Lord Blencathra

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 28th February 2011


Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee
7th Sep 2017 - 19th Jan 2022
Procedure and Privileges Committee
16th May 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Communications Data Bill (Joint Committee)
28th Jun 2012 - 28th Nov 2012
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
12th Jun 2006 - 6th May 2010
Members Estimate Committee
29th Jan 2004 - 6th May 2010
Liaison Committee (Commons)
14th Jun 2006 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
14th Jun 2006 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
12th Jun 2006 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
14th Jun 2006 - 6th May 2010
Members Estimate
29th Jan 2004 - 6th May 2010
Opposition Chief Whip (Commons)
18th Sep 2001 - 10th May 2005
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 1993 - 1st May 1997
Minister (Department of Environment) (Environment and Countryside)
14th Apr 1992 - 26th May 1993
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
26th Jun 1989 - 15th Apr 1992
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
27th Jul 1988 - 24th Jul 1989
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 1987 - 25th Jul 1988
Agriculture
6th Dec 1985 - 15th May 1987


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 5th March 2024
15:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
5 Mar 2024, 3 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 6th March 2024
11:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
11:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
12 Mar 2024, 11 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
14:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
12 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
15:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
12 Mar 2024, 3 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
11:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
13 Mar 2024, 11 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
12:30
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
13 Mar 2024, 12:30 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
15:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
13 Mar 2024, 3 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
17:00
Public Services Committee - Private Meeting
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
13 Mar 2024, 5 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th March 2024
15:00
Public Services Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
20 Mar 2024, 3 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 17th April 2024
15:00
Public Services Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
17 Apr 2024, 3 p.m.
At 3:00pm: Oral evidence
David Johnston OBE MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing) at Department for Education
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Mims Davies MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work) at Department for Work and Pensions
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 184 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Friday 9th February 2024
Conversion Therapy Prohibition (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Bill [HL]
My Lords, it is a tremendous pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Hunt of Bethnal Green. I deeply respect …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Proscribed Organisations
To ask His Majesty's Government for what reasons the Islamic Army of Aden is a proscribed organisation; and whether they …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 4th December 2023
Wheelchair Access Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to ensure that people in wheelchairs are able to access all public buildings via ramps or other measures; …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Blencathra has voted in 438 divisions, and 25 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 326 Noes - 248
23 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 214
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 229
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 40 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 188
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 221
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 143 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 161
30 Nov 2020 - High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 198 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 57 Noes - 234
30 Nov 2020 - High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 185 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 38 Noes - 222
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 125 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 127 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 77
20 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 213 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 236
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 156 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 418
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative Aye votes vs 151 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 401
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative Aye votes vs 144 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
19 Oct 2021 - Telecommunications (Security) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 146 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 172 Noes - 156
12 Jan 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 19 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 32 Noes - 20
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 141 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 203 Noes - 159
22 Mar 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 146 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 157
29 Mar 2022 - Building Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 120 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 156 Noes - 123
29 Mar 2022 - Building Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 113 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 146 Noes - 114
29 Mar 2022 - Building Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 117 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 137 Noes - 123
29 Mar 2022 - Building Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 110 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 94 Noes - 117
5 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 132 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 177 Noes - 135
30 Nov 2022 - Procurement Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 161 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 191 Noes - 169
30 Nov 2022 - Procurement Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Blencathra voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 154 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 178 Noes - 158
View All Lord Blencathra Division Votes

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 Bethell (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(27 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Building Safety Act 2022
(12,316 words contributed)
Environment Act 2021
(10,744 words contributed)
Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020
(4,882 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Blencathra's debates

Lords initiatives

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


5 Bills introduced by Lord Blencathra


A Bill To amend the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to public buildings; and to introduce six and twelve inch rules for step-free access.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Lords
Friday 21st November 2014

A Bill to ensure that people in wheelchairs are able to access all public buildings via ramps or other measures; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 4th December 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to provide that the Prime Minister must recommend the person selected by a Joint Committee on Nominations to the Supreme Court; to make provision for a Joint Committee on Nominations to the Supreme Court and its functions; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 16th January 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Equality Act 2010 to improve step-free access to public buildings for wheelchair users

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Thursday 11th June 2015

A Bill to amend the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to public buildings; and to introduce six and twelve inch rules for step free access.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Monday 20th May 2013

Lord Blencathra has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


407 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
22 Other Department Questions
30th Jan 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, further to the request made to the Leader by Lord Blencathra on 12 January (HL Deb col 1535), whether he will (1) send a printed copy of the Cabinet Office Guide to Making Legislation to every civil servant in the Office of Parliamentary Counsel with an instruction to read it, and (2) amend section E of the Guide which begins with the sentence “The House of Lords is usually the more difficult House to take legislation through…”.

On instruction from the relevant policy department, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel are responsible for the drafting of Government legislation.

In light of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee's report Democracy Denied? The urgent need to rebalance power between Parliament and the Executive (HL 106), the Guide to Making Legislation was updated last summer. This included integrating a link to the Committee's revised guidance. Along with the Committee's report and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee's report Government by Diktat: A call to return power to Parliament (HL 105), the guide was circulated to all officials in Whitehall responsible for preparing and passing primary legislation.

The Guide to Making Legislation is usually updated annually and I have asked the responsible officials to consider how to best express in the Guide the different procedures, practices and challenges posed by legislating in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. I hope very much that in that process officials will take carefully into account points made by Your Lordships in what was an important debate.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
26th May 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker when was the category of “non-binary” added to the search function on the Parliamentary website for Members of the House of Lords; and why that category is listed given there are no current non-binary members of the House.

The category of “non-binary” was added to the search function on the Parliamentary website in December 2019. The request arose from analysis of candidates standing for election to the House of Commons in the General Election of that month, and then agreed on a bicameral basis. The addition of a non-binary option to the underlying bicameral Members database meant that the option became available as a search option on the webpages of both Houses.

26th May 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what discussions he has had with the Privy Council Office, if any, concerning the use of Westminster Hall for the Accession Council.

I have not had any discussions with the Privy Council Office on the use of Westminster Hall for the Accession Council.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they issue to businesses who do not currently have access through their main entrance for wheelchair users, including businesses which suggest access through other entrances and pubs, and restaurants that have access through kitchens; and how this guidance compares with access for persons with other protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

A full review of Part M of the Building Regulations is underway, relating to access to, and use of, buildings. It includes a research programme on the prevalence and demographics of impairment in England and ergonomic requirements of wheelchair users and experiences of disabled people. Evidence gathered will help government consider what changes can be made, including updates to statutory guidance. At present however, no change in the Equality Act 2010 of the sort mentioned in my Noble Friend’s question is envisaged. For service providers the reasonable adjustment duty in the Act is of course anticipatory, which means that those who provide services to members of the public are expected to anticipate the reasonable adjustments that disabled customers may require to ensure the disabled person does not experience a substantial disadvantage compared to their non-disabled counterparts.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to amend the Equalities Act 2010 to make it compulsory for “reasonable adjustments” to be made to the buildings open to the public which have no wheelchair access.

A full review of Part M of the Building Regulations is underway, relating to access to, and use of, buildings. It includes a research programme on the prevalence and demographics of impairment in England and ergonomic requirements of wheelchair users and experiences of disabled people. Evidence gathered will help government consider what changes can be made, including updates to statutory guidance. At present however, no change in the Equality Act 2010 of the sort mentioned in my Noble Friend’s question is envisaged. For service providers the reasonable adjustment duty in the Act is of course anticipatory, which means that those who provide services to members of the public are expected to anticipate the reasonable adjustments that disabled customers may require to ensure the disabled person does not experience a substantial disadvantage compared to their non-disabled counterparts.

7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government to provide the (1) budget, and (2) staffing at each grade, for the (a) Disability Unit, and (b) Government Equalities Office.

From 1st April 2021, the Equality Hub received a budget settlement covering all units - the Government Equalities Office, the Disability Unit, the Race Disparity Unit and the Social Mobility Commission. This settlement for the 2021/22 financial year was £18.6m. Within this, the Government Equalities Office budget for 2021/22 as of January 2022 is £9.5m and the Disability Unit budget is £3.6m.

With regards to staffing, the latest staffing allocation - on a full-time equivalent basis - is shown in the table below.

SCS2

SCS1

G6

G7

SEO

HEO

EO

TOTAL

GEO

0.25

4

10

28.3

27.4

28.4

10.5

108.85

DU

0.25

1.2

1.8

6.6

9.6

2.2

1

22.65

Budgets and staffing allocations for future years are currently being determined and we will provide the usual update to the Women and Equalities Committee in due course.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 November (HL3551), why giving civil servants in departments and arms-length bodies the opportunity to declare their sex could result in employees being questioned about their gender, as reported in the Guidance on Gender Pay Gap by the Government Equalities Office; and what consequences their approach has for gender pay gap reporting.

The Civil Service uses employees' gender identification from information they have already provided for HR/payroll purposes. This can be updated by individuals, giving them the option to make proactive declarations regarding their gender.

The gender pay gap reporting guidance for employers does not distinguish between sex and gender, as most employers do not hold this level of information about their workforce and requiring them to do so would undoubtedly increase the burden on business associated with gender pay gap reporting. Asking employees to provide information which makes this differentiation could result in them being questioned about their gender, and require them to provide personal information without a clear purpose. It is for this reason that we stress the importance of sensitivity when employers are collecting information.

The overall effect of not differentiating between sex and gender in gender pay gap reporting is likely to be small, and will not have a significant impact on data accuracy.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 November (HL3551), how the rights of biological women will be affected if they are included statistically in the same category with biological men who identify as women.

There is currently no harmonised standard on collecting data on sex across Government. However, the Office for Statistics Regulation has published draft guidance on what to consider when collecting and reporting data on sex in official statistics. The Government Statistical Service is also looking at developing guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on sex and gender using harmonised standards.

While there is currently no robust estimate on the size of the transgender population in the UK, existing evidence suggests that this population is small. It has been tentatively suggested that approximately 200,000-500,000 transgender people live in this country. On this basis, our assessment is that the different approaches considered by government departments for the collection of sex and/or gender data are unlikely to have a large effect on national data sets.

The Government believes that transgender people should be free to live and prosper in modern Britain. We are also absolutely committed to championing the rights of women and girls and are proud of our world-leading legislative framework of rights. Data does not directly impact on individuals’ rights, rather policy development is rightly informed by a strong understanding and engagement with data and evidence. The Government believes that all people should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life, regardless of their sex, gender or background.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their consultation on how to make coercive conversion therapies illegal is in line with the Cabinet Office Consultation Principles in that all consultations involving the voluntary and community sector should be of 12 weeks duration; and whether they will extend the six-week planned consultation.

The consultation on banning conversion therapy opened on 29 October and will run until 10 December. The consultation follows the Cabinet Office consultation principles, which were updated in 2018 and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation-principles-guidance.

4th Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answers by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 2 November (HL3271, HL3268, HL3269), what consultation about the wearing of wigs took place with the clerks who (1) sit, or (2) may sit, at the Table; and what was the division of opinion amongst them.

In the summer the clerks at the Table were consulted about the wearing of uniform. A range of views were expressed and discussed with the Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk Assistant. Future Table clerks were not consulted as they are not a clearly defined group.

4th Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answers by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 2 November (HL3271, HL3268, HL3269), how many clerks that undertake duties at the Table of the House are in possession of wigs; and how many new wigs would be required so that all clerks who sit at the Table have one; and what assessment he has made of how many additional clerks may begin duties at the Table in the next 12 months.

The number of clerks actively on the Table duty rota each parliamentary term varies due to a number of factors and it is important to have some flexibility as required to meet the needs of the House. This term there are 12 clerks undertaking duties at the Table. Of these 9 have wigs and 3 do not. It is not possible to predict how many additional clerks may begin or resume duties in the next 12 months but one new Table clerk will join the team in January and they have no wig. Four other Table clerks are not currently active on the rota but may resume duties next year, one of those colleagues has a wig and three do not.

1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial commitment towards the £100 billionn climate fund target for COP26 has been made by the Vatican City State.

The Vatican City State does not make financial contributions to the $100 billion goal as the Holy See is an observer state and so is not a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

21st Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker who was consulted before the decision was made that Table Clerks would not wear wigs (1) while the House was sitting under the hybrid House guidance, and (2) after the House had ceased operate under that guidance.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is by law the employer of the staff of the House and responsible for all terms and conditions of employment. During the pandemic, the then Clerk of the Parliaments decided that Clerks at the Table during regular business of the House should wear a gown over business attire, and that this would be worn by all the Clerks at the Table. The then Lord Speaker was consulted and acknowledged the change to Table Clerk attire, on a temporary basis, though he expressed a preference for the wearing of traditional table dress and gown, but without wigs.

Having some element of uniform allowed the Clerk in the Chamber to be identified by Members in the House wishing to seek advice. The decision was taken for a number of reasons, including cost grounds, the potentially temporary duration of the new Table Clerks’ appointments, and the impracticality of acquiring new uniforms during the pandemic. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the full uniform previously worn has continued to be worn in full at high ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament, and in modified form on other ceremonial occasions including Prorogation; for the Introduction Ceremonies of new Lords Spiritual and Temporal (when ceremonial dress is worn by others) and for Tributes in the Chamber.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is considering the position now that the House is no longer operating under the hybrid House guidance. The Clerk of the Parliaments has received representations on this matter from a number of Members of the House and would be very willing to hear the views of others. In deciding what the position will be in future, the Clerk of the Parliaments will need to reflect upon a number of factors including cost, efficiency, the views expressed by Members, and the public perception of the House. The Clerk of the Parliaments will also consider the need to ensure both that all Clerks at the Table are identifiable and all similarly attired; as well as the appropriate uniform given the range of other duties performed by Clerks during the working day.

21st Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the former Lord Speaker was consulted on the decision that Table Clerks would no longer wear wigs; and if so, whether he gave his consent to that decision.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is by law the employer of the staff of the House and responsible for all terms and conditions of employment. During the pandemic, the then Clerk of the Parliaments decided that Clerks at the Table during regular business of the House should wear a gown over business attire, and that this would be worn by all the Clerks at the Table. The then Lord Speaker was consulted and acknowledged the change to Table Clerk attire, on a temporary basis, though he expressed a preference for the wearing of traditional table dress and gown, but without wigs.

Having some element of uniform allowed the Clerk in the Chamber to be identified by Members in the House wishing to seek advice. The decision was taken for a number of reasons, including cost grounds, the potentially temporary duration of the new Table Clerks’ appointments, and the impracticality of acquiring new uniforms during the pandemic. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the full uniform previously worn has continued to be worn in full at high ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament, and in modified form on other ceremonial occasions including Prorogation; for the Introduction Ceremonies of new Lords Spiritual and Temporal (when ceremonial dress is worn by others) and for Tributes in the Chamber.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is considering the position now that the House is no longer operating under the hybrid House guidance. The Clerk of the Parliaments has received representations on this matter from a number of Members of the House and would be very willing to hear the views of others. In deciding what the position will be in future, the Clerk of the Parliaments will need to reflect upon a number of factors including cost, efficiency, the views expressed by Members, and the public perception of the House. The Clerk of the Parliaments will also consider the need to ensure both that all Clerks at the Table are identifiable and all similarly attired; as well as the appropriate uniform given the range of other duties performed by Clerks during the working day.

21st Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the reason for not providing wigs for the temporary Table Clerks while the House was sitting under the hybrid House guidance was on the grounds of cost; and if so, why the Table Clerks in possession of wigs are not wearing them now that the House is no longer operating under that guidance.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is by law the employer of the staff of the House and responsible for all terms and conditions of employment. During the pandemic, the then Clerk of the Parliaments decided that Clerks at the Table during regular business of the House should wear a gown over business attire, and that this would be worn by all the Clerks at the Table. The then Lord Speaker was consulted and acknowledged the change to Table Clerk attire, on a temporary basis, though he expressed a preference for the wearing of traditional table dress and gown, but without wigs.

Having some element of uniform allowed the Clerk in the Chamber to be identified by Members in the House wishing to seek advice. The decision was taken for a number of reasons, including cost grounds, the potentially temporary duration of the new Table Clerks’ appointments, and the impracticality of acquiring new uniforms during the pandemic. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the full uniform previously worn has continued to be worn in full at high ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament, and in modified form on other ceremonial occasions including Prorogation; for the Introduction Ceremonies of new Lords Spiritual and Temporal (when ceremonial dress is worn by others) and for Tributes in the Chamber.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is considering the position now that the House is no longer operating under the hybrid House guidance. The Clerk of the Parliaments has received representations on this matter from a number of Members of the House and would be very willing to hear the views of others. In deciding what the position will be in future, the Clerk of the Parliaments will need to reflect upon a number of factors including cost, efficiency, the views expressed by Members, and the public perception of the House. The Clerk of the Parliaments will also consider the need to ensure both that all Clerks at the Table are identifiable and all similarly attired; as well as the appropriate uniform given the range of other duties performed by Clerks during the working day.

21st Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are, if any, to replace the word ‘women’ with any other noun in any official documents, guides, signs, souvenirs, or any place where the word ‘women’ is currently used in the Palace of Westminster.

There are no plans to replace the word ‘women’ with other nouns in House of Lords official documents, guides or souvenirs, or in the House of Lords parts of the Parliamentary Estate.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by the Senior Deputy Speaker on 14 October (HL2826), what is the justification for retaining the requirement for Table Clerks to wear robes, given that the requirement to wear horsehair wigs has been abandoned.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is by law the employer of the staff of the House and responsible for all terms and conditions of employment. During the pandemic, the then Clerk of the Parliaments decided that Clerks at the Table during regular business of the House should wear a gown over business attire, and that this would be worn by all the Clerks at the Table. The then Lord Speaker was consulted and acknowledged the change to Table Clerk attire, on a temporary basis, though he expressed a preference for the wearing of traditional table dress and gown, but without wigs.

Having some element of uniform allowed the Clerk in the Chamber to be identified by Members in the House wishing to seek advice. The decision was taken for a number of reasons, including cost grounds, the potentially temporary duration of the new Table Clerks’ appointments, and the impracticality of acquiring new uniforms during the pandemic. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the full uniform previously worn has continued to be worn in full at high ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament, and in modified form on other ceremonial occasions including Prorogation; for the Introduction Ceremonies of new Lords Spiritual and Temporal (when ceremonial dress is worn by others) and for Tributes in the Chamber.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is considering the position now that the House is no longer operating under the hybrid House guidance. The Clerk of the Parliaments has received representations on this matter from a number of Members of the House and would be very willing to hear the views of others. In deciding what the position will be in future, the Clerk of the Parliaments will need to reflect upon a number of factors including cost, efficiency, the views expressed by Members, and the public perception of the House. The Clerk of the Parliaments will also consider the need to ensure both that all Clerks at the Table are identifiable and all similarly attired; as well as the appropriate uniform given the range of other duties performed by Clerks during the working day.

4th Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 16 September (HL2734), whether the House has agreed that decisions on Table Clerks' uniform should be made by House staff rather than Members.

The uniform for Table Clerks is not a matter covered by the Standing Orders agreed by the House, or the Companion to the Standing Orders, which the Procedure and Privileges Committee oversees on behalf of the House.

Having reviewed Procedure and Privileges Committee papers dating back to the 1970s, there is no record of decisions about uniform for Table Clerks being taken by that Committee.

The Clerk of the Parliaments, as the statutory employer, is responsible for these decisions, though the Clerk of the Parliaments is of course aware that these matters are of wider concern to members of the House and has emphasised this in recent discussions we have had on this matter. The Clerk of the Parliaments is of course open to conversation with any member about any of his responsibilities.

4th Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 16 September (HL2734), what is the cost of (1) six formal uniforms for the additional Table Clerks, (2) the full uniforms that have already been provided to Table Clerks, (3) creating the PeerHub remote voting system, and (4) converting Committee Rooms 2A and 3A to enable hybrid meetings of Grand Committee.

In 2020 six gowns were purchased for new Table Clerks joining the rota. The total cost of these six gowns was £1,213.99, but due to an outstanding credit with the supplier the House actually paid £536 in total for the six gowns.

Table Clerks who joined the rota before 2020 were provided with a fuller uniform. There is no standard cost for this as it depends on a number of variables, including the supplier used and the items required. Purchases of full new uniforms for Table Clerks in recent years were however in the range of approximately £4,700 - £5,700 per person. Incidental repairs and additional items may also be required over the years as uniforms are worn.

The cost to the Parliamentary Digital Service of producing the PeerHub remote voting system as set out in the approved business case was £78,683. This was primarily resource cost.

The capital cost of converting Committee Rooms 2A and 3A for Hybrid Grand Committee as set out in the approved business case for the project was £150,000, including VAT.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what discussions he has had with the Clerk of the Parliaments regarding the attire of the Table Clerks in the Chamber of the House of Lords, particularly the resumption of wearing horsehair wigs.

Last year, as part of our necessary response to ensure business resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, six additional members of staff were added to the Table Clerk rota. Full uniform was not worn by these new appointees, due to the significant procurement cost and uncertainties as to the duration of the expanded rota. In light of this the then Clerk of the Parliaments decided that uniform for all Table Clerks should be a formal gown over business attire.

An expanded rota of Table Clerks will remain in place, as it supports the resilience of the Chamber and allows a greater number of staff members to develop knowledge and understanding that is essential to the operation of the House. The costs of procuring and maintaining full uniform for a larger pool of Table Clerks would be significant. The Clerk of the Parliaments has therefore reviewed the situation and has explained to me that the current wearing of a uniform of formal gown over business attire allows Table Clerks to be identified, and respected, in the Chamber while also being appropriate for Clerks as officials performing their duties in supporting a professional, working House conducting regular business. Full uniform will continue to be worn by those Clerks participating in ceremonial occasions such as Introductions and Prorogation; and for State Opening, at which wigs will also be worn.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans he has to discuss with the appropriate House committees and authorities the possibility of opening House catering facilities on 17 May, in strict compliance with any COVID-19 rules applicable at that time to cafes, bars and restaurants outside the House.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. The policy of the House Administration, endorsed by the House of Lords Commission, is to ensure that facilities on the Lords part of the Parliamentary Estate are provided in accordance with the advice of and guidance from Public Health England to ensure a safe and secure environment for members and staff. The Services Committee and the Commission will keep under review the potential for reopening and reconfiguring facilities in line with that guidance, and will be issuing further information in due course.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Attorney General will review the sentence of three years for manslaughter given to a pedestrian who remonstrated with a cyclist riding on the pavement on the basis that it is unduly harsh.

It is believed this is a reference to the case of Auriol Grey who was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on 2 March 2023 to 3 years’ imprisonment for manslaughter. The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme works only to increase sentences that are too low so that they appear unduly lenient. The Law Officers cannot consider whether a sentence is unduly harsh or take any action if it appears to be so. An offender may appeal against their sentence if they consider it to be manifestly excessive.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Government Legal Department, in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents, (a) has replaced, or (b) intends to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth”.

GLD has not replaced, nor does it intend to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth” in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many compensation claims have been brought against Government departments, except the Department of Health and Social Care, since 28 February; how many claimants there are; and what was the amount of damages sought in each case.

Since 28 February 2020, 601 claims for damages have been brought against government departments, excluding the Department for Health and Social Care, in litigation conducted by the Government Legal Department (GLD).


GLD conducts most, but not all, litigation on behalf of government departments. For example, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs normally conducts its own litigation.


GLD is unable to give the amount of damages sought in each case because that information is not always available at the early stage of the case and whether such information is available could not be ascertained without examining every case file and thus incurring disproportionate costs.

4th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their reason for replacing the Union Jack flag flying above His Majesty's Treasury with a flag to celebrate Gay Pride.

Following instruction from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the government department responsible for informing other departments regarding flag flying protocol), for the assigned period the flag in recognition of Pride month was flown over 100 Parliament Street. This is the official and principal address and entrance for the following Departments:

  • HM Revenue and Customs

  • Department of Culture, Media and Sport

  • Department of Science, Innovation and Technology

The Union Flag was flown during the same period at 1 Horse Guards Road, the official and principal address and entrance for the following Departments:

  • HM Treasury

  • UK Export Finance

  • Northern Ireland Office

  • Cabinet Office

This has been confirmed with the operatives who manage the flags process for designated flying days.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the security cameras installed in the combined government offices at Quay House in Peterborough, which includes the offices of the Passport Office, Natural England and Joint Nature Conservation Committee, are supplied by Hikvision. [I]

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government departments. Specific details regarding the security systems used by departments are withheld on national security grounds.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many civil servants were employed in each government department in each year from 2015 to the present day.

Civil service headline employment numbers by government departments on both a headcount and full-time equivalent (FTE) basis are published each quarter by ONS as part of their Quarterly Public Sector Employment release. The quarterly data from June 2011 to September 2022 (the latest published data) are available at Table 9 of each of the quarterly datasets from the link below, and has been collated into the attached.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/datasets/publicsectoremploymentreferencetable

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what internal disciplinary action has been taken against officials who were fined for breaking Covid rules.

The Metropolitan Police have made clear that they have issued Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) in private and the identities of recipients will not be released to the public or to their employer.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, the Government does not comment on individual personnel matters.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many civil servants who were issued fixed-penalty notices in relation to gatherings in Downing Street that broke the COVID-19 rules, are still working in any of the buildings in Downing Street.

The Government does not hold this information; this was an operational matter for the Metropolitan Police.


Notwithstanding, I would refer the noble peer to the report published by the Second Permanent Secretary of 25 May 2022, and the Government's response of 25 May 2022, Official Report, House of Commons, Cols. 295-297.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the activities of a:gender within Government departments, including its support for a statement by the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention dated 29 November 2022 which describes the gender critical movement as “fascist” and “genocidal”.

A:gender is one of the cross-government networks which operates across the Civil Service. All of these networks are expected to operate within the Civil Service Code and its values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether safeguards around government procurement prevent goods produced by slave labour in Xinjiang from entering UK supply chains.

This government is committed to preventing modern slavery occurring in public sector supply chains.


The Cabinet Office has published commercial policy and guidance setting out the steps that all Government departments must take to identify and mitigate modern slavery and labour abuse risks throughout the commercial life cycle focussing on the areas of highest risk. This policy is mandatory for all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies. The policy can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0519-tackling-modern-slavery-in-government-supply-chains.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all government departments are expected to abide by the Cabinet Office Consultation Principles and Code of Practice to conduct 12-week formal written consultations where the voluntary and community sector are involved.

The Government Consultation Principles provide departments with guidance on conducting consultations. Individual departments are accountable for their own consultation practice.

The Consultation Principles replaced the Code of Practice on Consultations in 2012 and were updated in 2018. The Principles do not prescribe a minimum length of a consultation but are clear that consultations should last for a proportionate amount of time. The length of a consultation should be judged on a case by case basis and in certain cases consulting for too long will unnecessarily delay policy development.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the amount by which the gender pay gap has been narrowed by the inclusion of biological men who identify as women in the same statistical category as biological women.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Rt Hon. the Lord Blencathra

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

16 November 2021

Dear Lord Blencathra,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate they have made, if any, of the amount by which the gender pay gap has been narrowed by the inclusion of biological men who identify as women in the same statistical category as biological women (HL3757).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes the annual Gender Pay Gap statistics; the latest data for 2021 was published on 26 October (1). These data are formed from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), for which employers are asked to supply pay levels for a 1% sample of employees taken from the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system. ASHE does not collect information on either sex or gender directly. This information is taken from the PAYE data supplied by HMRC for the sample, provided to them by employers in respect of their employees (2).

This means that we do not currently have data on the earnings of transgender people (those whose gender identity is different from their sex registered at birth). In October 2020, I commissioned an independent Inclusive Data Taskforce to recommend how best to make a step-change in the inclusivity of UK data and evidence. Its report identified transgender people as among those about whom the absence of data reflecting their lives and experiences was especially critical (3).

Following the inclusion of a gender identity question for the first time in Census 2021, we will have more data about this population than ever before. The first results from Census 2021 will be available in late spring 2022, followed by further statistical and analytical publications, including on gender identity. When census data processing is complete, the ONS will explore what insights about the experiences of transgender people can be gained based on the census and other data.

(1) https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/genderpaygapintheuk/2021

(2) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-paye-tools-user-guide/basic-paye-tools-user-guide#Employee_details

(3) Inclusive Data Taskforce recommendations report: Leaving no one behind – How can we be more inclusive in our data? – UK Statistics Authority

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many biological men self-identifying as female have been recorded as women by (1) government departments, and (2) arms-length bodies, in their staff statistics, broken down by the relevant government department and arms-length body; and what assessment they have made of the consequences of this for pay gap reporting.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Guidance on Gender Pay Gap reporting from the Government Equalities Office states that reporting should not result in employees being questioned about their gender. The Civil Service uses employee’s gender identification from information employees have already provided for HR/payroll purposes, which is updated by individuals to reduce the risk of singling out employees. Aligned to the GEO guidance, the Civil Service has therefore not made any assessment of the consequences of self-identification on pay gap reporting.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether members of the COVID-19 advisory bodies are bound by collective responsibility; and what assessment they have made of the consistency of public statements by members of those bodies with the conclusions of those bodies.

Members of advisory bodies are appointed as private individuals to advise the Government, not as representatives of the Government. The principle of Cabinet Collective Responsibility, that the Cabinet system of Government is based on, does not extend beyond Government Ministers.

A Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees, published by the Government Office for Science, provides guidance for all aspects of their governance, such as those scientific advisory bodies engaged on the COVID-19 response. It provides guidance on the establishment, management and conduct of committees and sets out their relationship with the bodies they advise. Members rights and responsibilities, and procedures for arriving at conclusions and consensus are also covered in the guidance. The Code is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-committees-code-of-practice

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of excess deaths recorded in the COVID-19 death statistics of people who did not die from COVID-19, but who are listed in the statistics because they had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Rt Hon the Lord Blencathra

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

25 May 2021

Dear Lord Blencathra,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your Parliamentary Questions asking what plans there are to publish statistics on the number of people who died from COVID-19, as opposed to the number who died from other causes but had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death (HL258); and the number of excess deaths recorded in the COVID-19 deaths statistics of people who did not die from COVID-19, but who are listed in the statistics because they had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death (HL259).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales and publishes a weekly bulletin[1] based on provisional mortality data. Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). The ICD-10 codes used are: U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified), U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified), U10.9 (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19), U09.9 (Post-COVID condition, where the acute COVID had ended before the condition immediately causing death occurred).

Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. The death certificate is completed by a doctor (or coroner), who can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required. Diseases and health conditions are recorded on the death certificate only if the certifying doctor or coroner believed they made some contribution to the death, direct or indirect; the death certificate does not include all health conditions the deceased might have suffered from if they were not considered relevant. Therefore, ONS statistics on deaths involving COVID-19 do not include deaths from causes other than COVID-19 but where the deceased had a positive COVID-19 test result. A death is not counted as involving COVID-19 on the basis of a test result only.

ONS data are different from the figures on COVID-19 deaths published on the GOV.UK Coronavirus in the UK dashboard[2] which shows ‘deaths within 28 days of a positive test’. Section 7 of the ONS weekly deaths bulletin[3] compares these numbers. You can read a blog by Professor John Newton of Public Health England[4] which explains the different methods for counting COVID-19 deaths.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/latest

[2]https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending7may2021#comparison-of-weekly-deaths-occurrences-in-england-and-wales

[4]https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/08/12/behind-the-headlines-counting-covid-19-deaths/

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish statistics on the number of people who died from COVID-19, as opposed to the number who died from other causes but had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Rt Hon the Lord Blencathra

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

25 May 2021

Dear Lord Blencathra,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your Parliamentary Questions asking what plans there are to publish statistics on the number of people who died from COVID-19, as opposed to the number who died from other causes but had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death (HL258); and the number of excess deaths recorded in the COVID-19 deaths statistics of people who did not die from COVID-19, but who are listed in the statistics because they had a positive COVID-19 test within 28 days of their death (HL259).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales and publishes a weekly bulletin[1] based on provisional mortality data. Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). The ICD-10 codes used are: U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified), U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified), U10.9 (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19), U09.9 (Post-COVID condition, where the acute COVID had ended before the condition immediately causing death occurred).

Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. The death certificate is completed by a doctor (or coroner), who can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required. Diseases and health conditions are recorded on the death certificate only if the certifying doctor or coroner believed they made some contribution to the death, direct or indirect; the death certificate does not include all health conditions the deceased might have suffered from if they were not considered relevant. Therefore, ONS statistics on deaths involving COVID-19 do not include deaths from causes other than COVID-19 but where the deceased had a positive COVID-19 test result. A death is not counted as involving COVID-19 on the basis of a test result only.

ONS data are different from the figures on COVID-19 deaths published on the GOV.UK Coronavirus in the UK dashboard[2] which shows ‘deaths within 28 days of a positive test’. Section 7 of the ONS weekly deaths bulletin[3] compares these numbers. You can read a blog by Professor John Newton of Public Health England[4] which explains the different methods for counting COVID-19 deaths.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/latest

[2]https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending7may2021#comparison-of-weekly-deaths-occurrences-in-england-and-wales

[4]https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/08/12/behind-the-headlines-counting-covid-19-deaths/

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the comment on 14 October by the Director General of MI5 that MI5 is "looking to do more against Chinese activity", what representations they intend to make to the other members of the Five Eyes alliance on the possibility of including additional countries geographically close to China, and in particular (1) India, (2) Japan, (3) Taiwan, and (4) South Korea, in that alliance.

The UK works closely with partners across the world and through a range of formal and informal multilateral fora, including the UN, the G7 and G20, NATO, Five Eyes and the E3. We strongly value our long-standing relationship with our Five Eyes partners and will continue to work closely with them in pursuit of shared policy interests.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect Parliamentarians who criticise the government of China from cyber-attacks by the People's Liberation Army Cyber Warfare units, otherwise known as PLA Unit 61398.

The UK is clear that it will not tolerate malicious cyber activity and will react robustly and proportionately to the threat. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Centre for the Protection of Critical National Infrastructure (CPNI) provide advice and guidance for members of both Houses of Parliament. This guidance sets out protective measures Members, Peers and their offices can take to protect themselves from a range of threats and threat actors, including espionage and cyber attacks. All of us in public life have a responsibility to remain vigilant and report intimidating or suspicious behaviour wherever it occurs.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the investigation into Vote Leave and BeLeave as to whether those organisations broke spending rules during the EU referendum being dropped by the Metropolitan Police, what plans they have to review the work of the Electoral Commission; and what plans, if any, they have to abolish that organisation.

The Government notes the recent conclusion of the Metropolitan Police to end its investigation into BeLeave and Vote Leave. Organisations on both sides of the 2016 referendum were investigated. A line should now be drawn under these cases.

The Government’s clear view is that democratic decisions and referendum results should be respected. The UK has left the European Union and is regaining its independence.

The Government is committed to strengthening electoral integrity.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to bring forward the end date of the implementation period to 30 June in order to allow the UK to (1) regulate, or (2) deregulate, to facilitate the UK's economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transition period will end on 31 December 2020. This is enshrined in UK law. The UK will therefore fully recover its economic and political independence at the end of the year, which the British people voted for.

The Chancellor has announced various measures to provide support to businesses and workers to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus. This includes unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage cash flows through this period. The Chancellor will make available an initial £330 billion of guarantees - equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.

Government departments are already taking many steps to ease regulations to support businesses and critical service provision doing this epidemic.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
4th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following reports of recent deaths in Cambridge caused by an e-bike battery catching fire, what steps they will take to ban the importation of e-bike and e-scooter batteries which do not have the UL2271 battery certification.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) was notified of this incident by the National Fire Chiefs Council. OPSS are liaising with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards to provide support and to obtain details regarding the product to enable a follow up investigation to take place.

UK law requires that all consumer products must be safe before being placed on the UK market. Where products are identified that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements, OPSS works with local Trading Standards to quickly remove them from the market.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what compensation will be paid to the descendants of postmasters who have died or taken their own life as a result of their wrongful conviction for fraud.

In the unfortunate event of a postmaster passing away, claims for compensation can be taken forward by appropriate representatives (with evidence of the legal relationship to the eligible postmaster). This is the case whether a claim is made to the Group Litigation Order (GLO) compensation scheme (run by Government); a claim is made to the Historical Shortfall Scheme (HSS) compensation scheme (run by Post Office) or a claim is made to Post Office for compensation for a postmaster who had a conviction which was overturned.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to pursue criminal prosecutions against former Post Office senior managers who may have knowingly pursued postmasters for frauds they did not commit.

The Government has set up a statutory inquiry into the Post Office Horizon scandal. Collective and individual accountability for the scandal can only be considered when the Inquiry has reviewed all of the evidence.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, whether they can outline what the (1) operational efficiencies, (2) security features, and (3) innovative services, are that will be introduced for stamps requiring barcodes after 31 January 2023.

The development and administration of stamp products, including special stamps, is an operational matter for Royal Mail, a private company. The Government is not involved in Royal Mail’s operational or commercial decisions.

Royal Mail’s management is best placed to set out the operational benefits of its products.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reissue the (1) Dad's Army, and (2) Parliament, stamps with a barcode, in light of the new rules requiring stamps to contain a barcode to be usable after 31 January 2023.

The development of stamp products is an operational matter for Royal Mail, a private company. The Government is not involved in Royal Mail’s operational or commercial decisions.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will rescind the decision to refuse to accept stamps purchased after 31 January 2023 if they do not contain a barcode.

The development of stamp products is an operational matter for Royal Mail, a private company. The Government is not involved in Royal Mail’s operational or commercial decisions.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce legislation (1) to allow organisations (a) to dismiss, or (b) to refuse to employ, any person who has refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and (2) to protect any such organisation from claims of unfair dismissal.

I refer the noble Lord to the statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 22nd February 2021, Official Report, Column 625-628.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether COVID-19 vaccines must be stored in glass vials; if so, why; and if not, what plans they have to use plastic containers to address any shortage of glass vials.

Vaccines are currently approved for storage in glass vials, rather than plastic. This is due to glass generally providing better shelf life and being more resistant to sterilisation processes. Plastics can be made sterile, but often do not have as good barrier properties reducing shelf life. It should be noted that the UK has a sufficient number of glass vials available, due to orders already placed.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish a database of businesses which have (1) retained as many workers as possible, (2) dismissed workers and are claiming taxpayer help, (3) volunteered to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic by developing new technology or services, and (4) been found to have profited illegally or unethically, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials in this department are engaging regularly with industry and the business community to discuss preparedness planning and to gather data, feedback and to ensure the best policy response is developed.

A wide range of UK and international businesses have offered to help provide services, including designing and building new devices, manufacturing components or transporting them to NHS hospitals.

The Government has received an overwhelming number of offers from the UK supply base in response to Covid-19. Suppliers are keen to offer a range of goods and services to help organisations and departments stay operational. The offers are coming through a number of different routes and the Crown Commercial Service is now coordinating these offers to create one central log.

We are aware that, in a small minority of cases, cyber criminals and fraudsters are attempting to exploit opportunities around the coronavirus outbreak and so the Government have issued appropriate guidance to follow to identify fraudulent activities and scams, through Action Fraud. We are also working with social media to combat disinformation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to encourage businesses to manufacture goods and components and source supplies in the UK.

The UK’s manufacturing sector plays a vital role in the UK economy by driving innovation, exports, job creation, and productivity. The Government is taking steps to help drive increased competitiveness in UK manufacturing to anchor investment and production. This includes:

  • Increasing the Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million until the end of this year. This will help manufacturers make the investments in capital equipment that can support their increased competitiveness.
  • Investing £26 million over 3 years to support aerospace and automotive supply chains through the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels programme.

Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we have invested £2.5 billion to drive cutting-edge research and innovation, from world-leading battery design to new light-weight composite materials. We are investing up to £167 million into Made Smarter, the UK’s national industrial digitalisation programme, to boost manufacturing productivity through the development and adoption of cutting-edge digital technology.

Furthermore, the Chancellor announced at the 2020 Budget the UK’s largest and fastest expansion of support for research and development (R&D) across the economy. Spending is set to reach £22 billion by 2024/2025 and businesses will receive an increase in R&D tax credit from 12% to 13%. To ensure this investment in R&D also helps anchor production in the UK, we have invested over £350 million in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult network to support the commercialisation of new manufacturing technologies. We will be investing a further £600 million by the end of 2023.

It is worth noting that in these difficult and unprecedented times, caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, we are focusing all efforts on tackling the pandemic. This includes mitigating its impacts by protecting jobs, so manufacturers can continue to provide essential goods and services.

An unprecedented package of support has been announced for businesses and workers to protect against the economic emergency caused by the Coronavirus.

The Government has made an initial £330 billion of loans and guarantees available, which is equivalent to 15% of UK GDP, to support firms and help them manage cashflows through this period. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, went live on 23 March. It will support smaller businesses, including unincorporated businesses such as partnerships and sole traders. Full guidance and eligibility criteria can be found at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/cbils.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of shortages of toilet paper; and what discussions they have had with newspaper operators about whether newspapers can be printed to be used as an alternative to toilet paper.

The Government is in regular contact with businesses, including retailers, to discuss the impact of Coronavirus on industry, including supply chains, and preparedness planning.

On 9 March, we announced an extension of delivery hours for supermarkets and other food retailers, to help the industry respond to Coronavirus. The new measures enable food retailers to increase the frequency of deliveries to their stores, so they can move stock quickly from warehouses across the country to replenish their shelves.

The Government has also introduced new measures to support businesses to keep food supply flowing on to shelves and into homes. For example, we have temporarily relaxed competition laws, allowing supermarkets to work together. The rules on driver’s hours have also been flexed to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores, so shelves can be replenished at pace.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the practice of naming Atlantic winter storms.

The Met Office reviews the naming of storms on an annual basis, in conjunction with its partners at the national meteorological services of Ireland and the Netherlands. The review takes into account feedback from partners and stakeholders in government, the resilience community, in media and from the general public.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for weather conditions other than Atlantic winter storms to be given names.

The criteria for naming of storms can take into account potential impacts from rain and snow, as well as wind. Storms can be named at any time of year, not just in winter. There are no plans for weather conditions other than storms to be given names.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the actions of the charity Mermaids; and what steps they intend to take as a result of any such assessment.

Protecting people and adhering to safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities. It is a fundamental part of operating as a charity for the public benefit.

Following concerns raised about Mermaids’ approach to safeguarding young people, the Charity Commission has opened a regulatory compliance case into the charity and has contacted its trustees. The opening of a compliance case is not itself a finding of wrongdoing.

As an independent regulator, the Charity Commission carries out its functions independent of ministerial or government control. It would therefore not be appropriate to comment further whilst the Charity Commission's investigation is ongoing.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is legislation which stipulates that TV licences can be paid for only (1) by cheque for the full amount, or (2) Direct Debit for quarterly payments.

The regulations which set the frequency and amount of instalments by which TV licence fees can be paid are the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004. The Communications (Television Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 amended instalment amounts for the period beginning 1 April 2021.

The Regulations allow for a range of payment options. For example, the TV Licensing website sets monthly, quarterly and annual payment options for direct debit plans: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pay-for-your-tv-licence/ways-to-pay/direct-debit.

It also sets out that licence fee instalment amounts for a weekly or fortnightly payment licence are set out in an individual payment plan when a customer signs up for a Payment Card: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pay-for-your-tv-licence/ways-to-pay/payment-card.

There is no provision in the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 which specifies payments must be made by a certain method. The BBC is responsible for the collection and enforcement of the licence fee, including methods of payment.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to defend British (1) history, (2) culture, and (3) values, from individuals and organisations that see themselves as 'woke'.

Government does not condone airbrushing of our history by removing memorials to our complex past. Government has been clear that rather than erasing objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. This position is supported by the government’s statutory advisor on heritage matters, Historic England.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the introduction of a mandatory news media bargaining code by the government of Australia, what plans they have, if any, to introduce legislation to compel social media companies to pay for news content taken from other news outlets.

The UK government is committed to supporting the sustainability of trusted journalism.

We have announced plans to introduce a new code of conduct to govern the relationships between powerful online platforms and the businesses which depend on them. It will cover the relationships between publishers and platforms to ensure they are fair, and help support the sustainability of the press. The code will be overseen by a new Digital Markets Unit and we will consider all options as we consult on its form and function later this year. No decisions have yet been taken.


We are also engaging with the Australian government to develop our understanding of the progress they are making, and are closely monitoring the reaction from both publishers and platforms.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce legislation to ban tracking pixels in emails.

The use of tracking technology is already regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. This legislation gives individuals specific privacy rights in relation to organisations’ use of cookies, tracking pixels and similar technologies that track information about people accessing a website or other electronic services. It also requires organisations to give people clear and comprehensive information about the use of tracking technologies, and a choice about whether or not they are applied on devices.

The ICO has produced the attached guidance for organisations on the use of tracking technologies, available on its website at:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/guidance-on-the-use-of-cookies-and-similar-technologies/what-are-cookies-and-similar-technologies/#cookies5

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which regulations set the frequency and amount of instalments by which TV licence fees can be paid; what are the prescribed (1) weekly, (2) monthly, and (3) quarterly, instalment amounts of such fees; and whether those instalments can be paid by cheque.

The payment instalment schemes for the TV licence fee are set out in the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004.

Schedule 2 of the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 detail the instalment amounts and their frequency as prescribed by each instalment scheme.

It is the BBC, not the government, that administers these schemes and is responsible for the collection and enforcement of the licence fee, including methods of payment. TV Licensing’s website explains that, at present, only annual licence fee payments can be made by cheque: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pay-for-your-tv-licence/ways-to-pay/cheque-or-postal-order.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made with regard to the applications for World Heritage Status for (1) Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, (2) Creswell Crags, (3) Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory, (4) Flow Country, (5) Great Spas of Europe, (6) Island of St Helena, (7) Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof: the Zenith of Iron Age Shetland, (8) Slate Industry of North Wales, (9) The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth Jarrow, and (10) Turks and Caicos Islands.

UNESCO World Heritage inscription is recognition that a cultural or natural site is of Outstanding Universal Value to humanity. As such, the process for achieving this status is highly rigorous. Each State Party to the World Heritage Convention is responsible for maintaining a tentative list of sites from which nominations may be developed.

The sites mentioned in this question are all on the UK’s current tentative list. As each country may only nominate a maximum of one site per year from this list, the UK government will only submit nominations which clearly demonstrate that a site meets the criteria, authenticity, integrity and management required. In January 2020, the Government nominated the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales to UNESCO for potential inscription in 2021. The Great Spas of Europe, which includes Bath, was nominated in 2019 alongside 11 other spa towns throughout Europe and will be considered for inscription at the next World Heritage Committee meeting. Additionally, the Flow Country has passed a UK expert evaluation, and now may proceed to develop a nomination. Other sites on this list are at earlier stages in the process, or have determined that they do not intend to move forward with the development of a nomination at this stage.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with social networking companies what steps they are taking to restrict (1) comments by, and (2) the accounts of, users with high numbers of followers which give (1) false information, or (2) advice counter to official medical advice, about COVID-19.

The Government is working very closely with social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google in response to Covid-19. This is helping us understand what is happening on their platforms and the steps they are taking so we can effectively tackle misinformation and disinformation together. It also allows social media platforms to be informed where harmful information is identified.

Social media companies have taken a range of steps to limit misinformation and disinformation on their platforms. This has included updating their policies in response to Covid-19, to enable them to take action on false and misleading content where it has the potential to cause harm.

Alongside the removal or downranking of misinformation and disinformation, platforms are also working with Government and the NHS to take action to promote accurate information. Measures have been introduced across almost all major platforms to ensure users see accurate information on Covid-19, including links to NHS and other authoritative sources.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the participation of those who are transgender in women’s sport.

Sport England collects data on transgender status through its Active Lives surveys, which measure the activity levels of people across England. However, the number of transgender responses received to the survey is so low that the figure is not statistically reliable.

Sport England also funded Pride Sports, a UK organisation which helps improve LGBT+ access to sport, to gather information on transgender participation in all sport and physical activity. Pride Sports reported in 2016 that there were very low rates of transgender participation and the report’s findings helped to inform Sport England’s current work on transgender inclusion.

The report ‘Sport, Physical Activity and LGBT: A Study by Pride Sports for Sport England’ can be found here: https://sportengland-production-files.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/pride-sport-sport-physical-activity-and-lgbt-report-2016.pdf#page=1

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that teachers who assist a pupil under the age of 18 with changing their gender, without parental information or consent, are prosecuted for child abuse.

The department is working with the Minister for Women and Equalities to develop non statutory guidance to support schools in relation to children who are questioning their gender. It is the department’s intention that the guidance will cover a comprehensive set of relevant topics to provide clarity to schools and teachers on how to respond to children who are questioning their gender. This work is based upon the principle of protecting children and ensuring their safety and as such it will reflect the existing laws and duties placed on schools.

These decisions must not be taken lightly or in haste, and so it is vital that the guidance published by the department gives clarity for schools and colleges and reassurance for parents. Therefore, it is important that the department is able to consider a wide range of views in order to get the guidance right, so it has committed to holding a full public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication, at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, schools and colleges should proceed with extreme caution. They should always involve parents in decisions relating to their child and should not agree to any changes that they are not absolutely confident are in the best interests of that child and their peers. They should prioritise safeguarding by meeting their existing legal duties to protect single sex spaces and maintain safety and fairness in single sex sport.

The Department’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together’ and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, which can both be found attached, already sets out the legal responsibilities and duties placed on professionals and schools in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. These are sensitive cases which require professional judgement that takes account of the factors in each particular case.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that a teacher in Rye College in East Sussex called a year 8 pupil "despicable" and "homophobic" because she allegedly said that a person who identified as a cat was ill; and what action, if any, they plan to take in response to this matter.

The safety and wellbeing of students is our top priority. The department is clear that teachers should not teach contested views as fact, and it is important that parents and carers are reassured their children are not being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has asked the Regional Director to look into the matter further to establish the full details of the case and whether the school requires any additional support. It is right that these issues are thoroughly looked at and the requisite action is taken, and we understand that Ofsted is considering its response.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their liability to damages if harm were to occur as a result of a state school assisting a child in changing their gender.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education is working closely with my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Women and Equalities to provide guidance for schools in this area, following calls from schools, teachers and parents.

This work is based upon the overriding principle of safeguarding children. It will consider a range of issues and reflect the law.

A consultation on the guidance will be published this term.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward legislation to prevent pupils being recognised by schools as having changed their gender without parental consent.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education is working closely with my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Women and Equalities to provide guidance for schools in this area, following calls from schools, teachers and parents.

This work is based upon the overriding principle of safeguarding children. It will consider a range of issues and reflect the law.

A consultation on the guidance will be published this term.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions the voluntary guidance on school uniform costs has been amended since 2013.

The non-statutory ‘school uniform: guidance for schools’ has not been updated since September 2013. This guidance updated the department’s previous guidance on school uniform, published in May 2012, giving it a greater emphasis on securing best value for money in the supply of school uniforms. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform and in the attached document.

The government is supporting the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members' Bill to enable the department to put our guidance on the cost of school uniform on a statutory footing.

11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they have provided in the last 12 months for residential outdoor education for children and families with disabilities; and what plans they have to provide further funding for such education.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, and support businesses and public services. The government has spent over £280 billion to do so. This includes small business grants, the COVID-19 loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. The measures introduced have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK. In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the extension of the deadline for applications for the Bounce Back Loan scheme and other loan schemes until 31 March 2021. Further measures were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2021 Budget on 3 March including the extension of the CJRS until the end of September 2021, and increased support for the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants, with a fifth grant available from July 2021. The Recovery Loans Scheme will launch to make finance available to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery. More details of the scheme will be announced in due course.

The government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need.

The government would encourage businesses who are unable to access support or who are unsure of the support available to access free tailored advice through the Business Support Helpline (Freephone 0800 998 1098), via the Business Support website at: www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline or through or through local Growth Hubs in England: www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts. Firms in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can access business support through the devolved governments.

10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what communications they have had with education trade unions since the reopening of schools on 8 March; and, further to any such communications, what assessment they have made of the current view of education trade unions on the merits of reopening educational settings.

Ministers and officials have been in regular contact with education unions both in the run up to 8 March 2021 and beyond that date.

Unions recognise the importance of face-to-face learning and the impact that being out of school has on children and young people.

We continue to work with unions on keeping schools open and on ensuring that no child suffers because of lost education.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many teachers have been in receipt of full pay and (1) have not had to teach, and (2) have had to teach for less than two days a week, as a result of the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

State-funded schools have continued to receive their budgets for the year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. This has ensured that schools have been able to continue to pay their staff in full and meet their other regular financial commitments.

The specific information requested at (1) and (2) is not held centrally by the department.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the withdrawal by Oxford Council of guidance to schools which allowed transgender pupils to choose which toilet facilities to use, what plans they have issue national guidance to ensure the provision of single-sex spaces and facilities in all schools; and what plans are in place to ensure the safeguarding of all female schoolchildren.

All children and young people must be kept safe. All schools must continue to have regard to statutory guidance as stated in the Department for Education document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

This document covers issues that disproportionately effect girls, such as peer on peer abuse, including sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The department prescribes standards for the premises of all maintained schools, and independent schools including academies and free schools. The department has published guidance for local authorities, proprietors, school leaders, school staff and governing bodies advising on standards for school premises.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to impose sanctions on any teacher who does not (1) return to teach in schools once it has been deemed safe to do, and (2) teach children online from home if they cannot attend schools; and if so, whether such sanctions will include the suspension of pay and pension contributions.

The department does not have any plans to impose sanctions on individual teachers regarding their attendance or performance, as these are employment matters for employees and their relevant employers to resolve on an individual case by case basis.

The Prime Minister announced on 10 May that as a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased. We anticipate that with further progress we may be able to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings from the week commencing 1 June, provided that the 5 key tests set by government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the roadmap are operating effectively.

As a result, we are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met. Schools, colleges, and childcare providers should refer to our guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Any settings operating between now and 1 June should read that guidance in conjunction with Actions for schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the National Education Union has instructed teachers not to provide online lessons from home.

On its website, the National Education Union has highlighted the importance of any school which carries out online lessons having protocols in place to protect staff and safeguard pupils. They also advise teachers against live streaming lessons from home and say that any contact between pupils and teachers should only be through a platform provided by the school and not through personalised accounts open to public viewing.

We know that school leaders, teachers and pupils are all having to adjust to remote education strategies. While this is happening, it is more important than ever that schools continue to follow safeguarding procedures. The department has published guidance on safeguarding and remote education during COVID-19 at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-and-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

This recognises that teaching from home is different from teaching in the classroom and confirms that ‘there is no expectation that teachers should live stream or provide pre-recorded videos. Schools should consider the approaches that best suit the needs of their pupils and staff.’

All schools and colleges should be considering the safety of their children when they are asked to work online. The starting point for online teaching should be that the same principles as set out in the school’s or college’s staff behaviour policy (sometimes known as a code of conduct) should be followed. This policy should amongst other things include acceptable use of technologies. The policy should apply equally to any existing or new online and distance learning arrangements which are introduced.

Further guidance for schools and colleges to support them keeping children safe, including online, during the COVID-19 outbreak is also available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce legislation to convert some universities back to polytechnics.

We currently have no plans to introduce legislation to convert some universities back to polytechnics.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to converting the 30 poorest-performing universities to vocational training colleges following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office for Students (OfS) has made it clear that all higher education providers must continue to meet conditions related to the quality of their courses and the standard of qualifications they award. This means ensuring that courses are high quality, students are supported and achieve good outcomes, and standards are protected. If providers breach those conditions the OfS has powers to impose a range of sanctions, potentially culminating in deregistration and the loss of university status.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the finding of the Sutton Trust on 20 April that only about 30% of pupils are taking part in online lessons, what action they will take to ensure that schools and teachers are performing their duties.

The department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. It is up to each school to determine how best to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have already shared resources for children who are at home.

The department has not required schools to teach online lessons and this is only one way in which they may opt to provide remote education to pupils. The department has, however, issued guidance for schools on delivering remote education, including case studies and an initial list of free resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their online and hard-copy resources available for free.

Schools can also make use of Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize.

The government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, by providing devices and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of education technology.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are, if any, to publish a record of the length of time taken by members of the House to ask supplementary questions.

When introducing virtual proceedings the Lord Speaker and his Deputies have consistently emphasised the importance of brevity when asking and answering supplementary questions, and the part that this can play in allowing a greater number of members to contribute within the time limits. These sentiments were echoed in an email that I sent to all members on 12 May, updating them on virtual proceedings. Revised guidance issued by the Procedure Committee on the same day also stated that ‘Members should avoid taking up time in Virtual Proceedings thanking other members for their contributions’. There are no plans to publish a record of the length of time taken by members of the House to ask supplementary questions; the Procedure Committee will continue to keep these matters under review.

19th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage teachers who are no longer required to work in schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic to undertake other activities in their community.

The department anticipates that teachers who are no longer required to be physically present in schools would focus on developing educational resources or supporting home-education wherever possible. It is for schools to understand and decide how to deploy their teachers in the most effective way possible. We would encourage all teachers who are not attending school to consider and act in accordance with the latest guidance from Public Health England.

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of universities rescinding invitations from speakers; and what plans, if any, they have to reduce funding to universities when that happens.

The government does not support no-platforming of individuals or organisations.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has made it clear that he is concerned about the cases reported in the press where external speakers are alleged to have been no-platformed, students and their societies are reportedly having their voices restricted and academics are not able to pursue research projects. It is important that universities take robust action to prevent this happening.

This government has committed to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities and ensure they are places where free speech and debate can thrive – this includes considering the underpinning legal framework. We have made it clear that if universities do not uphold free speech, the government will.

19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to lay the regulations on forest risk commodities; and if the regulations will subject to affirmative procedure.

The Government introduced new due diligence legislation through the Environment Act to help tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains. We will operationalise these provisions through secondary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows. The regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will include experts on migratory species from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee among the UK delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28 UAE).

Joint Nature Conservation Committee staff, including experts on migratory species, are not part of the UK Government delegation to United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28. Joint Nature Conservation Committee staff will remotely provide scientific advice in advance and in real time as requested by the delegation and support side events online in the US Pavilion and the Virtual Ocean Pavilion. Joint Nature Conservation Committee staff have also provided pre-recorded videos to the UK Overseas Territories Association to support their side event in the UK Pavilion.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their most recent assessment of the availability of food to meet demand over the Christmas season; and what discussions they have held with major supermarkets in relation to (1) current food availability, (2) any prior expectations of food shortages and how these have been revised.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response, and it is well equipped to deal with situations with the potential to cause disruption. Our high degree of food security is built on supply from diverse sources; strong domestic production as well as imports through stable trade routes.

Defra has well established ways of working with industry, including major retailers, and across Government. These include regular meetings with industry and their representative bodies, and the department will continue to use these channels of communication to monitor and respond to any risks that may arise. As things stand, we do not expect substantive availability of food issues in the run up to Christmas.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to reduce, and (2) to eliminate, sea bottom trawling in UK waters.

The UK is at the forefront of marine protection, demonstrated through the establishment of a comprehensive network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to ensure greater protection of our seas. Defra is continuing to work with fishermen to develop ways to reduce the impact of fishing gear on the seabed, while still allowing the industry to remain profitable.

For example, 98 MPAs in inshore waters have management measures in place to protect sensitive features from bottom towed fishing gears. Using new powers introduced by the Fisheries Act 2020, the Marine Management Organisation has recently concluded the first in a series of consultations on measures for offshore MPAs, which again seek to reduce the impact of bottom trawling.

The Fisheries Act also includes a commitment to develop domestic Fisheries Management Plans to ensure UK fisheries are managed sustainably. These will consider the wider impact of gears used to target stocks.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2003 Competition Commission Report on supply of Veterinary Medicines; and what the implementation outcome is for each of the recommendations, including reasoning for those that have not been implemented.

All recommendations were implemented.

1 & 9

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) provide four distribution categories, based on the perceived risk of a veterinary medicine and striking the right balance between appropriate controls and availability.

'Prescription Only Medicines - Veterinarian' (POM-V) require prescribing by a vet for animals under their care, following clinical assessment. POM-V covers those products containing narcotic or psychotropic substances or requiring veterinary diagnosis/clinical assessment. Clients may request a prescription which can be dispensed elsewhere.

'POM - Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person' (POM-VPS) and 'Non-Food Animal-VPS' products can be prescribed and/or supplied by vets, pharmacists or SQPs; without clinical assessment but with point-of-sale advice.

'Authorised Veterinary Medicine - General Sales List' category covers products with safety profiles allowing distribution across a range of retailers.

7

The distribution category is assessed during the veterinary medicine application procedure. Factors considered in deciding the category include the need for clinical diagnosis, point-of-sale advice, administration route, nature of the product/active substance and safety profile. Cost is not considered as the scope is limited to the safety of the product for both the animal and people handling the product.

8 & 3

The EU centralised procedure is compulsory for products containing a new active substance, constituting significant therapeutic/scientific/technical innovation, or where a marketing authorisation (MA) is in the interest of animal health at EU level. These products are classified 'Prescription-Only' as their novelty represents an increased risk. The UK had the flexibility to assign one of its distribution categories, based on increased knowledge of the product's safety profile. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol the EU centralised system will still apply in Northern Ireland.

5

The Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) reviewed products over seven categories, recommending the appropriate distribution category. In some cases, this required removal of indications to support the products being more freely available via a lower distribution classification.

6

MA holders can apply to change the category. This will be considered by the VPC unless they previously advised on category changes for comparable products.

4

The VMD may grant, without requiring a full dossier, an MA for an EU-authorised medicine for import into the UK under Parallel Import provisions, provided the applicant demonstrates it is identical to a UK-authorised medicine for food-producing species, or therapeutically identical to a UK-authorised medicine for companion animals. The VMD requests a detailed description of the product's intended re-labelling.

10

An MA is initially valid for five years, after which it may be renewed upon re-evaluation of the risk-benefit balance. Once renewed, the MA is valid indefinitely unless pharmacovigilance raises concerns.

11

The VMD publishes standards and transparent targets around the assessment processes - something recognised and welcomed by industry. The VMD encourages companies to consult on their proposed MA application, particularly for exceptional MAs, prior to submission or during the process itself. After EU Exit the VMD introduced additional MA options - national-only or in parallel with an EU application to better utilise company resources.

2

The RCVS Code of Professional Conduct contains a chapter on fair trading requirements. This includes provision of information on medicine prices.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the US Food and Drug Administration including boxed warning labels on Metacam (Meloxicam) due to the risks associated with acute renal failure and death in cats, what steps they are taking to ensure similar warnings are in place on all boxes of Metacam sold to vets in the UK.

There are three Metacam products authorised for use in cats in the UK:

- Metacam 5 mg/ml solution for injection for dogs and cats

- Metacam 2mg/ml solution for injection for cats

- Metacam 0.5 mg/ml oral suspension for cats and guinea pigs

All three products already include warnings relating to renal failure and therefore veterinary surgeons in the UK are aware of the risk of renal failure with the use of Metacam in cats.

In 2019, the marketing authorisation holder for Metacam was requested to provide an analysis of all cases of renal failure and death in cats. The company provided data comparing the use of the product and the frequency of cases in the United States (US) with those in the EU. This demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of off-label use (use of the product not in accordance with the product information), renal failure and fatalities in the US compared with the EU. Vets are allowed to use veterinary medicinal products off-label in certain circumstances. However, the Metacam data does not indicate that the incidence of such use is as prevalent in the EU or the UK as in the US. It was concluded that vets in the EU and UK were already aware of the risks of renal failure with off-label use and the product information included sufficient warnings relating to the correct use and associated risks. The company was requested to continue specifically to monitor cases of renal failure in cats.

Based on a review of the data over the past 10 years, the incidence of renal failure in the UK following use of Metacam in cats has gradually decreased from one in 200,000 to one in a million, supporting the view that vets are now even more aware of the risks associated with off-label use.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate will continue to consider the scientific evidence to inform further action as required and the consistency of product information and warnings for all meloxicam products.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the (1) British Veterinary Association, and (2) Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, about possible diminution of veterinary care in veterinary companies owned by private equity firms concerned with maximising profits instead of making animal health and welfare their first consideration.

Anyone practising as a veterinary surgeon, regardless of the ownership of the practice, needs to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and has a duty to provide care ensuring that animal health and welfare is their first consideration. Any concerns about the ownership or commercial practices of businesses should be directed to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to investigate the takeover of private veterinary practices by private equity firms with no veterinary qualifications and allegations of profiteering.

Anyone practising as a veterinary surgeon, regardless of the ownership of the practice, needs to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and has a duty to provide care ensuring that animal health and welfare is their first consideration. Any concerns about the ownership or commercial practices of businesses should be directed to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of private equity companies purchasing veterinary practices to turn them into "cash-generating units", whether they will hold urgent discussions with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons about amending their Code of Conduct to apply to commercial companies running veterinary practices.

Anyone practising as a veterinary surgeon, regardless of the ownership of the practice, needs to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and has a duty to provide care ensuring that animal health and welfare is their first consideration. Any concerns about the ownership or commercial practices of businesses should be directed to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of requiring VI-1 certificates for wine imported from non-EU countries.

Wine imports to the EU have been subject to the requirement to provide a VI1 certificate for many years. The basis for their introduction was to provide a level of assurance that the wine being imported met the standards required to be marketed in the EU. Over time the VI1 requirement has been relaxed in some cases to allow simplified forms of the certificate to be used, where for instance the exporting country and the EU have reached trade agreements covering the production of wine.

The Withdrawal Act 2018 retained the requirement for third country wines to be accompanied by a VI1 certificate as a means of maintaining that level of assurance. As VI1 provisions already exist for wine imports from non-EU countries, and these wines remain extremely competitive in our marketplace, we believe the new requirement to be appropriate and affordable.

As I and colleagues in Government have said on many occasions, leaving the EU gives us the ability to look critically at the laws we have inherited from the EU to ensure they remain fit for purpose. We have maintained simplified VI1 arrangements, where these existed, in the new trade deals we have concluded, and we will consider in due course whether there is a case to revisit the requirement for VI1 certification overall.

4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the ruling by Justice Robin Postle on 3 January that veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under the Equality Act 2010, and (2) the Vegan Society’s leaflet, Supporting veganism in the workplace: a guide for employers; and whether they will issue guidance on supporting veganism in the workplace.

Further to the answer I gave to PQ HL2142, the Government currently has no plans to issue any guidance on supporting veganism in the workplace. Any employer unsure about their obligations to accommodate staff who are vegan should either contact ACAS for advice or, if more appropriate on a specific case, obtain legal advice.

16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Trade, in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents, (a) has replaced, or (b) intends to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth”.

The Department for International Trade is committed to ensuring HR policies and guidance are inclusive and regularly undertakes internal policy reviews to keep our policies up to date and compliant with statutory legislation and best practice.

The department is satisfied that its HR policies are consistent with this commitment and there are currently no plans to replace the word ‘’mother’ with the phrase “parent who has given birth” to our HR policies. The department will continue to monitor any developments or changes in legislation.

11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they plan to take to assist Australian exports to the UK, in the light of the government of China's introduction of tariffs on Australian goods in response to the latter's call for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia is one of our closest allies trading partners – our trading relationship is worth £16.4bn in goods and services (Q2 2019 – Q2 2020). To further improve this key relationship, we are currently negotiating an ambitious and modern Free Trade Agreement. We are monitoring closely the reports of trade restrictions for Australian goods exports to China.

30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 27 September (HL10350), what text is included in Avanti's National Rail Contract on the provision of catering in first class.

The provision of First-Class Catering is included in the Continuing Ancillary Services Document which sets out services that are required to be carried over from the previous Franchise Agreement. Clause 4.5 of the National Rail Contract states that the operator shall continue to provide any Continuing Ancillary Service and not vary the terms or stop providing without the Secretary of State’s prior approval.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Gower on 27 November (HL339), why the steel sidebars on the disability buggies at Euston station were replaced in the last two weeks; what was the cost of installing the original ones and replacing them with the new ones; and who was responsible for making the decision on both sets of bars.

Following an incident involving a passenger on one of the buggies at Euston Station, Network Rail undertook a safety investigation. One of the outputs from the investigation was to ensure safety bars were present on all buggies. Network Rail found that the design of the bars caused issues for some passengers getting on and off the buggies. Therefore, Network Rail replaced them with the newly designed safety bars which allows more of the bar to be pushed back into its housing, resulting in more space for passengers to get on and off.

The cost of installing the original bars and then replacing them with the new bars was £2617.20 excluding VAT. The decision for the bars to be replaced was made by the Route’s Head of Stations.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Network Rail regarding the medical advice they take on accessibility aids for disabled passengers, in particular the risks of the new steel sidebars installed on accessibility buggies at Euston station.

Network Rail undertakes risk assessments for all passenger facing facilities to help ensure wellbeing and safety. This includes the introduction of safety bars, which are present on the rear of all Network Rail passenger assistance buggies at Euston station and are designed to reduce the risk of riding passengers falling from the buggy.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people have been (1) killed, and (2) injured, in London by pedicabs in each of the last five years.

There is limited data relating to injuries caused by pedicabs in London owing to the lack of a licensing regime and limited enforcement activity. Pedicabs are the only form of unregulated public transport on London’s roads – this has led to Government being made aware of common occurrences of anti-social, unsafe and nuisance behaviour from certain pedicab operators and drivers.

Government has introduced the Pedicabs (London) Bill so that passengers, pedestrians and other road users can go about their lives safe in the knowledge pedicabs, their drivers and operators are properly licensed and accountable.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any representations to Avanti Trains concerning implementation of the “one click” automatic delay repay system as operated by LNER.

The Department has not made any representations to Avanti Trains concerning implementation of the ‘one click’ automatic delay repay system as operated by LNER. Avanti West Coast has its own Delay Repay portal where passengers who were delayed by more than 15 minutes on an Avanti service can self-serve their claims provided this is within 28 days of the affected journey. Delayed passengers who booked advance tickets directly with Avanti and who registered for Delay Repay beforehand will automatically receive an email with details on how to claim.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will raise with Network Rail the provision made for disabled passengers at Euston station and, in particular (1) the distance between the holding facility for disabled passengers and parking place for the buggies for passengers who are unable to walk, (2) removing the steel bars recently installed on either side of the rear seats of these buggies, (3) the availability of assistants with wheelchairs at the passenger drop off point to take disabled passengers to the holding facility, (4) repair of the phone at the disabled passenger drop-off point, and (5) direct access to Platform 1 for the disabled buggy.

The Passenger Assistance lounge at Euston station, which is usually staffed with at least three assistants, is equipped with six wheelchairs to help passengers from the drop-off point at the taxi-rank to the lounge. Passengers who have pre-booked their assistance can be met at the drop-off point by staff with a wheelchair. If a passenger hasn’t pre-booked, they can contact the passenger assistance lounge using the help point at the taxi rank and be collected. The help point at the taxi-rank is fully operational.

The distance from the Passenger Assistance lounge to the parked buggies at Euston Station is around 15 metres. To help passengers from the lounge to the buggies, Network Rail can provide passengers with wheelchairs, or take them by the arm for support, depending on their needs. In some cases, when the station is quiet, staff can drive the buggy to the entrance of the Passenger Assistance lounge to make this journey shorter.

The buggies have barriers by the rear seats for the safety of riding passengers, reducing the risk of passengers falling.

For the safety of passengers, buggy drivers are instructed to take passengers under the concourse to services on platforms 1 and 2. This is to reduce the amount of congestion on the concourse where passengers are waiting, departing or arriving.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what contractual commitments Avanti gave them for the supply of food in its first-class rail service.

Following a temporary waiver during 2020/2021 due to COVID, Avanti West Coast resumed its contractual obligation from June 2021 to provide a complimentary catering service for First Class passengers which is available 7 days a week. This provision of First Class catering will continue in the National Rail Contract set to commence on 15 October 2023.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they next plan to issue statistics regarding the number of pedestrians killed and injured by users of e-bikes and e-scooters.

The next release of statistics covering the number of pedestrians killed and injured in collisions involving e-scooters is planned for the end of September 2023, covering the publishing year 2022.

There is no specific definition of an e-bike within the STATS19 data collection system, and therefore no reliable way of identifying these types of vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they plan to hold with the police regarding the enforcement of section 148(c) of the Highways Act 1980 (the offence of depositing anything whatsoever on a highway) with specific regard to e-bikes and e-scooters.

Law enforcement is an operational matter for the police, it is for them to enforce the law and investigate incidents using their professional judgement.

The Government will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation, including in relation to offences involving e-cycles and e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 9 May (HL7361), what is their reason for cutting down the trees adjacent to the taxi rank at Euston Station; what works in particular necessitated cutting those trees; and at what future date those works are scheduled to take place.

The trees adjacent to the taxi rank at Euston station were removed in February 2023 to enable the diversions of utilities, piling for the London Underground Interchange, and civil engineering work for the Euston Square link.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the large trees adjacent to the taxi rank at Euston Station were cut down as part of the HS2 project.

The trees adjacent to the taxi rank at Euston station have been removed as part of the HS2 works at Euston. These trees were removed in February in advance of the nesting season which starts in March.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they support the use of e-scooters in public spaces; what assessment they have made of the risk of death or injury caused by e-scooters; and how much weight they give that risk in developing their policy in relation to e-scooters.

The Department has published guidance for local authorities and e-scooter operators on the conduct of e-scooter trials. This makes clear that there will need to be sufficient parking provision in trial areas. Where a dockless operating model is being used, local authorities should ensure that e-scooters do not become obstructive to other road users and pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities.

Pedestrians have the right to use the footway without undue hazards. Rule 70 of The Highway Code advises, but does not require, people to park their cycles where they will not cause an obstruction or hazard to other road users.

The Department supports the use of trial e-scooters in public spaces. To identify trends in the numbers of injuries because of e-scooter use, it is using STATS19 data and working directly with some NHS Trusts. The Department also collects evidence on rental e-scooter casualties, including the type and severity of injuries, through A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme.


Finally, the Department assesses e-scooter trials, international experience and further research to improve safety and inform policy development.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they have published or plan to publish for pedestrians for situations when they may encounter e-scooters and electric hire bicycles illegally left on pavements.

The Department has published guidance for local authorities and e-scooter operators on the conduct of e-scooter trials. This makes clear that there will need to be sufficient parking provision in trial areas. Where a dockless operating model is being used, local authorities should ensure that e-scooters do not become obstructive to other road users and pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities.

Pedestrians have the right to use the footway without undue hazards. Rule 70 of The Highway Code advises, but does not require, people to park their cycles where they will not cause an obstruction or hazard to other road users.

The Department supports the use of trial e-scooters in public spaces. To identify trends in the numbers of injuries because of e-scooter use, it is using STATS19 data and working directly with some NHS Trusts. The Department also collects evidence on rental e-scooter casualties, including the type and severity of injuries, through A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme.


Finally, the Department assesses e-scooter trials, international experience and further research to improve safety and inform policy development.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what measures they will take to protect pedestrians from cyclists or e-scooter drivers riding at speed on the pavement.

Cycling on the pavement, other than in designated areas such as on shared used paths, is illegal. It is also illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on the road, cycle lanes or pavements. In those areas where trials of rental e-scooters are taking place, their use on pavements, other than shared use paths, is not permitted. Enforcement of these matters is the responsibility of the police. The Government is considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences around dangerous cycling, to tackle those rare instances where victims have been killed or seriously injured by irresponsible cycling behaviour. This follows an earlier review exploring the case for specific dangerous cycling offences, to which the Department will publish a response as soon as possible.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have urgently to rewrite the Highway Code to strengthen the protection of pedestrians from those using bicycles and e-scooters on the pavement.

It is important that both cyclists and e-scooter users know that, like other road users, the rules of the Highway Code and road traffic law apply to them. The use of cycles and rental e-scooters on the pavement is illegal, other than in designated areas such as on shared use paths, and enforcement is a matter for the police. Privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on all public roads and existing penalties may apply.

Rule 66 of The Highway Code states that cyclists should be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians, and should alert them to their presence when necessary.

The Department continues to look at how we can improve road safety for everyone who uses our roads and pavements. Should new legislation be introduced to change the rules for e-scooters, the Department will review the Highway Code and whether any amendments may be appropriate.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to introduce a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling, as outlined by the former Secretary of State for Transport on 5 August 2022.

We are planning to publish our response to the cycling offences consultation as soon as we can and have already announced that we are considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences around dangerous cycling. We will do that as part of a suite of measures to improve the safety of all road and pavement users.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they expect demand-led pricing will work in the railway sector, given that each rail company has a monopoly on its routes.

In the Plan for Rail we set out the intention to simplify fares and allow long distance operators more commercial freedom, and in the Bradshaw Address we committed to trialling demand-based pricing on some London North Eastern Railway services to better manage capacity. Trialling this approach on certain routes will provide useful learning about the passenger experience which we will carefully consider before taking decisions on any wider extension. We will announce more details in due course.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 8 July (HL1422), why the rail announcement telling passengers to report anything they deem suspicious to a member of staff or the British Transport Police is subsequently followed by the comment "see it, say it, sorted" as the word "sorted" may not be true.

The See It. Say It. Sorted. phrasing is an alliterative campaign slogan, which has been demonstrated to promote vigilance and improve recall of the method for contacting British Transport Police (BTP).

The announcements successfully communicate the option of discretely reporting to BTP by text. This has translated into a higher volume of reports relating to criminality, including terrorism, on the railways, since the introduction of the campaign. It also encourages reporting through alternative means, such as speaking with a member of rail staff.

Once a member of the public has reported a potential issue, they have done their part. The threat will be assessed, and if further follow up is required, it will be ‘sorted’ in the form of direct police engagement or a priority emergency response.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will implement their plan to "remove repetitive and unnecessary onboard announcements on trains", announced on 21 January; and whether this will include the message “See it, say it, sorted.”

Operators are working to remove unnecessary announcements from their automated systems in line with existing maintenance schedules, with work due to complete by the end of 2022. Passengers will already be hearing fewer automated announcements on some routes, alongside a reduction in ‘live’ announcements as onboard staff have been issued with updated guidance.

Messages that play a safety critical role, or that ensure the railways are accessible for all, will remain. This includes ‘See it, Say it, Sorted’.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 19 January (HL5520), whether they intend to (1) sell, or (2) retain, the former station master's house at Penrith North Lakes Railway Station; and if they intend to retain the house (a) whether it will be used for (i) residential accommodation, or (ii) a commercial purpose, and (b) what estimate they have made of the annual cost of retaining it.

The Department has no plans to return to use the former Station Master's house at Penrith North Lakes railway station.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 21 December (HL4992), what plans they have to (1) dispose of, or (2)  otherwise get value for the taxpayer, from the former Station Master's House at Penrith North Lakes Railway Station.

The Department has no plans to return to use the former Station Master's house at Penrith North Lakes railway station.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to return to use the former Station Master's house at Penrith North Lakes Railway Station.

The Department has no plans to return to use the former Station Master's house at Penrith North Lakes railway station.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that retailers are advising their customers of the law regarding the use of private e-scooters in the UK.

The Department estimates that 750,000 private e-scooters are owned across England based on survey results from the DfT Transport Technology Tracker. The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Trials are live in 31 areas. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence we cannot commit to a legislative timetable.

There were 484 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in 2020. Information currently held by the Department provisionally indicates that there have been 530 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in the first six months of 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads on ensuring responsible business practices, but Ministers from this Department wrote to retailers of e-scooters in December 2018 reminding them of their obligations. In July of this year, Rachel Maclean MP wrote again to retailers sharing with them the Department’s concerns that retailers are not providing clear, visible and consistent information, to ensure that their customers understand the law. She asked them to work with their sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are familiar with our guidance on privately owned e-scooters, to ensure that their customers are not misinformed, inadvertently or otherwise, about the law which applies to the use of e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were injured in collisions involving e-scooters in (1) 2020, and (2) 2021, to date.

The Department estimates that 750,000 private e-scooters are owned across England based on survey results from the DfT Transport Technology Tracker. The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Trials are live in 31 areas. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence we cannot commit to a legislative timetable.

There were 484 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in 2020. Information currently held by the Department provisionally indicates that there have been 530 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in the first six months of 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads on ensuring responsible business practices, but Ministers from this Department wrote to retailers of e-scooters in December 2018 reminding them of their obligations. In July of this year, Rachel Maclean MP wrote again to retailers sharing with them the Department’s concerns that retailers are not providing clear, visible and consistent information, to ensure that their customers understand the law. She asked them to work with their sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are familiar with our guidance on privately owned e-scooters, to ensure that their customers are not misinformed, inadvertently or otherwise, about the law which applies to the use of e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce legislation to legalise the private use of e-scooters; and if so, when they plan to do so.

The Department estimates that 750,000 private e-scooters are owned across England based on survey results from the DfT Transport Technology Tracker. The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Trials are live in 31 areas. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence we cannot commit to a legislative timetable.

There were 484 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in 2020. Information currently held by the Department provisionally indicates that there have been 530 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in the first six months of 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads on ensuring responsible business practices, but Ministers from this Department wrote to retailers of e-scooters in December 2018 reminding them of their obligations. In July of this year, Rachel Maclean MP wrote again to retailers sharing with them the Department’s concerns that retailers are not providing clear, visible and consistent information, to ensure that their customers understand the law. She asked them to work with their sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are familiar with our guidance on privately owned e-scooters, to ensure that their customers are not misinformed, inadvertently or otherwise, about the law which applies to the use of e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of private e-scooters being used on public roads.

The Department estimates that 750,000 private e-scooters are owned across England based on survey results from the DfT Transport Technology Tracker. The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Trials are live in 31 areas. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence we cannot commit to a legislative timetable.

There were 484 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in 2020. Information currently held by the Department provisionally indicates that there have been 530 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in the first six months of 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads on ensuring responsible business practices, but Ministers from this Department wrote to retailers of e-scooters in December 2018 reminding them of their obligations. In July of this year, Rachel Maclean MP wrote again to retailers sharing with them the Department’s concerns that retailers are not providing clear, visible and consistent information, to ensure that their customers understand the law. She asked them to work with their sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are familiar with our guidance on privately owned e-scooters, to ensure that their customers are not misinformed, inadvertently or otherwise, about the law which applies to the use of e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of private e-scooters sold in each of the past three years.

The Department estimates that 750,000 private e-scooters are owned across England based on survey results from the DfT Transport Technology Tracker. The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Trials are live in 31 areas. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence we cannot commit to a legislative timetable.

There were 484 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in 2020. Information currently held by the Department provisionally indicates that there have been 530 casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in Great Britain in the first six months of 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads on ensuring responsible business practices, but Ministers from this Department wrote to retailers of e-scooters in December 2018 reminding them of their obligations. In July of this year, Rachel Maclean MP wrote again to retailers sharing with them the Department’s concerns that retailers are not providing clear, visible and consistent information, to ensure that their customers understand the law. She asked them to work with their sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are familiar with our guidance on privately owned e-scooters, to ensure that their customers are not misinformed, inadvertently or otherwise, about the law which applies to the use of e-scooters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many e-scooters are available to the public through rental trials.

Data currently held by the Department indicates that there were 22,644 e-scooters available to rent across all trial areas at the end of October.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions of the interim report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety The safety of e-scooters, published on 31 October; and whether they plan to undertake research on the safety of privately owned e-scooters.

The Department welcomes the contribution of PACTS to the evidence base we are gathering. We are currently undertaking an independent evaluation of the e-scooter trials to examine the progress and impact of the trials across England. A number of trial areas are running long term rental schemes, and the evidence collected through these rental trials will give transferrable insights into private use. We are planning to publish our interim report, containing preliminary findings from the evaluation of the trials, in winter 2021.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) deaths and (2) injuries can be attributed to e-scooters in England, broken down by whether the accident was caused by (a) the users of e-scooters, (b) pedestrians, and (c) others.

There was 1 fatality, and 473 injured casualties in reported road accidents involving at least one e-scooter vehicle in England in 2020.

The Department does not hold information which can be used to assign blame for the cause of the accident onto a specific road user or vehicle.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make more rest stop facilities, such as toilets and wash facilities, available for lorry drivers on the principal UK transport routes.

Lorry drivers play a vital role in keeping Britain moving, and the Government understands the need to ensure adequate facilities are available to them .

We have already amended planning guidelines to encourage futher development of facilities and are exploring options for what more could be done.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that 50 per cent of civil servants at the DVLA are refusing to come back into the workplace, what steps they will take to outsource DVLA work to companies based in the UK and overseas.

It is not correct that 50 per cent of civil servants at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are refusing to come back into the workplace. In line with Welsh Government covid measures all staff who are carrying out a role that can be done from home, continue to do so. Staff who perform operational duties which cannot be done from home are working on site.

The DVLA continues to explore opportunities to improve the time taken to deal with paper applications and has been developing new online services and recruiting additional staff. The DVLA has temporarily utilised the private sector for some elements of work only where it has been appropriate to do so.

The DVLA is also looking to secure extra office space to accommodate more staff as surge capacity accommodation and resource to help reduce backlogs while providing future resilience and business continuity.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many, and (2) what percentage of, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) staff are working from home; and how many are able to give full service to DVSA customers from home.

During September 2021, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) had 1,389 staff members, 28.5% working from home continually. The DVSA is satisfied that all members of staff currently working from home are able to provide a full service to its customers as they adapt to hybrid working. Other staff are already either working a hybrid approach and providing a full service or working continually back in their work locations.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, since March 2020, how much money they have given for transport-related purposes to (1) Transport for London, and (2) all other councils and transport authorities in England; and what is the per capita amount of expenditure for those living (a) in the Greater London area, and (b) in the rest of England.

In the financial year 2020/21 my Department provided £3.2bn to Transport for London and £4.2bn to other councils and local authorities for transport-related purposes. These figures will be confirmed when the Department’s annual report and accounts are published in September.

To provide further context, in the financial year 2020/21 over £13bn was spent on transport related purposes in response to Covid-19 or as part of wider recovery measures. TfL received £2.457bn funding and financing (included with the £3.2bn figure above) to ensure the continued operation of their transport services, at a time when passenger demand was significantly reduced.

Outside of London we allocated £8.5bn to rail services, £1.257bn for bus operators, and £142m for light rail. This ensured that key modes of public transport continued to operate. Details of the measures and costs associated have been published in the National Audit Office online tracker of the Government's interventions on Covid-19. This is available online on the NAO’s website.

Per Capita analysis of our expenditure will be available in the Country and Regional Analysis published later this year, which is available at online at Gov.uk.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remove privately owned e-scooters from the highway when the scheme to permit only e-scooters which have been licensed for hire comes into effect.

We are running 32 trials where approved rental e-scooter vehicles can be legally ridden by users that meet a set of requirements, potential users include anyone with a full or provisional licence. Privately owned e-scooters being ridden on public roads are being done so illegally and a range of motoring offences apply and can be enforced by the police.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued to train operators on serving food and drink on trains.

The safety of both staff and passengers remains of the utmost importance. We have issued comprehensive guidance to train operators on the steps they need to take to protect staff in line with Public Health England advice. Where social distancing can be achieved, on-train catering facilities may continue. The regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, has also issued guidance to operators regarding catering services on trains.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to consult on raising the penalties for cyclists and delivery drivers using heavyweight electric bicycles who (1) ride on the pavement, and (2) leave their bikes blocking the pavement, to (a) a fine of up to £5,000, and (b) six months imprisonment.

Her Majesty’s Government have no current plans to consult on raising the penalties for cyclists and delivery drivers using heavyweight electric bicycles who ride on the pavement, or leave their bikes blocking the pavement.

In 2018 we consulted on creating new cycling offences for people whose cycling behaviour caused serious harm. The responses have been analysed and the government response will be issued in due course.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of gardens which would be paved over, and (2) the consequent loss of wildlife habitats, as a result of each of the three options set out in their consultation on reforming pavement parking.

No such assessment has been made. However, the Department’s consultation specifically asks respondents to describe the environmental impact of the new proposals.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of issues with the use of e-scooters in (1) Coventry, and (2) Middlesbrough; and what plans they have to pause the e-scooter rental trials until appropriate safeguards are introduced to protect pedestrians.

There are no plans to pause national e-scooter trials, which are absolutely essential if we are to fully assess this new mode and inform longer term micromobility policy. Officials are in close and regular contact with local authorities and e-scooter operators in live e-scooter trial areas. We are encouraging rapid action be taken to respond to operational issues as soon as they arise and ensuring that any lessons from early implementation are applied in subsequent trials. For example, issues which arose during the first week of the Middlesbrough trial, caused by a small minority of users, were quickly resolved with licence verification software and improved geo-fencing technology.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they have requested from Voi about the illegal use of e-scooters; and what plans they have to publish any such information.

Officials are in close and regular contact with local authorities and e-scooter operators in live e-scooter trial areas. We are encouraging rapid action be taken to respond to operational issues as soon as they arise and ensuring that any lessons from early implementation are applied in subsequent trials.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage members of the public to perform citizens’ arrests if they witness dangerous use of e-scooters on pavements.

Trials of e-scooters must find the correct balance between maximising the benefits they offer and keeping pedestrians and road users safe. We are working with local authorities and e-scooter operators to ensure compliance with legal requirements, that the rules of operation are understood and that local Police officers are fully aware of their enforcement powers if they are needed. Operators are deploying staff to help instruct users in the safe operation of e-scooters as well as offering digital training to all new users, and we will expect them to act on feedback from the public about how scooters are used.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the data from Public Health England showing that there have been 30 cases of people arriving from Pakistan with COVID-19 since 4 June, what plans they have to ban flights from that country.

Transport operators across all modes are required to increase communication about latest public health advice to passengers travelling into the UK. This is required throughout their journey by providing links to the advice through websites, as part of the booking process, emails post-booking and with documentation issued immediately before travel.

International transport operators must provide on-board announcements to all passengers about public health guidance.

The General Aircraft Declaration (GAD) process is required for all flights coming to the UK requiring crew to identify symptomatic passengers before arrival, with a similar process being implemented for maritime and international rail.

As part of the borders package, Regulations came into force on 8 June that require people arriving in the UK from Pakistan to self-isolate for 14 days.

At present there are currently no Pakistan International Airway flights operating to the UK as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has currently suspended its Third Country Operator?approval for PIA to fly into Europe.?The UK CAA has therefore withdrawn the permit for PIA flights to operate to the UK as legally required. There are no other airlines currently operating direct flights from Pakistan to the UK.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which airlines have applied for financial help in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and for each such airline to give (1) the amount of financial support requested, (2) the recipients of any support given and the amount they received.

We do not comment on the commercial or financial matters of specific private firms, because this information is commercially sensitive. As has been reported in the media, a number of aviation companies have accessed the unprecedented package of economic measures Government has put in place during this time. These schemes include the Job Retention Scheme, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Ryanair that it may take up to six months for customers to receive a refund for flights aborted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, what plans they have to (1) initiate proceedings against Ryanair to ensure customers are refunded in a timely manner, or (2) withdraw Ryanair's licence to operate.

It is for the Civil Aviation Authority as the independent regulator to determine whether to initiate proceedings against individual airlines who are in breach of their obligations.

Government recognises the challenges businesses and consumers are experiencing with processing large volumes of refunds. In particular, we appreciate the frustration consumers may be experiencing. The government’s position is clear - if a customer asks for a refund, that refund needs to be paid.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that any plans to increase public transport after the COVID-19 pandemic are based on the needs of the entire country; and what steps they are taking to ensure that any such plans reflect regional differences in transport use, as well as differences between urban and rural use.

Officials are working closely with the rail and bus industry on what a resumption of services would mean both nationally and for different regions of the country. The Department is taking account of Public Health England guidance, and are considering regional differences in all modelling. We will ensure that the transport sector continues to keep the whole of Britain moving once restrictions are lifted.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to refusing to make furlough payments to all airline and travel operators who have refused to refund their customers for cancelled flights and holidays.

Consumers whose travel plans are cancelled as a result of Covid-19 are entitled to a refund under existing legislation. Our support for the sector, including the furloughing of staff, should help to ensure that airline and travel operators are able to meet their legal obligations and that passengers will not lose out as a result of their cancelled flights and holidays.

Whether a company has refunded its customers is not part of the eligibility test for participation in the furlough scheme.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans he has to introduce a training course for peers about asking oral questions concisely.

There are no plans to introduce such training at present. When introducing virtual proceedings the Lord Speaker and his Deputies have consistently emphasised the importance of brevity when asking and answering supplementary questions, and the part that this can play in allowing a greater number of members to contribute within the time limits.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of uprating the pensions of all UK citizens living abroad to the current level of the state pension.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

As of February 2019, the estimated cost of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries was around £0.6 billion for 2022 to 2023. This information is published at Estimated costs of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The total number of people in receipt of a frozen State Pension abroad at a level under £100 per week was 428,830 as of November 2020. ‘UK citizenship’ is not defined/identifiable in this data. This information is published on Stat-Xplore: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Figure rounded to the nearest 10.

The policy on uprating UK State Pensions overseas is long-standing and has been supported by successive post-war Government for over 70 years. We continue to uprate UK State Pensions abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so – for example where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating. There are no plans to change this policy.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of uprating the pensions of UK citizens living abroad to £100 per week.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

As of February 2019, the estimated cost of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries was around £0.6 billion for 2022 to 2023. This information is published at Estimated costs of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The total number of people in receipt of a frozen State Pension abroad at a level under £100 per week was 428,830 as of November 2020. ‘UK citizenship’ is not defined/identifiable in this data. This information is published on Stat-Xplore: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Figure rounded to the nearest 10.

The policy on uprating UK State Pensions overseas is long-standing and has been supported by successive post-war Government for over 70 years. We continue to uprate UK State Pensions abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so – for example where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating. There are no plans to change this policy.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the number of UK citizens living abroad whose pensions are frozen at a level of £100 per week or below.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

As of February 2019, the estimated cost of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries was around £0.6 billion for 2022 to 2023. This information is published at Estimated costs of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The total number of people in receipt of a frozen State Pension abroad at a level under £100 per week was 428,830 as of November 2020. ‘UK citizenship’ is not defined/identifiable in this data. This information is published on Stat-Xplore: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Figure rounded to the nearest 10.

The policy on uprating UK State Pensions overseas is long-standing and has been supported by successive post-war Government for over 70 years. We continue to uprate UK State Pensions abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so – for example where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating. There are no plans to change this policy.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of wheelchair users who would be able to get employment if all buildings which are accessible to the public were made fully accessible to wheelchair users.

No such estimate has been made and nor do we hold data on the number of wheelchair users affected in this way.

We are committed to supporting disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives. In the Levelling-Up White Paper we announced that the UK Government will provide £1.3bn over the Spending Review 2021 period to support disabled people and people with health conditions to start, stay and succeed in work. This includes Access to Work: a demand-led, discretionary grant intended to support disabled people to move into and sustain paid employment by providing a contribution to the costs of overcoming workplace barriers. The grant is not means tested and can contribute to the disability related extra costs in the workplace that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments.

In 2017 the Government set a goal to see a million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027. The latest figures released for Q1 (January to March) 2022 show that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2022 the number of disabled people in employment increased by 1.3m – meaning the goal has been met after five years.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of wheelchair users who are not able to get employment since all buildings which are accessible to the public are not required to have full access for wheelchair users.

No such estimate has been made and nor do we hold data on the number of wheelchair users affected in this way.

We are committed to supporting disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives. In the Levelling-Up White Paper we announced that the UK Government will provide £1.3bn over the Spending Review 2021 period to support disabled people and people with health conditions to start, stay and succeed in work. This includes Access to Work: a demand-led, discretionary grant intended to support disabled people to move into and sustain paid employment by providing a contribution to the costs of overcoming workplace barriers. The grant is not means tested and can contribute to the disability related extra costs in the workplace that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments.

In 2017 the Government set a goal to see a million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027. The latest figures released for Q1 (January to March) 2022 show that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2022 the number of disabled people in employment increased by 1.3m – meaning the goal has been met after five years.

19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to issue new guidance concerning trans people in hospitals; if so, when; and whether patients who are biologically male will be placed on wards with those who are biologically females.

NHS England is updating its Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation Guidance. A revised version will be published in due course.

It is imperative that National Health Service trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients. The Government has been clear that patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities.

As set out by the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in October 2023, proposals to protect the privacy, dignity and safety of patients will be brought forward as part of the routine update of the NHS Constitution and its Handbook. Any measures consulted on will be in line with the Equality Act 2010, respecting the rights of all patients in hospital settings.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the Chief Executive of NHS England about the appropriateness of employing NHS staff who have supported calling for (1) a Jihad, or (2) the destruction of Israel.

The Secretary of State has not made representations to the Chief Executive of NHS England about the appropriateness of employing National Health Service staff who have supported calling for a Jihad, or the destruction of Israel.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential role of homecare medicines services in achieving the priority within the NHS long term plan to "boost 'out-of-hospital' care".

The recommendations of the 2011 Hackett review were implemented with the publications of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Professional Standards for Homecare Services in England’ in 2013 and in 2014 with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Handbook for Homecare Services in England’ to aid implementation of the 2013 standards.

Homecare medicines services deliver ongoing medicine supplies and, where necessary, associated care, initiated by the hospital prescriber, direct to the patient’s home with their consent. Homecare medicines services offer many benefits to patients and the National Health Service including patients receiving their medicines at home, reducing the need to visit secondary care services for example, hospital outpatient settings and improving access to new medicines for patients.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to implement the recommendations of the review conducted by Mark Hackett, 'Homecare Medicines: Towards a Vision for the Future', published in 2011; and what assessment they have made of the progress towards full implementation.

The recommendations of the 2011 Hackett review were implemented with the publications of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Professional Standards for Homecare Services in England’ in 2013 and in 2014 with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Handbook for Homecare Services in England’ to aid implementation of the 2013 standards.

Homecare medicines services deliver ongoing medicine supplies and, where necessary, associated care, initiated by the hospital prescriber, direct to the patient’s home with their consent. Homecare medicines services offer many benefits to patients and the National Health Service including patients receiving their medicines at home, reducing the need to visit secondary care services for example, hospital outpatient settings and improving access to new medicines for patients.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of NHS procurement processes for homecare medicines services in each of the last five years.

NHS England is undertaking a piece of work to understand the issues in Homecare Medicines Service to inform any future improvement actions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many medicines deliveries have been made through homecare medicines services in each of the last five years; and how many of these deliveries included a visit from a healthcare professional.

The Homecare Medicines sector has delivered services to an increasing number of patients within the National Health Service in recent years and the demand for convenient ways of accessing medicines is expected to continue.

The National Clinical Homecare Association collates data and estimates approximately 500,000 patients are in receipt of a homecare medicines service in England. However, these figures have not been validated by the NHS.

NHS England collects data for its national framework agreements; however, it is not in a readily accessible form for analysis and would require significant manual review and analysis to provide. Arrangements for future reporting are being worked on and NHS England is undertaking a piece of work to understand the issues in homecare, so as to inform future improvement actions. A project by the National Homecare Medicines Committee to review the national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set is already underway with consultation due later this summer and final documents expected for approval in December 2023. Publication of performance against these KPIs is part of this project.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current and future demand for homecare medicines services; how many patients have accessed homecare medicines services in each of the last five years, both in total and broken down by (1) region of England, and (2) type of condition; how many of these were classed as active patients.

The Homecare Medicines sector has delivered services to an increasing number of patients within the National Health Service in recent years and the demand for convenient ways of accessing medicines is expected to continue.

The National Clinical Homecare Association collates data and estimates approximately 500,000 patients are in receipt of a homecare medicines service in England. However, these figures have not been validated by the NHS.

NHS England collects data for its national framework agreements; however, it is not in a readily accessible form for analysis and would require significant manual review and analysis to provide. Arrangements for future reporting are being worked on and NHS England is undertaking a piece of work to understand the issues in homecare, so as to inform future improvement actions. A project by the National Homecare Medicines Committee to review the national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set is already underway with consultation due later this summer and final documents expected for approval in December 2023. Publication of performance against these KPIs is part of this project.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the review by Mark Hackett Homecare Medicines: Towards a Vision for the Future, published on 30 November 2011, when they will implement the recommendation contained in that review which states that "the NHS should pursue an immediate unbundling of homecare medical dispensing, delivery and associated service costs. The NHS should define these costs and reduce them from their current prices".

For the four national frameworks for homecare medicines and services agreements which NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) manages on behalf of the National Health Service’s referring centres, all elements are unbundled for transparency of cost.

Regional homecare frameworks do not secure pricing for licensed medicines, instead they require homecare providers to supply medicines at the CMU contracted price for generic and branded medicines. In this way, all NHS-funded services routed through regional frameworks are 'unbundled', with competition applied during tenders to the service on both a technical and commercial basis.

Following the Hackett recommendations, the CMU and other local regional procurement teams have for some years now requested separate pricing from manufacturers for pharma-funded homecare medicines services during their branded medicines tendering process to secure ‘unbundled’ pricing, although manufacturers often submit the same price both for supply to hospital and supply to patient homes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many times homecare medicines were not delivered on the initial date agreed by the clinician in the last year for which figures are available; how many patients required further medical treatment, including hospitalisation, due to delays in the supply of homecare medicines in that period; and how many patients required surgery due to delays in the delivery of medicines for (1) Crohn's disease, and (2) Colitis.

NHS England collects data in respect of the first question for its national framework agreements, however it is not in a readily accessible form for analysis and would require significant manual review and analysis to provide. No patient level data is collected against each of the framework agreements and admissions data is not linked to homecare systems data. This reason for admission would also need to be coded correctly within the hospital records.

Arrangements for future reporting are being worked on and NHS England is undertaking a piece of work to understand the issues in homecare, so as to inform future improvement actions. A project by the National Homecare Medicines Committee to review the national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set is already underway with consultation due later this summer and final documents expected for approval in December 2023. Publication of performance against these KPIs is part of this project.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many patients are currently in receipt of homecare medicines services; what is the total cost to the NHS of homecare medicines services for the latest year for which figures are available; and what is the total number of (1) late deliveries, (2) incorrect deliveries, and (3) deliveries without the required attendance of a healthcare professional.

The National Clinical Homecare Association (NCHA) collates data and estimates approximately 500,000 patients are in receipt of a homecare medicines service in England with an estimated annual value of £3.2 billion. However, these figures have not been validated by the National Health Service.

To monitor industry trends, providers provide the same data set to the NCHA, allowing for the aggregation of all providers metrics. The NCHA reports that delivery performance of providers (delivery to patients on the agreed date) was 99.0% in 2020; 98.6% in 2021; and 98.8% in 2022.

NHS England collects data for its national framework agreements; however, it is not in a readily accessible form for analysis and would require significant manual review and analysis to provide. Arrangements for future reporting are being worked on and NHS England is undertaking a piece of work to understand the issues in homecare, so as to inform future improvement actions. A project by the National Homecare Medicines Committee to review the national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set is already underway with consultation due later this summer and final documents expected for approval in December 2023. Publication of performance against these KPIs is part of this project.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether Market Authorisation Holders set different (1) Key Performance Indicator measurements, and (2) clinical pathways, for the same therapy.

Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAHs) are encouraged to use the national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) published in the Royal Pharmaceutical Homecare Services Handbook 2014 in their contracts with homecare providers. MAHs may also use additional or alternative specific KPIs where they consider this necessary. Neither NHS England nor National Health Service trusts are directly party to those contracts between MAHs and homecare providers, and therefore do not have visibility of the KPIs agreed in each case.

The treatment choice is determined by the clinician in the hospital trust in conversation with the patient, based on the best available evidence and cost-effectiveness aligned to national and local guidance where available. The homecare medicines service provider is contracted to undertake supply and delivery, and administration in some cases. The homecare medicines service provider does not determine the clinical pathway.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many NHS hospitals have issued prescriptions to homecare providers (1) 10 or more days before the delivery is due, (2) between 10 days and the delivery date, and (3) after the delivery was supposed to be made.

This information is not collected centrally by NHS England or the Department. Each individual trust may or may not collect this data depending on the contracted Key Performance Indicators.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the Key Performance Indicators for homecare providers; and what is the actual level of performance against those indicators for each homecare provider, for the latest period for which data are available.

Appendix 10 of the 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society handbook contains the Key Performance Indicators for Homecare Medicine service providers. A copy is attached.

Providers of Homecare Medicines services operate in a highly regulated environment with obligations to record and monitor quality metrics, including any trends. To monitor industry trends, providers provide the same data set to the trade association, the National Clinical Homecare Association (NCHA), allowing for the aggregation of all providers metrics. The NCHA report that the delivery performance of providers (delivery to patients on the agreed date) was 99.0% in 2020, 98.6% in 2021 and 98.8% in 2022. Formal complaints and incidents are also monitored and the data shows that the percentage of complaints raised was 1.4% in 2020, 1.6% in 2021 and 1.8% in 2022 of active patients. This refers to complaints opened, not upheld.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many different templates exist for paper prescriptions issued to homecare providers.

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used include reporting of patient safety incidents, which includes all cases of severe or moderate harm or death associated with a reportable incident. Definitions as well as detailed guidance on managing complaints and incidents within the homecare medicine service are contained in Appendix 19 of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society homecare standards, a copy of which is available in an online-only format.

Information is not held centrally on the number of different paper prescription templates currently in use. In 2022, the National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) developed standard template prescriptions which are published in the Royal Pharmaceutical handbook for homecare services. Guidance from the NHMC advises that new services should use the template, and existing services should adopt the template on their next review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there is a Key Performance Indicator for the harms caused to patients because of a failure of provision of homecare services.

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used include reporting of patient safety incidents, which includes all cases of severe or moderate harm or death associated with a reportable incident. Definitions as well as detailed guidance on managing complaints and incidents within the homecare medicine service are contained in Appendix 19 of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society homecare standards, a copy of which is available in an online-only format.

Information is not held centrally on the number of different paper prescription templates currently in use. In 2022, the National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) developed standard template prescriptions which are published in the Royal Pharmaceutical handbook for homecare services. Guidance from the NHMC advises that new services should use the template, and existing services should adopt the template on their next review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which (1) medicines, and (2) medical devices, are currently being provided and delivered by homecare medicines services.

Homecare medicines services can be designed to satisfy a variety of different requirements to meet the needs of the patient and the NHS Trust. The different types of services delivered are set out on Page 11 of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s 2014 Handbook for Homecare Services, a copy of which is attached; these also describe the use of medicines and medical devices where appropriate.

NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit manages four national framework agreements for specialist services covering home parenteral nutrition, enzyme replacement therapy, lysosomal storage disorders and bleeding disorders. The individual homecare medicines contracts and agreements are for the service provision to deliver the required medicine and medical devices where necessary; the devices will take the form of pumps and ancillaries required to administer the medication.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which medicines can be delivered by homecare medicines services.

Decisions on which medicines can be delivered by a homecare medicines service are made by National Health Service trusts.

NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) procures medicines on behalf of the four national framework agreements for the provision of homecare medicines services which it manages. As part of the contractual process, a nationally agreed set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) form part of the contractual terms which homecare providers report against. The data set used is attached.

The CMU manages performance through robust contract management, in the form of regular contract review meetings where KPIs are reviewed. Contract review meetings include members of the stakeholder group, including representatives from the NHS trusts.

As part of continued quality assurance and governance processes, all homecare providers are assessed against the same KPIs through the NHS supplier engagement group, which is a subgroup of the National Homecare Medicines Committee.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the role of the Commercial Medicines Unit in procuring medicines for homecare delivery; and what steps they take to ensure performance by providers of the delivery service.

Decisions on which medicines can be delivered by a homecare medicines service are made by National Health Service trusts.

NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) procures medicines on behalf of the four national framework agreements for the provision of homecare medicines services which it manages. As part of the contractual process, a nationally agreed set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) form part of the contractual terms which homecare providers report against. The data set used is attached.

The CMU manages performance through robust contract management, in the form of regular contract review meetings where KPIs are reviewed. Contract review meetings include members of the stakeholder group, including representatives from the NHS trusts.

As part of continued quality assurance and governance processes, all homecare providers are assessed against the same KPIs through the NHS supplier engagement group, which is a subgroup of the National Homecare Medicines Committee.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what data they collect on the performance of homecare medicines services.

Decisions on which medicines can be delivered by a homecare medicines service are made by National Health Service trusts.

NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) procures medicines on behalf of the four national framework agreements for the provision of homecare medicines services which it manages. As part of the contractual process, a nationally agreed set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) form part of the contractual terms which homecare providers report against. The data set used is attached.

The CMU manages performance through robust contract management, in the form of regular contract review meetings where KPIs are reviewed. Contract review meetings include members of the stakeholder group, including representatives from the NHS trusts.

As part of continued quality assurance and governance processes, all homecare providers are assessed against the same KPIs through the NHS supplier engagement group, which is a subgroup of the National Homecare Medicines Committee.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish the standard terms and conditions of homecare medicines service contracts, including the sanctions available for a failure to perform to the contract terms.

The Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince MP) has ministerial responsibility for the Homecare Medicine Delivery Service.

The National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) regional lead members and NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit use and reference the Royal Pharmaceutical Society standards for homecare medicines service which are embedded into all framework agreement service specifications for the providers of this service.

In 2014 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published the Handbook for Homecare Services in England to aid implementation of these standards. This identified examples of good practice and included Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for standards contained in Appendix 10 of the Handbook. A copy of the Handbook and Appendix 10 is attached.

The NHMC holds regular meetings with all homecare providers focused on KPIs. When the KPIs from individual contracts or reports from National Health Service hospitals indicate that service levels are not to the high standard expected, the NHMC can enact an Escalation Process under which the affected provider must engage with each NHS organisation and provide a summary of the issues, mitigations and expected timescales for recovery.

Information is not held by the Department or NHS England on the time taken by medical staff on resolving problems or delays concerning home care medicines services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many medical staff, including nurses, doctors, physios and pharmacists, spend part of their week resolving problems or delays with homecare medicines services.

The Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince MP) has ministerial responsibility for the Homecare Medicine Delivery Service.

The National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) regional lead members and NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit use and reference the Royal Pharmaceutical Society standards for homecare medicines service which are embedded into all framework agreement service specifications for the providers of this service.

In 2014 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published the Handbook for Homecare Services in England to aid implementation of these standards. This identified examples of good practice and included Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for standards contained in Appendix 10 of the Handbook. A copy of the Handbook and Appendix 10 is attached.

The NHMC holds regular meetings with all homecare providers focused on KPIs. When the KPIs from individual contracts or reports from National Health Service hospitals indicate that service levels are not to the high standard expected, the NHMC can enact an Escalation Process under which the affected provider must engage with each NHS organisation and provide a summary of the issues, mitigations and expected timescales for recovery.

Information is not held by the Department or NHS England on the time taken by medical staff on resolving problems or delays concerning home care medicines services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which minister is in charge of the prescription, supply and distribution of medicines supplied and delivered by homecare medicines services.

The Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince MP) has ministerial responsibility for the Homecare Medicine Delivery Service.

The National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) regional lead members and NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit use and reference the Royal Pharmaceutical Society standards for homecare medicines service which are embedded into all framework agreement service specifications for the providers of this service.

In 2014 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published the Handbook for Homecare Services in England to aid implementation of these standards. This identified examples of good practice and included Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for standards contained in Appendix 10 of the Handbook. A copy of the Handbook and Appendix 10 is attached.

The NHMC holds regular meetings with all homecare providers focused on KPIs. When the KPIs from individual contracts or reports from National Health Service hospitals indicate that service levels are not to the high standard expected, the NHMC can enact an Escalation Process under which the affected provider must engage with each NHS organisation and provide a summary of the issues, mitigations and expected timescales for recovery.

Information is not held by the Department or NHS England on the time taken by medical staff on resolving problems or delays concerning home care medicines services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the letter from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care on 21 June, whether any staff employed in the Gender Identity Development Service of the Tavistock Clinic will be employed in any capacity in the new centres being opened from April 2024 to treat children presenting with apparent gender dysphoria.

This information requested is not held centrally. It is the responsibility of the trusts providing the new services to undertake staff recruitment. The new services are building multi-disciplinary teams of specialists to provide care to the children and young people referred to these services.

The new services will be delivered in line with the NHS England’s new interim service specification, which reflects the new clinical model set out by Dr Cass. As such, any staff that move from the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will be fully signed up to this approach. An oversight group will ensure any training delivered to staff is in line with the new clinical approach.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of doctors striking on days when they were due to work and instead undertaking locum work in other hospitals.

NHS England does not collect or hold information to the level of detail being requested. The general figures for workforce absences on each of the major strike days to date are available in an online only format.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many staff currently or previously employed at the Tavistock Centre have applied to, or are expected to, move to either of the two new clinics.

This information is not held centrally. It is the responsibility of the trusts providing the new services to undertake staff recruitment. They will need to include expertise in treating gender dysphoria in children, alongside other clinical disciplines, of which there is nationally a small pool of specialists.

The new services will be delivered in line with the NHS England’s new interim service specification, which reflects the new clinical model set out by Dr Cass. As such, any staff that move from the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will be fully signed up to this approach. An oversight group will ensure any training delivered to staff is in line with the new clinical approach.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 24 April (HL7271), how many individuals who were patients at the Tavistock Clinic died by suicide in (1) 2021, and (2) 2022.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what categories of 'serious incident' are reported to the Directors of the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; and from which categories of 'serious incident' reported is data available.

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust follows the NHS England’s Serious Incident framework to identify, report and learn from incidents. Information specifically on the categories of ‘serious incident’ reported at the Trust is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many young people (1) who were on the waiting list for the Gender Identity Development Service, and (2) who had already been seen by that service, died by suicide in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022.

This information is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to restrict staff implicated in criticism of the Gender Identity Development Service from taking up positions at the new regional centres for gender identity services for children and young people.

The Department has been clear that the interim services must fully reflect the recommendations from the Cass Review, which differ significantly to the services currently provided at Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS England will continue to work closely with providers to oversee the development of services.

The new services are building multi-disciplinary teams of specialists to provide care to the children and young people referred to these services. This is in line with the Cass Review’s recommended approach, however, they will need to include expertise in treating gender dysphoria in children, alongside other clinical disciplines, of which there is nationally a small pool of specialists. The transformation programme aims to ensure the new teams have the relevant expertise needed to deliver the service. Any staff that move from the Gender Identity Development Service to the new services will be fully signed up to the new clinical model set out by Dr Cass.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there are any reasons why a hospital trust could not guarantee same-sex accommodation and intimate same-sex care.

Under the NHS Constitution, National Health Service trusts have a responsibility to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation. It is imperative that NHS trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients. Patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities. However, in some cases, operational pressures may lead to unjustified breaches of same-sex accommodation guidance. On the rare occasions that mixing does occur, the breach should be reported, and every effort should be made to remedy the breach immediately. NHS England is currently reviewing its guidance, Delivering same-sex accommodation, and a revised version will be published in due course.

Patients can request same-sex intimate care, and it will be up to the care provider or clinician to respond based on the patient’s needs and staff availability. Due to staff availability, there may be instances when these requests cannot be immediately or easily met. The Department notes the Policy Exchange report Gender identity ideology in the NHS, and is considering whether clearer guidance is needed on the provision of same-sex staffing for patients receiving intimate care, given the importance of ensuring that patients’ privacy and dignity is respected.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Policy Exchange Gender identity ideology in the NHS, published on 2 January; and what steps they are taking to ensure that every hospital trust is able to guarantee same-sex accommodation and intimate same-sex care.

Under the NHS Constitution, National Health Service trusts have a responsibility to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation. It is imperative that NHS trusts respect the privacy and dignity of patients. Patients should not have to share sleeping accommodation with others of the opposite sex and should have access to segregated bathroom and toilet facilities. However, in some cases, operational pressures may lead to unjustified breaches of same-sex accommodation guidance. On the rare occasions that mixing does occur, the breach should be reported, and every effort should be made to remedy the breach immediately. NHS England is currently reviewing its guidance, Delivering same-sex accommodation, and a revised version will be published in due course.

Patients can request same-sex intimate care, and it will be up to the care provider or clinician to respond based on the patient’s needs and staff availability. Due to staff availability, there may be instances when these requests cannot be immediately or easily met. The Department notes the Policy Exchange report Gender identity ideology in the NHS, and is considering whether clearer guidance is needed on the provision of same-sex staffing for patients receiving intimate care, given the importance of ensuring that patients’ privacy and dignity is respected.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Bellamy on 11 October 2022 (HLWS305) regarding their policy not to allow transgender women with male genitalia to be held in mainstream women’s prisons, whether they plan to adopt a similar policy on the placement of transgender women in female wards in hospitals, by way of guidance to all Primary Care Trusts.

NHS England is currently reviewing its guidance ‘Delivering Same Sex Accommodation’.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many prisoners in the female prison estate have been assessed as lacking capacity in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish revised guidance on biologically male patients who identify as female being allocated places on wards intended solely for biologically female patients.

NHS England will be publishing its revised guidance on same-sex hospital accommodation in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that female patients that object to being handled by a biologically male nurse who identifies as female are not discriminated against or recorded by the healthcare organisation as being “transphobic”.

Patients can request care by a professional of a specific gender, and it will be up to the care provider or clinician to respond based on the patient’s needs and staff availability. The Government notes the importance of balancing the rights of different service users in specific contexts and ensuring that decisions taken by service providers are proportionate and patient centred.

The Women’s Health Strategy sets out how we will improve the way in which the health and care system listens to women’s voices and ensure women can access services that meet their health needs across their lives.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many women in prison were registered as having disabilities in each of the last five years; and of those, how many had (1) physical, and (2) learning, disabilities.

The information requested is not currently held centrally as it has not yet been validated.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which Minister has direct responsibility for the delivery of homecare medicines services.

The Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince MP) has ministerial responsibility for the Homecare Medicine Delivery Service.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the responsibilities of the (1) National Homecare Medicines Committee, (2) National Clinical Homecare Association, (3) Care Quality Commission, (4) General Pharmaceutical Council, (5)  Chief Pharmacist, (6) NHS Clinical Referring Centre, (7) NHS Pharmacy Homecare Teams, and (8) NHS Clinical Referring Centres, in regard to the provision of homecare medicines services; and whether any of those has responsibility to (a) change, or (b) cancel, contracts, with providers of homecare medicines in instances where they fail to deliver on their contracts; and if so, which one.

Providers of Homecare Medicine services to National Health Service patients do so under framework agreements which may be held at national at NHS England, regional at NHS procurement hubs or local at hospital trust level. This therefore requires a high degree of centralised co-ordination for which the National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) supports and advises the NHS on matters relating to homecare medicines services. The Committee liaises with homecare providers through their trade association the National Clinical Homecare Association to support and co-ordinate development of the homecare market and discuss any system wide issues.

When the Key Performance Indicators indicate that the services levels of a provider on a national NHS England framework, NHS regional framework or contract are not to the standard expected, the NHMC, which is managed by and includes representation from NHS England, enacts an escalation process which involves meetings with individual providers to discuss safety and performance issues.

Each Chief Pharmacist within each NHS organisation, working with their NHS Clinical Referring Centre, is the responsible officer for the homecare medicines services that the hospital provides. Where the escalation process is in place, the affected provider will engage with this process and provide the NHS organisation with a summary of the issues, mitigations and expected timescales for recovery. If necessary, the regulators the Care Quality Commission and the General Pharmaceutical Council are also informed. If the NHS organisation is not satisfied that the required improvements and standards are being achieved then it can choose to change to another provider on the framework agreement, should the terms and conditions permit.

The contracting authority for a national and regional framework agreements may cancel the framework agreement for a provider by issuing a termination notice for a material breach of the terms of the framework which is not capable of remedy or not remedied in accordance with a remedial proposal in line with the terms and conditions of the framework agreement. Similar termination clauses are included in contracts and or framework agreements held directly between local NHS organisations and a provider for homecare medicines services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many children have been prescribed puberty blockers in each of the last 10 years.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists or ‘puberty blockers’ are used to treat several medical conditions in children and young people. These include precocious puberty, some forms of cancer, endometriosis and gender dysphoria. Information on the clinical indication for which these medications have been prescribed is not held centrally.

The following table shows the number of identifiable patients where gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists for all purposes for children aged under 18 years old has been prescribed and dispensed in primary and secondary care prescribing and dispensing in the community in England in each year from 2015/16 to September 2022. Data is not held prior to April 2015.

Financial year

Patients identified

2015/2016

885

2016/2017

987

2017/2018

1,047

2018/2019

1,072

2019/2020

1,048

2020/2021

936

2021/2022

864

April to September 2022

693

Source: NHS Business Services Authority

Note:

Prescriptions have only been included where a National Health Service number has been identified during processing and an age has been recorded. The same patients may appear in multiple years.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of effect that puberty blockers have on the (1) mental, and (2) physical, development of patients when given to them as children.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues are used in line with granted medical authorisations and ‘off label’ to treat several medical conditions in children and young people. These include precocious puberty, some forms of cancer, gender dysphoria and endometriosis.

The Department is supporting a review led by Dr Hilary Cass into the gender identity services provided to children and young people, including the use of hormone treatments. Dr Cass has recommended that the National Health Service consider establishing a formal research programme which would prospectively enrol young people where the use of puberty blockers is being considered and follow their development into adulthood. NHS England supports this recommendation and will work with the National Institute for Health and Care Research to design and commission the necessary research protocol.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of off-label puberty blockers; and how many children have been given off-label puberty blockers in the last five years.

Clinicians can prescribe medicines outside the licensed indication where it is considered the best treatment for the patient. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists are used in line with granted medical authorisations and ‘off label’ to treat several medical conditions in children, including precocious puberty, some forms of cancer, gender dysphoria and endometriosis. Clinicians are professionally accountable for prescribing decisions and to service commissioners.

Dr Hilary Cass is currently reviewing how the National Health Service prescribes puberty blockers to children and young people with gender dysphoria. Her interim review concluded that there is insufficient evidence currently available for any firm recommendations on the routine use and that further research is needed. NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Research are designing and commissioning a research protocol which will prospectively enrol young people being considered for hormone treatment. Information on prescriptions of puberty blockers dispensed in the community in England for gender dysphoria is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what cost is being charged by Pfizer for the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 medicine.

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive. However, the Government has ensured that the supply agreements for COVID-19 vaccines provide access to updated vaccines, such as the bivalent mRNA vaccines deployed during the current booster vaccination campaign.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government What steps they will take to ensure that the services provided by the Gender Identity Development Service at NHS Tavistock and Portman Clinics are not replicated at proposed regional centres.

NHS England is progressing the formation of a new service model for children's gender identity services, in line with the recommendations made by the independent Cass Review. Subject to consultation, the new service model will be led by specialist children’s hospitals through an integrated multi-disciplinary team led by a medical doctor. On 21 October, NHS England launched an online only consultation on an interim service specification.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of NHS leaders at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women's Hospital, and others, (1) criticising, and (2) planning to ignore, the EHRC guidance on transgender women and access to female-only spaces.

No specific assessment has been made. NHS England’s guidance Delivering same-sex accommodation is currently under review. We are working with NHS England to ensure that the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients is protected. Any updated guidance will adhere to relevant equalities legislation.

5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impartiality of the individual who is rewriting Annex B of the NHS document, Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation, published in September 2019.

NHS England is reviewing this guidance and will consider the recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission during this review. The Department will ensure that any revised guidance adheres to relevant equalities legislation.

The review is led by the Chief Nursing Officer for England and the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer as the Senior Responsible Officer. The review is overseen by a steering group including representatives from the Department, the CQC, NHS England and NHS Improvement clinical leads, NHS England's safeguarding Lead, and representatives from civil society organisations including the LGBT Foundation, Stonewall, Sex Matters and Fair Play for Women. Any revised guidance will be approved by senior leaders in the organisation and comply with relevant equalities legislation.

5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to redraft Annex B of the NHS document, Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation, published in September 2019, to implement recommendations made in the new Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance relating to single-sex wards in hospitals and nursing homes.

NHS England is reviewing this guidance and will consider the recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission during this review. The Department will ensure that any revised guidance adheres to relevant equalities legislation.

The review is led by the Chief Nursing Officer for England and the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer as the Senior Responsible Officer. The review is overseen by a steering group including representatives from the Department, the CQC, NHS England and NHS Improvement clinical leads, NHS England's safeguarding Lead, and representatives from civil society organisations including the LGBT Foundation, Stonewall, Sex Matters and Fair Play for Women. Any revised guidance will be approved by senior leaders in the organisation and comply with relevant equalities legislation.

31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to (1) the care failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Morecambe Bay, Stafford Hospital, and Gosport War Memorial Hospital, (2) the number of NHS staff not vaccinated against COVID-19, and (3) the continued restrictions on face-to-face meetings with GPs, what assessment they have made as to whether the NHS is fit for purpose.

We are supporting the National Health Service to recover from the impact of the pandemic, improve the quality and safety of care, increase NHS staff vaccination rates and the availability of face-to-face appointments with general practitioners. The Department has regular discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement on the provision of services. We are currently completing the annual assessment of the performance of the NHS in England for 2020/21, which will be published in due course.

10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent findings by scientists at Eotvos Lorand University and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hungary that the COVID-19 outbreak may have originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The Department has not made an assessment. The United Kingdom supports a timely, transparent, evidence-based, and expert-led study into the origins of COVID-19.

10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Fampridine is authorised for general NHS use in (1) Scotland, and (2) Wales, but is not permitted for new patients in England.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for developing authoritative, evidence-based guidance for the National Health Service in England on best practice. NICE evaluated the clinical and cost effectiveness of fampridine for use in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2014 but was unable to recommend it for routine use. NICE is currently updating its clinical guideline on MS and recently consulted on draft guidance. However, it was unable to recommend fampridine to treat mobility problems in people with MS. The independent guideline committee acknowledged that while it is a clinically effective treatment for some patients, at its current price it is not cost effective for the NHS.

NICE will carefully consider comments from stakeholders in finalising its recommendations. It is for local NHS commissioners to make funding decisions on the use of fampridine taking account of NICE’s guidance. The availability of treatments in Scotland and Wales is a matter for the devolved administrations.

10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Fampridine is being banned for new patients but is permitted to continue being prescribed for existing patients.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for developing authoritative, evidence-based guidance for the National Health Service in England on best practice. NICE evaluated the clinical and cost effectiveness of fampridine for use in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2014 but was unable to recommend it for routine use. NICE is currently updating its clinical guideline on MS and recently consulted on draft guidance. However, it was unable to recommend fampridine to treat mobility problems in people with MS. The independent guideline committee acknowledged that while it is a clinically effective treatment for some patients, at its current price it is not cost effective for the NHS.

NICE will carefully consider comments from stakeholders in finalising its recommendations. It is for local NHS commissioners to make funding decisions on the use of fampridine taking account of NICE’s guidance. The availability of treatments in Scotland and Wales is a matter for the devolved administrations.

15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward proposals to dismiss all NHS staff who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to 1 January 2022.

In light of the concerns raised by stakeholders about the potential impacts of these measures on workforce pressures and the pressures on services, particularly over winter, the Government has made the decision to include a grace period of 12 weeks in regulations. This grace period will mean an enforcement date of 1 April 2022, crucially avoiding the winter period and helping to minimise workforce pressures.

15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk to hospital patients of catching the Omicron variant of COVID-19 from unvaccinated hospital staff; what estimate they have made, if any, of how many patients (1) may catch Omicron this way, and (2) may die as a result; and what plans they have, if any, to put in place processes by which unvaccinated staff may be subject to criminal liability for infecting patients with COVID-19.

We are still in the early stages of understanding the impact of the Omicron variant on vaccine efficacy, where evidence is limited. NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold data of how many patients have acquired COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, whilst in hospital or how they became infected.

NHS England and NHS Improvement work with National Health Service trusts to ensure hospitals are implementing robust COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures in all areas to prevent the transmission of the virus. This includes physical distancing, optimal hand hygiene, equipment and environment decontamination and extended use of face masks by healthcare staff, patients and visitors, which is continually reviewed.

We have no plans to put in place processes by which unvaccinated staff may be subject to criminal liability for infecting patients with COVID-19. Organisations are responsible for ensuring safe systems of work, including managing the risk associated with infectious agents through the completion of risk assessments approved through local governance procedures. National guidance outlines the recommended principles to support local decision making within individual organisations. The vaccination programme has significantly weakened the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths and will continue to be our first line of defence against COVID-19. We encourage those who are eligible for a booster vaccination, including NHS staff, to ensure they have this vital extra protection.

7th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of increases in the number of patients needing surgery following incidents involving e-scooters.

No such assessment has been made as this data is not collected centrally.

1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward the date for requiring all NHS staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and, in particular, to dismiss any staff who have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated but have declined to do so by 25 December.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Regulations 2021 provide for a twelve-week grace period including the time needed for currently unvaccinated workers to receive a complete primary course of vaccine. There are no plans to change this date. We encourage all health and social care workers to receive the vaccine to protect the people they care for, themselves and their colleagues.

1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Kamall on 19 October 2021 (HL2901 and HL2902), what plans they have to issue instructions to NHS trusts that women who request accommodation in single-sex wards should not be described or categorised as transphobic; and whether they intend to collect the information specified in relation to NHS trusts which have directed accusations of transphobia to patients.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently reviewing guidance to ensure that it remains focused on privacy and dignity for all patients. The content of this guidance will be determined through consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The Department has no plans to collect information on National Health Service trusts that have allegedly accused women who request accommodation in single-sex wards of transphobia.

1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure non-frontline NHS staff who are not subject to mandatory vaccination requirements do not present a COVID-19 infection risk in areas of healthcare settings where patients are present; and which NHS occupations which are deemed to be 'non-frontline' and thus not subject to mandatory vaccination requirements.

The vaccination requirements apply if a worker has direct face to face contact with service users as part of the provision of a regulated activity. This is not dependent on occupation. Existing measures, communications and guidance for all employees on how to mitigate the risk of transmission in the workplace will continue alongside the regulatory requirements.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many GPs are currently working for (1) three or fewer days per week, (2) four days per week, and (3) five days per week; and what is the average salary for each of these categories.

The data on General Practitioners (GPs) working hours broken down by number of days worked per week is not collected.

Data on the full-time equivalent work commitments of GPs, broken down into working hours bands, are shown in the following table:

Headcount of qualified permanent GPs (excludes GPs in training grade and locums) by work commitment in England, September 2021 1,2, 3

Working commitment

Number (headcount)

Working less than or equal to 15 hours per week (

2,879

Working greater than 15 hours to less than 37.5 hours per week (>0.4 to

24,016

Working 37.5 hours and over per week (>= 1 FTE)

8,447

Data on the average salaries of GPs broken down by days worked per week or weekly hours bands is not collected.

Notes

1 Headcount totals are unlikely to equal the sum of components, due in part to individuals working across multiple roles and areas. Further information on the headcount methodology is available in the Data Quality statement.

2 Figures shown do not include staff working in Prisons, Army Bases, Educational Establishments, Specialist Care Centres including Drug Rehabilitation Centres, Walk-In Centres and other alternative settings outside of traditional general practice such as urgent treatment centres and minor injury units.

3 This is the third release to be based on the monthly collection of general practice workforce information. Following stakeholder feedback and the move to monthly publications we are reviewing the implementation of methodological changes introduced in the June 2021 publication. See the Methodology Review publication page of this release for more information. Until this review is complete, all published figures remain provisional and we will not be presenting a time series. Therefore, only statistics relating to September 2021 are included in this release. The time series will be reinstated once the review has been concluded and a methodology agreed.

This table shows the headcount numbers of staff by their work commitment, where 37.5 hours a week = 1 FTE

Data as at the last day of the applicable month

Source: NHS Digital

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the latest figures for NHS staff who have refused to have COVID-19 vaccinations.

The data requested is currently not collected centrally.

NHS England publishes the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered to NHS Trust Health Care Workers in the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR). This covers all directly employed staff in NHS Trusts, but does not include data on agency staff and others that are not paid through ESR. This data is published weekly, with a percentage breakdown provided monthly. As of the latest data published data on 14 October, 92.4% of NHS Trust Health Care Workers in the NHS ESR had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, whilst 89% had received their second dose. All primary schedules of currently deployed vaccines comprise two doses.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what statistics are available on the number of male patients identifying as female who have been placed on female-only NHS hospital wards, including in mental health facilities, and (2) how many assaults on female patients there have been by male patients identifying as female.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Any patient, irrespective of their gender, who has a history of violence or sex offences and may pose a risk to others should be risk assessed and any relevant action taken to ensure the safety of others.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have not received any information relating to these reports. All patients should be treated with respect and dignity, in accordance with the values of the National Health Service.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will investigate reports that an NHS trust has been labelling patients who wish to be placed on single sex wards as 'transphobes', 'offenders' and 'perpetrators'; and whether they will name the trust involved.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Any patient, irrespective of their gender, who has a history of violence or sex offences and may pose a risk to others should be risk assessed and any relevant action taken to ensure the safety of others.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have not received any information relating to these reports. All patients should be treated with respect and dignity, in accordance with the values of the National Health Service.

10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, (1) to remove funding from General Practitioners who do not offer face-to-face appointments, and (2) to amend the funding formula for General Practitioners so that it is based on the number of patients seen rather than the number of patients registered with the practice.

There are currently no plans to remove funding from general practitioners (GPs) who do not offer face to face appointments. NHS England and NHS Improvement, have stated that GP contractors should continue to offer a blended approach of face-to-face and remote appointments, with digital triage where possible. Patients input into the choice of consultation mode should be sought and practices should respect preferences for face-to-face care unless there are good clinical reasons to the contrary, for example the presence of COVID-19 symptoms.

The global sum allocation formula which underpins capitation payments to general practices is designed to ensure that resources are directed to practices based on an estimate of their patient workload and unavoidable practice costs. Under this formula, practices whose registered patients have greater healthcare needs are paid more per patient than practices whose registered patients have fewer healthcare needs. There are currently no plans to change the formula.

10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how many of the people who (1) have contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital, and (2) died from COVID-19 contracted after admission to hospital, were infected by non-vaccinated NHS staff.

Public Health England’s findings show up to one in six infections among hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in England during the first six months of the pandemic could be attributed to hospital-acquired infection. This represents less than 1% of the estimated three million COVID-19 cases during this period.

Of the patients with hospital-onset COVID-19 that was probably or definitely hospital-acquired, 41.3% died within 28-days of contracting COVID-19.

PHE does not collect data on the number of people who were infected with COVID-19 by non-vaccinated National Health Service staff and subsequently died, as this information is unavailable.

10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps are taken when NHS staff (1) deliberately infect a patient, or (2) carelessly or recklessly infect a patient with COVID-19; and what sanctions apply in such cases.

Where there was sufficient evidence to show that an individual had behaved in such a way as to deliberately infect a patient, or carelessly or recklessly infect a patient with COVID-19 or any other disease, the employing organisation would consider the specific facts of the case in accordance with their local disciplinary policy and procedures. This may result in dismissal as the ultimate sanction.

7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by Leicester NHS Trust to reinstate the employment of a doctor who was convicted of manslaughter in 2015; and what safeguards are in place to assess professional competence in this and equivalent situations.

As the independent regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC) assesses all fitness to practise concerns therefore, it would not be appropriate for the Department to make a specific assessment of their decisions. In serious cases, doctors are referred to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service who make decisions on a doctor’s fitness to practice. If any restrictions are imposed on a doctor’s practise, the tribunal can only lift them if they are satisfied that there is no likely risk of repetition or danger to the public.

We expect National Health Service organisations to have robust recruitment procedures. For healthcare professionals, this includes confirmation with the relevant professional regulatory body to ensure the individual has a license to practise and does not have any ongoing fitness to practise concerns. Where the outcome of pre-employment checks or any subsequent risk assessment are unsatisfactory, organisations retain the right to withdraw the offer of employment.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent COVID-19 forecasting by the team at Imperial College London, led by Professor Neil Ferguson.

The Department has made no overall assessment.

8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to call for a full independent inquiry into the possibility of the COVID-19 virus leaking from a laboratory in Wuhan.

A transparent, independent and science-led investigation is an important part of the international effort to understand the origins of COVID-19. The World Health Organization convened a group of independent experts to begin a study and phase one reported on 30 March 2021. We will work with our international partners to ensure a timely, transparent, evidence-based and expert-led phase two of this study.

8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of NHS staff who have refused a COVID-19 vaccination, and (2) the impact such refusal has made to the spread of COVID-19 in NHS facilities; whether vaccine refusal amounts to gross misconduct; and if so, what steps they are taking to dismiss any such staff.

Information on the number of National Health Service staff who have refused a COVID-19 vaccination is not held centrally. We encourage all National Health Service staff to take up the offer of the vaccine, to help protect themselves and others.

For staff who decline the vaccine, employers should consider how best to ensure those staff members and patients are safe. This could include measures such as making sure the appropriate personal protective equipment is being used, that fit testing has been undertaken on the staff member’s FFP3 mask and that employees are aware of infection control standards and have undertaken appropriate training. Employers follow their own local policies and procedures on staff conduct issues on a case by case basis as they arise.

10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to suspend without pay any NHS front line staff, and (2) to dismiss any administrative NHS staff, who refuse a COVID-19 vaccination.

There are no plans to do so. Whilst COVID-19 vaccines are not currently mandated for any groups, the Government strongly encourages healthcare and social care workers to be vaccinated in order to protect those that they care for.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to allow dismissal of any NHS staff who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

There are no plans under consideration at present to allow for the dismissal of National Health Service staff who refuse to be vaccinated.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the underlying health conditions which would make it unsafe for a person to have any of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccinations; and how many people have these conditions.

Each vaccine has specific contraindications which will outline those in whom the vaccine could potentially be considered unsafe. To date this has only been those with known hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in the individual vaccine information. Administration of a vaccine for anyone with any other underlying health condition should be on an individual basis and following discussion between the subject and their physician, with consideration for their individual risk-benefit.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many legal claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic are currently being pursued against the Department of Health and Social Care; and how much money any such claims are for.

There are currently 23 issued judicial review claims relating to COVID-19 which name the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as a defendant. At present, the majority of claims for judicial review seek public law remedies that are not damages. Only two claims seek damages, one for up to £20,000 and one for an unspecified sum for ‘just satisfaction’ under Section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

There is currently one private law claim that has been issued against the Secretary of State and is seeking damages. The value of the losses being disputed is estimated to be up to £29 million.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the number of COVID-19 (1) cases, and (2) deaths, since April 2020 of the "engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing" strategy introduced by police forces in England and Wales in relation to the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

No specific assessment has been made.

The Government will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions of all types in curbing the spread of COVID-19 and consider what further actions are needed.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the High Court judgment in R (on the application of) Quincy Bell and A -v- Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and others [2020] EWHC 3274, issued on 1 December, what plans they have to instruct the (1) University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and (2) Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, (a) to stop any treatments of those under 16 relating to gender reassignment, and (b) to publish a report on the steps to be taken in response to any such treatments carried out before 1 December.

All trusts who work with the Gender Identity Development Service have been issued the amended service specification halting all future referrals to endocrinology services for under 16 year olds. A copy of Amendments to Service Specification for Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescent (E13/S(HSS)/e) is attached.

A review of the service is being undertaken under the chairmanship of Dr Hillary Cass which will cover a number of different aspects of the service including treatment pathways.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the High Court judgment in R (on the application of) Quincy Bell and A -v- Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and others [2020] EWHC 3274, issued on 1 December, what plans they have, if any, (1) to close the Tavistock Clinic, and (2) to instigate a criminal inquiry into its practices.

There are no plans to close the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s gender identity service for children and young people and we are not aware of any plans to instigate criminal proceedings.

NHS England has previously announced that Dr Hilary Cass will undertake an independent external review of the gender identity development service and make recommendations to NHS England on how the service should operate.

18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether retail workers have to wear facemasks in the shops in which they are employed; and if not, why not.

From 24 September, it will be compulsory for workers in retail, leisure and hospitality settings to wear a face covering in areas which are open to the public and where they either come or are likely to come into contact with members of the public.

This is in addition to existing legal obligations that require businesses to provide a safe working environment, which may include providing face coverings where appropriate, alongside other mitigation measures such as perspex screens to separate workers from the public.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have a definition of “junk food” for the purposes of policy making; and if so, what that definition is.

The Government has published its intention to restrict the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). The consultations on these policies set out proposals for the definitions of HFSS products. We have listened carefully to the feedback and will be setting out final definitions for the products these policies apply to when we publish the responses to the consultations. We will do this as soon as possible.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the majority of those returning from Spain do not intend to adhere to quarantine when they return; and what steps they intend to take to ensure that such people do adhere to quarantine rules.

We will take enforcement action against people who endanger the safety of others in breaching the self-isolation requirement for those arriving into England from non-exempt countries. Those who fail to comply with the mandatory conditions could face enforcement action. A breach of self-isolation would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England or potential prosecution and unlimited fine. Self-isolation is enforced in communities by local police. Border force will undertake spot checks at the border and may refuse entry where the individual is neither a British citizen nor a non-British citizen resident in the United Kingdom and refuses to comply with these regulations. Failure to complete the contact locator form is punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they maintain records of how many people employed by NHS England are assessed as obese; what percentage of the total staff complement of NHS England this constitutes; and what steps, if any, they plan to take to encourage NHS England staff to lose weight.

The Department does not hold information on the weight of National Health Service staff.

Through our new obesity strategy, Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives published on 27 July, we are doing more than ever to support people living with obesity, including those employed in the NHS, to lose weight including through the free NHS 12-week weight loss plan app for those who want more support. We will also expand weight management services to help more people get the support they need and through incentives with general practitioners will make conversations about weight in primary care the norm.

These measures add to the wide range of actions already in place including the soft drinks industry levy, sugar reduction and wider calorie reformulation programme which will improve our eating habits and reduce the amount of sugar and calories we consume.

A copy of Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives is attached.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there has been any correlation identified between (1) an increase in COVID-19 cases, and (2) the mass demonstrations held in cities in England in June.

Demonstrations in England are reported to have occurred in the first three weeks of June 2020. Some of these demonstrations appear to have been large, reportedly involving hundreds or thousands of people in different locations, including major cities. Public Health England has not performed a specific analysis to investigate the relationship between the demonstrations and the subsequent number of COVID-19 cases; such an analysis would not be possible, since there is no requirement for individuals to report attendance at a demonstration or protest and, therefore, the necessary data would not be available.

Since the start of June, the daily number of laboratory-confirmed cases in England has continued to decrease steadily and consistently, from 1,311 cases on 1 June to 386 cases on 28 June.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the request made by the Director of Public Health for Birmingham City Council for an investigation into a possible link to the Black Lives Matter protests in Birmingham with an increase in COVID-19 cases in that city; and what steps they are taking, if any, to support that investigation.

A specific analysis to investigate the relationship between the demonstrations and the subsequent number of COVID-19 cases would be difficult, since there is no requirement for individuals to report attendance at a demonstration or protest and, therefore, the necessary data would not be available.

Following a request by the Director of Public Health for Birmingham to investigate a spike in COVID-19 cases between the 14-16 June and whether this could be related to the Black Lives Matter protests in Birmingham on 4 June, analysis of pillar 1 and pillar 2 test counts in Birmingham by ethnicity throughout June 2020 is being undertaken. The number of confirmed cases in Birmingham continued to decline overall during this period.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) clinical negligence claims, and (2) compensation claims, have been brought against the NHS since 28 February; how many claimants there are; and what was the amount of damages sought in each case.

NHS Resolution manages clinical negligence and other claims against the National Health Service in England.

NHS Resolution has provided the following information:

Since 28 February 2020 NHS Resolution has received:

- 1,528 clinical negligence claims against NHS bodies across all its clinical schemes; and

- 508 claims against NHS bodies across all non-clinical schemes, assuming this is what is meant by compensation claims.

The total number of claimants across both groups is 2,036.

NHS Resolution is unable to give an amount of damages sought in each case because these are recently reported claims and it is highly unlikely this information would be available so early in the life of the claim.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of (1) reports that the government of China asked the World Health Organisation to delay issuing a global warning about the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the study by the University College London Genetics Institute Emergence of genomic diversity and recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2, published on 5 May, which found evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic started between 6 October 2019 and 11 December 2019; and whether they received any reports to suggest that there were COVID-19 cases in Wuhan in October 2019.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Science of COVID-19 – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing emergency legislation to place a cap on litigation claims against the NHS.

The rising costs of clinical negligence are a major issue and something we are committed to tackling, given that National Health Service funds spent on clinical negligence are resources not available for front-line care. The Department is working intensively across Government, looking at a wide range of options to address the drivers of cost of clinical negligence claims. We will update Parliament in due course.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ascertain the source of COVID-19; what assessment they have made of the response by countries where the virus was initially detected; and what steps they intend to take to hold any government which withheld information about COVID-19 to account.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On 12 January 2020 the WHO posted a Disease Outbreak News where it was announced that a novel coronavirus had been identified in samples obtained from cases. Initial analysis of virus genetic sequences suggested that this particular virus was the cause of the outbreak. This virus is referred to as SARS-CoV-2, and the associated disease as COVID-19.

Public Health England has been in regular contact with laboratories and public health organisations within Europe and South East Asia in order to understand the systems they have adopted in relation to contact tracing, risk assessments, guidance and laboratory processes. These knowledge exchanges led to the development of the antigen test used in the United Kingdom and shaped our approach to contact tracing and the risk assessments undertaken of aircraft and cruise ships.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to produce paracetamol, and any ingredients required for its production, in the UK.

The United Kingdom already has just under 25% of paracetamol finished product sites, producing supplies for the UK, based in this country, and just under 20% of the manufacturing sites producing the active pharmaceutical ingredient required to make paracetamol.

We are aware that there has been a significant increase in paracetamol demand over the recent weeks. We are working with all suppliers of paracetamol to monitor and assess available supplies and demand, and to make additional stock available and prioritise further deliveries.

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to create facilities in the UK to manufacture drugs currently only manufactured abroad.

The Government has no plans to create facilities in the United Kingdom to manufacture drugs currently only manufactured abroad. There are 16,000 medicines on the market in the UK. Whilst some of these are manufactured in the UK, most are manufactured abroad. Where medicines are manufactured here, the active ingredients and excipients for those medicines may be manufactured abroad. It is not realistic to manufacture all 16,000 medicines and the active ingredients and excipients needed for these medicines in the UK.

The production of medicines is complex and highly regulated, and materials and processes must meet rigorous safety and quality standards. Supply problems can affect a wide range of medicines and can arise for various reasons, such as manufacturing issues, problems with the raw ingredients and batch failures. These problems arise regardless of where in the world the manufacture takes place.

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that where a person dies of COVID-19 due to an underlying health issue some details of the health issue are made public.

Death data in relation to COVID-19 is collected as part of current enhanced surveillance measures. Where information on underlying conditions is available, this will be analysed and presented in aggregate form in due course.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of statements by the World Health Organisation praising China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government is supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak including a direct contribution of £10 million. The WHO would expect a full review of all elements of their response to COVID-19 to take place once they are out of response mode, as has occurred after previous Public Health Emergencies of International Concern.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the 3 January ruling by Justice Robin Postle that veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under the Equality Act 2010, what plans they have to amend that Act.

A series of tribunal readings since 2010 mean that protected philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act 2010 include not only ethical veganism but belief in Scottish independence, anti-fox hunting, democratic socialism and the higher purpose of public sector broadcasting. I therefore agree with my Noble Friend that the scope of philosophical belief will be included in any future decisions the government takes about possible changes to the act.

13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that their announcements on the number of cases of coronavirus will disaggregate the figures for Taiwan from those of China.

Public Health England reports separately on cases in mainland China and Taiwan and other places. This data can be found online on the COVID-19: epidemiology, virology and clinical features page on the Government website. As of 25 February 2020, there are 77,658 confirmed cases in mainland China and 31 confirmed cases in Taiwan.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding, if any, the Department for Health and Social Care has provided to the Tavistock Clinic so that they can undertake gender reassignment of children.

The Department does not make grant awards to National Health Service trusts.

As a NHS trust, funding would be provided by local and national NHS commissioners for NHS services provided.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding, if any, the Department of Health and Social Care provides to the charity Mermaids UK.

The Department grants team can confirm there is no record of a grant payment being made to Mermaids UK in the year 2019/20 to date or during 2018/19.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what complaints, if any, they have received about late deliveries by the healthcare provider Healthcare at Home.

In England, there are 12 providers of homecare medicines services and approximately 400,000 patients in receipt of a homecare medicines service. Each homecare provider provides a variety of services to National Health Service patients under contracts which may be held at national, regional or local hospital trust level. Healthcare at Home is one of those suppliers, providing services to approximately 200,000 patients or 50% of the patient cohort.

Information is not collected centrally about the value of contracts held with a particular supplier.

As part of the quality assurance and governance processes, homecare providers are assessed on a monthly basis against their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and more formally on a regular basis through face to face meetings with the National Homecare Medicines Committee. Providers not meeting their KPIs are held to account and action will be taken to ensure that levels of service are brought back in line with relevant the relevant standards.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of all contracts they had with the health provider Healthcare at Home in the last financial year.

In England, there are 12 providers of homecare medicines services and approximately 400,000 patients in receipt of a homecare medicines service. Each homecare provider provides a variety of services to National Health Service patients under contracts which may be held at national, regional or local hospital trust level. Healthcare at Home is one of those suppliers, providing services to approximately 200,000 patients or 50% of the patient cohort.

Information is not collected centrally about the value of contracts held with a particular supplier.

As part of the quality assurance and governance processes, homecare providers are assessed on a monthly basis against their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and more formally on a regular basis through face to face meetings with the National Homecare Medicines Committee. Providers not meeting their KPIs are held to account and action will be taken to ensure that levels of service are brought back in line with relevant the relevant standards.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that clinicians at the Tavistock Centre have been too quick to give children and young people gender reassignment treatment; and what action they intend to take as a result.

The matter is subject to an ongoing legal process and therefore the Department is unable to comment pending judicial ruling.

7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with other countries which have suspended funding to UNRWA to create a new independent funding agency to deliver aid to Gaza.

We are appalled by allegations that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned.

The pause will remain in place until we review the allegations, and we are looking to our partners in the UN to carry out a robust and comprehensive investigation.

Any future funding decisions will be taken after this point.

We are getting on with aid delivery and the UK is providing £60 million in humanitarian assistance to support partners including the British Red Cross, UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to respond to critical food, fuel, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about taking action against Houthi missile sites in Yemen.

The UK strongly condemns the illegal and unjustified attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants. We continue to engage with our international partners, particularly in the region, to explore ways to strengthen maritime security and prevent further attacks. The UK has joined with key international allies in Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN to help safeguard freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about taking action against the Houthi war capability in the Red Sea.

The UK strongly condemns the illegal and unjustified attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants. We continue to engage with our international partners, particularly in the region, to explore ways to strengthen maritime security and prevent further attacks. The UK has joined with key international allies in Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN to help safeguard freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the UK did not vote against the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on 8 December 2023.

The UK abstained on the 08 December UNSCR resolution, which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, because it is the government's view that, for a ceasefire to be sustainable, the conditions need to be in place for it to not rapidly collapse. The Government recognises the need to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis however, and welcomes the adoption of UNSCR 2720, which calls for expanded humanitarian access in Gaza. The resolution also calls for steps towards a sustainable ceasefire, reflecting the recent calls from the Foreign Secretary. We want to see a peaceful resolution to this conflict as soon as possible and the UK will work with international partners to ensure the implementation of this resolution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any damage caused to the relationship between the UK and United States by the UK abstaining on the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on 8 December.

The US is the UK's most important strategic ally and partner, and we do more together than any other two countries in the world. As the Foreign Secretary has said, we stand united in the Middle East and are working together to ensure long-term security and stability in the region. He visited the US on the 6 December to meet with Secretary of State Blinken and other senior government officials. They discussed getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and how the UK and US can work towards enabling a long-term two-state solution. We are gravely concerned about the desperate situation in Gaza and of course want to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict; ultimately this will mean a lasting ceasefire, agreed and abided to by all sides.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the UK did not to support the United States in vetoing the United Nations Security Council motion calling for an immediate ceasefire on Gaza on 8 December

The UK Government does not routinely comment on intelligence assessments. We have repeatedly made clear that the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza requires urgent action to save the lives of innocent civilians. The UK welcomes the adoption of UNSCR 2720, which calls for expanded humanitarian access in Gaza. The resolution also calls for steps towards a sustainable ceasefire, reflecting the recent calls from the Foreign Secretary. A sustainable ceasefire means that Hamas is no longer able to threaten Israel with rocket attacks and other forms of terrorism.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to put an immediate stop to all further overseas aid to Gaza until it is certain that none of it is being taken or used by Hamas.

There is a robust framework in place for allocating Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) and the UK works with trusted international partners, such as the UN, to ensure strong safeguards against aid diversion are in place. This includes due diligence assessments, audits, spot checks and annual reviews. This comprehensive oversight prevents UK aid from benefitting Hamas.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what information they have on the amount of overseas aid to Gaza which has been taken or used by Hamas.

There is a robust framework in place for allocating Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) and the UK works with trusted international partners, such as the UN, to ensure strong safeguards against aid diversion are in place. This includes due diligence assessments, audits, spot checks and annual reviews. This comprehensive oversight prevents UK aid from benefitting Hamas.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they are providing to the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine.

The UK welcomes the establishment of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) as a positive step towards accountability. We look forward to reviewing the results of an ICPA needs analysis which will help the international community to understand any support required. We will consider UK involvement when this has issued.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by John Howell MP on 8 June (HC Deb cols 925–29), what assessment they have made of the Council of Europe's role in election monitoring and observation.

The UK government values the outstanding work the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe does to champion our democratic values across the continent. We are proud of the leading role the UK Parliamentary Assembly delegates play in this vital work to observe elections and to strengthen democratic electoral processes. The UK acknowledges the value of the reports promoted at the Parliamentary Assembly in scrutinising countries who fall behind in their obligations, and look forward to their adoption under the Committee of Ministers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the Council of Europe report on the observation of the 2023 general election in Bulgaria.

We have noted the findings of the independent election observation missions in the recent Bulgaria general election, including by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The UK, along with all other Council of Europe Member States will respond to the report through the Committee of Ministers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to Lord Blencathra’s report on electoral reform in Belarus, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 21 April 2021.

The UK Government is appalled by the brutal and ongoing repression that the Lukashenko regime conducts against its own people. We have already applied wide-ranging sanctions to Belarus in response to the regime's continued human rights violations since the 2020 elections. We will continue to put pressure on Lukashenko's regime publicly and privately to offer Belarusians the free and democratic society they deserve. The UK values the work of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe as well as our UK delegation, in producing reports which promote these issues. We welcomed the adoption of these reports at the Committee of Minsters.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to Lord Blencathra’s report for the Council of Europe on the observation of the parliamentary elections held in Belarus on 17 November 2019.

The UK Government is appalled by the brutal and ongoing repression that the Lukashenko regime conducts against its own people. We have already applied wide-ranging sanctions to Belarus in response to the regime's continued human rights violations since the 2020 elections. We will continue to put pressure on Lukashenko's regime publicly and privately to offer Belarusians the free and democratic society they deserve. The UK values the work of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe as well as our UK delegation, in producing reports which promote these issues. We welcomed the adoption of these reports at the Committee of Minsters.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the Council of Europe report on the observation of the 2023 presidential election in Turkey.

We have noted the findings of the independent election observation missions in the recent Turkish Presidential and Parliamentary elections, including by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). We note from their conclusions that the elections offered voters a choice between genuine political alternatives and voter participation remained high, but there remains more work to do to ensure media freedom and fair judicial treatment of political opponents in Turkey. In our regular interaction with Turkey, we consistently encourage Turkey to uphold the rule of law and to live up to its international obligations as a founding member state of the Council of Europe. The UK, along with all other Council of Europe member States, will respond to the report through the Committee of Ministers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the Council of Europe report on the observation of the 2023 presidential election in Montenegro.

The UK welcomes the Council of Europe's (CoE) Report on the Presidential elections in Montenegro. Election monitoring is a vital tool for promoting and encouraging democracy. The UK contributed to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) observer mission to Montenegro's Presidential elections. We also supported a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which reported irregularities and broadcast an early results forecast, contributing to the integrity of the election. We will provide ongoing support for electoral reform analysis. The UK will continue to encourage Montenegro to strengthen electoral practices in line with ODIHR and CoE recommendations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the protocols which determine the appropriateness of arranging a one-to-one meeting for the President of the European Commission with HM The King.

It is customary for Heads of State to meet visiting Heads of State, or equivalent foreign leaders, during official visits. Official visits to the UK by foreign leaders are undertaken on the advice of His Majesty's Government.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they intend to have with other countries about establishing an international tribunal to try Russian (1) leaders, and (2) military officers, for war crimes, using the Nuremberg Tribunal as a model.

The UK is committed to holding Russia to account for its actions in Ukraine, including by supporting the International Criminal Court and Ukrainian domestic investigations into allegations of war crimes committed in Ukraine. As the Foreign Secretary announced on 20 January, the UK has also accepted Ukraine's invitation to join a 'core group' to consider options for ensuring criminal accountability for Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including through a special tribunal.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of the recent destruction of buildings and targeting of civilians in Ukraine by Russian forces; and what steps they are taking, if any, in response to these actions based on the UK's statutory obligations concerning alleged instances of war crimes.

We condemn Russia's inhumane assault against Ukraine's civilian population and infrastructure. Intentionally directing attacks against civilians constitutes war crimes. We will continue to support the investigations, by the International Criminal Court and the Ukrainian authorities, of allegations of war crimes committed in Ukraine. The Metropolitan Police will also investigate such allegations when they fall under UK jurisdiction and are already gathering evidence on atrocities in Ukraine in support of the ICC investigation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Prime Minister on 28 November concerning "robust pragmatism" in foreign policy towards our competitors, how “robust pragmatism” will operate in practice in the UK's foreign policy towards China; what steps they will take to implement this approach to the UK's relationship with China; and how they will measure the effectiveness of this policy towards China.

We will continue to implement a comprehensive and coordinated approach to China in support of UK national interests. Alongside allies like the US, Japan, Australia and Canada we will manage sharpening competition and respond in ways that protect our interests and economic security. We will engage in dialogue with China when that can help solve pressing global challenges including economic stability or climate change. It remains the case that we do not publish National Security strategies on China or other issues. The upcoming Integrated Review Refresh will set out our approach to China.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to proscribe Ramzan Kadyrov and his associates as a terrorist organisation, as part of their sanctions against Russian citizens taking part in the military action in Ukraine.

Whilst we keep the list of proscribed organisations under review, it is Government policy not to comment on whether a group is under consideration for proscription. To proscribe an organisation, the Home Secretary must have a reasonable belief that it is concerned in terrorism. This means the organisation participates or commits; prepares for; promotes, encourages or unlawfully glorifies; or is in some way otherwise concerned in terrorism.

Ramzan Kadyrov was sanctioned on 31 December 2020 following his support for the illegal annexation of Crimea and the armed insurgency in Ukraine.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking against any Chinese diplomats involved in alleged violence against protestors at the Chinese Consulate grounds on 16 October.

As part of an independent investigation, the Police requested that the FCDO approach the Chinese Government to waive the immunity of the Chinese Consul General and five of his staff to allow for interviews. Following our request, the Chinese Embassy notified us that they had removed the Consul General from the UK. The other five officials have also left the UK. It is right that those responsible for the disgraceful scenes in Manchester are no longer accredited to the UK.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with NATO allies to send all available (1) volunteer electrical engineers, and (2) electrical generators, to Ukraine.

Under NATO's Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) for Ukraine, the UK and NATO Allies are working to provide urgent non-lethal support to Ukraine to meet specific requests, including practical support for the winter months. The UK recently announced a £10 million contribution to the CAP to ensure it has the resources required to respond to requests. Bilaterally, the UK has provided £22 million of support: £7 million for 856 generators to reconnect vital facilities; £10 million to the Energy Community's support fund to repair infrastructure; and £5 million for safety equipment for the civil nuclear sector. We work in close coordination with NATO Allies on support.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government why the Governor of the Falkland Islands was given full Governor dress uniform which is not available to all other Overseas Territories Governors; and what plans they have to make that uniform available to other Overseas Territories Governors.

Since 2001, Government policy has been that Overseas Territories should decide whether they wish to retain and fund ceremonial uniforms for Governors. The Governments of the Falkland Islands and Bermuda have chosen to retain the uniforms. The Governors of Gibraltar have traditionally worn military uniform.

19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks by the President of the United States of America in which he stated that Pakistan is "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" for having "nuclear weapons without any cohesion".

Nuclear security and safety around the world are issues of vital importance and we raise them regularly with international partners including Pakistan. Pakistan is an important partner in building regional security and we hold a regular counter-proliferation dialogue with them as part of the UK's international commitment to the preservation of effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, when pursuing diplomatic relations with the government of France, what consideration they have given to "Fashoda syndrome", a concept describing the priority given by the government of France to asserting French influence in parts of Africa which are perceived to be susceptible to British influence.

We work very closely with France on key global challenges, both bilaterally and in multilateral fora. This includes in Africa, where the UK and France are committed to cooperating to support peace, stability, resilience and economic development across the continent. For example, we have both been involved in the regional effort against Boko Haram, and our forces operate side-by-side to combat extremism in the Sahel, where UK Chinooks provide support to French troops.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with democratic allies in the Pacific region to offer improved assistance on a range of measures to match or better those being offered by China to small independent nations in the Pacific.

As set out in the Integrated Review (March 2021), the UK is committed to and strategically focussed on the Indo-Pacific region. The UK's close partnership with the US, Australia, New Zealand, and other likeminded partners such as Japan, across the region, is an important part of our Indo-Pacific focus and ambitions to build a 'network of liberty' that champions freedom, sovereignty and democracy across the region and globally. The Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary visited Australia in January 2022 for talks to strengthen economic, diplomatic and security ties. On 8 March David Quarrey, the UK's previous Deputy National Security Adviser and the US' Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell, announced that the US and the UK will work together to invest in partnerships with the Pacific Islands.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the recent security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, what steps they will take in conjunction with the governments of (1) Australia, and (2) the United States, to assist (a) Figi, (b) Papua New Guinea, and (c) other small Pacific island states, in response to any strategic plan from the government of China covering police and cybersecurity measures and marine spatial mapping.

As set out in the Integrated Review (March 2021), the UK is committed to and strategically focussed on the Indo-Pacific region. The UK's close partnership with the US, Australia, New Zealand, and other likeminded partners such as Japan, across the region, is an important part of our Indo-Pacific focus and ambitions to build a 'network of liberty' that champions freedom, sovereignty and democracy across the region and globally. The Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary visited Australia in January 2022 for talks to strengthen economic, diplomatic and security ties. On 8 March David Quarrey, the UK's previous Deputy National Security Adviser and the US' Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell, announced that the US and the UK will work together to invest in partnerships with the Pacific Islands.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to freeze the assets of the Russian Orthodox Church in the UK.

Since Russia's invasion, the UK has issued travel bans and asset freezes to over a thousand of Russia's most significant and high-value individuals and over 100 of its businesses. With our allies, we are and continue to impose the largest and most severe economic sanctions that Russia has ever faced, focusing on measures that have the greatest impact rather than the quantity. It is not appropriate to speculate on specific designations in the future. To do this could reduce the impact of the designations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to impose sanctions on (1) Patriarch Kirill, and (2) other bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, who have supported (a) President Putin, and (b) the government of Russia.

Since Russia's invasion, the UK has issued travel bans and asset freezes to over a thousand of Russia's most significant and high-value individuals and over 100 of its businesses. With our allies, we are and continue to impose the largest and most severe economic sanctions that Russia has ever faced, focusing on measures that have the greatest impact rather than the quantity. It is not appropriate to speculate on specific designations in the future. To do this could reduce the impact of the designations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to call for Taiwan to be given observer status at Interpol.

Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern, including efforts to combat international organised crime. We therefore support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations, where there is no pre-requisite of statehood for participation. This includes observer status at INTERPOL. Taiwan's participation in this organisation would, in our view, reduce co-operation black spots, which pose a risk to the UK and our international partners.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to allow Taiwanese representatives to participate in informal gatherings at COP26.

The UK Government welcomes the contribution Taiwan is voluntarily making to combat climate change, despite not being a signatory to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK Government has consistently stated its support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a requirement and where we believe Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern. This includes climate change, which recognises no territorial boundaries.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that Taiwan is represented at COP26.

The UK Government welcomes the contribution Taiwan is voluntarily making to combat climate change, despite not being a signatory to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK Government has consistently stated its support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a requirement and where we believe Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern. This includes climate change, which recognises no territorial boundaries.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents, (a) has replaced, or (b) intends to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth”.

As laid out in Hansard, 8 March 2007, Col. 146ws, in 2007, the then Government resolved to shift to gender-neutral drafting of legislation to avoid stereotypes that only men could hold positions of authority.

Notwithstanding, Ministers believe it is entirely appropriate to continue to refer to sex in legislation where helpful for clarity or pertinent (for example, legislation relating to the health needs of women).

In that light, we have not, nor do we intend to, replace the word 'mother' with the phrase 'parent who has given birth' in Departmental paperwork, guidance, instructions, manuals or other documents.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) plans, and  (2) objectives, they have for the 2021 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to take place in Rwanda in June; and whether UK ministers and officials will attend that meeting physically.

The UK is actively participating in preparations for the upcoming 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). We are working closely with the Government of Rwanda (who will host the CHOGM and take over from us the role of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office), the other member states and the Commonwealth Secretariat. We are looking to secure outcomes which build on the commitments and aspirations of the London CHOGM in 2018, and which respond to new shared challenges. Priority areas include, for example, climate change, sustainability, education and health. We hope that Commonwealth leaders will take the opportunity to boost momentum towards COP26. On education, we are encouraging Leaders' reaffirmation of their commitment to ensure that all girls and boys get 12 years of quality education. Ministers and officials plan to attend CHOGM in person.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to work with international partners to ensure that Taiwan is included at the forthcoming World Health Assembly on 24 May, and (2) to sanction any official of the government of China who attempts to exclude Taiwan from that Assembly.

The UK has been consistently clear that it supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite. This includes at the WHA, where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution. We remain in regular contact with our closest partners and the Taiwanese authorities, and continue to work to find a constructive solution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their position on the resolutions on Israel to be considered under (1) item 2, and (2) item 7, at the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

The UK has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, and has been clear that the existence of a dedicated agenda item in the Human Rights Council ('Item 7') is damaging and does little to advance dialogue, stability or mutual understanding. The 46th session of the Human Rights Council is currently in session. This government will continue to vote against all Item 7 resolutions. At the same time, we will not stop raising valid concerns about Israel's actions. That's why we engaged constructively with negotiations on the Item 2 resolution on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However, we ultimately abstained, as we judged that the final resolution text needed to address more fully the conduct of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, particularly Hamas' treatment of the Palestinian population of Gaza.

The UN and its member states have every right to address issues of concern in a measured, balanced and proportionate way. We will continue to support scrutiny of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Human Rights Council, so long as it is justified, proportionate, and not proposed under Item 7.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to call for a vote on resolutions on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories under item 7 of the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The UK has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, and has been clear that the existence of a dedicated agenda item in the Human Rights Council ('Item 7') is damaging and does little to advance dialogue, stability or mutual understanding. The 46th session of the Human Rights Council is currently in session. This government will continue to vote against all Item 7 resolutions. At the same time, we will not stop raising valid concerns about Israel's actions. That's why we engaged constructively with negotiations on the Item 2 resolution on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However, we ultimately abstained, as we judged that the final resolution text needed to address more fully the conduct of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, particularly Hamas' treatment of the Palestinian population of Gaza.

The UN and its member states have every right to address issues of concern in a measured, balanced and proportionate way. We will continue to support scrutiny of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Human Rights Council, so long as it is justified, proportionate, and not proposed under Item 7.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 9 March (HL13569), what assessment they have made of the reported concerns of the governments of (1) the United States, (2) Australia, and (3) Canada, about the International Criminal Court opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

UK officials are in regular contact with US, Australian and Canadian authorities on a range of issues and are aware of their views on this matter. We respect the independence of the International Criminal Court, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about its reported refusal to share the raw data on the first 174 COVID-19 cases to be identified in December 2019 with the World Health Organization.

As the Foreign Secretary has made clear, it is important the WHO-convened experts be given full access to the data they need to understand why the outbreak happened, why it was not stopped earlier and what can be done to manage any outbreak in the future. We will look closely at the field mission's report when it is published and continue to advocate for a robust, open and scientifically rigorous international investigation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will prioritise the sending of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Commonwealth countries following the conclusion of the UK vaccination programme; and whether any such prioritisation will be confined to those countries with a ranking below 90 in the Transparency International Corruption Index.

The Prime Minister announced on 19 February that the UK will share the majority of any surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses with the COVAX international vaccine procurement pool. As the multilateral mechanism for ensuring equitable global access to vaccines, COVAX is best able to distribute vaccines where they are needed most, and will be most effective, and any doses we contribute will be allocated in line with COVAX's agreed protocols and criteria.

All but two members of the Commonwealth are COVAX members, and I am pleased to note that 31 Commonwealth countries, across four regions, will be receiving COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first set of COVAX deliveries, the very first of which was received in Ghana on 24 February.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they intend to take in response to the ruling by the International Criminal Court on 5 February that it has territorial jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they have on (1) the number of concentration camps run by the government of China in Xinjiang, and (2) how many people are held in any such camps.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang including the extra-judicial detention of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps". Credible open source reporting indicates that up to 380 suspected detention facilities in Xinjiang have been newly built or expanded since 2017, and that over one million Uyghurs and other minorities have been detained in the camps over a similar period. The data currently available does not allow us to ascertain the number of people detained at any one time.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 22 January (HL11916), and reports of (1) hostile espionage, (2) threats to Taiwan, and (3) the persecution of Uighurs in Xinjiang, by the government of China, why the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office continues to refer to that government as a strategic partner.

Our approach to China remains clear-eyed and rooted in our values and our interests. As two global leaders with permanent seats on the UN Security Council, it is right for the UK and China to pursue a strong and constructive relationship in many areas. This does not mean that we hesitate to raise concerns and intervene where needed. This resolve was highlighted by the Foreign Secretary's announcement of new, targeted measures in respect of Xinjiang on 12 January. While we continue to engage, we will always protect our national interests and hold China to its international commitments and promises.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of Delaware-based shell companies for (1) international money laundering, and (2) financing international terrorism; and what plans they have, if any, to raise this at the next G7 summit.

In December 2020, the Government published the UK's third National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, which presents a comprehensive understanding of the risk of money laundering and the financing of terrorism through the UK. The assessment also covers the risks posed to the UK by activities in overseas jurisdictions. The UK has not conducted any assessment into Delaware specifically.

During its Presidency of the G7 this year, the UK will seek to promote action on corporate transparency, asset recovery, and the implementation of international anti-corruption standards, to build collective security, prosperity and trust in our institutions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 7 January (HL Deb, col 288), in what ways "China continues to be an important international and strategic partner" for the UK.

As a major economy and leading member of the international community, China has to be part of the solution to any major global problem we face; whether ensuring we do not face another devastating global health crisis, supporting vulnerable countries or addressing climate change. China is also the UK's fourth largest trading partner and total bilateral trade was worth over £76bn in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2020. There is considerable scope for constructive engagement and cooperation. But as we strive for a positive relationship, we will not sacrifice either our values or our security. We are clear-sighted about the challenges. As we continue to engage, we will always protect our national interests and hold China to its international commitments and promises.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the adoption of the resolution by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace (A/75/L.36/Rev.1), published 1 December, and (2) the reference by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his address relating to that resolution to the 75th Session of the UNGA on 25 September, to Islamophobic incidents in Europe of Muslims being targeted; and what assessment they have made of (a) that reference in view of Article 7 of the former version of that resolution (A/75/L.25), published on 4 December 2019, which “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audiovisual or electronic media, social media or any other means", and (a) whether that reference may be used to create an offence of blasphemy against Islam.

Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities is a longstanding priority for the UK Government. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate for respect amongst different religious groups is to encourage countries to uphold their human rights obligations, particularly through international institutions such as the UN. While the UK supported the underlying theme of A/75/L.36/Rev.1 at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, Her Majesty's Government abstained in the voting on the resolution because there were elements of the text which the UK, along with others, were unable to support.

The UK's views on the Resolution are clear. While the UK and Pakistan do have differences in approach to FoRB and Freedom of Expression, the large bulk of operative paragraph 7 of the previous version of the Resolution is a verbatim copy of Article 20.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the UK ratified in 1976. In the ongoing academic and legal debate about whether this reference can be used domestically to justify blasphemy legislation, the longstanding UK position is that this provision does not require that. We remain deeply concerned by the misuse of blasphemy laws. These laws generally limit Freedom of Expression and are only compatible with international human rights law in narrow circumstances. We regularly raise at a senior level the issue of blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan and elsewhere. We believe that people must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, including exercising their right to Freedom of Expression, to invoke, peacefully, discussions about thought, conscience and religion.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many formal representations they have made to other governments about human rights abuses in each of the last five years; to which governments they have made such representations; and of those, which they have raised with (1) the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, or (2) at the UN Security Council.

Respect for human rights and democratic freedoms underpins the UK's foreign policy. UK Ministers and officials have regular and frank discussions about the full range of human rights concerns, wherever they occur, and we use our bilateral relationships, our development programmes and our presence in multilateral institutions to drive progress. Our Annual Human Rights Report sets out in detail the UK's approach to human rights priority countries, and the work we have undertaken to promote and protect human rights around world.

In discussions with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ministers and officials raise the most pressing human rights issues of the day. We also set out concerns on a wide range of countries at every session of the Human Rights Council. For example, at the 45th session in October, we raised our concerns about human rights violations in China and Belarus, the case of Alexei Navalny in Russia, and led a resolution on the human rights situation in Syria. We also stand up for human rights at the UN Security Council; for example, in 2020 we spoke about the human rights situation in Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, including on issues related to conflict-related sexual violence, and the need for human rights to be at the core of peacekeeping.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Turkey regarding President Erdogan's statement on 1 October that "Jerusalem is our city".

The UK recognises that Jerusalem holds particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The UK's position on the status of Jerusalem is clear and long-standing: it should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It must ensure Jerusalem is a shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states, with access and religious rights of both peoples respected.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to provide training to members of the House of Lords to assist them with preparing concise and succinct supplementary questions.

There are no plans to provide training to members of the type described. The Procedure and Privileges Committee agreed last month that all supplementary questions should be limited to no more than 30 seconds and ministerial replies should be succinct. This has been incorporated into the guidance that sets out the procedures for hybrid proceedings.

14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Turkey about the decision to convert the Hagia Sofia into a mosque.

While we note the concern that President Erdogan's decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque has caused internationally, the Government regards this as a sovereign matter for Turkey. We have therefore not discussed the matter with Turkey. However, we would expect that Hagia Sophia - part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site - remains accessible to all, as testament to its global cultural and religious significance and Turkey's rich and diverse historical and cultural legacy, and that its precious artefacts are preserved. We therefore welcome the public statements by Turkish leaders that this historic building will continue to be accessible to people of all faiths and nationalities, which would be consistent with the Turkish constitution's provisions for freedom of conscience and religion for all.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to supporting the government of Australia in calling for an international independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation, with significant global implications. It is vital that we all learn the lessons of this pandemic and, as the Foreign Secretary has said, there will need to be a review in time. We will work with all our international partners, including Australia, on this. Right now we are focused on the immediate response and working alongside other countries to stop the spread of the virus.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they plan to make to the United Nations to implement a global ban of so-called 'wet' markets.

The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to regulate global trade in wild animals and my officials regularly raise the issue of the illegal wildlife trade with other governments and with international authorities. The World Animal Health Organisation, of which the UK is a member, will be addressing wildlife trade at the next general session in May 2020. Pandemics arise as a combination of events and are a global concern. The origin of the Covid-19 virus is not yet clear, although it has been linked to viruses occurring in animals.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about the role of ‘wet markets’ in the global spread of COVID-19.

The virus is believed to have originated in a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019, but it has since spread widely through human to human transmission. China has now announced a proposal prohibiting the trade and consumption of wildlife. We have been in regular contact with the Chinese authorities since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, including most recently on 5 March when the Minister for Asia met the Chinese Ambassador.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about its plans to share genomic information about COVID-19 with the health authorities of other countries.

We have been in regular contact with the Chinese authorities since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have continued to stress the importance of full and open data sharing to advance the global response, both through our Ambassador in Beijing and in meetings with the Chinese Embassy in London, including most recently on March 5th when the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office-Department for International Development Minister for Asia met the Chinese Ambassador.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the World Health Organisation about the WHO's statement that the government of China had been open with information about coronavirus.

UK and like-minded representatives have discussed this issue at the highest level of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and reiterated that sharing correct data through the WHO is vital in order to effectively counter the spread of Coronavirus. We have emphasised that politics should have no place in the process and the focus should be on the science and correct public health measures.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the World Health Organisation about including the 18 cases of coronavirus on Taiwan with the 40,000 in China; and whether they are concerned that this misrepresents the true position in Taiwan.

Alongside a number of like-minded countries, the UK has raised at the highest levels of the World Health Organisation the importance of having accurate data on Taiwan. It is crucial that there is an accurate picture of how the virus is spreading globally. Public Health England reports cases in mainland China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Macau SAR and Taiwan separately.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the World Health Organisation about sharing its information on coronavirus with the government of Taiwan separately from the information that that organisation has shared with the government of China.

Alongside a number of like-minded countries, the UK has raised, at the highest levels of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the importance of all states and territories having access to the most up to date information about COVID-19. This is consistent with the UK's longstanding position that Taiwan should be able to meaningfully participate in international organisations such as the WHO, where statehood is not a prerequisite and it can contribute to the global good.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the President of the United States about his government’s assessment in 2018 that Iran was in breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; what assessment they have made of the impact of the decision by the UK not to reach the same assessment at that time; and what discussions they have had with the government of the US since the government of Iran’s declaration that it will no longer abide by any restrictions imposed by that nuclear deal.

The UK worked very closely with France, Germany and US counterparts to address President Trump's concerns that Iran was in breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), involving months of intense discussions. We have been consistently clear that the JCPoA remains the best way of preventing nuclear proliferation and we hope it will remain. We want to see Iran come back to full compliance, and remain in close contact with our European partners and the US on this issue.

The UK is in close contact with the US at a number of levels: the Prime Minister spoke to President Trump on 8 and 12 January and the Foreign Secretary met with Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington on 9 January. As the Prime Minister has said before, including in New York in September 2019, if in the future we could agree a better deal with Iran that has the support of the US, then that is something we would work towards.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that the timelines for negotiations with the government of Iran under the dispute settlement mechanism of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are not extended.

We are committed to bringing Iran back into full compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments and preserving the nuclear deal. Iran's reduced compliance has non-proliferation consequences. The Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) is a process to address this serious issue and we are committed to using it in good faith to find a viable resolution to Iran's compliance issues. The UK remains determined to work with Iran on a diplomatic way forward. As the joint statement from the Prime Minister, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel said on 14 January we need to define a long-term framework for Iran's nuclear programme. We need a deal which everyone respects the terms of, and which takes the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran off the table.

Parties to the deal control this process – it is designed to be flexible and extendable in order to find a solution to the problem. Our objective in triggering the DRM is to preserve the nuclear deal and bring Iran back into compliance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of triggering the dispute settlement mechanism under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, following the government of Iran’s statement that it will no longer abide by any of the restrictions imposed by that nuclear deal.

We are committed to bringing Iran back into full compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments and preserving the nuclear deal. Iran's reduced compliance has non-proliferation consequences. The Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) is a process to address this serious issue and we are committed to using it in good faith to find a viable resolution to Iran's compliance issues. The UK remains determined to work with Iran on a diplomatic way forward. As the joint statement from the Prime Minister, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel said on 14 January we need to define a long-term framework for Iran's nuclear programme. We need a deal which everyone respects the terms of, and which takes the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran off the table.

Parties to the deal control this process – it is designed to be flexible and extendable in order to find a solution to the problem. Our objective in triggering the DRM is to preserve the nuclear deal and bring Iran back into compliance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 22 November (HL158), why they agreed to defer Cuba’s debt repayments in 2021, how much the UK is owed by Cuba as a member of the Group of Creditors of Cuba, and when payment is expected.

As outlined in the answer to HL549, the Group of Creditors to Cuba (GCC), including the UK, agreed in 2021 to defer payments due under the 2015 Agreement. This was on the basis of the Republic of Cuba’s economic and financial situation and the Cuban Government’s efforts to support Cuban economic development in the context of Covid-19.

The GCC and Cuba have confirmed their willingness to preserve the 2015 Agreement and commitment to ensure its full implementation. The GCC has not published the terms of implementation.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 22 November (HL158), what was the rationale behind the decision to defer payments under the 2015 agreement; and when they expect Cuba to make payments against this debt.

In 2021, the Group of Creditors to Cuba (GCC), including the UK, agreed to defer payments due under the 2015 Agreement. This was on the basis of the Republic of Cuba’s economic and financial situation and the Cuban Government’s efforts to support Cuban economic development in the context of Covid-19.

The GCC and Cuba have confirmed their willingness to preserve the 2015 Agreement and commitment to ensure its full implementation.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what contribution they make to the Paris Club group of official creditors; how they monitor the use of any contributions to the group, and in particular whether any funds have been provided to Cuba in the last five years in funding or in debts being written off.

The Paris Club is an informal group of official creditors who coordinate on providing debt treatments for debtor countries. The UK does not make any financial contributions to the Paris Club, nor does the Paris Club have a function in providing any finance directly to countries. Any debt treatments agreed by the Paris Club are implemented on a bilateral basis between the official creditor and debtor countries.

In 2015, the Group of Creditors of Cuba (GCC), including the UK, agreed a debt treatment with the Government of the Republic of Cuba to restructure USD 2.6 billion of debt in arrears, over an 18-year period. In 2021, the GCC agreed to defer payments due under the 2015 agreement.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 15 November (HL3607), what discussions they have had with the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to its proposed requirement for companies to disclose annually whether they meet specific diversity targets as part of changes to its Listing Rules; and, in particular, whether the diversity targets will include targets in relation to biological sex.

HM Treasury holds regular discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on a range of issues regarding the regulation of financial markets.


The FCA’s consultation regarding diversity and inclusion targets for company boards and executive committees (CP21/24) closed on 20 October and the FCA is now analysing the responses. It will be for the FCA as the independent regulator to take forward any changes to their listings rules on this basis.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposal by the Financial Conduct Authority to count anyone who identifies as female as contributing towards the percentage of women on the boards of listed companies, specifically the impact it would have on (1) statistics on the pay gap between men and women, and (2) increasing the participation of women in business.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s independent securities regulator. The FCA has made a policy commitment to explore improving the transparency for investors on the diversity of listed company boards and their executive management teams. In line with this, it has recently conducted a consultation on proposals to change to its Listing Rules to require companies to disclose annually whether they meet specific diversity targets, and to publish diversity data on their boards and executive management. These are proposed to cover issues such as gender, ethnicity and other diversity issues.

The consultation closed on 20 October and the FCA is now analysing the responses. It will be for the FCA to take forward any changes to their listings rules on this basis.

9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Treasury civil servants working from home; and what assessment they have made should civil servants choose to work from other countries.

HMT offices have remained open throughout the pandemic with access to staff for business and wellbeing reasons and our building health and safety assessment has been reviewed and updated during this period. Staff working from home have been supported through a number of measures, including homeworking Display Screen Equipment assessments to support their health and safety. HMT has been able to deliver its full agenda throughout this period.

HMT applies central Civil Service policy in relation to working from other countries.

8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information is available on the current (1) use, and (2) whereabouts, of the circular table used by the National Economic Development Council, commonly known as NEDDY, until 1992.

HM Treasury do not hold any information pertaining to the use or whereabouts of the circular table used by the National Economic Development Council.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the value of Gross Domestic Product for each of the G20 countries in pounds sterling; and for each such country, what proportion of the combined GDP of the G20 this represents.

Table 1 below details the answers to your questions.

Table 1: G20 Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

2018 GDP current prices (£bn)

% of G20 total GDP

Argentina

389.2

0.7

Australia

1063.8

1.9

Brazil

1399.2

2.5

Canada

1282.9

2.3

China

10014.3

18.2

France

2082.7

3.8

Germany

2960.0

5.4

India

2036.7

3.7

Indonesia

765.9

1.4

Italy

1555.1

2.8

Japan

3724.5

6.8

Mexico

915.5

1.7

Russia

1241.5

2.3

Saudi Arabia

589.2

1.1

South Africa

275.8

0.5

South Korea

1288.9

2.3

Turkey

577.8

1.1

UK

2119.1

3.9

USA

15417.1

28.0

EU excluding France, Germany, Italy and UK

5319.3

9.7

Total

55018.4

100.0

Source: IMF WEO October 2019, Thomson Reuters Eikon

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to suspend any additional HM Treasury funding provided to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, either through the Barnett Formula or other means, if those countries incur additional costs resulting from any longer period of lockdown than is in place in England.

The government is focused on responding to Covid-19 across the UK, both through UK-wide measures and funding to the devolved administrations through the Barnett formula.

We have so far announced almost £7 billion of additional funding to the devolved administrations to support people, business and public services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means £3.5 billion for the Scottish Government, £2.1 billion for the Welsh Government and £1.2 billion for the Northern Ireland Executive.

This is in addition to the UK-wide measures that the people and businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from, including the Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

We are working closely with the devolved administrations and will continue to do so as we take steps out of lockdown.

7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government for what reasons the Islamic Army of Aden is a proscribed organisation; and whether they have any plans to proscribe the Houthi group as a proscribed organisation.

The Islamic Army of Aden was proscribed in March 2001. It has a history of involvement in attempts to overthrow the Government of Yemen, including through use of terrorism to establish an Islamic State following Sharia Law.

The UK Government has been unequivocal: the illegal attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, as well as attacks against British and allied warships, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Together with the US, the UK Government has imposed coordinated sanctions on the Houthis. This is in addition to the US-UK led strikes, conducted with support from the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain and Australia.

The Government does not routinely comment whether an organisation is under consideration for proscription. The Government keeps the list of proscribed organisations under review.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the comments made by Judge Peter Veits in Lincolnshire Magistrates Court that the RSPCA had acted unlawfully in the initiation of the prosecution of a farmer, whether they intend to investigate the role of the RSPCA in bringing forward criminal prosecutions; and whether they plan to instruct police to conduct their own independent investigations.

Although the vast majority of farmed animal related welfare cases are prosecuted by the Local Authority, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 enables prosecutions to be taken by concerned individuals or bodies such as the RSPCA and we have no plans currently to amend.

Chief Constables are operationally independent, and it is for them take decisions on enforcement action and prosecutions.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many (1) fires, and (2) deaths, were caused by e-bikes and e-scooters in each of the past five years for which figures are available.

The Home Office collects data on incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs), with this data including the cause of the fire and the source of ignition. This data is published in a variety of publications on Gov.UK.

Data collected through the Incident Recording System (IRS) does not include data on whether fire incidents attended were caused by or involved e-bikes or e-scooters. Therefore, the IRS also does not collect data on fatalities where the cause was an e-bike or e-scooter.

We are reviewing the IRS, and the data it collects, and considering what categories to record in the future. Adding new categories, including lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles, e-scooters and e-bikes, to the data collection will be considered as part of the work to reform the IRS with a modern, secure, and flexible system.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce regulations to permit police forces to dismiss officers who have failed vetting procedures.

The Home Secretary has launched a review into the process of police officer dismissals, ensuring that the system is fair and effective at removing those officers who are not fit to serve their communities. Part 8 of the Terms of Reference sets out that this review will consider the performance system and its effectiveness with regards to dismissals, including where officers have failed to maintain their vetting status. Further details, including the full Terms of Reference, have been published on Gov.UK.

The Review is expected to conclude in May. The Government is committed to making changes necessary following the conclusion of the Review, including legislative changes where appropriate.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to proscribing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation.

Whilst we keep the list of proscribed organisations under review, it is Government policy not to comment on whether a group is under consideration for proscription.

To proscribe an organisation, the Home Secretary must have a reasonable belief that it is concerned in terrorism. This means the organisation participates or commits; prepares for; promotes, encourages or unlawfully glorifies; or is in some way otherwise concerned in terrorism. As well as considering whether the statutory test for proscription has been satisfied, the Home Secretary’s decision to proscribe must be necessary and proportionate, having taken into account all relevant factors.

The UK Government has long been clear about its concerns over the continued destabilising activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The UK is committed to working with the international community to ensure Iran is held to account.

The UK has close to 300 sanctions in place against Iran, including on the IRGC in its entirety. We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to protect the UK and our interests from any Iran-linked threats.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend their list of proscribed terrorist organisations to include the Wagner Group.

Whilst the Government keeps the list of proscribed organisations under review, we do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not under consideration for proscription.

The Government remains concerned about Russia's use of private military companies such as the Wagner Group. We take the provision of mercenaries and other military support to parties in conflicts such as Libya, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere very seriously. We continue to work closely with our international partners to counter Russian malign activity and respond to actions that undermine the rules based international system.

Our package of sanctions in support of Ukraine targets those aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This includes the Wagner Group and on 24 March 2022 the UK designated Wagner Group under our autonomous sanctions regime.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Fundamental review of the College of Policing report, published on 10 February,  which concluded that it "must become the dynamic, relevant and connected professional body that we were created to be", what plans they have to put that body on a statutory footing.

A number of the College’s functions are already underpinned by statute and the government welcomes the ambition of the College to set and improve standards for excellence in policing.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following reports that the Home Secretary will seek to change how non-crime hate incidents are recorded, what plans they have to compensate people who have been recorded as having committed such incidents; and how any such compensation would be calculated.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of non-crime hate incidents is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we are bringing forward amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

There are no plans to introduce a compensation scheme.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, (1) to investigate, and (2) to dismiss, those in the College of Policing who approved the non-crime hate incidents guidance.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of NCHIs is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we have tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

The College of Policing will also reflect on the Court of Appeal’s judgment carefully and make any changes that are necessary to its existing guidance which will remain in force in the interim period before the new Code enters into effect.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to remove the people recorded as having committed non-crimes hate incidents from police records.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of NCHIs is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we have tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

The College of Policing will also reflect on the Court of Appeal’s judgment carefully and make any changes that are necessary to its existing guidance which will remain in force in the interim period before the new Code enters into effect.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to suspend guidance produced by the College of Policing until such guidance can be laid before Parliament as regulations.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of NCHIs is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we have tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

The College of Policing will also reflect on the Court of Appeal’s judgment carefully and make any changes that are necessary to its existing guidance which will remain in force in the interim period before the new Code enters into effect.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the 110,000 people who have been recorded as having committed non-crime hate incidents; and what plans they have, if any, to assist such individuals in bringing legal action against the College of Policing.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of NCHIs is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we have tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

The College of Policing will also reflect on the Court of Appeal’s judgment carefully and make any changes that are necessary to its existing guidance which will remain in force in the interim period before the new Code enters into effect.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Court of Appeal ruling that the College of Policing guidance on non-crime hate incidents was unlawful, what plans they have to suspend any guidance issued by the College of Policing.

The Government recognises the concern surrounding the recording of non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). We have also noted the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the Harry Miller v College of Policing case that was handed down on 20 December 2021. The Court found that the recording of NCHIs is lawful provided that there are robust safeguards in place so that the interference with freedom of expression is proportionate.

Accordingly, we have tabled amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that the recording of NCHIs is governed by a Code of Practice that is subject to Parliamentary approval. The content of the Code will be drafted in due course, and will make the processes surrounding the recording and retention of NCHI data more transparent and subject to stronger safeguards.

The College of Policing will also reflect on the Court of Appeal’s judgment carefully and make any changes that are necessary to its existing guidance which will remain in force in the interim period before the new Code enters into effect.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they plan to have, if any, with the Metropolitan Police following their announced decision not to confiscate illegal e-scooters; and what assessment have they made of the potential extra injuries caused to pedestrians from increased e-scooter criminal usage.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for Chief Officers who will take account of local problems and demands. The police are operationally independent of Government. In September 2021, the Government published the factsheet ‘Reported road casualties Great Britain: e-scooter factsheet 2020’ that, using data collected in 2020, examines the main trends in collisions involving e-scooters and the casualties that were involved. The Government is working with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) to explore options to reduce the illegal e-scooter use. We will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation including those relating to electric scooters.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many instances of e-scooters being used illegally have been recorded in England; how many e-scooters have been confiscated by the police; and what plans they have to regulate the purchase of e-scooters.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales. However, information on numbers and types of vehicle seized is not held centrally.

The Government does not have any plans to regulate the purchase of e-scooters. It is not illegal to sell an e-scooter, however under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 there is a general obligation for traders to give consumers sufficient information about goods and services at the point of sale, so consumers are not misled. The Government is currently considering the best approach to ensuring appropriate information about the use of e-scooters is given to consumers at the point of sale.

Legislation was amended in July 2020 to allow for rental e-scooter trials in 32 selected Local Authority areas, which will run until 31 March 2022. These trials will assess the safety of e-scooters for their users and other road user groups, whether their potential benefits can be realised, and identify other road impacts to be addressed through future legislation.

The police can deal with illegal e-scooter use by fixed penalty notices and penalty points for no insurance, ‘not in accordance’ or riding on pavement offences. Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides the power to seize privately owned e-scooters for driving without insurance or a driving licence. It is for the officer dealing with an incident to investigate and to decide upon the appropriate offence and enforcement action.

We will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation including those relating to electric scooters.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the articles of association of the College of Policing Ltd.

The articles of association for College of Policing will be published by Companies House shortly and made available on their website.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who appoints the members of the board of the College of Policing Ltd.

The board of the College of Policing consists of:

  • the College chief executive officer (CEO)
  • four independent directors from various sectors
  • one chief constable
  • one member of police staff
  • one member from the superintendent ranks
  • one member from the federated ranks
  • one police and crime commissioner

The CEO is employed by the College. The remaining Directors are non-executive and are appointed by the Home Secretary.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Home Office, in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents, (a) has replaced, or (b) intends to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth”.

All internal Home Office HR policies relating to various forms of parental leave have been updated to ensure that inclusive language is used.

In relation to the language used in wider Home Office operational and other paperwork, guidance, instructions and manuals, this question cannot be answered except at a disproportionate cost as the specific information requested is not held centrally.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of inability of immigration officials to detain two individuals in Glasgow on 14 May; and what further steps they will take enforce immigration law as a result of that incident.

As is established practice following events such as these the Home Office is conducting a review of the routine and lawful operation in Glasgow on 13 May 2021.This is being done in conjunction with Police Scotland who had responsibility for public order during this incident.

Home Office operations including visits, crime reduction and street operations play a critical role in detecting and deterring immigration abuse and reducing the harm caused by illegal immigration, such as modern slavery, people trafficking and smuggling. The Home Office will continue to conduct such operations throughout the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any passport offices are still issuing the burgundy-coloured UK passports; and if so, which ones.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office ceased issuing British passports with a burgundy cover in September 2020.

All new British passports are issued with a blue cover.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on public compliance with the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic of the guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council relating to the enforcement of those restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, the Home Office has worked closely with operational partners to ensure they have the powers, resources and guidance they need to enforce the law. The enforcement of the restrictions is an operational matter for police forces, and officers will continue to use their common sense, discretion and experience in enforcing the law.

The vast majority of the public have followed the guidelines throughout the pandemic, and that remains the case. However, the police can take steps to enforce the rules where a minority of the public do not comply. As they have done throughout the pandemic, the police apply a four-step escalation method - engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance before taking enforcement action.

Latest data published by the NPCC on 8 January shows that a total of 28,744 fixed penalty notices have been recorded as having been issued in England under Coronavirus Regulations between Friday 27 March and Monday 21 December.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Home Office discussed the guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs' Council in relation to the "engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing" strategy prior to that guidance being issued.

Throughout the pandemic, the Home Office has worked closely with operational partners including the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to ensure that police forces across the country have the powers and guidance required to effectively enforce restrictions.

The police in the UK have always policed by consent. The four Es guidance was introduced in spring 2020 to help policing provide a measured and consistent approach during this unprecedented situation. The College of Policing has produced a range of resources to explain the new powers and to help forces across the country in their response to COVID-19.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the National Police Chiefs' Council has any legal authority to issue guidance on the interpretation of the law.

The NPCC enables operationally independent and locally accountable Chief Constables to co-ordinate the work of the police in order to protect the public.

This can include providing guidance to forces on new and amended legislation. The NPCC’s governance structure agreement does not supersede or vary the legal requirements of the office of constable and it is recognised that a Chief Constables remains operationally independent.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Home Secretary has raised any concerns with police forces about the targeting of individuals to enforce the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic instead of large groups, including raves and demonstrations.

Throughout the pandemic, the Home Office has worked closely with police forces to ensure they have the powers and guidance required to effectively enforce restrictions and maintain public order. In response to individuals or groups who repeatedly flout the rules or are responsible for the most blatant and egregious breaches, the police will continue to engage, explain and encourage. They will not hesitate to move to enforcement action where necessary.

The enforcement of restrictions remains an operational matter for individual forces, and we expect officers to continue to use their common sense, discretion and professional judgement in enforcing regulations.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking over reports that French Navy patrol boats have been aiding asylum seekers to enter UK waters illegally.

The UK has a duty both to prevent loss of life and protect the integrity of our border. In doing so we have domestic and international laws to comply with. Search and Rescue (SAR) legal provisions derive from a number of international conventions, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue 1979 (the SAR Convention). Under these provisions both the UK and France both have a duty to save lives, and if a boat encounters difficulty and is in distress then there is a need to protect life.

French authorities and vessels do attempt to persuade migrants to abandon their journey and allow themselves to be rescued but are at times met with extreme hostility from migrants. French assets will generally remain with the migrant vessel to ensure they are on-hand in case a rescue is required. The French do not believe forcible interceptions would be safe or permitted under SOLAS or SAR operations.

We are doing everything we can to stop these dangerous Channel crossings and bring to justice the criminals behind this organised immigration crime.

We are also continuing to engage with our French counterparts both on an operational and political level, exploring all options to reduce the number of people attempting this dangerous crossing.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have paid (1) to the government of France, and (2) organisations based in France, in the last five years to limit asylum seekers crossing the English Channel illegally; and what assessment they have made of whether the government of France has met the commitments of any agreements in place to limit such crossings.

The UK and France maintain a longstanding relationship on tackling illegal migration at the shared border and the UK has committed several funding packages to supporting this work in recent years. These include:

o In September 2019 the Joint Action Plan on Combatting Illegal Migration Involving Small Boats (‘Small Boats Action Plan’) was signed. The UK committed €3.6m (£3.25m) to tackling the issue. These funds were utilised for the delivery of strategic communications campaigns and the provision of equipment to improve detection of small boats crossings. This was later supplemented with a further €2.5m (£2.25m) in the 19/20 Financial Year, which was dedicated to the deployment of Gendarme Reservists and further strengthening preventive security measures at the French coast.

o In January 2018 both countries signed the Sandhurst Treaty, under which the UK made a commitment of €50 million (£45.5m) for activity to prevent illegal migration.

The UK and France are committed to ensuring value for money in investment. The UK and France carried out a joint review of bilateral cooperation under the Sandhurst Treaty, which concluded that this programme of work has made a difference to illegal migration. France also continues to invest significant resource into tackling this issue as part of a joint response with the UK.

In addition to the above sums outlined, we have also invested the following:

o The September 2014 Joint Declaration committed £12m for security improvements at Calais, Dunkirk, and the Eurotunnel terminal at Coquelles. This was supplemented by £1 million for fencing and by £1.7 million to support an enhanced secure freight zone at Calais.

o In 2015, both countries signed a Joint Declaration which committed £45.96 million (majority to Eurotunnel) towards security enhancements of the juxtaposed controls and to moving migrants into reception centres across France.

o This was followed by payments in 2016 (£17 million) and a further (£36 million) to strengthen the border and maintain the operation of the juxtaposed controls.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish for each of the last five years the number of black and minority ethnic (BAME) people who were killed either by murder or manslaughter by people who were (1) white British, and (2) BAME, British or otherwise.

The Home Office Homicide Index holds information recorded by the police in England and Wales on the ethnicity of victim and convicted suspects of homicide. The requested data are given in the table.

Due to the time it can take for the police to investigate homicide offences and for cases to be heard in court, the number of suspects who have been convicted of homicide is likely to increase as additional court outcome information is received by the Home Office.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about the csae for the police to intervene to enforce social distancing during mass demonstrations (1) outside the US Embassy in London, and (2) in Hyde Park.

We strongly support the right to protest peacefully, but this pandemic has led to many of our individual freedoms being curtailed because everyone has a role to play in helping to control the virus following the rules. This is how we can continue to save lives so we can recover.

Under the current regulations, gatherings of more than six people from different households are not permitted. We are in close contact with police to ensure they are prepared to respond to any public disorder and have appropriate policing plans in place. How they use these powers is an operational matter for the police, who are independent of Government.

In London, the Metropolitan Police continues to monitor the situation and is aware of a number of protests over the next week. The management of public order is an operational matter for the police, who routinely have plans in place to ensure they are prepared to respond to any public disorder.

The Police have adopted an effective approach of the 4Es; engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance before moving to enforcement options.?The National Police Chiefs Council and the College of Policing have issued guidance on how they will enforce the regulation. This can be found at https://www.college.police.uk/News/College-news/Pages/Health-Protection-Guidelines.aspx.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the means by which police forces are enforcing the lockdown, particularly in regard to police on horseback questioning people in parks; what representations they have received about the behaviour of the police when carrying out such enforcement; and what guidance they have provided to police to ensure adherence with Government guidelines.

Our police forces face unprecedented challenges as they play the critical role of maintaining public order during this public health emergency.?The police response has and will follow the four-step escalation principles – engaging, explaining, encouraging, and then enforcing as a last resort.

I welcome the conclusions of the Home Affairs Select Committee report on police preparedness, which was published on 17 April. The report concluded that the overall police response to the current crisis has been proportionate and effective.

We have and will continue to work closely with our policing partners to ensure there is clear guidance to officers on any changes to the Health Protection Regulations and the powers available to them.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that failings by police and children’s services in Greater Manchester resulted in victims of sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation being denied justice, what discussions they have had with the National Crime Agency about such reports; and what action they intend to take as a result.

These were truly shocking cases of the most vulnerable in our society being preyed upon and abused by ruthless predators, and failed by those whose job it was to protect them. It is important that lessons are learnt, and we work tirelessly to safeguard victims of these horrific crimes and bring the evil criminals who abuse our children to justice.

The government engages routinely with law enforcement agencies, including the National Crime Agency, to tackle child sexual offending and ensure the police respond appropriately to vulnerable victims. The National Crime Agency considers reports such as these in drawing up its annual National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime, which can be found online. https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/296-national-strategic-assessment-of-serious-organised-crime-2019/

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have carried out any analysis of the number of troops from Cuba who may be fighting for Russia against Ukraine.

The Ministry of Defence are aware of the open-source reports on networks operating in Cuba and Russia alleged to have facilitated young Cubans to join Russia’s war in Ukraine. We are concerned that these individuals have been deceived and recruited to fight for Russia.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to giving Ukraine Apache helicopters.

The Government has no current plans to gift Apache helicopters to Ukraine.

20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend significantly to increase production of 155mm howitzer shells to assist Ukraine; and if so, what steps they are taking to do so.

The Department is considering options to increase 155mm ammunition production, in response to emerging lessons from the conflict in Ukraine as well as the prior granting-in-kind of a proportion of the UK stockpile to Ukraine. No decision has been taken on whether to allocate any of this production increase to Ukraine.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to limit the sharing of British intelligence information with the United States following the reported leak of intelligence material by a 21 year old reservist.

The UK commends the swift action taken by the US law enforcement to investigate and respond to the unauthorised disclosure of classified documents, including the arrest and charging of a suspect. The US remains the UK's most important ally and partner and the depth of the UK's relationship with the US remains an absolutely essential pillar of our security.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States regarding the reported leak of intelligence material by a 21 year old reservist.

The Defence Secretary regularly speaks to the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. They spoke about this issue on 12 April and met again during the Defence Secretary's pre-planned visit to Washington on 17 April. The UK commends the swift action taken by US law enforcement to investigate and respond to the unauthorised disclosure of classified documents, including the arrest and charging of a suspect. The US remains the UK's most important ally and partner and the depth of the UK's relationship with the US remains an absolutely essential pillar of our security.

16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons to neutralise missile sites inside Russia.

We have provided Ukraine with military aid on the understanding that it will be used in accordance with international humanitarian law. We liaise on a daily basis with the Ukrainian Government, and they are clear that equipment provided by the UK is intended for the defence of Ukraine.

16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with NATO allies to send all available winter warfare clothing to the Ukrainian military.

On 9 November, we announced that the UK would provide Armed Forces of Ukraine recruits with extreme cold weather kits, including 25,000 sets of extreme cold weather clothing and 20,000 sleeping bags. The UK has been a leading advocate for the provision of winter equipment and has supported the delivery of tens of thousands of additional sets through the International Donors Coordination Cell.

26th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any forecast of the impact on the numbers of recruits to the London Scottish Regiment following the change in uniform from Highland dress to the uniform of the Scots Guards.

Under Future Soldier, the London Regiment redesignated as 1st Battalion London Guards on 1 May 2022. As part of this change, the four companies within the Regiment have adopted the name, cap badge and dress of their new affiliated Regular Regiment.

In the case of A (London Scottish) Company which redesignated as G (Messines) Company, it has become the Reserve Company of the Scots Guards and has adopted the cap badge and dress of this regiment.

Whilst there has not been a forecast of the impact on recruitment, the redesignation should provide the soldiers in G (Messines) Company with more opportunities to deploy on operations and exercises alongside their regular counterparts. Coupled with the Guards brand, it is therefore expected that there will be a positive impact on recruitment and retention.

26th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the London Scottish Hodden Grey tartan was replaced when the London Scottish regiment adopted the dress of the Scots Guards; and whether this was consistent with the undertaking in the previous defence review concerning further cap badge losses from regiments.

Under Future Soldier, the London Regiment redesignated as 1st Battalion London Guards on 1 May 2022. As part of this change, the four companies within the Regiment have adopted the name, cap badge and dress of their new affiliated Regular Regiment.

In the case of A (London Scottish) Company which redesignated as G (Messines) Company, it has become the Reserve Company of the Scots Guards and has adopted the cap badge and dress of this regiment.

Whilst there has not been a forecast of the impact on recruitment, the redesignation should provide the soldiers in G (Messines) Company with more opportunities to deploy on operations and exercises alongside their regular counterparts. Coupled with the Guards brand, it is therefore expected that there will be a positive impact on recruitment and retention.

31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what defensive missile systems they will supply to the Ukrainian Defence Forces to destroy Russian (1) missile bases, or (2) artillery bases, inside Russia but which fire into Ukraine.

The UK, our partners and allies have provided defensive weapons systems to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to enable them to resist Russia's ongoing illegal aggression. These include more than 4,000 anti-tank weapons from the UK alone. We will continue to provide defensive weapons to meet Ukraine's requirements.

31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what land-based anti-ship missiles or howitzers they will make available to the Ukrainian Defence Forces so that they can destroy Russian ships in the Black Sea.

The UK is actively pursuing options to support the Ukrainians with their coastal defence. Ukraine has requested a range of capabilities including coastal defence systems, and artillery and counter battery capabilities. This request is being carefully considered within the wider package of defensive military support to Ukraine, in addition to a wider series of commitments made with partners.

31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the claims by the government of Russia that their forces are repositioning in the north of Ukraine but reinforcing their strength in the Donbass region, what extra military resources and materials they intend to provide to the Ukrainian Defence Forces (1) to help cut off the Russians in the north as they retreat or reposition, and (2) to strengthen Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region to prevent Russian encirclement.

The Defence Secretary hosted the second International Defence Donor Conference for Ukraine on 31 March, leading the efforts of allies and partners to bolster the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The conference brought together 35 international partners to discuss the latest situation in Ukraine and address the country's most pressing requirements for lethal and non-lethal military aid.

The UK, alongside the international community, has committed to widening its package of defensive military support for Ukraine and exploring new ways of sustaining the Armed Forces of Ukraine over the longer term.

10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to supply the Ukrainian Defence Forces with missiles capable of destroying Russian landing ships in the Black Sea off Odessa.

The UK is working closely with Allies to continue to provide more lethal and non-lethal defensive equipment to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Defence has not received a request from Ukraine for missiles capable of destroying Russian landing ships. All requests are carefully considered and based on Ukraine's needs.

16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Ministry of Defence, in any of its official (1) paperwork, (2) guidance, (3) instructions, (4) manuals, or (5) other documents, (a) has replaced, or (b) intends to replace, the word “mother” with the phrase “parent who has given birth”.

The Ministry of Defence has not mandated the use of such language and there are no current plans to replace the word 'mother' with the phrase 'parent who has given birth' in Departmental paperwork, guidance, instructions, manuals or other documents.

5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the number of housing developments for which developers have not progressed a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls, where this is required.

The Building Safety Act protects qualifying leaseholders from the costs of professional services relating to relevant defects. This would include any Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW) undertaken in relation to a relevant defect, including to ascertain whether such a defect exists. Where a building is enrolled in the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) or the Building Safety Fund (BSF), funding for an FRAEW can be provided.

Developers who sign the developer remediation contract are obliged to obtain an assessment of life-critical fire safety defects caused by the original design, construction or refurbishment of the building. Those developers must also use all reasonable endeavours to enter into a works contract with the building owner/responsible entity and agree the plan for remediation. Published data from November 2023 shows that developers have yet to obtain a Works Assessment for 1,277 (28%) of the 4,540 buildings for which they have accepted responsibility under the developer remediation contract (for reporting purposes, ‘Works Assessments’ include but are not limited to Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls and may include other assessments e.g., Fire Risk Assessment). The Department is closely monitoring progress and holding regular discussions with developers to enforce compliance with their contractual obligations. All developers who fail to comply with their obligations face significant consequences, and members of the statutory Responsible Actors Scheme that the Government launched in July 2023 would face planning and building control prohibitions.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to prevent a landlord charging leaseholders for undertaking a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls without the participation of the developer, where the developer has refused to co-operate.

The Building Safety Act protects qualifying leaseholders from the costs of professional services relating to relevant defects. This would include any Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW) undertaken in relation to a relevant defect, including to ascertain whether such a defect exists. Where a building is enrolled in the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) or the Building Safety Fund (BSF), funding for an FRAEW can be provided.

Developers who sign the developer remediation contract are obliged to obtain an assessment of life-critical fire safety defects caused by the original design, construction or refurbishment of the building. Those developers must also use all reasonable endeavours to enter into a works contract with the building owner/responsible entity and agree the plan for remediation. Published data from November 2023 shows that developers have yet to obtain a Works Assessment for 1,277 (28%) of the 4,540 buildings for which they have accepted responsibility under the developer remediation contract (for reporting purposes, ‘Works Assessments’ include but are not limited to Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls and may include other assessments e.g., Fire Risk Assessment). The Department is closely monitoring progress and holding regular discussions with developers to enforce compliance with their contractual obligations. All developers who fail to comply with their obligations face significant consequences, and members of the statutory Responsible Actors Scheme that the Government launched in July 2023 would face planning and building control prohibitions.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to require developers to undertake a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls in circumstances where the developers have failed to engage with the landlords.

The Building Safety Act protects qualifying leaseholders from the costs of professional services relating to relevant defects. This would include any Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW) undertaken in relation to a relevant defect, including to ascertain whether such a defect exists. Where a building is enrolled in the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) or the Building Safety Fund (BSF), funding for an FRAEW can be provided.

Developers who sign the developer remediation contract are obliged to obtain an assessment of life-critical fire safety defects caused by the original design, construction or refurbishment of the building. Those developers must also use all reasonable endeavours to enter into a works contract with the building owner/responsible entity and agree the plan for remediation. Published data from November 2023 shows that developers have yet to obtain a Works Assessment for 1,277 (28%) of the 4,540 buildings for which they have accepted responsibility under the developer remediation contract (for reporting purposes, ‘Works Assessments’ include but are not limited to Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls and may include other assessments e.g., Fire Risk Assessment). The Department is closely monitoring progress and holding regular discussions with developers to enforce compliance with their contractual obligations. All developers who fail to comply with their obligations face significant consequences, and members of the statutory Responsible Actors Scheme that the Government launched in July 2023 would face planning and building control prohibitions.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the letter from the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to Lord Blencathra on 2 September, whether the deadline of 30 September for signature of contracts by the Participant Developers was met; and if not, (1) when they expect the contracts to be signed by all Participant Developers, and (2) what sanctions they will apply to those that fail to comply.

As of 25 October 2022, 49 of the largest developers have signed a pledge to take responsibility for all necessary work to address life-critical, fire-safety defects on buildings 11 metres and over that they had a role in developing or refurbishing. We have published the names of the developers who have signed the pledge on (attached) gov.uk.

The Government published a draft of the developer remediation contract on 13 July 2022 and has since received comments and held discussions on the draft with various parties. We are in advanced negotiations with developers and other stakeholders to finalise the contract, which will turn the commitments made in the pledge into a legally binding agreement. We are also in ongoing discussions with several developers who have not yet signed the pledge and will invite them to sign the finalised self-remediation contract. We will publish the final form of the contract as soon as possible, at which point developers will be asked to sign the contract. We also intend to publish the names of the developers who sign the contract.

We have made clear that developers who fail to do the right thing face significant commercial consequences. In August, we made commencement regulations that are an important step towards giving Ministers powers to stop developers who fail to do the right thing from commencing developments for which they have planning permission and from being granted building control sign-off.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the letter from the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to Lord Blencathra on 2 September, whether they will now publish the final version of the Draft Contract and highlight any changes from the original version issued for consultation.

As of 25 October 2022, 49 of the largest developers have signed a pledge to take responsibility for all necessary work to address life-critical, fire-safety defects on buildings 11 metres and over that they had a role in developing or refurbishing. We have published the names of the developers who have signed the pledge on (attached) gov.uk.

The Government published a draft of the developer remediation contract on 13 July 2022 and has since received comments and held discussions on the draft with various parties. We are in advanced negotiations with developers and other stakeholders to finalise the contract, which will turn the commitments made in the pledge into a legally binding agreement. We are also in ongoing discussions with several developers who have not yet signed the pledge and will invite them to sign the finalised self-remediation contract. We will publish the final form of the contract as soon as possible, at which point developers will be asked to sign the contract. We also intend to publish the names of the developers who sign the contract.

We have made clear that developers who fail to do the right thing face significant commercial consequences. In August, we made commencement regulations that are an important step towards giving Ministers powers to stop developers who fail to do the right thing from commencing developments for which they have planning permission and from being granted building control sign-off.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the comments by the Minister for Disabled People on 18 May concerning the Government’s objectives “to see past a disability to a person’s potential” and “to focus on what a person can do rather than what they can’t”, whether they plan to require occupiers of all buildings which are open to the public to provide ramps to provide access for wheelchair users, including, but not limited to, (1) shops, and (2) pubs.

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. For existing premises, everyone can expect goods and service providers, i.e. occupiers, to anticipate making reasonable adjustments and everyone has the option of support when making a claim if they face a physical barrier


Building Regulations require reasonable provision is made for access in all new buildings. Provisions for wheelchair users to access new public buildings, including shops and pubs, are described in the Building Regulations’ statutory guidance, Approved Document M, Volume 2 which is available (attached) at the following: Approved Document M: access to and use of buildings, volume 2: buildings other than dwellings

17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the reported findings of the study commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, due to be published later this year, what steps they are taking to prevent male offenders from seeking moves to the female prison estate due to faking their claims to be female.

The Ministry of Justice and His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service take the allocation of transgender women in custody very seriously. The study in question concerns the lived experience of transgender women in two men's prisons. None of the participants stated that their motivation was to access the women’s estate, and the preliminary findings of the research did not suggest that any of the participants were motivated by this.

Most transgender women in custody do not request a move to the women’s estate, and of those that do, most are not granted a move. As a result, well over 90% of transgender women in custody are held in the men’s estate.

In February of this year, we strengthened our policy so no transgender woman who has been convicted of a sexual or violent offence, and/or who retains birth genitalia, can be held in the general women’s estate. Exemptions to this rule can only be considered for the most truly exceptional of cases, and each case must be risk assessed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts and signed off by a minister before the individual can be held in the women’s estate.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reported findings of the study commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, due to be published later this year, that male sexual offenders were twice as likely to claim to be transgender in order to access women’s prison units compared with men jailed for other types of offences.

The Ministry of Justice and His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service take the allocation of transgender women in custody very seriously. The study in question concerns the lived experience of transgender women in two men's prisons. None of the participants stated that their motivation was to access the women’s estate, and the preliminary findings of the research did not suggest that any of the participants were motivated by this.

Most transgender women in custody do not request a move to the women’s estate, and of those that do, most are not granted a move. As a result, well over 90% of transgender women in custody are held in the men’s estate.

In February of this year, we strengthened our policy so no transgender woman who has been convicted of a sexual or violent offence, and/or who retains birth genitalia, can be held in the general women’s estate. Exemptions to this rule can only be considered for the most truly exceptional of cases, and each case must be risk assessed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts and signed off by a minister before the individual can be held in the women’s estate.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 the Ministry of Justice routinely (1) collects, and (2) publishes data on, in respect of prisoners.

The nine protected characteristics are as follows:

  • Age
  • Gender reassignment
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The data for age; gender reassignment; being pregnant or on maternity leave; race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation is collected and published regularly.

The data for disability and being married or in a civil partnership is collected but not published.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the courts service record the gender of a person convicted of a sexual assault as “male” if they possess male genitalia, regardless of their preferred gender identity.

Courts are required by the Courts Act 2003 and Criminal Procedure Rules to ask defendants to provide name, date of birth and nationality (the latter now only after sentence and in circumstances specified by the relevant rule). If and once an individual is remanded or sentenced into prison custody, HM Prison Service records their legal gender. Where the individual’s self-identified gender differs, this is also recorded, whilst making clear on the record that this is not their legally recognised gender.

There are currently no plans to alter these procedures.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many women in prison were sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 in each of the last five years.

Under sections 47/49 and 48/49 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Secretary of State may authorise by warrant the transfer of female prisoners to a secure hospital, where he is satisfied that the criteria for detention are met.

The number of women prisoners transferred to hospital in each of the last five years are:

2021 – 184

2020 - 181

2019 - 213

2018 - 192

2017 – 180

The data for 2022 are not currently available, they are due for publication later this year.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government which minister, if any, was responsible for approving the guidance entitled Recognising transphobic coded language which the HM Prison and Probation Service diversity and inclusion team was reported to have sent to staff employed by the Ministry of Justice.

The guidebook was not approved by ministers and was published by a staff network, rather than as a corporate HM Prison and Probation Service document.

To prevent this happening again, the Ministry of Justice is reviewing the rules around communications to staff from network groups, to ensure that all information and materials comply with our policies and legal responsibilities.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many male prisoners who are transitioning to female, or who have a gender recognition certificate, are incarcerated in prison units holding female biological sex inmates; and what proportion of those prisoners have retained their full male genitalia.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) record the legal (rather than biological) gender of prisoners. For transgender prisoners with gender recognition certificates (GRCs), this is in line with the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Where required for st