Lord Pendry Portrait

Lord Pendry

Labour - Former Member for Life peer

Became Member: 4th July 2001


Lord Pendry is not a member of any APPGs
5 Former APPG memberships
Hong Kong, Hospitality, Hospitality and Tourism, Japan, Sport
Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee
12th Jun 2018 - 6th Sep 2018
Refreshment Committee (Lords)
12th Jun 2014 - 31st Aug 2016
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
11th Nov 1978 - 4th May 1979
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
8th Mar 1974 - 18th Jan 1977


Division Voting information

Lord Pendry has voted in 986 divisions, and 34 times against the majority of their Party.

10 Mar 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 134 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 286 Noes - 252
15 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 130 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 274 Noes - 209
28 Sep 2020 - Coronavirus Act 2020: Temporary Provisions - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 6 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 99 Noes - 198
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 122 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
17 Jul 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 54 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 182 Noes - 37
27 Feb 2017 - European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Labour Aye votes vs 53 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 136 Noes - 299
24 Feb 2015 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 98 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 48 Noes - 280
21 Jul 2014 - Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Labour No votes vs 93 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 228 Noes - 159
8 Jul 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Labour Aye votes vs 133 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 119 Noes - 314
4 Jun 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Labour Aye votes vs 156 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 390
10 Jan 2013 - Administration and Works Committee - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Labour Aye votes vs 63 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 82 Noes - 163
7 Jul 2010 - Academies Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour No votes vs 129 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 156 Noes - 245
25 Jan 2010 - Equality Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Labour Aye votes vs 101 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 216 Noes - 178
25 Jan 2010 - Equality Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 99 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 174 Noes - 195
25 Jan 2010 - Equality Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 98 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 177 Noes - 172
11 Nov 2009 - Coroners and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 92 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 179 Noes - 135
9 Nov 2009 - Health Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 105 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 82 Noes - 170
9 Jul 2009 - Coroners and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 19 Labour No votes vs 85 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 133 Noes - 186
17 Jun 2009 - Political Parties and Elections Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 74 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 57 Noes - 129
29 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour Aye votes vs 113 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 39 Noes - 202
29 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour Aye votes vs 79 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 51 Noes - 121
30 Jun 2008 - Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour Aye votes vs 89 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 66 Noes - 146
7 May 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Labour Aye votes vs 108 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 178 Noes - 164
21 Apr 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 46 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 81 Noes - 57
5 Mar 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 87 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 87
4 Feb 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour Aye votes vs 114 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 41 Noes - 197
21 Jan 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour Aye votes vs 103 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 121 Noes - 162
21 Jan 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour Aye votes vs 116 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 138 Noes - 167
21 Jan 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour Aye votes vs 102 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 165
15 Jan 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 133 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 96 Noes - 268
21 Mar 2007 - Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 10 Labour Aye votes vs 105 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 122 Noes - 168
18 Oct 2006 - Police and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Labour Aye votes vs 125 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 87 Noes - 147
4 Jul 2006 - Health Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour Aye votes vs 124 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 198
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pendry voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 51 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Lord Pendry Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(4 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(1 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(4 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Digital Economy Act 2017
(892 words contributed)
Health and Care Act 2022
(636 words contributed)
Assisted Dying Bill [HL] 2021-22
(348 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Pendry's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Pendry has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


284 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
4 Other Department Questions
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the reasons why they have not yet published their white paper on football governance; and when it will be published.

His Majesty’s Government remains committed to reforming football to address the issues identified in the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, and will set out details to do this shortly after recess.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether he will table a motion to propose amendments to the Code of Conduct to allow Members of the House who are found by the Commissioners for Standards to have broken the Code to have a right of verbal appeal against any (1) report, or (2) sanction, against them.

I have consulted the Chair of the Conduct Committee in preparing this answer.

The Guide to the Code of Conduct gives members a full right of appeal against the findings of the Commissioners for Standards. In March 2020 the House agreed that the Conduct Committee should, having considered any written appeal, be authorised to decide whether an in-person hearing is necessary. I have no plans to invite the Conduct Committee to look again at this issue.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether there are sufficient CCTV cameras on the Parliamentary Estate to record all interactions involving Members of the House of Lords which might be considered contrary to the Code of Conduct.

Detailed discussion on the deployment of security cameras on the estate is not appropriate because of the security implications involved in the release of this information. The positioning of CCTV cameras on the estate is based on security requirements.

When deciding on the location of CCTV cameras, privacy and information assurance considerations have to be taken into account and the widespread deployment of CCTV to several parts of the estate would be an unacceptable invasion of privacy and yield only limited, if any, security benefit. Security cameras are of limited use in determining breaches of the code of conduct as they do not record sound.

19th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support and promote the Erasmus+ programme, which aims to boost skills and employability through education, training and sport.

The Erasmus+ programme enables organisations and citizens to achieve their potential through international education, training and sport opportunities.


A body called the National Agency (a consortium of the British Council and Ecorys UK) deliver the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Government supports the National Agency’s delivery, aligns the programme with Government objectives, and represents the UK in European meetings on Erasmus+. The National Agency has a communications team that is dedicated to raising awareness of the Erasmus+ programme. The Government does not duplicate this work.

9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the House of Lords Appointments Commission regarding reports that peers have been appointed after donating money to the Conservative party.

Advice provided by the House of Lords Appointments Commission to the Government is confidential. It would be inappropriate to comment on such reports, or speculate about individual nominations or vetting. Peerages reflect long-standing contributions to civic life and also a willingness to further contribute to public life as a legislator in the Second Chamber. Volunteering and supporting a political party is part of our civic democracy.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what was the purpose of the meeting between the Prime Minister and Sue Gray in May.

The Prime Minister discussed the process and procedure on timings and publication arrangements. The findings and contents of the Second Permanent Secretary’s independent report was a matter for her, as the Prime Minister made clear in his oral statement on 25 May 2022.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 is enforced.

It is against the law to 'sell' honours or peerages - offering cash for awards - under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

Honours are earned, not bought, and the Government does not endorse the use of fee-charging services when submitting nominations. All honours nominations are independently validated and assessed, regardless of the source.

The House of Lords Appointments Commission is an independent non-statutory advisory body with responsibility for vetting nominations for life peers in line with its published criteria.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people who are classified as homeless are able to vote in the elections in England in May; and, in particular, what steps they are taking to ensure that homeless people in temporary accommodation are able to vote.

The registration deadline for the elections on 6 May has now passed (19 April), so if anyone has not already registered, it is now too late to register for those polls. Applications to register to vote can be made by making a declaration of local connection to an address where they would otherwise be living if it were not for their current situation, an address where they have lived in the past, or by providing details of where they spend a substantial part of their time. This also applies to any person who does not have a fixed or permanent address. The electoral registration form for someone with no fixed or permanent address is available from the Electoral Services team at the relevant local authority, or on GOV.UK. Those living in temporary accommodation can register at that address.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of UK citizens who have emigrated to reside in (1) Australia, and (2) New Zealand, in each of the last three years.

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

Dear Lord Pendry,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of UK citizens who have emigrated to reside in (1) Australia, and (2) New Zealand, in each of the last three years (HL7697).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS), giving estimates of the numbers of people emigrating from the UK and detailing the country of next residence[i]. Table 1 shows the number of people the ONS estimates emigrated to Australia and New Zealand in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the most recent years for which data is available. Estimates for 2019 are due to be published in November 2020.

Table 1: UK Citizens emigrating to Australia and New Zealand in thousands

Year

Australia

New Zealand

Persons

Confidence Interval

Persons

Confidence Interval

2018

17.2

5.3

6.1

2.7

2017

19.4

5.0

4.7

1.8

2016

24.9

4.9

3.8

1.5


Source: ONS IPS Table 4.01, Citizenship group by sex, age and country of last or next residence

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[i]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/datasets/ipscitizenshipgroupbysexbyagebycountryoflastornextresidence

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what initiatives they will put in place to support the findings of the "What works?" report by the What Works Network.

This Government established the What Works Network in March 2013 and has since created a number of additional What Works Centres. The latest Centre to be developed is the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, where initial funding of over £3.5 million has been committed beyond the lifetime of this Parliament. In July 2013 the Government appointed Dr David Halpern to be the What Works National Adviser. The What Works National Adviser is supported by the Cabinet Office and is responsible for the development of the What Works Network.

The What Works Centres are giving national and local level decision makers and public service professionals the frameworks and tools to help deliver more cost effective services.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide support to pubs deemed "at risk" by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), given increased energy costs, rising food prices, and consequently suppressed consumer demand.

The Government recognises that pubs and other hospitality businesses are facing cost of living pressures.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme ensures businesses are protected from excessively high energy bills up to the 31 March 2022. Following a review of this scheme, a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS), will provide all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users with a discount on high energy bills from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2024.

Additionally, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a range of support measures regarding business rates worth £13.6 billion over the next 5 years.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to communicate factual information to the public on how to save money on their energy bills.

The Government Help for Household campaign aims to increase the public’s awareness of support available to help with energy bills.

The campaign website explains the government support available, including the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Support Scheme. It also provides homeowners with energy efficiency recommendations that could help save them hundreds of pounds a year.

The Government continues to look at how Help for Households can signpost the public to information on how to cut their energy bills further. The Government is working with energy suppliers to ensure that they explain the support available on energy bills to their customers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that consumers are afforded the same protections when they are shopping on an online marketplace as they are when shopping on the high street.

There is already robust legislation in place that protects consumers purchasing goods and services online. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 set out these rights.

As announced in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May, the Government will publish draft legislation to promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households and businesses as part of a Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the consultation on their new UK Product Safety Framework, which ran from 11 March 2021 to 17 June 2021; and what plans they have to introduce new legislation that ensures that only safe products can be sold on online marketplaces.

Existing laws already require that all consumer products must be safe before they can be placed on the UK market, either online or the high street.

The Government is reviewing the product safety framework and a consultation, including proposals to take further steps to address unsafe products sold online, is being finalised and will be published later this year. We anticipate legislation would be required to implement many of the consultation proposals and will look to introduce any necessary legislation as the Parliamentary timetable allows.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to enforce laws surrounding trade union consultation; and what plans they have to ban the practice of fire-and-rehire.

The Government has been consistent in condemning the inappropriate use of firing and rehiring tactics during negotiations. As the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State wrote in the other place on Tuesday 29 March, the Government will now bring forward statutory code later this year, under section 203 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Under section 204 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, the Secretary of State is required to publish a draft and consider any representations. The Department will engage with trade unions as part of that consultation. The scope of the Code and its remedies will be in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Legislation to lay the code will be introduced when parliamentary time allows and will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that families with members (1) in low-paid jobs, or (2) on zero-hour contracts, can pay their energy bills and do not fall into fuel poverty.

The energy price cap will save 15 million households up to £100 on their energy bills this winter. The Government supports low-income and fuel poor households with their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount and Cold Weather Payments, where eligible.

The Warm Home Discount scheme currently provides over 2 million low-income and vulnerable households with a £140 rebate off their winter energy bill. Warm Home Discount funding for 2021/22 year is worth £354 million.

In addition, the Government has announced an extra £500 million for local authorities through the new Household Support Fund to provide help to millions of the most in need.

The independent regulator, Ofgem has an objective to protect vulnerable consumers. Its Consumer Vulnerability Strategy 2025 includes activities to improve identification of vulnerability and supporting those struggling with their energy bills. Further details of Ofgem’s Consumer Vulnerability Strategy 2025 are available on Ofgem's website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide employers with guidance on how they can support victims of domestic abuse; and whether any such guidance will include recommending access to paid leave.

On 14 January 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published the report from its review into how victims of domestic abuse can be supported in the workplace. This report finds that, with the right support, employers can play a key role in helping to lift the lid on domestic abuse.

Throughout this review, we have heard about the value of employers having a policy on how to support victims in their workforce. We encourage all employers to do this, and wherever possible, offer victims flexibility and leave should they need it to access support.

The report sets out the next steps for government, including establishing a working group to develop practical solutions to build awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and encourage good practice across all employers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of providing support and advice for employers and employees about domestic abuse on the protection of victims of such abuse at work.

On 14 January 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published the report from its review into how victims of domestic abuse can be supported in the workplace. This report finds that, with the right support, employers can play a key role in helping to lift the lid on domestic abuse.

Throughout this review, we have heard about the value of employers having a policy on how to support victims in their workforce. We encourage all employers to do this, and wherever possible, offer victims flexibility and leave should they need it to access support.

The report sets out the next steps for government, including establishing a working group to develop practical solutions to build awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and encourage good practice across all employers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to establish a citizen’s assembly on climate policy.

Achieving our net zero target must be a shared endeavour between governments, businesses and individuals. Looking ahead, it will be crucially important to engage the public on this challenge. The Government has invited the public to shape policies on climate change through mechanisms such as consultations and deliberative workshops, and we regularly survey on public attitudes on climate change. We welcome the Climate Assembly UK final report and will be looking closely at its findings. We will continue to engage the public as we develop our plans for reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made regulations under section 12 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998; and if so, what those regulations provide.

No regulations have been made under section 12 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. We will continue to review how employers are complying with National Minimum Wage legislation to ensure workers are paid what they are legally owed.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to end non-compliance with the national minimum wage and other breaches of employers’ duty of care.

The Government is committed to increasing compliance with National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation and the effective enforcement of it. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) respond to every complaint they receive and conducts risk-based enforcement in sectors or areas where there is perceived to be a higher risk of workers not being paid the legal minimum wage.

In 2015/16 HMRC identified £10.3m or arrears owed to over 58,000 workers, and this year we have increased the NMW enforcement budget to £20m, up from £13m in 2015/16. We have also made penalties tougher, so that non-compliant employers now face a penalty equivalent to 200% of the arrears they owe, up to a maximum penalty of £20,000 per worker.

Employers are named publically under the Government’s NMW naming scheme for non-payment. To date, 687 employers have been named and shamed, owing combined arrears of more than £3.5 million.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many homecare workers and residential care workers are paid less than the minimum wage.

Official estimates of jobs paid below the NMW derive from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Table 1.7 (page 18) of the Low Pay Commission National Minimum Wage Spring 2016 Report (Cm 9207) shows the proportion of jobs held by those aged 21 and over paid below the minimum wage by sector using ASHE –

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-minimum-wage-low-pay-commission-report-2015

ASHE estimates are not a direct measure of non-compliance with the NMW legislation as it includes some jobs paid below the NMW for legitimate reasons (e.g. where employees receive free accommodation) and it may not account for all travel and sleeping time.

Over the period from 1 April 2013 to 31st March 2016, HMRC opened 482 investigations into the social care sector. NMW underpayment has been found in 129 cases closed so far and resulted in the payment of over £702,000 to 3,868 workers. Employers have been charged penalties totalling over £150,500 for failing to comply with the law.

We have increased the budget for HMRC, who enforce the minimum wage on behalf of the Department, to £20 million for 2016/17, up from £13 million last year. This will bolster HMRC’s resources and ensure that they continue to respond to every worker complaint.

Any worker who is concerned that they have not received what they are entitled to should call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100 for confidential advice. HMRC follow up every complaint.

We will also continue to undertake targeted enforcement in this sector to ensure workers are paid what they are legally owed.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many penalties have been issued to ticket sellers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and how many of those penalties were issued to secondary ticket sellers.

The provisions of Part 3, Chapter 5 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) concern the online secondary ticketing market. The duty in section 90 CRA to provide information about tickets applies to persons re-selling tickets and internet-based secondary ticketing facilities.

Trading Standards is the enforcement authority in Great Britain for the purposes of the secondary ticketing provisions in the CRA. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment is the relevant enforcement authority for Northern Ireland. Where an enforcement authority is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has breached a duty or prohibition imposed by Chapter 5, the authority may impose a financial penalty on the person in respect of each breach.

HMG does not hold information on the number of penalties issued under the secondary ticketing provisions of the CRA.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that primary and secondary ticket companies that are based abroad comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 when selling tickets in the UK.

When selling to UK customers, primary and secondary ticketing platforms, whether based in or outside the UK, are required to comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and mandatory UK consumer law protections.

Her Majesty’s Government issued guidance to business when the new ticketing provisions, contained in the CRA, came into force.

Trading Standards Services are responsible for enforcing the secondary ticketing provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other relevant consumer protection legislation. Suspected or actual breaches of such legislation should first be reported via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, following which Citizens Advice may refer cases to Trading Standards Services for appropriate action.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address investigations by Which? and 5 Live that found that secondary ticket sites are carrying ticket listings that are in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Trading Standards Services are responsible for enforcing the secondary ticketing provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other relevant consumer protection legislation. Suspected or actual breaches of such legislation should first be reported via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, following which Citizens Advice may refer cases to Trading Standards Services for appropriate action.

Since the ticketing provisions contained in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on 27 May 2015, an independent Review has been established (as required by the Act) to consider consumer protection measures in relation to online ticket re-sales. The Review is looking at the available evidence and will report by 26 May 2016.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to ensure that online secondary ticket companies are properly monitoring and countering potential ticket touting, in compliance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Her Majesty’s Government issued guidance to business when the new ticketing provisions, contained in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, came into force.

Trading Standards Services are responsible for enforcing the secondary ticketing provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other relevant consumer protection legislation. Suspected or actual breaches of such legislation should first be reported via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, following which Citizens Advice may refer cases to Trading Standards Services for appropriate action.

Since the ticketing provisions contained in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on 27 May 2015, an independent Review has been established (as required by the Act) to consider consumer protection measures in relation to online ticket re-sales. The Review is looking at the available evidence and will report by 26 May 2016.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their response to the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance which concluded there is a significant risk of financial failure at football clubs, what steps they are taking to address this risk pending the publication of their White Paper.

His Majesty’s Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022. We fully recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s long-term sustainability. We are now taking the time to consider the policy response, and are continuing to engage with the football authorities and fan groups in the development of this policy. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper, setting out our detailed response to the fan-led review of football governance, and will set this out in due course. In the meantime, football authorities can take forward some of the reforms themselves, including financial redistribution, which we continue to urge them to do.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether their assistance with rising energy costs will extend to football clubs.

His Majesty’s Government recognises the importance of football clubs, both professional and at grassroots level, which provide valuable opportunities for communities to come together and to take part in sport.

The Government also understands the impact rising energy prices will have on organisations of all sizes. In September we announced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, under which businesses and other non-domestic energy users will be offered support. This includes support to football clubs.

After an initial six months of the scheme, the Government will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries. A review is currently underway to determine where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the restrictions placed on football clubs wishing to upgrade their facilities.

Many clubs choose to upgrade their facilities, or do so to meet league and safety requirements. All facilities for football clubs must meet the requirements prescribed by their league organiser, the relevant football authority, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the relevant local authority, and legislation. This ensures that facilities, particularly stadia, are appropriate and safe for all. Football clubs may be subject to the same planning restrictions as any other business or community facility.

His Majesty’s Government confirmed in July that Premier League and Championship clubs wishing to introduce licensed ‘safe standing’ areas at football stadia can apply to do so from the beginning of the current season, increasing the range of options football clubs can offer their supporters when considering their facilities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether it is still their policy that children’s safety remains the priority of the Online Safety Bill.

The strongest protections in the Online Safety Bill are to keep children safe online. To achieve this, the Bill will require all companies that are in scope to take robust steps to protect children from illegal content and activity on their services. In addition, services which are likely to be accessed by children will be required to provide safety measures for child users to protect them from inappropriate and harmful content or activity, such as pornography and bullying. If they fail to do so, they will be subject to tough enforcement action by the regulator, Ofcom.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they still intend to privatise Channel 4.

Channel 4 is a great UK success story and, in a rapidly changing media landscape, the government wants it to thrive in the long-term while maintaining its distinctiveness.

As set out in our recent White paper, Up Next - the Government’s vision for the broadcasting sector, Channel 4 - along with all broadcasters - is facing challenges to its future success and sustainability. This is due to the rapidly evolving media landscape, including unprecedented competition for viewers, programmes and talent from overseas as well as new, rapidly growing, streaming platforms.

The Secretary of State will set out more detail once she has carefully considered the business case for a sale of Channel 4.

14th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the delay to the progress of the Online Safety Bill until the autumn, what steps they are taking in the interim to protect children from online harm and abuse.

The Government has a comprehensive work programme to ensure that children are protected from online harm and abuse ahead of the implementation of the Online Safety Bill.

The Information Commissioner’s Age Appropriate Design Code provides world-leading protections for children’s personal data and the UK’s regulatory regime for video-sharing platforms requires companies in scope to take appropriate measures to protect under-18s from harmful material.

Furthermore, the Government published its Online Media Literacy Strategy in July 2021, and we have also published practical guidance and codes for companies on what they can do to design safer services, increase children’s safety online and tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse ahead of the new regulatory framework.

The Government is also supporting the development of innovative online safety technology in advance of regulation coming into force. This includes initiatives such as the Safety Tech Challenge Fund which supported the development of ‘proof of concept’ tools to identify child sexual abuse material in end-to-end encrypted environments whilst upholding user privacy.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the White Paper on the future of football governance, which is due to be published this summer, will include a detailed strategy on how to improve equality and diversity in football.

Her Majesty’s Government’s response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance accepted the need for action on equality, diversity and inclusion in football. The response set out that Her Majesty’s Government supports clubs’ commitment to improving these, focusing on improving outcomes while remaining flexible on plans for action.

We will publish a White Paper in the summer which will set out the details on the implementation of our football governance reforms. This includes proposals on the approach to take forward plans for football clubs. We are working to deliver these measures which will bring sustainable reform to ensure that all fans continue to enjoy our national game.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the White Paper on the future of football governance will include detailed protections for key items of a club’s heritage.

Her Majesty’s Government has published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance. Her Majesty’s Government has accepted the recommendation that there should be additional protection for key items of club heritage and more detail will be published in the forthcoming White Paper.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the findings of the interim report by CFE research on behalf of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, when they expect to publish the Safe Standing Trial.

Following the conclusion of the Early Adopter Programme for Licensed Standing in Seated Areas, Her Majesty’s Government has been provided with the Final Evaluation Report by CFE Research. We will continue to work closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to review the findings of this report and expect to publish it in due course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they have for foreign bodies (1) owning, and (2) investing, in football teams in England; and what measures they have in place to safeguard the interests of fans.

The ownership of football clubs is, and has historically been, a matter for the football authorities, not for HM Government.

The tests for ownership of clubs were raised in the report of the Fan-Led Review which recommended stronger tests independently administered by a new independent regulator.

HM Government is considering the recommendations of the Review, including those made on enhancing the existing owners’ and directors’ tests, and working swiftly to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator.

We will issue a formal response to the Fan-Led Review in the coming weeks.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the ongoing safe standing trial in English football, what consideration they have given to alternative crowd safety systems such as those that involve pressure monitoring.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) advises HM Government on safety at sports grounds. The SGSA monitors developments in both technology and practice and keeps all of its guidance, including the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide), under review.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in light of Derby County Football Club’s financial situation, what plans they have to increase fan involvement in football governance; and what discussions have they had with the English Football League on (1) whether alleged financial mismanagement at Derby County Football Club could have been avoided, and (2) what the implications of this are for financial governance in football.

The Government continues to engage on a regular basis with the English Football League and the administrator about Derby County Football Club. The additional financial impacts of COVID 19, to the club and to the wider football sector, were significant. We have supported the football sector throughout the pandemic, from the early return to behind closed doors, to provisions for international players and teams to honour their playing commitments, and more recently supporting mitigation for capacity crowds. Furthermore, we distributed over £25 million to National League clubs through the Sport Survival Package which ensured their survival.

The final report of the Fan Led Review is a thorough and detailed examination of the challenges faced by English football now and in the future. Whilst the Government cannot retrospectively intervene, we intend to improve future outcomes for clubs and their communities. The Government welcomes the findings of the Review and has endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review, that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game.

The Government will now consider the detail of all the recommendations, including those made on improving fan engagement and ensuring future financial stability, and work at pace to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Derby County Football Club and other football clubs, and (2) whether the implementation of the recommendations of the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, published on 24 November 2021, could have helped to mitigate the financial difficulties experienced by football clubs during the pandemic.

The Government continues to engage on a regular basis with the English Football League and the administrator about Derby County Football Club. The additional financial impacts of COVID 19, to the club and to the wider football sector, were significant. We have supported the football sector throughout the pandemic, from the early return to behind closed doors, to provisions for international players and teams to honour their playing commitments, and more recently supporting mitigation for capacity crowds. Furthermore, we distributed over £25 million to National League clubs through the Sport Survival Package which ensured their survival.

The final report of the Fan Led Review is a thorough and detailed examination of the challenges faced by English football now and in the future. Whilst the Government cannot retrospectively intervene, we intend to improve future outcomes for clubs and their communities. The Government welcomes the findings of the Review and has endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review, that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game.

The Government will now consider the detail of all the recommendations, including those made on improving fan engagement and ensuring future financial stability, and work at pace to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take, alongside sporting bodies and associations, to tackle racism in cricket.

Racism has no place in cricket, sport, or wider society. The Government is committed to ensuring that sports bodies do all they can to tackle racism and all forms of discrimination.

In December 2021 DCMS’s arm’s-length bodies UK Sport and Sport England published an updated version of the Code for Sport Governance. As part of this, sports at Tier Three of the Code are required to publish an annual diversity and inclusion action plan with Sport England and/or UK Sport.

Sport England, UK Sport, and the other sports councils across the UK also published the results of a detailed, independent review into tackling racism and racial inequality in sport. In December 2021, the five Sports Councils released a joint update outlining the current actions being taken to address the commitments.

The Government welcomes the recent developments from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC). We will continue to monitor their actions, including the implementation of the ECB’s new plan for diversity and inclusion and YCCC’s pledge to work with it on a game-wide diversity and inclusion action plan.

The Government will continue to liaise with the cricket authorities on tackling racism and hold them to account on this. We reserve the right to take further measures if necessary.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had about the future of Derby County Football Club; what assessment they have made, if any, of allegations of financial mismanagement at that club; and what assessment they have made of the impact, if any, on the (1) players, (2) coaches, and (3) fans.

The Government continues to engage closely with the English Football League (EFL) about Derby County Football Club. It is for the EFL, the administrator, and the club to resolve issues to ensure the survival of Derby County FC, but the Government has urged pragmatism from all parties to find a solution for the benefit of fans, staff, and the community that the club serves. The EFL must preserve the integrity of the league on behalf of all member clubs, but all parties want to see one of the founding members of the Football League continue this season and beyond under appropriate ownership.

The Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, commissioned by the Government, made proposals directly addressing how to prevent clubs ending up in such difficult financial situations. We have endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review: that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game. The Government is now working swiftly to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, alongside sporting bodies and associations, to combat sexism in sport.

There is no place for sexism in sport. It is vital that sports bodies continue to work together to tackle it – and, indeed, discrimination of any kind.

The Government is committed to ensuring that sport is inclusive and free from discrimination. Recent changes to the Code for Sports Governance mean that all sport organisations receiving public funding from either UK Sport or Sport England (including national governing bodies) are now required to develop a detailed and ambitious diversity and inclusion action plan. These plans should set out how they intend to improve diversity and inclusion across the whole of their organisation, not just at board level. The Code also now requires each funded sport to appoint a board member to lead on welfare and safety across the organisation.

We have also established a working group on women’s sport, which the Minister for Sport chairs, to explore the challenges and opportunities in women’s sport, and meetings have focused on participation, visibility, and commercial investment. The Government also welcomes the work of organisations such as Women in Sport and Women in Football in challenging discrimination and breaking down inequalities between the sexes.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent survey by the Tourism Alliance which found 41 per cent of tourism businesses think they are “quite likely to fail”; and what steps they are taking in response to protect the travel industry.

The Tourism Alliance is a member of the Tourism Industry Council, a collaboration between the Government and the tourism industry focusing on improving the tourism sector and the visitor economy as a whole.

The Government is committed to the full recovery of tourism businesses in the UK, and published the Tourism Recovery Plan in June 2021 to outline a clear roadmap for the industry’s recovery.

In addition to the commitments made in this plan, HM Treasury announced in the October Budget a new temporary business-rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure properties for 2022–23, worth almost £1.7 billion. We have also continued a reduced VAT rate, which will remain at 12.5% until 31 March 2022, to help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate.

In response to the Omicron variant, in December 2021 the Government announced a further £1 billion worth of support for businesses in the tourism industry. This included a new grant scheme (up to £6,000 per premises), the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund. There is also more than £100 million of discretionary funding available for local authorities to support other businesses.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review financial support provided to lower tier football clubs following the COVID-19 pandemic, including support to football club community projects.

Football clubs form a vital part of their local communities, which is why the Government has provided significant support to lower tier clubs throughout the pandemic.

Many football clubs have benefited from the Government’s multi-billion pound package of cross-sector business support whilst Sport England has provided £220 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, via a range of funds including their £35 million Community Emergency Fund. The Government has also provided over £24 million of support to non-league clubs from the Sport Survival Package.

The Government will continue to support local football clubs through its £18 million annual investment via the Football Foundation, alongside The Football Association and the Premier League, into football facilities. This three-way partnership sees £70 million of investment into community facilities every year.

At Budget, the Chancellor also announced that the Government will provide an additional £25 million to support the growth of grassroots football, which will be enough to build up to 700 new pitches across the UK.

The Government will continue to examine ways to support lower tier clubs as we emerge from the pandemic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase funding to alleviate loneliness in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has provided £23 million to over 1100 charities who undertake activities that tackle loneliness. This has been awarded as part of the government’s £750 million charity funding package. The funding has supported national charities, including MIND, Sense, the English Football League Trust and also local organisations tackling loneliness through community-based interventions.

We will launch a further £4 million fund shortly, together with the National Lottery Community Fund, targeted at small local charities and grassroots groups. There will be two application rounds next year, with local groups able to apply for up to £2 500 each through this fund.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring the COVID-19 restrictive measures at football clubs in line with those currently in place at concert venues.

We are committed to getting spectators back into stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so. The evidence we received from the Chief Medical Officer was very clear that at a time of rapidly rising infections, and when we were considering restrictions elsewhere, it was not the right time to undertake any further easements.

We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sports, including football, to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.

We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadiums but this must clearly be very carefully judged against the prevailing health conditions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the decision by Ofcom to uphold the Complaint by Mr Peter Humphrey about China 24 and News Hour, published in the Ofcom Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin on 6 July, what steps they are taking to protect UK journalists from serious breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code by broadcasters owned by the government of China.

We note Ofcom’s decision to uphold Mr Humphrey’s complaint. Ofcom is an independent regulator, and decisions on broadcasting regulation are a matter for Ofcom. It is important that any licenced broadcaster abides by Ofcom's Broadcasting Code and upholds the UK’s values.

The Government has taken a number of steps to support the safety of journalists and other media professionals. The Government launched a National Committee For The Safety of Journalists, bringing together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and the civil society to make sure journalists are free from threats and violence. The Committee met this month, and will work on a National Action Plan to set out a framework through which the safety of journalists can be ensured.

To mark World Press Freedom Day 2020, the Foreign Secretary issued a statement with his German, French and Dutch colleagues, calling on governments to defend media freedom. The UK also signed a statement issued by the Media Freedom Coalition on WPFD and supported a Dutch social media campaign publicly highlighting cases of journalists around the world who have been killed or imprisoned. As part of our diplomatic engagement, our network of Embassies and High Commissions continue to raise concerns about media freedom bilaterally and with international partners.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of financial difficulties faced by local football and other sports clubs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, what assessment they have made of the role that sports clubs play in the community life of their respective towns; and what steps they are taking to provide financial assistance to clubs as a matter of urgency.

Sport and physical activity can help build stronger communities by bringing people together. Sports clubs and volunteers have played a huge role in supporting communities through coronavirus – re-purposing themselves to provide delivery services, food banks and volunteer support.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total package up to £210 million.

Football clubs can also apply to the Football Foundation’s “Club Preparation Fund” for a grant to make the necessary changes and modifications to allow them to reopen.

The government is continuing to work closely with the sector to understand the issues they face and discuss how we can support them further.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will reconsider when leisure centres are able to re-open; and what additional funding they will provide to leisure centres to ensure that they remain financially viable and able to retain staff while they are prevented from opening.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. As announced on 9 July, from 11 July, outdoor swimming pools will be able to open and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

The updated guidance can be found at the GOV.UK website and includes advice for providers of pool, gym and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. Further guidance will follow on the operation of the scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from the Tourism Society about establishing an inquiry into the support needed to protect jobs in the tourism industry in England from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; and what plans they have to consult with the Tourism Society on this issue.

The Department has received written representations from the Tourism Society, along with many other Tourism businesses and trade bodies throughout this period.

We have engaged with stakeholders throughout the crisis to monitor the impact on workers in the tourism industry. We will continue to consult stakeholders from across the sector to assess how we can most effectively support businesses and their employees during the recovery period.

The Government has announced a number of measures to help individuals whose work has been impacted by the current economic emergency. This includes the recently extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Sport England Active Lives Adult Survey November 17/18 published on 11 April; and what steps they are taking to promote physical activity for (1) women, and (2) those from low income, black and South Asian backgrounds.

We are clear that everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, should feel able to engage in sport and physical activity.

The most recent Active Lives survey shows that 62.6% of the adult population of England) are active and hitting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for daily activity. That’s an increase of 498,000 people (0.8%) compared to the previous 12 month period.

However, there are some inequalities which remain with lower levels of participation among certain groups, including women, some black and minority ethnic groups and those from a lower socio-economic background.

By 2021 Sport England will have invested around 25% of its income since 2017 (approximately £120m) specifically in programmes dedicated to tackling inactivity. This includes various targeted programmes, including the Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage Fund, and campaigns such as This Girl Can which has been developed to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.

2nd Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 25 March (HL14535), on what date they intend to release the final report of their review into safe standing in football stadiums.

We believe that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales.

The Minister for Sport and Civil Society expects to receive the final report on the findings of the evidence review shortly and will then consider an appropriate date for the report’s release.

13th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in the review of safe standing in football stadiums.

We believe that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales.

An independent review of the available evidence around the all-seater policy has been undertaken and we expect to receive the final report on the findings of the review shortly.

11th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the establishment of the Future High Streets Fund to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future, whether they will consider providing similar assistance to local football clubs to ensure such clubs can continue to benefit their communities; and whether they will work alongside the football authorities to this end.

At last Budget the government announced a £675 million Future High Streets Fund to help improve infrastructure and access to high streets, put historic buildings back to use and make town centres fit for the future.

At the same time, the government recognises the important social and wellbeing benefits local football clubs can bring to their communities. Through our partnership with the FA and the Premier League in the Football Foundation Charity, we are investing more money than ever before into creating the facilities across the country that can be used for local community use.

New Local Football Facility Plans for every Local Authority in England are being worked up over the next 12 months. These plans will identify the places where investment in facilities is needed the most.

3rd May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to increase the level of support for the tourism and hospitality industries.

The Tourism Action Plan sets out Government’s commitment to the tourism and hospitality industries. The £40m Discover England Fund (DEF) is designed to develop innovative and collaborative tourism products to offer to both the domestic and international traveller. There has been tremendous uptake on this project, with very high quality bids being received and, consequently, there are now excellent products being developed throughout England.

There are several DEF projects around the Manchester area; one of these is Growing Manchester as an International Gateway, which encourages visitors to fly in to Manchester and provide leisure excursions and city sightseeing to develop Manchester as an international gateway for the North of England. Another example is the Brilliant Science project which is designed to extend the stays of science conference delegates by offering a range of regional science tours covering themes such as engineering and life sciences.

The DEF programme is managed by VisitEngland who provide product development expertise with one to one advice and will evaluate the effectiveness of the projects once they have officially gone ‘live’.

3rd May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of skills needed in the tourism and hospitality sector to meet the needs of those industries; and what assessment they have made of skills shortages in that area.

We have been working with the hospitality and tourism sectors across the country to assess skills challenges and opportunities.

The sector, together with Government, have proposed a skills plan as part of the proposed Tourism Sector Deal - this has a strong focus on developing domestic skills to meet employer demand, as well as improving the attractiveness of the sector as a career path. We are working closely with industry in this process.

Alongside this, Government is working hard to meet business needs by investing in the reform of employer-led training such as hospitality apprenticeships.

1st Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made on the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the transfer of soccer players between clubs in the UK and the EU.

The Government recognises the contribution that international talent makes to UK sport. We are in continuing discussions with the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League to better understand the potential impacts and opportunities that our exit from the EU may bring for football, including in relation to changes to freedom of movement.

31st Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 25 January (HL4692) and in the light of the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers into on-air pay and the criticisms of its findings by the BBC Women campaign group, what discussions they have had with the BBC regarding its obligation to address the gender pay gap.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer to PQ HL4621 provided on 19 January 2018.

15th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 9 January (HL Deb, cols 130–34) stating that “the Government absolutely support urgent action” on unfair pay at the BBC and that “the Government expect the BBC to act in accordance with what we have expected it to do as regards the gender pay gap”, what steps they are taking to encourage urgent action to address the gender pay gap at the BBC.

The government is clear the BBC must lead the way on equality in the workplace. We welcome the Director General's commitment to close the gender pay gap by 2020 and expect to see swift progress in this area.

23rd Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the remarks by the Sports Minister to <i>Sports Management</i> in January that the <i>Sporting Future</i> strategy "effectively starts properly from April", whether they will provide additional funding for sports under the strategy; and if so, whether that additional funding will be sufficient to enable local authorities to reverse planned cuts to funding for sporting provision.

The remark made by the Sports Minister in Sports Management magazine is reference to the fact that the funding set out in Sporting Future and Sport England's strategy, Towards an Active Nation, comes in as of April 2017, when the new financial year begins. This is when a number of the new investment programmes set out in Towards an Active Nation will begin.

Local authorities are the biggest investors in sport and physical activity. Good local authorities will recognise the value of investing in sport and physical activity for the long term benefits this brings to their residents' physical and mental wellbeing.

Sport England works with local authorities in England to provide advice and expertise on how sports facilities in their communities can be managed in a strategic, cost-effective and sustainable way.

31st Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will take steps to ensure that the UK remains a partner in collaborating, and sharing learning with EU member states to develop and improve the conditions of sport.

The UK continues to work with all our international partners to promote and develop sport. The Minister for Sport recently hosted her Polish counterpart in London and had similar meetings at the Rio Olympics with her counterparts from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland & Iceland.

In addition, the UK has also welcomed visiting delegations from France and Kuwait to share our expertise.​

5th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Olympic Games in Rio, what steps they will take to encourage greater participation in sport in the UK, in particular among women and ethnic minorities.

The brilliant performance of Team GB at this year’s Olympic Games will have inspired many to take part in sport and physical activity. We are determined to get more people from under-represented groups including women and ethnic minorities taking part in sport and physical activity and to remove any barrier that prevents them from doing so. Government’s sport strategy ‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for An Active Nation’ states that in future government will, via Sport England, support work designed to get more people from under-represented groups engaging in sport and physical activity and wherever possible, this focus on under-represented groups will run through all Sport England funding.

5th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Olympic Games in Rio, and the potential adverse impact on funding for elite athletes of Brexit, what steps they will take to ensure proper funding for such athletes to support their successful participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The London 2012 Olympic Games were a huge success with sold-out venues and the best British performance for over 100 years in winning 65 medals. The Games left a legacy of increased participation and world-class sporting venues which are now being used by our elite athletes as well as local communities.

The commitment from the Government immediately following the London 2012 Olympic Games to confirm and sustain Exchequer support for the UK Sport World Class Programme was a significant moment in underpinning the success of Rio, providing UK Sport, and the National Governing Bodies of sport, with the necessary financial support to invest in medal success across the Olympic and Paralympic sports.

I am confident that this success will continue at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, and through to Tokyo in 2020 and beyond. Since 2012, UK Sport funded athletes have given back over 18,000 days visiting schools and local projects as part of our commitment to inspire the next generation.

19th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletes, whether they intend to back calls by the US and Canada anti-doping agencies for all Russian athletes to be banned from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

While this is solely a decision for the International Olympic Committee, the scale of the evidence in the McLaren report arguably pointed to the need for stronger sanctions rather than leaving it to the international federations at this late stage.

There is clearly more work to be done to protect the integrity of sport on a global scale. No stone should be left unturned to ensure that athletes can compete on a level playing field.

14th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that the athletes who have been chosen to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are fully briefed about the dangers or otherwise of contracting the Zika virus.

The UK Government, the National Travel Health Network and Centre and the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association have issued guidance and advice on Zika for those competing and attending the Rio Games. All organisations continue to review and update this guidance and the Government will take into account World Health Organisation guidelines should they be revised following their latest risk assessment.

My department and the Department of Health recently convened an Olympic and Paralympic health advisory group including academic experts and cross-government representatives to support the British Olympic Association (BOA) and British Paralympic Association (BPA) in updating their guidance to athletes and staff travelling to Brazil for the Olympics. The Foreign Office will link this to their wider consular campaign ‘Stay ahead of the Games’.

4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Inter-Ministerial Group last met, and what conclusions were made about establishing the Tourism Industry Council.

In 2015, the membership of the Tourism Industry Council was refreshed and the meeting format revised, so that the Council's discussions inform those of the newly established inter-Ministerial group on Tourism. The last meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group took place in February.

4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made to ensure that the aim to distribute inbound tourism across the UK, as set out in the Five Point Plan, will be met.

The Five Point Plan on Tourism encourages visitors to travel beyond the capital. In 2015, the South East, South West, West Midlands and the North East of England saw both international visits and spend growing at a faster rate than in London. The £40m Discover England Fund aims to further encourage international visitors to explore right across the country and the first tranche of successful bids will be announced shortly.

4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the findings of the 2016 <i>UK Swimming Industry Report</i> that the number of swimming sites is in decline, what steps they intend to take to reduce that decline.

In the last five years 277 new fit-for-purpose pools have been built in locations which best serve the needs of people in the local community. The number of swimming pools and amount of pool space has increased since 2007.

Sport England is supporting over 80 local authorities to develop a strategic approach to facility provision, making sure that community facilities like swimming pools are in the right location and are sustainable

As Sport England moves towards the implementation of its new strategy, 'Towards an Active Nation', it will be working with partners across the swimming industry to explore how to get more people swimming.

18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of research that shows that lack of physical activity is negatively affecting more people than obesity, whether they have a strategy on how to support grassroots attempts at getting citizens to take part in more and sustained physical activity.

Government is determined to tackle physical inactivity. Around one in two women and a third of men in England may be damaging their health through a lack of physical activity. Ministers across government continue to work together to identify opportunities to get people active in a range of ways including active travel, health initiatives, planning and sport.

In December 2015 Government published ‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation’ - the first comprehensive government strategy for sport for 13 years – it sets out a new vision for a successful and active sporting nation. It has a strong focus on reaching inactive people and helping them to get moving in ways that suit them.

Sport England's new strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’, published on 19 May, states that tackling inactivity is a major priority for the organisation, it is tripling its current investment to over £250 million over 4 years, making it the largest single national investor in tackling inactivity.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in what ways they are targeting the entire population to encourage them to take up physical activity, and not just those who are overweight or obese.

Government is determined to tackle physical inactivity. Around one in two women and a third of men in England may be damaging their health through a lack of physical activity. Ministers across government continue to work together to identify opportunities to get people active in a range of ways including active travel, health initiatives, planning and sport.

In December 2015 Government published ‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation’ - the first comprehensive government strategy for sport for 13 years – it sets out a new vision for a successful and active sporting nation. It has a strong focus on reaching inactive people and helping them to get moving in ways that suit them.

Sport England's new strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’, published on 19 May, states that tackling inactivity is a major priority for the organisation, it is tripling its current investment to over £250 million over 4 years, making it the largest single national investor in tackling inactivity.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of reports that a doctor prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to 150 athletes, what steps they are taking to ensure that sports in the UK are free from doping.

The Government is deeply concerned by these allegations. Sports fans are entitled to be sure that what they are watching is true and fair with all athletes competing on a level playing field. We are grateful for the investigative journalism by the Sunday Times for bringing these apparent abuses to light, and we have asked for there to be an urgent independent investigation into what action was taken when these allegations were first received and what more needs to be done to ensure that British sport remains clean. The Government is also looking at whether existing legislation in this area goes far enough. If it becomes clear that stronger criminal sanctions are needed then we will not hesitate to act.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the International Tennis Federation about the issue of equal prize money for men and women in tennis tournaments.

HMG has had no such discussions.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the process by which the World Anti-Doping Agency informs athletes of the drugs added each year to the list of banned substances.

WADA issues communications to a range of stakeholders to ensure that everyone knows the timeframes by which the Prohibited List is published and when it takes effect. This information is freely available on WADA's website.

In the UK, Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel receive information about changes to the Prohibited List through communications from UK Anti-Doping. This is done via the respective National Governing Bodies of sport in advance of the changes coming into place, as well as through information given on the UK Anti-Doping website, social media channels and the Clean Sport App.

However, it is ultimately the responsibility of athletes and their support personnel to be aware of the annual changes to the Prohibited List.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the announcement that Maria Sharapova has failed a drug test for a substance introduced to the banned substance list this year, whether they will take steps to ensure that the World Anti-Doping Agency guarantees that all of its athletes, including those representing the UK, are fully aware of the drugs that are added to that list each year.

Both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) take the matter of athlete communication and education very seriously. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of athletes and their support personnel to be aware of the annual changes to WADA’s Prohibited List.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support policing bodies such as the Tennis Integrity Unit to investigate allegations of match-fixing in top-level tennis.

These are serious accusations and they need to be looked into quickly.

The Secretary of State has spoken to the tennis authorities and we ar determined to do all we can to support them in ensuring that the game is absolutely clean, and we are assured they are committed to this aim too. We welcome the news that the Association of Tennis Professionals have announced a thorough independent review into the accusations and that they will be implementing its recommendations.

Primary responsibility for monitoring betting markets or sporting events rest with the betting operators and sports governing bodies respectively.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of recent allegations of match-fixing in top-level tennis, including at Wimbledon.

These are serious accusations and they need to be looked into quickly.

The Secretary of State has spoken to the tennis authorities and we ar determined to do all we can to support them in ensuring that the game is absolutely clean, and we are assured they are committed to this aim too. We welcome the news that the Association of Tennis Professionals have announced a thorough independent review into the accusations and that they will be implementing its recommendations.

Primary responsibility for monitoring betting markets or sporting events rest with the betting operators and sports governing bodies respectively.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the work of the World Anti-Doping Agency, in particular in setting regulatory standards against doping and educating athletes and coaches to shift the culture against cheating.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has improved its compliance and reporting processes, resulting in the recent suspension of six countries for non-compliance and a further six countries placed on its watch-list. Last week, WADA's Foundation Board increased its scope to conduct internal investigations and strengthen its whistleblowing process. WADA President Craig Reedie's statement that values-based education is the best weapon for clean sport is a view shared by UK Anti-Doping and implemented through its successful 100% Me education programme.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the debate in the House of Lords on 5 November (HL Deb, cols 1811–40) on the regeneration legacy of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, what assessment they have made of Lord Moynihan's remarks that the UK should have a sports policy.

I am grateful for Lord Moynihan's valuable contributions to that debate in the House.

The Minister for Sport has made it clear that a new approach to sport is needed. The Government published a consultation paper on a new sport strategy in early August and the responses received are being considered. The Government will publish its new strategy for sport in due course, the first such strategy for 13 years.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the allegations directed at the leadership of the International Association of Athletics Federations in the light of the World Anti-Doping Agency report on non-compliance and widespread doping in Russian athletics.

The International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) near unanimous vote to suspend Russian athletes from all competition reflected the worldwide reaction to the Independent Commission's report to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Russia, the IAAF and WADA must now work together, to not only resolve the findings within the report, but to also re-establish the trust of clean athletes and spectators.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the continued case for the 25 per cent proposed budget cuts to UK Anti-Doping in the light of reports that widespread doping exists in the world of athletics, and what steps they plan to take in the light of any assessment.

The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) works tirelessly to promote clean sport and is highly regarded internationally.

Any decision regarding funding is subject to the forthcoming Spending Review.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they support the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations in his condemnation of alleged state-sponsored doping within Russian athletics.

This is a difficult time for the world of sport and Russian athletics, but it is essential that robust steps are taken to ensure athletics regains its integrity. Lord Coe has been clear that his priority is to rebuild trust in athletics.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether updates will be made to their current tourism policy in the light of the growth of that industry.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's tourism policy is kept under constant review.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what initiatives are in place to support the findings by the Culture and Major Events Consortium and to work with organisers to provide more cultural content when staging major sporting events.

Major sporting events can act as a catalyst for successful cultural activity. The Cultural Olympiad which ran alongside the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games had huge public engagement, with participants, volunteers and audiences estimated at 43.4m. Since the Cultural Olympiad, the Arts Council England (ACE) has funded the Yorkshire Festival and the Cycle of Songs in Cambridge which ran alongside the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ, as well as a dance programme which ran alongside the Rugby League World Cup 2013. ACE will continue to support cultural opportunities at major sporting events, including at this year's Rugby World Cup.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what additional steps they are taking to encourage women to participate in sport and exercise following the launch of the "This Girl Can" campaign by Sport England.

Through our £1 billion youth and community sport strategy we are developing innovative solutions to engage girls and young women in sport and develop a sporting habit for life. For example, we have invested over £2 million in Bury for an initiative called ‘I Will if You Will’ which is about listening and giving women what they want. This programme has now been extended.

The 'This Girl Can' campaign has received an incredibly positive response, and has received close to 5 million views on youtube. We are encouraging NGBs, sports bodies, schools and community groups to register on the website (www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/register) and use the supporting materials provided to help with their own outreach to engage more women in sport and exercise.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps are being taken to support the holiday rental market, in the light of the report published by the London School of Economics in November 2014 <i>The economic impact of holiday rentals in the UK</i>.

VisitEngland recognises the value of the holiday rental market and works with a range of industry partners in order to represent the breadth of product available in England. The holiday rental market is of huge importance, and VisitEngland partners with a range of holiday cottage companies and park operators, driving overnight visits through this vital sector of the industry. VisitEngland also promotes a number of self-catering organisations on its website. (See link http://www.visitengland.com/self-catering-accommodation-and-cottages#/)

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the Navitus Bay wind park scheme does not adversely affect the tourism industry in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and its contribution to the local economy and employment.

It would not be appropriate to comment on the proposed project given the Planning Inspectorate’s examination ahead of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s eventual decision.

22nd Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote coastal tourism and to ensure that the tourism industry is equipped to cater for an increase in Britons holidaying in the United Kingdom.

Coastal tourism features in VisitEngland’s ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ campaign, as well as the recent ‘Coastal Escapes’ and ‘English Seaside’ campaigns through their ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ programme. The National Coastal Tourism Academy in Bournemouth, part funded by Government through the Coastal Communities Fund, was set up in 2013 to partner with tourism businesses to help them reach their commercial potential and provide the best possible experiences for their visitors. The recently established Tourism Industry Council will also aim to identify and address issues around skills gaps, enterprise and apprenticeships to improve visitors satisfaction and encourage and cater for any increase in visitor numbers.

25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that no children are harmed during the anti-vaccination protests outside schools.

It is never acceptable for anyone to pressurise or intimidate pupils, teachers or the wider school community, and protestors engaging in this type of behaviour should immediately bring it to an end.

The department has provided guidance for schools on how to handle any misinformation or disruption, details of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-schools/covid-19-vaccination-programme-for-children-and-young-people-guidance-for-schools. In the event of a protest or disruptive activity outside a school, or if schools know a protest is planned, they should alert the School Age Immunisation Service provider, local authority and local police contacts to discuss the best way to manage the situation.

Should a protest contravene the law, the police have comprehensive powers to deal with activities that spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder. This does not negate the right to peaceful protest.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to international students stranded in universities across the England due to the coronavirus crisis.

We have been working closely with the higher education sector to ensure that it provides the additional support needed for international students who have decided to remain in the UK or who are unable to travel at present. Universities have an obligation to ensure that students have continued accommodation and access to essential services in the UK for the duration of their stay. Universities are also offering a range of support to students, including support for catering and cleaning, and providing support for mental health.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and to support disadvantaged students – both domestic and international – impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding – worth around £23 million per month for April and May – towards student hardship funds, including for the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

We are pleased to see that the sector is making every effort to enable students to continue their studies – including moving learning online either in the UK or in the student's home country – so that their teaching and assessment can proceed. Many providers are also bolstering their existing mental health services and adapting delivery to means other than face-to-face.

The government is also applying discretion under the current circumstances to ensure that international students are not negatively impacted if they find themselves in a position where they cannot comply with certain visa rules. The government has published bespoke Tier 4 visa guidance for students and sponsors who are affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to COVID-19. This guidance includes the latest information for those who might have questions around visa expiry, switching visa category within the UK and distance learning.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of education, what discussions they have had with universities about adjusting tuition fees.

Universities offering high quality tuition online will continue to charge fees. Fee loans are being paid directly to the university at the start of the third term.

We are working closely with sector representative bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 and the immediate financial implications for students and providers. It is important that students continue to receive a good standard of education.

The government has made it clear that, if institutions are unable to deliver adequate online teaching, it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms as, effectively, they would be charged twice.??Whether an individual student is entitled to a refund of their fees will depend on specific contractual arrangements between the higher education providers and the student.

In the first instance, students should speak to their university. We expect student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly and sympathetically by institutions to resolve any concerns. Students who are not satisfied with their institution’s final response can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint if their institution is based in England or Wales.

14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent supporters from mainland China bullying and intimidating fellow students from Hong Kong in British universities who are carrying out legitimate activities in support of those demonstrating in Hong Kong in favour of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Universities have a duty of care to all students, domestic and international, and must take reasonably practicable steps to ensure freedom of speech, within the law, is secured for staff, students and visiting speakers.

Studying for a degree gives students from different backgrounds and perspectives the freedom to explore contrasting views and the skills to evaluate information, including that about the current situation in Hong Kong. It is critically important that we protect this freedom. That is why we extended the existing freedom of speech duty to all providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) through the Higher Education and Research Act. The approach of the OfS is to implement regulation as outlined in their regulatory framework, as attached.

We expect all institutions to ensure that freedom of speech is not restricted as a result of bullying or intimidation.

15th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in 2002 and Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, published in 2015, what assessment they have made of the priority that teaching on climate change has been given in Catholic schools; and what steps they are taking to give increased priority to the teaching of climate change in state schools.

The government has not made any specific assessment of the priority that Catholic schools give to teaching about climate change. Like all schools, faith schools are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum that includes science.

The government believes it is vital that all children are informed about climate change. For this reason, relevant topics are included throughout the geography and science national curriculum and qualifications. For example, as part of the science curriculum in secondary schools, pupils will consider the evidence for human causes of climate change. In addition, as part of GCSE geography they will study the spatial and temporal characteristics of climatic change and evidence for different causes, including human activity.

14th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of including the Opium Wars in the history curriculum in order to facilitate a greater understanding of (1) the UK’s colonial history, and (2) UK–Chinese relations.

The current national curriculum programmes of study for history, which have been taught since September 2014, set the framework for the teaching of the subject in maintained schools in terms of the broad time periods and themes to be taught. Academies may design and follow their own curricula.

The government does not specify what the content of lessons on particular topics should be or how teachers should present information. We trust teachers, as professionals, to plan their own lessons and select their own resources.

However, the curriculum does aim to make sure that pupils know and understand how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. Therefore, Empire and colonialism is a significant theme, and a suggested topic within the ‘challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day’ theme is ‘Indian independence and end of Empire’.

Programmes of study also require at least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments. While not mandatory, a suggested topic is ‘China’s Qing dynasty 1644-1911’, which encompasses the period within which the Opium Wars took place.

The national curriculum programmes of study for history for key stages 1-3 are attached and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study.

We have no current plans to change the history curriculum. In order to provide a period of stability to schools, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has committed to making no new changes to the national curriculum during this Parliament.

14th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of revising the history curriculum to provide an honest and critical portrayal of the UK’s colonial history.

The current national curriculum programmes of study for history, which have been taught since September 2014, set the framework for the teaching of the subject in maintained schools in terms of the broad time periods and themes to be taught. Academies may design and follow their own curricula.

The government does not specify what the content of lessons on particular topics should be or how teachers should present information. We trust teachers, as professionals, to plan their own lessons and select their own resources.

However, the curriculum does aim to make sure that pupils know and understand how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. Therefore, Empire and colonialism is a significant theme, and a suggested topic within the ‘challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day’ theme is ‘Indian independence and end of Empire’.

Programmes of study also require at least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments. While not mandatory, a suggested topic is ‘China’s Qing dynasty 1644-1911’, which encompasses the period within which the Opium Wars took place.

The national curriculum programmes of study for history for key stages 1-3 are attached and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study.

We have no current plans to change the history curriculum. In order to provide a period of stability to schools, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has committed to making no new changes to the national curriculum during this Parliament.

11th Sep 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relative levels of study of Chinese in private and state schools; what steps they are taking to increase the teaching of Chinese in state schools; and what assessment they have made of the importance of developing Chinese language skills to the UK’s trade relationship with China post-Brexit.

The government is encouraging pupils to take a language at GCSE as one of the academic subjects making up the English Baccalaureate school performance measure. To target Mandarin uptake in particular, the government’s £10 million Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) aims to have at least 5,000 young people on track towards fluency in Mandarin by 2020. As of September 2018, there are over 60 state-funded schools on the programme, meaning we are on track to delivering the MEP’s target.

The proportion of pupils taking Mandarin at GCSE has increased over time, with the number of entries at GCSE and A level both increasing this year. Pupil matched data for 2018 will be available in the autumn.[1]

The time series for the number of GCSE entries in Chinese for the most recent five years of published data in England is given in the attached table (a).

The time series for the number of A level entries in Chinese for the most recent five years of published data in England is given in the attached table (b).[2]

[1] Joint Council of Qualifications data 2018, https://www.jcq.org.uk/examination-results. This data is not discounted and is not comparable to the data in the tables below. We will have comparable data in autumn 2018.

[2] These figures are all published as part of the 16-18 performance tables publications: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-attainment-at-19-years.

13th Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 2 November (HL2292), which schools have participated in the Mandarin Excellence Programme so far and which of them are state schools and which are private.

The schools listed below have participated in the Mandarin Excellence Programme so far. They are all state schools.

Year one 2016/17:

Alexandra Park School, London

Anglo European School, Ingateston

Beths Grammar School, Bexley

Bohunt School, Liphook

Dartford Grammar School, Dartford

Finham Park School, Coventry

Fortismere School, London

Gumley House Convent School, Isleworth

Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre, Tenterden

Kingsford Community School, London

Queen Mary's Grammar School, Walsall

St Joseph's College, London

St Mary Magdalene Academy, London

Upton Hall School FCJ, Upton, Wirral

Year two 2017/18:

All Hallows Catholic College, Macclesfield

Bay House School, Gosport

Bohunt Worthing, Worthing

Christ’s College Finchley, London

Christopher Whitehead Language College & Sixth Form, Worcester

Cowley International College, Saint Helens

Didcot Girls' School, Didcot

Evelyn Grace Academy, London

Finham Park 2, Coventry

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre, Reading

Hove Park, Hove

Ingleby Manor Free School & Sixth Form, Stockton-on-Tees

Lambeth Academy, London

Lyng Hall, Coventry

Mayfield Grammar School, Kent

Melbourn Village College, Cambridge

Queen Mary’s High School, Walsall

Shevington High School, Wigan

St Catherine’s College, Eastbourne

St Gregory's, Bath

The Crossley Heath School, Halifax

Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Wilmington

UCL Academy, London

19th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of China's ambition to double its GDP in 2010 by 2020; and whether they plan to encourage more schools to introduce Chinese Mandarin into their curriculum and accelerate the increase in student entries for Chinese Mandarin GCSE.

Despite a falling percentage growth rate, China’s current growth rate still means it is adding an economy the size of Switzerland to its GDP each year. The UK has strengths in many of the areas identified as key priorities for the next phase of China’s economic transition to a ‘moderately prosperous’ society, particularly in services.

The Government is encouraging pupils to take a modern or ancient language, including Chinese Mandarin, as part of one of the academic subjects making up the English Baccalaureate at GCSE level.

In 2017 there were 3,656 pupil entries for GCSE Chinese in England, a rise of 47% since 2010/2011[1].

Chinese Year

Total entries

2010/2011

2,480

2011/2012

2,307

2012/2013

2,341

2013/2014

2,830

2014/2015

3,286

2015/2016

3,575

2016/2017

3,656

The Department is funding an intensive language programme which aims to see at least 5,000 pupils in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020. 14 schools participated in the Mandarin Excellence Programme in the 2016/17 academic year, and an additional 23 have joined in 2017/18. Progress test results indicate that the first cohort of almost 400 pupils are excelling when it comes to learning Mandarin Chinese. The majority of those on the programme achieved marks of 80% or higher across specially-created tests in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

[1] Subject time series tables https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gcse-and-equivalent-results-2016-to-2017-provisional.

10th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they are taking to assist obese children with sports and exercise alongside food awareness and education.

Tackling obesity, particularly in children, is one of the government’s priorities. We will put forward our plans for action in this area as part of the childhood obesity strategy. We recognise that schools can help to address the problem of childhood obesity, through focusing on improving physical education (PE) for all children and teaching about food, nutrition and healthy eating.

Since 2013, the government has provided over £300 million of ring-fenced funding to head teachers to improve PE and sport. We are investing a further £150 million this academic year for schools to improve the quality of PE and sport they offer. More than eight in ten schools have seen an increase in pupil engagement with PE during school time and in the number of children doing sports after school.

PE is a compulsory subject at all four key stages in the national curriculum. The PE programme of study aims to ensure that all pupils are physically active for sustained periods of time and lead healthy, active lives. The national curriculum also sets the expectation that children will be taught about healthy eating and what constitutes a balanced diet.

The government-funded Change4Life programme aims to inspire everyone to eat well, take more exercise and live longer. There are a number of campaigns which promote healthy eating and sports such as the 10 Minute Shake Up summer campaign and Change4Life sports clubs. These are extracurricular sports clubs in schools which are designed to increase physical activity levels in the least active children.

10th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the numbers of all-weather playing fields in schools and in recreational establishments.

The Department for Education does not have a specific policy for providing all-weather or synthetic turf pitches in schools. However, in ‘Building Bulletin 103: Area Guidelines for mainstream schools’, we do recommend that all schools have a minimum area of hard-surfaced games area, or ‘hard outdoor PE’ space, preferably in the form of Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGAs).

10th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions have taken place between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education about increasing the provision of sports playing fields available for schools.

In June 2014, Sport England, in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and the Department of Health, awarded £18 million of National Lottery funding, through the Primary Spaces programme, to 601 primary schools to transform their physical education (PE) and sport facilities.

The new facilities will be installed in the first 100 schools this summer, with the rest opening throughout the academic year and all completed by summer 2015. The fund will help schools make good use of spaces and provide facilities that will:

· inspire physical activity and participation by children

· enable and encourage healthy activity

· develop the foundations of a sporting habit for life.

Primary Spaces builds on and complements the primary PE and sport premium, through which we are providing over £450 million of ring-fenced funding across academic years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16. This goes directly to primary schools to be spent on the improvement of PE and sport.

In addition, from 2010 to the present day, Sport England have made 16 awards to schools, investing £750,000 of National Lottery funding towards total project costs of £1.6 million, as part of the protect playing fields programme. The sites cover a total of over 200 acres of land and each site has protection via charge for a minimum of 25 years. There are two more rounds of the funding planned with £5 million available each year for the next two years (2015 and 2016).

Officials and Ministers from both Departments meet regularly to discuss issues relating to the provision of PE and school sport, including the Primary Spaces and protecting playing fields programmes.

10th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of qualified teachers in physical education, especially in infant and primary schools.

In March 2013, the Government announced a new pilot programme to train a cadre of 120 primary teachers with a specialism in PE. These specialists will aim to support other teachers to develop their skills and drive up the quality of PE teaching as they take up their first posts from September 2014.

This pilot, which was developed by teaching schools with sport national governing bodies and partner universities, has now been extended for a second year. A further 120 specialists will be in post by September 2015 following successful completion of their initial teacher training (ITT) and gaining QTS (qualified teacher status).

The Secretary of State for Education’s ITT requirements call upon accredited training providers to develop courses to enable trainees to meet the Teachers’ Standards; this includes the need to have a secure knowledge of relevant subjects and curriculum areas.

Schools can also use the primary PE and sport premium to up-skill teachers by investing in continuing professional development and hiring qualified sports coaches to work with teachers during PE lessons.

10th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the risks of obesity and the importance of physical recreation are being taught in schools.

The Department for Education is seeing encouraging signs of progress on tackling obesity, with rates in children falling to 14% in 2012, the lowest level of child obesity since 1998. The Government is taking forward a range of activities to continue this trend.

As part of the new national curriculum, which comes into force from September 2014, the programmes of study for both physical education and science include content on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. All pupils aged between 5 and 14 will learn about cooking and nutrition, which will be compulsory at key stage 3 for the first time. Children will learn the importance of eating good, tasty, nutritious food at school and beyond through the School Food Plan.

The Government is determined to embed an enjoyment of sport and physical activity from an early age, so that children understand the importance of keeping fit and develop a lifetime habit of healthy activity. Through the primary PE and sport premium we are providing over £450m of ringfenced funding across academic years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16. This goes directly to primary schools, to be spent on the improvement of PE and sport to ensure that all pupils develop a healthy lifestyle.

The Department of Health is providing Change4Life Sports Clubs in 10,000 primary and secondary schools, which encourage children to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Schools are using their primary PE and sport premium to supplement the Change4Life programme and so far more than 225,000 pupils have benefited from that programme.

1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards meeting their air quality improvement targets; and what assessment they have made of calls by members of the medical profession, such as in the letter to the Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation on 27 June 2022, for the introduction of more stringent targets.

The UK’s Air Quality Standards Regulations require reporting of ambient air quality data on an annual basis. The annual report is published via the UK-AIR website (link: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/). The UK has domestic and international emission reduction commitments for NOx, SO2, NMVOCs, NH3 and PM2.5 for 2020-29 and 2030. These are reported on annually via our national statistics on the gov.uk and National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory websites.

We have followed an evidence-based process to set the PM2.5 targets, working closely with internationally recognised experts and stakeholders. The views of medical professionals have been given due consideration, via input from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution and the consultation process - our official response has been published. The wording of the Environment Act is clear; the Secretary of State must be satisfied that the targets can be met.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the damaging effect, in particular on sugar beet crops, of pesticides used to prevent attacks from aphids.

Emerging sugar beet seedlings and young plants are vulnerable to feeding by aphids, which transmit several viruses, known collectively as Yellows Virus (YV). Neonicotinoid seed treatments provide emerging beet crops with highly effective protection.

Following an application made by British Sugar and the National Farmers Union, the Government has granted an emergency authorisation for the limited and controlled use of a neonicotinoid seed treatment on the 2023 sugar beet crop. This decision has not been taken lightly and is based on robust assessment of the environmental and economic risks and benefits. The Government’s statement of reasons for this decision has been published on gov.uk.


It is important that the Government understands the potential environmental impacts of the emergency authorisation. To further develop that understanding the applicant is required to carry out a range of environmental monitoring activities as a condition of the emergency authorisation. The Government is supplementing these activities with its own monitoring projects. These projects include the monitoring of residues of thiamethoxam (the neonicotinoid active ingredient in the authorised seed treatment) and its metabolite, clothianidin, in various parts of the environment, to gain a better understanding of the potential exposure of non-target organisms to the active substance in the seed treatment. This includes the soil of treated fields; the soil, vegetation and pollen from field margins; honey from honeybee hives in close proximity to sugar beet fields; and rivers in sugar beet catchments. Further detail of these projects can be found within the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) emergency registration report on Cruiser SB, published on gov.uk.


Defra has also funded a study assessing the chronic toxicity of thiamethoxam to adult honeybees. This has allowed HSE to conduct a robust assessment of the chronic risks to honeybees via different routes of exposure. Details and results of this study can be found within HSE’s emergency registration report, published on gov.uk.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects of diclofenac on birds of prey in the UK; and whether they will follow Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and India in banning diclofenac.

In December 2014, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use published its scientific opinion on the risk to vultures and other necrophagous bird populations in the EU in connection with the use of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac, including risk mitigation measures.

In March 2015, the UK and EU member states carried out an analysis of the measures in place nationally to mitigate the risk to vultures and other necrophagous bird populations in the UK and EU.

The UK does not have any authorised veterinary medicines containing diclofenac. Nevertheless, diclofenac is included in the UK's residues surveillance programme to monitor whether there are residues of this active substance in animal products.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the regulator for veterinary medicines, takes the issue of diclofenac's risks to vultures seriously and is not currently approving any requests for the import or export of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac.

The UK is Party to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) which provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. As a Party, the UK contributes to the Preventing Poisoning Working Group which was established under CMS to facilitate actions and efforts to prevent poisoning of migratory birds including birds of prey.

9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for regulating the use of new technology in the development of non-genetically modified organism products.

The Government believes in a science-based approach to regulating genetically modified organisms and newer precision breeding technologies such as gene-editing (GE). We are supportive of the benefits that GM and new precision breeding technologies could bring to business and consumers, and in supporting economic growth.

The current EU rules capture GE organisms within the regulatory framework for GMO legislation. The Government’s assessment is that if a GE organism could have been produced naturally or through traditional breeding methods then it should not be captured by GMO legislation.

The Government intends to consult the public this autumn on whether changes to primary legislation may be required for the regulation of precision breeding technologies to become more science-based and not subject to unnecessary regulatory burdens.

If GE organisms become classed as non-GMOs then other regulatory frameworks may apply depending on the intended use of the product.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of ocean plastic debris globally; and what steps they are taking to prevent any increase in the volume of plastic waste entering oceans, in particular as a result of discarded face masks used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2017, the Government published its ‘Future of the Sea: plastic pollution’ report which supported the estimate that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean globally each year. The Government has introduced a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and a charge on single-use carrier bags. From October there will be a ban on the supply of plastic straws, cotton buds, and stirrers, with exemptions, and the Environment Bill includes powers to charge for single-use plastic items.

The Government has not carried out an assessment of the environmental impact of the disposal of single-use face masks. Waste management, including disposal, is regulated through the environmental permitting system in England, which seeks to protect the environment and human health. The latest Government advice on face coverings is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

4th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Trade Policy on 14 February (HC217140), what assessment they have made of the merits of banning the importation of (1) fur, and (2) foie gras, after the UK's departure from the EU.

The Government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare.

All current EU regulations banning imports of cat and dog fur and of seal products from commercial hunts, as well as controls on products from endangered species and from inhumane trapping, will be retained when the UK leaves the EU.

Once we have left the EU there will be an opportunity to strengthen welfare regulations further as part of our commitment to remaining a world leader on this issue. This includes consideration of controls on imports, including in relation to products such as foie gras and farmed fur where domestic production has already been banned.

5th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the finding in the State of Nature 2016 report that 56 per cent of assessed species are in decline, what measures they are taking to support the Greater Manchester Urban Pioneer project under the 25-year Environment Plan to improve the status of nature in the city; and what resources they are allocating to that project.

The Greater Manchester Urban Pioneer is one of four pioneer projects created by Defra to inform the development and implementation of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. The pioneers are partnership projects designed to test and refine better ways of managing the environment.

The Greater Manchester Pioneer is being led by the Environment Agency with support from the Defra 25 Year Environment Plan team. Local government and relevant government agencies are also providing resources as key pioneer partners. Increasing biodiversity across Greater Manchester is one of the objectives of this pioneer.

7th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to address declines in the UK bee population and, in view of the efforts of other countries to promote urban beekeeping, whether they will follow that example and support the conservation of all bee species.

Protecting our bee species is a priority for this Government. We all have an important role to play in supporting pollinators. They are an essential part of our environment and play a crucial role in food production.

Defra supports the honey bee population through its Bee Health programme, delivered for England and Wales by the National Bee Unit (NBU). The programme aims to protect honey bees from pests and diseases, including tackling disease outbreaks and monitoring for exotic pests, including the Asian hornet. Inspectors carry out a total of over 6,000 apiary inspections each year during which free training is provided to beekeepers on how to keep their bees healthy.

Although honey bee numbers fell between 1985 and 2005, there is some evidence of a more recent increase as beekeeping has become more popular. In the last five years, activity in the beekeeping sector, and thus honeybee numbers, has appeared to increase. Colonies of honey bees recorded on BeeBase, the voluntary database of the National Bee Unit (NBU), increased from 108,649 in 2009 to 188,143 in 2017.

Trends in UK bee populations, however, are different for managed honey bees and wild bees. Over a similar period populations of wild bees have become less diverse in many areas of Britain, although we do not have data on how their abundance has changed.

In 2014 Defra published the National Pollinator Strategy, which highlights the vital contribution we can all make to support all pollinators, both managed and wild.

The Strategy is a shared plan between the Government, our partners and stakeholders, and builds on policies that support pollinators, including habitat creation, pest and disease management, monitoring and research. The soon to be published National Pollinator Strategy Progress Report will highlight the considerable progress that has been made in the 23 policy and 11 evidence actions contained in the Strategy.

Working with partners, a range of activities has helped to promote pollinators’ needs in the urban environment. These initiatives have included Buglife introducing Urban Buzz to four cities, Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and York, resulting in 3,000 volunteers restoring nearly 100 hectares of pollinator habitat across 220 sites. Defra has also funded a number of information sheets, giving tailored information on managing urban landscapes for pollinators.

Additionally, the Strategy is now referenced in planning guidance, supported by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, and there is dedicated help available to brownfield users through Buglife’s Brownfield Hub.

Some of these initiatives are promoted during “Bees’ Needs Week”, held annually in the summer, and at the Bee’s Needs Champions Awards event, which recognises the efforts of personal and corporate champions.

20th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many incidents of bird crime have been reported in England and Wales in each of the last three years; and what steps they are taking to prevent the commission of bird crime offences.

The Home Office collects data on the number of notifiable wildlife crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales. Only a minority of the 300 crimes in law relating to wildlife are notifiable, however. This data does not record whether the crime involved a bird or another type of animal so it is not possible to specify how many crimes related to birds.

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which provides a powerful framework for the conservation of wild birds, their eggs, nests and habitats. The Government is committed to ensuring the protection afforded to wild birds is effectively enforced. There are strong penalties for offenders, including imprisonment.

Raptor persecution is one of the UK’s six national wildlife crime priorities and is subject to a prevention, intelligence and enforcement plan. The National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is part funded by Defra, monitors and gathers intelligence on illegal activities affecting birds of prey and provides assistance to police forces when required.

The Government also helps tackle wildlife crime through the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW), a multi-agency body comprising representatives of the Government, and voluntary bodies with an interest in combating wildlife crime.

20th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of evidence that some producers of honey are falsely labelling it as Manuka honey, what precautions are in place to monitor fraudulent practice within the honey industry; and what measures they intend to put in place to regulate the labelling of all food products in order to prevent fraud.

Food business must ensure that their products are safe, accurately labelled and compliant with all relevant legislation. Local authorities are responsible for monitoring food, and carry out risk-based checks to ensure that businesses are compliant with the law. Potential breaches are taken seriously and local authorities will decide on the appropriate corrective action, consistent with UK legislation and proportionate to the nature of the breach. The Government has also set up the National Food Crime Unit to increase the capacity to identify, disrupt and prevent food crime.

Under the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) 1169/2011, food labelling must not mislead the consumer. The Honey Regulations 2015 lay down compositional requirements for honey and require that when the floral origin of a honey is given, such honey must come wholly or mainly from that plant.

20th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the tourism and hospitality industries regarding the implications of the UK's withdrawal from the EU for employment levels of overseas workers in those industries.

The Government continues to engage broadly across the economy, to hear businesses' views as we leave the EU, including those representing the tourism and hospitality industries. The Secretaries of State for DExEU and BEIS and the Chancellor of the Exchequer co-chair a EU Exit Business Advisory Group to ensure business is not only heard but is influential throughout the negotiations. The meeting is attended by senior officials from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Institute of Directors (IoD), Manufacturers’ Association (EEF), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). DExEU Minister Robin Walker has also twice attended the Tourism Industry Council and the former Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis MP held a roundtable with the hospitality sector.

The Government has also asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to gather evidence on patterns of EU migration and the role of migration in the wider economy, ahead of our exit from the EU. In their interim report published in March, the MAC reported that they had received 417 responses from a wide range of sectors and businesses - a record for a MAC commission. The MAC is due to publish their final report in September and the Government will take account of their findings when designing our future immigration system.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their manifesto pledge to improve the nutrition of 50 million people by 2020, what steps they are taking to tackle malnutrition globally.

DFID is continuing to scale-up support for both direct nutrition services and programmes to address the underlying causes of malnutrition so that we deliver the commitment by 2020. Current forecasts show we are on track to meet this target as well as to meet commitments made at the Nutrition for Growth Summit, 2013.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the issues being encountered by those companies being advised by the Department for International Trade to register within the EU Single Market to overcome the challenges they have encountered since the UK’s departure from the EU.

This advice is not Government policy. The Cabinet Office has issued clear guidance, available at gov.uk/transition, which we encourage all businesses to follow.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) supports companies with queries relating to our departure from the EU Single Market via our dedicated enquiry service.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that appropriate safety measures will not be compromised due to the minimum rail service legislation; and what steps they have taken to study the safety measures that have been implemented in (1) Belgium, and (2) France.

The Government and rail industry, including Network Rail, have worked together and continue to work together to ensure plans are in place to minimise disruption allowing for freight and passenger services to remain operational where possible. The Civil Contingencies Secretariat is also convening ministers daily during the strike period to assess operational response and impact.

We are looking at everything we can do to help maintain services amid disruption and Minimum Service legislation is just one part of that. We are experienced in safely running very reduced train services - the industry is currently doing so right now. Minimum service levels are a government manifesto commitment to introduce legislation which would require train operators to run a base number of services in the event of strike action. We of course encourage employers and unions to reach agreement wherever possible.

We will review any relevant comparable available evidence, including safety measures, in these countries and others, when developing any policy around the introduction of Minimum Service Levels.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the debate on 26 November (HL Deb, cols 403–23), whether they have any plans to procure portable toilets for use by heavy goods vehicle drivers using the port of Dover after 1 January 2021; and if so, what steps they are taking to ensure that Ministers in any such procurement process declare (1) personal interests, and (2) interests of family members, relevant to such a procurement.

The driver welfare provision within the ports will be provided by the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel under their usual arrangements. The Department for Transport is unable to comment on Port of Dover’s procurement process for welfare facilities.

Government Inland Border Facilities for lorry holding areas in Kent at Sevington and Manston will include facilities for HGV drivers, including toilet and hand washing provision.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the debate on 26 November (HL Deb, cols 403–23), whether they have made any assessment of the need to provide portable toilets for use by heavy goods vehicle drivers using the port of Dover after 1 January 2021; and if so, how many such toilets they estimate will be required.

The driver welfare provision within the ports will be provided by the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel under their usual arrangements. The Department for Transport is unable to comment on Port of Dover’s procurement process for welfare facilities.

Government Inland Border Facilities for lorry holding areas in Kent at Sevington and Manston will include facilities for HGV drivers, including toilet and hand washing provision.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to inform the local population that an objective decision will be made about the proposed development of a freight cargo project at Manston airport; and if so, how.

The decision by Her Majesty's Government to grant the Manston Airport Development Consent Order 2020 for the reopening and development of Manston Airport was published on the Planning Inspectorate’s National Infrastructure Planning Portal on 9 July 2020. This information will also be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to build more cargo airport developments.

Airports in the UK are owned and operated privately. Applications to develop airports for the purposes of storage and distribution will be considered by the appropriate planning authority.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the estimated costs are to date for the preparations of (1) Operation Stack, and (2) Operation Brock, to minimise any traffic disruption at the Port of Dover following the end of the Brexit transition period, including the costs of any exercises held.

Operation Stack is a long-standing approach to managing disruption caused by delays at the Channel ports. It involves partial or complete closure of parts of the M20. The Government has incurred no additional costs in relation to Operation Stack in preparing for the end of the EU transition period.

In view of the traffic management issues experienced in Kent when Operation Stack is invoked, the Kent Resilience Forum – with the Government’s assistance – has developed Operation Brock which includes a contraflow on the M20 to be available at the end of the transition period onwards. Highways England is spending £60.1 million in developing a Quick Moveable Barrier which can be installed within a few hours. In addition, the Government is putting in place additional temporary lorry holding capacity to enable the Kent Resilience Forum to manage disruption. These costs are subject to ongoing commercial discussions, so we are unable to disclose them at this time.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 24 July (HL6859), how much they have spent on preparations for the provision of additional lorry parking capacity at Manston Airport.

I can confirm that between August 2015 to June 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) has paid a total of £19.4m for the use of Manston Airfield as a lorry park. DfT paid £10.3m as part of the EU Exit no deal preparation contingency planning and £9.1m for the use of Manston Airfield for business as usual and Operation Stack. This has enabled DfT to use Manston Airfield to hold HGVs for traffic management purposes, in the event of disruption of flow at the short straits crossings.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made (1) in preparing for any increased traffic, and (2) in providing additional lorry parking capacity, in Kent in preparation for the impact of new trade agreements following the exit from the single market.

We are continuing to work at pace with the Kent Resilience Forum to revise traffic management contingency plans, to deal with the potential congestion at the end of the transition period. One such measure is Highways England’s Quick Movable Barrier project, which will be operational from December 2020. This flexible concrete barrier can be deployed on the M20 in Kent within 24 hours to form a safe contraflow, compared to the previous steel barrier which required a month of overnight closures to set up.

We can also?confirm?that the Department has purchased the?MOJO site in Ashford.?This site will form part of our contingency planning which aims to help ensure the free flow of freight and reduce the risk of disruption at the border at the end of the transition period. It was chosen due to its strategic location, with easy access to the M20, the primary corridor to and from key ports within the Dover Straits.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to create more space for walking and cycling during the COVID-19-related lockdown.

The Government welcomes appropriate changes to roads to give cyclists and pedestrians more space to enable social distancing. The details are for local authorities as they are responsible for managing their roads, but the Government is pleased to see that some local authorities have already begun to consider such changes.

There is a well-established range of traffic management measures already available to local authorities. Some measures, such as road closures, require Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to make them legal and enforceable, and we are aware that parts of that process are difficult for local authorities to comply with during the current situation. To assist with this, the Department has published temporary guidance, which suggests ways in which authorities can continue to make TROs, whilst still complying with the intention of the legislation.

This guidance has been circulated to local authorities already and will be kept under review. It will be withdrawn when circumstances allow.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with UK airline companies about ensuring refunds for customers whose travel arrangements were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the challenges businesses and consumers are experiencing regarding refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. Airlines are working hard to answer the high call volumes and to process the very large number of applications for refunds.

The Government appreciates the distress and frustration consumers may be experiencing. The Department for Transport is in regular conversation with UK airlines and working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the number of road accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians has increased by almost 50 per cent between 2009 and 2015; what assessment they have made of the difficulty of identifying the cyclists who infringe the rules for cyclists; and what consideration they are giving to introducing measures to improve the identification of cyclists.

The number of road accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians has increased by 51.3 per cent between 2009 and 2015. In 2009 the number of pedestrians hit by a cyclist was 275 compared to 416 in 2015. The Department has made no recent assessment of the difficulties of identifying cyclists; the police consider they have sufficient powers to investigate if they are unsure of a person’s identity. The Cycle Safety Review was announced on 21 September 2017. Phase 1 of the review will consider the case for a new offence for cyclists akin to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving.

25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group Child of the North Child Poverty and the Cost of Living Crisis, published on 23 January, what steps they are taking to help mitigate the effects of the increased cost of living for families in areas with the highest levels of child poverty.

The Government is committed to reducing child poverty and supporting low-income families. We will spend over £245bn through the welfare system in 2022/23 including £111bn on people of working age.

In 2023/24, subject to parliamentary approval, we are uprating all benefit rates and State Pensions by 10.1%. In order to increase the number of households who can benefit from these uprating decisions the benefit cap levels are also increasing by the same amount.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living this winter and is taking action to help. The Government's Energy Price Guarantee will save a typical British household around £900 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap - reducing bills by roughly a third. This is in addition to the £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

For those who require additional support the current Household Support Fund, running in England from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, is providing £421 million of funding. The devolved administrations have been allocated £79 million through the Barnett formula.  The Household Support Fund will continue until March 2024. This year long extension allows Local Authorities in England to continue to provide discretionary support to those most in need to help with the significantly rising cost of living. The Devolved Administrations will receive consequential funding as usual to spend at their discretion.

In addition, for 2023/24, households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments. This will be split into three payments of around £300 each across the 2023/24 financial year. A separate £300 payment will be made to pensioner households on top of their Winter Fuel Payments and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment. Further to this, the amended Energy Price Guarantee will save the average UK household £500 in 2023/24.

With 1.16 million job vacancies across the UK, our focus remains firmly on supporting parents to move into, and progress in work, an approach which is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment - particularly where it is full-time - in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children. To further support those who are in work, from 1 April 2023 subject to parliamentary approval, the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over - the largest ever cash increase for the NLW.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase Universal Credit in line with inflation.

The Secretary of State has a statutory annual obligation to review state pensions and benefits including Universal Credit. His review will commence following the publication of the relevant indices by the Office for National Statistics and his decisions will be announced to Parliament shortly.

7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the number of job vacancies in the (1) care, and (2) hospitality, sectors.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is continuing to work with the Department for Health and Social Care, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Devolved Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as other Government Departments to fill vacancies in adult social care, hospitality and other sectors, offering training for those who need it, and securing jobs directly for those ready to move into roles.

Two websites, JobHelp and Employer Help, were launched last year by the Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. JobHelp offers job search advice, showcases recruiting sectors, including adult social care and hospitality, and signposts to job vacancies to help people successfully find work.

The Department is continuing to deliver the Plan for Jobs, which is focused on providing a skills and employment offer which allows people to adapt and pivot into the job roles that employers need to fill. This includes targeted provision such as Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) (in England and Scotland), which comprise training, work experience and a guaranteed interview for a real job.

Launched in September 2020, the DWP Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion scheme to create thousands of 6-month jobs for 16 – 24 year-olds on Universal Credit, who have been hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic. As part of Plan for Jobs, Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) is now live across England, Wales and Scotland. JETS provides light touch employment support for participants who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, for up to 6 months within the first year of unemployment.

We have also just launched the Restart Scheme which will provide intensive, tailored employment support to help over 1 million Universal Credit claimants back towards sustained employment.

The Department is working with trade bodies from England (Skills for Care), Wales (Social Care Wales) and Scotland (Scottish Social Services Council) to actively promote opportunities in the care sector and with key Hospitality sector employers and trade associations such as UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association to promote opportunities in the hospitality sector.

7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that (1) scientists, (2) care workers, and (3) volunteers, working with vaccines are kept safe while undertaking their duties.

Employers, including those involved in scientific activities such as the development, manufacture and testing of vaccines, are required to risk assess the activities they plan to undertake and implement controls to mitigate identified risks. Activities with certain types of vaccines (e.g. genetically modified organisms or biological agents), may require notification to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in advance of the work, providing details of the activity, and a summary of the risk assessment and key controls. Notifications are assessed by HSE before permission is granted.

HSE may carry out inspections of facilities involved in the development, manufacture or testing of vaccines to ensure that necessary controls are in place and workers, including scientists, are not put at risk while undertaking their duties. Inspections cover a range of topics including engineering controls, procedural controls, training and competence of workers and management of health and safety. If breaches of health and safety legislation are identified there are a range of enforcement tools (from verbal instruction to enforcement notices) available to help achieve compliance.

Care workers and volunteers are not involved in the administration of vaccines.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a new income support cash benefit for low-income families for which the job retention scheme and universal credit are not sufficient to prevent them from falling into poverty.

In response to COVID-19, the Government has announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes. This includes over £6.5 billion of extra support through the welfare system. It is one of the most generous business and welfare packages by any government so far in response to COVID-19.

This includes widening the scope of Statutory Sick Pay and making accessing benefits easier for those affected by COVID-19.

The Government has introduced further measures to support those on low-incomes, including:

  • a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element which will be in place for one year;
  • a temporary relaxation of earnings rules (the Minimum Income Floor) for self-employed Universal Credit claimants; and
  • an increase in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants to the 30th percentile of market rents, benefitting over one million households who will gain on average an additional £600 per year.
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether citizens with pre-settled status will be entitled to Universal Credit during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what steps they have taken to support such citizens who have (1) faced discrimination, and (2) are unable to find a job.

Those granted pre-settled status have the same access to benefits as they did prior to the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). EEA citizens with pre-settled status are eligible to claim DWP income-related benefits such as Universal Credit if they are exercising a qualifying EU Treaty Right. This includes those with a worker or self-employed status and EEA workers with retained worker status who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Government measures to support workers and their families through Covid-19 are also available for EEA citizens with pre-settled status under the EUSS who meet the eligibility criteria. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-employed Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay.

EEA citizens with pre-settled status can also claim contributory benefits providing they meet eligibility criteria.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering a review of Carers Allowance to ensure that it is sufficient to meet the financial support needs of carers.

This Government recognises and appreciates the valuable support that carers provide to those with care needs.

Since 2010 the rate of Carer’s Allowance has increased from £53.90 to £62.70 a week, meaning an additional £450 a year for carers. Carer’s Allowance is excluded from the benefit freeze and is uprated annually in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Carers on low incomes can access other financial support through income-related benefits. Income Support, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit include an additional carer’s premium of £34.95 a week. Universal Credit includes a carer’s element of £151.89 per monthly assessment period. People entitled to Carer’s Allowance or the carer’s element in Universal Credit are not subject to the benefit cap.

As society ages and care needs increase, it is important that carers are able to combine caring with paid employment, or return to paid work when their caring duties allow. The Government’s Fuller Working Lives Strategy, published in February 2017, sets out proposals to help carers combine work and care or prepare for returning to the labour market. In addition, earned income up to £116 net a week is ignored for the purposes of Carer’s Allowance. Means-tested benefits and Universal Credit also provide for care to be combined with earnings.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support boxers and footballers with dementia pugilistica who currently rely on financial assistance from various charities.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council’s (IIAC) 2005 review of Dementia in boxers and footballers concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend an addition to the list of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (available to employed earners) prescribed diseases. In 2014 IIAC sought high quality research evidence about the risks of neurodegenerative diseases in professional sportspersons. The IIAC response in May 2016 concluded that despite the passage of time, epidemiological evidence on risk of dementia pugilistica in boxers relative to other workers remains elusive, and that there was no new important evidence to change the previous appraisal of prescription in respect of soccer players. As in 2005, there remains insufficient evidence to indicate a more than doubled risk of a dementia in boxers.

IIAC has no plans at present to revisit this, but would likely reconsider should new evidence emerge. However the department provides a range of benefits to support with extra costs of disability, which individuals may be entitled to depending on their circumstances.

7th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their commitment to treat mental health as seriously as physical health, what assessment they have made of the findings of MIND that over 160,000 people with mental health problems would be affected by their proposed changes to the Personal Independence Payment.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ensures parity of treatment between mental and physical conditions by looking at the overall needs of an individual, not which conditions they have. However, recent legal cases have broadened the way the PIP assessment criteria are interpreted. The Government has, therefore, made drafting changes to the PIP regulations to help ensure that PIP is being delivered in line with its original intent. The changes to the regulations will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement on 17 November, what proportion of the £2.8bn funding increase for the social care sector will go towards supporting carer services and workers.

The Government is continuing to finalise the conditions of this funding and further information will be issued to local authorities in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps are they taking (1) to increase the carer workforce, and (2) to reduce staff turnover rates in the sector.

We are promoting adult social care careers through a national recruitment campaign, which launched on 2 November. We are also providing resources and practical toolkits for care providers to attract, train and retain care staff, including the Workforce Development Fund.

We are making available up to £2.8 billion of additional funding for social care in 23-24 and £4.7 billion in 24-25 to support adult social care and discharge - the biggest funding increase in history.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to mitigate the impact of the increased cost of living on the NHS ahead of this winter.

The Government is mitigating the potential public health impacts of the increased cost of living on the National Health Service, such as the effect of cold homes. The Government has announced unprecedented support to protect households and businesses from high energy prices. The Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme are supporting millions of households and businesses with rising energy costs until April 2023. In addition, we have allocated £15 billion for the most vulnerable households.

As announced in ‘Our plan for patients’, we are addressing the immediate priorities for the NHS in winter 2022/23, through improving ambulance services and response times; creating additional capacity in hospitals; reducing the backlog in elective services and eliminating long waiting times for treatment; improving discharge from hospitals and reforming social care; and ensuring patients can access primary care and dental services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve mental health (1) services, and (2) access, across England.

We are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year to expand mental health services in England by 2023/24 and support a further two million people to access National Health Service-funded mental health services. As announced in ‘Our plan for patients’, we will continue to increase the availability of mental health support for adults, children and young people.

We are also addressing disparities in mental health and wellbeing outcomes in groups which experience worse outcomes than the general population. In response to the ‘Mental health and wellbeing plan: discussion paper and call for evidence’, we received submissions from 5,273 respondents in England. We are currently considering these responses and further information will be available in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government which provisions contained in the Carers and Disabled Children’s Act 2000 have been incorporated in the Health and Care Act 2022; and which provisions have been omitted.

No provisions from the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 have been incorporated into the Health and Care Act 2022 since the 2000 Act was repealed in 2016. However, Section 25 of the Health and Care Act 2022 makes new provisions in the National Health Service Act 2006 to include a duty for integrated care boards (ICBs) to involve carers when making relevant decisions about commissioning arrangements and promote the involvement of carers in decisions which relate to the care and treatment of the person for whom they care. Section 91 of the Health and Care Act 2022 also replaces section 74 of the Care Act 2014 with a new duty on National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts to consider how to involve an adult patient and their carer, including young carers, in discharge planning, in circumstances where the patient is likely to require care and support following discharge from hospital.

The Health and Care Act 2022 also transfers the duties relating to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from clinical commissioning groups to ICBs and confers a duty on ICBs to have regard to the SEND Code of Practice.

28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support families, particularly those on low incomes, to meet the continued guidance to test for COVID-19 before visiting care homes.

Most visitors to care homes will no longer need to test before entering a care setting. Visitors are asked to take necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, in line with general population guidance. There are a small number of residents who need support with personal care from a visitor with whom they have a close relationship. These visitors may be asked to test before entering, up to twice weekly if visiting more than twice, with free lateral flow device tests available.

17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of specialist homeless health services across the NHS; and what plans they have to commission more of these services.

Most specialist homeless health services are commissioned locally which enables local areas to tailor services to the needs of their population. The National Health Service committed up to £30 million from 2019 to 2024 through the NHS Long Term Plan to establish new specialist mental health provision to improve the health of homeless people. Additionally, the we have provided £16 million for specialist out of hospital care services with support from discharge and beyond.

10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the consequences will be for frontline NHS staff who refuse to get vaccinated by 1 April 2022.

We continue to encourage all National Health Service staff to become vaccinated to help protect themselves, their colleagues and the people they care for. Over 92% of NHS staff have now done so.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment)(Coronavirus)(No.2) Regulations set out that a person who is unvaccinated again COVID-19 must not be deployed in the provision of Care Quality Commission-regulated activity subject to certain conditions. In instances where staff choose not to be vaccinated there may be an option, on a case by case basis, to move into a non-patient facing role.

17th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with (1) carers’ unions, and (2) other bodies representing carers, before taking the decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for those working as carers.

The Department consulted on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes from 14 April to 26 May 2021 and received more than 13,500 consultation responses. The Department also conducted extensive engagement, including meeting with organisations representing paid and unpaid carers, and with individuals with lived experience of care. These discussions have formed a crucial part of our policy development.

Regulations were laid on 22 June to make vaccination a condition of entry in all Care Quality Commission-regulated care homes. Exemptions apply to service users and their friends or relatives; those under 18 years old; those providing emergency assistance or urgent maintenance work; those visiting service users who are dying or experiencing bereavement; and individuals who should not be vaccinated for clinical reasons.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the forthcoming Health and Social Care Bill will make provision relating to unpaid carers.

We recognise the vital role all unpaid carers play, especially during this difficult period and are committed to supporting carers to provide care as they would wish, and to do so in a way that supports their own health and wellbeing and other life chances.

The Health and Social Care Bill provides an opportunity to create a health and care system that is more accountable and responsive to the people that use it. We are committed to ensuring that the voices of unpaid carers and those who access care and support are properly embedded in the design and development of Integrated Care Systems.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they will provide to people suffering from long-Covid after the pandemic.

We are working with the National Health Service and wider scientific community to better understand the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 infection, including symptom severity, symptom duration and how best to support recovery. Over £30 million of funding has already been committed to ‘long’ COVID-19 research projects and a further £20 million is available for an additional research call announced on 25 March 2021.

Specialist NHS ‘long’ COVID-19 assessment services have opened across England and NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced that more than 80 clinics will be open by the end of April 2021.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Prime Minister on 8 July 2020 (HC Deb, col 964) that they will “invest massively in our care homes and in our care workers”, and further to the judgment in Royal Mencap Society (Respondent) v Tomlinson-Blake (Appellant) [2021] UKSC 8, what plans they have to legislate to provide that care workers are paid at least the national minimum wage for the entirety of a sleep-in shift.

The Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal judgment. Workers on ‘sleep-in’ shifts are entitled to the minimum wage for the time they are awake for the purpose of working.

The Government is considering the implications of the judgement with care commissioners and providers to consider what action, if any, is needed. We therefore have no plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend National Minimum Wage regulations at this time.

19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of concerns raised by recipients of the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine about the Government's decision to extend the time between the administration of the first and second doses of the vaccine; what steps they are taking to assure recipients of the first dose of its efficacy; and what plans they have to publish guidance about the efficacy level of a single dose.

Public confidence in the vaccine programme is of paramount importance. The Government will continue to provide clear and regular updates to the public on progress and the impact of the programme, including publishing evidence on the effectiveness of the vaccines and data on adverse reactions to the vaccines.

Public Health England (PHE) has been monitoring the effectiveness of the vaccines, including the effects of dosage schedules. NHS England regularly publishes guidance and runs public information campaigns on the vaccines, to ensure the public is fully aware and informed. Data from PHE’s SIREN study shows that both available vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca, provide high protection against COVID-19 infections after a single dose, beyond 56 days of having been vaccinated. A copy of Public Health England’s Annex A: Report to JCVI on estimated efficacy of a single dose of Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2 mRNA) vaccine and of a single dose of ChAdOx1 vaccine (AZD1222) is attached.

18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that deliveries of takeaway food to homes adhere to sufficient hygiene measures for the (1) preparation, and (2) delivery, of such food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to these COVID-19 challenges, in August 2020 the Food Standards Agency launched the ‘Here to Help’ campaign to provide tailored guidance for small food businesses such as restaurants, takeaways and coffee shops, to outline changes to hygiene processes and requirements they must follow as they develop new ways of working. The Here to Help campaign aims to support businesses in getting this right, to ensure consumers continue to have access to food that is safe. Assessing whether food takeaway businesses comply with food law is the responsibility of local authorities.

18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that elderly recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine do not have to travel excessive distances to receive such a vaccine.

In England, more than 98% of the population are currently within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit. Local vaccination services can also coordinate and deliver vaccination to people who are unable to attend a vaccination site, including visiting care homes, residential facilities for people with learning disabilities or autism, prisons, the homes of housebound individuals, and to reach vulnerable groups such as those who are experiencing homelessness. In England, the latest data from 2 April shows that a total of 1,791 vaccination sites have now been established.

18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to increase NHS funding (1) to maintain, and (2) to improve on, existing standards in the light of the increased expenditure required to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been clear that the National Health Service will get whatever funding it needs to respond to COVID-19.

In July, the Chancellor announced an extra £31.9 billion of support for health services and on 24 September, an additional £16.4 billion for health services. As part of this funding we have provided funding to a £3 billion package of additional capacity initiatives to support the NHS through the winter, including keeping the Nightingale hospitals capacity available during winter, accessing increased capacity from independent sector providers, and supporting increased safe discharge of patients from NHS hospitals.

18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the publication of the social care green paper has been delayed since March 2017; whether that paper remains a Government priority; if not, why not; and when they estimate that paper to be published.

During the pandemic, the Government’s priority for adult social care is to ensure that people get the care they need and are protected from COVID-19. We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the rules which prevent groups of more than six gathering socially, including whether those rules are fit for purpose.

The Government is keeping its social distancing measures under continual review. The Government will only make changes when we are confident we can do so safely. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care keeps the restrictions and requirements under constant consideration, to ensure the measures continue to be both proportionate and necessary. The Government continues to issue guidance to support the public.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care homes have closed as a result of cuts to local authority budgets.

We do not hold data nationally on reasons for care home closures.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to shape their local market to ensure that they are sustainable, diverse and offer high quality care and support for people in their local area. The Care Act places a duty on local authorities to ensure that people continue to receive the services they need if their adult social care provider is no longer able to carry on delivering services. As in any market there are entries and exits of care providers, however the number of overall care home beds has remained broadly constant over the last 10 years from 460,664 beds in 2010 to 457,847 beds, as of June 2020.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have put in place for carers who are (1) having to rely on food banks, and (2) not paid for the care they are providing to vulnerable family members, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital contribution made by unpaid carers, including young carers, who are providing invaluable support for relatives, friends and neighbours who are ill, elderly or disabled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those who find themselves in severe financial difficulties, the Government announced up to £16 million to provide food for charities and other organisations supporting those who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this funding will provide millions of meals and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).

23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the existing support provided to young carers, what plans they have to ensure such carers are paid for their work.

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital contribution made by unpaid carers, including young carers, who are providing invaluable support for relatives, friends and neighbours who are ill, elderly or disabled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those who find themselves in severe financial difficulties, the Government announced up to £16 million to provide food for charities and other organisations supporting those who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this funding will provide millions of meals and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 7 June that the targets for testing patients for COVID-19 in care homes and supplying staff with personal protective equipment in such homes have been met, what plans they have to supply such equipment to close family members of residents of those homes; and what assessment they have made of the impact such provision could have on the morale of (1) residents, and (2) their families.

The Government has stepped in to support the supply and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the care sector. We have focused on ensuring there is an emergency supply in place, whilst building a longer-term solution for distribution to the sector. ?There are no plans to provide PPE for the family of care home residents. We continually keep our guidance under review.

We are aware that limiting visits in care homes is difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones. We are working with the National Health Service and Public Health England, service users, academics and the voluntary sector to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and loneliness.

We are reviewing our policy on visitors and are looking to update our guidance shortly.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the announcement that the Welsh Government is giving additional payments to care workers, what consideration they have given to making similar payments.

The National Minimum Wage and Living Wage apply across social care and we expect local authorities to work with providers to determine a fair rate of pay.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the risk of people intentionally seeking to buy fake coronavirus test results within the black market if employers allow workers to return on the basis of a positive antibody test.

The Chief Medical Officer discourages in the strongest terms organisations from buying their own unvalidated antibody tests. Professor John Newton has also warned that unapproved tests could be misleading, by providing inaccurate or inconsistent results, potentially putting those tested and those around them at risk. He has therefore advised organisations both in the public and private sector against the use of antibody tests that have not been verified in a laboratory setting.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to allow (1) final year GP Speciality trainees, and (2) those on the Targeted GP Training Scheme, to join the GP Register without completing their final exams.

The Government has no plans to allow general practitioners (GPs) in training who have not completed their final exams, or those who have failed to pass the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ examination, to join the GP register.

The emergency powers in the Medical Act 1983 do not allow the General Medical Council to grant temporary specialist or GP registration to doctors who have not previously held this type of registration.

If a doctor has been removed from GP training due to failure to demonstrate competence for practice, there is no means in statute for them to become fully qualified GPs without demonstrating this competence.

The Royal College of General Practitioners and the four statutory education bodies are working to find a solution for trainees who have had their examinations cancelled as a result of COVID-19 to demonstrate their competence and qualify as a GP. A temporary recorded alternative to the Clinical Skills Assessment is rapidly being developed (subject to approval by the General Medical Council). The Royal College of General Practitioners is also working with their testing partner to enable the Applied Knowledge Test to resume at test centres with appropriate social distancing safeguards in place from July and are investigating options for remote invigilation for those who are shielding.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to allow individuals who have completed three years of GP Speciality Training but failed to pass the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners examination to join the GP register.

The Government has no plans to allow general practitioners (GPs) in training who have not completed their final exams, or those who have failed to pass the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ examination, to join the GP register.

The emergency powers in the Medical Act 1983 do not allow the General Medical Council to grant temporary specialist or GP registration to doctors who have not previously held this type of registration.

If a doctor has been removed from GP training due to failure to demonstrate competence for practice, there is no means in statute for them to become fully qualified GPs without demonstrating this competence.

The Royal College of General Practitioners and the four statutory education bodies are working to find a solution for trainees who have had their examinations cancelled as a result of COVID-19 to demonstrate their competence and qualify as a GP. A temporary recorded alternative to the Clinical Skills Assessment is rapidly being developed (subject to approval by the General Medical Council). The Royal College of General Practitioners is also working with their testing partner to enable the Applied Knowledge Test to resume at test centres with appropriate social distancing safeguards in place from July and are investigating options for remote invigilation for those who are shielding.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in providing all NHS staff with adequate personal protection equipment; and what plans they have to raise the salaries of NHS workers in order to provide financial support to families of such staff.

We are incredibly proud of all our National Health Service staff. We are working hard to ensure that staff feel supported and safe to continue the fight against COVID-19.

The Government is working around the clock with industry and the army to give the NHS the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have delivered over 1 billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the United Kingdom. The guidance on PPE is consistent with World Health Organization guidance for protecting health and social care workers from COVID-19.

The Government recognises the extraordinary commitment of NHS staff, working day and night putting our care and safety at the centre of everything they do. Annual pay awards for NHS staff are determined by an independent transparent pay review body process. We want to ensure that the NHS employment offer continues to attract, retain and reward staff and this offer continues to be kept under review.

11th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the risk of the Wuhan coronavirus spreading to the UK, what steps are being taken to ensure that there are sufficient face masks in production for use in any such eventuality.

We have centrally held stocks of a range of medical products, including face masks, to mitigate supply problems and help ensure the uninterrupted supply to the National Health Service. We have well established procedures to deal with supply problems, regardless of the cause, and work closely with industry, the NHS and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that any risks to patients are minimised. Face masks for the general public are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of the benefit of their use outside healthcare environments.

18th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 11 February (HL13173) which stated that the "Social Care Green Paper remains a priority for this Government", how they define priority in this instance; and what are the Department of Health and Social Care's other priorities.

Building a sustainable care and support system where people understand their responsibilities and can prepare for the future is a key priority for this Government. It is important that people know that the care they receive will be to a high standard and will help them maintain their independence and well-being.

The Department continues to work closely on the Green Paper. Minsters meet regularly with officials and ensure that other departments and key stakeholders are consulted regularly.

In line with the Government’s planning and performance framework process, the Department’s priorities are published online in the Single Departmental Plan.

The Department’s priorities for 2018/19 are that we will:

- keep people healthy to support economic productivity and sustainable public services;

- transform primary care, community, and social care to keep people living more independent, healthier lives for longer in their community;

- support the National Health Service to deliver high quality, safe and sustainable hospital care and secure the right workforce;

- support research and innovation to maximise health and economic productivity;

- ensure accountability of the health and care system to Parliament and the taxpayer, and create an efficient and effective Department;

- create value (reduced costs and growing income) by promoting better awareness and adoption of good commercial practice across the Department and our arm’s length bodies.

The Department’s 2019/20 Single Departmental Plan will be published in due course in line with the usual processes.

27th Jun 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure that any recommendations arising from the green paper on social care to be published in the summer will be considered separately to plans for the allocation of the £20.5 billion additional funding to NHS England announced by the Prime Minister on 18 June.

It is right that social care funding is agreed alongside the rest of the local government settlement at the forthcoming spending review. However, we recognise that the health and social care systems are two sides of the same coin and we will ensure that social care places no additional pressure on the National Health Service. We also know that decisions on future reforms must be aligned, and this is precisely why it makes sense that we are now publishing the Green Paper in the autumn, around the same time as the NHS plan.

12th Jun 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated cost to the NHS of the treatment of obesity in (1) 2016, and (2) 2017.

The economic burden of ill health due to diet, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol and obesity in the UK: an update to 2006-07 NHS costs estimated that overweight and obesity cost the National Health Service in the United Kingdom £5.1 billion per year. This figure was uplifted to £6.1 billion in 2014/15 to take account of inflation. No estimates have been made centrally of the cost of obesity in 2016 or 2017.

A copy of The economic burden of ill health due to diet, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol and obesity in the UK: an update to 2006-07 NHS costs is attached.

3rd May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to reduce vacancy levels amongst medical professionals and ancillary staff in the NHS.

As set out in NHS Improvement’s most recent quarterly Performance of the NHS provider sector report, management information shows that over the course of the last year medical vacancy rates have reduced, from 10,848 whole time equivalent (WTE) in the first quarter of 2017/18 to 9,676 WTE in the third quarter of 2017/18.

A copy of Performance of the NHS provider sector for the month ended 31 December 2017 is attached.

NHS Improvement supports providers to reduce these rates. This includes programmes to reduce reliance on medicals locums and the development of new roles to support advanced clinical practice.

Information on the vacancy rates of ancillary staff is not available centrally.

7th Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to address the reported practice of drugs manufacturers supplying unlicensed medicines or special orders to the NHS at an inflated cost.

Our priority is to ensure that patients have access to safe and effective medicines.

For unlicensed medicines known as ‘specials’, reimbursement arrangements are in place that provide value for money in the majority of instances.

No company should exploit the National Health Service. That is why the Department will lay new regulations in the next few months that will require all specials manufacturers to provide information to the Department related to their sales. This will provide more transparency about the costs of specials and make our reimbursement arrangements more robust.

19th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what change there will be in the number of people aged 65 and above by 2030; and what assessment they have made of the demand for an increase in the number of care workers and the need for measures to be introduced to aid recruitment and retention.

The Office for National Statistics publishes population projections. The latest forecasts for England between 2017 and 2030 shows there is projected to be a 31% increase from 10,063,400 to 13,166,900 in the number of people aged 65 and over.

The Department is aware that our challenge, working alongside stakeholders in the adult social care sector, is to ensure the workforce has the right number of people to meet increasing demands, with the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to deliver quality, compassionate care. That is why we have set out a plan to attract and retain talented staff, backed by an additional £2 billion investment in the sector over the next three years and a commitment to consult on the future of social care to ensure sustainability in the long term.

Skill for Care publishes projections of the adult social care workforce and they forecast the number of adult social care jobs could increase by 31% (500,000 jobs) to around two million jobs by 2030.

6th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the expenditure per head of population for each NHS England clinical commissioning group.

The information is not available in the format requested. However, figures for the total expenditure of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England for 2016-17 are in the table, which has been attached owing to the size of the data.

6th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Health Foundation's recommendations in its Election Briefing: NHS and Social Care Funding, that (1) the level of NHS spending per person should, as a minimum, be maintained, and (2) health care funding should increase at least in line with the growth of GDP.

National Health Service funding as announced in the 2015 Spending Review will see real terms rises in spend per head of 3.6% over the period 2015-16 to 2020-21 or an average of 0.7% in real terms per annum.

NHS funding is planned to increase by 7.5% over the period 2015-16 to 2020-21 or an average of 1.5% in real terms per annum. The Government recognises that the delivery of a strong economy is of vital importance to enable sufficient funding for the future sustainability of the NHS.

6th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to widen access to specialist care for the 2,500 young people each year who are diagnosed with cancer, in the light of the estimate by the Teenage Cancer Trust that only half those people are currently in receipt of such services.

NHS England, through its Specialised Commissioning team, commissions cancer services for children, teenagers and young people (0-24) on the basis of service specifications. The requirements in the service specification should be delivered by providers to all patients. The service specification outlines the role of different organisations and multidisciplinary teams as follows:

- Patients aged 16 to 18 years should be admitted to a Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Principal Treatment Centre which should provide age appropriate facilities;

- Patients aged 19 to 24 years should be offered a choice of access to a TYA Principal Treatment Centre with unhindered access to age- appropriate facilities; or

- A hospital designated to provide care for young adults within its adult cancer services.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the statement in the Queen's Speech that they will ensure that mental health is prioritised in the National Health Service, what steps they are taking to (1) end health inequalities faced by people with severe mental illness, and (2) ensure that those people have the same life expectancy as the rest of the population.

This Government was the first to introduce waiting time targets for mental health, has increased funding to £11.6 billion and committed to increasing access to 1 million more people by 2020/21.

Public Health England (PHE) is taking action to reduce premature mortality for people with serious mental illness.

PHE has responsibility for Recommendation 20 in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which focuses on ensuring that people with mental health problems who are at greater risk of poor physical health get access to prevention and screening programmes. This includes primary and secondary prevention through screening and NHS Health Checks, as well as interventions for physical activity, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and access to ‘stop smoking’ services.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government how they intend to address findings from the Health Foundation that in the past three years the NHS has failed to meet its target for ambulance response times for those 999 calls where there is an immediate threat to life.

The Secretary of State for Health announced the publication of the University of Sheffield Report on the Ambulance Response Programme and subsequent recommendations by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, on 13 July 2017. The report evaluates a series of pilots intended to support ambulance services in England to maintain and improve clinical outcomes for patients in the face of unprecedented increases in demand.

Based on the extensive evidence base detailed in the report, NHS England will put in place a new framework of ambulance performance standards and related operational changes that are focused on patients’ clinical needs and will help the service to operate more efficiently. One of the key consquences of the changes is that the ambulance services in England will be able to more consistently and sustainabily be able to provide rapid responds to calls where there is an immediate threat to life.

NHS England will now implement the Ambulance Response Programme recommendations in all ambulance services in the England so that patients across the country will benefit from the improvements seen in the pilot ambulance services.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendation from the charity Rethink Mental Illness in their Manifesto 2017, that Her Majesty’s Government should appoint a cabinet level ministerial post for mental health with responsibility for ensuring a cross-Government plan to address mental inequalities.

Improving mental health in England is a priority for this Government and my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who is part of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, is committed to ensuring the transformation of mental health through delivery of the mental health commitments in the Five Year Forward View. This includes addressing mental health inequalities. To ensure the delivery of this transformation programme a robust governance structure has been put in place, which includes ministers across Whitehall.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government how they intend to ensure that the UK's withdrawal from the EU does not jeopardise or undermine cross–border healthcare provision in Northern Ireland.

As the Prime Minister said in her Article 50 letter we want to avoid a return to a hard border between the United Kingdom and Ireland and maintain the Common Travel Area (CTA) between us. We recognise that for the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland, the ability to move freely across the border is an essential part of daily life. There is a strong appetite on both sides of the border and in all parts of the UK to maintain the current status quo. The Government has been clear that there will be no immediate changes to our practices surrounding the CTA.

6th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 1 March (HL5492), what action they are taking to investigate potential fraudulent practice, as is reported to be taking place in relation to Manuka honey.

Under the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) 1169/2011, food labelling must not mislead the consumer. The Honey Regulations 2015 lay down compositional requirements for honey and require that when the floral origin of a honey is given, such honey must come wholly or mainly from that plant. Establishing the authenticity of Manuka can be challenging, however, as there is no common standard for the product. It can also be hard, from a scientific perspective, to distinguish one pollen type from another.

The Government has also set up the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) to identify and instigate action where fraud (rather than regulatory) offending is taking place. The NFCU currently has no intelligence to suggest organised criminal exploitation of the lack of clarity around Manuka authenticity or intentionally misleading health or therapeutic claims. The likely appeal to the criminal of capitalising on price differentials between standard and Manuka honey, however, remains substantial.

23rd Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement by the Secretary of State for Health in his speech to the Conservative Party Conference that "a country that works for everyone takes special care of the public service closest to everyone’s heart", what was the outcome of his recent visit to New York to discuss links and collaboration between the UK and US health sectors.

After the referendum vote to leave the European Union, the Secretary of State for Health committed to meeting the Chief Executives of the global top 10 pharmaceutical companies. As part of this, he visited New York to deliver assurance of the United Kingdom’s commitment to life sciences, research and innovation and to encourage United States investment in the UK life sciences sector.

20th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why in-year variations of primary dental care contracts are no longer permitted.

NHS England advises that commissioners continue to be able to agree in year variations of primary care dental contracts. There has been no change of policy on this. Agreeing variations remains at local discretion.

6th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of their plan to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity, in the light of the absence of the regulation of advertising and price promotions in that plan.

The policies in the plan are informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, other government departments, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

We are confident that the measures we have announced will make a real difference and estimate could reduce childhood obesity rates by about a fifth (330,000) over the next ten years. Though we are clear in our goals and firm in the action we will take, the launch of this plan represents the start of a conversation, rather than the final word.

A copy of Carbohydrates and Health and Sugar reduction: the evidence for action are attached.

5th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to their plan to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity, in what practical ways they intend to increase physical activity amongst children to reduce obesity.

The Government’s Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action published on 18 August 2016 sets out the actions we are taking to support children and young people to meet the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officer’s daily recommended levels of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. A copy of the plan is attached. This includes doubling the Primary PE and Sport Premium from September 2017, a new interactive online tool to help schools identify gaps in existing provision and recommend ways of increasing opportunities for children to be active, and access to high quality sports and physical activity programmes for all primary schools in England. This year we are investing another £1 million in the Change4Life Sports Clubs programme which targets the less active children.

In addition, we will develop a new, voluntary healthy rating scheme available to all primary schools. It will recognise and encourage schools’ contribution to preventing obesity by helping children to eat better and move more.

We will also be providing more guidance for schools about how they can work with the school nurses, health centres, healthy weight teams in local authorities and other resources, to help children develop a healthier lifestyle.

19th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish their strategy on tackling child obesity; and whether that strategy will include a commitment to children taking part in sports activity, as well as the monitoring and regulation of the advertising of sugary products.

Our forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy will look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet will be working over the coming days and weeks to establish their priorities and how we deliver on these commitments.

18th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will ensure that physical activity is an integral part of tackling obesity in the forthcoming childhood obesity strategy, in the light of the correlation between inactivity and childhood obesity.

Our Childhood Obesity Strategy, which will be launched in the summer, will look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese including inactivity.

28th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the extent of evidence and support, nationally and internationally, for a sugar tax as an element of tackling obesity, and why they do not support such a tax.

As part of its review to identify possible actions to reduce sugar intakes and inform the Government’s thinking on sugar, Public Health England considered the current evidence around fiscal measures such as a tax on sugary foods and drinks. We are considering this alongside other evidence as we develop our childhood obesity strategy which will be launched shortly. It will look at everything, including sugar, that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese. It will also set out what more can be done by all sides.

28th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the support from a range of health organisations, including the World Health Organization, they plan to reconsider a sugar tax as a part of the forthcoming childhood obesity strategy.

As part of its review to identify possible actions to reduce sugar intakes and inform the Government’s thinking on sugar, Public Health England considered the current evidence around fiscal measures such as a tax on sugary foods and drinks. We are considering this alongside other evidence as we develop our childhood obesity strategy which will be launched shortly. It will look at everything, including sugar, that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese. It will also set out what more can be done by all sides.

19th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding they provide for (1) research and development in new technologies to monitor inactivity, and (2) evaluating the impact of local programmes to tackle inactivity.

The usual practice of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and of the Medical Research Council (MRC) is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available.


Public funders including the NIHR, the MRC, other Research Councils and Innovate UK fund a wide range of research relating to monitoring of physical activity/inactivity and the development and evaluation of interventions to support and encourage healthy behaviours including physical activity.


For example, the NIHR has recently funded a £0.8 million trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Football Fans in Training (FFIT) - a group-based, weight management and healthy living programme delivered by community coaches. The report of the study has been published in the NIHR Journals Library and is attached.

17th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of a recent report by UKactive that lack of exercise is estimated to cause 37,000 deaths annually and cost the UK economy £20 billion a year, what steps they are taking to reduce levels of inactivity.

The Government welcomes ukactive’s report. It makes an important contribution to the debate on physical activity and builds on the framework for action set out by Public Health England last year in “Everybody Active Every Day”.

The Government recognises the health, economic and social benefits to individuals, communities and the nation of increasing physical activity levels. Since 2011, the Government has invested over £450 million in the PE and Sport Primary Premium in order to improve PE and sport. A further £46.5 million has been invested in School Games in order to provide all children, regardless of their ability, with a chance to participate in competitive sport. In addition £13 million has been invested in Change4life sports clubs which targets the least active children and helps them get more active.


We are also committed to raising awareness among the public and health professionals of the benefits of physical activity. We have worked with experts to translate the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) guidelines on physical activity into easy messages in the form of an infographic which health professionals can now use with their patients when they discuss physical activity. The UK’s CMOs have now asked the experts to carry out a similar piece of work on physical activity for children and young people. In addition, Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign continues to support families to make healthy choices, including being active.

Further action to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour will be taken via the Government’s new strategy for sport to be published shortly.

14th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any plans to amend the treatment of hypothyroidism by including thyroid hormone combination therapies other than treatment by levothyroxine in the standard of care.

A blood test measuring hormone levels is the only accurate way to find out if there is a thyroid problem.


Best practice on the identification and management of hypothyroidism has been set out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in its guidance, The Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism, first published in 2008. The guidance, which is attached, was developed on behalf of key organisations, including the British Thyroid Association (BTA), the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) and the Society for Endocrinology (SOE), and is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners. A copy of the UK Guidelines is attached.


The RCP guidance sets out that the only validated method of testing thyroid function is through a blood sample, which must include measurement of the levels of thyroid‐stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) in serum, as recommended in the UK Guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests published by the BTA.


The RCP guidelines set out that overwhelming evidence supports the use of thyroxine hormone replacement (T4 or tetra-iodothyronine) alone in the treatment of hypothyroidism, with this usually being prescribed as levothyroxine. However, this does not prevent clinicians considering other forms of thyroid hormone replacement if appropriate.

The guidance remains up-to-date and a statement from the BTA Executive Committee supporting the existing guidelines was published in May 2015 in Clinical Endocrinology and endorsed by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the BTF, the RCP and the SOE. The full statement is attached and available online at:


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.12824/full


Regarding international guidance and harmonisation on approaches to testing, the existing United Kingdom guidelines have now been supported by new guidance published in the United States of America which draws on the latest research and available evidence on the management of the condition. The USA guidance also includes a section on the ethics of prescribing thyroid hormone combination therapies when the potential long-term harmful effects are not known.

14th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress is being made on the initiative to achieve greater harmonisation on approaches to diagnosing hypothyroidism internationally.

A blood test measuring hormone levels is the only accurate way to find out if there is a thyroid problem.


Best practice on the identification and management of hypothyroidism has been set out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in its guidance, The Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism, first published in 2008. The guidance, which is attached, was developed on behalf of key organisations, including the British Thyroid Association (BTA), the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) and the Society for Endocrinology (SOE), and is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners. A copy of the UK Guidelines is attached.


The RCP guidance sets out that the only validated method of testing thyroid function is through a blood sample, which must include measurement of the levels of thyroid‐stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) in serum, as recommended in the UK Guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests published by the BTA.


The RCP guidelines set out that overwhelming evidence supports the use of thyroxine hormone replacement (T4 or tetra-iodothyronine) alone in the treatment of hypothyroidism, with this usually being prescribed as levothyroxine. However, this does not prevent clinicians considering other forms of thyroid hormone replacement if appropriate.

The guidance remains up-to-date and a statement from the BTA Executive Committee supporting the existing guidelines was published in May 2015 in Clinical Endocrinology and endorsed by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the BTF, the RCP and the SOE. The full statement is attached and available online at:


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.12824/full


Regarding international guidance and harmonisation on approaches to testing, the existing United Kingdom guidelines have now been supported by new guidance published in the United States of America which draws on the latest research and available evidence on the management of the condition. The USA guidance also includes a section on the ethics of prescribing thyroid hormone combination therapies when the potential long-term harmful effects are not known.

14th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any plans to amend the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, which under current guidance is based solely on a blood test.

A blood test measuring hormone levels is the only accurate way to find out if there is a thyroid problem.


Best practice on the identification and management of hypothyroidism has been set out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in its guidance, The Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism, first published in 2008. The guidance, which is attached, was developed on behalf of key organisations, including the British Thyroid Association (BTA), the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) and the Society for Endocrinology (SOE), and is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners. A copy of the UK Guidelines is attached.


The RCP guidance sets out that the only validated method of testing thyroid function is through a blood sample, which must include measurement of the levels of thyroid‐stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) in serum, as recommended in the UK Guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests published by the BTA.


The RCP guidelines set out that overwhelming evidence supports the use of thyroxine hormone replacement (T4 or tetra-iodothyronine) alone in the treatment of hypothyroidism, with this usually being prescribed as levothyroxine. However, this does not prevent clinicians considering other forms of thyroid hormone replacement if appropriate.

The guidance remains up-to-date and a statement from the BTA Executive Committee supporting the existing guidelines was published in May 2015 in Clinical Endocrinology and endorsed by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the BTF, the RCP and the SOE. The full statement is attached and available online at:


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.12824/full


Regarding international guidance and harmonisation on approaches to testing, the existing United Kingdom guidelines have now been supported by new guidance published in the United States of America which draws on the latest research and available evidence on the management of the condition. The USA guidance also includes a section on the ethics of prescribing thyroid hormone combination therapies when the potential long-term harmful effects are not known.

14th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to help patients with undiagnosed hypothyroidism who present clinical signs and symptoms of that condition, but are refused any treatment as their blood test results remain normal.

A blood test measuring hormone levels is the only accurate way to find out if there is a thyroid problem.


Best practice on the identification and management of hypothyroidism has been set out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in its guidance, The Diagnosis and Management of Primary Hypothyroidism, first published in 2008. The guidance, which is attached, was developed on behalf of key organisations, including the British Thyroid Association (BTA), the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) and the Society for Endocrinology (SOE), and is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners. A copy of the UK Guidelines is attached.


The RCP guidance sets out that the only validated method of testing thyroid function is through a blood sample, which must include measurement of the levels of thyroid‐stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) in serum, as recommended in the UK Guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests published by the BTA.


The RCP guidelines set out that overwhelming evidence supports the use of thyroxine hormone replacement (T4 or tetra-iodothyronine) alone in the treatment of hypothyroidism, with this usually being prescribed as levothyroxine. However, this does not prevent clinicians considering other forms of thyroid hormone replacement if appropriate.

The guidance remains up-to-date and a statement from the BTA Executive Committee supporting the existing guidelines was published in May 2015 in Clinical Endocrinology and endorsed by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the BTF, the RCP and the SOE. The full statement is attached and available online at:


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.12824/full


Regarding international guidance and harmonisation on approaches to testing, the existing United Kingdom guidelines have now been supported by new guidance published in the United States of America which draws on the latest research and available evidence on the management of the condition. The USA guidance also includes a section on the ethics of prescribing thyroid hormone combination therapies when the potential long-term harmful effects are not known.

5th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 3 February (HL4351), what advice was provided to the incoming government about reforms of the death certification system, and whether they will publish that advice in full.

Consideration of reforms to death certification is on-going in the context of the Spending Review. The Government has no plans to publish the advice given by officials to Ministers.

10th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have calculated the cost of obesity to the NHS; and whether they will put in place preventative schemes to reduce childhood obesity.

An analysis of the economic burden of a range of risk factors for chronic disease estimated that overweight and obesity cost the National Health Service £5.1 billion per year. We will put forward our plans for a childhood obesity strategy before the year end.

A copy of the analysis The economic burden of ill health due to diet, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol and obesity in the UK: an update to 2006-07 NHS costs is attached and available at:

http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/05/11/pubmed.fdr033.full.pdf+html

8th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Shipman Inquiry in order to introduce procedures to reform the death certificate system and to allay the fears of those who have lost their loved ones.

We remain committed to these reforms and will provide an update on implementation plans once the Spending Review has been completed.

3rd Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to tackle the problem of campylobacter infection found in raw meat, particularly poultry.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is working with industry to tackle Campylobacter, through the Acting on Campylobacter Together campaign, and encouraging the implementation of interventions targeted at different points in the food chain to reduce contamination levels, particularly at the highest levels.

The FSA is undertaking a United Kingdom-wide microbiological survey of Campylobacter contamination in fresh whole chilled chickens at retail sale and has provided guidance for consumers on the safety measures that they can take to reduce their risk of spreading and contracting Campylobacter from raw poultry in the home.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what timely steps are being taken to address reforms to the death certification system following the Shipman Inquiry and recommendations made by Dame Janet Smith.

The Government is committed to improving the system of death certification in England and Wales. In taking forward work on any changes, the Department will be considering lessons learnt from the medical examiner pilot projects and working with NHS England, the NHS Litigation Authority, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission to see how best medical examiners fit with the system-wide approach to patient safety. These considerations will be completed in time to advise the incoming government.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in light of the treatment of Liverpool supporters attending the Champions League Final, what steps they have taken, in partnership with the relevant footballing bodies, to ensure that British football supporters can safely attend the Qatar World Cup; and what steps they have taken to ensure justice for those fans who were mistreated at the Champions League Final.

We welcome the fact that UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation into the Champions League final, and issued an apology to fans who attended; and that the French Government has commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation. The UK and French Sports Ministers met earlier this month and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and Liverpool FC.

Regarding the upcoming World Cup, we are working with Qatar to support their delivery of a safe and secure tournament for all British Nationals who will be attending. We continue to engage closely with Qatari authorities on their security preparations, and UK police will be offering support and advice on engaging with fans attending from the UK. We are also encouraging fans to read the FCDO's Qatar World Cup Travel Advice, and sign up for email alerts to stay up to date on the latest information.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk to British athletes exercising their freedom of speech while attending the Winter Olympics in China, following reported comments from a Chinese official about "punishment" for those who act or speak "against the Olympic spirit"; and what steps they are taking, if any, to protect British athletes.

We have provided specific advice to the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, including in respect of security, Chinese law and society, to ensure Team GB and Paralympics GB are as well prepared as possible for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing. We wish our athletes every success and they will continue to have our full support throughout the games. Officials in Beijing stand ready to provide consular assistance if needed.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about reports of human rights abuses against Uighur people including the use of (1) detention camps, (2) forced labour, (3) torture, (4) rape, and (5) sterilisation.

We have repeatedly raised our deep concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at senior levels with the Chinese Government, including the Foreign Secretary raising directly with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Counsellor Wang Yi on a number of occasions in the past year. Through these representations we have underlined a wide range of specific concerns, including the extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other minorities and the credible reports of forced labour, torture, rape and forced sterilisation.

The UK has also repeatedly taken a leading international role in holding China to account for these human rights violations, including at the UN. For example, in a joint statement at the UN General Assembly Third Committee in October 2020, alongside Germany, we brought together a total of 39 countries to express grave concern at the situation in Xinjiang, referenced detention camps and reports of forced labour and forced sterilisation. The UK's national, Item 4 statement at the UN Human Rights Council in September 2020 also underlined our concern about these issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what humanitarian assistance they have provided to protect civilians displaced by the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.

We are concerned by the ongoing violence in the Tigray region and the risks posed to civilian lives. We have called on all involved to ensure the protection of civilians, and to restore and maintain humanitarian access to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance and essential services. We are in close contact with UK funded humanitarian agencies working in Tigray to understand humanitarian needs and programme adaptations.

In Ethiopia, the UK provides funds to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, to provide food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation, health, nutrition and protection support. In Sudan, flexible UK funding to WFP and the UNHCR is already helping new refugees from Ethiopia to receive emergency assistance, including shelter and food. These agencies have proven themselves capable of working in high risk contexts, in Ethiopia and elsewhere, and for managing UK funds adeptly.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what aid they have provided to support those who have been affected by the flooding in Jamaica.

The UK works with regional organisations and Governments of the Commonwealth Caribbean, including Jamaica to strengthen disaster preparedness, help with recovery and build resilience. This includes access to rapid funding for disaster surge response through the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency; the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, an insurance mechanism which makes pay-outs to Caribbean Governments impacted by a disaster; and the UK financed Global Risk Financing Facility which provided £14.85 million to help Jamaica strengthen financial resilience to tropical cyclones, excess rainfall, and earthquake disasters and will enable early action after disasters.

While there has been no request to the UK Government for humanitarian support in Jamaica related to flooding, these funds are available for the Government of Jamaica to draw on if that is required

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the scale of attacks carried out by Nigerian security forces on protestors in Nigeria; and what assistance they are providing to programmes in that country that aim to strengthen the freedom of expression and the rule of law.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by violence during protests in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, which has tragically claimed lives. Our thoughts are with the families of all those affected. The Foreign Secretary issued a statement on 21 October calling for the Nigerian Government to urgently investigate reports of brutality by its security forces and hold those responsible to account. The Minister for Africa repeated this message to the Nigerian Foreign Minister on 23 October. We welcome President Buhari's decision to disband the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry to investigate allegations of brutality by the security services. It is vital these panels receive full police and military cooperation. They must investigate all incidents, including in Lagos, properly.

The UK Government has supported police reform in Nigeria. We will continue to work with the Nigerian Government and international and civil society partners to improve the accountability and responsiveness of the Nigerian Police Force in line with its human rights obligations. The Nigerian authorities must uphold human rights and the rule of law, investigate any incidents of police brutality and hold those responsible to account. Through our CSSF-funded Nigeria Policing Programme, which ended in March 2020, FSARS officers participated in training on amended Nigerian police guidance designed to improve human rights, training on public finance, and community policing workshops. The Nigeria Policing Programme was part of our Security and Justice Reform Programme, which is working to help deliver a criminal justice system that better protects the human rights of all Nigerians.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the State of Global Air Report 2020, published by the Health Effects Institute in October, in particular its finding that air pollution contributed to nearly 500,000 deaths among infants in their first month of life in 2019.

We welcome the Health Effects Institute's 'State of Global Air' report highlighting the issue of air quality and its impact on health. The World Health Organization estimates that household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels contributes to 3-4 million premature deaths every year, which is more than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Research has also shown that indoor air pollution exacerbates the impact of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

Women and children, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries, are disproportionally affected by indoor air pollution. The Government has made a commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children in the developing world by 2030. This includes delivering quality essential health services and promoting healthier lives and environments.

Our International Climate Finance includes up to £1 billion for the Ayrton Fund, which includes support for research, development and demonstration of new clean energy technologies with the potential to improve air quality, health outcomes, and reduce carbon emissions in developing countries. The £38 million FCDO-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services research programme is working towards universal access to clean and affordable cooking technologies. Such technologies have the potential to displace harmful cooking practices used by almost 3 billion people in the developing world, helping to eliminate indoor air pollution and the preventable deaths it causes.

15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they intend to have with the government of Nigeria about human rights abuses in that country, in particular those in relation to police brutality, illegal detentions, and assaults carried out by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

In response to serious allegations against the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) in Nigeria and subsequent protests, the Foreign Secretary, our High Commissioner and the Minister for Africa have all responded publicly calling for police reform in the country and supporting the right to peaceful protest. We welcome the changes announced by the Nigerian Government in response to the public outcry, including President Buhari's decision to disband FSARS. The High Commissioner has raised the protests with representatives of the Nigerian Government and we will continue to monitor the protests closely.

We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting human rights for all. We will continue to push the Nigerian police to uphold human rights and the rule of law in all operations and to investigate allegations of police brutality, illegal detentions and assaults, holding those responsible to account. We are working with the Nigerian Government and international and civil society partners to support broader police reform in Nigeria, and we are developing proposals to support new police regulations to create a more accountable and responsive policing model in Nigeria.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about (1) the enactment and imposition by China of national security legislation for Hong Kong, and (2) ensuring that people who peacefully exercise their rights to assembly, freedom of expression and association are protected.

As the Foreign Secretary made clear to Parliament on 1 July, the imposition by China of the National Security Law on Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The legislation contains a slew of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Joint Declaration.

Freedom of speech, assembly and association are explicitly guaranteed in the Joint Declaration and Basic Law. The Hong Kong authorities must uphold the rights and freedoms of its people.

On 1 July, the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summoned the Chinese Ambassador to make clear the UK's deep concerns. The UK Consul General in Hong Kong has also raised our concerns with Hong Kong's Executive Council. The Foreign Secretary spoke to Chinese State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi on 8 June and 28 July. We have also made our views clear at the United Nations. The UK, with the US, raised the issue at the UN Security Council on 29 May. At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 30 June, the UK led a formal Joint Statement with the support of 27 international partners, setting out our deep concern both on Hong Kong and Xinjiang. On 23 September, the UK hosted a virtual side event in the margins of the UN Human Rights Council on rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, which was co-sponsored by Canada and Australia. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Governments of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, both privately and publicly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about its national security legislation for Hong Kong, in particular with regard to (1) human rights concerns, and (2) the impact of that legislation on human rights defenders; and how those representations have been raised.

As the Foreign Secretary made clear to Parliament on 1 July, the imposition by China of the National Security Law on Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The legislation contains a slew of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Joint Declaration.

Freedom of speech, assembly and association are explicitly guaranteed in the Joint Declaration and Basic Law. The Hong Kong authorities must uphold the rights and freedoms of its people.

On 1 July, the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summoned the Chinese Ambassador to make clear the UK's deep concerns. The UK Consul General in Hong Kong has also raised our concerns with Hong Kong's Executive Council. The Foreign Secretary spoke to Chinese State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi on 8 June and 28 July. We have also made our views clear at the United Nations. The UK, with the US, raised the issue at the UN Security Council on 29 May. At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 30 June, the UK led a formal Joint Statement with the support of 27 international partners, setting out our deep concern both on Hong Kong and Xinjiang. On 23 September, the UK hosted a virtual side event in the margins of the UN Human Rights Council on rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, which was co-sponsored by Canada and Australia. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Governments of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, both privately and publicly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving the UN in the application of pressure (1) to the government of (a) Israel, (b) Russia, and (c) Saudi Arabia, and (2) to any other government which has yet to sign and has been accused of (a) violating the rights of children, and (b) attacking schools, to sign the Safe Schools Declaration.

The Safe Schools Declaration (Declaration) is a powerful initiative that has successfully shifted mind-sets globally on the impact of attacks and military occupation of educational infrastructure. The UK welcomes the Declaration and other efforts aimed at promoting and protecting the right to education and facilitating its continuation in conflict.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UK is using its membership to engage with key states as they come onto the UNSC on the Declaration, to lobby for endorsement, push for effective implementation, and offer official level consultations where relevant. Through the UNSC Children and Armed Conflict Working Group, the UK supplements and supports the work of the UN to end all violations against children, including pushing states to ensure that educational facilities and related personnel are protected, in line with the Declaration. The UK lobbied successfully for key commitments in September's UNSC Presidential Statement on protecting education against attack, including securing reference to the Declaration and the critical role it plays, despite strong opposition.

In September 2020, the UK actively supported the implementation of the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack on 9 September. We participated in a related UNSC Open Debate, calling upon Member States to endorse and commit to avoiding military use of educational facilities. We will continue to call upon all UN Member States to endorse and implement the Declaration, including Israel, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of Australia and New Zealand about those governments' policies aimed at encouraging UK skilled workers and their families to settle in those countries; and what estimate they have made of the cost to HM Treasury of the emigration of such workers.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has not had recent discussions with the governments of Australia and New Zealand on such a matter.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposals by the government of China to introduce new national security legislation in Hong Kong, what steps they are taking with (1) the United Nations, and (2) the governments of other democratic countries, to ensure that the Joint Sino-British Declaration is upheld.

The Foreign Secretary is engaging actively with a range of international partners to explain our position and impress on them the gravity of situation. We want to build up a groundswell of those who share our commitment to international law. We believe that is the most effective means of getting China to live up to its obligations and responsibilities as a leading member of the international community. We will also work within international institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that China upholds the commitments they made as co-signatory to the Joint Declaration. The UK and the US raised the issue at the UN Security Council on 28 May.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 5 May (HL3427), what urgent representations they will make to the government of Hong Kong about any breach of Article 22 of the Basic Law arising from the arrest of pro-democracy leaders and lawmakers; and what plans they have, as part of their role as a co-signatory to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, to request that the trials of those arrested do not proceed.

As set out in my Written Answer on 5 May (HL3427), we are concerned by the arrests of a number of pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong and are following these cases closely. Senior Officials have raised our concern about the arrests with the authorities in Hong Kong, Beijing and with the Chinese Embassy in London; and we will continue to make our views clear both publicly and privately.

Article 22 of the basic law states that "No department of the Central People's Government [,,,,] may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this law". As co-signatory of the Joint Declaration, we expect the mainland Chinese authorities to respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms provided for in that legally binding treaty.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what urgent representations they will make to the government of Saudi Arabia to request the release  of any (1) female activists, and (2) political prisoners, who have been detained without charge.

We are concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists and political detainees in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the ongoing detention of political detainees, including women's rights defenders, during his visit to Riyadh on 4 and 5 March. We raise concerns about individual cases regularly and will continue to call for political detainees to be given adequate legal representation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they intend to make to the government of China about the assault and arrests of pro-democracy leaders and lawmakers, including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai; and what assessment they have made of the freedom of expression in Hong Kong.

We are concerned about the arrests of a number of political figures in Hong Kong, and are following these cases closely. We expect any arrests and judicial processes to be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

The right to peaceful protest is fundamental to Hong Kong's way of life and as such is protected in both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. It is essential that any protests are conducted peacefully, and that the authorities avoid actions that inflame tensions. The authorities should focus on rebuilding trust through a process of meaningful political dialogue.

The UK remains committed to upholding the rights and freedoms underpinned by the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law and enshrined in Hong Kong's Bill of Rights, and we expect the Chinese authorities to respect and preserve Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy. We have made this position clear to the Chinese authorities and will continue to do so, publicly and privately.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia about the enforcement of the death penalty in that country; what assessment they made of that county’s human rights record; and in view of that assessment, what evaluation they have made of the potential takeover of Newcastle Football Club by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

We regularly make clear, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, that the British Government opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country. The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa raised our concerns about the death penalty with Deputy Justice Minister HE Abdullah Al Sulaimi on 11 February.

Our most recent assessment of Saudi Arabia's human rights record was published in our latest Human Rights and Democracy Report, published in June 2019. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, particularly because of the use of the death penalty and restrictions on women's rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. The Foreign Secretary raised our human rights concerns with Saudi Arabia during his visit in March.

We are aware of a potential takeover bid for Newcastle United Football Club involving Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. The bid is being considered by the Premier League in accordance with its own established procedures.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they are taking to assist British citizens stranded in Hong Kong as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The safety and security of British nationals will always be our top priority. The British Consulate-General in Hong Kong remains in close contact with British nationals in the region to ensure they have the latest information they need. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not changed the level of its travel advice for Hong Kong in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China, though does now advise against all travel to Hubei province and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao). We have updated our travel advice for all countries and territories which have recorded a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the continuing unrest in Hong Kong, what plans they have to follow the example of the Magnitsky Act legislation of the government of the United States to ban people from Hong Kong and mainland China found guilty of violating human rights and the rule of law from entering the UK, and to freeze their assets.

​The UK will establish a UK autonomous global human rights sanctions regime once we leave the European Union. A global sanctions regime will allow us to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world. The UK is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. A human rights sanctions regime will help support our human rights objectives. We will look to cooperate with others, including the US and Canada, who use sanctions to address human rights.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to assist (1) British National Overseas passport holders, and (2) other people who are subject to human rights violations, to ensure that the government of Hong Kong honours the 1984 Sino-British Declaration.

The UK is fully committed to upholding Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, which is guaranteed by the legally binding Joint Declaration of 1984 and enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Foreign Secretary has made this clear to both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi. The Foreign Secretary has also spoken to a wide range of counterparts on this issue and welcomes the strong statements made by our international partners. We will continue to engage the Hong Kong SAR government, the Chinese government and international partners, reiterating the fundamental importance of upholding the rights and freedoms of all the people of Hong Kong, including the BN(O) passport holders that live there.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 24 June (HL16327), what discussions they have had with the United Nations to ensure that the Sino-British Joint Declaration, ratified by the governments of China and the United Kingdom in 1984 and registered with the United Nations in 1985, is adhered to.

The UK is fully committed to upholding the legally binding Joint Declaration of 1984. In our national ‘Item 2’ statement at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in September we re-iterated our support and call for all to respect the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework, including the rights and freedoms in the Joint Declaration. We also underlined that meaningful political dialogue, under Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, is essential.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 24 June (HL16327), following the withdrawal of the Hong Kong extradition bill and in view of the protests in Hong Kong, what steps they are taking to ensure that the Sino-British Joint Declaration, ratified by the governments of China and the United Kingdom in 1984 and registered with the United Nations in 1985, is adhered to.

The Government has set out its position on the situation in Hong Kong in public and in private. We are in regular contact with the Government of China and the Hong Kong SAR Government. In recent weeks, the Foreign Secretary has spoken to the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi. The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK’s commitment to Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, which is guaranteed by the legally binding Joint Declaration of 1984 and enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law.

The Foreign Secretary has also spoken to a wide range of counterparts on this issue and welcomes the strong statements from our international partners.

The Prime Minister raised Hong Kong at the recent G7 meeting, where all G7 partners reaffirmed the importance of the Joint Declaration and called for an end to the violence.

We will continue to engage the Hong Kong SAR government, the Chinese government and international partners, reiterating the fundamental importance of upholding the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the ratification of the Sino-British Joint Declaration by the governments of China and the United Kingdom in 1984 and the registration of that Declaration with the United Nations in 1985, what representations they intend to make to the United Nations about the government of Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law.

The Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty registered with the UN. Its objectives apply to both signatories – the government of the People's Republic of China and the UK. It remains in force, and remains acutely relevant to the conduct of life in Hong Kong.

We welcome the Chief Executive's statement that she would not proceed with the second reading of the bill, if the fears and anxieties of the people of Hong Kong were not addressed. It is vital that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms set down in the Joint Declaration are respected in full.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to discuss with the government of the People's Republic of China the abstention of China in September on Russia's resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an end to the bombing of Aleppo.

Ministers and officials of the UK Government regularly meet representatives from the People's Republic of China to discuss the crisis in Syria. Most recently, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Ellwood) met Chinese Special representative for Syria Mr. Xie Xiaoyan on 18 October. Mr. Ellwood stressed the importance of fellow permanent members of the United Nations Security Council working together to help resolve the conflict.

25th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of Chinese diplomatic visits to both Damascus and Moscow, whether they are planning to meet a representative of the People's Republic of China with a view to finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.

China abstained from the 8 October vote on the Franco-Spanish draft UN Security Council Resolution. China voted in favour of Russia's draft Resolution that day. This Russian text made no demand for an end to the aerial bombardment of Aleppo. On 18 October, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Ellwood) met Chinese Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Xie Xiaoyan. They discussed the recent Security Council vote on the Aleppo humanitarian resolution and future resolutions, including on the use of chemical weapons. Our diplomats in Beijing and New York continue to raise at the highest levels of the Chinese system the importance of UN unity in bringing an end first the bombing and then the civil war, in Syria.

4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 27 June (HL744), what steps they plan to take if they find British businesses not complying with the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in countries like Colombia.

International law does not require states to regulate the extraterritorial activities of their businesses. Individual states are responsible for protecting against and prosecuting human rights and other abuses that are committed within their borders. The United Kingdom is one of few jurisdictions globally where victims of human rights abuses allegedly committed overseas by a British domiciled company can bring a civil case to the UK courts.

15th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to make representations to the President of Colombia during his state visit to the UK in November, about domestic laws that potentially conflict with international human rights obligations and the rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

The State Visit presents an opportunity for us to continue our engagement with the Government of Colombia on a wide variety of themes.

We continue to raise the issue of human rights with the Colombian Government at the highest levels. In recent months the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon Friend, the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon Friend, the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), and I have all urged President Santos to continue Colombia's efforts to address human rights concerns.

We support the peace process and hope that achieving a sustainable peace agreement will benefit all Colombian citizens, including indigenous and afro-descendant communities.

I am pleased to note that at the 46th session of the Organisation of American States and General Assembly, the Colombian Government supported the adoption of the instrument for the rights of indigenous peoples of the Americas and renewed its commitment to continue advancing respect for pluralism and ethnic and cultural diversity.

15th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are supporting British businesses in Colombia so that they do not contribute to the human rights violations against, in particular, the indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

Encouraging businesses to respect human rights is a global priority for this Government. We recognise that communities such as indigenous and afro-descendant people and those in isolated rural areas are particularly vulnerable.

The UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights sets out how the Government is implementing the UN Guiding Principles. British firms are expected to uphold these principles in their overseas operations, as well as in the UK. It is for each country to implement a National Action Plan to ensure compliance with the Guiding Principles.

We worked closely with the Colombian authorities to develop their National Action Plan, published in December. All companies operating in Colombia, including British ones, should comply with the requirements and guidelines set out in that National Action Plan.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, my noble Friend, the Lord Price of Sturminster Newton, launched a campaign for British businesses to support peace, primarily through respect for human rights, during his visit to Colombia last month. Twenty of the largest British companies operating in Colombia subsequently agreed to align themselves to the Colombian National Action Plan for business and human rights.

15th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what step they are taking to ensure that British businesses in Colombia do not contribute to human rights abuses there.

Encouraging businesses to respect human rights is a global priority for this Government. We recognise that communities such as indigenous and afro-descendant people and those in isolated rural areas are particularly vulnerable.

The UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights sets out how the Government is implementing the UN Guiding Principles. British firms are expected to uphold these principles in their overseas operations, as well as in the UK. It is for each country to implement a National Action Plan to ensure compliance with the Guiding Principles.

We worked closely with the Colombian authorities to develop their National Action Plan, published in December. All companies operating in Colombia, including British ones, should comply with the requirements and guidelines set out in that National Action Plan.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, my noble Friend, the Lord Price of Sturminster Newton, launched a campaign for British businesses to support peace, primarily through respect for human rights, during his visit to Colombia last month. Twenty of the largest British companies operating in Colombia subsequently agreed to align themselves to the Colombian National Action Plan for business and human rights.

19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 October regarding the changes to alcohol duty (HC Deb col 396), what steps they are taking to protect the alcohol industry given the increased cost of living.

On 17 October, the Chancellor announced a reversal of the freeze of alcohol duty rates from 1 February 2023, initially announced in the Growth Plan on 23 September.

The Government understands that many businesses are worried about the rising cost of living, including businesses within the alcohol industry. The alcohol duty uprating decision and interactions with the wider reforms to alcohol duties will be considered in due course.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to tackle economic crime, and (2) to prevent fraudulent companies from accessing public funds.

The Government has set out a comprehensive programme for addressing economic crime with the private sector through the jointly published Economic Crime Plan.

The Government is making measurable progress in delivering the Economic Crime Plan and is on course to deliver 49 of the 52 actions it sets out. The Government published a Statement of Progress in May 2021 updating the public and stakeholders on the Plan’s implementation.

The steps taken to prevent fraudulent companies accessing public funds depend on the nature of the public funding. Common due diligence approaches include Spotlight, the government’s online automated due-diligence tool, fraud prevention data analytics, and Credit Reference Agency due diligence services.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the elderly can afford to heat their homes during this winter; and what plans they have to cut VAT on energy bills for six months.

In recognition of the fact that families should not have to bear all the VAT costs they incur to meet their energy needs, the Government already maintains a reduced rate of 5 per cent VAT on the supply of domestic energy, at a cost of £5 billion per year.

Although the Government keeps all taxes under review, going further would impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. VAT raised around £130 billion in the year 2019/20, and helps to fund key spending priorities, including on health, education, and defence.

Additional support is provided through the Winter Fuel Payment, which is designed to ensure that households where older people are living can be heated and kept warm during winter months.

7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the tourism industry of abolishing the VAT Retail Export Scheme.

On 11 September 2020, the Government announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers) following the transition period. The following rules were implemented on 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) can purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances apply to passengers entering Great Britain from any destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) in Great Britain has not been extended to EU residents and has been withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods has been removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May 2020. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with industry stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government has also met and discussed these changes with many stakeholders following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes was provided in the written ministerial statement and the published summary of responses to the consultation. A detailed technical note has also been made available to stakeholders.

On 25 November 2020 the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the VAT RES.

Factoring in a higher-than-usual elasticity of 1.9 to account for spending on luxury goods, the OBR estimate that the withdrawal of the VAT RES will result in a significant direct Exchequer saving of around £400 million per year, once passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Based on the 1.2 million users of the scheme who received a refund in 2019, this includes an assumption that approximately 20,000 – 30,000 fewer tourists visit Great Britain a year. That is 0.07% of the 40 million visitors to the UK in 2019.

The OBR also looked at this package in the round when assessing the indirect impact on the economy – including the effects of extending duty-free sales – alongside the substantial support provided to the economy and retail industry.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that their target of employing the additional customs agents required for the UK’s departure from the EU has not been met, what plans they have to increase the level of such agents.

The Government does not have a target for numbers of customs agents. Readiness in the sector relates to the capacity to make declarations, rather than numbers of staff employed. This is because the sector is varied and made up of a number of different business models including specific customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators; all of which will require different numbers of staff to complete declarations and to provide their services.

Many in the sector have innovated and brought in significant IT solutions to automate processes which have reduced the numbers of staff they require.

The Government has helped them to do this by making over £80 million of support available, including flexible grants that can be used for IT and training as well as recruitment, depending on the needs of the business. There is also support for intermediaries available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The sector has scaled up significantly, and the Government continues to monitor progress closely and engage with the sector to understand the support it needs.

15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the release of ONS figures which found a decline of 695,000 employees on payrolls since March, what plans they have to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Building on the action taken in the face of the immediate threat posed by the virus, the second phase of the Government’s response to the pandemic began earlier this year with the targeted Plan for Jobs. This places emphasis on job creation, as well as protection through the Job Retention Bonus, which specifically encourages firms to keep on workers they previously furloughed. It also supports jobseekers with direct help to find work and to gain the skills they need to gain employment.

Now that the economy is opening up, the Government has introduced a Winter Economy Plan including the new Job Support Scheme, which targets support to those businesses that need it most: focusing on those that are being affected by COVID-19 and who can support their employees doing some work, but that need more time for demand to recover.

9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address any racial inequalities which have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has implemented significant measures to reduce the spread of the virus in all communities, especially for people who may be at higher risk. This includes ensuring that those in high-contact professions get targeted testing and taking appropriate and proportionate steps to risk assess NHS ethnic minority staff.

The Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP, is also working with the Race Disparity Unit and the Department for Health and Social Care to take forward work on the findings of the Public Health England Report “COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes”. This includes reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by government departments and their agencies to directly lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide support to people who have fallen behind on their credit card and bill payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises that the outbreak of COVID-19 may lead to consumers facing financial difficulty and uncertainty.

The major banks and building societies have pledged to provide relief to customers impacted by COVID-19, including deferring mortgage and other loan repayments, waiving fees on savings accounts, and increasing overdraft or credit card limits.

On 9 April the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also announced a series of measures intended to provide emergency support to consumers who are facing temporary cash flow problems as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. These measures came into force on Tuesday 14 April.

These measures include, allowing consumers either a 3-month payment holiday or to make nominal payments towards credit cards, store cards, catalogue credit and certain personal loan agreements. It is important to note that lenders can continue to charge interest during this 3-month period. Customers should contact their lender if they are experiencing short-term cash flow problems and would benefit from these measures.

In their guidance for firms, the FCA set out their expectation that the payment deferrals described here should not worsen the arrears status of a consumer’s credit file during the payment deferral period.

The Chancellor has also announced a wide package of economic support measures including the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses and consumers during this pandemic.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the economic impact the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic has had on university cities and towns; and what financial assistance, if any, they intend to provide.

We recognise that every region and community will be feeling the impacts of this crisis and we are working to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on local communities across the United Kingdom.

In May, we announced measures to support students and universities. These included bringing forward £100m of research funding for vital research, and an estimated £2.6bn worth of tuition fee payments for providers to help manage cash flow.

The Government has also confirmed that providers are eligible to apply for its support packages, including business loan support schemes, which the Office for Students (OfS) the regulator in England, estimates could be worth at least £700m to the sector, depending on eligibility and take up.

We are working closely with local areas to make sure that individuals and businesses in all regions are directed to the right support during this difficult period.
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remove VAT from all personal protection equipment.

A temporary zero-rate of VAT will apply to sales of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for protection from COVID-19 from 1 May 2020 until 31 July 2020.

The temporary relief is being introduced as an urgent response to the coronavirus emergency. Its main objective is to relieve businesses, particularly in the healthcare and residential care sectors, of the burden of tax on essential infection protection equipment needed to deal with the emergency.

The measure will allow VAT-free supplies of PPE to reach the widest possible range of businesses, charities and individuals.

31st Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of employers, with annual wage bills of £3 million or more, pay 0.5 per cent of their staff costs as part of the Apprenticeship Levy; and for whose who do not, what steps they are taking to make them do so.

From April 2017, every employer with an annual pay bill of over £3 million is liable to pay the apprenticeship levy, at a rate of 0.5% of their pay bill, less an annual allowance of £15,000.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has conducted an extensive communication campaign with payroll professionals and larger employers to ensure they were ready to pay the levy which has been successful. This is reflected in the level of receipts of the apprenticeship levy of £1.6 billion for the period May 2017 to December 2017.

HMRC is contacting those employers who they believe are likely to have a levy liability in 2017-18, but have not yet provided the relevant information on their PAYE returns.

10th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they intend to take in response to the recently introduced taxes on sugary drinks by the governments of Mexico, France, Finland and Hungary.

The Government has no plans to introduce new taxes on sugary drinks. The Government is committed to using a range of approaches to promote health outcomes, and will publish a Childhood Obesity Strategy by the end of the year.

23rd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to introduce a tourist levy or tax in London to help local councils offset reductions in funding from the Exchequer.

The Government has no plans to allow any Local Authority to introduce a tourist levy or tax.

31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they have not yet formally responded to the recommendations in the report by the Right Reverend James Jones The patronising disposition of unaccountable power: A report to ensure the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated, published on 1 November 2017 (HC 511).

The points of learning in the Bishop’s report made for the Government span a number of departments and organisations and the Home Office is coordinating the Government’s overarching response to his report.

Whilst the timing of the Government’s response has been impacted by the need to avoid risk of prejudice during the Hillsborough criminal proceedings, work has been underway within the relevant departments and organisations to carefully consider and address those points of learning directed at the Government.

The Government is committed to engaging with the Hillsborough families prior to publication of its full response in due course.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tackle disorder at football matches, given the reported increase the number of arrests at matches, and increase in banning orders issued by the courts.

We are clear that law abiding fans should be able to enjoy football matches in safety and that violent and disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated.

We have extended coverage of football banning orders to persons convicted of Class A drugs offences at matches, elite domestic women’s football and online hate crime offences connected to football

We have also amended the threshold test to increase the likelihood that a court will impose a banning order following a conviction for football-related offences that are violent, disorderly or cause harm to others.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of policing football clubs in the coming season; and what comparison they have made with the previous season.

This information is not collected centrally.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of existing legislation in preventing the re-sale of football match tickets.

The unauthorised resale of tickets (also known as “ticket touting”) for regulated football matches is prohibited under the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994. This public order provision explicitly applies to football in view of the importance of segregation in reducing the potential for disorder between rival fans.

The police and courts can and do enforce the legislation in a proportionate and targeted way when breaches to the segregation of supporters might increase the risk to public order.

It is an operational decision for police match commanders whether it is appropriate to direct resources to deal with ticket touts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide additional funding to local authorities for early abuse interventions following increases in domestic violence.

Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime and we fully recognise the devastating impact it can have on children and young people. That is why the Domestic Abuse Act recognises children as victims if they see, hear or experience the effects of domestic abuse.

In the past year the Home Office has provided over £3 million to specialist services for children who have experienced domestic abuse. The local services funded provide interventions such as therapy, counselling and education schemes.

The Home Office has also provided funding to roll out Operation Encompass nationally. This innovative scheme facilitates schools and police working together to provide emotional and practical support to children affected by domestic abuse. It currently operates in all 43 police forces across England and Wales, therefore ensuring vital early intervention in all local areas.

We are also committing £25 million to tackle perpetrators of domestic abuse. From this, I am pleased to confirm that on Friday 21st May we launched a new Perpetrator Programme Fund for Police and Crime Commissioners to bid into totalling £11.1m. The purpose of this fund is to support the introduction of more perpetrator programmes in local areas. We have specified that one area we are particularly interested in funding is dedicated provision for adolescents who perpetrate abuse in their adolescent relationships. The competition will be live for six weeks, closing on 2nd July.

Finally, councils across England have been allocated £125 million funding to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The money will fund a new duty on councils to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation – a key part of the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

More broadly across Government we are determined to ensure that support is available at an early stage for all victims of domestic abuse. Departments including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Justice are providing funding this financial year for accommodation-based support and wider victim services respectively.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision they have made to assist the children of those illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel who have been separated from their parents.

All unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) who arrive in the UK are treated in line with established processes. Upon arrival, an unaccompanied child will undergo a number of mandatory checks and will be interviewed in order to identify any safeguarding concerns. On completion, a child will then be handed to a local authority for them to provide the necessary support under their statutory duties as set out in the Children Act 1989.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of their new post-Brexit fast track visa system on the availability of care workers in the UK; and what plans they have to ensure that those care workers currently resident in the UK who would not qualify for a visa under that system can continue to work in this country.

The social care sector is invaluable to our country. Social care workers have shown incredible dedication during this extraordinary time.

We truly value the work they are doing, which is why the Government set out steps in our Action Plan for Adult Social Care to support the workforce, ensuring we have the staff we need and that they feel both supported and valued.

However, the independent Migration Advisory Committee has been very clear that immigration is not the answer to the challenges in this sector. As we implement the new immigration system, we want employers to focus on investing in our domestic work force.

The Government is working with the sector in a number of ways to help support it during this difficult time and going forward, including extra funding and a national recruitment campaign.

Additionally, the EU Settlement Scheme means that all EU and EAA citizens, and their family members, already in the UK, many of them working in social care, can stay in the UK and we are encouraging them to do so.

We will keep labour market data under very careful scrutiny to monitor any pressures in key sectors, especially considering recent events.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 2 May of £76 million extra funding to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and vulnerable children and their families and victims of modern slavery, when that funding will be fully rolled out to those in need.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) secured a £10 million fund for the provision of safe accommodation for domestic abuse victims and their children, which was first opened for applications on 7 May. Just over £8.7 million has already been paid to 122 successful charities. On 16 September MHCLG announced the final stage of the fund, with £971,207 allocated to 25 more successful charity bids. In total, the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund will re-open up to 344 bedspaces which were closed due to Covid-19 and will create up to 1,546 additional bedspaces.

The Ministry of Justice allocated £25 million to support local charities across England and Wales which support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and £3 million to recruit more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs). To date, over £22 million of that has been distributed for 548 charities in England and Wales, £19.5 million to Police and Crime Commissioners and £2.6 million via the Rape Support Fund. £3.6 million has been allocated to PCCs for 95 ISVAs. The remainder of the funds will be distributed in due course.

The Home Office received a £2 million fund to support national and regional charities in England and Wales which support victims of domestic abuse. £1.7 million has been allocated to 28 domestic abuse services. Almost all charities have been paid at least 50% of their allocations, with the remaining funds to be paid later in the funding period.

The Home Office received £1.76 million of funding for modern slavery services, to support those organisations which work directly with victims in the Victim Care Contract (VCC). On 5 May the Home Office informed The Salvation Army, as the Prime Contractor of the VCC, of the funding available to them and sub-contracting organisations. This funding, rather than being disbursed via grant mechanisms, is being drawn down through existing contractual invoicing processes as required to meet additional costs related to the provision of victim support during the pandemic.

A total of £34.15 million is being distributed by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Home Office to support vulnerable children’s charities/voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Following a competitive assessment process, £7.6 million is being distributed through the joint Home Office and DfE Vulnerable Children National Charities Strategic Relief (VCNCSR) Fund. First payments (totalling over 50% of the amount) have been released to all successful applicants (Action for Children, Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society) with subsequent payments to follow later in the funding period.

DfE is funding £7.27 million for a new “See, Hear, Respond” service being led by Barnardo’s. The service is now live and is already supporting children struggling to cope with the impacts of Covid-19 through online counselling, face-to-face support and support to return to education. The funding will end in November 2020.

DfE are directly awarding £4.78 million of funding to charities providing key services to vulnerable groups, including the Family Fund, Grandparents Plus, Family Rights Group, FosterTalk, the Care Leavers Association, Become, Drive Forward Foundation and Adoption UK. £10 million has already been committed to the Family Fund, helping families with children who have complex needs and disabilities through grants for equipment which will make their lives easier.

The Home Office is directly awarding the remainder of its funding for supporting vulnerable children’s charities/VCSE organisations (not allocated through the VCNCSR Fund) to charities/VCSE organisations working with children facing specific risks including child sexual exploitation and abuse, criminal exploitation including by county lines gangs, missing episodes and serious violence. This includes funding to be distributed by our 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) to small and micro charities. First payments to VRUs (for onward distribution) and the other vulnerable children’s VCSE organisations (totalling 75% of the amount) have been released with the remaining amounts to follow later in the funding period.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the rise of cases of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what support they have provided to the victims of that violence.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation. We are working closely with domestic abuse charities, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and the police to understand the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse incidents.

The Government has announced £28m of funding to support domestic abuse charities. The Home Office has announced an additional £2 million in funding to help bolster specialist helplines and on line services so that victims can continue to seek support.

We have also launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and signpost victims to the support services available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time. Details of these services can be found at www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward legislation to ensure that all holders of British National Overseas passports have the right to enter the United Kingdom to work or study.

Holders of British National (Overseas) passports are non-visa nationals and can apply for the right to work or study in the UK. This means that they can enter the UK for six months or less without the need to obtain a visit visa but would need to apply from outside the UK, and meet the criteria, for any work or study route. The UK continues to support the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model underpinned by the Sino-British Joint Declaration; the immigration status of BN(O)s is part of this agreement.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the context of the EU withdrawal negotiations, what criteria they intend to apply post-Brexit to work permits for footballers who are (1) EU, and (2) EEA, nationals; and what assessment they have made of Directive 2004/38/EC on EU freedom of movement and residence in this regard.

No final decisions have been taken on the UK’s post-Brexit Immigration system. We are considering the options for our future immigration system very carefully.

It is important that we understand the impacts on the different sectors of the economy and the labour market. We will, therefore, ensure that businesses and communities have the opportunity to contribute their views. We will build a comprehensive picture of the needs and interests of all parts of the UK and look to develop a system which works for all.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of report by the National Police Chiefs' Council suggesting a 57 per cent increase in hate crimes in the UK since the referendum on UK membership of the EU, what steps they intend to take to tackle intolerance and racially motivated crime.

We are concerned by the increase in reported hate crime in recent days. We are working alongside communities and police to and monitor the situation and encourage people who may be subject to racist or religious abuse of any kind to report it to the police.

This Government is committed to tackling hate crime. The UK has one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world to tackle hate crime. We are working across Government with police, (including National Community Tensions Team), the Crown Prosecution Service and community partners to send out a clear message that hate crime will not be tolerated and we will vigorously pursue and prosecute those who commit these crimes.

We will shortly be publishing a new Hate Crime Action Plan, covering all forms of hate crime, including xenophobic attacks. The plan has been developed in partnership with communities and departments across Government.

We want to ensure victims of hate crime are supported and in December 2013, we brought into force a new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime which includes an enhanced level of service for victims of the most serious crime, including victims of hate crime.

We will continue to work across Government, the criminal justice system and with community partners to provide support for victims and put a stop to hate crime in all its forms.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact that the result of the referendum on UK membership of the EU will have on the free movement of football players from EU member states and their ability to continue to play football in UK football clubs.

There will be no immediate changes in the circumstances of European nationals who wish to travel, study and work in the UK.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the top 20 per cent most deprived areas in the country, as determined by the indices of multiple deprivation.

The most recent iteration of the English Indices of Deprivation was published in September 2019 and all resources are available online here - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-indices-of-deprivation-2019

File 1 provides relative ranks and deciles for all small areas or neighbourhoods across England for the combined Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) measure. File 10 provides relative ranks for Local Authority districts as at time of publication and the Frequently Asked Questions document provides guidance on how to produce decile rankings as required.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the successful re-housing of homeless individuals and families during the pandemic, what steps they will take to support homeless individuals and families after the pandemic.

We have taken unprecedented steps to protect rough sleepers during the pandemic. This work has not stopped, and by the end of January, we had supported over 37,000 people with over 11,000 in emergency accommodation and over 26,000 already moved on into longer-term accommodation.

To make sure rough sleepers don’t return to the streets, we are funding 6,000 long-term move-on homes for rough sleepers by the end of parliament, with the majority becoming available this year.

The Government has committed over £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping this year alone, continuing the Government’s work to meet our commitment to end rough sleeping and fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.

9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to allocate extra resources for the safe accommodation of victims of domestic abuse.

My Department’s priority remains for refuges to remain open so that victims of domestic abuse and their children can access support and safe accommodation when they need it.

In May, we launched a £10 million Emergency Support Fund for charities providing safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse. Funding has been allocated to 147 successful charity bids, supporting 166 organisations providing 1890 bed spaces. This funding is ensuring that more victims can access life-saving support during the pandemic.

16th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 14 July (HL6316), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, which local authorities have not responded to their request for information about rough sleepers and those in need of emergency accommodation to inform their decisions about additional funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) surveyed all local authorities about accommodation support provided to rough sleepers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All local authorities have responded to our request for information about rough sleepers and those in need of emergency accommodation.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which local authorities have not responded to their request for information about rough sleepers and those in need of emergency accommodation to inform their decisions about additional funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown period. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) surveyed all local authorities about accommodation support provided to rough sleepers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support homeless people and ensure that they have permanent accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 90% of those on the streets and in communal night shelters known to local authorities at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis have now been made offers of safe accommodation – ensuring some of the most vulnerable in society are protected from the pandemic.

This response is backed by £3.2 billion of additional funding for local authorities to enable them to respond to COVID-19 pressures across the services they deliver, including stepping up support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people. This is in addition to £3.2 million in targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those currently unable to self-isolate.

We have also introduced a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus. With these in force, landlords must give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession.

The Chancellor has also announced that for 2020/21, we will increase the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents. This will mean that many people renting in the Private Rented Sector will see an increase in their housing support from April 2020, providing extra security during these uncertain times.

The Government has made clear that no one should be without a roof over their head, and this work further demonstrates our commitment to assist the most vulnerable in society.

12th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of ending the practice of converting homes for social rent into “affordable” rented housing, in order to tackle (1) affordability issues in the housing market, and (2) homelessness.

A mix of different tenures is vital to meet the needs of a wide range of people, and allow the sector to build the right homes in the right places. Alongside affordable home ownership to help those struggling to purchase their first home, our expanded programme now offers two rental products. Affordable Rent was introduced to maximise taxpayers’ money. It allows us to build more homes for every pound of Government investment - so more people in housing need can have access to a good quality home at a sub-market rent. Social rent will meet the needs of struggling families and those most at risk of homelessness in areas of the country where affordability is most pressured.

12th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to deliver 90,000 homes for social rent each year in order to assist with (1) the backlog of provision of affordable housing, and (2) homelessness, as part of their forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

We have already announced an additional £2 billion of long term funding certainty for housing associations. This extra funding will deliver more affordable homes and stimulate the sector’s wider building ambitions, through strategic partnerships


Our ten year funding commitment through strategic partnerships marks the first time any government has invested such long-term funding in new homes through housing associations


We will seek to build on the progress that has been made on building new social homes as we approach this year’s Spending Review.

7th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the New Civic Housebuilding model, developed by Shelter, in order to address the supply of affordable housing in Britain today.

The Government welcomes the report from Shelter as a helpful contribution to the housing debate. The Government agrees with the assertion that the current business model for delivering homes cannot address the housing shortage alone.

That is why we are determined to diversify the housing market, with the White Paper setting out measures to support smaller and medium sized builders, boost productivity and innovation by encouraging modern methods of construction, and attract investors into the development of homes for rent as well as for sale.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 13 October (HL8644), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, how many individuals have been prosecuted for not wearing a face covering on the South Eastern main line since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are currently no figures in the public domain.

National Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the second and third quarter of 2020 are due for publication in November 2020 and February 2021, respectively; with detailed offence level data for the whole of 2020 planned for publication in May 2021. Our statisticians are currently considering what suitable data from court management information systems could be gathered and prioritised for quality assurance and publication before then that are related to Covid-19 impacts, including potentially prosecutions for offences under the act. They will notify users through regular statistical publications and updates will be announced on gov.uk.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals have been prosecuted for not wearing a face covering on the South Eastern main line since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the second and third quarter of 2020 are due for publication in November 2020 and February 2021, respectively, with detailed offence level data for the whole of 2020 planned for publication in May 2021. Our statisticians are currently considering what data related to Covid-19 impacts can be gathered and prioritised from court management information systems in time for quality assurance and publication; prosecutions for this type of offence, under the appropriate legislation, may be included. They will notify users through regular statistical publications and updates will be announced on gov.uk.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of judges who sit in the High Court of England and Wales are (1) women, and (2) women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The 2018 official judicial diversity statistics were published on 12 July and is attached. The statistical tables provide information on the:

1) Primary appointment of Judges in Courts in England and Wales, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type by region, as at 1 April 2018

2) Primary appointment of Judges and Non-Legal members in Tribunals in England and Wales and Employment Tribunal Scotland, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type, as at 1 April 2018

3) Primary appointment of serving Magistrates in England and Wales, by Advisory Committee Area, by gender, ethnicity, and age, as at 1 April 2018

The data is not available by the breakdown requested, as the gender and ethnicity of judges is reported but not in combination; and diversity information of judges by region is reported for the total courts judiciary but not by judicial office. This breakdown requested could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.

11th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of judges who sit on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales are (1) women, and (2) women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The 2018 official judicial diversity statistics were published on 12 July and is attached. The statistical tables provide information on the:

1) Primary appointment of Judges in Courts in England and Wales, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type by region, as at 1 April 2018

2) Primary appointment of Judges and Non-Legal members in Tribunals in England and Wales and Employment Tribunal Scotland, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type, as at 1 April 2018

3) Primary appointment of serving Magistrates in England and Wales, by Advisory Committee Area, by gender, ethnicity, and age, as at 1 April 2018

The data is not available by the breakdown requested, as the gender and ethnicity of judges is reported but not in combination; and diversity information of judges by region is reported for the total courts judiciary but not by judicial office. This breakdown requested could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.

11th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of judges who sit in County Courts of England and Wales are (1) women, and (2) women from ethnic minority backgrounds, broken down by region.

The 2018 official judicial diversity statistics were published on 12 July and is attached. The statistical tables provide information on the:

1) Primary appointment of Judges in Courts in England and Wales, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type by region, as at 1 April 2018

2) Primary appointment of Judges and Non-Legal members in Tribunals in England and Wales and Employment Tribunal Scotland, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type, as at 1 April 2018

3) Primary appointment of serving Magistrates in England and Wales, by Advisory Committee Area, by gender, ethnicity, and age, as at 1 April 2018

The data is not available by the breakdown requested, as the gender and ethnicity of judges is reported but not in combination; and diversity information of judges by region is reported for the total courts judiciary but not by judicial office. This breakdown requested could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.

11th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of circuit judges and recorders in England and Wales are (1) women, and (2) women from ethnic minority backgrounds, broken down by region.

The 2018 official judicial diversity statistics were published on 12 July and is attached. The statistical tables provide information on the:

1) Primary appointment of Judges in Courts in England and Wales, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type by region, as at 1 April 2018

2) Primary appointment of Judges and Non-Legal members in Tribunals in England and Wales and Employment Tribunal Scotland, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type, as at 1 April 2018

3) Primary appointment of serving Magistrates in England and Wales, by Advisory Committee Area, by gender, ethnicity, and age, as at 1 April 2018

The data is not available by the breakdown requested, as the gender and ethnicity of judges is reported but not in combination; and diversity information of judges by region is reported for the total courts judiciary but not by judicial office. This breakdown requested could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.

11th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of judges who sit in the Magistrates Courts of England and Wales are (1) women, and (2) women from ethnic minority backgrounds, broken down by region.

The 2018 official judicial diversity statistics were published on 12 July and is attached. The statistical tables provide information on the:

1) Primary appointment of Judges in Courts in England and Wales, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type by region, as at 1 April 2018

2) Primary appointment of Judges and Non-Legal members in Tribunals in England and Wales and Employment Tribunal Scotland, by gender, ethnicity, professional background, age and payment type, as at 1 April 2018

3) Primary appointment of serving Magistrates in England and Wales, by Advisory Committee Area, by gender, ethnicity, and age, as at 1 April 2018

The data is not available by the breakdown requested, as the gender and ethnicity of judges is reported but not in combination; and diversity information of judges by region is reported for the total courts judiciary but not by judicial office. This breakdown requested could only be collated at a disproportionate cost.

30th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to review the fault-based divorce system.

The government is committed to improving the family justice system so separating couples can achieve the best possible outcomes for themselves and their families. Whilst we have no current plans to change the existing law on divorce, we are considering what further reforms to the family justice system may be needed.

30th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to put in place a legislative procedure to enable individuals who are not parties in family law cases to have access to information that mentions them by name.

Individuals who are not parties in family law cases may apply to the court for disclosure of information that mentions them by name. Disclosure of such information is at the court’s discretion.

24th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Supreme Court ruling in the case of <i>R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union</i>, what steps they are taking to ensure that the views of all communities in Northern Ireland are taken into consideration when Article 50 is triggered.

The Government will ensure that all views can be reflected in our analysis of the options for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and we are going to listen and talk to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible to do this.

We have set up a new Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations, which brings together constituent parts of the United Kingdom to discuss issues stemming from the negotiation process which may impact upon or have consequences for the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government or the Northern Ireland Executive. The Committee met for the third time on 19 January.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has regular meetings with the political parties in Northern Ireland to discuss the implications of the decision to exit the European Union. In addition, he established a Business Advisory Group in September to ensure that the views of the business community are reflected in the process of exiting the European Union. The Secretary of State has also had positive engagement with representatives of the voluntary and community sector.

All these views are being taken into consideration in the process leading up to the triggering of Article 50 and the preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

24th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Supreme Court ruling in the case of <i>R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union</i> and of the pending elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, what discussions they have had with the government of Ireland regarding their roles as co-guarantors under the Good Friday Agreement.

The Government remains fully and firmly committed to preserving and maintaining the Belfast Agreement, its successors and the institutions. The Government keeps in regular contact with the Irish Government on a range of issues in accordance with the well-established three stranded approach. Most recently, the Prime Minister met the Taoiseach on 30 January in Dublin.