Lord Bishop of Gloucester Portrait

Lord Bishop of Gloucester

Bishops - Bishops

Became Member: 7th September 2015


Lord Bishop of Gloucester is not a member of any APPGs
2 Former APPG memberships
Women in Contact with the Justice System, Women in the Penal System
Lord Bishop of Gloucester has no previous appointments


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Bishop of Gloucester has voted in 39 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
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(13 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(12 debate interactions)
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(11 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(39 debate contributions)
Home Office
(28 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(8 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(5,153 words contributed)
Victims and Prisoners Act 2024
(1,686 words contributed)
Online Safety Act 2023
(1,052 words contributed)
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View all Lord Bishop of Gloucester's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bishop of Gloucester, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Lord Bishop of Gloucester has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Bishop of Gloucester has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 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
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for improvements in the implementation of the public interest test in decisions about whether to prosecute in cases involving a suspect who may also be a survivor of domestic abuse.

All decisions to prosecute are made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and a case must meet the evidential and public interest stages of the Full Code Test.

We recognise that suspects may also be victims of domestic abuse. Accordingly, the Code acknowledges that suspects may have a lower level of culpability if they are compelled, coerced, or are victims of crime. The sixth edition of Charging (The Director's Guidance) published in December 2020 reinforces that in such circumstances it may be appropriate to offer an of court disposal or not to proceed with a case.

The CPS also has bespoke guidance illustrating how bespoke conditional cautions can support offenders in appropriate cases.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
21st Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to help households in rural communities move away from higher cost fuel sources for heating.

The Government recognises that heating oil prices have risen steeply over the past year and has therefore set out a £37 billion package of support. This includes financial support which remains available for heating oil customers with energy bills, if eligible, through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment schemes.

The Government continues to believe it essential that heating oil consumers receive a fair deal. There is an open market for the supply of domestic heating oil in the UK as the Government believes this is the best long-term guarantee of competitive prices.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households in the UK rely on (1) oil, and (2) liquified petroleum gas, as their sole source of energy.

Oil as primary source:

  • 760,000 households in England (The English Housing Survey (2019));
  • 129,000 households in Scotland (The Scottish House Condition Survey (2019));
  • 140,000 households in Wales (The Welsh Housing Conditions Survey (2017/18));
  • 526,000 households in Northern Ireland (The Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (2016).

Liquified petroleum gas as primary source:

  • 160,000 households in England (The English Housing Survey (2019));
  • 18,000 households in Scotland (The Scottish House Condition Survey (2019));
  • Data on liquified petroleum gas has not been published separately in Wales or Northern Ireland.
Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had regarding the adequacy of regulations governing the costs paid by off-grid households for (1) oil, and (2) liquified petroleum gas.

The Government understands that fuel prices are an important component of off-grid household and business expenditures and recognises the impact of fuel costs on UK consumers.

The main drivers of changes in heating oil and liquified petroleum gas are the international traded prices of crude oils and refined products. The Government continues to monitor the market closely. An open and competitive market is the best way to keep prices low.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost of the software that would be required to introduce an automatic registration system for income-related free school meals.

An assessment has not been made of the specific costs of any software for automatic registration because there are also complex data, systems, and legal implications to such a change. The department continues to explore the delivery feasibility of improving existing systems including the development of auto-enrolment functionality.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have carried out an impact assessment of revising the income-based eligibility threshold for the (1) 15-hour childcare offer for two year olds, (2) the Healthy Start Scheme, and (3) free school meals.

At present, we do not plan to revise the income thresholds for the 15-hour childcare for two-year-olds. The national eligibility criteria aims to support the most disadvantaged children. It is right to target the support based on evidence of which children stand to benefit the most but are least likely to be accessing a place.

The Healthy Start Scheme is the responsibility for the Department of Health and Social Care.

Free school meal eligibility is kept under review ensuring that these meals are supporting those who most need them.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to teach cookery skills at (a) primary, and (b) secondary, schools in England, and (2) to introduce a model curriculum which covers a basic range of cookery skills.

Cooking and nutrition are part of the national curriculum for design and technology, which is mandatory in state-maintained schools from key stages 1 to 3. 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. It recognises that cooking is an important life skill that will help children to feed themselves, and others, healthy and affordable food.

A food preparation and nutrition GCSE was introduced in September 2016. This requires pupils to understand and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating when preparing and cooking food. The first exams in this new qualification were taken in September 2018.

Furthermore, the department recognises that a firm grounding in cooking and healthy eating can play an important part in enabling individuals to reach their full potential to lead fulfilling and healthy lives. The Levelling Up White Paper has furthered the department’s ambitions to drive up food education in schools. This will include developing new curriculum content covering a basic range of cookery skills. We will also be investing up to £200,000 to pilot new training for school governors and academy trusts on a whole school approach to food.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent estimate they have made of the number of children in England who are eligible for income-related free school meals but are not registered for the scheme.

The department does not routinely collect information on the proportion of pupils that would be entitled to a free school meal but do not make a claim. Our last estimate is that take-up is around 89% of those who are entitled.

Whilst take-up of free school meals is strong, the department wants to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility. To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals and provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of an Affordable Food Innovation Fund being included in the White Paper to be published in response to the National Food Strategy.

The forthcoming Food Strategy White Paper is a once in a generation opportunity to create a food system that feeds our nation today and protects it for tomorrow. It will build on existing work across Government and identify new opportunities to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, more resilient, and more accessible for those across the UK.

Tackling poverty in all forms is a key priority for this Government. We are providing support worth around £21 billion this financial year and next to help families with the cost of living.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for a funding programme for food banks to develop into alternative forms of initiative, such as food clubs or social supermarkets.

Food Banks are independent, charitable organisations where local communities come together to support one another. This is a great example of the generosity of spirit across the country. The Government has no role in their operation.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether, and if so when, the Department for Work and Pensions will resume the sharing of Healthy Start take-up data with the Department of Health and Social Care.

DWP are working with DHSC to make data available by the end of 2022.

29th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have carried out an impact assessment of increasing the numbers of face-to-face advice services covering (1) household finances, and (2) benefit entitlement, in community centres that provide food to households on low incomes.

No assessment has been made.

DWP staff provide benefit and employment support across Great Britain through our national network of Jobcentres, who work in partnership with a variety of organisations that offer local budgeting and debt advice support.

The Government is keen to ensure that everyone accesses the benefits they are entitled to, which is why we have just launched an eligibility checker that can be found at Gov.uk.

DWP also funds the Money and Pensions Service that provides additional support to help people – particularly those most in need – to improve their financial wellbeing. It provides access to high-quality money and debt advice through its “MoneyHelper” services and signposting to third party organisations best placed to help.

25th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the eligibility criteria, and (2) the available methods of applying, for people aged under 18 with children who are seeking to apply for the NHS Healthy Start scheme.

The Department keeps the eligibility criteria for the Healthy Start scheme under continuous review. There are no current plans to change eligibility for the scheme. The NHS Business Services Authority also keeps the application methods for the NHS Healthy Start scheme under review, and there are no current plans to change the process for under 18 year olds.

Those who are under 18 years old, with parental responsibility for at least one child under four years old, and who meet the eligibility criteria for Healthy Start through Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit, can apply online. This is the same process for all who are eligible through these qualifying benefits.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how much it would cost to expand the sample size for the Food Standards Agency's Food and You 2 survey to a minimum of 10,000 households.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) estimates that it would cost approximately an additional £400,000 per year to increase the sample size of the Food and You 2 survey from 4,000 households to 10,000.

A sample size of 4,000 households for each biannual wave of fieldwork provides sufficient accuracy to detect any important changes in the survey’s key estimates at the 95% confidence level. The random probability sampling approach (where households are randomly selected from the postcode address file) and use of weighting helps to ensure the results are representative of the population.

Combining responses from multiple survey waves is a more cost-effective approach where greater accuracy is required. The FSA plans on publishing a combined dataset for Waves 1-6 in autumn 2023. The FSA currently has no plans to increase the sample size for Food and You 2.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to expanding the sample size for the Food Standards Agency’s Food and You 2 survey to a minimum of 10,000 households.

The Food Standards Agency currently has no plans to increase the sample size for the Food and You 2 Survey. Each biannual wave of fieldwork contains a sample size of 4,000 households, with 2,000 in England, and 1,000 in each of Wales and Northern Ireland. This provides sufficient accuracy at a 95% confidence level for the survey’s key estimates. The random probability sampling approach, by which households are randomly selected from the postcode address file, and use of weighting helps to ensure the results are representative of the population. Where greater accuracy is required, responses from multiple survey waves can be combined.

The higher survey delivery costs associated with a larger sample size outweigh the benefits from an increase in accuracy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to enabling local authorities to have a role, on an initial pilot basis, in allocating funding from the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in their area.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by the Department. There has been no assessment of a role for local or regional authorities in the Scheme or reforms to strengthen local procurement strategies. Seasonal produce is used in the Scheme and organic produce may be used.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to reforming the School Fruit and Vegetable scheme (1) to strengthen local procurement strategies, and (2) to enhance the supply of (a) seasonal, or (b) organic, produce to schools.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by the Department. There has been no assessment of a role for local or regional authorities in the Scheme or reforms to strengthen local procurement strategies. Seasonal produce is used in the Scheme and organic produce may be used.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many calls have been made to the Healthy Start helpline in each of the most recent six months for which data are available.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Month

Number of calls

September 2022

322,351

August 2022

334,180

July 2022

297,852

June 2022

372,036

May 2022

426,480

April 2022

215,358

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many calls to the Healthy Start helpline have gone unanswered, due to lines being busy, in each of the most recent six months for which data are available.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether (1) ministers, or (2) officials, have held discussions with Mastercard to address issues relating to Healthy Start prepaid cards which may prevent the introduction of an automatic registration scheme among eligible families.

There have been no specific discussions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many recipients of Healthy Start vouchers are not in receipt of prepaid cards despite remaining eligible for the scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority estimates that as of 18 October 2022, there were 2,954 households previously were in receipt of paper vouchers which have not successfully applied to the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card scheme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what were the (1) average, and (2) longest, waiting times for calls made to the Healthy Start helpline in each of the most recent six months for which data are available.

The following table shows the average and longest waiting times in hours, minutes and seconds for calls to the Healthy Start helpline in each of the last six months for which data is available.

Average speed of answer

Maximum waiting time

September 2022

00:00:27

00:16:40

August 2022

00:00:07

00:10:27

July 2022

00:00:26

00:19:13

June 2022

00:14:01

00:58:50

May 2022

00:14:38

00:55:09

April 2022

00:22:14

02:00:00

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish data on the take-up of the Healthy Start scheme among eligible families in April 2022.

The information requested is not currently held centrally. The Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS Business Services Authority are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain the relevant data as soon as possible. Once received, this information will be published online.

29th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the potential merits of introducing an automatic registration process for the Healthy Start scheme.

The Department has not considered the potential merits of introducing an automatic registration process for the Healthy Start scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority operates the Healthy Start scheme which has recently transitioned from paper vouchers to a prepaid card. All applicants to the scheme, where they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the legislation, must accept the terms and conditions of the prepaid card at the point of application. As the prepaid card is a financial product and cannot be issued without the applicant accepting these terms, the NHS Business Services Authority cannot automatically provide eligible families with a prepaid card.

25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, or (2) 26 years or older, have been (a) in receipt of mental health care, or (b) referred to mental health support, whilst in custody.

This data is not collected in the format requested. All those entering prison receive comprehensive health screening within 72 hours and a further general health assessment within seven days of arrival. This incorporates questions to establish any mental health concerns and allows referrals to the mental health team if indicated.

25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, have accessed primary care mental health services in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow Healthy Start prepaid cards to be used for making online and telephone purchases of food items covered by the scheme.

All beneficiaries who have a prepaid card can use it in all retailers which accept Mastercard payments and sell the permitted Healthy Start food items. There are no current plans to allow the prepaid card to be used online or for telephone purchases.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether transaction fees will be applied to purchases made using Healthy Start prepaid cards; and if so, what plans they have to consider the potential merits of exempting charitable food providers from those fees.

The NHS Business Services Authority does not charge the retailer transaction fees for use of the Healthy Start pre-paid card. As for any card payment, retailers may be charged by their acquiring bank.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an impact assessment has been undertaken on the application of transaction fees to purchases made using Healthy Start prepaid cards.

No impact assessment was undertaken. The NHS Business Services Authority do not charge the retailer transaction fees for use of the Healthy Start prepaid card. However, as for any card payment, retailers may be charged by their acquiring bank.

10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women aged (1) 18 to 24, and (2) 25 years or older, have accessed primary care mental health services, in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women in prison aged (1) 18–24, or (2) 25 years or older, have been (a) in receipt of mental health care, or (b) referred to mental health support, whilst in custody.

This information is not collected in the format requested.

However, NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that, as at 30 November 2021, the records of nine women aged 18 to 24 years old and 324 women aged 25 years old and over in prison indicate a severe and enduring mental health condition according to Quality and Outcomes Framework definitions and are likely to have received related intervention for their condition. This represents women presenting with significant levels of mental ill-health requiring specialist mental health service interventions and does not include women in custody who have accessed primary care mental health services and are treated through normal primary care provision for lower level presentations.

24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what protections are in place to ensure that migrant victims of domestic abuse can safely report abuse to the police, without fear of immigration enforcement action.

A Migrant Victims Protocol is being established. This will provide an assurance to individuals that no immigration enforcement action will be taken whilst criminal justice proceedings concerning allegations of domestic violence are ongoing and/or whilst support to make applications to regularise their stay is being sought.

Representatives of the domestic abuse sector have rejected the proposal of the protocol and opted not to engage further with the Home Office on its development.

Representatives of the domestic abuse sector have received regular updates on the development of the protocol through Home Office chaired stakeholder groups. The Home Office has engaged with police and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner on an initial draft of the Code of Practice prior to consultation as required by Section 82 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Feedback provided by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, as a representative of the domestic abuse sector, is being reviewed as the Code is developed. Consultation will take place before any Code of Practice is laid before Parliament for approval as required by the Act and will commence later this year.

The Protocol will be finalised and communicated later this year.

24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to consult representatives of the domestic abuse sector on (1) the development of the protocol, and (2) code of practice on data sharing, for migrant victims of crime.

A Migrant Victims Protocol is being established. This will provide an assurance to individuals that no immigration enforcement action will be taken whilst criminal justice proceedings concerning allegations of domestic violence are ongoing and/or whilst support to make applications to regularise their stay is being sought.

Representatives of the domestic abuse sector have rejected the proposal of the protocol and opted not to engage further with the Home Office on its development.

Representatives of the domestic abuse sector have received regular updates on the development of the protocol through Home Office chaired stakeholder groups. The Home Office has engaged with police and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner on an initial draft of the Code of Practice prior to consultation as required by Section 82 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Feedback provided by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, as a representative of the domestic abuse sector, is being reviewed as the Code is developed. Consultation will take place before any Code of Practice is laid before Parliament for approval as required by the Act and will commence later this year.

The Protocol will be finalised and communicated later this year.

24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the evaluation of the Support for Migrant Victims pilot scheme.

In 2021 the Government awarded the charity Southall Black Sisters £1.4 million to run the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) Scheme pilot. This was following the Government’s review (in 2020) of its response to migrant victims who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This funding has now been extended until March 2025.

The independent evaluation of the SMV Scheme considered the implementation and delivery of the pilot, the experiences and outcomes for those who accessed it, and how the pilot sat alongside existing support for migrant victims of domestic abuse. A total of 425 victims were supported during the pilot.

When we have carefully considered the findings, we will publish the evaluation in due course.

21st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment has been made of the recommendations in the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s second report into migrant survivors, Safety before status: the solutions, published on 13 December 2022.

Tackling violence against women and girls is a government priority. We are committed to supporting victims of abuse, regardless of their immigration status.

The Home Office is grateful to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for publishing the ‘Safety Before Status: The Solutions’ report and to the Commissioner’s team and external partners for researching the vital issue of support for migrant victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

We will continue to engage with the Commissioner’s office on recommendations set out in the report, and across government. We have already begun to take forward work that stems from some of the recommendations.

We are giving detailed consideration to the findings of this research in conjunction with the external evaluation of the Home Office funded Support for Migrant Victims Scheme pilot (SMV) and considering the wider policies affecting migrant victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Our official response will be published as soon as is practicable. In the meantime, we continue to provide £1.4 million per annum to fund support for all migrant victims of domestic abuse.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to publish their response to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report Safety before status: the solutions, which was due in February.

Tackling violence against women and girls is a government priority. We are committed to supporting victims of abuse, regardless of their immigration status.

The Home Office is grateful to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for publishing the ‘Safety Before Status: The Solutions’ report and to the Commissioner’s team and external partners for researching the vital issue of support for migrant victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

We will continue to engage with the Commissioner’s office on recommendations set out in the report, and across government. We have already begun to take forward work that stems from some of the recommendations.

We are giving detailed consideration to the findings of this research in conjunction with the external evaluation of the Home Office funded Support for Migrant Victims Scheme pilot (SMV) and considering the wider policies affecting migrant victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Our official response will be published as soon as is practicable. In the meantime, we continue to provide £1.4 million per annum to fund support for all migrant victims of domestic abuse.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what support is available for those on a student or visitor visa who become subject to domestic abuse whilst residing in England.

Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for this Government. Information on support for victims can be found on the Domestic abuse: how to get help page on GOV.UK, or through Government’s 'Enough' campaign.

Those on a student or visitor visa who become subject to domestic abuse whilst residing in England, can also seek support from the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) scheme. The SMV scheme was launched as a 12-month pilot in March 2021, run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners, and supported with £1.5 million of Government funding. It provides support and wraparound services to migrant victims of domestic abuse. This support includes: accommodation, subsistence, legal advice and counselling.

Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support to migrant victims if a genuine care need is established that does not arise solely from destitution. Examples can include, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

Evidence from the independent evaluation of the SMV pilot, to be produced in a final report in early 2023, will inform future policy decisions surrounding our support for migrant victims of domestic abuse. Whilst we consider the evaluation findings and the lessons learned for future policy decisions, we will provide £1.4 million in 2022-23 to continue to fund support for all migrant victims of domestic abuse.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their evaluation of the Support for Migrant Victims pilot scheme.

Tackling domestic abuse and ensuring victims receive the support they need, is a priority for this Government. Furthermore, anyone who has suffered domestic abuse must be treated as a victim first and foremost, regardless of immigration status.

In April 2021, the Home Office launched the £1.5 million Support for Migrant Victims Scheme for migrant victims of domestic abuse who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). The pilot, being run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners for a duration of 12 months, provides wraparound support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, including subsistence, accommodation and counselling.

We have appointed an independent evaluator, Behavioural Insights Ltd, to assess the Scheme, with a view to producing a final report later this year. The Scheme and independent evaluation will help to build the evidence-base needed to better understand the diverse needs of the migrant population, which in turn should inform any future change in policy decisions.

In the interim, as announced in our recently published Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan, we will provide £1.4 million in 2022-23 to continue to fund support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, whilst we take on board vital lessons learned from the pilot to inform future policy decisions.

The Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan will seek to transform the whole of society’s response in order to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems processes in place needed to deliver these goals. The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) National Statement of Expectations, and Commissioning Toolkit, which we have published alongside the Plan, will also provide support to commissioners to help them increase provision of ‘by and for’ and specialist services.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many residents of immigration removal centres (1) have displayed, or (2) are currently displaying, symptoms of COVID-19; and of those, how many have been tested. [T]

The safety and health of people in the detention estate are of the utmost importance. We are following all Public Health England guidance and have robust contingency plans in place.

All immigration removal centres have dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. The Home Office, its suppliers and NHS England healthcare providers in immigration removal centres are following PHE guidelines for the management of COVID-19. Universal testing is not currently recommended under these guidelines for those in detention or those being released. Testing of individuals in immigration detention will be dependent on individual circumstances.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in IRCs, all centres are following a reverse cohorting process which commenced on 20 April 2020. This requires new arrivals to be isolated from the main population for a period of 14 days to verify that each individual is asymptomatic. If a detainee shows symptoms during this time, they are be moved to protective isolation for seven days.

As of 3 June 2020, there are no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

There have been two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in detainees, a third individual was identified but after his release from detention had been agreed.

Local management information indicates that for the period 9 March to 31 May 2020, fifty-seven detainees have been placed in protective isolation for displaying COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms. There is currently one detainee in protective isolation after showing symptoms of COVID-19. Historic information on the number of COVID-19 tests conducted in IRCs is not held.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to support refuges for victims of domestic violence to afford necessities such as utility bills, given the increased cost of living.

Refuges provide vital services for victims of domestic abuse who need to flee their home. DLUHC is committed to the delivery of safe accommodation with support for all victims of domestic abuse, as part of the Government’s overall Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

The Government has put in place a number of energy assistance measures to provide support during the current cost of living crisis. We are working to ensure that domestic abuse sector providers are aware of, and able to take up, all energy assistance and advice available to them. We will monitor this carefully and work with partners on mitigating the impact of the cost of living crisis.

On 12 December the Minister for Housing & Homelessness announced two years of government funding - £127.3 million and £129.7 million for delivery of safe accommodation services in 2023/24 and 2024/25. This funding will enable local authorities to make longer term commissioning decisions and give certainty to local providers such as specialist domestic abuse refuges.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the University of Manchester Racial Bias and the Bench: A response to the Judicial Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2020-2025), published in November 2022, what support they will give to recommendations to overhaul judicial appointment processes to deliver a more diverse judiciary and embed equalities within the judiciary.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is independent of government and has a statutory duty to select candidates for judicial appointment solely on merit; select only people of good character and have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for judicial selection. The JAC keeps its selection processes under continual review to ensure they are transparent, fair, and attract talented candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. In 2022-2023, across all legal JAC exercises, 51% of those recommended for appointment were women and 16% were ethnic minorities, contributing to a more diverse judiciary.

The Ministry of Justice, as a member of the Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF), works closely with the judiciary, the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), the Legal Services Board (LSB) and the three largest legal professions on actions to improve judicial diversity. The Forum’s 2024 action plan (https://judicialappointments.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Judicial-Diversity-Forum-Priorities-and-Actions-for-2024.pdf) which was published in January, sets out our shared priorities.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
17th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of resources allocated to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

As part of the departmental allocation process, we assess the needs of individual organisations against the overarching backdrop of the wider departmental finances. The CCRC’s budget has increased year on year since 2020-21 both to increase the size of its caseworker team and to carry out more outreach work with people who may need their services. The budget for 2023/24 was set at just under £8 million, which is an increase of £1.26 million or 18% since 2021/22. Its 2024-25 allocation is under consideration.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government (1) how many, and (2) what proportion, of prisons in England and Wales currently provide secure video calls for prisoners.

All prisons (100%) across England and Wales have the capability to offer secure video calls with approved family members and friends, responding to demand from prisoners.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of people released from prison went on to reoffend, what number of reoffences were committed on average, what was the total number of reoffences, and what was the total number of reoffenders by custodial sentence length for (1) men, and (2) women, for the most recent year that figures are available.

This Government is committed to tackling the causes of reoffending to keep our communities safe. Between 2010/11 and 2020/21, the overall proven reoffending rate decreased from 31.6% to 24.4%.

Helping prison leavers to secure accommodation, employment, and substance misuse treatment on release is essential for rehabilitation and can significantly reduce their likelihood of reoffending. We are therefore investing in a range of interventions including delivering our temporary accommodation service so that prison-leavers have a stable base on release, offering more offenders the chance to work in prison and expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living wings so that we can support prisoners off drugs and into recovery.

Further, we are seeking to introduce a presumption against short sentences which we know have significantly higher reoffending rates than suspended and community sentences.

The answer can be found in the tables below.

Table 1: Reoffending rate, number of reoffences and average number of reoffences per reoffender for offenders released from custody, male and female (adult), April 2020 – March 2021.

April 2020 - March 2021

Female offenders

Proportion of offenders who reoffend (%)

44.1%

Average number of reoffences per reoffender

5.89

Number of reoffences

8,686

Male offenders

Proportion of offenders who reoffend (%)

37.5%

Average number of reoffences per reoffender

4.46

Number of reoffences

72,549

All adult offenders

Proportion of offenders who reoffend (%)

38.0%

Average number of reoffences per reoffender

4.58

Number of reoffences

81,235

Table 2: Number of reoffenders by custodial sentence length, male (adult), April 2020 – March 2021

April 2020 - March 2021

Less than or equal to 6 months

Number of reoffenders

8,902

More than 6 months to less than 12 months

Number of reoffenders

2,170

12 months to less than 2 years

Number of reoffenders

2,176

2 years to less than 4 years

Number of reoffenders

1,995

4 years to 10 years

Number of reoffenders

958

More than 10 years

Number of reoffenders

38

Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP)

Number of reoffenders

13

Mandatory Life (MLP)

Number of reoffenders

8

Other Life [Note 1]

Number of reoffenders

6

All male adult reoffenders

Number of reoffenders

16,266

Table 3: Number of reoffenders by custodial sentence length, female (adult), April 2020 – March 2021

April 2020 – March 2021

Less than or equal to 6 months

Number of reoffenders

1,056

More than 6 months to less than 12 months

Number of reoffenders

212

12 months to less than 2 years

Number of reoffenders

113

2 years to less than 4 years

Number of reoffenders

79

4 years to 10 years

Number of reoffenders

14

More than 10 years

Number of reoffenders

0

Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP)

Number of reoffenders

0

Mandatory Life (MLP)

Number of reoffenders

0

Other Life [Note 1]

Number of reoffenders

0

All female adult reoffenders

Number of reoffenders

1,474

[Note 1] 'Other life' category includes discretionary and automatic life sentences.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many applications were received for a Mother and Baby Unit place in prison in the past five years; and of those, how many were (1) accepted, or (2) refused, broken down by reason for refusal.

Total figures for applications received, approved and refused are provided in the table below.

As decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and the reasons can be complex, reasons for refusal are not currently collated, and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Number of applications received for admission to Mother and Baby Units1

97

95

62

85

80

Number of applications approved by a board

46

46

26

44

40

Number of applications refused by a board

15

15

17

16

15

Note;

1 For a variety of reasons, some applications do not proceed to an admissions board. For example, the application may be withdrawn; or the applicant’s circumstances may change so that a place is no longer required

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the cost per minute to make a call from (1) a prison wing payphone, and (2) an in-cell phone, to (a) a landline, and (b) a mobile phone, at (i) weekends, and (ii) weekdays.

The cost per minute for prison wing payphone and in-cell phones are:

Calls to UK fixed lines:

3.10 pence during the week midnight Sunday to midday Friday
2.75 pence during the weekend midday Friday to midnight Sunday

Calls to UK mobiles:

6.88 pence during the week midnight Sunday to midday Friday
4.50 pence during the weekend midday Friday to midnight Sunday

Prisons are able to limit when calls can be made and the duration of time an individual can use a PIN phone for on a given day. These limitations will reflect the local capacity to handle multiple calls concurrently and their requirement to resource the monitoring of specific calls.

Prisoners pay for their own calls using prison earnings or money sent into them from family and friends. Calls to organisations such as the Samaritans are free to prisoners with HMPPS paying for these directly.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of cells in (1) the female prison estate, and (2) the male prison estate, have in-cell telephony; and what proportion of cells in each prison have that facility.

There are a total of 10 Women’s Public Sector Prisons (8 closed and 2 open) in England which are run by His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service.

  • All cells in the 8 prisons within the women’s closed estate have 100% In-Cell Telephony.
  • Neither of the 2 prisons within the women’s open estate have any In-Cell Telephony, 0%.

There are a total of 97 Men’s Prisons (84 closed and 13 open) in England and Wales, which are run by His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service.

Of the 84 closed men’s prisons:

  • 78 prisons have received In-Cell Telephony throughout, 100%.
  • 4 prisons are currently at the end of implementation, therefore these prisons are 98% live with In-Cell Telephony and should complete within the next two weeks.
  • 2 prisons are at implementation stage and are due to complete on February 24, therefore the proportion is currently 0%.

Of the 13 open men’s prisons:

  • 1 prison has In-Cell Telephony throughout, 100%.
  • 12 prisons do not have any In-Cell Telephony, 0%.

It is important to note that there are limitations to call usage on these devices. The PIN Phone system enables this as it can be configured on a site by site basis to best suit the needs of the site. This configuration applies to the time scales in which calls can be made, the number of calls which a single prisoner can make within those timescales and also the maximum amount of time the prisoner can spend on calls.

Additionally, each prisoner is issued a unique PIN number which they will use to make outside calls. These PIN numbers are pre-loaded with calling credit and also contain pre-approved numbers which security have sanctioned for the prisoner to use. The prison can configure the system to decide when the phones will be available to the prisoner. Support frameworks such as the Samaritans are accessible 24hrs a day via a dedicated PIN number which is available to prisoners.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)