Lord Leong Portrait

Lord Leong

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 31st October 2022

Opposition Whip (Lords)

(since February 2023)

Shadow Spokesperson (Business and Trade)

(since February 2023)

2 APPG memberships (as of 13 May 2024)
Commonwealth, North Korea
3 Former APPG memberships
India (Trade and Investment), Publishing, Singapore
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
31st Jan 2023 - 12th Jul 2023
Industry and Regulators Committee
31st Jan 2023 - 12th Jun 2023


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Leong has voted in 199 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Leong 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 Offord of Garvel (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
(29 debate interactions)
Lord Johnson of Lainston (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
(25 debate interactions)
Earl of Minto (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Business and Trade
(60 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Leong's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Leong has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to tackle fraud in public sector contracts; and what estimate they have made of how much money was lost to fraud in each of the last three years.

The Public Sector Fraud Authority (PSFA), established in August 2022, works with government departments to help public bodies understand and reduce the impact of fraud and error against the public sector. The support provided includes monitoring compliance against the Government Counter Fraud Functional Standards GovS013. These standards are referenced within the Government Commercial Functional Standards GovS008 to signpost counter fraud best practices to commercial colleagues across government. The Procurement Bill will strengthen the counter fraud response in procurement and contracts by extending the grounds for exclusion and establishing a debarment list.

In 2021/2022 government departments detected c£224m in fraud related to public procurement and contracts (outside of tax and welfare). This figure is an increase on previous years (£169m in 2019/20 and £125m in 2020/21).

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many external management consultants have been contracted by departments since 2019; and how many senior civil servants have taken early retirement since 2019.

Information on how many external management consultants have been contracted by departments since 2019 is not held centrally.

The pension scheme administrator (MyCSP) is unable to provide the requested information as there are no markers or indicators on member records which signifies that a member is classed as a ‘Senior Civil Servant’.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support small and medium-sized enterprises bidding for public contracts.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the UK economy. That is why we are making sure the power of Government spending supports this vital sector.

We are increasing opportunities for SMEs in a variety of ways - from transparently publishing contract pipelines to simplifying bidding processes and strengthening prompt payment measures.

We are also introducing a duty for contracting authorities to have regard to reducing and removing barriers to SME participation in procurement, and removing unnecessary obstacles relating to audited accounts and insurance in the conditions of participation.

The new procurement regime we are putting in place will create a simpler and significantly more transparent system that will further open up public procurement to SMEs so that they can compete for and win more public contracts.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many honours nominations were received for candidates of East and Southeast Asian origin in each of the last three years; and how many of those nominees received an honour.

Honours recipients are asked to anonymously complete a diversity monitoring form when they are offered their honour. The information collected is only used for statistical purposes to improve the diversity of the honours system.

As per the data collected, the below table outlines the number of nominees who received an honour in the last three years who declared themselves as Asian. There is a further breakdown of the numbers of nominees who declared their ethnic group listed on the diversity monitoring form (using the agreed list of ethnic groups from the 2021 census).

The Cabinet Office is unable to provide the data for all honours nominations received from nominees of East and Southeast Asian origin as honours are submitted to respective departments who carry out initial sifting ahead of submitting to the Cabinet Office. Therefore we do not hold the data for all nominations received.

2020 NY2020/BD2020

2021 NY2021/BD2021

2022 NY2022/BD2022

Total Asian

167

162

175

Indian

77

81

93

Pakistani

34

32

43

Bangladeshi

16

18

17

Chinese

9

3

4

Other

31

28

18

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made to determine whether the app TikTok is being used on any government-issued mobile devices; and whether they consider the presence of the app on government phones to be a threat to national security.

The Cabinet Office maintains a constant dialogue with departments on their security and data concerns. Departments are required to manage all applications and services on their networks, taking into account security and data protection risks.

Specific information on the use of any individual application is not routinely held centrally.

With regards to the threat to national security His Majesty’s Government does not comment on these matters.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their commitment to pay (1) 90 per cent of undisputed and valid invoices from SMEs within five days, and (2) 100 per cent of all undisputed and valid invoices within 30 days, as part of their Prompt Payment Policy.

(1) In terms of the 90% of undisputed and valid invoices from SMEs within 5 days target: at the end of the previous financial year, 13 of 16 departments were exceeding 85% payment of all invoices within 5 days, with 7 departments paying over 90% of all invoices within this time period.

(2) In terms of the 100% of valid and undisputed invoices being paid in 30 days target: as of the same date, 14 of 16 departments were paying in excess of 95% of their invoices within 30 days, with 6 of these exceeding 99%. This information is published quarterly on GOV.UK.

Cabinet Office works with departments to improve payment performance. In addition, the Procurement Bill will ensure that 30 day payment terms are included in government supply chain contracts.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government why they have included international students in their net migration figures.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 29 November is attached.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Lord Leong CBE

House of Lords

London

SW1A0PW

08 December 2022

Dear Lord Leong,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking why international students have been included in our net migration figures (HL3844).

Statistics on long-term international migration produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are estimated in accordance with international standards. The United Nations definition of a long-term migrant is: “A person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least a year (12 months), so that the country of destination effectively becomes his or her new country of usual residence[1] .” International students will typically live in the UK for more than a year, and so meet the definition of a long-term migrant.

However, we recognise this definition is narrow and doesn’t always meet user needs. We have plans to explore alternative definitions, including estimating net migration by reason, such as study[2] . This will help provide more context to headline measures of migration, addressing recent findings from the ONS research that most international students will leave the UK after their studies are concluded.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/ methodologies/longterminternationalmigrationestimatesmethodology#:~:text=Definition%20of%20a%20l ongterm%20migrant&text=%E2%80%9CA%20person%20who%20moves%20to,new%20country%20of%20 usual%20residence.%E2%80%9D

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/ articles/internationalmigrationstatisticaldesignprogressreport/july2022#how-we-are-transformingmigration-statistics

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility on 15 March that UK exports are due to fall by 6.6 per cent this year.

We consider the OBRs forecasts in the context of our commitment to drive forward export growth and achieve our ambition to reach £1 trillion exports by 2030.

UK exports increased by 16% in current prices to £849bn in the 12 months to July 2023, compared to the previous 12 months.

This growth won't stop there, as my Department continues to support companies to export through our Export Support Service, International Trade Advisers and the Export Academy. Through Government and Business working together, we can continue to grow and achieve our ambitions.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to protect UK businesses from potentially being locked out of new markets created by the Inflation Reduction Act in the absence of a free trade agreement with the United States of America.

We have been working with the U.S. on the Inflation Reduction Act including through negotiations on a Critical Minerals Agreement.

UK firms are already part of U.S. supply chains, and we are a net exporter of raw materials for batteries to the U.S. This agreement will support UK based firms to continue to supply the large U.S. market for these materials.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the cost of merging the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the Department for International Trade; and whether the budget for the new Department of Business and Trade has been settled.

The creation of the Department for Business and Trade from the Business groups of the former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for International Trade is being implemented through Machinery of Government changes. High-level indicative budgets for the Department for Business and Trade can be found in the published Spring Budget and officials continue to work closely with HM Treasury to finalise these as soon as possible.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that business shareholder and pension investments are made in ways that support the environment; and what plans they have to amend section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 to set requirements in this regard.

In October 2021, the Government published the Greening Finance Roadmap, which set out its intention to deliver new Sustainability Disclosures Requirements for companies, pension schemes and the financial services industry. These requirements will ensure that investment decisions take better account of sustainability matters. Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 already requires directors to have regard to the environment (among other matters), and directors of large companies must make an annual statement on how they are meeting their Section 172 duty.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
16th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have participated in the 'Help to Grow' scheme since its launch; and how much has been spent on that scheme.

The Help to Grow schemes have supported over 5,000 businesses so far. We will release details on the uptake and costs of both the Help to Grow schemes in due course after Help to Grow Digital has fully closed.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Chinese funding to universities in England and its implications for academic freedoms.

We are recognised across the world for the quality and openness of our higher education (HE) system, and we encourage the sector to collaborate with international partners. To be open, we must also be secure. Universities must be security-minded in their approach and safeguard our values.

The government’s International Education Strategy and its recent update make clear that the internationalisation of the HE sector cannot come at any cost. Universities must ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding, whether that is from a single organisation, or a single nation.

That is why the department has introduced measures like the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, which will address concerns about the possible influence of overseas funding in England, to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions. This is in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE.

The Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator, monitors the risk of over-reliance on overseas income at a sector level. The role of the OfS is not to direct how HE providers manage themselves or to limit their recruitment from a particular country of origin, but to ensure they understand where there is greater reliance and how any risks are being managed, and to take action to protect students from the consequences of unmanaged financial risk, if necessary.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of the withdrawal of Chinese money from universities in England and the impact it would have on academia.

We are recognised across the world for the quality and openness of our higher education (HE) system, and we encourage the sector to collaborate with international partners. To be open, we must also be secure. Universities must be security-minded in their approach and safeguard our values.

The government’s International Education Strategy and its recent update make clear that the internationalisation of the HE sector cannot come at any cost. Universities must ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding, whether that is from a single organisation, or a single nation.

That is why the department has introduced measures like the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, which will address concerns about the possible influence of overseas funding in England, to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions. This is in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE.

The Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator, monitors the risk of over-reliance on overseas income at a sector level. The role of the OfS is not to direct how HE providers manage themselves or to limit their recruitment from a particular country of origin, but to ensure they understand where there is greater reliance and how any risks are being managed, and to take action to protect students from the consequences of unmanaged financial risk, if necessary.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the funding being received by British universities from Chinese companies, including Huawei.

The government is committed to supporting academia to engage with international partners in a way that reflects the UK’s values and takes account of national security concerns and wider risks.

We have strengthened sector support considerably in recent years, launching the National Protective Security Authority’s ‘Trusted Research’ campaign, and supporting Universities UK to develop guidelines on tackling security risks. The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology also provides the Research Collaboration Advice Team, which gives tailored advice to research institutions to help them manage the risks in international collaboration.

The Department continues to talk to universities to ensure advice and measures on tackling security risks when engaging internationally remain relevant and proportionate. This helps to promote safe, sustainable, and legally compliant international collaboration.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023 will give the Office for Students powers to monitor the overseas funding of registered higher education (HE) providers in England, their constituent institutions, members, and staff in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to remove all government funding from Confucius Institutes in the UK; and what estimate they have made of the number of such institutes that will be receiving government funding by the beginning of September 2023.

The department is taking action to review funding arrangements, but does not currently directly or indirectly fund Confucius Institutes, nor is the department planning to enter financial arrangements in the future with any Confucius Institute.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of Confucius Institutes in the UK that received government funding in the period between the beginning of January and the end of March.

The department does not currently directly or indirectly fund Confucius Institutes, nor are we planning to enter financial arrangements in the future with any Confucius Institute.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on Oak National Academy; and whether any assessments have been made of the value for money delivered to taxpayers.

The Government has allocated up to £43 million for the Oak National Academy over the 2022/23 to 2024/25 financial years. This figure relates specifically to direct funding to Oak as an Arm’s Length Body. This figure does not include grant funding in previous years to the Reach Foundation, which incubated Oak. A significant proportion of Oak’s funding will go to schools, publishers and other organisations for the creation of resources.

Value for money was an important factor in the appraisal of options in the creation of Oak as an Arm’s Length Body, and in the design of Oak’s lean operating model, as set out in the published full business case, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

Oak will provide value for money, benefitting schools and pupils by tackling teacher workload, improving curriculum expertise and increasing standards of education.

The Department knows that teachers in the UK benefit from a diverse commercial market of educational resources. Oak aims to complement and stimulate this market, not to displace it. In a recent survey, none of Oak’s surveyed users said they were using Oak resources exclusively. Oak will provide teachers with access to high quality, evidence based resources that are free, optional and adaptable. This will give teachers more choice in deciding what’s right for their pupils, thereby stimulating teacher demand for high quality digital resources.

There is no plan for Oak to be sold or broken up.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their policy in relation to competing with the educational publishing sector in the provision of curriculum content; and whether they plan for the Oak National Academy to be sold or broken up in the near future.

The Government has allocated up to £43 million for the Oak National Academy over the 2022/23 to 2024/25 financial years. This figure relates specifically to direct funding to Oak as an Arm’s Length Body. This figure does not include grant funding in previous years to the Reach Foundation, which incubated Oak. A significant proportion of Oak’s funding will go to schools, publishers and other organisations for the creation of resources.

Value for money was an important factor in the appraisal of options in the creation of Oak as an Arm’s Length Body, and in the design of Oak’s lean operating model, as set out in the published full business case, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

Oak will provide value for money, benefitting schools and pupils by tackling teacher workload, improving curriculum expertise and increasing standards of education.

The Department knows that teachers in the UK benefit from a diverse commercial market of educational resources. Oak aims to complement and stimulate this market, not to displace it. In a recent survey, none of Oak’s surveyed users said they were using Oak resources exclusively. Oak will provide teachers with access to high quality, evidence based resources that are free, optional and adaptable. This will give teachers more choice in deciding what’s right for their pupils, thereby stimulating teacher demand for high quality digital resources.

There is no plan for Oak to be sold or broken up.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the potential influence of Confucius Institutes on UK universities since their pledge in November 2022 to disband those operating in the UK.

The government continuously assesses threats posed to the UK. As a matter of longstanding policy, the department is unable to release information regarding threat assessments on the grounds of national security.

The government is clear that any challenges to our core values, whatever their origin, will not be tolerated. The department has introduced a series of measures which will continue to tackle threats to higher education, including through the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill and National Security Bill, currently in Parliament.

The department’s Integrated Review Refresh is launching a new and comprehensive review of legislative and other provisions, designed to protect our academic sector and to identify what more we could or should be doing.

With regards to Confucius Institutes, like all similar bodies they should operate transparently, and with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and the right due diligence is in place. The government encourages any providers with concerns to contact the government.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the reliance by UK universities on tuition fees from students from China.

The department is proud that the UK is a world leading destination for international students.

As set out in the Government’s International Education Strategy, higher education (HE) providers must ensure they are not overly reliant on a single source of funding, whether this is from an organisation or nation, and that they must look to diversify their intake of international students to prevent over-reliance.

The most recent data published by the Higher Education Statistics Authority for the 2021/22 academic year, shows the proportion of Chinese students has fallen, whilst there has been an increase in a wide range of other international student markets, including a 50% increase in students from India, a 107% increase in students from Nigeria and a 78% increase in students from Pakistan, demonstrating the HE sector’s positive approach to diversifying their international student intake.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they are offering to people from Hong Kong who have come to the UK under the British National Overseas (BNO) visa to help them take up teaching positions.

From 1 February 2023, teachers who are already qualified and recognised as teachers in Hong Kong are able to apply to have their qualification recognised with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England, without additional training. This means that they can apply for teaching roles that require QTS.

For those looking to train to teach in physics and languages, bursaries worth up to £27,000 and scholarships worth up to £29,000 are available, including to those with a British National (Overseas) visa.

For those who are considering coming to England, we have introduced an international relocation payment worth up to £10,000 to help overseas physics and language teachers and trainees, including those from Hong Kong, to relocate.

Schools looking to complete safeguarding checks in order to employ teachers from Hong Kong can currently provide assistance to these individuals with a letter which can be used to apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction from the Hong Kong authorities. Our statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, also sets out alternative safeguarding processes that schools can follow. This can be found attached.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress has been made to close Chinese Confucius Institutes in the UK, if any; and what estimate they have made of how much of the spending on Mandarin teaching at schools has been channelled through Confucius Institutes.

The government is committed to ensuring the UK education sector engages with China in a way that reflects the UK's national security and values and takes account of concerns.

Like all similar bodies, Confucius Institutes should operate transparently and with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. As with any international collaboration, education providers have a responsibility to ensure their partnerships with countries overseas are managed appropriately, ensuring the right due diligence is in place. This includes partnerships with Confucius Institutes. The department would encourage any providers with concerns to contact the government.

The government’s flagship Mandarin Excellence Programme for teaching Mandarin in state-funded schools in England is delivered by the University College London Institute of Education. Since 2016, when the programme first launched, approximately £20.4 million, excluding VAT, has been spent on the Mandarin Excellence Programme. Over 75% of this funding has gone directly to schools participating in the programme. The department does not currently monitor the level of funding spent on Mandarin teaching in schools through Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms.

The government continues to keep these arrangements under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely impact on (1) the UK economy, and (2) the financial viability of Britain’s higher education sector, of overseas students being deterred from coming to the UK for their (a) graduate, and (b) post-graduate, studies.

International students make an estimated contribution to the UK economy of at least £25.9 billion per year, with every part of the UK being financially better off because of international students. International students also make a significant economic and cultural contribution to the UK’s higher education (HE) sector, which is important for our universities and delivers growth at home.

The department continues to work to ensure that the UK remains an attractive destination to international students. The government looks forward to continuing to welcome international students to our world class HE institutions. We remain committed to the targets set out in the International Education Strategy to continue to host at least 600,000 international students in the UK per year, by 2030. With 605,130 international students in the UK hosted in the 2020/21 academic year, the government has met its International Students ambition for the first time, nearly ten years early.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely impact of overseas students being prevented from entering the UK for their (1) graduate, and (2) post-graduate, studies on UK universities’ reputation internationally.

The UK’s HE sector has a strong reputation globally. The department is committed to maintaining the UK as an attractive study destination for international students. As set out in the International Education Strategy, we are working closely with the higher education (HE) sector and other government departments to ensure international students are welcomed and supported.

The department works with colleagues across government to ensure up-to-date immigration advice is available to students to help with their student visa journey.

The department has met the International Education Strategy’s ambition to host at least 600,000 international students per year in the UK, nearly ten years early, with a total of 605,130 international students in the UK in the in the 2020/21 academic year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that protections are in place for (1) farmers, and (2) other agriculture producers, as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) negotiations.

The Government has negotiated a balanced agreement that maintains our high standards, secures access to new and growing markets and includes strong protections for the UK’s farmers and other agricultural producers, particularly in regard to our sensitive sectors. For example, increased access to the UK market for sensitive agricultural produce will be staged over a significant period of time – in most cases over 10 years – allowing our producers to adjust to any new trade flows from CPTPP members. We have also secured permanent annual limits on the amount of beef, pork, chicken, milled rice, and sugar that can be imported tariff-free from the biggest CPTPP producers, offering further protection to UK producers in these sensitive sectors.

Additionally, in line with our commitments following the signing of bilateral free trade agreements with both Australia and New Zealand, we have not provided those countries with any further market access on sensitive agricultural products as part of our CPTPP accession. Finally, a general transitional safeguard mechanism on eligible products will provide a temporary safety net for industry if they face serious injury, or threat of serious injury, from increased imports from any CPTPP member as a result of the agreement. The Government is clear that this represents a strong package of protections for our farmers and agricultural producers.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) rate, and (2) value, of losses since the launch of the Kickstart Scheme in 2020.

The Kickstart Scheme has not declared any losses.


The National Audit Office (NAO) report on the Kickstart Scheme was published in November 2021. This report contains details on spend as of the end of September 2021. You can access the NAO report here.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what research they have commissioned into Lyme disease; and what investment they have made to support finding a cure for that disease.

Two studies on Lyme disease are being undertaken in association with National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Health Protection Research Unit. One is focussing on studying the evolution of disease in patients, and the second is examining the evidence of exposure to the Lyme disease bacteria in the English population by region, using blood samples from the NHS Blood Transfusion & Transplant Service.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics and patients typically recover quickly and fully. Guidance accords with best practice used in the US and across Europe and is based upon the available evidence. A number of private clinics offer expensive and complex treatment regimens, caution should be exercised when accessing these services as treatments may not be supported by scientific evidence.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there is any public awareness campaign about Lyme disease.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) share Lyme disease messaging through theirour social, media and stakeholder channels at a national and regional level, most recently publishing the Tick awareness leaflet in March 2023.

The ‘Tick awareness’ leaflet informs the public about the risks associated with ticks including Lyme Disease and tick-bite prevention behaviours. A copy is attached.

UKHSA, along with local authority partners, have also developed a Tick awareness toolkit which includes resources and materials that can be used by local authorities and other organisations to deliver tick awareness campaigns. A copy is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, (1) of the study and treatment of Lyme disease, and (2) of the delay of any tests, treatment, and misdiagnoses of Lyme disease in the UK.

The Department commissioned four reviews on Lyme disease published by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information group in December 2017. This was followed by definitive advice on treatment, testing and diagnosis of Lyme disease developed by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in April 2018. Most cases are diagnosed on clinical signs by general practitioners, but laboratory testing is widely available through the National Health Service for more complicated cases. NHS testing follows the international best practice on Lyme disease tests and accords with European and US best practice. Some private clinics and laboratories offer their own tests which are not recognised by national health authorities, and for which little literature exists to support their veracity.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Sino-British relations following the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June, and the recent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong.

As we note in our latest Six-Monthly Report, freedom of speech and assembly continue to be curtailed in Hong Kong as was witnessed on 4 June. The right to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly were both promised to Hong Kongers under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and enshrined in the Basic Law. Marking the anniversary of the massacre, the Foreign Secretary said "we will never forget those who stood up for democracy and will always stand by those who defend human rights in China". The Foreign Secretary made plain our views on Hong Kong with Chinese Vice-President Han Zheng on 5 May and at the UN Human Rights Council on 27 February.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much of UK’s aid budget has been spent in China in the last three fiscal years; and how aid allocated to China in the last three fiscal years has been spent.

HMG Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) is reported by calendar year. Spend in China was £51.7 million in 2021, £64.1 million in 2020, and £68.3 million in 2019, supporting UK policy objectives including on human rights, health and climate. Full details are available on the gov.uk page for Statistics on International Development in 'Data Underlying the SID.' FCDO cut aid programming in China by 95 per cent in Financial Year 21/22 and focused on open societies and human rights. Additional ODA that year met contractual exit costs of former programmes. Total ODA spend in China also includes non-programme activity, such as the ODA-eligible portion of the costs of UK diplomatic staff in China, Chinese Chevening scholars and the British Council's ODA-eligible activity.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many UK citizens are working as judges in Hong Kong.

The Government does not hold data on the number of UK citizens working as judges in Hong Kong.

The decision to withdraw serving UK judges from Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal (CFA) was made by the President of the UK Supreme Court in March 2022.

We are aware that 6 retired UK judges remain as non-permanent judges on the CFA. As private citizens, it is for the individual legal practitioners to decide on their service overseas; the UK judiciary and legal profession are independent from the Government.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China regarding allowing British lawyers to represent British citizens in Hong Kong courts.

Foreign Lawyers are permitted to practice in Hong Kong, provided they complete the relevant registration and entrance requirements. We are watching closely how the Chief Executive and Hong Kong authorities act to implement the 30 December interpretation of the National Security Law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether HM Treasury has fully implemented the Mutual Recognition of Funds (MRF) between the UK and Hong Kong.

The Mutual Recognition of Funds arrangement between the UK and Hong Kong is the responsibility of financial regulators in each jurisdiction. The Government is therefore not involved in its implementation.

Specifically in 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Recognition of Funds (MoU), which allows eligible Hong Kong public funds and United Kingdom retail funds to be distributed in each other’s market through a streamlined process.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of unpaid tax for the last three fiscal years; and what plans they have to recover that money.

The details requested by the Noble Lord are published annually in the HMRC Annual Reports and Accounts, copies of which are in the library and also online at GOV.UK. HMRC also publishes quarterly performance data which includes the debt balance at the end of each quarter.

Where customers don’t engage, refuse to pay, or where businesses have little chance of recovery, we have a responsibility to take prompt enforcement action to collect the tax due. It is in no one’s interests to allow unsustainable debt to build up unchecked.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address Chinese interference in wider UK affairs following violence that occurred at protests outside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester in October 2022.

We continually assess potential threats in the UK, and take protection of individuals’ rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously. Any attempts by foreign Governments to coerce, intimidate, harass, or harm their critics overseas, undermining democracy and the rule of law, are unacceptable.

As the Security Minister stated to the House on 1 November, the Home Office works closely with departments across Whitehall and with devolved administrations to ensure that our national security is protected and that, in particular, those who have chosen to settle here are free to engage in our democratic society without fear of the regimes that they have tried to leave behind.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of vandalism and disorder that took place outside the High Commission of India in London on 19 March; and what steps they are taking to ensure the safety and security of diplomatic missions.

The Government takes the protective security of the Indian High Commission extremely seriously. The Government remains committed to protecting the security of missions throughout the UK, including preventing and rapidly and robustly responding to incidents such as this.

The criminal damage and assaults on staff from the India High Commission at the incident on the weekend of the 18th March was unacceptable. The police have powers to deal with such acts. However, the use of these powers is an operational matter for the police, and decisions on possible criminal proceedings will be made in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service.

It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on diplomatic security arrangements. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals and locations concerned.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of a network of “secret Chinese police stations” in the UK used by the government of China to identify political dissidents; and what steps they plan to take, if any, to shut them down.

We continually assess potential threats in the UK, and take protection of individuals’ rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously.

Attempts by foreign Governments to coerce, intimidate, harass or harm their critics overseas, undermining democracy and the rule of law, are unacceptable.

The Security Minister made a statement on the issue of transnational repression to the House on 1 November. As he said to the House, reports of undeclared ‘police stations’ in the UK are of course very concerning and are taken extremely seriously. Any foreign country operating on UK soil must abide by UK law. This Government is committed to tackling this challenge wherever it originates. An internal review into transnational repression is underway and the House will be updated on progress in due course.

More broadly, we are driving forward work to protect the democratic integrity of the UK, including from threats of foreign interference, through the Defending Democracy Taskforce.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the UK's drop to 18th place in the global rankings of Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.

The Government is committed to tackling corruption. Our Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017 - 2022 provides a framework to guide government anti-corruption policies and actions. As we finalise an updated Strategy we are reviewing and consulting on priority areas for UK action.

The Joint Anti-Corruption Unit (JACU), is a cross-Whitehall unit that sits in the Home Office.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of attempts by the government of China to silence dissidents based in the UK.

As a matter of longstanding policy, we do not comment on the detail of security assessments, however, we continually assess potential threats in the UK, and take protection of individuals' rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously.

As you would expect, Home Office officials work closely with the FCDO and DLUHC as well as other government departments in ensuring that the UK is a safe and welcoming place for all who choose to settle here.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many British National (Overseas) visas have been issued since the visa scheme was launched; and how many of those have settled in the UK.

The Home Office releases data on the BN(O) route as part of the quarterly migration statistics. There were a total of 121,193 BN(O) route applications made out of country granted between 31 January 2021 and 30 September 2022, and a total of 23,383 BN(O) route applications made in country granted between 31 January 2021 and 30 September 2022.

14 people on the BN(O) visa route have been granted settlement in the UK up to the end of September 2022

The Home Office publishes data on visas, grants of settlement and the British National Overseas (BN(O)) route in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ on GOV.UK.

Data on the number of entry clearance visa grants to main applicants under the BN(O) route are published in table Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes detailed dataset. Data on the number of grants of settlement are published in table Se_D02 of the settlement detailed dataset

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates up to, and including, September 2022. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

9th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assistance they are providing to those who have fled Hong Kong and are claiming asylum status in the UK; and of those applicants, how many are women.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it.

21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much funding they have allocated for supporting access to English language provision for British National (Overseas) visa holders in (1) 2021/22, and (2) so far in 2022/23; and how much of this was accessed by BNO visa holders in each of those years.

In 2021/22, 941 Hong Kong BN(O)s were supported to access English language provision at a total cost of £811,000. In 2022/23, 4694 Hong Kong BN(O)s were supported at a cost of £3 million.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the barriers faced by people from Hong Kong who have come to the UK under the British National Overseas (BNO) visa taking up employment that requires a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

In April 2021, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launched a new UK-wide Welcome Programme to support BN(O) status holders. In November 2022, DLUHC published a letter to BN(O)s and prospective employers on Certificates of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) from the Hong Kong Police. The letter outlines a revised guidance on how to obtain a CNCC and gives sectoral examples on alternative methods when one cannot be obtained. This letter is available in English and Cantonese and is available on the GOV.UK landing page. We are working closely with FCDO officials to keep the guidance under review to help BN(O)s overcome the barriers they face when seeking employment.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much funding they allocated for destitution support for British National (Overseas) visa holders in (1) 2021/22, and (2) so far in 2022/23; and how much of this was accessed by BNO visa holders in each of those years.

The UK-wide Hong Kong Welcome Programme was launched in April 2021, providing a comprehensive support package with an easily accessible universal offer as its foundation, progressing to targeted support for those most in need.

£30.7 million was provisionally allocated in 2021/22 as funding for local authorities in England that provided British National (Overseas) visa holders with support to improve their English language or because they were destitute or at risk of destitution. The funding is demand-led with claims being made by local authorities on a retrospective basis after the support has been provided. No local authorities submitted claims in 2021/22 for support to BN(O)s who were destitute or at risk of destitution.

Funding for 2022/23 has continued to be available on a demand-led basis for local authorities that provide BN(O) visa holders on the same basis as 2021/22. The amount of funding accessed to date in 2022/23 to support Hong Kong BN(O)s who were destitute or at risk of destitution is so small that disclosing this information could lead to individuals being identified.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) financial, and (2) training, support they are providing to British national (overseas) (BNOs) citizens born after 1997 to help them enter the UK job market.

The British National (overseas) (BNOs) Welcome Programme was launched in April 2021, providing a UK-wide support package that comprises an easily accessible universal offer and targeted support for those most in need. The universal offer is open to all BN(O) visa holders in the UK and includes a network of 12 virtual Welcome Hubs across the UK, funding for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to deliver national and regional projects and a comprehensive Welcome Pack on GOV.UK.

The Programme also funds targeted support, provided by local authorities, on a demand-led basis for individuals requiring additional assistance in English language provision and destitution support. Although, the BN(O) visa has the 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF) condition attached, any BN(O) visa holder who finds themselves destitute or at risk of destitution may apply for their NRPF status to be lifted to allow them to access financial assistance.

The Programme also funds VCSE organisations at a national and regional level to provide employability support for BN(O)s visa holders. VCSE organisations have facilitated seminars, one to one coaching sessions and entrepreneur networking events to boost skills, confidence and provide interview practice to help BN(O) visa holders obtain employment in line with their experience. Furthermore, estimates are that over 60,000 individual instances of support by our funded VCSE organisations have been delivered over the first 5 months. The list of VCSE organisations funded by HMG can be found (attached) here.

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