Adam Afriyie Portrait

Adam Afriyie

Conservative - Windsor

First elected: 5th May 2005


Chair, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
16th Nov 2010 - 3rd May 2017
Members' Expenses Committee
18th Jul 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Members' Expenses Committee
19th Jul 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Science and Innovation)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
Children, Schools and Families
17th Dec 2007 - 13th Oct 2008
Innovation, Universities and Skills
9th Nov 2007 - 17th Dec 2007
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
17th Jul 2005 - 30th Oct 2007
Science and Technology Committee
17th Jul 2005 - 30th Oct 2007
Science, Innovation and Technology Committee
17th Jul 2005 - 30th Oct 2007


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Adam Afriyie has voted in 858 divisions, and 17 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
15 Oct 2020 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 310 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 313 Noes - 98
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
20 May 2020 - Liaison (Membership) - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 323
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
22 Mar 2023 - Northern Ireland - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 515 Noes - 29
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
4 Dec 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 217 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 381 Noes - 37
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Adam Afriyie voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Adam Afriyie 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
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(6 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
(4 debate interactions)
Helen Whately (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(21 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(11 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(2,536 words contributed)
Tobacco and Vapes Bill 2023-24
(1,318 words contributed)
Coronavirus Act 2020
(796 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Adam Afriyie's debates

Windsor Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to abandon the planned implementation of affordability checks for some people who want to place a bet. We believe such checks – which could include assessing whether people are ‘at risk of harm' based on their postcode or job title – are inappropriate and discriminatory.


Latest EDMs signed by Adam Afriyie

21st February 2024
Adam Afriyie signed this EDM on Monday 26th February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Independent - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
91 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Scottish National Party: 41
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Workers Party of Britain: 1
20th November 2023
Adam Afriyie signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 16th November 2023

Alternatives to affordability checks for gambling

Tabled by: Adam Afriyie (Conservative - Windsor)
That this House welcomes the proposal for an app entitled Bettor Help by the Gamblers Consumer Forum which would offer an alternative to affordability checks and a clinical-based solution towards tackling gambling harm; notes there is no body of evidence that suggests that intrusive affordability checks curb addiction; further notes …
4 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Dec 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Labour: 1
View All Adam Afriyie's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Adam Afriyie, 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.


Adam Afriyie has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Adam Afriyie has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Adam Afriyie


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 20th July 2010

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
24th Feb 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what progress he plans to make on adaptation in his COP26 presidency year.

The agreement at COP26 made significant progress on adaptation, including the immediate launch of the Glasgow-Sharm el Sheikh work programme to deliver on the Global Goal on Adaptation. This is a significant step forward which will deliver action to reduce vulnerability, strengthen resilience and increase the capacity of people and the planet to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Developed countries also agreed to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries by 2025. Under our Presidency year we will work with Parties to make progress on both of these areas.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to remove green levies for the short term to help consumers with energy bills.

Environmental and social policy costs currently represent 8% of the average dual fuel bill, however, they have actually saved consumers money on their energy bills overall over the past 10 years.

The Government’s investments in renewables and energy efficiency have led to a 26% fall in UK demand for natural gas since 2010, helping to reduce our exposure to global price volatility.

Furthermore, the Government has announced a package of support measures, totalling over £37 billion this year, including a £400 grant to households to help with their energy bills when it will be needed most.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the viability of modular nuclear reactors.

The Government’s £385m Advanced Nuclear Fund includes funding for an Advanced Modular Reactor Research, Development & Demonstration Programme which aims to enable a High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) demonstration by the early 2030s to understand the potential of the technology. The Government’s decision to pursue HTGR technology was informed by publicly available reports and a technical assessment of advanced modular reactors.

The Government has also announced £210m of funding to support development of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor design. This has been matched by private investment. The work will further develop the design and enable it to undergo the first two of three stages of regulatory assessment.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the UK maintains the infrastructure needed to (a) develop second-generation covid-19 vaccines and (b) build its pandemic-readiness resilience.

In order to strengthen UK domestic vaccine capacity, as part of our response to COVID-19 and indeed potential future health emergencies, the Vaccine Taskforce (VTF) is actively working with industry to explore opportunities to build upon the £380 million the Government has already invested in UK vaccine manufacturing infrastructure and skills.

In the Autumn Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further £354 million for UK life sciences manufacturing. This includes specific funding to increase the UK’s responsiveness and ability to manufacture vaccines, in particular mRNA capability following the success of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Funding has also been provided for the VTF to strengthen the resilience of the UK’s vaccine supply chains.

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) cafes and (b) restaurants open for takeaways can also sell non-essential items during the second covid-19 lockdown.

In England, cafes and restaurants can remain open for takeaway and deliveries. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order. COVID-secure businesses can continue to sell goods online or via click-and-collect. If a business is able to trade goods in a COVID-secure manner while following the new national restrictions, and all of the other trade requirements behind selling another good, they can. For example, a cafe could sell ceramic mugs to customers.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether breweries will be permitted to sell alcohol for home delivery under the new national covid-19 lockdown restrictions in operation from 5 November 2020.

Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including breweries, are permitted to remain open during the new national restrictions in place from 5 November.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship on the international competitiveness of the horse racing industry.

The Government recognises the contribution that horse racing makes to our sporting culture and in particular to the rural economy.

The Gambling Act Review is wide-ranging and aims to ensure that the regulation of gambling is fit for the digital age. We will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming weeks, with appropriate consideration of impacts being made at all stages.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the pace of full-fibre rollout in (a) Wraysbury, (b) Eton, (c) Old Windsor and (d) Windsor constituency.

Wraysbury, Eton, Old Windsor and the Windsor constituency fall within areas that are commercially active. Currently 95.5% of the constituency of Windsor have access to Superfast broadband, which is only slightly below the UK average of 96.7%.

An Openreach Superfast contract has been completed to increase the provision of full-fibre broadband to residents and businesses in Windsor. A Gigaclear contract is also in progress and moving forwards, having previously been held up by a wayleave for Windsor Great Park.

Windsor constituents have made use of the national Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme too, having applied for 52 vouchers worth more than £102k. Up to £210 million is available through the new UK Gigabit Voucher, launched on 8 April for any eligible homes or businesses.

Following the launch of Project Gigabit in March, the government will begin the roll out of gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach places in the UK. East Berkshire is part of Lot 26 in phase 2 and Building Digital UK will begin a rolling Open Market Review (OMR) process from June 2021 to give us a national view of commercial build plans for the following three years.

Telecoms providers will be asked to provide existing and planned coverage at an individual premise level and we will use this information, following appropriate due diligence, to create a complete picture of forecast gigabit-capable infrastructure coverage for the UK. The OMR process will validate and update existing maps to account for any amendments to existing coverage and/or plans for broadband infrastructure.

The OMR will be followed by a Public Review to ensure that the views of anyone involved in network building are captured and considered. This will be publicised via Gov.uk and the local authority website.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on the rollout of full-fibre broadband in (a) Wraysbury, (b) Eton, (c) Old Windsor and (d) Windsor constituency.

Wraysbury, Eton, Old Windsor and the Windsor constituency fall within areas that are commercially active. Currently 95.5% of the constituency of Windsor have access to Superfast broadband, which is only slightly below the UK average of 96.7%.

An Openreach Superfast contract has been completed to increase the provision of full-fibre broadband to residents and businesses in Windsor. A Gigaclear contract is also in progress and moving forwards, having previously been held up by a wayleave for Windsor Great Park.

Windsor constituents have made use of the national Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme too, having applied for 52 vouchers worth more than £102k. Up to £210 million is available through the new UK Gigabit Voucher, launched on 8 April for any eligible homes or businesses.

Following the launch of Project Gigabit in March, the government will begin the roll out of gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach places in the UK. East Berkshire is part of Lot 26 in phase 2 and Building Digital UK will begin a rolling Open Market Review (OMR) process from June 2021 to give us a national view of commercial build plans for the following three years.

Telecoms providers will be asked to provide existing and planned coverage at an individual premise level and we will use this information, following appropriate due diligence, to create a complete picture of forecast gigabit-capable infrastructure coverage for the UK. The OMR process will validate and update existing maps to account for any amendments to existing coverage and/or plans for broadband infrastructure.

The OMR will be followed by a Public Review to ensure that the views of anyone involved in network building are captured and considered. This will be publicised via Gov.uk and the local authority website.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the evidential basis for the (a) closure of covid-secure outdoor sporting venues and (b) restriction of (i) tennis, (ii) golf and (ii) swimming lessons; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of those restrictions on the health and wellbing of people who use those facilities.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of lockdown - and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. Therefore, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December indoor and outdoor leisure will need to close. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.

In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that freedom of speech is protected in UK universities.

The government believes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are fundamental pillars of our higher education (HE) system and that protecting these principles should be a priority for universities.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, introduced on 12 May 2021, will strengthen existing freedom of speech duties and directly address gaps within the existing law. This includes the fact there is no clear way of enforcing the current law when an HE provider breaches it, as well as applying the duties directly to students’ unions and constituent colleges including those at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The Bill introduces a role on the Office for Students board, with responsibility for overseeing its strengthened duties to promote freedom of speech and investigate where potential breaches of the duties occur.

The changes will introduce clear consequences for breaches of the new duties and ensure that these principles are upheld.

The Bill will reach report stage in the House of Commons shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether one to one music lessons can continue during the November lockdown, provided that they are covid secure.

On Saturday 31 October 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced new national restrictions from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020 to control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. On 4 November 2020, the Department for Education published guidance for schools and nurseries regarding the impact of these restrictions. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020.

The Government continues to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of children and young people and will not be closing early years settings, schools, further education colleges or universities.

The Government is committed to all pupils receiving a high-quality education. Music, including one-to-one lessons, can be undertaken in school, college, or university so long as safety precautions are undertaken.

Advice is provided in the full opening guidance which sets out how teaching music can be conducted safely in schools. This includes visits by peripatetic teachers for the purposes of one-to-one music lessons, such as tutors from music education hubs.

Where provision is taking place before or after the school day, this should only operate where the provision is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work, or attend education or training, or where the provision is used for the purposes of respite care, including for vulnerable children.

Out-of-school activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which could include, for example, private tutors, tuition centres, supplementary schools) may also continue to operate.

All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes, should close for face to face provision but can offer remote education for the duration of the national restrictions.

2nd Mar 2020
What steps he is taking to increase the use of technology by schools.

The Department for Education's EdTech Strategy, 'Realising the potential of technology in education', aims to support educational providers to embed and use technology effectively to support teacher workload reductions, cost savings and improved student outcomes. This includes supporting schools and colleges to spread best practice in effective technology use through our Demonstrator Programme, which is due to launch in the Spring.

The Demonstrator Programme will help tech enabled schools and colleges to provide peer-to-peer support to other schools to help them use technology in the most effective way.

25th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March to Question 13992 on Electronic Cigarettes: Smuggling, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the proposal to ban disposable vapes on the number of illicit vapes in circulation in (a) 2025, (b) 2026 and (c) 2027.

As confirmed previously on 29 January, a ban on the supply and sale of disposable vapes was announced as part of the government’s response to its consultation on smoking and vaping. Defra has since published draft regulations outlining the scope and enforcement provisions for a supply ban in England along with a draft impact assessment. Final regulations and impact assessment will be published in due course. We continue to engage with relevant organisations on how best to support enforcement of a ban when it comes into force as well as exploring the potential for a future import ban.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the wine and spirit industry.

The Government is committed to ensuring our regulatory regime for wine and spirits supports innovation and growth in the market. This work sits alongside the Government's ambitious trade agenda that is opening up preferential market access and removing tariffs for our world-renowned products like Scotch whisky.

We have already rolled back unnecessary EU red tape by removing the requirement for VI-1 certification for wine imports, saving businesses money while ensuring high levels of consumer assurance. We are now working with the wine and spirits sectors to identify other legislative barriers to competitiveness and growth. We intend to continue the process of removing or reforming burdensome retained EU law over the coming months to further promote growth in the sector.

The Government also announced last year that we would boost the UK’s export capability by recruiting new agri-food and drink attachés. Their work will benefit the wine and spirit industry by maintaining and increasing lucrative access to high-potential overseas markets.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to increase the level of support to British farmers to grow food crops in the context of the global food security situation.

This Government will maintain the total investment in the farming sector throughout this parliament. In England, the budget of £2.4 billion per year is being re-purposed in a way that will support farmer’s resilience and food security for years to come.

By gradually phasing out the untargeted Basic Payments of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, and replacing them with a flexible range of targeted grants and ongoing payments for farmers, we are increasing the level of support available for delivering on the priorities of farm productivity, environment, climate and animal health and welfare. All the money coming out of Basic Payment Scheme will go back into the sector each year, there will be no gap in investment.

We are not fixing allocations of ring-fenced money for schemes, as happened under the EU, but will learn and respond to demand and developments from the sector – keeping the spread of investment under review over time.

We have already seen uptake and enthusiasm from farmers in certain areas and have been able to adapt flexibly to this demand. For example, the budget for the new Farming Equipment and Technology fund was increased to account for high demand. As a result, more than 4,000 farmers can invest in new equipment and technology, supporting and improving domestic food production.

Defra has recently released further information on the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) - designed to help farmers move to new alternative sustainable farming methods gradually, improving environmental conditions of the land, whilst building the long-term resilience of our food security and production.

The SFI is one of three new schemes under Environmental Land Management which will maintain productive land, delivering for both farmers and the environment.

Our schemes will ensure our long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil; water; and biodiverse ecosystems.

The Government continues to monitor the wider context of global supplies that we know can impact farm income and productivity, as well as food security. The Secretary of State recently announced several other measures to support our farmers in the current uncertainty, notably regarding the use of urea fertiliser - helping farmers manage their costs better, as well as improving the statutory guidance for the use of slurry.

I recently launched and chaired the first session of a new industry fertiliser roundtable, aiming to work through issues regarding slurry to develop our understanding of current pressures on farmers and identify solutions. The Fertiliser Taskforce is just one example of where the Government is working with closely with industry to improve market confidence - providing farmers with the information needed to make business decisions, in these challenging times.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that farmers are (a) consulted on and (b) included in the decision-making process on changes to regulatory requirements on plant protection products.

Defra regularly engages with farming stakeholders including representative organisations, such as the National Farmers Union and Nature Friendly Farming Network, as well as individual farmers and growers.

In 2021, the Government consulted on the draft National Action Plan for the sustainable use of pesticides (NAP) which sets out the ambition to further minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment. We received 38,500 responses to this consultation. This included responses from a range of farming stakeholders.


We are planning further engagement with a wide range of key stakeholders, including those from the farming sector, as we prepare to finalise the NAP and in the development of future environmental land management schemes, including the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK is effectively prepared to tackle zoonotic diseases.

Zoonotic infections threaten both human and animal health. For zoonotic diseases, we have systems in place to detect and manage outbreaks, for both endemic (those that are already found in the UK) and exotic infections, collaborating closely with the public health agencies.

For Salmonella for example, we have well established National Control Programmes in the poultry sector to protect public health. These mandate regular testing for Salmonella followed by appropriate measures to help control the risk where flocks are found to be positive.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency's scanning surveillance programme is set up to detect a wide range of animal-related disease threats through diagnostic service and the networks of expertise in its Species Expert Groups.

We also carry out horizon scanning for infections not yet in the UK. This helps us prepare for possible future incursions, through the Animal and Plant Health Agency's International Disease Monitoring programme and through collaborative work with UK public health bodies in the Human and Animal Infection and Risk Surveillance group. This group assesses new and emerging infections and advises on suitable mitigations and controls that may be necessary to protect public health.

Defra has an England Disease Contingency Plan for exotic notifiable diseases and our disease control plans are exercised regularly. The contingency plan outlines how we would work with other Government agencies and departments to control zoonotic diseases as well as those which only affect livestock. This is being put to use at the moment, through our response to avian influenza outbreaks.

We have also allocated £200 million to the Animal and Plant Health Agency science campus at Weybridge, as part of previously announced funding in these facilities. This substantial investment recognises the essential role of this government capability, as the first stage of a long term programme of work to safeguard and enhance facilities. This will enable its world-leading scientists to continue at the forefront of research and policy to protect people, the environment and the economy, by boosting our resilience and strengthening our understanding of health risks to, and from, animals and plants.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether agricultural workers will be able to continue to go to work during of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

Agricultural workers are the foundation of our nation's food supply. The new Lockdown Regulations that were approved on Wednesday 4 November by Parliament make allowances for those who cannot work from home to continue attending the workplace. This includes agricultural workers and those working across the food supply chain. Provisions for safe working should be in place at their places of work to ensure that they are COVID-secure, with guidance for both employers and workers to follow available on the GOV.UK website.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of bringing forward legislative proposals to allow local councils to raise flood levies.

The Government is investing a record £5.2 billion of capital funding in the flood and coastal defence programme from 2021-27. As well as central Government funding there are a number of other funding sources for flood and coastal erosion risk management. Partnership funding can be secured from a range of sources including through local levy, local beneficiaries, partners and growth funds. The Environment Agency (EA) may issue levies to the lead local flood authority for an area (local levy) subject to approval of the relevant Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. In 2018/19, £35.5 million of local levy funding was raised by the EA in this way.

Coastal authorities may carry out coast protection work in accordance with a works scheme under the Coast Protection Act 1949. This Act provides coastal authorities with powers to levy coast protection charges from those with an interest in the land that would benefit from the coast protection works.

The Government published a long-term Policy Statement in July 2020 setting out our ambition to create a nation more resilient to future flood and coastal erosion risk. The Policy Statement includes more than 40 actions which we will take to?accelerate progress to?better protect and better prepare the country against flooding and coastal erosion in the face of more frequent extreme weather as a result of climate change.

As part of this, the Government has committed to consider options to expand and promote the use of local powers which local authorities can access to secure additional funding to manage flood and coastal erosion risk. We have also committed to explore the actions which the Government can take to support the right conditions for local investment where there is appetite to do so.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the 14-day quarantine rules apply to farmers who are able safely and need urgently to harvest their crops.

We recognise and appreciate our dedicated farmers who continue to work tirelessly during this challenging time to keep our nation fed.

Public health remains the UK's top priority, which is why we make changes to the Travel Corridor list as necessary.

Those arriving from countries not included on the flight corridor exemption list - except for those travellers exempt from UK border rules - must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

Farmers and farm workers are not included in this exemption list and must therefore self-isolate. However, there are special arrangements in place for seasonal horticultural workers that enables them to go straight to the farm where they are working and commence work immediately whilst self-isolating.

Relevant guidance outlining this advice can be found here:

Travel corridors:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

Travellers exempt from border rules in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support (a) Lakeside EfW and high temperature incinerator and (b) other waste industry organisations in providing services to local authorities and NHS trusts during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government is continuing to work closely with the waste industry, including operators of incineration and EFW plants such as Lakeside, to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and to provide the necessary and appropriate support to ensure the provision of services.

The Chancellor announced unprecedented support for businesses in general, including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, deferral of VAT payments for firms until the end of June and £330 billion of Government-backed and guaranteed loans including a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Early in the pandemic, Defra worked with the waste industry to develop an online platform to facilitate the sharing of resources between local authorities and commercial operators. The platform, WasteSupport, was launched on 16 April. In addition, the Environment Agency has been taking a proportionate approach to regulation and published a number of COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements, to address specific concerns around compliance with permit conditions, for instance on exceeding waste storage limits at permitted sites. These can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covid-19-regulatory-position-statements

Throughout the outbreak, we have worked closely with the NHS to monitor the position in relation to clinical waste. We have clear, sensible contingency plans in place and continue to keep the position under review.

Defra has worked with local government, other Government departments and the waste industry to produce and publish guidance to help local authorities manage their waste collection services and household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. The guidance on reopening HWRCs was developed in conjunction with Public Health England and the Home Office and sets out how to operate HWRCs in a way that protects human health while?maintaining safe systems of working. The HWRC guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-local-authorities-on-prioritising-waste-collections/managing-household-waste-and-recycling-centres-hwrcs-in-england-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Since publication of our guidance nearly all local authorities are now able to offer a HWRC service and local householders can make trips to these sites as needed.?Weekly surveys indicate that, due to the hard work of those in the sector, nearly all English authorities are operating household waste collections as normal, with only a small percentage reporting minor disruption.

The Minister for Regional Growth and I wrote to local authorities on 5 May to thank those working to deliver waste services during the Covid-19 outbreak for the vital role they are playing in protecting the environment, public amenity and people’s health. We wrote a further letter on 28 June asking local authorities to ensure that as much access as possible is provided to HWRC services where this can be done safely.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to allocate funding from the public purse to flood defences after 2021.

The Government is investing a record £2.6 billion from 2015-2021 to better protect 300,000 homes in England from flooding, and £1bn to maintain existing defences. Since 2015 some 600 new schemes are already providing better protection to over 200,000 homes across the country. The level of funding for flood defences beyond 2021 will be decided as part of a future Budget settlement, and will be informed by a range of evidence and forecasts, including the Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios report.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to implement the recommendation in the report by the Environment Agency entitled, Long-term investment scenarios 2019, that flood and coastal erosion risk management in the UK will require an average annual investment of £1 billion until 2065.

The Government is investing a record £2.6 billion from 2015-2021 to better protect 300,000 homes in England from flooding, and £1bn to maintain existing defences. Since 2015 some 600 new schemes are already providing better protection to over 200,000 homes across the country. The level of funding for flood defences beyond 2021 will be decided as part of a future Budget settlement, and will be informed by a range of evidence and forecasts, including the Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios report.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to help farmers across Windsor and Berkshire take advantage of the UK's new trade partnerships across the world.

Our trade agreements are unlocking new opportunities for our agriculture, food and drink sector. DIT recently launched an Export Support Service, where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. Our ‘Open Doors’ campaign offers a wide range of support for businesses, including those in Windsor and Berkshire, who want to start exporting or expand into new markets. The campaign includes exporting masterclasses, a flagship agriculture mentoring programme and support to match producers with international buyers across the globe.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to help increase global export opportunities for farmers in (a) Windsor and Berkshire and (b) the UK.

Our trade agreements are unlocking new opportunities for our agriculture, food and drink sector. DIT recently launched an Export Support Service, where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. Our ‘Open Doors’ campaign offers a wide range of support for businesses, including those in Windsor and Berkshire, who want to start exporting or expand into new markets. The campaign includes exporting masterclasses, a flagship agriculture mentoring programme and support to match producers with international buyers across the globe.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that road users are aware of the recent changes to the Highway Code.

The changes to The Highway Code to help improve road safety for people walking, cycling and horse riding are being communicated in two phases:

  • A factual awareness raising campaign ran in February and March, alerting road users to the changes as they came into effect.
  • A broader behaviour change campaign will launch later this year, to align with seasonal increases in active travel, to help embed the changes and encourage understanding and uptake of the new guidance.

Both phases of the campaign include a significant media spend, utilising channels such as radio, digital audio and social media advertising.

26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason his Department is allocating funding to the aviation industry to develop the Airspace Modernisation Strategy.

The Airspace modernisation programme is a critical national infrastructure project that aims to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys. Utilising new technology, it will allow the aviation industry to build back better, safely, provide better access for all airspace users and create opportunities to reduce noise and carbon emissions.

Funding is being provided on an exceptional basis while the sector recovers from the impact of the pandemic to support our programme to modernise the UK’s airspace. The sponsors of the programme will resume responsibility for funding further stages of the programme as the sector continues its recovery.

The funding provided will enable airports to progress with their airspace change proposals to assist in delivering the airspace modernisation programme.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial support to local communities seeking expert advice on the impact of airspace change proposals.

The airspace modernisation programme is a critical national infrastructure project that aims to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys to the benefit of all airspace users and those impacted, including communities.

Engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including communities, is an important part of the airspace change process and is crucial to the success of the airspace modernisation programme. It is the responsibility of every airspace change sponsor (usually an airport or Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP)) to ensure engagement meets the needs of local stakeholders.

CAP1616 - the Civil Aviation Authority’s airspace change approvals process - must be followed by all sponsors of airspace change proposals. This process gives communities the opportunity to comment on, and influence, airspace changes. Airport Consultative Committees should be consulted on all airspace change proposals where there is potential for a significant impact on the likely level of noise disturbance and are another way of engaging with communities.

The majority of sponsors in the programme are currently at Stage 2 of the CAP1616 process. At this stage, each sponsor develops and undertakes an initial appraisal of the impacts of a number of different airspace options. We expect all sponsors to submit initial airspace change options to the CAA for sign-off within the next 12 months.

Once approved by the CAA, each sponsor will move to Stage 3. It is at this stage that sponsors will undertake a full options appraisal before undertaking a formal public consultation with all interested stakeholders, including local communities. We expect that the majority of sponsors will be in a position to consult publicly from 2023 onwards.

To ensure that consultation is meaningful and accessible to all stakeholders, advice on engagement has been published, and consultation documents and engagement plans will need to be approved by the CAA before consultation can begin.

Through this and the CAP1616 requirements, there are suitable measures already in place to ensure communities are supported where appropriate.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is his Department policy for local communities to be able to access independent expert advice in regard to airspace change proposals.

The airspace modernisation programme is a critical national infrastructure project that aims to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys to the benefit of all airspace users and those impacted, including communities.

Engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including communities, is an important part of the airspace change process and is crucial to the success of the airspace modernisation programme. It is the responsibility of every airspace change sponsor (usually an airport or Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP)) to ensure engagement meets the needs of local stakeholders.

CAP1616 - the Civil Aviation Authority’s airspace change approvals process - must be followed by all sponsors of airspace change proposals. This process gives communities the opportunity to comment on, and influence, airspace changes. Airport Consultative Committees should be consulted on all airspace change proposals where there is potential for a significant impact on the likely level of noise disturbance and are another way of engaging with communities.

The majority of sponsors in the programme are currently at Stage 2 of the CAP1616 process. At this stage, each sponsor develops and undertakes an initial appraisal of the impacts of a number of different airspace options. We expect all sponsors to submit initial airspace change options to the CAA for sign-off within the next 12 months.

Once approved by the CAA, each sponsor will move to Stage 3. It is at this stage that sponsors will undertake a full options appraisal before undertaking a formal public consultation with all interested stakeholders, including local communities. We expect that the majority of sponsors will be in a position to consult publicly from 2023 onwards.

To ensure that consultation is meaningful and accessible to all stakeholders, advice on engagement has been published, and consultation documents and engagement plans will need to be approved by the CAA before consultation can begin.

Through this and the CAP1616 requirements, there are suitable measures already in place to ensure communities are supported where appropriate.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that local communities that will be impacted by the airspace modernisation programme can access independent expert advice.

The airspace modernisation programme is a critical national infrastructure project that aims to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys to the benefit of all airspace users and those impacted, including communities.

Engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including communities, is an important part of the airspace change process and is crucial to the success of the airspace modernisation programme. It is the responsibility of every airspace change sponsor (usually an airport or Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP)) to ensure engagement meets the needs of local stakeholders.

CAP1616 - the Civil Aviation Authority’s airspace change approvals process - must be followed by all sponsors of airspace change proposals. This process gives communities the opportunity to comment on, and influence, airspace changes. Airport Consultative Committees should be consulted on all airspace change proposals where there is potential for a significant impact on the likely level of noise disturbance and are another way of engaging with communities.

The majority of sponsors in the programme are currently at Stage 2 of the CAP1616 process. At this stage, each sponsor develops and undertakes an initial appraisal of the impacts of a number of different airspace options. We expect all sponsors to submit initial airspace change options to the CAA for sign-off within the next 12 months.

Once approved by the CAA, each sponsor will move to Stage 3. It is at this stage that sponsors will undertake a full options appraisal before undertaking a formal public consultation with all interested stakeholders, including local communities. We expect that the majority of sponsors will be in a position to consult publicly from 2023 onwards.

To ensure that consultation is meaningful and accessible to all stakeholders, advice on engagement has been published, and consultation documents and engagement plans will need to be approved by the CAA before consultation can begin.

Through this and the CAP1616 requirements, there are suitable measures already in place to ensure communities are supported where appropriate.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what role he plans for local community representatives to have on the civil aviation authority's new environmental panel.

Following the closure of the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN), my Department is working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), for it to take on the majority of ICCAN's former functions. To help deliver these functions the CAA will be establishing a new environment panel that will provide it with independent expert guidance to support its environmental roles, including the consideration of carbon, air quality, as well as aviation noise.

The CAA is currently undertaking work to define both the purpose and remit of the environmental panel, before recruiting a diverse membership. The panel is expected to be operational from April 2022.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to update its 2017 UK aviation forecasts.

Over the last two years, the Department has been undertaking an extensive model development programme, engaging with industry on several occasions, to both improve and update various elements of the model. This model development is ongoing and an updated version will be used for the next set of published long term forecasts.

We will look to publish new long term aviation forecasts in due course. However, this is a period of great uncertainty and we need to observe a more settled recovery before we can begin to reflect this in any future forecasts.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on a comprehensive private and public network of electric vehicle charging points across England and Wales.

We have put in place generous grant funding schemes to support chargepoint infrastructure on residential streets and across the wider roads network. The Government and industry have supported the installation of over 18,000 publicly available charging devices across the whole of the UK. This includes over 3,200 rapid devices – one of the largest networks in Europe.

There are over 370 rapid and ultra-rapid chargepoints across 97% of motorway service areas in England. Today, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid chargepoint anywhere along England's motorways and major A roads. By 2023, we aim to have at least six high powered, open access chargepoints at motorway service areas in England, with some larger sites having ten to twelve. By 2035, we expect the number to increase to around 6,000 high powered chargers across the network. To help achieve these ambitions, the Government announced the Rapid Charging Fund in March 2020, as part of a £500 million commitment to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in England. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) had a devolved authority (DA) roundtable in November 2019 with officials from all DAs, where we discussed progress and shared lessons, including around rapid chargepoint rollout. The OLEV are working with Welsh officials to organise a workshop in Wales, where local authorities can hear about and discuss best practice to supporting zero emission vehicle uptake in their areas.

The first £70 million investment through the £400 million public-private Chargepoint Infrastructure Investment Fund will create 3,000 new rapid chargepoints, more than doubling the number of rapid chargepoints across the UK by 2024.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential for private and public electric vehicle charging points to be hacked by cyber criminals or hostile foreign governments.

The Department for Transport works closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure that effectively mitigating cyber security risks is a core part of electric vehicle (EV) chargepoint policy. The Government has commissioned work assessing the cyber security risk associated with the emerging energy system, including electric vehicle chargepoints. The output from this work will inform policy, including the development of relevant standards or regulatory approaches to mitigate cyber security risks.

In 2019, the Government consulted on regulations under the Automated Electric Vehicles Act (AEVA) for private, smart EV chargepoints. We proposed that these regulations will require compliance with device-level standards, to help ensure devices are cyber secure. These regulations are due to be laid next year. The Government will also shortly be consulting on using other powers under the AEVA to improve the consumer experience of public chargepoints, including opening chargepoint data. Cyber security will be considered as part of any future regulatory framework.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of electric vehicle charging points that will have been installed by the end of 2021.

No such estimate has been made. The Department believes that the market is often better placed to encourage the private sector to invest in and operate a self-sustaining public network supported by the right policy framework. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act (AEVA) provides the Government with a range of powers to improve the charging experience for current and future users, including compelling fuel retailers to install chargepoints.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the response of British Airways to the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) contractual rights, (b) job security and (c) financial security of its employees.

We recognise that the recent announcement from British Airways will be very distressing news for employees and their families.

The Department for Transport is engaging on a regular basis with airlines, unions and Public Health England on the application of public health measures in aviation

The Chancellor has set out unprecedented support for workers of airline companies. Measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are being used across the aviation industry to protect the sector against the Covid-19 economic crisis.

These measures, alongside other Government support measures such as Coronavirus Large Business Loan Interruption Scheme and the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), are helping airlines of all sizes get through this crisis and beyond. The Chancellor has noted that under exceptional circumstances bespoke support could be provided to airlines.

7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of AI on the functioning of the welfare system.

DWP is continually exploring the use of all types of Artificial Intelligence and its potential to support the provision of more digital services with a human touch in a safe, ethical, and considered way. Artificial Intelligence will never replace the role of our colleagues in supporting customers throughout their journey.

We are using Artificial Intelligence to undertake administrative or repetitive tasks, freeing up our colleagues to spend more time with claimants.

As part of our approach, and in-line with the Prime Minister’s Foundation Model Taskforce, DWP has created a Generative Artificial Intelligence Lighthouse Programme which will safely guide our innovation in emerging Artificial Intelligence technology. The role of this programme is to ‘test and learn’ in a safe and governed environment where all types of AI can be used to assist us in the delivery of our customer outcomes and department efficiencies. Following this test and learn approach will help us to build more certainty on the potential benefits that can be realised.

Where Artificial Intelligence is used to assist its activities in prevention and detection of fraud within UC applications, DWP always ensures appropriate safeguards are in place for the proportionate, ethical, and legal use of data with internal monitoring protocols adhered to. Through the work of departmental governance, we can always explain how the AI reaches conclusions using data.

DWP does not use AI to replace human judgement in determining or denying a payment to a claimant. Where appropriate, Equality and Data Protection Impact Assessments have been carried out.

DWP's Personal Information Charter explains how and why we use personal information and citizen’s rights and responsibilities.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans her Department has to assess the impact of regulation of vape (a) flavours, (b) packaging and product presentation and (c) point of sale displays on (i) quit rates of smokers and (ii) relapse rates of smokers who have switched to vaping.

The health advice on vaping is clear, if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and children should never vape. However, youth vaping has tripled in the last three years, and one in five children have now used a vape.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill will crack down on youth vaping by providing powers to regulate flavours, displays, and packaging for vapes and nicotine pouches. It will ban free vape samples being given to children, and introduce an age of sale for non-nicotine vapes.

In doing this, we must strike the right balance between reducing the appeal of vapes to children while ensuring vapes remain attractive and available to adult smokers as a quit aid. This will be carefully considered in the development of any specific restrictions, and further consultation will take place before introducing any regulations. As stated in Parliament during the second reading of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, we intend to hold the consultation on the regulations before the end of this Parliament, if practicable. We will also undertake an impact assessment to consider the potential impact of these regulations on smokers as well as other groups.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of her legislative proposals on vaping on trends in the level of (a) smokers who will quit and (b) ex-smokers who will relapse.

The health advice on vaping is clear, if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and children should never vape. However, youth vaping has tripled in the last three years, and one in five children have now used a vape.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill will crack down on youth vaping by providing powers to regulate flavours, displays, and packaging for vapes and nicotine pouches. It will ban free vape samples being given to children, and introduce an age of sale for non-nicotine vapes.

In doing this, we must strike the right balance between reducing the appeal of vapes to children while ensuring vapes remain attractive and available to adult smokers as a quit aid. This will be carefully considered in the development of any specific restrictions, and further consultation will take place before introducing any regulations. As stated in Parliament during the second reading of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, we intend to hold the consultation on the regulations before the end of this Parliament, if practicable. We will also undertake an impact assessment to consider the potential impact of these regulations on smokers as well as other groups.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate she has made of the number of non-compliant vapes sold on the UK market.

The Department works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Trading Standards, and other regulatory enforcement agencies to ensure that products sold in the United Kingdom comply with regulations for all e-cigarette products, and that non-compliant products are removed from the market.

In April 2023, the Government announced £3 million investment over two years to enhance work on illicit vape enforcement. Led by National Trading Standards, this builds on existing work by local trading standards officers across the country. Through this work, they identified that 2.1 million illicit vapes were seized across England by Trading Standards between 2022 to 2023.

To strengthen our enforcement activity, the Government will also provide an additional £30 million of funding per year for enforcement agencies, including Trading Standards. This increase in investment will help to stamp out criminal activity by boosting the enforcement of illicit tobacco and vapes.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding will be allocated to each local authority trading standards for enforcing the (a) disposable vapes ban and (b) generational tobacco ban.

The Government has committed to increasing investment for enforcement agencies by £30 million per year. The additional funding in England will boost agencies such as local trading standards, to enforce the new age of sale and vaping measures. It will also scale up HM Revenue and Customs and Border Force activity, to stamp out opportunities for criminals in the illicit tobacco trade.

Of this funding, over £100 million over five years will support HM Revenue and Custom’s and Border Force’s new illicit tobacco strategy, published on 29 January 2024. We are working closely with Trading Standards to consider how the new funding can best support their programmes of local-level enforcement.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate her Department has made of the number of adult vapers that may return to tobacco products as a result of the disposable vapes ban.

The health advice on vaping is clear, vaping can play a role in helping adult smokers to quit, but if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and children should never vape. However, youth vaping has tripled in the last three years, and one in five children have now used a vape. We know that disposable vapes have played a significant role in this rise, with 69% of 11 to 17-year-olds who vape now using disposables, compared to just 7% in 2021. Disposable vapes also cause significant environmental harm, with five million disposable vapes thrown away every week.

To protect children and the environment, the Government has taken the decision to ban the sale and supply of disposable vapes.

The Impact Assessment on the disposable vape ban, published by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs on 11 March 2024, states that it is difficult to quantify the number of people switching either between different types of vapes, disposable to reusable, switching from vaping to smoking cigarettes, or stopping vaping or smoking altogether, as a result of a ban on disposable vapes.

However, reusable and refillable vapes will still be available for adult smokers to use as a quit aid and as a more affordable option than smoking. Therefore, it will not be necessary for adult vapers to return to tobacco products because refillable vapes will remain easily available to them, at a small cost relative to most tobacco products.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will publish a breakdown of the allocation of £3million government funding for Operation Joseph.

Operation Joseph was established to enforce the rules on vaping, and tackle illicit vapes and underage sales. It supplements work being undertaken by local authorities using existing local government funding. The £3 million of funding has been allocated over two years, from 2023/24 to 2024/25. A grant was provided to the National Trading Standards to commission specific areas of work, and to support local authorities. The following table shows the budget of each work area as of February 2024, as well as the total allocated:

Work Area

Budget

Business Education

£88,800

Professional Training and Upskilling

£164,400

Intelligence and Data

£500,000

Supporting storage and disposal costs for local authority seizures

£600,000

Online test purchasing and website takedowns

£80,000

Market Surveillance and testing of vaping products

£140,000

Tackling the import of illegal vapes

£1,087,000

Programme Governance Communications and Evaluation

£281,000

Contingency

£58,800

Total Allocated

£3,000,000

Note: The figures shown are based on allocations in February 2024, and may be subject to change.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has had discussions with the UK Vaping Industry Association on its proposals for a vape retail licence.

The Department has not had any discussions with the UK Vaping Industry Association on its proposals for a vape retail license, though we have received written representations on this issue. There are no current plans to introduce a licensing scheme. However, the Government recognises that strong enforcement is needed to tackle underage and illicit vape sales. The new Tobacco and Vapes Bill includes provisions to issue fixed penalty notices for underage tobacco and vape sales. This will complement existing powers that local authorities have to enforce age of sale legislation including fines of up to £2,500, and for the most serious offences, court orders to prevent the offending retailer from opening for a period.

In addition, we have committed to increasing investment for our enforcement agencies by £30 million per year, and at Spring Budget the Chancellor announced that the Government will introduce a new duty on vaping products, giving HM Revenue and Customs further powers to minimise fraud, introduce civil and criminal powers to seize illicit products and equipment, and issue penalties.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to support earlier identification of cardiovascular disease risk.

The Department is taking forward a scheme of work to modernise the NHS Health Check programme, and to deliver on recommendations from the 2021 review of the programme. We are currently focused on the development and launch of a digital NHS Health Check, to be launched later this year, and rolled out nationally over the next four years. Following the launch of a digital check, the Department will consider the evidence for, and practicality of, expanding the scope of the NHS Health Check. This will include consideration of introducing a wider range of clinical checks, and considering a younger target age group.

Local authorities can design and deliver NHS Health Checks to suit the needs of their local population. This includes who provides the service, and in what settings it is delivered. In some areas, NHS Health Checks are already delivered in community and workplace settings. To build the evidence of the feasibility and impact of this approach, we are investing up to £10 million into a pilot, to deliver cardiovascular disease checks in workplace settings during 2024/25.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her Department will take steps to expand the scope of the NHS Health Check to (a) include a wider range of clinical checks for identifying (i) cardiovascular disease (CVD) and (ii) CVD-risk conditions and (b) take place in (A) the community, (B) workplaces and (C) other new settings.

The Department is taking forward a scheme of work to modernise the NHS Health Check programme, and to deliver on recommendations from the 2021 review of the programme. We are currently focused on the development and launch of a digital NHS Health Check, to be launched later this year, and rolled out nationally over the next four years. Following the launch of a digital check, the Department will consider the evidence for, and practicality of, expanding the scope of the NHS Health Check. This will include consideration of introducing a wider range of clinical checks, and considering a younger target age group.

Local authorities can design and deliver NHS Health Checks to suit the needs of their local population. This includes who provides the service, and in what settings it is delivered. In some areas, NHS Health Checks are already delivered in community and workplace settings. To build the evidence of the feasibility and impact of this approach, we are investing up to £10 million into a pilot, to deliver cardiovascular disease checks in workplace settings during 2024/25.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)