Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
These initiatives were driven by Lord Field of Birkenhead, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.
Lord Field of Birkenhead has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Lord Field of Birkenhead has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to make provision for local authorities to monitor the educational, physical and emotional development of children receiving elective home education, and for connected purposes
A Bill to require local authorities to facilitate the delivery of programmes that provide free meals and activities for children during school holidays; and for connected purposes.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the definitions of worker and self-employed person; and for connected purposes.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to safeguard rights of European Union citizens in the United Kingdom after exit day; to make provision for arrangements to be made with other European Economic Area countries and Switzerland to maintain the rights of British citizens in those countries after exit day; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to guarantee paid employment for six months for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance, or the jobseeker’s component of Universal Credit, who have been unemployed for six months or longer; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to require school governing bodies to implement affordability policies when setting school uniform requirements; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to require landlords to meet standards for the hygienic storage and preparation of food and the provision of cooking appliances and equipment in accommodation provided for tenants in receipt of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to require landlords of tenants in receipt of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to ensure that their rented accommodation meets minimum standards for the hygienic storage and preparation of food; contains adequate appliances, equipment and utensils for the cooking of food; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to provide local authorities with the duties and powers required to identify and automatically register all children eligible for free school meals; to provide for an opt-out where the family wishes; and for connected purposes.
A Bill to require the creation of a register of owners of property in the Greater London area, including details of the name of the owner of each property and the name of the beneficiary owner in the case of properties owned by a trust or similar body; and for connected purposes.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Equality Act 2010 to remove discrimination against women in relation to consecration of bishops in the Church of England; and for connected purposes.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for filling vacancies among Lords Spiritual sitting and voting as Lords of Parliament.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision for the system for social housing allocation to give priority of choice of social housing to those with an exemplary tenancy record; to place a duty on housing associations to inform potential tenants about conduct of existing tenants in neighbouring properties; and for connected purposes.
The UK Government is unequivocal in its commitment for unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods moving to the rest of the UK market. The UK Internal Market Act 2020 put in place significant and robust protections for this regime for the long-term, prohibiting checks and controls on qualifying Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, and enabling these goods to be placed on the GB market without additional requirements.
We have always recognised that there are some additional processes on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. In line with our pragmatic and proportionate approach, we have, and will, continue to give these effects in a way which takes full account of all flexibilities and discretion, maintaining the effective flow of goods on which lives and livelihoods rely.
A copy of the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) (together, the ‘Agreements’) have been placed in the House of Lords Library. The European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 made changes to domestic law needed to implement our international obligations. There will also be a small programme of secondary legislation needed to fulfill all our obligations under the Agreements.
The UK was the first country in the world to start a vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, followed by the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine.
We have signed deals for substantial future supply of both vaccines to replenish our stocks and to enable swift vaccination across the UK in the months ahead. Our supply and scheduled deliveries of these vaccines will fully support vaccination of priority cohorts 1 to 4, as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by the middle of February.
The Government has also been working tirelessly to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect our frontline workers throughout the pandemic. We have significantly strengthened and diversified our supply chains for PPE, looking to new suppliers abroad as well as boosting our domestic manufacturing capability. This has helped to build our resilience into the future. We have ordered almost 32 billion items of PPE (of which the majority has been delivered or is on its way) to provide a continuous supply to the frontline over the coming months. As of December 2020, the Government had built a four-month stockpile of all COVID-critical PPE, with a tremendous contribution from UK manufacturers.
In January 2020, the government published its formal response to the independent Cairncross Review, which outlines steps the government, regulators and industry will take to support the future of the news publishing industry.
In terms of the fiscal interventions proposed by the Review, the government has introduced the zero-rating of VAT on e-publications and has committed to extending the existing business rates relief for an additional 5 years, until 31 March 2025. We also worked with Nesta to develop a £2million pilot innovation fund, launched in October 2019, and have committed to considering further fiscal measures to support the sector.
The recommended market study into the workings of the online advertising market has now concluded. The CMA’s final report recommended a similar approach to the Cairncross Review in proposing codes of conduct to govern the relationship between platforms and publishers. We are considering the CMA’s findings carefully before determining next steps, and will publish our response shortly.
The Review also recommended that Ofcom explore the market impact of BBC News. Government welcomed Ofcom’s decision to conduct a review into the BBC’s news output, which was published in October 2019.
With regard to the Review’s recommendations on taking steps to help users identify the reliability and trustworthiness of news sources, online platforms’ efforts here may continue and expand as a result of the proposals in the Online Harms White Paper. We intend to publish the Full Government Response to the White Paper as soon as possible. We are also developing a Media Literacy Strategy, which will be published in Spring 2021.
The government is pleased to see the BBC has conducted a thorough review of the Local Democracy Reporting Service and the wider Local News Partnership, as recommended by the Cairncross Review. As set out in our response, we would support any efforts by the BBC to grow the scheme.
The government will not be taking forward the recommendation to establish an institute for Public Interest News. While we acknowledge the value the proposed institute is intended to provide, it is not for the government to lead on this issue.
The government recognises the vital role of newspapers in supporting communities and in ensuring the provision of reliable, high-quality information at this time. In addition to the above measures, it has therefore also been an absolute priority to ensure we do all we can as a government to support news publishers during the Covid-19 crisis.
‘Keeping children safe in education’ (KCSIE) is statutory guidance to which all schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2.
Part 1 of KCSIE, which all staff should receive at induction, sets out what peer on peer abuse looks like, with detailed information covering child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment for staff who work directly with children. All staff should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated.
Part 5 of KCSIE sets out how schools and colleges should respond to reports of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment.
We also provide detailed advice to support schools and colleges to understand what sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges looks like, how to prevent it, how to respond to reports of it, and on how to support victims. This advice is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-violence-and-sexual-harassment-between-children-in-schools-and-colleges.
The guidance is very clear that all school staff should know what to do if a child tells them they are being abused or neglected.
The guidance is also very clear that concerns about a child should be responded to immediately and referrals (generally led by the designated safeguarding lead) made to children’s social care and the police.
All schools are required to teach a balanced and broad curriculum that helps provide young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society.
The National Curriculum for Design and Technology (D&T) requires maintained schools to teach pupils about food, nutrition, how to cook and healthy eating. Cooking and nutrition is a discrete strand of the D&T curriculum and cooking is compulsory in maintained schools for key stages 1 to 3 (ages 5-14). The curriculum aims to teach children how to cook, with an emphasis on savoury dishes, and how to apply the principles of healthy eating and nutrition. In 2016, we also introduced a new food preparation and nutrition GCSE to provide pupils with practical cookery experience and teach them about the underlying scientific concepts of nutrition and healthy eating.
The importance of a healthy diet is also included in the science curriculum for both primary and secondary schools where healthy eating is covered through topics relating to nutrition and digestion, including the content of a healthy diet and the impact of diet on how the body functions.
Data is available on the number of children with special educational needs in schools in England since 1992.
All the publications since 2010 can be found via the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-special-educational-needs-sen.
Earlier publications can be found in the national archives at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130103143954/https://education.gov.uk/researchandstatistics/statistics/statistics-by-topic/schoolpupilcharacteristics/sen?page=1.
The attached table gives the available time series compiled from the figures in these publications. The notes below the table explain points where policy changes have affected the continuity of the time series.
The special educational needs (SEN) system was substantially reformed in 2014. One of the features of this was that there was a wider age range than before, meaning higher SEN numbers amongst children. Children can either receive support in schools (known as SEN support) or those with more complex needs are issued with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
The department collects and publishes data on the numbers of pupils with SEN support and of children and young people aged 0-25 with EHC plans from 2015 (and the forerunner to EHC plans, constituting statements of SEN, which were phased out between 2015 and 2018).
Data shows that in the academic year 2015/16, 991,981 pupils were on SEN Support; in the academic year 2019/20 this was 1,079,000, and in 2015, 240,183 children and young people aged 0-25 had EHC plans (combined with statements); in 2020, there were 390,109 EHC plans.
Further data on pupils in schools with SEN (EHC plans and SEN support) can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/special-educational-needs-in-england.
Data on all children and young people aged 0-25 with an EHC plan can be found at https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.
The releases contain tables with key figures, and a table tool allowing users to create their own tables by selecting options from the filters available. Information on pupils in schools with SEN is expected to be updated in July 2021 with data for the 2020/21 academic year, and information on EHC plans in May 2021.
A reply was sent to the Noble Lord on 13 April 2021.
The UK has the climate, the natural resources and entrepreneurial farmers and food producers to equip us to produce a wide range of commodities. 64% of the food that we consume is already home-grown, and we remain confident in the resilience of our leading agricultural sectors. Productivity is a key driver of long-term economic growth and prosperity and we will support our hard-working farmers and growers to continue to produce a reliable and sustainable supply to high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards. Through our Environmental Land Management scheme, we will also support farmers to invest in the foundations of food production - healthy soil, clean and plentiful water and thriving wildlife.
We have agreed a new settlement with the EU and the Fisheries Act 2020 will ensure that our fisheries are managed in a sustainable way - balancing social, economic, and social benefits while preventing the over exploitation of fish stocks.
The Seafood Industry Leadership Group leads and supports the work of the Seafood 2040 Strategic Framework for England (SF2040). Seafood 2040 aims to achieve a 75% increase in UK Seafood consumption by 2040. As part of Seafood 2040, the English Aquaculture Strategy published in November 2020 sets out plans for the sustainable development of English aquaculture over the next twenty years, including a tenfold increase in production volume to around 90,000 tonnes by 2040.
A reply was sent to the Noble Lord on 15 April 2021.
Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households over time, including children and those in work, are set out in the annual "Households Below Average Income" publication.
In 2018/19 2,400,000 children were living in absolute low income, before housing costs. 700,000 were in single parent households, 1,700,000 were in couple households.
These statistics are also available on Stat-Xplore: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/login.xhtml
Guidance in the use of Stat-Xplore is available here: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html
We are committed to supporting the lowest-paid families through the pandemic and is why we’ve targeted our support to those most in need by raising the living wage, spending hundreds of billions to safeguard jobs, boosting welfare support by billions and introducing the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to help children and families stay warm and well-fed during the coldest months.
No assessment has been made.
This Government champions the principle of work as the best route out of poverty and towards financial independence. Getting parents back to work and supporting them to progress is at the heart of our sustainable approach to tackling child poverty. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risk of child poverty and is underpinned by our Plan for Jobs.
No assessment has been made.
From 3rd April 2020, deductions from Universal Credit for some government debt, such as Tax Credits, benefit overpayments and Social Fund Loans were suspended for 3 months. This was done to ease the financial pressure of debt recovery on benefit claimants and to also allow Debt Management staff to be re-deployed to focus on the unprecedented volume of new claims received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Universal Credit advance repayments are made gradually over 12 months, and deductions are capped at 30 per cent of a claimant’s standard allowance. This is further to the reduction of the overall maximum level of deductions from 40 per cent to 30 per cent of the standard allowance since October 2019.
From October 2021, the repayment period will be extended from 12 months to 24 months and the deductions cap will be reduced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.
For those who find themselves in unexpected hardship, advance repayments can be deferred for up to three months in certain cases.
The requested information surrounding deductions to Universal Credit payments by parliamentary constituency is shown in the attached table.
The shelf-life of Healthy Start Vitamins tablets for women is 24 months and the shelf-life of Healthy Start Vitamins drops for children is 15 months. The Service Level Agreement under which Healthy Start Vitamins are supplied to local areas ensures that stocks with sufficient shelf-life should be dispatched and this should be a minimum of three months.
Healthy Start Vitamins are made available free to people on Healthy Start, as a public health intervention to support the adequate daily intake of key micronutrients. Healthy Start Vitamins tablets for women and Healthy Start Vitamins drops for children both contain a daily dose of ten microgrammes of vitamin D.
No such correlation has been identified. Public Health England is investigating outbreaks in care homes which have occurred since the start of the vaccination programme to inform our understanding of the impact of vaccination in social care settings. Studying the relationship between numbers or percentage of staff or residents vaccinated and deaths from COVID-19 will be challenging as the number of deaths are falling as a result of falling COVID-19 infections in the general population.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.
If early years workers are captured in phase one due to their age, or clinical risk factors they will be prioritised. However, the Government, as advised by the JCVI, are not considering vaccinating early years workers as a phase one priority at this stage. Prioritisation decisions for next phase delivery are subject to of the surveillance and monitoring data and information from phase one, as well as further input from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI. Phase two of the roll-out may include further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all clinically extremely vulnerable individuals aged 16 years old and above should receive a COVID-19 vaccination in the first phase of the programme.
Children, including those in at risk groups, have a very low risk of mortality from COVID-19 and the advice of the JCVI is for the first phase of vaccination to involve a targeted programme to vaccinate those most at risk of mortality. Data from the first wave of the pandemic in the United Kingdom indicated that mortality in children was only seen in older children with severe neuro-disabilities. Given this, the JCVI has advised exceptional use of the vaccine outside of the authorisation in this group where these children require residential care and are as such at higher risk of exposure.
NHS Supply Chain, the main provider of consumables and equipment into the National Health Service, have led on the procurement of gloves. They approached all suppliers awarded onto their framework contracts during October 2019 requesting confirmation as to whether any of the gloves supplied to NHS Supply Chain were sourced from Top Glove. Two suppliers initially responded at the end of 2019 that they have used Top Glove but have since advised they no longer source gloves from Top Glove for supply to the NHS. This means none of their awarded framework suppliers are now supplying NHS Supply Chain with gloves manufactured by Top Glove.
The Department has not directly procured from Top Glove but has been supplied small quantities of gloves from Top Glove through a handful of intermediary suppliers. The Department has since engaged with these suppliers to understand their modern-day slavery policies. The Department itself has no plans to award further contracts for gloves.
Regrettably we have no record of having received this correspondence.
FCDO officials have reached out via the House of Lords custodians for a copy of this correspondence. On receipt, we will expedite an urgent response to your letter.
We have not directly provided COVID-19 vaccines to any country outside the UK, Crown Dependencies, and Overseas Territories. However, the UK is among the biggest donors to the COVAX facility, which is rolling out vaccines globally, including to low and middle income countries. We have committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for up to 92 developing countries this year. All but two members of the Commonwealth are COVAX members, and 31 Commonwealth countries will be receiving vaccines in the first phase of the COVAX rollout (Ghana was the first COVAX recipient on 24 February 2021). The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will share the majority of any future surplus COVID-19 vaccines from our domestic supply with the COVAX procurement pool to support developing countries.
The UK Government is committed to tackling all forms of modern slavery and achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7. We are taking active steps to identify and prevent modern slavery in government and partners' supply chains. In March 2020, we published the world's first Government Modern Slavery Statement, setting out steps taken to eradicate modern slavery from our supply chains.
The FCDO's Supply Partner Code of Conduct requires ODA-funded commercially contracted supply partners to go through a comprehensive code compliance process. This process considers supply chain risk and requires compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The FCDO is exploring applying the Code more broadly to other funded partners, such as accountable grants and Memorandum of Understandings. The FCDO encourages supply partners to use the Her Majesty's Government Modern Slavery Assessment Tool, which provides tailored recommendations to improve anti-slavery management and due diligence activity in their supply chains, including conducting risk assessments to reduce the risk of exploitation. From 2021, all Ministerial government departments, including the FCDO, will publish annual modern slavery statements, reporting on specific steps taken to tackle modern slavery in commercial supply chains.
Our international partners are aware of the UK's longstanding position on Taiwan, which has not changed. The Taiwan issue is one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, through constructive dialogue. The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan but we do have a strong, unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties.
In 2019, UK bilateral aid to Commonwealth countries totalled over £1.887 billion, representing around 18% of total UK bilateral ODA. Information on UK bilateral aid to each Commonwealth country is contained in table A4g of the 2019 UK Statistics on International Development, published on Gov.uk.
The police have taken significant steps to improve the response to modern slavery over the last few years and all police forces in England and Wales now have specialist resources to tackle modern slavery. These can include specialist-led triage processes to oversee investigations, specialist investigative units and specialist research and analytical capabilities.
The Home Office supported this activity by providing £13.6m funding from the Police Transformation Programme between 2016/17 and 2019/20 and a further £2m in 2020/21 to the new Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Programme. The latest annual report for 2019/20 for the programme can be found at: https://policingslavery.co.uk/media/2563/ms-annual-report-2020.pdf
Every death in custody is a tragedy, and we are committed to delivering meaningful and lasting change to prevent deaths in custody. Good progress has been made in addressing Dame Elish’s recommendations, with the majority of recommendations now delivered, although there is more to be done.
To prevent deaths in police custody in England and Wales, we have significantly restricted the use of police stations as places of safety, for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The National Police Chiefs' Council are driving progress on national training, including how officers identify health risks of detainees, and the Government is making significant investment in mental health. The Home Office have created an annual statistical publication showing data on police use of force, broken down by ethnicity.
In February 2020, the Government implemented reforms to provide the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) with a power to investigate matters on its own initiative, without the need for a referral from the police. Legislative reforms to the IOPC’s corporate structure and governance, implemented in January 2018, have helped to improve the timeliness of IOPC investigations.
To support families, we have made inquests more sympathetic to their needs, undertaken a review of the provision of legal aid for inquests, and improved the information available immediately after a death in custody.
The Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody continues to oversee and drive progress on this work. An official government update will be published in early 2021.