

A detailed assessment of the environmental impact was made as part of the planning application. The documents are available (attached) at

https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PL0CVYRP27O00

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12939), what is the planned timetable for reaching a conclusion on the operating model for managing the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Decisions on the operating model will be made in good time before the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre opens.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12940), what is the planned timetable for reaching a decision on the future management arrangements for Victoria Tower Gardens.

Decisions on the future management arrangements for Victoria Tower Gardens will be taken in good time before the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre opens.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12938), how much private funding has been raised so far for the creation of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Firm pledges of private funding have not been sought in advance of planning permission.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12784), whether an educational impact assessment has been carried out for the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and whether they have consulted the British Association of Holocaust Scholars on the content of the memorial and learning centre.

As plans are developed for the content of the Learning Centre, the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation will continue to discuss progress with relevant organisations.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12782), why they cannot confirm whether the Armenian genocide will be commemorated in the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre’s main focus is the Holocaust. The exhibition will address subsequent genocides but it is too early to decide what the detail of that content will be.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 12 February (HL12785), when they plan to put in place a sustainable long-term plan for the management of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

We will put in place a sustainable long-term plan in good time before the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre opens.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their report Britain’s Promise to Remember: The Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Report, published in January 2015, what progress they have made on implementing the recommendation of that report (1) to set up an endowment fund to secure the long term future of Holocaust education, and (2) create a professorial chair on Holocaust education.

The Government has committed up to £75 million towards the establishment of the national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, including £25 million which is to be matched by donations from the Holocaust Memorial Charitable Trust. The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation will continue to consider all the recommendations made in the Commission’s report and the best way to deliver them.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their report Britain’s Promise to Remember: The Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Report, published in January 2015, what progress they have made on implementing the recommendation that a physical campus with a lecture theatre, classrooms and offices should be developed as part of the “world-class learning centre” co-located with the National Holocaust Memorial.

Proposals for a national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre at Victoria Tower Gardens, including space for lectures and seminars, are the subject of a planning application which is currently under consideration.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) consultation, and (2) site comparison, they undertook in relation to the proposed National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre between 13 January 2016 when the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation recommended a location for that centre and the Prime Minister’s announcement on 27 January 2016 that the chosen location was Victoria Tower Gardens.

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation conducted a very extensive comparison of possible sites before recommending Victoria Tower Gardens. The Government agreed with the Foundation that Victoria Tower Gardens is the most fitting site. Public consultations were held once designs for the proposed Memorial were available: initially on ten shortlisted designs, and then on the detailed proposals which were put forward for planning consent.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recommendation was made by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation about the location of the proposed National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Following an extensive search of central London locations, the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation recommended Victoria Tower Gardens as the most fitting site for the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. The Government agreed with the Foundation's recommendation.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding they have spent to date on activities relating to the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

From 2015/16 to 31 January 2021, the Government has spent £12.9 million (including VAT) on the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre programme.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much private funding is required for the creation of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and how much private funding has been raised to date.

The aim is to raise at least £25 million from charitable donations. A fund-raising campaign is being led by a newly established independent charity, led by Foundation member Gerald Ronson CBE, who has committed to securing pledges of at least £25 million.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what organisations will (1) own, and (2) manage, the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre if planning permission is obtained; and what progress has been made towards setting up any such organisations.

The site will continue to be owned by Government. We are considering a range of operating models for managing the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for the (1) ownership, and (2) management, of the parts of Victoria Tower Gardens not required for the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The site will continue to be owned by Government. We are in discussion with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The Royal Parks about the future management arrangements for Victoria Tower Gardens.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of Victoria Tower Gardens would be closed to the public during the construction of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what estimate has been made of the duration of the building works.

Construction is expected to last no longer than 3 years. Provision will be made to ensure part of Victoria Tower Gardens remains open for users during construction works.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Armenians will be included in the genocides to be commemorated in the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and, if so, what consultation they have carried out with Armenian representatives.

The UK Holocaust Memorial will honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust, and all other victims of Nazi persecution. The remit of the co-located learning centre will also focus on subsequent genocides.

The scope and content of the exhibition within the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will be developed over the coming years by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, drawing on a wide range of external advice and expertise.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) nations, and (2) minority groups, will be included in the genocides to be commemorated in the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and what consultation they have undertaken with the representatives of any such nations or groups.

The scope and content of the exhibition within the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will be developed over the coming years by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, drawing on a wide range of external advice and expertise.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the educational impact of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and whether they have consulted the British Association of Holocaust Scholars on the content of the memorial and learning centre.

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation will work with other institutions both in the UK and across the World supporting Holocaust commemoration and education, seeking to promote a deeper understanding of the Holocaust among as wide an audience as possible.

An Academic Advisory Board has been appointed, which includes members of the British Association of Holocaust Scholars and the head of the UCL’s Centre for Holocaust.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a plan for the management of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and if so, where that plan is available.

We are considering a range of operating models and will put in place a sustainable long-term plan.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the annual running costs of the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre; and how such costs will be met.

The annual running costs are estimated at up to £6 million. My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced on 28 January that the Government will provide free entry in perpetuity to everyone visiting the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will commence to review the 'standard method' of calculating housing need, following the February 2019 commitment by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government to do so within 18 months.

In February 2019, the Government response to the technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance, committed to review the standard method for assessing local housing need within 18 months. This is to establish a new approach that balances the need for clarity, simplicity and transparency for local communities with the Government’s aspirations for the housing market. Further details will follow in due course.

As the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced on 12 March we will review the standard method for assessing local housing need and remain committed to ensuring it is consistent with our manifesto commitment of delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020's. Further details will follow in due course.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hectares of land that were previously green belt have been removed from the green belt in local plans adopted in England in each year from 2011 to the present; and how many more hectares are proposed to be so removed in local plans yet to be adopted.

The published annual statistical releases and associated tables at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/green-belt-statistics provide information on the local authority areas within which land had been transferred from the Green Belt - and the hectares of land involved - for each year from 2010-11 to 2018-19.

In addition, Table 2 of the 2018-19 release provides figures for the net change in the size of the Green Belt for each year from 2010-11 to 2018-19 separately.

Information for 2019-20 is due to be published in September or October 2020.

The local plans process does not provide for the department to routinely receive information on the numbers of hectares of land proposed for removal from the Green Belt. Until a revised development plan is submitted to formal examination, any Green Belt boundary changes would be conjecture.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to fulfil their Manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the green belt.

In revising the National Planning Policy Framework we re-affirmed the protections for Green Belt. Under the strengthened “exceptional circumstances” test - applied if a local authority is considering adjustment of a Green Belt boundary – the authority is expected to show evidenced justification that it has examined all other reasonable options for meeting its development needs, and that Green Belt release is a last resort.

The Framework also expects development plans to set out ways in which the impact of removing land from Green Belt will be offset by compensatory improvements to access and environmental quality in the rest of the Green Belt.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any loss of green belt land as a result of the proposals in Cherwell District Council's Partial Review of Cherwell Local Plan 2011–2031 to build new housing on green belt land in Oxford; and what steps they intend to take in response to any such assessment.

Because of the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial role in the planning system I am unable to comment on the detail or merits of individual development plans. National policy on Green Belts, and the Government’s expectations of how local authorities should protect them, are made clear in the National Planning Policy Framework, re-issued in February 2019.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) adequacy of the security arrangements required for the planned National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, and (2) arrangements to keep access to the Gardens open to children using the playground there.

The Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will have security arrangements similar to the many other public buildings in Westminster. We are working with security experts, government agencies and the Metropolitan Police to ensure the necessary security measures are put in place and the gardens remain accessible for all users. Horseferry playground will also be enhanced and updated.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what environmental impact assessment has been made relating to the planned National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens and, in particular, any consideration given to possible damage to trees in the Gardens and the drainage system.

Detailed assessment has been made of the environmental impact. The full reports are publicly available as part of the planning application (the attachment is too big to attach) at:
https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PL0CVYRP27O00

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely contribution of the planned National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens to (1) understanding the causes of antisemitism, and (2) reducing antisemitic attitudes

The Holocaust Memorial will serve as a permanent reminder that political decisions have far-reaching consequences. In light of Holocaust denial, revisionism, the rise of antisemitism and indifference, it is more important than ever to ensure that the story of what happened during the Holocaust resonates with ordinary people and raises questions about Britain’s role at the time. The Learning Centre will explore the role of our Parliament and democratic institutions in the Holocaust, what we did and what more we could have done both at the time and subsequently to tackle the persecution of the Jewish people and other groups.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely effect of the planned National Holocaust Museum and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens on traffic along (1) Millbank, and (2) Abingdon Street

Detailed assessments have been made of the impact on traffic of both the construction and operation phases. The full reports are publicly available as part of the planning application (the attachment is too big to attach) at: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PL0CVYRP27O00 .

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in assisting Holocaust survivors and their descendants to secure the restitution of their property in Poland; and what discussions they have had with the government of Poland about such restitution.

The UK government’s Post Holocaust Issues Envoy takes the lead in discussions regarding restitution of property of Holocaust survivors. The Envoy is involved in ongoing conversation on the issue with the Polish government, national and international community organisations, and international intergovernmental representatives.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick not to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism following reports of antisemitic incidents at that University and the call by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government for cuts to funding of those universities that fail to adopt the definition.

There is no place in our society - including within higher education – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism, including antisemitism.

In October this year the Communities Secretary wrote to all universities to urge them to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. This followed a letter from the Universities Minister in May regarding antisemitism in higher education.

We expect all Higher Education Providers to discharge their responsibilities fully and to have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate and swiftly address hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported. We will continue to work with universities to ensure we stamp out antisemitism in all its forms.

That is why we will be providing an additional £500,000 of government funding to allow 200 university students each year to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, to hear from the last Holocaust survivors and to help educate students on the importance of continuing to tackle antisemitism on campuses.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 21 June (HL Deb col 56GC), when they plan to consult on the feasibility of a pilot scheme testing the (1) advantages, and (2) disadvantages, of extending cost protection to disability claims.

The Government is continuing to consider the possibility of consulting on a pilot scheme examining the advantages and disadvantages of extending costs protections to disability claims. This is an important issue that requires careful consideration, and we will set out the way forward in the coming months.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to implement the recommendation included in the Law Commission report Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements, published in 2014, that "qualifying nuptial agreements should be introduced by legislation"; and whether they plan to introduce the Draft Nuptial Agreements Bill included in that report.

We are taking forward our commitment to review the legislation surrounding financial provision following divorce. Nuptial agreements are one element of this and any decision to introduce new legislation, including the draft Bill provided by the Law Commission in 2014, will be considered against the context of the wider review.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 6 July (HL1300), whether they have departed from the commitment made by Lord Keen of Elie in his letter dated 16 March 2020 (DEP2020-0150) to gather evidence, consult and develop recommendations relating to the law governing financial provision on divorce.

The Government remains committed to examining the law governing financial provision on divorce.

On 22 January, in answer to written question HL11921 from the noble Baroness, I said that the Government was committed to set up a Lord Chancellor’s working group to take forward that work, including consideration of whether there are problems with the current law. In February 2021, the Nuffield Foundation began an independent research project to investigate how divorcing couples in England and Wales negotiate financial arrangements, both inside and outside the legal system. This study, “Fair Shares? Sorting out money and property on divorce”, aims to provide the first fully representative picture of divorcing couples in England and Wales.

In light of this important study, and its relevance to the gathering of evidence, the Government will further consider how best to progress the commitments made by Lord Keen and will announce its intentions in due course.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their commitment in March 2020 to conduct a review into the law relating to financial remedies on divorce, what progress they have made with that review.

As the Government confirmed on 22 January 2021, it has previously committed to set up a Lord Chancellor’s working group to assess any evidence for changing the law of financial provision on divorce and dissolution. The Government will announce its intentions in due course. Our current priority is to conclude the complex and important work, which is now far advanced, to implement reforms to divorce law in April next year through the provisions of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. The Government believes that this is a vital first step in reducing conflict.

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Stewart of Dirleton on 6 January (HL Deb, col 131), what progress they have made with the review of financial provision law.

The Government has committed to set up a Lord Chancellor’s working group to assess any evidence for changing the law of financial provision on divorce and dissolution. This review will be led by evidence, which is yet to be gathered, on whether there are problems with the current law. The Government will seek to ensure a balance of members from across different professions. The Government will make an announcement in due course.

21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the New IRA has imported weapons from Hezbollah.

The Noble Baroness will be aware that in August officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland made a number of arrests under the Terrorism Act in connection with an ongoing investigation into the activities of the New IRA. Ten people have now been charged with a range of terrorism offences. To ensure that any subsequent prosecutorial proceedings are not compromised, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)