Lord Polak Portrait

Lord Polak

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 2nd October 2015


3 APPG memberships (as of 13 May 2024)
Abraham Accords, Brain Tumours, War Crimes
2 Former APPG memberships
Holocaust Memorial, Isle of Man (Manx)
Adult Social Care Committee
19th Jan 2022 - 21st Nov 2022
EU Security and Justice Sub-Committee
23rd Apr 2020 - 31st Mar 2021
EU Justice Sub-Committee
26th May 2016 - 23rd Apr 2020
European Union Committee
17th Oct 2018 - 15th Jul 2019


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Polak has voted in 435 divisions, and 12 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 214
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 229
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 40 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 188
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 143 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 161
21 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 197 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 166 Noes - 237
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
6 Dec 2021 - Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative Aye votes vs 70 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 25 Noes - 74
8 Dec 2021 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative No votes vs 128 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 82
2 Mar 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 117 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 169 Noes - 122
2 Mar 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 118 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 172 Noes - 120
3 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 88 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 110 Noes - 91
7 Mar 2023 - National Security Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Polak voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 163 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 132 Noes - 180
View All Lord Polak Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(52 debate interactions)
Lord True (Conservative)
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
(14 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(21 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(3,343 words contributed)
Victims and Prisoners Bill 2022-23
(3,065 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(2,120 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Polak's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Polak has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


Latest 20 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Autumn Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 22 November (HC Deb cols 325–357), whether they have any plans to provide an enhanced package of financial support for care leavers aged 18 to 25 when they leave the care system.

The department recognises the challenges that care leavers face as they make the transition from care to living independently and have put in place a range of support measures.

To help care leavers to engage in education, employment and training (EET), the department has increased the Care Leavers’ Apprenticeships Bursary from £1,000 to £3,000. Local authorities are required to support care leavers to engage in EET, including providing a £2,000 bursary if the young person is studying in higher education. Care leavers are also a priority group for the 16 to19 bursary if studying in further education (up to £1,200 per year).

In addition, the department has increased the leaving care allowance from £2,000 to £3,000 to enable care leavers to furnish their first home, and the Junior ISA scheme provides an initial £200 payment to open a savings account for all children who have been in care continuously for 12 months. Anyone can pay money into the accounts, and the funds can then be accessed by the young person when they leave care at age 18.

Improving outcomes for care leavers is a cross-government priority and there are a range of ways in which the government is supporting care leavers to reduce their financial vulnerability, including:

  • Providing support to care leavers through the Household Support Fund, which local authorities can use to help vulnerable residents to help with cost-of-living increases.
  • Promoting the support available through the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which provides support with energy costs over the winter.

Local authorities are required to publish their ‘local offer’ for care leavers, setting out care leavers’ legal entitlements, plus any further discretionary financial support that the local authority provides, such as Council Tax Exemptions, free leisure passes and rent deposit/guarantor schemes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of teacher training programmes supported by UK aid in the Palestinian Territories.

DFID supports teacher training in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through the UK’s ‘Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning Programme’, which is co-funded by DFID and the British Council. The programme focuses on core and transferable skills, and global citizenship.

The content is centrally designed by UK-based experts and delivered on the ground across the world by trainers who are validated and quality assured by the British Council. The British Council undertakes quality assurance visits to ensure the content delivered is appropriate and high quality. The British Council also monitors feedback from participants and has commissioned an independent evaluation of the effectiveness and quality of the training.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK aid is distributed to employees of the Palestinian Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Centre.

Our money to support education and health provision in the West Bank goes into a special, dedicated bank account and is only paid to individuals vetted through the Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism (PEGASE) to ensure they have no connections to any proscribed groups and are still in employment.

Employees of the Palestinian Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Centre are included on the PEGASE list, alongside teachers and other public sector education professionals.

Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been transferred to the declared bank account of the intended recipient. This rigorous process means we are confident no UK aid is being diverted.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which textbooks are used by the teachers in the Palestinian Territories that are funded by UK aid.

The UK does not fund textbooks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our education funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) contributes to the salaries of carefully vetted teachers. Teachers in PA schools teach the Palestinian curriculum. Following allegations of incitement in the PA’s school textbooks, the UK secured agreement from our European partners to lead an independent review of the textbooks which is underway. We expect interim findings in Spring 2020 and full findings later in the year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Autumn Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 22 November (HC Deb cols 325–357), what plans they have to extend the Household Support Fund.

The Government has provided over £2 billion in funding for the Household Support Fund since October 2021.

The current Household Support Fund runs from April 2023 until the end of March 2024, and the Government continues to keep all its existing programmes under review in the usual way.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel on the terror attack on 16 February at Re’em Junction that killed two and left four injured.

This terrorist attack serves as a reminder of the daily security challenges Israel faces. The Government condemns all violence against innocent civilians and, as the Government has stated previously, for there to be a lasting peace, Israel's security must be assured. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and we continue to have regular discussions with Israeli counterparts on all aspects of the conflict.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent Iranian media reports that Iran is supplying Hezbollah with ‘Almas’ anti-tank missiles.

We condemn Iran's destabilising political, financial, and military support to proscribed groups, including Lebanese Hizballah. We have made clear to Iran that it must cease proliferating advanced weapons systems throughout the region. We will continue to work to disrupt Iran's destabilising activity in Lebanon and the wider region, including by holding Iran to account in multilateral fora and through sanctions; addressing Iranian weapons proliferation; and strengthening the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will update their business risk advisory system regarding forced labour in the Uyghur region in China, in light of the conclusions of the Uyghur Tribunal, published on 9 December 2021.

Our overseas business risk guidance on Xinjiang was last updated in August 2021. It makes clear the extensive evidence of human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang, including the use of forced labour, and urges UK companies to take appropriate steps to ensure their operations do not directly or indirectly contribute to these violations. We continue to keep the guidance under constant review.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the UK's investment of (1) effort, and (2) resources, into the advancement of the Middle East peace process.

We firmly believe a just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians is long overdue. That is why we support steps to increase understanding and dialogue between the parties that can help create the conditions for meaningful negotiations. We will continue to fund peacebuilding projects focused on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they do not list (1) the Norwegian Refugee Council, or (2) other partners, on their Development Tracker website as receiving funding, despite that information being publicly available elsewhere.

Development Tracker presents information on partners who have received funds from Her Majesty's Government (HMG) in multiple ways depending on how the funding is reported by both the Government department and the implementing partner.

From information reported by the FCDO and other government departments, partners who have received funding are listed as implementing partners on country pages [1] and on project pages [2]. Projects relating to specific partners can also be viewed using Development Tracker's search function [3].

When partners publish data reporting that the UK has been a funder, they will appear on the Partners tab of a Development Tracker project page. There may therefore be instances where the Norwegian Refugee Council or other partners who receive funds from HMG are not listed within the partners tab as they have not referred to HMG as a funding organisation.

[1] For example, on the South Sudan country page, the Norwegian Refugee Council is listed here https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/countries/SS/

[2] For example, the Norwegian Refugee Council is listed here https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-204019

[3] For example, search for Norwegian Refugee Council as shown here https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/search?query=Norwegian%20Refugee%20Council&inclu deClosed=0

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which fired missiles into Israel in February.

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. The UK notes with concern the recent escalation in Gaza, including indiscriminate rocket fire which places civilians at risk. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable. We call on all sides to maintain calm. We have been clear about the dangers of further escalation. A regional conflict is in no one's interest. We will continue to work with international partners to support stability in the region.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's (1) involvement in, and (2) policy of, encouraging peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Iran continues to support a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian rejectionist groups. This support is concerning, and directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. We are clear that we want to see the creation of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state - living in peace and security, side by side with Israel. We will continue to work with likeminded partners to advance the Middle East Peace Process, countering those who embrace violence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group does not jeopardise negotiations for a permanent peace between Israel and Hamas.

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. Longer term, we encourage relevant parties to put forward sustainable proposals to resolve the threat posed to Israel's security by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militants in Gaza. Misrule is leading to dreadful consequences for the people of Gaza and also of Israel. The perpetual cycle of violence does not serve anyone's interests, and must end.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much VAT was collected on defibrillator purchases in (1) 2020, (2) 2021, and (3) 2022.

HM Revenue and Customs does not hold information on VAT revenue from specific products or services, including VAT on defibrillators. This is because businesses are not required to provide figures at a product level within their VAT returns, as this would impose an excessive administrative burden.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to the taxpayer of removing VAT on all defibrillator purchases.

The government has not made a robust assessment of the cost to the taxpayer of removing VAT on all defibrillator purchases.

The Government provides support to aid the purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) through VAT refunds on purchases made by local authorities and VAT reliefs for purchases made through voluntary contributions, where the AED is donated to eligible charities or the NHS. Otherwise, they attract the standard rate of VAT.

The Department of Health and Social Care are examining whether there are ways to further expand public access to defibrillators.

The Government keeps all taxes under constant review.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the IMF's support for Lebanon (1) is subject to strict oversight and monitoring, and (2) has mechanisms in place to ensure it is not misspent.

IMF programmes in general are subject to strict policies of oversight and monitoring, underpinned by well-established mechanisms.

Under its Articles of Agreement, the IMF must establish adequate safeguards for the use of its resources. IMF lending requires safeguards covering key areas of governance and control to help mitigate the risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of data. These safeguards may include limits on how much can be borrowed, conditions on the loans, measures to deal with misreporting or arrears, and safeguard assessments of central banks.

The UK uses its seat at the IMF’s Board to help shape these policies and ensure that they are applied across all the IMF’s lending arrangements.

29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Hezbollah's involvement in (1) charitable, and (2) criminal networks, in the UK.

We do not comment on intelligence matters.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much additional expenditure outside of the victims core grant funding Police and Crime Commissioner’s spent between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 on (1) domestic abuse services, (2) Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers, (3) domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, (4) family court domestic abuse support, and (5) Independent Domestic Violence Advisers.

In 2019/20 Police and Crime Commissioners received £70.3m from the Ministry of Justice to provide or commission support services for victims of crime, including victims of Domestic Abuse. PCCs also spend additional money from other sources on victims’ services.

It is not possible to provide the spend on specific sub-categories of Domestic Abuse services, as it cannot be disaggregated from overall spend for all PCCs.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the victims core grant funding Police and Crime Commissioner’s spent between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 on (1) domestic abuse services, (2) domestic violence specialist services, (3) domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, (4) family court domestic abuse support, and (5) Independent Domestic Violence Advisers.

In 2019/20 Police and Crime Commissioners received £70.3m from the Ministry of Justice to provide or commission support services for victims of crime, including victims of Domestic Abuse. PCCs also spend additional money from other sources on victims’ services.

It is not possible to provide the spend on specific sub-categories of Domestic Abuse services, as it cannot be disaggregated from overall spend for all PCCs.

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