Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton Portrait

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton

Conservative - Life peer

3 APPG memberships (as of 25 Aug 2021)
Bahrain, Belize, Nepal
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Jun 2017 - 12th Dec 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th May 2015 - 13th Jun 2017
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
6th Sep 2012 - 8th May 2015
Armed Forces Bill Committee
17th Jan 2011 - 8th Mar 2011
Shadow Minister (International Development)
6th Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
International Development Committee
13th Jul 2009 - 6th May 2010
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
17th Apr 2008 - 21st May 2009
Opposition Whip (Commons)
8th Nov 2006 - 6th Jul 2007
Defence Committee
16th Jan 2006 - 27th Nov 2006
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 16th Jan 2006


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 189 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 104 Noes - 241
Speeches
Tuesday 7th September 2021
Armed Forces Bill

My Lords, I too welcome the Bill and of course start by declaring my interest as a serving member of …

Written Answers
Friday 17th September 2021
Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to expand the role of the Veterans Advisory and Pension Committees.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 30th June 2010
Coinage (Measurement) Act 2011
The Bill would amend the Coinage Act 1971 to enable the Royal Mint to strike commemorative coins of one kilogram …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton has voted in 117 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton 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 Goldie (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(22 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(22 debate contributions)
Home Office
(8 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton, 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 Lancaster of Kimbolton has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton


The Bill would amend the Coinage Act 1971 to enable the Royal Mint to strike commemorative coins of one kilogram or more for the 2012 London Olympics.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 3rd November 2011 and was enacted into law.

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


43 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
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of impact of false positive results from a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test on the number of children who will not be permitted to attend school.

The department has confidence in the value and accuracy of lateral flow tests. The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives.

More than 130 types of lateral flow devices (LFDs) have been assessed and over 20,000 evaluations completed. Results indicate that LFDs are effective at detecting COVID-19 in an individual and registering an appropriate positive result, including for the current variants.

The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for home use.

The Government has temporarily removed confirmatory PCR testing for Lateral Flow Tests taken at test sites, such as those situated in some workplaces, universities, secondary schools and colleges. This follows advice from Public Health England that, when COVID-19 prevalence rates are high, the performance of lateral flow devices and PCRs are broadly comparable when used at test sites, significantly reducing the need for routine confirmatory testing. In line with clinical advice, confirmatory PCR testing will remain in place, for pupils, students, and staff for whom testing is done at home to reduce the risk of false positives.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce a roadworthiness test for vehicles over 40 years old.

There are currently no plans to introduce a roadworthiness test for vehicles over 40 years old.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to increase the capacity, and (2) to reduce journey times, of rail services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour stations.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to revise the timetable and services operated across the SWR network. The current mainline timetable provides 89% of the number of AM peak seats at Waterloo (0700-0959) compared with the timetable pre-COVID. SWR continue to monitor customer numbers closely and have plans in place to increase the level of capacity or service provision further as passenger demand returns. With current levels of demand, there remains spare socially-distanced capacity into Waterloo in the AM peak. Journey times on the Waterloo-Portsmouth service remain broadly unchanged.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential increase in capacity for commuter services on the West Coast Main Line south of Northampton after the introduction of HS2.

Once HS2 Phase 1 opens, HS2 services will run on dedicated infrastructure between London and the West Midlands, replacing long distance services that currently run on the West Coast Main Line. This will release capacity for additional services, which could include a mixture of commuter, semi-fast, regional and freight trains. No decisions have yet been made as to the train service that will operate on the West Coast Main Line once HS2 opens.

The Department for Transport has appointed West Coast Partnership Development to analyse passenger demand on the route and present options for train service patterns that best allow this demand to be met. The Secretary of State will decide on the preferred option, once it has been subject to consultation, nearer to the time that HS2 opens.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the false positive rate from rapid lateral flow test carried out on asymptomatic school children.

Public Health England and Oxford University have estimated the false positive rate among asymptomatic school children is fewer than one in every 1,000 lateral flow tests.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what overseas development assistance compliant bilateral financial support they intend to give Nepal over the next five years, broken down by project.

The UK Government is one of the leading donors to COVAX, committing £548 million to the scheme, which will provide more than a billion vaccines to developing countries including doses for almost a fifth of Nepal's population. The UK has also funded a new £180,000 duplex oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital in Kathmandu to help address oxygen shortages to treat COVID19 patients. On 27 May the UK sent a further package of support to Nepal to help the country's fight against coronavirus. This included 260 ventilators and personal protective equipment.

As the Foreign Secretary set out in his Written Ministerial Statement on 21 April, we have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world. The Foreign Secretary's statement set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction. These principles combined with a strategic approach will ensure that every penny we spend, including to Nepal, goes as far as possible and makes a world-leading difference

The details of UK bilateral assistance programmes are set out in FCDO's DevTracker. This provides each project's allocation, the amount spent to date, and the end date for each project. Full budgets per country and a final audited spend for 2020/21 will be published in due course, including in our regular Statistics on International Development website and in the FCDO Annual Report and Accounts.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what requests for bilateral support they have received from the government of Nepal to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic; and what their response has been.

The UK Government is one of the leading donors to Covax, committing £548m to the scheme, which will provide more than a billion vaccines to developing countries including doses for almost a fifth of Nepal's population. The UK has also funded a new £180,000 duplex oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital in Kathmandu to help address oxygen shortages to treat COVID19 patients. The UK is also providing £15m of support to international NGOs and the UN to provide shelter, nutrition and other critical needs in Nepal - including cash and voucher assistance to 220,000 vulnerable people's basic needs, nutrition support to 120,000 pregnant and lactating women and infants, 400,000 people with WASH (UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene) support, and 210 truckloads of relief supplies to 52 different destinations.

On Friday 28 May, a plane carrying the UK’s donation of 260 ventilators and 2,000 visors arrived in Nepal, in response to an urgent request for medical supplies from the Government of Nepal. Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, British Embassy Kathmandu has helped Nepal respond to COVID-19 by reprioritising over £40m of its aid budget. This support has included the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 300,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal.

The UK Government is one of the leading donors to Covax, committing £548m to the scheme, which will provide more than a billion vaccines to developing countries including doses for almost a fifth of Nepal's population. The UK has also funded a new £180,000 duplex oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital in Kathmandu to help address oxygen shortages to treat COVID19 patients. The UK is also providing £15m of support to international NGOs and the UN to provide shelter, nutrition and other critical needs in Nepal - including cash and voucher assistance to 220,000 vulnerable people's basic needs, nutrition support to 120,000 pregnant and lactating women and infants, 400,000 people with WASH (UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene) support, and 210 truckloads of relief supplies to 52 different destinations.

On Friday 28 May, a plane carrying the UK’s donation of 260 ventilators and 2,000 visors arrived in Nepal, in response to an urgent request for medical supplies from the Government of Nepal. Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, British Embassy Kathmandu has helped Nepal respond to COVID-19 by reprioritising over £40m of its aid budget. This support has included the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 300,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 22 February (HL13107), when they expect the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to be complete in (1) UK Overseas Territories, and (2) Crown Dependencies.

COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the Crown Dependencies and all of the inhabited Overseas Territories with airports. Arrangements are now being made to deliver the vaccines to Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands. The smaller Overseas Territories will complete their vaccination programmes soon and deliveries to the other Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies continue on a population proportionate basis alongside the domestic roll out in the UK. The Government only publishes data on vaccine administered in the UK, the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies are regularly publishing data on their vaccination programmes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 22 February (HL13107), how many COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to (1) UK Overseas Territories, and (2) Crown Dependencies.

COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the Crown Dependencies and all of the inhabited Overseas Territories with airports. Arrangements are now being made to deliver the vaccines to Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands. The smaller Overseas Territories will complete their vaccination programmes soon and deliveries to the other Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies continue on a population proportionate basis alongside the domestic roll out in the UK. The Government only publishes data on vaccine administered in the UK, the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies are regularly publishing data on their vaccination programmes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the COVID-19 vaccination timeline for (1) British Overseas Territories, and (2) the Crown Dependencies, mirrors that planned for the UK; and if not, why not.

The UK Government has procured COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and is committed to continue to providing a proportionate supply in line with roll out of the vaccine in the UK. The governments of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories are responsible for the coordination of their own vaccination programmes. This includes setting their own frameworks for prioritisation based on demographics and their wider public health strategies. The Crown Dependencies have been supplied vaccine directly by Public Health England: details of their vaccination programmes, including up-to-date statistics on number of doses administered, can be found at gov.im, gov.je and gov.gg.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been coordinating the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to the Overseas Territories with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care, the Vaccines Taskforce, Ministry of Defence and Public Health England. Deliveries to the inhabited Overseas Territories began on 5 January and as of 15 February, the FCDO has organised 16 vaccine deliveries to 10 Overseas Territories to support their individual vaccination programmes for priority groups, with further deliveries scheduled over coming weeks in line with Territories' vaccination plans. Planning is also underway to deliver vaccines to the two outstanding inhabited Territories: Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands.

  • Ascension Island: deliveries began 15 February
  • Anguilla: deliveries began 4 February
  • Bermuda: deliveries began 8 January.
  • British Virgin Islands: deliveries began 4 February
  • Cayman Islands: deliveries began 5 January
  • Falkland Islands: deliveries began 1 February
  • Gibraltar: deliveries began 9 January
  • Montserrat: deliveries began 3 February
  • Pitcairn Islands: delivery being arranged
  • St Helena: deliveries began 11 January
  • Tristan da Cunha: delivery being arranged
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: deliveries began 7 January

Public Health England have been providing expert advice to the Overseas Territories on deploying the vaccines. The FCDO have provided support to the Overseas Territories throughout the pandemic, enabling seven islands to begin testing for COVID-19 for the first time, the others to continue testing, ensuring none ran out of Personal Protective Equipment, funding two military deployments and sending medical staff, ventilators and other equipment.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many doses of COVID-19 vaccine have (1) been offered, and (2) been supplied, to each of the Crown Dependencies, broken down by (a) the total number, and (b) as a percentage of total population over the age of 18.

The UK Government has procured COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and is committed to continue to providing a proportionate supply in line with roll out of the vaccine in the UK. The governments of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories are responsible for the coordination of their own vaccination programmes. This includes setting their own frameworks for prioritisation based on demographics and their wider public health strategies. The Crown Dependencies have been supplied vaccine directly by Public Health England: details of their vaccination programmes, including up-to-date statistics on number of doses administered, can be found at gov.im, gov.je and gov.gg.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been coordinating the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to the Overseas Territories with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care, the Vaccines Taskforce, Ministry of Defence and Public Health England. Deliveries to the inhabited Overseas Territories began on 5 January and as of 15 February, the FCDO has organised 16 vaccine deliveries to 10 Overseas Territories to support their individual vaccination programmes for priority groups, with further deliveries scheduled over coming weeks in line with Territories' vaccination plans. Planning is also underway to deliver vaccines to the two outstanding inhabited Territories: Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands.

  • Ascension Island: deliveries began 15 February
  • Anguilla: deliveries began 4 February
  • Bermuda: deliveries began 8 January.
  • British Virgin Islands: deliveries began 4 February
  • Cayman Islands: deliveries began 5 January
  • Falkland Islands: deliveries began 1 February
  • Gibraltar: deliveries began 9 January
  • Montserrat: deliveries began 3 February
  • Pitcairn Islands: delivery being arranged
  • St Helena: deliveries began 11 January
  • Tristan da Cunha: delivery being arranged
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: deliveries began 7 January

Public Health England have been providing expert advice to the Overseas Territories on deploying the vaccines. The FCDO have provided support to the Overseas Territories throughout the pandemic, enabling seven islands to begin testing for COVID-19 for the first time, the others to continue testing, ensuring none ran out of Personal Protective Equipment, funding two military deployments and sending medical staff, ventilators and other equipment.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many doses of COVID-19 vaccine have (1) been offered, and (2) been supplied, to each of the British Overseas Territories, broken down by (a) the total number, and (b) as a percentage of total population over the age of 18.

The UK Government has procured COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and is committed to continue to providing a proportionate supply in line with roll out of the vaccine in the UK. The governments of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories are responsible for the coordination of their own vaccination programmes. This includes setting their own frameworks for prioritisation based on demographics and their wider public health strategies. The Crown Dependencies have been supplied vaccine directly by Public Health England: details of their vaccination programmes, including up-to-date statistics on number of doses administered, can be found at gov.im, gov.je and gov.gg.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been coordinating the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to the Overseas Territories with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care, the Vaccines Taskforce, Ministry of Defence and Public Health England. Deliveries to the inhabited Overseas Territories began on 5 January and as of 15 February, the FCDO has organised 16 vaccine deliveries to 10 Overseas Territories to support their individual vaccination programmes for priority groups, with further deliveries scheduled over coming weeks in line with Territories' vaccination plans. Planning is also underway to deliver vaccines to the two outstanding inhabited Territories: Tristan da Cunha and the Pitcairn Islands.

  • Ascension Island: deliveries began 15 February
  • Anguilla: deliveries began 4 February
  • Bermuda: deliveries began 8 January.
  • British Virgin Islands: deliveries began 4 February
  • Cayman Islands: deliveries began 5 January
  • Falkland Islands: deliveries began 1 February
  • Gibraltar: deliveries began 9 January
  • Montserrat: deliveries began 3 February
  • Pitcairn Islands: delivery being arranged
  • St Helena: deliveries began 11 January
  • Tristan da Cunha: delivery being arranged
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: deliveries began 7 January

Public Health England have been providing expert advice to the Overseas Territories on deploying the vaccines. The FCDO have provided support to the Overseas Territories throughout the pandemic, enabling seven islands to begin testing for COVID-19 for the first time, the others to continue testing, ensuring none ran out of Personal Protective Equipment, funding two military deployments and sending medical staff, ventilators and other equipment.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 January (HL11995), whether the political framework proposed will allow any veto by Spain as to who enters Gibraltar.

The Political Framework will form the basis of the future treaty, which will finalise the border arrangements for Gibraltar. We have sent the Political Framework to the European Commission so that we can quickly initiate negotiations to develop the Framework into a new treaty. The Political Framework sets out that Gibraltar will continue to operate entry checks as now, in accordance with its immigration rules, and it is without prejudice to British sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be responsible for border checks at points of entry to Gibraltar.

The UK, working side by side with the Governments of Gibraltar and Spain, reached agreement on 31 December over a political framework to form the basis of a separate treaty between the UK and the EU regarding Gibraltar. The political framework covers issues of key importance to Gibraltar and the surrounding region, including on border fluidity, and provides a firm basis to safeguard Gibraltar's interests. We have sent this framework to the European Commission in order to initiate negotiations on the treaty.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 18 November (HL10238), what application has been made to the Conflict Stability and Security Fund for infrastructure work on Ascension Island for the 2021/22 financial year onwards.

The precise allocations of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund budget for 2021/2022 are still to be confirmed. A prioritisation exercise of infrastructural work for next year including Ascension Island will be undertaken following confirmation of precise budgets.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 18 November (HL10238), what estimate they have made of the total cost of the infrastructure work required on Ascension Island.

A 2017 report identified a wide array infrastructure on Ascension Island which required repair. Eleven infrastructure projects have been identified as priorities and are estimated cost approximately £39 million to fix. In order to address the most urgent repairs, £5 million from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund was allocated in 2018 for a capital investment programme over three years. Additionally, the runway repair project, which is now underway is jointly funded with the United States at a total cost of $170 million. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is working with the Ascension Island Government to ensure that there is a clear prioritised plan for infrastructure repair works along with a detailed asset management plan to ensure the island's critical infrastructure is properly maintained.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 18 November (HL10238), how much revenue has been raised by the government of Ascension Island through taxes in each of the last five years; and what proportion of that revenue has been allocated to infrastructure improvement.

The Ascension Island Government has raised the following revenue via taxation over the last 5 years: 2015/2016: £5,105,491; 2016/2017: £4,987,011; 2017/2018: £4,870,185; 2018/2019: £4,579,244; 2019/2020: £4,750,558. These funds have primarily been used to provide essential public services on the island. The cessation of the South Atlantic Airbridge in 2017 due to damage on Wideawake Runway has reduced the Ascension Island Government's ability to raise more in tax revenue. The funding available for infrastructure works therefore has been limited. The Ascension Island Government's budget is discussed as part of on-island Council meetings with any expenditure agreed by island Councillors.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Saint Helena Airport on the economy of St Helena since that airport opened, broken down by (1) year, and (2) economic sector.

One of the primary objectives of the St Helena Airport was to develop the island's tourist industry leading to wider benefits for its economy. Since the commercial air service started in October 2017, tourist arrivals have increased by 52% in 2018 with a further increase of 19% on that in 2019 when compared to average leisure arrivals on the island between 2010 and 2017. Estimated spending by tourists and other visitors contributed around £4 million to the St Helena economy in 2018 and £5 million in 2019. However, because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, no tourists or other non-essential visitors have been able to visit St Helena since March 2020. The outlook for the resumption of tourist travel remains uncertain.

The full impact of air access on the economy will take some years to materialise and there is not yet enough data to assess the impact on other economic sectors. The airport has however brought other benefits such as quicker access to the island and allowed for life saving urgent medical evacuations. The UK Government will continue to work with the St Helena Government to support the island's economic development.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 6 November (HL9853), what outcomes they expect from their contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment; and how any outcomes will be assessed.

The UK has committed up to £548 million for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment. The UK expects the contribution to support access to COVID-19 vaccines for up to 92 developing countries by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021 (subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals).

FCDO funding agreements with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, set out objectives for UK funding, and are subject to rigorous programme management procedures, including routine financial and results reporting, audits, and annual reviews. For multi-donor funded organisations, including Gavi, the UK is an active participant in governance boards and committees, and works with other donors to set objectives, monitor performance, and ensure strong financial management and reporting.

11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 6 November (HL9853), what outcomes they expect from their financial contribution to the Coalition for Epidemic Prepared Innovations; and how any outcomes will be assessed.

This year, the UK has contributed up to £250 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop vaccines against emerging epidemic diseases, including COVID-19. We expect this to deliver a portfolio of promising vaccine candidates that take into account the particular contexts, systems, and population needs of people in developing countries, and that people in ODA-eligible countries have access to them as soon as possible.

FCDO-funded programmes are subject to rigorous programme management procedures to monitor progress against expected outcomes, including routine financial and results reporting, audits, and annual reviews. For multi-donor funded organisations, including CEPI, the UK is an active participant in governance boards and committees, and works with other donors to set objectives, monitor performance, and ensure strong financial management and reporting.

11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the infrastructure investment needs of Ascension Island.

A significant proportion of Ascension's infrastructure needs modernising. In 2018, £5 million from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund was earmarked over three years to address the very most critical safety issues. The UK Government is working with the Ascension Island Government and stakeholders to ensure that these issues are resolved as the Ascension Island is important to the United Kingdom

11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the (1) capital, and (2) revenue, costs of Ascension Island are currently allocated between Government departments.

The Ascension Island Government raises revenue from taxes on island. The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has used the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to address issues with critical infrastructure on the island. The island also receives funding from the UK Government Blue Belt Programme (approximately £390,000 this financial year) to support its Marine Protected Area, which was designated in 2019.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 30 October (HL9430), what is the breakdown of their financial contribution to the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (1) by recipient, and (2) by purpose.

The UK has contributed a total of up to £813 million to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. This includes up to £250 million of UK Aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an organisation that is supporting the development and manufacturing scale-up of promising COVID-19 vaccines for global use. The UK has committed up to £548 million for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will support access to COVID-19 vaccines for 92 developing countries by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021 (subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals). The UK has also committed £71 million of non-ODA funds to participate in the COVAX Facility for self-financing countries to secure options to vaccines for UK domestic use.

Up to £40 million has been contributed to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to support the rapid development of, and access to, treatments for COVID-19. Up to £23 million has been committed to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to drive innovation in the development and delivery of tests to combat major diseases affecting the poorest populations, including COVID-19.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 30 October (HL9430), what mechanisms they have put in place to assess the effectiveness of their financial contribution to the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a coalition of partners, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Unitaid, the Global Fund, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), and others. The UK is a founding member of the ACT-Accelerator, and provides strategic guidance through representation on the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council.

The UK funds leading organisations that are committed to delivering the ACT-Accelerator's objectives. The breakdown of these financial contributions is outlined in the Written Answer HL9851. FCDO funding agreements with these partners set out objectives for UK funding, and are subject to rigorous programme management procedures, including routine financial and results reporting, audits, and annual reviews. The UK is an active participant in governance boards and committees for multi-donor funded organisations, including Gavi and CEPI, and works with other donors to set objectives, monitor performance, and ensure strong financial management and reporting.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 30 October (HL9430), what assessment they have made of whether their financial contribution to the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator is Official Development Assistance compliant.

The breakdown of the UK's financial contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) is outlined in the Written Answer HL9851. This includes up to £548 million for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, up to £250 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), up to £40 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, and up to £23 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).

We have assessed this spend, and the vital work it supports, to be eligible as Official Development Assistance (ODA) under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ODA Directives. In line with these Directives, the primary purpose of the UK's ODA spend in this area is to promote the welfare and economic development of developing countries, and address the problems they face due to COVID-19. This includes ensuring that organisations supported to drive the research and development of effective vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments negotiate access agreements with private sector partners, and prioritise products that are suitable to the contexts, systems, and population needs of people in developing countries. This will be crucial in mitigating the humanitarian and economic crisis they face from the COVID-19 pandemic.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the threat of terrorism as a result of Islamist extremism in Ghana; and what support they intend to offer to the government of Ghana to counter that threat.

We are committed to working with Ghana, other West African countries and our international partners to prepare against the threat of possible future Islamist insurgencies in coastal West Africa. The Prime Minister discussed security in the region with President Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January. The UK is concerned by the potential emerging threat of terrorism to Ghana and other West African coastal states from extremist groups currently active in the neighbouring Sahel.

The UK is working closely with the Government of Ghana to share knowledge and expertise on regional security. The Ministry of Defence is delivering crisis response training to support Ghana to counter the threat, working both with security agencies in the north of Ghana and the central government in Accra, as well as helping to develop Ghana's military capability with US partners.

21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the Alliance for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

As a founding donor, the UK is a strong supporter of the Access for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The UK has a seat on the Facilitation Council, provides strategic guidance, and mobilises financial support in its role. The UK has contributed up to £813 million to ACT-Accelerator partners. This includes the Prime Minister's announcement at the United National General Assembly of up to £500 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment to support access to coronavirus vaccines for up to 92 developing countries.

21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the peace agreement signed between Sudan’s Civilian-led Transitional Government, the Sudan Revolutionary Front, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minawi and the Sudanese Alliance on 3 October; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the decision of the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North not to sign that agreement.

The UK welcomes the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on 3 October 2020. This is an important step towards a comprehensive peace deal to help bring to an end decades of conflict in Sudan. The UK and our Troika partners, the US and Norway, welcomed this progress in a statement on 4 October, calling for all parties to implement this agreement in the spirit of cooperation and compromise. We also called for further engagement to seek an agreement with those groups who have not, thus far, joined peace talks. In this regard, we welcome the agreement of 3 September to re-start negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North. Through the UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and our officials in Khartoum, we remain in contact with all parties to urge progress towards a lasting peace.

In addition, we are supporting the establishment of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan (UNITAMS), which will help in the implementation of the peace agreement and will have a central role for international community support. The UK also delivers programmes that promote long-term stability in conflict-affected areas, support marginalised groups, and encourage reconciliation within conflicted communities. On 25 June, as demonstration of the UK's wider commitment to support Sudan as it transitions to democracy, the Minister for Africa announced £150million in assistance to help reform Sudan's economy, stabilise inflation and provide humanitarian assistance.

20th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the peace agreement signed between Sudan’s transitional government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front on 3 October.

The UK welcomes the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on 3 October 2020 between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front. This is an important step towards a comprehensive peace deal to help bring to an end decades of conflict in Sudan. The UK and our Troika partners, the US and Norway, welcomed this progress in a statement on 4 October calling for all parties to implement this agreement in the spirit of cooperation and compromise. We called for further engagement to seek an agreement with groups who have not, thus far, joined peace talks. Through the UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and our officials in Khartoum, we remain in contact with all parties to urge progress for the sake of those who have suffered for too long from conflicts in Sudan.

In addition, we are supporting the establishment of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan (UNITAMS), which will help in the implementation of the peace agreement and will have a central role for international community support. The UK also delivers programmes that promote long-term stability in conflict-affected areas, support marginalised groups, and encourage reconciliation within conflicted communities. On 25 June, as demonstration of the UK's wider commitment to support Sudan as it transitions to democracy, the Minister for Africa announced £150 million in assistance to help reform Sudan's economy, stabilise inflation and provide humanitarian assistance.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are supporting Georgia’s preparations for full membership of NATO.

The Government supports NATO's Enlargement process. The UK plays an active role in the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP), a set of initiatives aimed at strengthening Georgia's defence capabilities and developing closer security cooperation and interoperability with NATO Allies. We will continue to provide substantial support, both bilaterally and through NATO. A recent example includes facilitating a NATO-level evaluation of the Georgian Coast Guard on board Royal Navy vessel HMS Dragon.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are supporting Ukraine’s preparations for full membership of NATO.

The Government supports NATO's Enlargement process. The UK played an active role in helping Ukraine achieve Enhanced Opportunity Partner status in June 2020, deepening Ukraine's interoperability with the NATO Alliance. As members of the G7 Ambassadors Group and Ukraine's Defence Reform Advisory Board, the UK continues to provide substantial support to assist Ukraine in pursuing the vital reforms needed to bring the country further in line with Euro-Atlantic standards.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s preparations for full membership of NATO.

The UK supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) Euro-Atlantic trajectory. We welcomed the agreement by the Presidency to submit a tailored 'Reform Programme' to NATO in December 2019, which secured further NATO cooperation and unblocked defence reform. We are encouraging BiH to submit a further Reform Programme for 2020-2021 and to work with NATO - both in Brussels and through the NATO Office in Sarajevo - to draw on best practice. Bilaterally, the UK will continue to build on our strong defence relations and support capacity building and modernisation of the Armed Forces of BiH, including upgrading military training facilities, improving military selection and supporting gender integration. Such reforms will help BiH bring their defence and security sector in line with Euro-Atlantic standards.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 18 November (HL9994), when they plan to implement the changes to strengthen and future proof transparency of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 highlighted in their response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act, published on 22 September.

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as the first country in the world to require businesses to report annually on steps taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. To comply with the requirement, statements must be:

  • Published annually via a prominent link on the organisation’s homepage;
  • Approved by the Board of Directors or equivalent;
  • Signed by a Director or equivalent.To assess compliance with the legal requirements, the Home Office contracted the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) to undertake an audit on the Home Office’s behalf. The audit findings on levels of compliance were published on 17 September 2020 in the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s annual report (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-anti-slavery-commissioners-annual-report-2019-to-2020).

The injunctive power in the legislation has not been used to date. The Government has committed to strengthening the legislation and our response to the transparency in supply chains consultation, published on 22 September 2020, announced an ambitious package of changes to section 54, including introducing mandatory reporting topics, a single reporting deadline and a central Government-run registry, to enable Government and others to continuously monitor compliance. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

In the meantime, we will be asking organisations to start preparing for the new requirements, including by publishing their statements on the new Government-run modern slavery registry, which is due to launch in 2021. The new registry will enhance transparency by making modern slavery statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empower investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise action and monitor progress.

The Government has also committed to considering enforcement options in line with the development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights, led by BEIS.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 18 November (HL9994), how many (1) complaints related to non-compliance of section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 they have received, and (2) subsequent court injunctions the Home Secretary has applied for.

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as the first country in the world to require businesses to report annually on steps taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. To comply with the requirement, statements must be:

  • Published annually via a prominent link on the organisation’s homepage;
  • Approved by the Board of Directors or equivalent;
  • Signed by a Director or equivalent.To assess compliance with the legal requirements, the Home Office contracted the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) to undertake an audit on the Home Office’s behalf. The audit findings on levels of compliance were published on 17 September 2020 in the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s annual report (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-anti-slavery-commissioners-annual-report-2019-to-2020).

The injunctive power in the legislation has not been used to date. The Government has committed to strengthening the legislation and our response to the transparency in supply chains consultation, published on 22 September 2020, announced an ambitious package of changes to section 54, including introducing mandatory reporting topics, a single reporting deadline and a central Government-run registry, to enable Government and others to continuously monitor compliance. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

In the meantime, we will be asking organisations to start preparing for the new requirements, including by publishing their statements on the new Government-run modern slavery registry, which is due to launch in 2021. The new registry will enhance transparency by making modern slavery statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empower investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise action and monitor progress.

The Government has also committed to considering enforcement options in line with the development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights, led by BEIS.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act.

The landmark transparency provisions contained in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as the first country in the world to require businesses to report annually on their work to prevent and address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

Under the current provisions, if a commercial organisation does not comply with the duty to provide a modern slavery statement, the Home Secretary can apply for a court injunction which mandates compliance. The Government has also committed to considering enforcement options in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights, led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

However, if someone has concerns about an organisation’s modern slavery statement they could write to the Board of Directors (or equivalent) as the Act requires a modern slavery statement to be approved by the Board and signed by a Director (or equivalent) to ensure senior level accountability for modern slavery. The Government expects an organisation’s senior leadership to take responsibility for their company’s modern slavery statement to ensure they are a fair reflection of the circumstances and the action they are taking.

The Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act, which was commissioned in 2018 and delivered its final report in 2019, credited section 54 with making modern slavery “a business-critical issue” and increasing “board-level scrutiny and engagement.”

The Independent Review also made recommendations designed to improve the effectiveness of the Act’s transparency provisions. The Government accepted the majority of the Review’s recommendations and on 9 July 2019 the Home Office launched a public consultation seeking views on proposals to strengthen the Act’s transparency legislation.

Following widespread support from a broad coalition of business, civil society and public sector respondents, the Government response, published on 22 September 2020, committed to taking forwards an ambitious package of changes to strengthen and future-proof transparency, including:

  • Extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;
  • Mandating the specific reporting topics statements must cover;
  • Requiring organisations to publish their statement on the new Government digital reporting service;
  • Setting a single reporting deadline by which all modern slavery statements must be published.

Addressing modern slavery risks is a complex, long-term task, and the new measures are designed to incentivise organisations to demonstrate year-on-year progress in key areas and take targeted action based on where their risks are highest.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the process for a complaint to be made against a company that has failed to make a disclosure under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act.

The landmark transparency provisions contained in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as the first country in the world to require businesses to report annually on their work to prevent and address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

Under the current provisions, if a commercial organisation does not comply with the duty to provide a modern slavery statement, the Home Secretary can apply for a court injunction which mandates compliance. The Government has also committed to considering enforcement options in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights, led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

However, if someone has concerns about an organisation’s modern slavery statement they could write to the Board of Directors (or equivalent) as the Act requires a modern slavery statement to be approved by the Board and signed by a Director (or equivalent) to ensure senior level accountability for modern slavery. The Government expects an organisation’s senior leadership to take responsibility for their company’s modern slavery statement to ensure they are a fair reflection of the circumstances and the action they are taking.

The Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act, which was commissioned in 2018 and delivered its final report in 2019, credited section 54 with making modern slavery “a business-critical issue” and increasing “board-level scrutiny and engagement.”

The Independent Review also made recommendations designed to improve the effectiveness of the Act’s transparency provisions. The Government accepted the majority of the Review’s recommendations and on 9 July 2019 the Home Office launched a public consultation seeking views on proposals to strengthen the Act’s transparency legislation.

Following widespread support from a broad coalition of business, civil society and public sector respondents, the Government response, published on 22 September 2020, committed to taking forwards an ambitious package of changes to strengthen and future-proof transparency, including:

  • Extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;
  • Mandating the specific reporting topics statements must cover;
  • Requiring organisations to publish their statement on the new Government digital reporting service;
  • Setting a single reporting deadline by which all modern slavery statements must be published.

Addressing modern slavery risks is a complex, long-term task, and the new measures are designed to incentivise organisations to demonstrate year-on-year progress in key areas and take targeted action based on where their risks are highest.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to expand the role of the Veterans Advisory and Pension Committees.

We are currently working with the Veterans Advisory and Pension Committees (VAPCs) to ensure they can continue to make veterans' voices heard within Government, and support both the Ministry of Defence and the Office for Veterans' Affairs as we improve veterans' services and deliver on the Strategy for Our Veterans. This may include, in agreement with the VAPCs, some additional activities over and above their existing statutory functions. We will have an update on this in due course.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the qualification criteria for the Operational Service Medal (Afghanistan) to ensure that service personnel deployed to theatre during Operation Pitting qualify.

Medallic recognition for the evacuation in Afghanistan will be considered in due course. The current qualifying length of service is 30 days and any decision to change that will take lengthy consideration.

Medals or awards for individual acts of bravery or leadership are separate to the length of deployment criteria and are therefore considered based on a citation by citation basis.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consider the differential treatment of the vaccination of British Army Gurkha Veterans living in Nepal compared to their UK based counterparts as a breach of the Armed Forces Covenant.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal during this pandemic. The UK has an enduring defence relationship with Nepal and their Armed Forces.

We were one of the first countries to send life-saving medical equipment to Nepal, including 260 ventilators and thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment, to help the country’s fight against Covid-19. The UK is also one of the leading donors to COVAX, having committed £548million to the scheme. COVAX has allocated 2,000,000 vaccine doses to Nepal, of which 348,000 have already been delivered and we understand another tranche will arrive by August.

UK aid to the Gurkha Welfare Trust has also ensured access to life-saving support and supplies to Gurkha veterans and their communities throughout the pandemic. Their distinguished service is a source of immense pride in both our countries.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces, and their families, will be treated fairly and will not be disadvantaged in accessing public and commercial goods and services in the UK as a result of their military service.

The Covenant is there for the Armed Forces Community as a whole, which includes everyone who has previously served in the UK Armed Forces. But the purpose of the Covenant is to address disadvantage that is attributable to the effects of someone’s time in service. Disadvantage in this context principally concerns access to goods and services available in the UK, and it is usually measured in comparison to the levels of access enjoyed by the local civilian population

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision has been made to vaccinate British Army Gurkha veterans living in Nepal.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal during this pandemic. The UK has an enduring defence relationship with Nepal and their Armed Forces.

We were one of the first countries to send life-saving medical equipment to Nepal, including 260 ventilators and thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment, to help the country’s fight against Covid-19. The UK is also one of the leading donors to COVAX, having committed £548million to the scheme. COVAX has allocated 2,000,000 vaccine doses to Nepal, of which 348,000 have already been delivered and we understand another tranche will arrive by August.

UK aid to the Gurkha Welfare Trust has also ensured access to life-saving support and supplies to Gurkha veterans and their communities throughout the pandemic. Their distinguished service is a source of immense pride in both our countries.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces, and their families, will be treated fairly and will not be disadvantaged in accessing public and commercial goods and services in the UK as a result of their military service.

The Covenant is there for the Armed Forces Community as a whole, which includes everyone who has previously served in the UK Armed Forces. But the purpose of the Covenant is to address disadvantage that is attributable to the effects of someone’s time in service. Disadvantage in this context principally concerns access to goods and services available in the UK, and it is usually measured in comparison to the levels of access enjoyed by the local civilian population

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether British Army Gurkha veterans living in (1) the UK, and (2) Nepal, are covered by the Armed Forces Covenant.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal during this pandemic. The UK has an enduring defence relationship with Nepal and their Armed Forces.

We were one of the first countries to send life-saving medical equipment to Nepal, including 260 ventilators and thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment, to help the country’s fight against Covid-19. The UK is also one of the leading donors to COVAX, having committed £548million to the scheme. COVAX has allocated 2,000,000 vaccine doses to Nepal, of which 348,000 have already been delivered and we understand another tranche will arrive by August.

UK aid to the Gurkha Welfare Trust has also ensured access to life-saving support and supplies to Gurkha veterans and their communities throughout the pandemic. Their distinguished service is a source of immense pride in both our countries.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces, and their families, will be treated fairly and will not be disadvantaged in accessing public and commercial goods and services in the UK as a result of their military service.

The Covenant is there for the Armed Forces Community as a whole, which includes everyone who has previously served in the UK Armed Forces. But the purpose of the Covenant is to address disadvantage that is attributable to the effects of someone’s time in service. Disadvantage in this context principally concerns access to goods and services available in the UK, and it is usually measured in comparison to the levels of access enjoyed by the local civilian population

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)