To match an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate". Use "OR" or "AND" as link words to form more complex queries.


Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest developments by exploring our subscription options to receive notifications direct to your inbox

Written Question
Gender Recognition Act 2004
Thursday 10th March 2022

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to change the wording of the Gender Recognition Act 2004; and if so, what changes they intend to make.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott

The Government held a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004 in 2018, to which we responded in 2020. We carefully considered the responses to the consultation and concluded that the balance struck in the legislation is correct. There are proper checks and balances in the system for people who want to change their legal sex and we have no intention of altering the requirements of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

A judicial review in Northern Ireland last year found that the use of the term “disorder” within the definition of gender dysphoria (Section 25(1) of the GRA) was incompatible with the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights as reflected in the Human Rights Act 1998. The High Court held that the use of the term was outdated and unjustified. The Government will be introducing a Remedial Order to remove the term ‘disorder’ in due course.

More widely, we are progressing in our commitments to make the gender recognition process more straightforward and accessible. That is why we have already reduced the fee to £5 and are digitising the application process to make it more accessible and easier to navigate.


Written Question
Gender Recognition
Wednesday 15th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 30 November (HL Deb, col 1274), what is their interpretation of the term 'gender identity'.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination and unfair treatment on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

My noble friend was of course speaking more generally rather than in relation to specific legal rights. We are committed to upholding Britain’s long-standing record of protecting the rights of individuals against discrimination. The UK Government is committed to promoting equality for LGBT people at home and abroad and we continue to be recognised as one of the top 10 countries in Europe for LGBT rights. We are also clear that we want people who are transgender to be able to live their lives as they wish.


Written Question
Equality
Wednesday 15th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Sharpe of Epsom 30 November (HL Deb, col 1274), whether the statement that "the UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds" is intended to encompass discrimination which goes beyond the protected characteristics set out in Part 2 of the Equality Act 2010; and if so, in what ways.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott

My noble friend’s answer takes into account the distinction between behaviour that places someone unjustifiably at a disadvantage compared to others because of a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010, which is potentially unlawful; and similar behaviour that places someone at a disadvantage on other grounds such as socio-economic background.


Written Question
Ministerial and Other Maternity Allowances Act 2021
Monday 29th November 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to remarks by Lord True on 25 February (HL Deb, col. 961) that they would review their approach to drafting legislation following concerns expressed during the passage of the Ministerial and Other Maternity Allowances Act 2021, when they expect (1) to complete, and (2) to publish, their review.

Answered by Lord True - Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

A response on this issue is in the process of being finalised. I hope to respond to Noble Lords before the House rises for the Christmas recess.


Written Question
University of Essex: Freedom of Expression
Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Akua Reindorf for the University of Essex, published on 17 May; and what plans they have to prohibit departments seeking advice from Stonewall on diversity policies.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

My department has noted the report by Akua Reindorf for the University of Essex. Currently, decisions on engaging with external service providers on diversity and inclusion are delegated to individual departments.


Written Question
LIBOR: SONIA
Thursday 29th April 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the letter dated 21 April from the Chairman of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury in respect of safe harbour provisions to support the wind-down of LIBOR and the transition to SONIA.

Answered by Lord Agnew of Oulton

The Government will respond to the letter from the Chair of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates in due course.

The Government has committed to updating the House as appropriate on the outcome of the February consultation on supporting the wind-down of critical benchmarks.


Written Question
Legislative Drafting
Monday 26th April 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to undertake the review exploring approaches to drafting legislation on subjects that prompt questions around language announced by Lord True on 25 February (HL Deb, col 960); and when they plan to inform Parliament of the outcome of that review.

Answered by Lord True - Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

The Government is committed to ensuring the law is respectful and representative of all people while ensuring it can be clearly interpreted. The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has already begun work reviewing current and historic practice in legislative drafting to inform the consideration of future drafting options. I will write to update the Noble Lady before the House rises for the summer.


Written Question
Public Sector: Gender
Wednesday 31st March 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue guidance to (1) the Civil Service, and (2) public bodies, to ensure that consultations on policies or practices in relation to sex and gender receive responses from a broad range of respondents.

Answered by Lord True - Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Census: Gender
Wednesday 31st March 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conduct of (1) the UK Statistics Authority, and (2) the National Statistician, in relation to the determination of how questions on sex in the 2021 census and the related guidance were framed.

Answered by Lord True - Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Public Sector: Gender
Wednesday 31st March 2021

Asked by: Baroness Noakes (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the declaration in the Order of Consent following the judicial review proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women against the UK Statistics Authority, what plans they have to review how (1) government departments, and (2) public sector bodies, use the word “sex”.

Answered by Lord True - Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.