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These initiatives were driven by Lord Alderdice, 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 Alderdice has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Lord Alderdice has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Lord Alderdice has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Lord Alderdice has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
On 25 March NHS England and NHS Improvement issued guidance advising National Health Service dental practices to suspend all routine dentistry to meet the Government’s social distancing measures and to contain the spread of COVID-19. All NHS practices were required to offer telephone advice, triage and if required, painkillers or antibiotics. Practices then triaged patients who needed urgent face to face care into over 600 urgent dental centres set up across England.
All practices were able to open for face to face care from 8 June. Dentists have been free to restart the full range of face to face dentistry as far as they believe they can safely deliver this following Public Health England guidance on infection protection control procedures and appropriate levels of personal protective equipment. The letter offering guidance on this and a subsequent standard operating procedure guidance are attached.
The UK remains extremely concerned about the continued activity of illegal armed groups in Colombia, including that of the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the impact that their violence has on ordinary Colombians.
At a UN Security Council meeting on 14 April, we noted the unilateral ceasefire declared by the ELN on 30 March, and hoped it would facilitate efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic as well as potentially representing a positive step towards peace. We regret that this ceasefire was not renewed by the ELN.
We are aware of the request for a bilateral 90-day ceasefire made by the ELN in a statement on 7 July, and the Colombian Government's response. In our Permanent Representative's statement at the UN Security Council on 14 July, we encouraged all conflict parties in Colombia to create the conditions necessary for a cessation of hostilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK, alongside international partners, has continued to urge the ELN to end its campaign of violence, free all the hostages that it holds, and play a part in bringing an end to this conflict.
The United Kingdom is committed to the full implementation of the Peace Accords of 2016, and to supporting the Colombian Government as they work to ensure sustainable peace across the country. We are proud to be the penholder on the issue at the United Nations Security Council. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke on this issue at the Security Council on 14 July, and stated the importance of pressing ahead with work to consolidate peace for all, and build stability. We are working with stakeholders to help refine the mandate of the UN Verification Mission as it comes up for renewal later this year.
We also regularly raise our commitment to the peace process directly with the Colombian Government, most recently when Minister Wendy Morton spoke to the Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum on 2 June.
The UK has committed almost £53 million over 5 years through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for Colombia to support the implementation of the peace process, and we are the largest donor to the multilateral UN Trust Fund. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian Government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.
On 3 April, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued guidance to all missions in the United Kingdom setting out our expectation that countries intending to conduct Out of Country Voting should enable citizens to vote in a way compatible with current social distancing guidelines, for instance through postal voting or in-country representatives. The Polish parliament is currently considering draft legislation to allow for universal postal voting in the Polish presidential elections on 10 May. Senior FCO officials have received assurances from the Polish authorities that the proposed elections will be organised as a postal vote and that Polish citizens in the United Kingdom are not expected to vote in person. The Polish authorities have confirmed that consular and electoral commission staff organising the postal vote will respect social distancing guidelines at all times.
We continue to follow the political developments in Malaysia closely. We look forward to working with the new Prime Minister and his government on institutional reforms and to tackle important global challenges such as climate change.
The Foreign Secretary's visit to Kuala Lumpur on 11 February underlined the strong, historic ties between the UK and Malaysia and set out our vision for a dynamic future relationship.
The British Government is firmly committed to standing up for freedom of religion, and for individuals to practise their beliefs free from fear. These views are well known in Malaysia, and our longstanding relationship allows us to raise concerns at senior levels with the Malaysian government.
I discussed freedom of religion or belief with the then Malaysian Minister for National Unity, Waytha Morthy, in January. Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur regularly raise the issue of freedom of religion or belief with their Malaysian counterparts.