Alicia Kearns Portrait

Alicia Kearns

Conservative - Rutland and Melton


Department Event
Tuesday 6th September 2022
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Sep 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 12th September 2022
16:00
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 17th October 2022
16:00
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Thursday 21st July 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
I have always been struck by the quiet diligence with which the Minister for Trade Policy, my right hon. Friend …
Written Answers
Thursday 14th July 2022
Schools: Rutland and Melton
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of his Department's grants for the training of senior mental …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 4th January 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Address of donor: PO Box 547, Government Road, Manama, Kingdom …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Alicia Kearns has voted in 505 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Alicia Kearns voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Alicia Kearns 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
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Alicia Kearns 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
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Alicia Kearns voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
View All Alicia Kearns 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(19 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Ben Wallace (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Defence
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Alicia Kearns's debates

Rutland and Melton 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

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy


Latest EDMs signed by Alicia Kearns

Alicia Kearns has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Alicia Kearns, 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.


Alicia Kearns has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Alicia Kearns

Alicia Kearns has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Alicia Kearns has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


144 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
3 Other Department Questions
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the Government's consultation on Banning conversion therapy, published on 29 October 2021, and the consultation document which states that the proposals do not alter the existing clinical regulatory framework or the independence of regulated clinicians working within their professional obligations, if the Government will commit to ensuring that a forthcoming ban on conversion therapy will protect access to healthcare for transgender people who are under 18 years old.

It is important that people are able to have open and explorative conversations that allow them to come to the right decision for themselves. People who are transgender or are exploring their transgender status, including under 18s, will remain able to access the support they need from qualified health professionals without change. Our proposed approach to banning conversion therapy will complement the existing clinical regulatory framework and not override the independence of clinicians to offer support in line with professional obligations. We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure that our legislative interventions operate effectively, with no unintended impact on clinical practitioners.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what plans he has to ensure a ministerial-level representative from the Overseas Territories is included in the UK's delegation to COP26.

The UK Government is working closely with all Overseas Territories, and UK officials regularly meet with representatives from the Overseas Territories to ensure that their perspectives are accurately represented. We are currently developing the policy for those who will be included under the COP26 UK delegation based on precedent and this will be communicated in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of legislation in other jurisdictions banning conversion therapy.

We are following through with our commitment to end conversion therapy in the UK and will bring forward plans to do so shortly. We have undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. Officials are also in discussion with international policy counterparts, to fully understand the detail and impact of other jurisdictions’ measures, in order to inform the UK’s next steps.

Alongside this work, officials are reviewing the current legislative framework and engaging a number of relevant departments across Whitehall. We have engaged experts and survivors to understand how Government action may impact them and continue to engage with key stakeholders.

The Government is working at pace on ending conversion therapy and will outline in due course how it intends to proceed with an effective response.

16th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Hikvision CCTV or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by his Department.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria are being used to evaluate value for money of possible relocations of Government offices under the Places for Growth programme.

The Government has committed to ensuring that the administration of Government is less London-centric through the relocation of 22,000 civil service roles to locations across the United Kingdom.

Departments are taking into account a range of factors including their operating model, workforce and location analysis to assess possible locations for roles. The department will select places that they judge to have the skills, transport links and capacity to meet their needs and flourish in their chosen locations as well as ensuring locations are suitable for the long term success and sustainability of the civil service.

27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to identify rural areas with strong transport connections to urban centres as suitable locations for the Places for Growth programme.

Places for Growth was established to contribute towards the government’s levelling up aims and commits to relocating 22,000 civil service roles from central London to the regions and nations of the UK by the end of the decade.

Departments will decide on their locations taking into account a range of factors including their specific operating models, workforce and location analysis. Departments will select places that they judge to have the skills, transport links and capacity to meet their needs and flourish in their chosen locations as well as ensuring locations are suitable for the long term success and sustainability of the civil service.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of firms that have been successful in bidding for Government contracts between 2015 and 2020 are (a) headquartered and (b) registered with Companies House at an address in a predominantly rural area as defined by the Office of National Statistics' Rural/urban classification 2011.

This information is not held centrally.

Records of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether grants are available for the replacement of old oil boilers in properties where a heat pump cannot be installed.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides upfront grants of £5,000 towards the installation and capital costs of biomass boilers to support the transition away from oil boilers and other forms of fossil fuel heating. In order to be eligible for this scheme, biomass boilers must be installed in a property which is in a rural location and is not connected to the gas grid. The biomass boiler must also meet relevant emissions requirements under the scheme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many university referrals to the Research Collaboration Advice Team were made in relation to a Chinese linked project; and what the outcomes of those referrals were.

The Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT) has engaged with most research-intensive universities to provide support and advice. It is crucial to maintain the confidence of universities when they have identified potential national security risks in international collaboration, therefore there are no current plans to publish the outcomes of requests for advice, nor the countries to which they refer. The RCAT continues to review its processes to ensure we are as transparent as possible when sharing information, without infringing on the assumption of confidence that the model is based on. The RCAT will reach full operational capacity by September.

10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his will publish the outcomes of requests submitted by universities to the Research Collaboration Advice Team.

The Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT) has engaged with most research-intensive universities to provide support and advice. It is crucial to maintain the confidence of universities when they have identified potential national security risks in international collaboration, therefore there are no current plans to publish the outcomes of requests for advice, nor the countries to which they refer. The RCAT continues to review its processes to ensure we are as transparent as possible when sharing information, without infringing on the assumption of confidence that the model is based on. The RCAT will reach full operational capacity by September.

10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many requests for support the Research Collaboration Advice Team has received from universities since its inception.

The Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT) has engaged with most research-intensive universities to provide support and advice. It is crucial to maintain the confidence of universities when they have identified potential national security risks in international collaboration, therefore there are no current plans to publish the outcomes of requests for advice, nor the countries to which they refer. The RCAT continues to review its processes to ensure we are as transparent as possible when sharing information, without infringing on the assumption of confidence that the model is based on. The RCAT will reach full operational capacity by September.

17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the policy paper entitled British energy security strategy, published in April 2022, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that large solar developments are located on previously developed or lower value land and not on graded agricultural land.

The Government recognises the need to preserve the UK’s arable farmland. Planning guidance prioritises effective land use and encourages siting large solar projects on previously developed land. Where solar project proposals involve greenfield land, lower quality land should be used where possible, and projects need to justify using better quality land classifications.

The Government will consult on changing planning rules for ground-mounted solar to strengthen policy in favour of development, while ensuring communities continue to have a say and environmental protections remain in place.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the suitability of agricultural land for large scale solar plants, in the context of the relative output of UK solar plants and those in hotter climates.

The Government recognises the need to preserve the UK’s arable farmland. Planning guidance prioritises effective land use and encourages deploying large solar on previously developed land. The Government also supports solar co-located with other functions, such as agriculture, Projects should be designed to avoid, mitigate, and compensate for impacts.

Solar is a cheap, effective, and versatile technology that works better at cooler temperatures and can generate large amounts of electricity even on cloudy days and from indirect sunlight. Solar generation is predictable and can be part of grid balancing to complement other energy sources.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing support for mobile home owners who do not have accounts with energy suppliers and who are ineligible for existing Government support under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, Home Upgrade Grant and Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The Government worked with Charis Grants to set up the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme seven years ago, which is open to mobile or park home residents who pay for their bills through pitch fees or to their site owner. The scheme is funded by energy suppliers through Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives. Around £400,000 in funding was available for the Park Homes Warm Home Discount this year (2021/22), with over 2,600 park home residents across Great Britain receiving £140 towards their energy bills through the scheme.

Existing park homes are eligible for support under the Home Upgrade Grant and the Local Authority Delivery Scheme. Constituents should contact their local authority to make enquiries. Park home residents also benefit from energy efficiency measures under the Energy Company Obligation.

Park homes may also be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme provided that the property has an Energy Performance Certificate with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation. For full eligibility criteria, please refer to the draft regulations for the scheme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the fire risk of Lithium-ion batteries when used as part of a Battery Energy Storage System, such as in large scale solar instillations.

Grid-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems are covered by a robust regulatory framework which requires manufacturers to ensure products are safe before they are placed on the market, that they are installed correctly, and that any safety issues found after products are on the market or after installations are dealt with.

In 2018, BEIS set up an industry-led Storage Health and Safety Governance Group responsible for ensuring that an appropriate, robust, and future-proofed health and safety framework is sustained as the industry develops.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support households living off grid that rely on heating oil in the context of rising heating oil prices.

The supply of heating oil is subject to UK competition law and consumer protection through a regulatory scheme under the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). If residents are off the gas grid, but on a default tariff for their electricity supply, they will still be protected by the Energy Price Cap which continues to protect 15 million households.

In the longer term, improving the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings is vital to keeping household energy costs down and reducing carbon emissions, which is why the Government is driving £6 billion into making homes more energy efficient over the next ten years.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of (a) the proposed solar plant at Mallard Pass in Rutland and (b) other large scale solar plants on biodiversity.

Due to its proposed size (over 50MW), the Mallard Pass Solar Farm will be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State will therefore be the decision-maker for the application for development consent for the Mallard Pass Solar Project.

The Government recognises that solar projects can affect the local environment. The developers of all large solar projects must complete an Environmental Impact Assessment Statement as part of their planning application, which will include an assessment of the impacts on biodiversity. Well-designed solar farms have been shown to enhance biodiversity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support households living off the gas grid with rapidly rising gas prices.

Off-gas grid households who are on their electricity supplier’s default or standard variable tariffs are protected by the energy price cap. The price cap methodology used by Ofgem enables a separate rate to be set for households who heat their homes using electric storage heaters. Off-gas grid households will also receive £200 discount on their electricity bill this Autumn, as part of the Government’s package of support worth £9.1 billion to help domestic energy customers with the cost of rising energy bills.

Further support for energy bills is available to eligible households through the Warm Home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of (a) the proposed solar plant at Mallard Pass in Rutland and (b) other large scale solar plants on biodiversity.

Due to its proposed size (over 50MW) Mallard Pass solar farm will be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. It is currently at the pre-application stage. When the application is ready it will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspectorate will evaluate whether the application meets the necessary legal requirements. If it does, the Inspectorate will undertake a formal examination of the project in which the public will be able to participate and then provide a report to the Secretary of State to inform his decision-making.

The Government recognises that in some cases solar farms can affect the local environment. Applicants must complete an Environmental Statement as part of their planning application, which will include an assessment of the impacts on biodiversity. Well-designed solar projects have been shown to enhance biodiversity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that parents are aware of the provision in the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations laid on 23 January 2020.

When we laid the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations in January, the policy received extensive coverage across broadcast, print and digital media. This announcement will have reached thousands of parents.

Ahead of Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay coming into force, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will publish guidance on GOV.UK to help parents and their employers to understand the new entitlement. We have ensured that employers are aware of Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay by including regular articles in the HM Revenue and Customs Employer Bulletin and Agent Update publications about this. We are also working closely with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to reflect the introduction of the new entitlement in their employer support guidance. We will also continue to work closely with bereavement support organisations such as Cruse Bereavement Care, Child Bereavement UK and SANDS to ensure that they are able to support bereaved parents to use the new entitlement.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether St John Ambulance volunteers will be awarded the Platinum Jubilee Medal.

To qualify for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal recipients must be in an eligible public sector role in a frontline emergency service accessed via a call to the 999 emergency telephone number, or equivalent, and this does not include St John Ambulance volunteers.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to utilise data sovereignty to gain a competitive advantage over hostile states.

The Government’s approach to data policy is set out in the National Data Strategy. The strategy is ambitious and pro-growth, placing the availability of data and confidence in its use at its heart, and positioning the UK as a global data champion.

Data sovereignty, including improving data use and access in the UK and controlling our own data laws and regulations, presents a major opportunity for economic growth, strategic innovation as well as boosting our national security and defence capabilities. We have published priority areas for where the government will take action on increasing data access and availability in the National Data Strategy Mission 1 Policy Framework. The Government has also recently consulted on an ambitious package of data reforms to create a new pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection regime that underpins the trustworthy use of data. We will be setting out next steps shortly.

The UK will also continue to champion the international flow of data and support open data and improved data quality and data standards, while working with like-minded international partners to ensure that global data governance supports better outcomes for us all.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her timetable is for commencing the rollout of gigabit broadband in Rutland and Melton constituency.

Commercial delivery of gigabit broadband is extending rapidly and according to the independent website www.thinkbroadband.com over 35% of premises in the Rutland and Melton constituency now have access to gigabit broadband. Approximately 95% have access to superfast broadband with speeds of at least 30 Mbps.

Alongside further commercial roll-out of gigabit broadband, premises in Rutland and Melton which are not within the scope of commercial coverage will be eligible for support through the £210 million Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) or through Project Gigabit procurements.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme provides a micro-grant of up to £1,500 for residents and up to £3,500 for businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. It enables households and businesses to club together to increase the total subsidy of a project to cover most, or all, of the costs for installation to eligible areas. Further information on the scheme is available on the GBVS website.

Premises within the constituency of Rutland and Melton are covered by three separate Project Gigabit procurement processes:

  • Most of the constituency falls within Lot 11 which covers Leicestershire and Warwickshire, with some further premises in Lot 10 which focuses on Nottinghamshire and the West of Lincolnshire. These areas are both anticipated to commence procurement between November 2022 and January 2023, before an estimated contract start date of between October 2023 and December 2023.

  • Most of the remaining premises are covered by Lot 5 which covers Cambridgeshire and adjacent areas. This area is currently in procurement with an estimated contract start date of between November and December this year.

  • A small number of premises are included within Lot 23 which is focused on Lincolnshire and East Riding. This procurement is targeted to commence between May and July 2023, before an estimated contract start date of between April and June 2024.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support food tourism in (a) the UK and (b) Rutland and Melton constituency.

The £45m Discover England Fund supports the development of internationally marketed tourism products, including food tourism experiences. The Gourmet Garden Trails project, for example, promotes a range of regional culinary-themed itineraries.

VisitBritain has created a number of Food and Drink Tourism Hubs to showcase food and drink experiences available across the UK. VisitBritain also includes the Melton Mowbray pork pie in its guide to English food and drink in the East Midlands.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of his Department's grants for the training of senior mental health leads have been allocated to schools in Rutland and Melton constituency.

In the 2021/22 financial year, 11 schools and colleges in Rutland and Melton constituency had successfully claimed a senior mental health lead training grant, out of 67 eligible schools and colleges.

Brendan Clarke-Smith
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will take steps to ban the use of surveillance cameras made by Hikvision and Dahua in schools in the UK.

The department is not able to ban the use of surveillance cameras made by Hikvision and Dahua in schools. Any decision to install CCTV in schools should be taken after careful consideration by the headteacher and governors and after appropriate consultation with pupils and parents. Any CCTV installation must comply with all laws relating to its use.

In January, the government announced the provision of new guidance and support for UK public sector bodies, which will include schools, to exclude suppliers where there is sufficient evidence of human rights violations in any of their supply chains.

16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether Hikvision CCTV or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by his Department.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) higher and (b) further education establishments have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism.

The government has asked all English higher education (HE) providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition is an important tool in tackling antisemitism. Adopting this widely recognised definition sends a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to HE leaders most recently in October 2020 to reiterate the importance of the definition and to urge all providers to consider adopting it.

The government is pleased to report that at least 91 providers have now adopted the definition, of which 13 are further education colleges , with many more preparing to adopt the definition. The decision on adoption of the definition rests with individual providers. However, the government will continue to urge them to adopt the definition and will ensure that HE is a genuinely fulfilling and welcoming experience for everyone.

I am proud that so many providers have taken a positive step towards eradicating antisemitism by adopting the IHRA definition, but further progress is still needed to stamp it out. This is why, in the Secretary of State’s most recent strategic guidance letter to the OfS, the government asked the OfS to undertake a scoping exercise to identify providers who are reluctant to adopt the definition. The letter asked providers to consider introducing mandatory reporting of antisemitic incident numbers by providers, with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base, which the OfS can then use to effectively regulate in this area.

The Secretary of State also asked the OfS to ensure that, if antisemitic incidents do occur at a provider, they should consider if it is relevant in a particular case whether the provider has adopted the IHRA definition when considering which sanctions, including monetary penalties, would be appropriate to apply.

We will continue to work across the government to ensure that racism and religious hatred of any kind is not tolerated anywhere, including in our world-leading universities.

23rd Nov 2020
What steps his Department has taken to provide financial support to schools for non-covid-19 related emergencies during 2020.

During an emergency situation, responsibility and liability for school buildings remains with the responsible body, whether that be the local authority or academy trust. The local authority (no matter the governance of the school(s) impacted) also has the responsibility to ensure that sufficient pupil places are made available for children in the area.

Whilst responsibility sits with those bodies, the Department for Education has a clear interest in the safety of pupils and staff and ensuring that the education system functions appropriately. In emergency situations, the department works with responsible bodies to understand what support or advice is needed on an individual basis.

Responsible bodies will need to contact their own insurers to understand the financial support available to them in the first instance. The department also provides an alternative to commercial insurance via the Risk Protection Arrangement and we have been able to support many schools through this.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether degrees or diplomas issued by the European Institute for Human Sciences are accredited by (a) UKAS, (b) Ofqual or (c) the British Accreditation Council.

Risks to national security in the UK are a matter for the Home Office.

The department has made no assessment of the potential risk to radicalisation of the UK of the European Institute for Human Sciences. The department works with national and local partners to monitor risks of extremism and radicalisation in education. It has mechanisms in place to investigate extremism concerns linked to the sector and where substantiated, take appropriate action to safeguard children and young people from harm.

In regard to whether degrees or diplomas issued by the European Institute for Human Sciences are accredited:

a) With UCAS and higher education, the institute is not an Office for Students registered higher education provider. The government is therefore not able to answer questions regarding its accreditation.

b) The Institute is not a recognised awarding organisation, so would not be regulated by Ofqual. The government is therefore equally not able to answer questions regarding its accreditation.

c) We have no information as to whether the British Accreditation Council accredits the institutes’ degrees and diplomas, as the council is an independent accrediting body for independent further and higher education providers in the UK.

10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that universities have adequate short-term liquidity during the covid-19 pandemic; and whether he plans to allocate additional funding to that sector.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector, and we have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts including on short-term liquidity.

On 4 May 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced a package of measures to ensure sustainability in HE at a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

We have stabilised the admissions system and will pull forward tuition fee payments, expected to be worth £2.6 billion, for providers so that they receive more cash in the first term of the 2020/21 academic year. This will have no impact on students but will allow providers to better manage financial risks over the autumn. This will be available to all providers across the UK. In reprofiling these payments, we are clear in our expectation that providers should use the cashflow benefits appropriately, taking significant steps to improve efficiencies and manage their finances in order to avoid cashflow problems in the future. Reprofiling in this way is a one-off intervention for the autumn term only, to help providers take all necessary steps now to prepare for the future.

In England, we will also be bringing forward £100 million of quality-related research funding for providers to the current academic year to help to address some of the immediate pressures faced by university research activities.

The department will consider purchasing land and buildings where they can be used for new or expanding schools and colleges in England. This will take place as part of existing programmes and using established procedures. This financial year (across purchases from all suitable vendors, including but not limited to HE providers), we have budgeted up to £100 million to acquire sites for planned projects in England. Details are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

The government has also confirmed that providers are eligible to apply for its support packages, including business loan support schemes. The Office for Students (OfS), the regulator in England, estimates that this could be worth at least £700 million to the sector. We will only intervene further where we believe there is a case to do so and where we believe intervention is possible and appropriate and as a last resort.

In such instances, we will work with providers to review their circumstances and assess the need for restructuring and any attached conditions. The department will be working with HM Treasury and other government departments to develop this restructuring regime, as well as with the devolved administrations.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of changes in the levels of university enrolment among overseas (a) undergraduates and (b) postgraduates as a result of the implementation of a points-based immigration system.

EU and non-EU students make an invaluable contribution to the UK’s higher education sector, socially, culturally and financially. The UK Government will continue to welcome international students, working towards the ambition set out in our International Education Strategy, to host 600,000 international students per year by 2030.

The latest data from UCAS's 2019 report shows an increase in international applicants, with EU-domicile applicants increasing by 1% and non-EU-domiciled applicants increasing by 8% from 2018.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students will be covered by the points-based immigration system. This will improve on the current system by simplifying and streamlining the student route for both students and sponsors.

To ensure the UK higher education sector remains internationally attractive, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced the new Graduate Route in September 2019. This will offer an opportunity for international students who have passed their degree to stay and work in the UK for two years post-study.

This announcement enables higher education providers to recruit for the 2020/21 academic year on the basis that their students will be eligible for the graduate route, and ensures that all existing students who meet the requirements, and have Tier 4 leave at the point that the route is introduced will be able to benefit.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Education on ensuring that faith schools encourage equal opportunities and aspirations regardless of a pupil's gender.

I meet Cabinet colleagues, including my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, to discuss equalities issues as appropriate.

It is unlawful for a school to discriminate against a pupil by treating them less favourably in a number of respects because of their sex. This applies to all schools, including maintained and independent faith schools.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on ensuring that pupils in (a) Rutland and Melton constituency and (b) England are able to receive support from Mental Health Support Teams.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) are a new service and one of the major commitments made jointly by the Department for Education with the Department for Health and Social Care and the National Health Service (NHS) partners to implement proposals set out in the Green Paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, which is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

Funded through the NHS, MHSTs are designed to help meet the mental health needs of children and young people in primary, secondary and further education (primarily for ages 5 to 18).

My right hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care both continue to monitor closely the progress made in this area.

MHSTs will be established in 20% to 25% of the country by 2023, delivering interventions to help children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues, supporting development of whole-school or college approaches to mental health, and helping children and young people to get the right support and stay in education.

The first 2018-19 trailblazer sites in England, delivering 59 MHSTs, are all expected to be fully operational in early 2020 following completion of their training. A further 123 MHSTs will be delivered through the 2019-20 recruitment wave. Each MHST will work with schools and colleges supporting an estimated 8,000 children and young people.

There are currently no recorded MHSTs in Rutland and Melton constituency, however, recruitment of 2020-21 MHST sites was launched on 10 January 2020 and is open until 16 March 2020. NHS England have invited expressions of interest to establish new MHSTs from all Clinical Commissioning Group(s) in England.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support farmers in the context of increases in the cost of fuel, fertiliser and feed.

We are very aware of the significant turbulence in international commodity markets following Russian’s invasion of Ukraine and are closely monitoring the market situation.

Agricultural commodity prices have always been strongly correlated to the price of energy. Farmers face the challenge of rising inputs costs, particularly fertiliser costs, due to the sharp increase in the price of gas. The solution will require us to pioneer new technologies to manufacture more organic based fertiliser products, and to rediscover more older, more established techniques such as using nitrogen fixing legumes and clovers as an alternative to fertiliser.

We are also seeing high costs for inputs including red diesel and animal feed. We are working with the industry to identify where mitigations are available and continue to keep the situation under review.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason landowners and farmers are no longer compensated for allowing permissive access to their land under the sustainable farming initiative; and whether he has plans to offer payments under a different initiative.

As set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government is a great supporter of the health and wellbeing benefits that access to the countryside can bring.

Support for increasing access into the countryside will be made through existing schemes and support mechanisms already in place, such as Countryside Stewardship which saw a 40% increase in uptake last year. We are still considering our approach to support for increasing and maintaining access to the countryside in our future schemes, including our environmental land management schemes.

To boost investment in the meantime, we have launched a new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - this includes funding for farmers and land managers to provide more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the countryside.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what internal criteria his Department is using to assess locations for relocations of his Department under the Places for Growth programme.

The Government has committed to ensuring that the administration of Government is less London-centric through the relocation of 22,000 civil service roles to locations across the United Kingdom.

Defra is taking into account a range of factors including our operating model, workforce and location analysis to assess possible locations for our roles. The department will select places that we judge to have the skills, transport links and capacity to meet our needs and flourish in our chosen locations as well as ensuring locations are suitable for the long term success and sustainability of the civil service.

Relocations under Places for Growth represent better value for money due to the lower costs of estates and salaries outside of London. The majority of moves will involve roles becoming available through natural turnover or churn rather than moving people.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many of his Department's offices and offices of related agencies are located outside of London; and how many and what proportion of those are located in settlements that are classified as (a) D1, (b) D2, (c) E1, (d) E2, (f) F1 and (g) F2 according to the Rural Urban Classification system.

The number of offices located outside London is 126.

The proportion of those located in settlements D1, D2, E1, E2, F1 and F2 are as follows:

Classification

%

D1

5.6%

D2

2.4%

E1

7.1%

E2

0.0%

F1

6.3%

F2

0.0%

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will commit to setting a target for a 68 per cent recycling rate by 2030 covering all wastes in England in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee.

The Government has committed to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035, with less than 10% municipal waste going to landfill. We set out measures to achieve this target in our 2019 Resources and Waste Strategy and the Environment Bill.

From the combined impacts of consistent recycling collection, Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, we estimate that we will meet this commitment. These three reforms are estimated to deliver over 30 million tonnes of CO2 emissions savings between 2023-2035.

We have also published plans for monitoring and evaluating progress on the Resources and Waste Strategy and will publish annual statistics of recycling as now.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to phase out exports of waste by 2030 in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee.

Defra is working with the Department for International Trade on supporting the development of more recycling infrastructure within the UK to reduce the need to export wastes to other countries.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste. We have recently concluded consultations on using powers in the Bill such as for a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for packaging, and proposals for greater consistency in household and business recycling. These measures will increase the quality and quantity of wastes collected for recycling, drive up demand for recycled materials and provide an incentive for industry to invest in UK reprocessing infrastructure.

We are also taking action to reduce the volume of waste generated in the first place. Our approach is focused on encouraging greater uptake of reusable alternatives and increasing supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK. The Resources and Waste Strategy also sets out the Government's plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more than we do now.

Where the UK cannot currently recycle materials economically, exports can help ensure those materials are recycled rather than landfilled. Recycling one tonne of plastics reduces emissions by 1.1 - 3.0 tonnes of CO2e, compared to producing the same tonne of plastics from virgin fossil feedstock.

The UK Government is committed to banning the export of plastic waste for recycling or disposal to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We currently plan to consult before the end of 2022 on options to deliver the proposed ban.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will introduce mandatory business food waste reporting by 2022 in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee.

We will consult this year on introducing regulations to make the public reporting of food waste volumes mandatory for certain businesses of an appropriate size. By ensuring businesses are measuring and publicly reporting their food waste, we expect to drive action to reduce it.

Due to the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on food and drink businesses, we postponed the launch of this consultation. Some businesses will require time to embed measurement techniques and build confidence in their data. This needs to be balanced alongside the need to continue reducing our food waste, increasing redistribution of surplus and measuring more accurately to understand the scale of the problem. We therefore propose that reporting starts at least one year after regulations are passed. This will offer businesses time to seek guidance and implement measurement techniques within their operations.

Subject to the consultation responses we therefore would be requiring businesses to report food waste in 2024, for food waste measured in the 2023/2024 financial year. This will ensure data is readily available which in turn will allow for comparison and assessment against our national and international targets.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding is available for local groups or organisations to develop ecology centres or wildlife preserves that serve the local community and meet the broader policies of his Department.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund provides grants through its National Lottery Grants for Heritage, which can support communities to protect, share and enjoy their local natural environment. Since 1994, the Fund has invested more than £1.5bn into projects focused on England’s natural heritage.

Defra’s Countryside Stewardship scheme provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment through agricultural or woodland land management. It also provides funding for educational access, allowing groups such as school pupils to visit farms to learn, understand and engage with farming and the environment. Among agreement holders in the scheme are a number of charities and organisations who own and manage nature reserves for wildlife.

Defra’s £80m Green Recovery Challenge Fund has kick-started a pipeline of nature-based projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with the natural environment. For example, a project led by Gasworks Dock Partnership will deliver extensive habitat creation and restoration while establishing Cody Dock, in Newham, as a flagship centre for community led citizen science and academic ecology studies.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with international partners on ensuring the recognition of UK geographical indications in foreign markets; and what steps his Department has taken to ensure that recognition in multilateral trade bodies.

The UK has successfully signed a number of trade agreements which provide continued protection for iconic UK geographical indications in foreign markets, including with the Andean Community, Canada, Switzerland, Ukraine and Singapore. The UK-Japan Comprehensive Partnership Agreement will also offer new protection for additional UK geographical indications.

We continue to seek the best deal for UK geographical indications in all of our ongoing negotiations with international trading partners and through multilateral trade bodies such as the World Trade Organisation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of geographical indications (GIs) on local economies; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of GIs on the (a) rate of employment in areas with GIs, (b) median wage in areas with GIs compared to areas without GIs and (c) price stability of GI products compared to similar products without GI status.

Whilst the Government has not undertaken an assessment of the impact of geographical indications (GI) on local economies, we are aware from industry partners that they play an important role in retaining jobs and historically important skills in rural areas. For example, we understand that the Cornish Pasty (protected GI) industry employs 2,000 people and contributes over £65 million to the local economy. The Scotch Whisky Association estimates that more than 10,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland and over 40,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry which provides £5.5bn in gross value added to the UK economy.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to meet the UK Government's commitment to moving 22,000 civil servants outside of central London by 2030, and in particular to the East Midlands.

Defra is committed to playing its part in the levelling up agenda and strengthening the Union through a growing presence across the UK. The Department is already geographically dispersed, with over three-quarters of Defra civil servants based outside London, including in our policy hubs in York and Bristol, and 85% of all staff in Defra Group including arms-length bodies. The Department will play its part in the Government’s commitment to move 22,000 civil servant posts outside London by 2030, and base half of all senior civil servant posts outside London by 2030.

In the East Midlands, Defra has 880 staff. We are committed to joining the new Government hub in Peterborough from next year

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to allow farm machinery auctions to resume as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment have been permitted through the present lockdown; however, these auctions should be carried out virtually or by telephone where possible. If an auction cannot go ahead virtually or by telephone, then auction houses should only admit people who need to be there for business purposes, work purposes or if another permitted exemption applies.

The Government has set out its intention to ease the rules on in-person attendance at auctions, no earlier than 12 April. At Step 2, people should only visit indoor auction houses with people from their own household or support bubble, unless they are there for business purposes, work purposes or if another permitted exemption applies. People can visit outdoor auctions, which includes those held on farm premises, in groups of up to six people or with one other household.

Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 6 people or 2 households, and no indoor mixing will be allowed unless otherwise exempt. This does not limit a permitted event to a maximum of 6 people or 2 households in total, it solely limits people from attending the event in a group of larger than 6 people or 2 households.

At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, people will be able to visit indoor auction houses in a group of up to six or with one other household. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england/reopening-businesses-and-venues.

At all Steps, auction houses should take the necessary measures to ensure they are Covid-19 Secure: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support local police forces in tackling (a) fly-tipping and (b) other rural crime; and how many incidents of fly-tipping have been recorded in England and Wales in the last two years.

Fly-tipping is a crime which blights local communities and the environment, and we are committed to tackling this unacceptable behaviour.

Enforcement against fly-tipping is mainly carried out by local authorities, and we expect them to investigate all incidents of fly-tipping, including those incidents on private land. In recent years we have bolstered local authorities’ powers to tackle fly-tipping, such as by introducing the power to issue fixed penalty notices and to stop and seize vehicles of suspected fly-tippers. Our 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy set out our strategic approach to prevent, detect and deter waste crime.

Defra chairs the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group, which includes representatives from the police force, local authorities, and organisations representing landowners, such as the National Farmers Union, National Trust, and Country Land and Business Association. The National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group shares a common aim to help prevent and tackle fly-tipping and share best practice.

The Environment Bill includes several measures to help tackle waste crime. The Bill will ensure agencies and authorities can work more effectively to combat waste crime through better access to evidence and improved powers of entry. These new powers will help ensure waste criminals, such as illegitimate waste operators reliant on fly-tipping for income, are held accountable for their actions

The Government recognises that there can be particular challenges in responding to rural crime, and so to drive down crime in rural and urban areas, we are recruiting an additional 20,000 officers over the next three years, with 4,000 of these officers already on our streets. To aid with the biggest recruitment drive in decades and to ensure that the criminal justice system can deal with the results, we are investing £85 million in the Crown Prosecution Service.

We also welcome the rural affairs strategy published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council in July 2018. This sets out the operational and organisational policing priorities for local police forces in respect of tackling crimes that predominantly affect rural communities.

Local authorities reported 975,631 incidents of fly-tipping in England in 2019/20, this was an increase of 2% from the 957,157 incidents reported in 2018/19. These statistics are available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fly-tipping-in-england. Waste is a devolved matter and I can therefore only comment on incidents of fly-tipping in England.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many food and drink producers his Department is working with to support their early adoption of the UK Geographical Indication schemes.

We have shared the UK GI logo requirements, and guidance on how to add these to packaging, to UK GI producers, retailers, and wider industry groups, to ensure that they are aware of their new responsibilities. We are now providing further advice and responding to queries on the logos on an individual basis.

To support the adoption of the logos, Defra hosted a webinar in November 2020 to answer technical questions on the UK schemes and logos, which was attended by over 120 stakeholders. In addition, we have provided information on the logos at various Defra forums, such as the SME and retailer forums, to ensure that we are reaching as many stakeholders as possible.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which projects funded by the Darwin Plus Programme are in respect of aquatic biodiversity; and of those projects, how many are in respect of coral (a) preservation and protection and (b) disease prevention and eradication.

Since 2012 Darwin Plus has contributed £10.7 million to 49 projects working on aquatic biodiversity across the UK Overseas Territories. Of these projects three have focused on coral preservation and protection to a total of £0.46 million. One of these projects successfully established a coral nursery in Little Cayman and saw coral nursery guidelines being incorporated into national policy in the Cayman Islands. There have not been any Darwin Plus projects working on disease prevention and eradication.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the adoption of the new geographical indicator logos; and what proportion of producers have already adopted those logos.

Producers and retailers whose products are required to bear the new UK Geographical Indication (GI) logos have until 1 January 2024 to adopt them. However, we are aware that some would like to make that change soon and are working with industry to support their early adoption.

Defra is also communicating the benefits of the new logos across industry to encourage uptake, including publishing research which shows support from consumers and GI producers for the new design.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to further expand and market the UK's Geographical Indications Scheme, which came into force on 1 January 2021.

As we develop our plans to expand and market the new UK Geographical Indication (GI) schemes, we look forward to new food and drink products joining the ranks of Scotch whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Defra has published guidance setting out how the new schemes work, including how to apply for UK GI status. As part of our plans to promote UK food and drink both at home and overseas, we are engaging with businesses across the food and drink sector to see whether GI protection is right for their product.

For existing GIs, Defra is encouraging producers and retailers to adopt the new GI logos as soon as possible to support our efforts to grow consumer recognition of the schemes. We will also be engaging with regional food groups to encourage more local businesses to take advantage of existing GI protection, to improve the benefits of the GI schemes for local communities.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to (a) fund marketing campaigns to increase the visibility of UK produce with geographical indications (GIs) among consumers, hospitality and retailers domestically and internationally, (b) assist producers in registering additional UK produce with GIs and (c) collaborate with the Department for International Trade on the export promotion of UK produce with GIs.

The Government is developing a promotional strategy to boost the sales of UK GI products. To do this, we will focus on raising awareness of the UK GI schemes and products among consumers, retailers and hospitality. We have recently funded research to understand how to better promote GIs to consumers which will support any consumer promotional campaigns.

The Government will also aim to encourage high quality domestic applications to the UK schemes. We are publishing guidance on applying to the UK schemes and will liaise with applicants throughout the process.

Defra is working closely with the Department for International Trade to promote UK GIs internationally and to encourage producers of UK GIs to export their products, for example to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the recently agreed UK-Japan trade deal. UK GIs with high export value are also promoted in other countries through the well-established Food is GREAT campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timetable is for publishing a new geographical indications scheme for food producers.

The UK Government’s new geographical indications (GI) schemes will enter into force at the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020. The schemes will welcome applications from applicants from then. They will provide automatic protection for all existing UK GIs (and any new UK GIs registered in the EU on or prior to 31 December 2020).

The new domestic logos (and detailed guidance on usage requirements and best practice) will be made available to GI producers and retailers prior to the end of the transition period. Use of the EU logos will no longer be required on products from 1 January 2021. Producers will still be able to use the EU GI logos on products (both when on sale in the UK and the EU) should they wish to do so.

Detailed guidance on the UK Government’s new GI schemes will be made available to GI producers and retailers prior to the end of the transition period. Until 31 December 2020, EU rules on GIs will continue to apply in the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to assist (a) farmers and (b) food producers to process their food in environmentally sustainable and cost-effective ways.

Using powers in the Agriculture Bill we will provide grants to farmers, foresters and growers so that they can invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment. The grants will help producers to focus on more efficient production methods that will reduce costs, improve yields and give them a better return. We will also support farmers who want to process and add value to their products, create new products, or sell their produce directly to customers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that local British food producers have access to a fair, competitive and transparent supply chain after the transition period.

We want all food producers to get a fair price for their produce and are committed to tackling the unfairness that can exist in the agri-food supply chain.

Through the Government’s Agriculture Bill, introduced on 12 September, we will launch a range of initiatives to improve the position of primary producers. We will introduce and enforce statutory codes of practice to address unfair trading practices which can occur between food producers and purchasers. We will also introduce measures to increase transparency throughout the agri-food supply chain, using strengthened powers to collect and share data.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the International Rescue Committee's research highlighting that 52 million additional people will go hungry in fragile and developing countries in 2020, whether the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will maintain the proportion of the aid budget that is spent in fragile and conflict-affected states, currently set at 50 per cent of the Department for International Development's annual budget.

The UK is concerned about the food security outlook in 2020. At the end of last year, 135 million people were facing acute food insecurity in 55 countries. This is set to increase this year, driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the desert locust outbreak. Fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) will be amongst the most impacted.

We are working with international partners to closely monitor the situation and take action. As a leading donor to the COVID-19 response and one of the biggest humanitarian actors, we are ensuring essential supplies reach those who need it the most. We have also adapted our social protection, agriculture and food security programmes to support the most vulnerable.

The UK is committed to spending 0.7% of national income on development. Our work in FCAS is a vital part of this and we have consistently spent at least 50% of our Official Development Assistance in these contexts between 2015 to 2017. Figures for 2018 will be published in due course. We continue to look at how UK aid can be deployed most effectively in our national interest including through the Integrated Review, which will report in the Autumn and inform the new department’s priorities.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to ensure that the G20 action plan to tackle the economic impact of covid-19 does not exclude (a) people in conflict settings and (b) displaced people.

The UK Government is committed to supporting people in conflict settings and displaced persons. The UK played a leading role in the development of the G20 Action Plan – ‘Supporting the Global Economy through the Covid-19 Pandemic’. This includes ensuring the Plan has a strong emphasis and clear commitments on helping the poorest countries - many of which are conflict settings with high numbers of displaced people. We will continue to work closely with G20 members and other partners to ensure robust implementation of the Plan’s commitments and to support people and countries most vulnerable to the economic impact of COVID-19.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress her Department has made with the Georg Eckert Institute on the review of the textbooks included in the Palestinian Authority’s school curriculum; and if she will make a statement.

Following the UK’s calls for international action, an EU sponsored independent review of Palestinian textbooks is currently underway. The EU has contracted the Georg Eckert Institute, a specialist textbook analysis centre, to lead this review.

To ensure the review could begin immediately on the signing of the contract, the UK commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to produce an inception report to establish its methodology in advance.

We understand from the EU that an interim report covering grade 8 – 10 books will be completed in Spring 2020, with the full report covering all the books due later in the year. DFID is part of the steering committee for this review, and we will continue to engage with the EU to press for this timetable to be met.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, in the context of the US Commerce Department's recently launched investigation into Chinese solar suppliers for tariff circumnavigation, if the Government will (a) launch a similar investigation and (b) take steps to ensure that Chinese suppliers operating in the UK do so legally and without circumnavigation.

The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) conducts trade remedy investigations, including on the circumvention of existing anti-dumping or countervailing measures. The UK did not transition the EU’s anti-dumping measure on solar glass, due to a lack of evidence that it was necessary. As there is no existing measure in place on solar products from China, the TRA cannot launch a similar circumvention review.

The TRA can undertake new reviews, so if domestic industry have concerns that they are being impacted by dumping, including on the dumping of solar products, they can contact the TRA’s pre-application office at contact@traderemedies.gov.uk

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether Hikvision CCTV or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by her Department.

It is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the export of UK higher education is a priority sector in future trade negotiations; and whether (a) research collaboration and (b) student exchanges will be included in those negotiations.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) recognises that higher education is a significant export for the United Kingdom, bringing value in the collaboration and partnerships they foster, and helping to forge deep global relationships. These underpin opportunities for the United Kingdom and our international partners to develop, trade and work together.

HM Government is exploring to what extent our trade negotiations could support trade in education services. This may include collaboration in science, research and innovation as appropriate. DIT will continue to work across government and with other interested parties to make sure our trade negotiations represent the sector’s interests.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on reviewing bids by local authorities for the Restoring Your Railways Fund.

The £500m Restoring Your Railway Fund is supporting over 45 schemes at different stages of development with funding and advice. The Department received a Strategic Outline Business Case for the Melton Mowbray to Nottingham proposal in August 2021. The Secretary of State for Transport and I are considering next steps for projects, including Melton Mowbray to Nottingham, with a decision on the next tranche to progress anticipated soon.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to support rural bus services as covid-related support is reduced.

During the pandemic, the Government has provided unprecedented levels of financial support to the bus sector through its emergency and recovery support packages. Over £1.7bn has been provided to operators and Local Transport Authorities to date since March 2020. This is in addition to £200 million of Bus Services Operator’s Grant (BSOG) paid by the Department directly to operators, and £43 million of BSOG paid directly to LTAs so that they can subsidise socially necessary bus services.

Our National Bus Strategy is explicit about seeking to ensure that the needs of rural transport users are given equal consideration to those in urban environments. The Government recognises that the transport needs of communities in rural areas differ from those in urban environments for a variety of reasons including demographics, lower population density and travel distances. All English Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) have had the opportunity to set out their requirements and needs in Bus Service Improvement Plans.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has estimates for the amount of freight transported across the A1 each week.

The Department for Transport does not hold data on the volume of freight that is carried on any specific route within the UK. The Department for Transport collects and publishes detailed information about domestic freight activity via the Continuing Survey of Road Goods Transport. However, while this survey asks the origin and destination of freight journeys, in order to minimise the burden on hauliers, it does not ask drivers to specify the route they have taken.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether (a) any UK ports use China's LOGINK system and (b) his Department has made an assessment of (i) LOGINK and (ii) China's role in port logistics standards.

Operational systems and IT platforms are a commercial matter for the ports concerned, and the Department for Transport does not hold records of the systems used by each port or assessments of systems available for procurement by ports. The Department for Transport regulates transport Operators of Essential Services under the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations 2018 to improve standards of cyber security and resilience and is supported by technical advice and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), as the UK’s national technical authority.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on the Road Investment Strategy pipeline 3 projects; and whether he plans projects additional to the 32 projects already outlined.

Of the 32 “RIS3 Pipeline” projects listed in the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), 31 are each at a different stage of development by Highways England. We expect to receive Highways England’s advice on the options for each project over the next two years, helping to inform our investment decisions for the third Road Investment Strategy that will cover the Road Period starting in 2025. Only those projects that are affordable, deliverable and secure strategic objectives will be funded for construction.

The remaining Pipeline project listed in RIS2, the A21 Safety Package, has been accelerated for delivery in the current Road Period (2020-25). Candidates for further Pipeline projects will be considered on their merits as they emerge, taking account of resources available for their development.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on improving public transport links in Leicestershire.

Ministers and officials from DfT and HMT meet regularly to discuss a wide range of issues. The Government’s £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package provides new funding to transform bus services and includes a National Bus Strategy, which will detail measures to improve bus services. £20 million of this is to support demand responsive services in rural and suburban areas. The package also includes an extra £30 million for local authorities in 2020/21.

If Leicestershire County Council complete statements of intent demonstrating how they will meet the funding requirements, it will be provided with an additional allocation of £556,627. This would be in addition to the £534,721 Leicestershire County Council received in 2018/19 from the annual Bus Service Operators Grant

More widely, the Government also announced £5billion of new funding on 11th February to overhaul bus and cycle links outside London. This investment will support measures to boost bus services including higher frequency services, new priority schemes to make routes more efficient, more affordable simpler fares and at least 4,000 new Zero Emission Buses. Leicestershire may be open to benefit from this.

Furthermore, East Midland Railway’s (EMR) December 2020 timetable consultation, which has just closed, sought passenger and stakeholders view on changes to services. The changes focussed on EMR’s Midland Main Line services with proposals for Leicester which included more services, faster journey times and at consistent departure times throughout the day to and from London St Pancras International. EMR is now in the process of reviewing the feedback to help to form their December 2020 timetable. The majority of changes on EMRs Regional services which serve Leicester will happen in December 2021, and EMR plan to consult with passengers and stakeholders later this year on those changes.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
1st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the removal of specific pain medicines under NICE guidelines does not negatively impact people living with chronic pain.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guideline recommends that people with chronic primary pain should not initially receive commonly used drugs including paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, benzodiazepines or opioids. NICE has determined there is little or no evidence that these treatment options have an impact on quality of life, pain or psychological distress and can cause harm, including possible addiction.

While NICE guidelines are not mandatory, we expect that patients presenting with symptoms consistent with chronic long term pain conditions should be managed according to clinical need and all current guidance. NICE continues to work with system partners to support the implementation of its updated guidelines. However, NICE has stated that medicines should not be withdrawn from patients when shown to be safe and effective for the individual and recommends that clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of medication with the patient.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase NHS dental provision for (a) unregistered children and (b) vulnerable NHS patients in Rutland and Melton constituency.

Dental patients are not registered to a particular practice outside a course of treatment. A practice can accept a patient for a course of treatment and there are no geographical restrictions on which dental practice a patient may attend, including those in Rutland and Melton.

In 2021/22, an additional £50 million was provided for National Health Service dentistry in the final quarter to provide urgent care to patients. The appointments were targeted to patients in most need of urgent dental treatment, including vulnerable groups and children. Between April and June 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked practices to deliver at least 95% of contracted units of dental activity to improve access for patients safely, including children and vulnerable patients. Specialist community dental services which treat particularly vulnerable people also benefited from this additional funding. Children, people with learning disabilities, autism or severe mental health problems were prioritised in these services.

The Department and NHS England and Improvement are working with stakeholders, including the British Dental Association, to improve to the NHS dental system. This aims to increase patient access, reduce health inequalities and make the NHS a more attractive place to work for dentists. Negotiations are currently underway on initial measures.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer to Question 3755 on Caesarean Sections: Maternity Services, if he will strengthen post natal care for mothers who have had a caesarean section in the upcoming Women's Health Strategy.

Further information on the specific topics which will be addressed in the Women’s Health Strategy will be available in due course. We will publish the Strategy later this year.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to strengthen post-natal care for mothers who have had a caesarean section in the upcoming Women's Health Strategy.

Fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and post-natal care will be priority areas in the forthcoming Women’s Health Strategy, which will be published later this year.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have received payments from the vaccines damages scheme in each of the last five years.

The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme provides a one-off tax-free payment, currently £120,000, to successful applicants where vaccination has caused severe disablement. The following table shows the number of claimants which have received payments in each of the last five years.

Calendar year

Awards

2018

4

2019

2

2020

4

2021

1

2022

0

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will take steps to tackle waiting lists for access to gender identity services.

The National Health Service is establishing pilot gender dysphoria clinics under a new delivery model for this service. Pilot clinics have already opened in London, Cheshire and Merseyside, Manchester and the East of England and a further clinic in Sussex is planned later this year. These clinics are due to begin an evaluation to establish the viability of the new clinical models. This will reduce waiting times for patients and ensure the availability of these services.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase childhood flu vaccination rates.

During the 2021/22 flu season, over 3.8 million school-aged children had been vaccinated by the end of January 2022. We have begun planning for the 2022/23 flu season to further increase uptake. We are working with regional commissioning teams, school-aged providers, schools and primary care providers, in addition to collaborating with COVID-19 vaccination teams to consider where those successes can be applied to the seasonal flu programme. In addition to the targeted work of locally commissioned services to meet the needs and challenges of their local populations, communications will be developed to reach all eligible groups.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps his Department is taking to support NHS dentistry provision, in addition to the £50 million of funding for dentistry announced on 25 January 2022.

During the pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement have set activity thresholds for dentists which secures protection of practice National Health Service income. Access to free personal protective equipment will continue until 31 March 2023 or until infection prevention and control guidance is revised or withdrawn. Where data has indicated practices can achieve more activity safely, thresholds have been gradually increased to help improve access for patients. The current threshold is set at 85%. NHS dental practices have been asked to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and care for vulnerable groups, including children followed by overdue appointments.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Hikvision CCTV or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by his Department.

Hikvision CCTV and equipment is used in the core Departmental estate.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including children considered clinically extremely vulnerable in the covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Government keeps the evidence on vaccination, under careful review, including whether clinically vulnerable children and young people should be offered a COVID-19 vaccination. At this stage, no decisions on the routine vaccination of children and young people. Following the approval of a vaccine for use in those aged 12 to 15 years old, we will be carefully reviewing the relative risks and benefits alongside expert advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to make additional funding available to primary care services; and what plans he has to fund the building of additional GP practices.

The NHS Long Term Plan, supported by the Government, commits to a record level of additional annual investment in primary medical and community care of an extra £4.5 billion in real terms by 2023/24. Additionally, the Government and NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to at least an additional £1.5 billion cash for general practice from 2020 - 2024 to deliver the manifesto commitments. In response to additional pressures due to the pandemic, we have also made available an additional £270 million funding from November 2020 until September 2021 to ensure general practice can continue to support all patients.

Since 2016 we have invested £800 million in improving primary care estate and technology, on top of ‘business as usual’ infrastructure funding. Further funding for NHS infrastructure, including how it will be allocated, will be confirmed after the next Spending Review.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which 10 GP surgery locations have the highest numbers of patients registered in (a) the East Midlands and (b) England.

The information is not held in the format requested.

30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to increase UK diplomatic representation in Central Asia.

The UK is represented through British Embassies in all five Central Asian republics. Diplomatic staff at our Embassies are engaged in a wide range of work in pursuit of UK interests, including political, security, commercial and climate priorities. Russia's illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine is a significant strategic moment for the countries of the region, highlighting the importance of accelerating economic and security relationships with other international partners. The UK is committed to building on strong foundations laid in the thirty years since establishing diplomatic relations with the Central Asian republics, and the Foreign Secretary is ensuring our Embassies are sufficiently resourced to do so.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of the relationship between the Federal Government in Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

We continue to work with both Baghdad and Erbil, and encourage both sides to work towards resolving their differences in line with the Iraqi constitution. We want to see a strong and successful Kurdistan region within a thriving and multicultural Iraq.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the strength of the bilateral relationship between the UK and the Kurdistan region in Iraq; and if she will make a statement.

We have a close and strategic relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government is a close ally in the fight against Daesh and we continue to cooperate closely on security and wider issues. UK Ministerial engagement is strong. The President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, visited the UK in September 2021. In April 2022, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Masrour Barzani, visited the UK. Both met the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, amongst others.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many applications for certificates under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme from Chinese citizens were (a) approved and (b) refused in each year since that scheme's inception.

We are unable to release country-specific Academic Technology Approval Scheme information on the grounds of National Security.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many applications for Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificates have been made by citizens of the People’s Republic of China in each year since 2017.

We are unable to release country-specific Academic Technology Approval Scheme information on the grounds of National Security.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Information Unit in her Department will coordinate its work with the Counter Disinformation Cell led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and whether that unit is (a) permanent and (b) will be in constant operation.

The Government Information Cell (GIC) has been established specifically to support the UK's response to Russian disinformation relating to their invasion of Ukraine. The GIC works in partnership with all relevant parts of Government, including the Counter Disinformation Unit based in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It has been established as a surge team, with a view to its work informing the Government's longer-term approach to countering disinformation.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
4th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to help ensure that sanctions on Russia do not prevent ongoing humanitarian work in (a) Ukraine and (b) Russia.

We are clear that any sanctions must not impede humanitarian delivery. To guard against the unintentional humanitarian impact of sanctions, the UK's sanctions on Russia provide for a range of humanitarian licensing grounds to facilitate humanitarian activity. New sanctions policies will consider possible humanitarian impact and we continue to consider all options available to mitigate this, including general licences and humanitarian exceptions where appropriate. We have called on Russia to enable humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians to flee the violence and we have worked tirelessly with partners to ensure the demand for Russia to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law is clear.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to strengthen its atrocity prevention capabilities as Russia deploys troops in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and we will use our position to raise any atrocity acts to the attention of the UN. Our focus is always on securing an end to violence and protecting civilians.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress has been made on plans to increase the number of NATO staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The UK remains committed to ensuring peace and upholding international law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). We support the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, including though the secondment of UK staff officers, who are building the capacity of the BiH Armed Forces. At the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Riga in December, the Foreign Secretary took part in discussions about how best to support stability in BiH. We are in close contact with our NATO colleagues who are actively working to increase staffing in BiH. Through NATO, as well as our bilateral relationship, the UK will continue to support BiH in implementing domestic reforms and tackling challenges to peace and security.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the US Administration's decision to impose sanctions on Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, for threatening the stability and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sanctions are an important part of the UK toolkit for the Western Balkans, for both corruption and destabilising activities. Experience has shown they work best when used in close coordination with our partners, and we are actively discussing with partners, including the US, how best to use these tools to target both the leaders of these moves, and those around them who help and facilitate. We keep all evidence and potential designations under close review. We will consider targets, guided by the objectives of the relevant sanctions regime and the evidence. It would not be appropriate to speculate about future sanctions targets as to do so could reduce their impact.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Hikvision CCTV or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by her Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict; and what steps the Government is taking to hold perpetrators of violations against children to account.

The UK is an active member of the United Nations Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) which leads the international response to the use of child soldiers and child protection. This includes pressing those parties to conflict listed in the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC, to enter into concrete action plans with the UN to verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces and to prevent re-recruitment. We apply diplomatic pressure to listed governments and armed groups, and fund projects to help protect and rehabilitate vulnerable children.

The FCDO has established a new Conflict Centre, which will focus on developing a more integrated UK approach to conflict and instability, harnessing conflict expertise from across FCDO, HMG, and beyond, and applying these where the UK can make the most difference. It will identify and develop capabilities where the UK has a comparative advantage, and work bilaterally and with international partners to increase our impact in preventing, managing and resolving conflict. The Conflict Centre will continue to ensure that the children and armed conflict agenda is reflected in this work.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and armed conflict, published on 21 June 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report; and what assessment his department has made of how the new conflict centre outlined in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy can tackle violence against children.

The UK is an active member of the United Nations Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) which leads the international response to the use of child soldiers and child protection. This includes pressing those parties to conflict listed in the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC, to enter into concrete action plans with the UN to verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces and to prevent re-recruitment. We apply diplomatic pressure to listed governments and armed groups, and fund projects to help protect and rehabilitate vulnerable children.

The FCDO has established a new Conflict Centre, which will focus on developing a more integrated UK approach to conflict and instability, harnessing conflict expertise from across FCDO, HMG, and beyond, and applying these where the UK can make the most difference. It will identify and develop capabilities where the UK has a comparative advantage, and work bilaterally and with international partners to increase our impact in preventing, managing and resolving conflict. The Conflict Centre will continue to ensure that the children and armed conflict agenda is reflected in this work.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support the Government provides to cultural industries around the world.

The FCDO provides project and programme funding to the British Council, BBC World Service and the GREAT Challenge Fund (GCF) to support UK soft power. As the Integrated Review states, our soft power is central to our international identity as an open, trustworthy and innovative country, and helps to build positive perceptions of the UK, create strong people-to-people links and familiarity with our values. The FCDO is providing the British Council with £189 million of funding for 2021-22. We will be providing £94.4 million to the World Service for 2021-22, through our BBC World2020 programme, including an £8 million uplift to expand programming to tackle disinformation and develop digital platforms. Through the GCF, our Overseas Network is able to deliver projects which promote the UK's cultural credentials in their local markets. This year the GCF will be dedicated to a range of projects which support cultural and soft power activities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the new conflict centre announced in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the centre makes atrocity prevention the focus of the Government's work on conflict; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the centre makes use of expertise from outside of government.

The FCDO's new conflict centre will support a more integrated HMG approach to conflict prevention, management and resolution, including working with teams across FCDO and HMG to support the wide range of interconnected agendas aimed at building inclusive and stable environments and preventing possible atrocities. A core part of the centre's role will be to draw on expertise from across HMG and beyond to support the UK's work on conflict, including from civil society, academia, and the private sector, and through cooperation with bilateral partners and multilateral organisations.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps are being taken to vaccinate his Department's staff in missions overseas.

FCDO and MOD have worked together to deliver supplies of Covid-19 vaccine to over 30,000 people at more than 200 posts around the world since the end of February. This distribution is aligned to the UK national programme covering staff and dependants for whom the UK Government has duty of care. FCDO staff in the UK have access to the NHS programme in the same way as everyone else.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risk to the Rohingya population in Myanmar of the recent coup; and what diplomatic steps he is taking to help protect the Rohingya from further violence.

Our assessment is that the coup in Myanmar may increase the risks faced by the Rohingya population. We are in close contact with networks on the ground in Rakhine to monitor risks of atrocities, human rights abuses and deterioration in the humanitarian and health situation in camps and villages.

We continue to regularly raise the challenges facing the Rohingya diplomatically. Most recently in the UN Security Council Presidential Statement agreed on 10 March. The UK has provided over £44 million to all communities in Rakhine since 2017, including over £25 million for the Rohingya.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent claims made by the COVAX facility in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina's vaccine distribution capability; and what steps he is taking with international partners to support vaccine delivery in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

COVAX is the key multilateral mechanism for delivering global equitable access to vaccines, and hopes to deliver two billion doses to 192 countries in less than a year. It has been working with its members - including Bosnia and Herzegovina - on distribution and roll-out plans, and has recently announced the first tranche of vaccine allocations, which will provide protection to the most vulnerable across the globe. We understand Bosnia and Herzegovina will receive both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines in the coming months as part of this first tranche. It is for members to work with COVAX directly, where appropriate involving relevant partners such as regional bodies, on procurement, delivery and distribution of doses. The UK will continue to put equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines at the heart of our international approach. We remain a leading supporter of COVAX and, having already contributed £548 million, I am pleased to say we are one of the largest donors to its Advanced Market Commitment, which provides donor-funded vaccine doses to the 92 most vulnerable countries.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s technical support to the Peshmerga Ministry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

We continue to provide the Kurdish Peshmerga with technical and military support to enhance their capacity and capability to tackle the threat from Daesh. To date, the UK has trained over 9,100 Peshmerga fighters. During my (Minister Cleverly's) visit to Erbil in December, I discussed the need to continue supporting Peshmerga reform with the Kurdistan Regional Government, in order to ensure a unified and modernised Peshmerga. To this aim, the UK and other multi-national partners are, in concert with the global Coalition and the Kurdistan Regional Government, working closely on a Peshmerga Reform Programme.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the purpose is of his Department’s technical support to the Peshmerga Ministry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

We continue to provide the Kurdish Peshmerga with technical and military support to enhance their capacity and capability to tackle the threat from Daesh. To date, the UK has trained over 9,100 Peshmerga fighters. During my (Minister Cleverly's) visit to Erbil in December, I discussed the need to continue supporting Peshmerga reform with the Kurdistan Regional Government, in order to ensure a unified and modernised Peshmerga. To this aim, the UK and other multi-national partners are, in concert with the global Coalition and the Kurdistan Regional Government, working closely on a Peshmerga Reform Programme.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support the UK Government is providing for the protection of (a) biodiversity and (b) aquatic biodiversity in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Since 2012, the Government's Darwin Plus Programme has committed £22 million towards 122 individual projects across the Overseas Territories, supporting conservation in marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments, this has included funding for 15 projects in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the most recent round of Darwin Plus, there were three successful projects working exclusively in the Turks and Caicos Islands, totalling over £800,000, including a project to improve the evidence base on marine and coastal assets in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) has also supported the drafting of territory specific biosecurity legislation, which has included funding for specific legal expertise.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to take forward the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina following reports that a new High Representative will be installed in the next six months.

The United Kingdom is an active partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina, supporting its transition to a peaceful, functional and multi-ethnic state, and its Euro-Atlantic future. We are using our political influence and programme assistance to help bring about reforms in the rule of law and justice, defence and security, democracy, human rights and the economy. We work together on tackling COVID-19 and building back stronger. Our COP26 Presidency positions us to advocate for real action on climate change. We champion reconciliation and a focus on a shared future which encourages the disillusioned to stay; and we call out the ethnic division which looks backwards. In this we engage with the authorities at all levels, but also civil society organisations, youth and women, the media, business and academia. Working with international partners is key to achieving progress. This includes the Office of the High Representative, which continues to have the United Kingdom's full support.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which countries his Department provides with (a) funding and (b) support for the protection of LGBTQ+ (i) freedoms and (ii) human rights.

The UK plays an active role across the world in support of LGBT rights. We work through our embassies and high commissions and through international organisations, including the UN, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Commonwealth, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT people, and to address discriminatory laws. In our role as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) with Argentina, we are ambitious about what we can achieve through delivery of the ERC's first UK led strategy that seeks to shape, guide and re-energise the ERC's work to advance LGBT equality.

Due to its highly sensitive and sometimes dangerous nature, it would not be appropriate to specify the countries our LGBT programmes operate in, but we have consistently committed funding to LGBT rights programme work. In addition to funding through our UK Aid Connect Programme and International Programme Fund, in October, we announced £3.2m of new funding to continue the work we announced during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 that works with civil society to support countries seeking legislative reform. We also prioritised £800,000 of funding for The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) to support civil society work to advance LGBT equality.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in which countries the UK Government is supporting efforts to end LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

The UK plays an active role across the world in support of LGBT rights. We work through our embassies and high commissions and through international organisations, including the UN, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Commonwealth, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT people, and to address discriminatory laws. In our role as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) with Argentina, we are ambitious about what we can achieve through delivery of the ERC's first UK led strategy that seeks to shape, guide and re-energise the ERC's work to advance LGBT equality.

Due to its highly sensitive and sometimes dangerous nature, it would not be appropriate to specify the countries our LGBT programmes operate in, but we have consistently committed funding to LGBT rights programme work. In addition to funding through our UK Aid Connect Programme and International Programme Fund, in October, we announced £3.2m of new funding to continue the work we announced during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 that works with civil society to support countries seeking legislative reform. We also prioritised £800,000 of funding for The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) to support civil society work to advance LGBT equality.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in which countries his Department is (a) funding programmes or (b) supporting bilateral or multilateral efforts to protect the freedoms and international human rights of LGBTQ+ people.

The UK plays an active role across the world in support of LGBT rights. We work through our embassies and high commissions and through international organisations, including the UN, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Commonwealth, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT people, and to address discriminatory laws. In our role as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) with Argentina, we are ambitious about what we can achieve through delivery of the ERC's first UK led strategy that seeks to shape, guide and re-energise the ERC's work to advance LGBT equality.

Due to its highly sensitive and sometimes dangerous nature, it would not be appropriate to specify the countries our LGBT programmes operate in, but we have consistently committed funding to LGBT rights programme work. In addition to funding through our UK Aid Connect Programme and International Programme Fund, in October, we announced £3.2m of new funding to continue the work we announced during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 that works with civil society to support countries seeking legislative reform. We also prioritised £800,000 of funding for The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) to support civil society work to advance LGBT equality.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps are being taken to protect the (a) barking gecko and (b) other species endemic to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The UK is providing technical advice and support to the Overseas Territories, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, to increase their capacity in dealing with the very real threats posed by invasive non-native species affecting biodiversity and endemic species such as the barking gecko and Turks and Caicos rock iguana.

Through the Darwin Plus funding scheme, UK funding has been used to support a project protecting the critically endangered Turks and Caicos rock iguana. This project addresses the need for effective biosecurity plans for two offshore islands in the Turks and Caicos Islands where there is an urgent need to protect threatened native wildlife, particularly globally important reptile populations, against invasive species. One of the project's key achievements is the stabilisation of the iguana population, leading to the reptile being downlisted on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List from Critically Endangered to Endangered in 2019.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the state of bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq; and what steps his Department is taking to improve relations in that region.

The UK continues to work closely with both the Government of Iraq (GoI) and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in order to support ongoing political, economic, and security cooperation. The UK has frequent Ministerial and official engagement with GoI and KRG leadership on this matter. Most recently, the UK's Defence Senior Advisor for the Middle East and HM Ambassador to Iraq met with both GoI and KRG leadership on 18-19 November to discuss the need for ongoing security and economic cooperation.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the refusal of the World Healthy Assembly at its 73rd plenary to consider Taiwan for membership of the Assembly; and what steps the UK and allied countries are taking to ensure that Taiwan is recognised in global health forums.

The UK continues to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite. This includes the World Health Organization (WHO), where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution. The UK recently worked alongside likeminded countries to lobby the WHO at official level to issue an invitation to Taiwan to observe this month's World Health Assembly and continues to lobby the WHO to allow Taiwan to participate in all relevant WHO technical meetings. Lessons learnt from Taiwan's effective tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic adds significant value to the international fight against the virus.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports that the Chinese People's Liberation Army has built a full-scale replica of Taiwan’s presidential office building to serve as a military training complex; and whether the UK plans to provide Taiwan with appropriate assistance to preserve its existing status.

We are concerned by any action which raises tensions in the region and risks destabilising the status quo. HMG considers the Taiwan issue one to be settled by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to use the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to trace missing family members of the Uighur community on a similar basis to that previously used in Syria.

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund does not operate in China. The Government nevertheless remains committed to promoting the human rights of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. On 30 June, the UK read out a statement on behalf of 27 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting concerns about arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions in Xinjiang. On 9 March, the Foreign Secretary raised the same concerns with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to (a) monitor and (b) sanction (i) the Russian Wagner Group and (ii) other groups active in Libya in violation of international law.

The UK is concerned about reports of Russian Wagner Group personnel and other external actors operating in Libya. We take seriously violations of International Humanitarian Law and breaches of sanctions, including the UN arms embargo. We continue to stress to all states the necessity of complying with and enforcing international law. The UK carefully considers all reports of sanctions breaches, including the reports of the UN Panel of Experts, and regularly reviews sanctions measures.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential political effect of proposed amendments to section 81 of the Cayman Islands' constitution which would (a) remove the power of the Governor to legislate when the Cayman Islands Government Legislature fails to act to protect human rights, (b) require Caymanian citizens seeking redress in their home jurisdiction to travel to London to do so from either the Crown or Parliament and (c) potentially leave the UK in breach of a range of international commitments.

The process of amending the Cayman Islands Constitution is not yet complete. All elements of the constitutional reform package have been extensively reviewed to ensure that human rights in the Cayman Islands are protected and that the UK Government's ability to uphold its international law commitments is maintained.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department (a) provides and (b) plans to provide support for rural households and businesses that rely on oil to heat their premises.

The Government recognises the challenges many are facing with pressures on household budgets, due to unprecedented global commodity volatility related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Consumers of heating oil will be eligible for the £200 Energy Bills Support Scheme from Autumn, as long as they are also domestic electricity customers. Since April, households in council bands A-D have also already begun receiving a £150 rebate.

Financial support remains available for heating customers with energy bills, if eligible, through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment Schemes.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department is making on the potential merits of adjusting Care Workers Mileage Tax Rebates in light of increasing petrol prices.

The Government sets the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) rates to minimise administrative burdens. AMAP rates aim to reflect running costs including fuel, servicing and depreciation. Depreciation is estimated to constitute the most significant proportion of the AMAP rate.

Employers are not required to use the AMAPs rates. Instead, they can agree to reimburse the actual cost incurred, where individuals can provide evidence of the expenditure, without an Income Tax or National Insurance charge arising.

Alternatively, they can choose to pay a different mileage rate that better reflects their care workers’ circumstances. However, if the payment exceeds the amount due under AMAPs, and this results in a profit for the individual, they will be liable to pay Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on the difference.

The Government keeps this policy under review.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Republika Srpska raising £350 million on the London Stock Exchange, what steps the Government has taken to prevent entities potentially seeking to undermine international agreements from using the London Stock Exchange to raise funds.

The Financial Conduct Authority is the competent authority for listings on regulated markets in the UK, such as the London Stock Exchange. Companies seeking to admit securities to the Official List must apply to the UK Listing Authority, a division of the Financial Conduct Authority. A decision as to whether or not to grant an application for listing is entirely a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority.
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria his Department is using to assess possible relocations under the Places for Growth programme.

At Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Government’s new economic campus will be located in Darlington. There will be at least 750 roles based there, across teams from HM Treasury, the Department for International Trade, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Office for National Statistics. The Places for Growth relocation strategy prioritises skills and local talent over cost reductions, providing better value for money for the taxpayer. This is just one part of the Government’s Places for Growth programme which will relocate Civil Servants and public bodies, functions and departmental activities outside of London and the South East.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on (a) the allocation of long-term funding for local authorities and (b) increasing the budget allocated for local authorities.

HM Treasury Ministers have regular discussions with Ministers at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The financial sustainability of local authorities remains a core priority for this Government. The 2020-21 local government finance settlement, which was approved by the House of Commons on the 24th February, will deliver the biggest year-on-year real terms increase in councils’ spending power for a decade. The future funding of local authorities is a matter for the next Spending Review.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to help prevent white diesel thefts following the changes to use of rebated diesel introduced from 1 April 2022.

The Government is working closely with police and industry partners to do everything we can collectively to drive down acquisitive crime, including theft of diesel.

The Home Office funded the set-up of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP), which ensures national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle crime affecting rail networks, utility, agricultural and construction companies. Reports of fuel theft are being mapped through this Partnership to provide insights on the scale of these thefts and potential preventative measures.

Fuel users who store any type of diesel in tanks or in vehicles and machinery on their site(s) should continue to take steps to ensure this is stored securely. Practical crime prevention advice is published on the Secured by Design website, developed by the Police Crime Prevention Initiatives: https://www.securedbydesign.com/guidance/crime-prevention-advice/fuel-theft.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to investigate and prosecute people who abuse positions of trust by commencing relationships with people under the age of 18.

The Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy affirms the Government’s commitment to ensuring there are no safe spaces for offenders to abuse and exploit vulnerable children.

The criminal law is clear: any sexual activity with a child under 16 is a criminal offence, regardless of whether consent is given. Any non-consensual sexual activity is also a crime, whatever the age of the victim and whatever the relationship between the victim and perpetrator.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 also contains a number of offences which criminalise sexual activity with a child under the age of 18 by people who hold a “position of trust” in respect of that young person even if such activity is consensual, effectively raising the age of consent from 16 to 18 in those circumstances.

We are committed to protecting children and young people from sexual abuse. That is why, following a review of the law in this area, we are including measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill introduced on 9 March, to widen the current offences which prevent adults in a position of trust from engaging in sexual relationships with young people under the age of 18, bringing sports coaches and religious leaders in line with other occupations such as teachers and doctors.

We have also strengthened law enforcement capacity and capability through funding for projects like the police Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme and have given police a range of powers to respond to people who pose a risk to children. We have further committed within the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse strategy to strengthen civil orders used to manage the risk posed by sex offenders and those who pose a risk of sexual harm, once a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the participation of Overseas Territories in the Protected Person's Scheme.

The UKPPS provides protection to those judged to be at risk of serious harm where the protection arrangements required are not available to the local police or referring Agency.

UKPPS works with international partners as appropriate and as required, within the UKs judicial framework.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the level of risk under the Prevent programme of the European Institute for Human Sciences and its operations in the UK.

Prevent works closely with local people and organisations to stop vulnerable people being drawn into terrorism. Any indication that an individual or organisation is radicalising others is investigated and, if substantiated, appropriate multi-agency action is taken to address it. There are tried and tested mechanisms in place to address extremism in the charity sector.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her predecessor's speech on 20 May 2019, what timeframe applies to the Government’s review of the Treason laws.

The risks posed to the UK from hostile states have both grown and diversified and we have to ensure that we have the necessary powers to meet current and evolving threats to the UK, both domestically and overseas.

The Home Office is reviewing the legislation relating to hostile state activity to assess whether additional powers are required to clamp down on the activities of hostile states which threaten the UK.

The Treason Acts along with other relevant Acts are being considered as part of the Home Office’s ongoing wider review of legislation. This work is ongoing and has not reached conclusions yet.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions his Department has had with (a) NATO allies and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the sale of military jets to Serbia in the context of the (i) level of risk of escalation in Bosnia and (ii) failure of Serbia to sanction Russia.

The Government carefully considers its support to Defence exports given the range of opportunities they can provide to support the UK industrial base and expand our global economic and security partnerships. Export licences are granted only in accordance with the UK’s robust Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, which provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the possible impact of providing equipment and capabilities. We do not issue licences where we determine there is a clear risk that the items would, overall, undermine peace and security.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has had discussions with NATO allies on the sale of military jets to Serbia; and whether his Department has made an assessment of the (i) level of risk of escalation in Bosnia and (ii) implications for its policies of the absence of Serbian sanctions against Russia in the context of that matter.

The Government carefully considers its support to Defence exports given the range of opportunities they can provide to support the UK industrial base and expand our global economic and security partnerships. Export licences are granted only in accordance with the UK’s robust Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, which provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the possible impact of providing equipment and capabilities. We do not issue licences where we determine there is a clear risk that the items would, overall, undermine peace and security.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Hikvision CCTV, or other surveillance software or equipment from Hikvision, is used on any property owned or administered by his Department.

As has been the case under successive Governments, it is not Defence policy to comment on the security arrangements of our establishments and sites. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is making provisions for the council tax rebate to be given to people living in business-provided living accommodation.

The rebate is available to occupants of property in council tax bands A – D who are liable for council tax. This includes those in business-provided living accommodation. If the council tax bill is usually paid by the employer on the occupant’s behalf, the council will contact the occupant to arrange a payment method. Anyone not eligible for the rebate but in financial hardship can apply to their local council’s discretionary fund for support.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the resumption of the Fair Funding Review.

The Government announced last year that it would not proceed with the implementation of the Review of Relative Needs and Resources (formerly the Fair Funding Review) and 75% Business Rates Retention in 2021-22. This decision was broadly welcomed by the sector as it has allowed both the government and councils to focus on meeting the immediate public health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the pandemic is through, we will take stock of the demands faced by councils and the resources available to meet them and will decide on the timetable for future funding reform. Final decisions will be taken in the context of the upcoming Spending Review.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what metrics his Department uses to assess the efficiency and value-for-money of local government spending.

The Department uses a wide range of qualitative and quantitative information to assist with policy making.

All local authorities are required by law to deliver a balanced budget and secure value for money in spending decisions. The “best value duty” (Local Government Act 1999) requires continuous improvement, combining economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Local authorities are also required to publish annual accounts which must be certified by independent auditors. The Redmond Review recommends a new, simple to understand Value for Money Statement to improve accessibility to taxpayers and to ensure local authority decisions can be properly scrutinised by the electorate.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including factors relating to the efficiency of local Government spending in any funding review.

The Government is committed to directing resources to the highest priority areas and giving councils increased flexibility in balancing the contribution of national and local taxpayers in funding local services. Within the time horizons of a one-year Spending Review, our aim has also been to offer as much stability as we can through our approach to funding allocations for 2021-22.

Looking beyond 2021-22, we will revisit the priorities for financial reform ahead of the Spending Review later this year. When we re-examine the reform programme, we will consider the relative needs of local authorities, the resources local authorities are able to generate locally, and how we can encourage local authorities to run services efficiently.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of developing incentive structures in central government funding allocations to local authorities to encourage efficiency in the provision of local services.

The Government is committed to directing resources to the highest priority areas and giving councils increased flexibility in balancing the contribution of national and local taxpayers in funding local services. Within the time horizons of a one-year Spending Review, our aim has also been to offer as much stability as we can through our approach to funding allocations for 2021-22.

Looking beyond 2021-22, we will revisit the priorities for financial reform ahead of the Spending Review later this year. When we re-examine the reform programme, we will consider the relative needs of local authorities, the resources local authorities are able to generate locally, and how we can encourage local authorities to run services efficiently.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Fair Funding Review includes consideration of rural indicators.

The Government is undertaking a review of the relative needs and resources of local authorities in England. We are working closely with local government representatives and others to examine all of the available evidence for the costs faced by authorities. This includes how factors such as rurality, sparsity and other geographical features affect the cost of delivering services across the country, and how to account for these in a robust manner.

Our aim is to consult on all aspects of the review in the Spring, and implement the review in 2021-22.

13th Jan 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure the equity of local government funding in order to tackle rural disadvantage.

The Government takes funding for rural communities very seriously. Our Fair Funding Review will take a robust, evidence-based approach to assessing the costs of delivering services in all areas.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, of the total convictions recorded in the last five years involving a crime committed by a prisoner against a prison officer or another employee of Her Majesty's Prison Service, how many and what proportion of those convictions resulted in an additional (non-concurrent) sentence for the perpetrator.

Violence against our hardworking staff will not be tolerated and any prisoner who commits an act of violence will be held to account.

Currently, data is not held centrally on the number of convictions for crimes committed by a prisoner against prison employees. This is being reviewed with the aim to collate data from all establishments for all crimes committed in prison, whilst also creating guidance on how to appropriately refer crimes committed in prison to the police.

The ‘Crime in Prison Referral Agreement’ was created in May 2019 and sets out the agreement between Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The aim is to ensure that acts of criminality that occur in prison are appropriately addressed within the Criminal Justice System.

In line with the Crime in Prison Referral Agreement, assaults against members of staff will be referred to the police for investigation and consideration for prosecution. Less serious assaults, where there is little or no injury, are more appropriately dealt with by the prison disciplinary system.

The courts retain the discretion to decide whether sentences should be served concurrently or consecutively, based on the facts of the case. The Sentencing Council’s Totality guideline provides courts with guidance on whether sentences should be served concurrently or consecutively. Where the individual is serving a determinate sentence and commits another offence after the original sentence was imposed, the new sentence will generally be consecutive to the original sentence.

Our Assaults on Emergency Workers Act increased the maximum penalty for to 12 months and we recently announced we will double the penalty further to two years.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many attacks on prison officers occurred in the last five years by (a) year and (b) type of offence.

Please see the attached table showing the number of prisoner assaults on staff, by offence of prisoner, 2016 to 2019 and January to September 2020 and the number of assaults on staff for 2015.

Violence against our hard-working prison officers is unacceptable and will never be tolerated, and we work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to bring the perpetrators to justice. Additionally, as outlined in our Sentencing White Paper, we will double the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker from 12 months to two years.

We are also giving officers tools like PAVA pepper spray and body-worn cameras to make their jobs safer, as well as access to post incident care teams, occupational health support and counselling for those who need it. More widely, we are spending £100 million to bolster prison security, clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence and crime behind bars. This is funding tough measures including X-ray body scanners, drug dogs and phone-blocking technology.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of (a) the UK Council of Psychotherapy Conversion Therapy Consensus Statement, published in June 2014, and (b) the decisions of the governments of (i) Germany, with reference to the BBC News article of 8 May 2020 entitled Germany passes law banning gay conversion therapy for minors, and (ii) Canada, with reference to amendments by the Canadian Government to the Criminal Code of Canada, to ban conversion therapy; and what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on bringing forward legislative proposals to ban practice of that therapy.

The Government takes this issue very seriously and fundamentally disagrees with attempts to forcibly change someone’s sexuality. I am working with colleagues across Government on this issue, and we will outline plans to end its practice in due course.

As part of ongoing engagement with healthcare stakeholders and other Government Departments, GEO officials have been reviewing all relevant statements, including the 2014 statement and more recent developments, in order to inform thinking around future proposals.

We are aware of the developments that have been made in Germany, Canada and elsewhere. Officials are in discussion with international policy counterparts, in order to fully understand the detail around their measures, and to inform the UK’s next steps.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support is his Department provides to prison officers who have been a victim of crime at work.

Prison Officers are some of our finest public servants, and we do not underestimate the challenges faced by everyone working in prisons. We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and providing prison officers with the right support, training and tools to empower them to do their jobs.

We provide post-incident care teams, occupational health support and counselling for members of staff who are assaulted while doing their job and we are currently rolling out TRiM (Trauma Risk Management), a trauma-focused peer support system designed to help people who have experienced a traumatic event.

We are rolling out body worn cameras, police-style restraints and PAVA incapacitant spray to prison officers to help them do their job more safely.

We have recruited more than 4,200 new prison officers over the past four years and we’re investing £2.75 billion to transform the estate, to make prisons safer and cut crime behind bars.

Prisoners who assault staff should feel the full force of the law. We are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure prosecutions of prisoners who assault staff along with the strongest possible punishment being imposed. The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act increases sentences for those who assault prison officers.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many instances of (a) trespass on land under section 61 and (b) aggravated trespass on land under section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 have taken place in each of the last five years.

Prosecutions, convictions and sentencing outcomes up to the year ending December 2018 are available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool’, available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/804510/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2018.xlsx

To identify prosecutions, convictions and sentences for the above offences, filter ‘Offence code’ by

(a) ‘12522’ for trespass on land under section 61.

(b) ‘12533’ for aggravated trespass on land under section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

In each case, the number of individuals prosecuted, convicted and sentenced can be found in rows 31, 32, and 33, respectively.