Earl Russell Portrait

Earl Russell

Liberal Democrat - Excepted Hereditary

Became Member: 19th June 2023

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

(since January 2024)

Earl Russell is not a member of any APPGs
Built Environment Committee
12th Jul 2023 - 31st Jan 2024

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Earl Russell has voted in 156 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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 Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(25 debate interactions)
Lord Douglas-Miller (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(12 debate interactions)
Lord Benyon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(10 debate interactions)
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View all Earl Russell's debates

Lords initiatives

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

Earl Russell has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Earl Russell has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting

Latest 29 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to control the import of faulty or dangerous products containing large batteries, such as e-bikes, and (2) to educate the public on safety guidance for such products; and what plans they have to require third-party approval or certification of such products prior to sale; and if they have any such plans, what is their timetable for implementing them.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is prioritising work to understand and tackle the risks presented by e-bikes and e-scooters and has commissioned research into the safety of lithium-ion batteries.

OPSS and Local Authority Trading Standards Services have powers to remove unsafe products from sale and are using data and intelligence to target unsafe products at the border, including those containing large batteries.

In terms of safety awareness, in addition to the required information supplied with the products, the Home Office has published new guidance for consumers on safe battery charging practices in the home.

The Government launched its Product Safety Review consultation on 2 August which explores the future of the UK’s product safety framework including consideration of third party conformity assessment requirements.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans (1) to accelerate the uptake of heat pump installations and support jobs and skills in this sector, and (2) to increase the availability of a new generation of higher temperature heat pumps using new refrigerants, including R290, or propane.

In October, the Government increased the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant for heat pumps to £7,500. In the first full month after the uplift, we saw double the number of vouchers redeemed compared to those redeemed prior to the uplift. Government is also supporting skills in the sector through the £5m Heat Training Grant which launched in July 2023.

Government has funded innovation in new technologies, like higher temperature heat pumps that use alternative refrigerants, through the Net Zero Innovation Programme and such technologies are eligible for support under various Government grant schemes, including the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many onshore wind projects consisting of individual turbines were completed in 2023; and what steps they are taking to increase the number of new onshore wind farms.

Government does not routinely collect information on the number of turbines that make up onshore wind farms, with the exception of larger projects tracked by the Renewable Energy Planning Database. Nevertheless, Government sees onshore wind of all sizes as an important part of the energy mix and supports large-scale onshore wind farms through the Contracts for Difference Scheme and small-scale onshore wind farms through the Smart Export Guarantee.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the cause of the delay in agreeing a deal for the UK’s return to the EU’s Horizon science research programme; and when a resolution is expected.

On 7th September, the Prime Minister announced that the UK would associate to Horizon Europe. The Government has negotiated a bespoke deal in the UK’s national interest and UK scientists can participate confidently in Horizon Europe, the world’s largest programme of research cooperation.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Turing Scheme: evaluation of year 1, published on 3 January, which found that 79 per cent of universities had difficulties with the Turing scheme application process, whether they intend to review that process.

For applications to the Turing Scheme for the next academic year, the department has been working with users across the education sector, including universities, to develop a new online application process that is as concise and user friendly as possible, reducing the application burden on education providers.

The department has published information for 2024/25 academic year applications to the Turing Scheme, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/turing-scheme-apply-for-funding-for-international-placements. Schools, colleges, and universities across the UK can now review the guidance and prepare their applications for funding ahead of the application window opening in February 2024.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of whether potential apprentices can afford the cost of the tools they require for their apprenticeships; and whether they have any plans to provide loans or financial support for the purchase of equipment necessary for apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are jobs and the department expects employers to provide apprentices with the support, tools and resources they need for a high-quality experience.

The department provides additional financial support to employers and providers to encourage more apprenticeship opportunities and to help meet additional costs associated with apprenticeships. The department makes payments of £1,000 to employers and providers when they take on apprentices aged 16 to 18, and up to 24 for apprentices with an Education, Health and Care plan, which can be used to support costs such as work equipment, uniforms, or travel. Furthermore, the department has increased the care leavers’ bursary from £1,000 to £3,000, helping even more young people to access and complete apprenticeships.

The department wants to make sure that apprentice pay supports talented individuals to start and stay in apprenticeships. From April 2024, the apprentice minimum wage will increase by 21.2% to £6.40, from £5.28 per hour. This is a cash increase of £1.12 and will benefit an estimated 40,000 apprentices. This boost to the hourly wage will benefit young apprentices under 19, and those in their first year of an apprenticeship. Many employers pay their apprentices more than the minimum. Latest data shows that the median gross hourly pay for apprentices in 2021 was £9.98 an hour.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to increase the national minimum wage for apprentices from the current £5.28 per hour.

From April 2024, the department is increasing the apprentice minimum wage by 21.2% to £6.40, from £5.28 per hour. This is a cash increase of £1.12 and will benefit an estimated 40,000 apprentices, including young apprentices under 19 and those in their first year of an apprenticeship.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many schools have not returned a reinforced autoclave aerated concrete survey; and what actions they are taking to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils in schools where the safety of buildings is not yet known.

Nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff. It has always been the case that where we are made aware of a building that may pose an immediate risk, the Department takes immediate action.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools – academy trusts, Local Authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – who work with their schools on a day-to-day basis, to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert us if there is a concern with a building.

The Department has acted decisively and proactively to tackle this issue. This Government has taken more proactive action on RAAC than any other in the UK. The Department issued comprehensive guidance in 2018, and subsequent years, to all responsible bodies highlighting the potential risks associated with RAAC and supporting them to identify this within their buildings, as well as to take appropriate steps in meeting their obligations to keep buildings safe. The most recent guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-estates-guidance.

There are over 22,000 schools and colleges in England, and the vast majority are unaffected. A significant proportion of the estate was built outside the period where RAAC was used, with around one third of the estate built since 2001, therefore, the Department has focused efforts on buildings built in the post-war decades.

The Department issued a questionnaire in March 2022, asking responsible bodies to inform the Department of any suspected RAAC identified in their estates. Responsible bodies have submitted questionnaires for over 98% of schools with blocks built in the target era, of which there are 14,900. We are pressing all remaining schools to get checks completed, to determine which schools require surveys.

The Department is contacting responsible bodies to help them respond to this request and to advise on what needs to be done, so that they can establish whether they believe they have RAAC. This work will continue until we have a response for all target era schools.

Schools and colleges where RAAC is suspected are being fast tracked for surveying, which is used to confirm whether RAAC is actually present. All schools and colleges that have already told us they suspect they might have RAAC will be surveyed within a matter of weeks, in many cases in a matter of days.

All schools where RAAC is confirmed are provided with a dedicated caseworker to support them and help implement a mitigation plan and minimise the disruption to children’s learning.

Across Government, Departments have been asked to report on the current picture of suspected and confirmed RAAC in their estates as soon as possible. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. The Department for Education published lists of education settings confirmed as having RAAC on Wednesday 6 September, and committed to providing further updates.

Schools will contact parents where RAAC is identified and inform them of any impacts on their child. The vast majority of schools are unaffected. Any parents that are unsure if their child’s school is affected should contact their school directly.

While some short term disruption is inevitable, all available measures will be taken to minimise disruption to pupil learning and ensure that pupils continue to receive face-to-face teaching. Where there is any disturbance to face-to-face education, schools will prioritise attendance for vulnerable children and young people and children of key workers. The guidance published by the Department in August also includes guidance on provision for pupils with SEND and sets out expectations that schools continue to provide free school meals to eligible pupils.

The Department will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, like transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, the department will provide that support for all reasonable requests. The Department will also fund longer term refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to rectify the RAAC issue in the long term.

All previously confirmed School Rebuilding Programme projects announced in 2021 and 2022 will continue to go ahead. A full list of confirmed projects can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

Further information on RAAC in education settings is available on the Education Hub: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/09/06/new-guidance-on-raac-in-education-settings/.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which local authorities require residents to sort their rubbish into seven different bins.

We do not require local authorities to submit this information to central Government as a standard requirement. Local authorities vary their collection arrangements in line with local decisions. Information on the number of bins or containers offered to residents for recycling collections is publicly available on each local authority website.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what financial resources they are allocating to anti-littering campaigns in England.

Defra launched the “Keep it, Bin it” anti-litter campaign in 2018 with Keep Britain Tidy to encourage people to dispose of their litter responsibly. Defra spent over £200,000 on scoping, developing and launching the campaign. Since 2019/20, the campaign has been funded by external partners. Keep Britain Tidy have now made the campaign available to local authorities and landowners for local use.

In response to COVID-19, Defra spent just under £100,000 on the development and launch of the 'Respect the Outdoors' campaign which included messaging about littering among other issues. We also contributed £30,000 for Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks campaign, which encouraged people to treat our parks with respect.

We have previously provided nearly £1million across 44 councils to help them to purchase new bins, in support of targeted interventions to reduce litter. Across the last two years, our fly-tipping grant scheme has awarded nearly £1.2million to help more than 30 councils tackle the dumping of waste at known hot-spots.

We have also used social media to raise awareness of the impact of litter and to encourage individuals to put their rubbish in the bin or to take it home. The cost of these activities cannot be separated. Likewise, spend on Defra staff cannot be disaggregated.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all cars sold in the UK meet appropriate anti-theft standards and are adequately protected from relay attacks.

All passenger cars placed on the UK market need to be Type Approved. This process ensures compliance with requirements for anti-theft and car alarm systems.

The Government is protecting vehicles from relay attacks through provisions in the Criminal Justice Bill. The Bill will create new offences to enable prosecution of those who possess, make, adapt, supply, or offer to supply electronic devices; where there are reasonable grounds to suspect those devices will be used for the purposes of vehicle theft.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in achieving their target for motorway stations to have six rapid or ultra-rapid chargers by the end of 2023; and when they expect this to be achieved.

The Department has recently collected updated chargepoint numbers for the end of 2023 from motorway service area operators (MSAOs). There are now 800 open-access (can be used with any electric vehicle) rapid (50kW) and ultra-rapid (150Kw+) chargepoints at motorway service areas (MSAs) in England.

More than 565 chargepoints are ultra-rapid. This is a substantial increase of over 300 extra ultra-rapid chargers at MSAs in the last year.

56 of the 114 MSA sites now have at least six ultra-rapid open access chargepoints. Government is working closely with the distribution network operators, MSAOs, chargepoint operators and other key stakeholders in industry on wider challenges to chargepoint rollout and overcoming barriers at those sites that still need to reach their baseline provision.

One of the challenges faced by some is the cost of the grid upgrades. To address this, the £70m Rapid Charging Fund pilot, launched in December 2023, will help support MSA sites with the cost of the grid connections where it is currently not commercially viable, investing alongside the private sector.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to monitor and ensure that the National Highways meets its legal duty to ensure its land is kept clear of litter under sections 89(1) and (2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

National Highways is monitored against a litter performance indicator as part of the Road Investment Strategy (RIS2). This requires them to report on the percentage of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) where litter is graded at B or above under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Litter Code of Practice. National Highways performance on this metric is reported to the Office for Road and Rail and published annually.

National Highways consider litter to be a very serious problem. It is harmful to the environment, damaging to their reputation, and upsets their customers. It also creates a risk to the substantial number of people who collect it, and uses resources that could instead be better used to improve the road network.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to maintain a vaccine-based immunity in the under-65s given the spread of the JN.1 COVID-19 sub-variant.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a body of independent experts, advises the Government on who should be offered vaccination through the national programme for COVID-19. JCVI advice continues to be aimed at reducing hospitalisation and mortality in those groups which are at higher risk of serious outcomes from the disease.

Throughout the pandemic, older people have been amongst those most likely to experience severe disease if infected by SARS-CoV-2. Existing data on hospital admissions in the United Kingdom is consistent with the clinical risk continuing to be strongly age related, as well as associated with specified existing clinical conditions.

The JCVI view based on the available data is that due to a combination of naturally acquired and vaccine derived immunity in the population, otherwise known as hybrid immunity, COVID-19 is now a relatively mild disease for most people. This is why JCVI advice to date is that the COVID-19 national programme should be targeted to those at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 disease. More information regarding current eligibility for seasonal vaccination is available in chapter 14a of the Green Book, a copy of which is attached.

The JCVI continues to regularly review the emerging data on COVID-19 for each new campaign they recommend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to making COVID-19 vaccines available for people to buy privately.

There are no plans to make the COVID-19 vaccines the Government holds for National Health Service use available for purchase. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a body of independent experts, advises the Government on who should be offered vaccination through the national programme for COVID-19. Vaccination for COVID-19 through the NHS is free for those eligible.

Current COVID-19 vaccines offer good protection against serious outcomes but only short-lived protection from mild symptomatic disease. The aim therefore is to offer vaccination to those the JCVI advises are at higher risk of hospitalisation and death. This risk is strongly linked to older age and some specified clinical conditions.

All vaccines that have been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for use in the United Kingdom may be prescribed by physicians privately as well as through the NHS. Currently COVID-19 vaccines are not available privately but as is the case for many other vaccines, manufacturers and providers are able to set up a private market alongside the NHS offer when they consider this viable and appropriate. The Government is supportive of the emergence of a private market for COVID-19 vaccines. Supply of vaccines for such a market would be, as with all other vaccines, a matter for the private providers working with manufacturers to obtain through the open market.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the national supply disruption problems of the most used ADHD medications have been resolved, and if not, what are the causes and when they expect the supply to return to acceptable levels.

Disruptions to the supply of medicines used for the management of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been primarily driven by issues which have resulted in capacity constraints at key manufacturing sites. The Department has been working closely with the respective manufacturers and some issues have now been resolved. However, we know that there continue to be disruptions to the supply of some other medicines, which should resolve by April 2024.

We have well-established processes to manage supply issues and continue to work with the respective manufacturers and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the supply disruptions are resolved as soon as possible.

We understand how frustrating and distressing medicine shortages can be and we want to assure patients that we are working with the respective manufacturers to resolve the issues with ADHD medicine supply in the United Kingdom as soon as possible and to help ensure patients are able to access these medicines in the short and long term.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure young people have timely access to mental health services.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion per year by March 2024 to enable an extra two million people in England, including 345,000 children and young people, to access National Health Service-funded mental health support.

We also provided an additional £500 million for 2021/22, targeting those groups whose mental health has been most affected by the pandemic, including children and young people. Within the £500 million, £79 million was invested to allow around 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more to access eating disorder services and a faster increase in the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges. £13 million was invested to ensure young adults aged 18 to 25, including university students, were supported with tailored mental health support, helping bridge the gap between children’s and adult services.

In February, NHS England published the outcomes of its consultation on the potential to introduce five new access and waiting time standards for mental health services, including that children and young people should start to receive care within four weeks from referral, as part of its clinically led review of National Health Service access standards. We are now working with NHS England on the next steps.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure accurate and timely monitoring of (1) new COVID-19 cases, and (2) new variants of the disease; and when the next round of booster vaccines will be made available to each age group.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) conducts routine monitoring and surveillance of COVID-19 and the emergence and spread of new variants internationally via a range of surveillance systems and genomic capabilities. These systems report on infection rates, hospitalisations and the risks posed by new variants.

This year’s autumn influenza and COVID-19 vaccine programmes is starting earlier than planned in England, on 11 September 2023, as a precautionary measure. Speeding up the Autumn vaccine programme will deliver greater protection, supporting those at greatest risk of severe illness and reducing the potential impact on the National Health Service.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to:

- residents in a care home for older adults;

- all adults aged 65 years and over;

- persons aged six months to 64 years in a clinical risk group;

- frontline health and social care workers;

- persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression; and

- persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults.

An appointment will be offered to eligible people between September and December 2023, with those at highest risk being called in first. Those eligible for vaccination are encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine as soon as they are called to ensure they head into winter with the best protection.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to prevent the circulation of illegal vaping products particularly among young people.

Recent NHS Digital data suggests there has been an increase in young people aged 19 years old and under with a finished admission episode with a primary or secondary diagnosis of a vaping disorder. There were 40 reported cases in 2022/23, seven more than in 2021/22.

The Government is taking a number of steps to prevent the circulation of illegal vaping products. In April 2023, we announced £3 million of funding to support a new illicit vapes enforcement squad to tackle underage sales and the illicit market. National Trading Standards have now begun setting up the operation, gathering intelligence, training staff and bolstering capacity and will begin field work later this year.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government on what grounds the Prime Minister has decided not to attend the UN General Assembly this month.

The UK Government delegation to the UN General Assembly High Level Week on 18-22 September will be led by the Deputy Prime Minister, accompanied by the Foreign Secretary, myself Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon as Minister of State for the UN, Minister Mitchell as Minister for Development and Minister Stuart as Minister for Net Zero. Building on the significant announcements made by the PM at the G20 in New Delhi, the UK delegation will show how these, and other UK priorities can be advanced through multilateralism as we work alongside a wide range of countries, ahead of major Artificial Intelligence and food security summits in the UK later this year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to implement statutory measures to ban the sale of zombie knives and machetes.

Between 18 April and 16 June 2023, the Government ran a consultation on new knife legislation proposals to tackle the use of machetes and other bladed articles in criminal activity. The Government published the response to the consultation on 30 August 2023.

Alongside other proposals, the Government intends to ban the import, sale and possession of zombie style knives and machetes.

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment, Surrender and Compensation) Order 2024 was laid in Parliament on 25 January 2024.

Once the legislation has been approved by Parliament, a surrender scheme will be launched this summer to remove these knives from our streets.

Once the surrender scheme has been completed, the manufacture, supply, sale and possession of zombie-style knives and machetes will be outlawed from 24 September.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that unaccompanied child asylum seekers arriving in the UK are not placed in adult prisons.

Determining the age of a young person is a difficult task and therefore, the age assessment process for immigration purposes contains safeguards.

Where a new arrival does not have genuine documentary evidence of their age and their claimed age is doubted, an initial age decision is conducted as a first step to prevent individuals who are clearly an adult or minor from being subjected unnecessarily to a more substantive age assessment and ensure that new arrivals are routed into the correct accommodation and processes for assessing their asylum or immigration claim. The lawfulness of the initial decision on age process was endorsed by the Supreme Court in the case of R (on the application of BF (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] UKSC 38.

Where doubt remains and an individual cannot be assessed to be significantly over 18, they will be treated as a minor for immigration purposes until further assessment of their age by a local authority.

The Home Office initial decision on age is not binding on the courts, and where the Court has doubt whether the individual is a minor or not, the courts will take a decision on the age of an individual before them based on the available evidence. This decision would then determine the type of detention estate someone is sent to if given a custodial sentence or remanded in custody. If an individual is sent to an adult prison and is later found to be a child, they can be moved to the youth custody estate if there continues to be a need to detain them.

The recent legislative reforms introduced by this government will improve the accuracy of the scientific age assessment outcomes, minimising the risk that a person will be incorrectly treated as either an adult or a minor and ensure that age-appropriate services and care are reserved for genuine minors.

7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied child asylum seekers have been placed in HMP Elmley in Kent; and how many are still held there.

The Home Office does not collect data on the number of age dispute cases that have arisen in adult prisons and is unable to confirm the statistics referenced in the Guardian article, which are derived from local authority responses to an FOI request. Our published data on age assessment can be accessed here. Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Furthermore, the Home Office published data on age disputes aggregates the age disputes resolved by including the outcomes of initial age decisions by the Home Office taken at the point of first contact, comprehensive Merton compliant age assessments conducted by social workers and any subsequent legal challenge into one category.

7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect police officers following a security breach of an IT supplier to the Metropolitan Police.

Digital ID, an IT supplier to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) advised them on 26 August 2023 that they had been subject to a ransomware attack, potentially putting at risk data for officers and staff.

The MPS immediately put in place appropriate security measures following the incident and reported the incident to the National Crime Agency and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Home Office, along with the National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Centre is engaged with both the MPS and Digital ID to investigate and provide support.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total cost payable to the government of Rwanda under the agreement with that country in the event that no migrants are sent there from the UK.

The UK has provided Rwanda with an initial investment of £120m into its economic development and growth as part of the Economic Transformation and Integration Fund (ETIF). Investment has been focused in areas such as education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, and job creation. A separate advance payment of £20m was also paid last year to support initial set up costs for the relocation of individuals.

Funding will also be provided to support the delivery of asylum operations, accommodation, and integration in Rwanda. Costs and payments will depend on the number of individuals relocated, the timing of when this happens, and the outcomes of individual cases. We will not enter into speculation as to what the final costs of the partnership may be nor provide a running commentary.

Legal proceedings are ongoing, and we have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court with a hearing scheduled to take place in October. We always knew that our policy was ambitious and novel, and that it would be tested in the courts, but we have also been clear we are committed to this partnership and will continue to robustly defend this policy so we can make it a reality.

12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the murals of cartoon characters at the Kent Intake Unit asylum centre were found to be 'too welcoming'; and under what legal powers they were removed.

We provide high-quality facilities to minors upon immediate arrival in the UK at Kent Intake Unit and all their needs are provided for.

The unit works closely with Kent Children’s Services to ensure the unaccompanied children are processed and placed into appropriate care as quickly as possible.

We continue to prioritise work with local authorities (LA), and Kent County Council, to ensure that children are transferred into local authority care as soon as possible via the National Transfer Scheme (NTS). We have supported this through our incentivised funding pilots to all local authorities across the UK, which aimed to encourage quicker transfers into local authority care.

Between December 22 and February 23, the Home Office increased our incentivised offer to £15,000 per child, to allow local authorities to invest more money in long term infrastructure to support the children they received. We will continue to provide incentivised funding throughout 2023-24, with every local authority receiving £6,00 for each unaccompanied child transferred from a dedicated UASC hotel into local authority care within five working days. This funding is in addition to the contribution made by the Home Office to LA’s receiving children through the NTS, which can equate to £52,195 per child, per year, up to the age of 18.

Recent figures show that 70% of UASCs are over 16. Further details can be found at the Asylum and Resettlement datasets – Gov.UK: Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to make longer-term and consistent funding available to local authorities for park and playground provision, particularly smaller play spaces in more deprived areas.

The final Local Government Finance Settlement for 2023/24 makes available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of up to £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23. This boost in funding demonstrates how Government stands behind councils up and down the country. The majority of the funding is un-ringfenced in recognition of local authorities being best placed to understand local priorities. On top of this, the £9 million UK-wide Levelling Up Parks Fund has provided specific funding to deliver improved green spaces in communities with the lowest access and a further £30 million will be provided to overhaul 30 local parks in England with a focus on improving facilities for young families.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)