Lord Pendry Portrait

Lord Pendry

Labour - Life peer

1 APPG membership (as of 6 Oct 2021)
Hong Kong
4 Former APPG memberships
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


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 21st October 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 71 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 126 Noes - 116
Speeches
Friday 22nd October 2021
Assisted Dying Bill [HL]

My Lords, I recognise that I speak in this debate against a background of the intense and emotional feelings of …

Written Answers
Tuesday 20th July 2021
Care Homes and Hospitality Industry: Vacancies
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the number of job vacancies in the (1) …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Pendry has voted in 91 divisions, and 4 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
View All Lord Pendry Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
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)
(2 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(2 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(1 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Lord Pendry has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Lord Pendry's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Pendry has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Pendry has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Pendry has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


93 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
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 (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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)
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)
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.

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

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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 Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.
Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increased demand for emergency food parcels from low-income families; and what plans they have to suspend (1) the two-child limit on benefits, and (2) the benefits cap.

No assessment has been made of the number of emergency food parcels issued.

The Government has recently announced up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of coronavirus. The programme will provide over 20 million meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through non-profit organisations including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).

The Government has quickly and effectively introduced over £6.5 billion of measures that benefit those facing the most financial disruption, including an increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance by £86.67 per month (equivalent to £20 per week) on top of the planned annual uprating. This additional increase means claimants will be up to £1040 better off.

Currently there are no plans to change either the benefit cap or the two child policies.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 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 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 representations they have made to the governments in the Sahel region about (1) addressing the Central Sahel crisis, and (2) prioritising efforts to address gender-based violence.

The UK is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and humanitarian crisis in the Sahel. We are committed to working with the G5 Sahel countries and international partners to build long-term peace and stability, protect civilians and ensure our humanitarian support is able to reach those most in need. We have raised concerns about the escalating violence and allegations of human rights violations at the UN Security Council and in the region. We have called for all parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and have urged G5 governments to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. The Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, attended the first meeting of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly and the sixth Summit of the G5 Leaders in Mauritania on 25 February 2020. At the meetings, the Minister reaffirmed the UK's efforts to improve security and encourage development in the Sahel.

We advocate regularly for a humanitarian response that protects those affected by conflict and violence, including women and girls. On 15 October 2020, the UK co-hosted a side event with the Norwegian Refugee Council and OCHA, calling for strengthened civilian-military coordination to improve humanitarian access in the region. This was followed by a Ministerial Roundtable, including G5 governments, on 20 October 2020 where the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Minister of State, Lord Ahmad, announced an additional £8 million for the UK's humanitarian programme in the Sahel. Through our leadership on gender in the Sahel Alliance, we work collectively with other donors to increase the impact of investments on gender equality, and to encourage G5 governments to protect the fundamental rights of women and girls.

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.

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.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on ports, how many customs officers are employed at each such port in the UK; how many vacancies there are for such posts; what assessment they have made of the number of such officers required to address such an impact; and what steps they are taking to meet any shortfall in the number of customs officers required.

Border Force are responsible for customs controls at the UK border, and for the resources necessary to meet those responsibilities. HMRC are responsible for customs matters inland, and for overall revenue and customs policy. Border Force undertook a large scale recruitment and training exercise in order to be able to respond flexibly to requirements at the border after transition. The latest published staffing and finance figures for Border Force can be found in the Home Office Annual Report for 2019-2020.

The Government is monitoring freight flow across UK ports through the Border Operations Centre in the Cabinet Office and freight levels have been increasing over recent weeks.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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 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.
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address inequality in the treatment of black people by the police.

The strength of policing in England & Wales lies in its relationships with the communities it serves. The measures being introduced by this Government to support officers, broaden representation and enhance accountability will help the police make these relationships even stronger.

We have put in place measures to ensure that policing is subject to appropriate levels of transparency and accountability – with regular inspections of the way forces engage with communities, frequent publication of data on use of police powers and strengthening the police complaints system. The public rightly expect police officers to meet high standards of professional conduct and the vast majority of officers do so.

We know that black people, particularly black men, are over-represented in the criminal justice system, and this Government is tackling the broader structural inequalities that lead to this.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
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.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were sleeping rough in England and Wales (1) between November and December 2019, (2) in January 2020, (3) in February 2020, and (4) in March 2020.

MHCLG’s latest official annual Rough Sleeping Snapshot Statistics published on 27 February 2020 provides information about the estimated number of people sleeping rough across all local authorities in England on a single night between 1 October and 31 November 2019. These statistics provide a way of estimating the number of people sleeping rough across England on a single night and of assessing change over time. There were 4,266 people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in Autumn 2019 in England. For more information please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2019/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2019

The devolved administrations publish their own statistics on homelessness which contain information on rough sleeping. The Welsh Government publish a?national annual rough sleeping monitoring exercise, which includes a two week information gathering exercise followed by a one night snapshot count. The figures are not directly comparable between countries as they have a different methodology, coverage and are carried out at different time periods. For more information please see the following link: https://gov.wales/national-rough-sleeper-count

We are providing £3.2 million in targeted funding to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.2 billion to local authorities as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
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
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
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
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)