Andrea Jenkyns Portrait

Andrea Jenkyns

Conservative - Morley and Outwood

Assistant Whip

(since September 2021)
European Scrutiny Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 4th Jul 2022
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
21st Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Monday 4th July 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 282 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 218 Noes - 282
Speeches
Wednesday 14th July 2021
Dog and Cat Meat Trade
I beg to move,

That this House has considered Government efforts to end the global dog and cat meat trade. …
Written Answers
Monday 18th October 2021
Cancer: Diagnosis
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the levels …
Early Day Motions
Monday 13th May 2019
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION'S WORLD HAND HYGIENE DAY
That this House notes that 5 May 2019 marks the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Hand Hygiene Day; recognises that …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 18th October 2021
1. Employment and earnings
10 September 2021, received £200 from the BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA, for appearing on Any Questions. …
EDM signed
Monday 24th February 2020
Tackling online harm to children with a duty of care regulator
That this House notes the publication of the Online Harms White Paper in April 2019 and subsequent assurances by the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Andrea Jenkyns has voted in 452 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Andrea Jenkyns voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Andrea Jenkyns 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
(13 debate interactions)
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
(3 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(3 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(6 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(4 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Andrea Jenkyns's debates

Morley and Outwood 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

Many missing microchipped pets are never reunited as it’s optional to scan & check microchip registration. It’s time veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues checked pet & keeper match on the original database at a pets 1st consultation or yearly checkup. It’s their only chance to get home

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.


Latest EDMs signed by Andrea Jenkyns

13th January 2020
Andrea Jenkyns signed this EDM on Monday 24th February 2020

Tackling online harm to children with a duty of care regulator

Tabled by: Jo Stevens (Labour - Cardiff Central)
That this House notes the publication of the Online Harms White Paper in April 2019 and subsequent assurances by the Government that they will introduce a robust regulator to safeguard children online; further notes that over 45,000 people signed the NSPCC’s Wild West Web petition calling for statutory regulation so …
68 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Nov 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 56
Scottish National Party: 4
Conservative: 3
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Alba Party: 1
5th February 2020
Andrea Jenkyns signed this EDM on Monday 24th February 2020

Permanent Funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit

Tabled by: John Spellar (Labour - Warley)
That this House notes the success of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit through its intelligence-led role in the prevention and detection of crimes relating to a wide range of wildlife issues; recognises that the unit provides specialist skills, knowledge and expertise to the Police, UK Border Force, HM Revenue …
94 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 35
Scottish National Party: 28
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
Conservative: 7
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Andrea Jenkyns's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Andrea Jenkyns, 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.


Andrea Jenkyns has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Andrea Jenkyns has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Andrea Jenkyns has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Andrea Jenkyns has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


252 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
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to encourage civil servants based in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) England to return to their offices full time.

Departments, as separate employers, have the flexibility to make their own corporate decisions on working arrangements. Throughout the pandemic, many Cabinet Office staff have continued to work in the office in order to deliver key functions, in line with government guidance. We are now steadily and safely increasing numbers in the office, in line with the latest government guidance and as building risk assessments are reviewed and updated.

We continue to communicate regularly with our staff about our plans.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of people who have died since 1 July 2021 with covid-19 listed as a cause of death on their death certificate have also had other causes of death listed.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what percentage of deaths with covid-19 noted as a cause since 1st July 2021 have been in those who have not received a dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of deaths with covid-19 noted as a cause since 1 July 2021 have been in people with underlying health conditions.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will take steps to clarify what (a) legal requirements and (b) Government guidelines apply to businesses in the event that further easing of covid-19 restrictions is announced for the 19 July 2021.

Regulations that place COVID-secure requirements on businesses, including table service, and distancing between tables, will be lifted. ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated to provide examples of sensible precautions that employers can take to reduce risk in their workplaces. Employers should take account of this guidance in preparing the risk assessments they are already required to make under pre-pandemic health and safety rules.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the safety of political campaigners when out campaigning.

The abuse and intimidation of those engaging in political campaigning is completely unacceptable. The Government takes the security and integrity of elections, and those participating in elections, very seriously. We have coordinated structures in place to support the secure delivery of democratic events. The police lead on local security incidents, and reported incidents will be addressed by the relevant authorities as appropriate.

There is a range of security advice provided on GOV.UK to support the safety of those participating in elections. In a Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS833) on 9 March I set out a number of actions the Government is taking to tackle intimidation in public life. Amongst those actions, the Elections Bill will introduce a new electoral sanction which bans someone convicted of intimidating a political campaigner from standing for and holding elected office for five years.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Department has to reform public purchasing procurement rules to promote domestic industry.

The Government recognises the vital role that industry has played in helping to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak and in leading the recovery from the pandemic.

We have recently published our Green Paper setting out proposals and demonstrating the possibilities for public procurement rules reform. Our proposals are wide-ranging and are designed to better meet national needs by cutting red tape, reducing bureaucracy and helping to unleash wider social benefits from public money spent on procurement whilst respecting our international obligations.

Along with the above, we want British business to be in the best competitive position to win international contracts. To this end, our membership of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement gives British businesses access to £1.3 trillion in public procurement opportunities overseas.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure the impartiality of the choice of independent reviewer who will be appointed to carry out the compensation study for victims of the Infected Blood tragedy.

The timetable for the compensation study will be finalised after the terms of reference have been agreed, but we expect the study to be completed and published before the Inquiry concludes its work.

The independent reviewer will be selected from a shortlist of candidates with the professional standing, skills, and expertise to undertake the study. The shortlist of candidates will be proposed by the Civil Service. The name of the reviewer will be announced shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 25 March 2021, HCWS895 on infected blood update, what the planned timescale is for his Department to (a) publish and (b) implement the framework for compensation for victims of the Infected Blood tragedy.

The timetable for the compensation study will be finalised after the terms of reference have been agreed, but we expect the study to be completed and published before the Inquiry concludes its work.

The independent reviewer will be selected from a shortlist of candidates with the professional standing, skills, and expertise to undertake the study. The shortlist of candidates will be proposed by the Civil Service. The name of the reviewer will be announced shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage entrepreneurs to set up new businesses in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire.

A wide range of support and funding is available in Morley and Outwood and across West Yorkshire for businesses at all stages, from start-ups and early-stage companies to established businesses that are ready to expand and grow.

With BEIS funding support, the Leeds City Region Growth Hub provides a single point of access to a wide range of national and local support and funding, delivering impartial advice and support to businesses of all sizes and stages of growth. The Growth Hub can signpost the most effective support to individual businesses and entrepreneurs, including the following key products.

The Start Up Loans Company, part of the Government-owned British Business Bank, provides loans and pre- and post-application support to new entrepreneurs, including a year of free business mentoring for successful applicants. Since the Start Up Loans programme was launched in 2012, 123 loans have been delivered worth over £1.2m in Morley and Outwood, while across West Yorkshire 2,784 loans have been delivered worth £25.9m.

Business support in Morley and Outwood and across West Yorkshire also includes the Business Growth Programme, which comprises capital investment grants for businesses focussed on productivity, innovation, digital, resource efficiency and new start enterprises. Supported by £7m from Government’s Getting Building Fund, it is available to existing businesses and inward investors.

The Ad:Venture programme is a dedicated business start-up programme, with young West Yorkshire businesses benefitting from a tailored mix of practical advice, coaching, academic support, incubation work space, finance brokerage and low rate loans. To July 2021, 258 businesses in Leeds and 54 in Wakefield have benefitted from the programme, with £2.3m grant awarded to 471 businesses across West Yorkshire.

This support will be enhanced by an Entrepreneurship Support Package as part of the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan, with boosting support for entrepreneurship across West Yorkshire a key priority. This package will use at least £6m of investment funds provided by Government through the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal and is focused on helping individuals in the region to explore and establish new businesses, including a £1m Business Start-Up Programme to assist with financial planning, business structure and tax, sales and marketing, access to finance and recruiting staff.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the waiting time for specialised transport vehicles.

We recognise the ongoing challenges facing industrialised truck and specialised vehicle manufacturing as a result of Covid-19. The Government has been supporting the economy through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development.

The Government regularly engages with manufacturers and manufacturing trade associations on opportunities to support the growth and competitiveness of manufacturing sectors in the UK.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the waiting time for industrial trucks.

We recognise the ongoing challenges facing industrialised truck and specialised vehicle manufacturing as a result of Covid-19. The Government has been supporting the economy through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development.

The Government regularly engages with manufacturers and manufacturing trade associations on opportunities to support the growth and competitiveness of manufacturing sectors in the UK.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent the long-term loss of labour-market participation among people under the age of 35 as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government is committed to supporting everyone who has been affected by the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the labour market. From the outset of this pandemic, we have as a country put our arms around UK workers. The Government has acted decisively to provide an amazing package of support to protect people’s jobs, businesses and livelihoods.

In order to help keep people employed and prevent the loss of labour-market participation during the pandemic we have put in place a huge package of support to businesses which has enabled them to continue operating. This includes business grants to support those required to close; the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which has seen 1.5 million loans approved worth over £46 billion; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme which has seen over 98,000 loans approved worth over £23 billion and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan scheme which has seen 716 loans approved worth £5.3 billion.

Additionally our new Recovery Loan Scheme opened for applications in April, and new Restart Grants (totalling around £3.4 billion) will support businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England to enable them to reopen and creating jobs as restrictions are eased.

The Government is also supporting those who have become unemployed during the pandemic back into work. Through Plan for Jobs, the Government invested over £30bn in measures to create, support and protect jobs. This included over £3bn investment in the Kickstart programme and additional 13,500 Work Coaches in our Jobcentres, as well as other measures focussed on boosting work search, skills and apprenticeships.

At the Spending Review 2020, my Rt Hon friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed an additional £2.9bn funding for the Restart Scheme, to support people to find work quickly by providing intensive and tailored support to people in England and Wales who have been unemployed for over 12 months.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to develop green hydrogen production across the UK.

Low carbon hydrogen will be vital for meeting our legally binding commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, with potential to help decarbonise vital UK industry sectors and provide flexible deployment across heat, power and transport.

Working with industry, the UK is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

The UK has expertise and assets to support both electrolytic (green) and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) enabled (blue) hydrogen. Our twin track approach to enable both routes will drive cost effective supply volumes in the 2020s in line with our 2030 ambition, whilst scaling up green hydrogen. This approach is already in evidence in the Government’s £121m hydrogen innovation funding programme, the development of business models to stimulate private investment and the design of the £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund, confirmed out to 2025.

We will publish the first ever UK Hydrogen Strategy in the first half of this year which will set out the key steps needed in the 2020s to deliver our 5GW ambition and set the context for further scale up on the way to net zero.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support the domestic exploitation of raw materials for the electric car industry.

The Government recognises the importance of critical raw minerals for the development of zero emission vehicles. We are committed to building an agile, innovative and cost-competitive supply chain for these vehicles in the UK to support our commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Batteries for electric vehicles require a range of critical materials, including lithium. Government has supported a number of initiatives to find and use lithium in the UK, including work in Cornwall to develop lithium extraction plants.

The Government is also investing £318m in the Faraday Battery Challenge to put the UK at the global forefront of the design, development, manufacturing, and recycling of electric batteries. In addition, the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) aims to develop and embed at pace the next generation of cutting-edge zero emission automotive technologies in the UK. £500m of funding for the ATF will be made available in the next four years for businesses across the UK to fund investments across the whole supply chain.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the UK’s long-term ability to manufacture vaccines.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic, including:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine; and
  • Funding for fill and finish capability through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales. The Government have recently extended Wockhardt’s contract from 18 to 24 months, to ensure that we have uninterrupted fill and finish capability into 2022.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire; and
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support people to set up their own business once covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Government aims to make the United Kingdom the best place to start, grow and run a business. The Government provides a wide range of support and information for small businesses. The main source of information is the GOV.UK website, with support also available via the Business Support Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 and via the network of 38 local Growth Hubs in England.

The Government understands that accessing finance can be a barrier to small and medium businesses (SMEs) starting out. This is why we established the Start Up Loans programme in 2012. For those starting a new business or for businesses which have been trading for up to 24 months, the Start Up Loans Company provides loans of between £500 to £25,000 at a competitive rate of 6%. In addition to finance, every loan recipient is offered a dedicated mentoring service and access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business. The Start Up Loans programme, operated by the British Business Bank, has delivered almost 77,000 loans overall in the UK, supporting nearly £650 million of funding since the programme’s launch in 2012 to the end of September 2020.

In summer 2018, the British Business Bank also launched a website that offers independent and impartial information on different finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses. The site features infographics and checklists to help businesses get ‘investor ready’ as well as articles and guides from finance providers on how smaller businesses can identify and access finance suited to their growth ambitions. At its heart is the Finance Hub’s Finance Finder, a simple six-step tool that enables smaller business to explore and identify finance options suited to their needs. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Hub has been updated to clearly signpost the financial support options available for businesses during this period of economic uncertainty.

Further initiatives include the BEIS-led Small Business Leadership Programme and Peer-to-Peer networks, to help businesses build resilience and grow. The Young Innovators Programme was also launched by Innovate UK and the Prince’s Trust to support young entrepreneurs with tailored mentoring and access to £5,000 funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have closed in Morley and Outwood constituency since March 2020.

The Office for National Statistics has published information on business closures up to September 2020, but this is at a regional level and is not broken down to a constituency level. Information at a regional level for quarter 2 2020 (April to June 2020) and quarter 3 2020 (July to September 2020) on business closures forms part of ‘Business demography, quarterly experimental statistics, UK: July to September 2020.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/bulletins/businessdemographyquarterlyexperimentalstatisticsuk/julytoseptember2020

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on local economies in the Wakefield area.

Just over £66 million has been provided to businesses in Wakefield via the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund in the Financial Year 2020/21 Leeds City Region Growth Hub has been allocated £780k to engage and support businesses, including in Wakefield.

The Government has made clear that where businesses are required to close as part of localised restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of covid-19, further financial support will be made available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on local economies in the Leeds area.

Just over £155 million has been provided to businesses in Leeds via the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and in the Financial Year 2020/21 Leeds City Region Growth Hub has been allocated £780k to engage with businesses in this area.

The Government has made clear that where businesses are required to close as part of localised restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of covid-19, further financial support will be made available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to encourage (a) shops and (b) hospitality businesses to measure the temperature of customers before they enter their premises during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our approach is clinically led, based on the expert advice of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for England, the NHS and Public Health England. Putting the safety of all workers at the forefront of this guidance. We are led by the evolving science in this work and as the scientific and medical advice changes, the guidance will be updated to reflect this.

Businesses will want to do all they can to keep their staff and customers safe. They must conduct thorough risk assessments on how best to do that and ensure they can keep their business going. Guidance for businesses can be found at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timetable is for the reopening of beauty salons.

We have now provided other close contact services like beauty salons in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

We need to be confident services are able to reopen in a COVID-secure way for the staff and customers. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and our guidance has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish the data it holds on the level of carbon emissions during the covid-19 lockdown.

The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions data are compiled and published according to international requirements. We will be publishing provisional estimates of 2020 emissions in March 2021 based on provisional energy use data, and final estimates of 2020 emissions in February 2022. The greenhouse gas emission statistics we publish are available from the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-statistics.

The Department has however published data on energy use [link] during 2020 which shows for example that petrol and diesel sales in the seven weeks after 23 March 2020 were 39% the average levels of the prior eight weeks. The Committee on Climate Change’s 2020 Progress Report estimates that the UK’s daily CO2 emissions were around 30% lower than mean 2019 levels during the peak of the lockdown in April and May 2020 [link].

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the potential collapse of Sirius Minerals; and what support is available to shareholders in that company.

The offer made by Anglo-American to acquire Sirius Minerals is a commercial matter between the companies and their shareholders; therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to comment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on UK businesses of COVID-19.

The Government is closely monitoring developments of COVID-19 in relation to potential economic impacts on UK businesses, supply chains, and the wider economy.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the use of pressure selling techniques.

Legislation prohibits traders from using misleading or aggressive selling practices towards consumers. Preventing consumer rips offs like these is a key priority for the Government, and we will consult early this year on strengthening consumer enforcement arrangements further. Consumers who believe they have been a victim of pressure selling should report the matter through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk). Consumers living in Scotland should report the matter through Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 (www.consumeradvice.scot/).

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will bring forward proposals for a new financing model for the nuclear power industry to increase levels of funding in that sector.

We are committed to looking at alternative funding models that could improve the value for money of new nuclear projects. We have consulted on a Regulated Asset Base funding model as an option that could attract private sector capital at a lower cost to consumers. The consultation closed on 14 October 2019 and we are currently considering the feedback.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help preserve sites of historic significance in (a) Morley and Outwood and (b) West Yorkshire.

Though there have been no Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments designated in Morley and Outwood in the last two years, I can confirm that five Listed Buildings have been designated in West Yorkshire in this period - Clough House (Birstall); York Gate Gardens (Leeds); Grave of Charles Waterton (Wakefield); Gawthorpe Water Tower (Wakefield); and Manningham War Memorial (Bradford).

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps his Department has taken to prevent the spread of vaccine misinformation online.

The government takes the issue of disinformation very seriously. The Cross-Whitehall Counter Disinformation Unit located in DCMS was stood up on 5 March 2020, bringing together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities to tackle disinformation and misinformation, including relating to COVID-19.

The government is committed to ensuring that the information people access about COVID-19 and the vaccine is accurate, so that everyone is able to make informed decisions about their health. We are working with social media platforms to ensure promotion of authoritative sources of information, and to help them identify and remove incorrect claims about COVID-19 and the vaccine in line with their terms and conditions. We have also developed the SHARE checklist, which aims to increase audience resilience by educating and empowering those who see, inadvertently share and are affected by false and misleading information. The SHARE checklist provides five easy steps to help identify false content, encouraging users to stop and think before they share content online.

The Online Safety Bill will give companies clear legal responsibilities to understand the risk of harm to users and put in place systems and processes to improve user safety. The new laws will have robust and proportionate measures to deal with misinformation and disinformation that could cause significant physical or psychological harm to an individual, such as anti-vaccination content and falsehoods about COVID-19.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of properties in Morley and Outwood that are capable of receiving services that deliver internet speeds of over 1 gigabit per second.

The government is committed to delivering lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the country. Our plan - to stimulate investment, bust barriers and drive competition - is working. This is the biggest build in UK history with 60% of all households to have access to gigabit-capable speeds by the end of the year - a huge leap forward from 2019, when it was 9%. By 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

In March this year we launched the first phase of the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit to ensure that hard to reach communities are not left out of the revolution in connectivity. In August, we announced more details about our procurement pipeline and specifically, for the 2.2 million hard to reach premises in England in Phases 1 and 2 of the delivery plan. Further detail is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/project-gigabit-delivery-plan-summer-update.

West Yorkshire is in Phase 2 of the delivery plan. Formal procurement is planned to start in the region in November 2022. Based on current data, around 133,000 uncommercial premises will be targeted across the West Yorkshire (and parts of North Yorkshire) procurement lot.

As these large subsidised contracts progress, Project Gigabit also continues to help communities with up to £210m available in Project Gigabit vouchers to help with costs of installing gigabit to people’s doorsteps.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people in Morley and Outwood constituency to increase their average level of exercise in summer 2021.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and all generations and communities should be able to enjoy the health, wellbeing, social and other benefits of being active. Because of this, we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

From April 2020 to June 2021, we invested over £2,985,721 of Exchequer and Lottery funding in the Morley and Outwood area through Sport England. The majority of this were investments made to the local Active Partnership (Yorkshire Sport Foundation), totalling £2,866,572.

This includes awards of £615,827 to support the Active Partnership in helping schools to open their facilities outside of the school day and during school holidays and £168,000 investment as part of our Covid response, to help reduce the negative the impact of COVID-19 and the widening of inequalities, particularly targeting lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian Minority Ethnic communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

Sport England also invested £80,000 via their Community Asset Fund in February 2021 to support the construction of a new multi-use games area to be sited on the Queen Elizabeth playing field jointly owned by Leeds City Council.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to increase the average internet speed for properties in Morley and Outwood constituency.

It is the Government's view that the best way to achieve nationwide gigabit coverage is to create a competition-friendly environment in areas where deployment is commercially viable while focussing government funds on the 20% of the country where commercial deployment is unlikely. As a result of this approach, there is now a thriving market of over 80 providers rolling out gigabit broadband all over the UK.

Our strategy is working and this is no more evident than in the Morley and Outwood constituency with total Gigabit coverage now standing at 68.6% (significantly higher than the national average of 45%) according to figures from ThinkBroadband. Indeed, since January 2020, Gigabit coverage across the constituency has almost doubled which is testament to the competitive market we have facilitated.

This has a significant impact on average internet speed for properties in your constituency. In Q1 of 2019, average download speed in Morley and Outwood stood at 34Mbps, and today it stands at 58Mbps. Across the country today, over two in five premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the Government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage. The Government is also investing £5bn as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of children attaining the Government's recommended amount of exercise per week.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Our Sporting Future strategy sets out how important it is for all children to have a good experience of sport and physical activity while they are young.

The Government’s arm’s-length body, Sport England, has invested over £190 million into physical activity for children and young people over 2016-2021, including programmes such as the £40 million Families Fund, which encourages low-income families with children to do sport and physical activity together. Initiatives such as the Studio You video platform, funded by Sport England and powered by This Girl Can, are also encouraging more teenage girls to be active.

A key driver of the Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan (jointly published by the Department for Education, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Department for Health and Social Care in July 2019) is to ensure that all children and young people have access to at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This is supported by £320 million per year through the PE and sport premium. More recently, the Government has hosted roundtables on how to take support for young people even further, and has committed to updating the Government sport strategy, with children and young people central to this.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Culture Recovery Fund in supporting (a) businesses and (b) freelancers in (i) the Morley and Outwood constituency and (ii) West Yorkshire.

The Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to date, has seen over £1.2 billion awarded to over 5,000 organisations and sites, with 70% of grant funding going outside of London.

While freelancers have been supported through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which has so far helped 2.8m self employed people, it is also the case that the CRF had significant indirect benefits for freelancers. In Round 2, organisations were asked to estimate how many FTEs and freelancers were protected by the fund until the end of June. Collectively, applicants reported that 52,000 full time staff and almost 100,000 freelancers would be supported until the end of June.

The Morley and Outwood constituency has currently received £55,000 of awards from the fund, while West Yorkshire as a whole has seen over £49m of support through the CRF. The organisations in West Yorkshire supported through CRF2 have self-reported that these grants will help them to support over 2,500 freelancers until the end of June.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department plans to take to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Adwalton Moor.

The Battle of Adwalton Moor occurred on 30 June 1643 at Adwalton. It marked an important moment in the First English Civil War in the North of England, where the royalists, led by Earl of Newcastle defeated the Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax.

The present site is included on Historic England’s Battlefields Register

This country has a long and well-established tradition of commemorating historical events of national and local importance through memorials and celebratory events. It is not common practice however, for the Central Government to fund new memorials or events to mark significant events, instead we would urge the local community, both public sector and private individuals, to propose, fundraise, and develop commemorative events and monuments which best reflect the needs of their local community.

In terms of funding opportunities, I would urge the Hon Member to contact the National Lottery Heritage Fund. As the largest funder of heritage in the UK, The National Lottery Heritage Fund regularly supports projects focused on past people and events, and these are often timed to coincide with anniversaries.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Events Research Programme accurately assesses the risk of live events with crowds taking place in summer 2021 as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Public safety is our main priority and decisions on the Events Research Programme (ERP) are guided by a Science Board of experts—including senior Public Health England (PHE) representation—who take into account the latest public health data. All ERP pilot events are designed in a scientifically controlled way, and carefully consider ways to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

The ERP has been developed within a SAGE research framework, in line with the latest PHE and DHSC guidance, including on consent and ethical approval.

The evidence from these pilot events is being used to inform and shape Government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events across England.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department taking to encourage volunteers in engaging with local sports clubs.

The Government recognises the value of sport volunteering both to the sports that benefit and the volunteers themselves, and our sport and physical activity strategy, 'Sporting Future', emphasises the importance of volunteering.

Volunteering is a focus for Sport England’s new ten year strategy “Uniting the Movement”, published in January 2021. Their ambition is to place an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, skills and behaviours across the sporting workforce, to help open up and increase volunteering opportunities for people from a broader range of backgrounds and experiences.

Since 2016, Sport England has invested more than £5m of National Lottery funding in programmes to promote quality volunteering experiences and increase the diversity of volunteers who help to keep the nation active. Sport England supports local sports clubs to encourage and support volunteers through Club Matters. Club Matters provides free, convenient, practical resources to help organisations to develop, grow and become more sustainable and successful.

Sport England also works with stakeholders to look at the support and experience for volunteers within the sporting sector, focusing on what’s needed to make giving their time easy, meaningful and supported, and in doing so, reducing drop-out rates.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support the re-opening of (a) gyms and (b) group exercise classes as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April and as part of this indoor leisure (including gyms) for individual use will reopen. Step 3 will take place no earlier than 17 May and as part of this exercise classes can resume. This will be subject to social contact limits.

To ensure they can reopen the Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. The National Leisure Recovery Fund seeks to support eligible public sector leisure centres to reopen to the public, giving the sport and physical activity sector the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium term. A total of £100 million is available as a biddable fund to eligible local authorities in England.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is planning to take in response to the findings of the Consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion.

The government response to the consultation was published on 21 January. The response to the consultation shows that a significant number of people oppose the criminal sanction with some highlighting the considerable stress and anxiety it can cause for individuals, including the most vulnerable in society, such as older people.

However, changing the sanction for TV licence evasion would have wide-ranging impacts for licence fee payers, as well as potentially leading to a significant increase in fines for those evading payment.


The government will therefore keep the issue of decriminalisation under active consideration while more work is done to understand the impact of alternative enforcement schemes.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that large scale events can take place safely once covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

As announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 22 February, the government aims to reopen large events and closed settings in Step 4 of the Roadmap. To determine how and when we can lift the restrictions on large events and closed settings we will run a scientific Events Research Programme of pilots, starting in the Spring, to trial running events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing. This will include trialling ‘test-to-enable’ approaches to returning crowds to these settings.

In the interim, whilst the pilot programme runs, we will have capacity caps for events which will return in Step 3: Indoor events = lower of 1000 or 50% of capacity; Outdoor events = lower of 4000 or 50% of capacity; and for large seated outdoor venues, where crowds can be dispersed across a stadium, we will allow up to 10,000 people, or 25% of capacity - whichever is lower.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing support to sports clubs to encourage more people to take up more sports once national covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. The £300m Sports Winter Survival Package also aims to protect the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England over the winter period. On 22 October 2020, the Government also announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. We have no plans to provide additional bespoke support for indoor tennis centres.

In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has provided £220 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic. On 26 January Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them. We will also continue to promote exercise throughout the pandemic and encourage the usage of sports facilities when they are able to open again.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Department is taking to protect monuments of historical, artistic and local heritage importance from political protests.

Responsibility for the policing of political protests - including those focused on public statues and memorials - rests with the Home Office however, through its responsibility for the listing system, DCMS identifies those statues and memorials deemed to be of special architectural or historic interest, something that can inform the targeting of policing resources. DCMS has also reminded its arms-length bodies that it is Government policy that statues and memorials, however contentious, should be retained and their presence explained in order to help educate people about all aspects of Britain’s past.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of publicly-funded reviews of cultural monuments and institutions in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign by (a) Leeds Council, (b) Wakefield Council and (c) nationally.

Government does not hold this information. The vast majority of total funding for councils is not ring fenced, and as such councils are best placed to decide the most efficient way to fund their services in order to meet the needs of their communities.

The Government has set out a clear policy position, and DCMS has written to its arms length bodies to make this clear, that statues and memorials, however contentious, should be retained and their presence explained in order to help educate people about all aspects of Britain’s complex past.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to allocate funding to local authorities that undertake a review of public statues situated in their local authority areas.

The Government has no plans to provide funding for local reviews of public statues. Historic England, as the Government’s adviser on the historic environment, have set out why they believe removing difficult and contentious parts of the historic environment risks harming our understanding of our collective past. They and other heritage funding bodies invest significantly in improving public access to historical objects, providing contemporary interpretation of them and supporting diverse heritage projects around the country.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of non-Halal and Kosher meat options in schools.

The government sets out the required minimum standards for school food in the School Food Standards to ensure that children are served healthy, nutritious meals at school. The standards do not specify food requirements in terms of cultural and religious needs, including the type of meat used. The relevant regulations are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1603/pdfs/uksi_20141603_en.pdf.

School governing boards are responsible for setting their school food policies as head teachers, governors and their caterers are best placed to make decisions about their school food policies. The government expects schools to act reasonably, providing choices that take account of cultural, religious, and special dietary needs, and to work with parents in making appropriate arrangements. Schools should consult with parents when making changes to school food provision and ensure parents have access to information on the food provided.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that discussions of race-related issues in the curriculum and schools are politically impartial.

All schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broad, and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We expect all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.

Schools play an important role in supporting pupils to understand the society in which they grow up and to be prepared for life in modern Britain. Topics relating to race can be covered in a number of areas of the curriculum, such as in citizenship; religious education; Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, and the new subjects of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).

In delivering the curriculum, schools should be aware of their duties relating to political impartiality as set out under the Education Act 1996. They must:

  • forbid the pursuit of partisan political activities by junior pupils
  • forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school
  • take reasonably practicable steps to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views

The Department has reminded schools about the importance of political impartiality in our guidance to schools on planning their RSHE curricula, which can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum#ensuring-content-is-appropriate.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he has plans to tackle the use by universities of non-disclosure agreements for student grievances.

The government has a clear expectation that all employers, including universities, should only use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) where appropriate and necessary. Any misuse of NDAs by universities to hide workplace discrimination or harassment or to withhold details of student complaints is completely unacceptable and not only can distress individuals but also risks bringing our world-leading higher education system into disrepute.

Although there is a range of legitimate reasons why universities may use NDAs including, for example, the protection of commercially sensitive information related to university research, we recognise their misuse is an area of concern. The government consulted on the misuse of confidentiality clauses in employer/employee relationships in 2019, and in response announced that we will legislate to prevent the misuse of NDAs in the workplace – including those being used to cover up harassment and discrimination. This will strengthen protections for individuals and create a fairer workplace for all.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent body set up to review student complaints in England and Wales. They also provide good practice guidance on resolving student complaints more generally and have published a briefing note for providers on handling complaints involving sexual misconduct and harassment.

The OIA view is that it is not normally appropriate or in the spirit of their scheme to expect a student to sign a complicated or legally binding settlement agreement, or to sign a confidentiality clause. To do so may mean that any lessons to be learned from the complaint are lost.

Sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment are unacceptable in higher education, as elsewhere, and government expects higher education providers to have robust and appropriate policies and procedures in place to handle effectively disclosures and reports of such behaviour by students or staff.

The Office for Students (OfS) is currently consulting on its approach to regulation and its expectations for providers in addressing sexual misconduct and harassment in their institutions. This consultation closes on 27 March 2020. Government officials meet at least quarterly with both the OfS and Universities UK specifically to discuss making progress on tackling harassment in higher education.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect whistle-blowers who report animal abuse on farms.

There are clear rules in place to protect and manage personal data under the Data Protection Act 2018 and in the eight data principles contained in the General Data Protection Regulation.

Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) investigates all allegations which raise concerns about the welfare of livestock on farm. APHA staff are provided with specific guidance on data protection rules and their obligations and responsibilities to protect personal information.

Data collected is only used, with permission, for the purposes of investigating a particular case and anyone reporting a suspected welfare issue to the APHA can also request anonymity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the total percentage of bovine TB tests involving the use of tuberculin that have produced false positives.

The Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Tuberculin test, commonly known as the ‘comparative skin test’, is the primary official antemortem test for tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in the UK and Ireland. This test has a very high specificity at standard interpretation of 99.98%, giving on average only one false positive result for every 5,000 to 6,000 uninfected cattle tested.

It is not possible to determine that a positive bovine TB (bTB) test in any species was actually a false positive result. However, the high specificity of the tests used, combined with the fact that they are often deployed in parts of the country with a high prevalence of bTB (or in herds with known or suspected infection), means that positive test results have a high predictive value. Post-mortem examinations of test positive animals do not always result in the detection of visible lesions of bTB and attempts to culture the bacterium in the laboratory may prove unsuccessful. In such cases this may be because the infection has not progressed to the stage at which definitive confirmation of disease is possible. In other words, absence of visible lesions of bTB at post-mortem examination or negative culture results do not indicate absence of infection in a bTB test-positive animal.

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, what steps he is taking to ensure the welfare of animals at livestock auctions.

The Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990 covers the care of animals whilst at livestock auctions. In addition, all animals being transported for a commercial purpose to, and from, a livestock market are covered under regulations on the protection of animals during transport.

We launched a consultation in England and Wales in 2020 on improvements to the animal welfare in transport regime. We published our response on 18 August, outlining how we propose to take improvements forward.

We will work closely with industry, NGOs and other stakeholders on our proposed policies to develop practical and workable solutions to improve animal welfare standards.

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, what steps he is taking to ensure that animal welfare standards are maintained on farms in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) England.

The welfare of farmed animals is protected by comprehensive and robust legislation across England, including West Yorkshire, alongside species-specific welfare codes which provide guidance on how to comply with the legislation.

This Government wants to continue to build on our strong track record for raising the bar when it comes to farm animal welfare. We are delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare which was published in May this year. We are also actively exploring options for improving the UK food system and this includes phasing out of cages.

As part of our plans for future farming, we are co-designing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry – to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations – underpinning our high international reputation for health and welfare and future increases to regulatory standards.

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, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the logistical security of the UK's food industry during the covid-19 pandemic.

The food industry is very resilient and well equipped to respond to disruption. The industry sectors have highly resilient supply chains, as we have seen throughout the Covid-19 response. The Government has well established ways of working with the food industry to support their preparedness for potential disruptions to the supply chain. We have continued to work closely with stakeholders and industry during this time.

We have worked across Government to introduce measures to make sure businesses can continue to keep essential supplies flowing. These include extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores.

We recognise the impact that absence rates as a result of Covid-19 have had on some businesses carrying out critical work across the food industry this summer. To enable those who would otherwise not have been able to work to safely do so, the Government introduced Workplace Daily Contact Testing.

As of 16 August 2021, those who are fully vaccinated, participants of approved vaccine trials or those unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons are exempt from self-isolation if they are a close contact of a positive case, though they continue to be advised to take a PCR test. Following these changes, the Workplace Daily Contact Testing scheme continues to provide benefits for contacts who have not yet been fully vaccinated, and those sites wishing to maintain a site continue to be supported.

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, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the wellbeing of animals during transportation in the UK.

At the end of last year we launched a consultation in England and Wales on banning the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening and other improvements to animal welfare in transport. We recently introduced into Parliament the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill which includes measures to ban live animal exports for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain. The Government’s response to the consultation was published on 18 August, outlining how we propose to take forward other improvements.

We will work closely with industry, NGOs and other stakeholders on our proposed policies to develop practical and workable solutions to improve animal welfare standards during transportation.

We already have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and these proposals aim to raise those standards even further.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of launching a review of horse welfare standards in the UK.

The Government shares the public's high regard for animal welfare, and we are committed to enhancing our status as a world leader in the protection of animals. The Action Plan for Animal Welfare is an ambitious plan which sets out an overview of the Government's main priorities on animal welfare and conservation. In the action plan, we have committed to ensuring that the equine sector addresses key welfare issues such as racehorse fatality levels.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. Anyone who is cruel to an animal faces being sent to prison for up to 5 years, or receiving an unlimited fine, or both. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines. The Code makes clear that owners are responsible for meeting the horse's need for safe and suitable shelter and pasture, whether this is through a livery yard, rented land or land that they own. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 were developed to help improve welfare standards across a range of activities involving animals that are licensed by local authorities. Under these regulations, hiring out horses in the course of a business for riding or instruction in riding and selling animals as pets in the course of a business are both licensable activities. This includes riding schools, trekking, loan horses, pony parties, hunter hirelings, polo/polocrosse instruction, pony hire, pony and donkey rides.

The Animal Welfare Committee is an expert committee that advises the Department on the welfare of animals. This includes farmed, companion and wild animals kept by people. Please see further details here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/animal-welfare-committee-awc

Defra considers that current legislation and guidance provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting horse welfare. We will continue to engage with key stakeholders to see if more can be done to spread best practice among horse owners, as well as increased partnership working with the equine welfare sector in order to tackle equine welfare issues.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing an independent body to oversee horse welfare in the UK.

The Government shares the public's high regard for animal welfare, and we are committed to enhancing our status as a world leader in the protection of animals. The Action Plan for Animal Welfare is an ambitious plan which sets out an overview of the Government's main priorities on animal welfare and conservation. In the action plan, we have committed to ensuring that the equine sector addresses key welfare issues such as racehorse fatality levels.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. Anyone who is cruel to an animal faces being sent to prison for up to 5 years, or receiving an unlimited fine, or both. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines. The Code makes clear that owners are responsible for meeting the horse's need for safe and suitable shelter and pasture, whether this is through a livery yard, rented land or land that they own. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 were developed to help improve welfare standards across a range of activities involving animals that are licensed by local authorities. Under these regulations, hiring out horses in the course of a business for riding or instruction in riding and selling animals as pets in the course of a business are both licensable activities. This includes riding schools, trekking, loan horses, pony parties, hunter hirelings, polo/polocrosse instruction, pony hire, pony and donkey rides.

The Animal Welfare Committee is an expert committee that advises the Department on the welfare of animals. This includes farmed, companion and wild animals kept by people. Please see further details here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/animal-welfare-committee-awc

Defra considers that current legislation and guidance provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting horse welfare. We will continue to engage with key stakeholders to see if more can be done to spread best practice among horse owners, as well as increased partnership working with the equine welfare sector in order to tackle equine welfare issues.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department are taking to ensure a reduction in the number of foals being produced in the UK every year .

The Government shares the public's high regard for animal welfare, and we are committed to making the UK a world leader in the protection of animals, including horses.

To promote responsible ownership, there is clear guidance available to educate and remind horse owners of their responsibilities to provide for the welfare needs of their animal. The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids makes clear that you should consider buying or rehoming a youngster before taking the decision to breed. The foal’s individual future must also be considered before breeding from your equine, and the code highlights the UK’s overpopulation problem at the time of publication. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

Further information on responsible breeding is available to the public, including World Horse Welfare’s “Need to Breed” initiative which can be found here: https://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/advice/management/do-you-need-to-breed.

We continue to have close engagement with key stakeholders in the equine sector and are monitoring the situation regarding the supply of foals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that injured animals are not made to travel unnecessarily far journeys in order to be euthanized.

When animals are transported, their transportation must comply fully with legal requirements aimed at protecting their welfare. All animals must be fit for the intended journey. Veterinary advice should be sought prior to transport where there is any doubt about an animal's fitness to travel. It is an offence to transport animals in a way that will cause injury or unnecessary suffering.

Local authorities carry out routine welfare checks on animals and their means of transport and will take appropriate enforcement measures up to and including prosecution if required, where the appropriate standards are not met.

Earlier this year, the Government consulted on improvements to animal welfare during transport. We will shortly publish the response to the consultation which will outline how we will be seeking to improve standards of animal welfare in transport.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve animal welfare conditions in abattoirs.

The Government is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare when animals are slaughtered or killed and we have made CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England. Legislation sets out the main requirements to protect the welfare of animals when being slaughtered. In slaughterhouses, these requirements are monitored and enforced by Official Veterinarians of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to ensure that animals are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering during the slaughter process. A service level agreement with the FSA is reviewed and agreed annually.

We have a zero-tolerance approach to animal welfare breaches and all FSA staff are instructed to take prompt and proportionate enforcement where breaches are identified, including those identified through live and retrospective CCTV viewing. The FSA has checks and monitoring systems in place to ensure the correct action is taken by Official Veterinarians and ensure the very highest standards are maintained.

Following a recent review[1] of the legislation protecting the welfare of animals at the time of killing and as part of our Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are carefully considering a wide range of welfare at slaughter improvements that could be made and will consult in due course.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welfare-of-animals-at-the-time-of-killing-england-regulations-2015-post-implementation-review

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that regulations protecting animals from unnecessary suffering are adequately enforced in abattoirs.

The Government is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare when animals are slaughtered or killed and we have made CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England. Legislation sets out the main requirements to protect the welfare of animals when being slaughtered. In slaughterhouses, these requirements are monitored and enforced by Official Veterinarians of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to ensure that animals are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering during the slaughter process. A service level agreement with the FSA is reviewed and agreed annually.

We have a zero-tolerance approach to animal welfare breaches and all FSA staff are instructed to take prompt and proportionate enforcement where breaches are identified, including those identified through live and retrospective CCTV viewing. The FSA has checks and monitoring systems in place to ensure the correct action is taken by Official Veterinarians and ensure the very highest standards are maintained.

Following a recent review[1] of the legislation protecting the welfare of animals at the time of killing and as part of our Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are carefully considering a wide range of welfare at slaughter improvements that could be made and will consult in due course.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welfare-of-animals-at-the-time-of-killing-england-regulations-2015-post-implementation-review

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of homes at risk of flooding in Morley and Outwood constituency.

The Environment Agency estimates there are approximately 1010 properties at risk from fluvial and surface water flooding in the Morley and Outwood constituency. This comprises about 50 properties at risk of flooding from rivers, 930 properties at risk of flooding from surface water and 30 properties which are at risk from both.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that parents whose children attend schools are given information in relation to the method by which meat in school meals is slaughtered.

The Government expects the industry, whether food producer or food outlet, to provide consumers with all the information they need to make informed choices about the food they eat. We plan to consult later this year on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards of animal welfare across the UK market. A review into food labelling presents an opportunity to examine this whilst also addressing some other consumer concerns, such as method of slaughter labelling.

The Government sets out required minimum standards for school food in the School Food Standards to ensure that children are served healthy, nutritious meals at school. The standards do not specify food requirements in terms of cultural and religious needs. Head teachers, governors and their caterers are best placed to make decisions about their school food policies. We expect schools to act reasonably providing choices that take account of cultural, religious and special dietary needs and to work with parents in making appropriate arrangements. In particular, schools should consult with parents when making changes to school food provision and ensure parents have access to information on the food provided. If parents are not happy with the food provided by the school they can take it up with the school and consider using the schools complaints policy.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that labels on meat products state the method by which the animal was killed.

The Government expects the industry, whether food producer or food outlet, to provide consumers with all the information they need to make informed choices about the food they eat. We plan to consult later this year on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards of animal welfare across the UK market. A review into food labelling presents an opportunity to examine this whilst also addressing some other consumer concerns, such as method of slaughter labelling.

The Government sets out required minimum standards for school food in the School Food Standards to ensure that children are served healthy, nutritious meals at school. The standards do not specify food requirements in terms of cultural and religious needs. Head teachers, governors and their caterers are best placed to make decisions about their school food policies. We expect schools to act reasonably providing choices that take account of cultural, religious and special dietary needs and to work with parents in making appropriate arrangements. In particular, schools should consult with parents when making changes to school food provision and ensure parents have access to information on the food provided. If parents are not happy with the food provided by the school they can take it up with the school and consider using the schools complaints policy.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether chicks are killed by maceration in the UK.

All four of the main laying hen hatcheries in the UK use argon and CO2 gas mixtures as a permitted method of killing male day-old chicks, rather than maceration.

Maceration, or immediate crushing of the entire animal, is a lawful method of killing chicks up to 72 hours old and egg embryos (under Annex I of Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing). The method must provide for instantaneous maceration and immediate death of the animals and, as a result, they are caused no avoidable pain, distress or suffering when killed.

It is not within the Food Standards Agency’s remit to inspect laying hen hatcheries.

There is no statutory requirement to keep records of chicks killed by maceration.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what system is in place to count the number of chicks macerated in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Scotland.

All four of the main laying hen hatcheries in the UK use argon and CO2 gas mixtures as a permitted method of killing male day-old chicks, rather than maceration.

Maceration, or immediate crushing of the entire animal, is a lawful method of killing chicks up to 72 hours old and egg embryos (under Annex I of Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing). The method must provide for instantaneous maceration and immediate death of the animals and, as a result, they are caused no avoidable pain, distress or suffering when killed.

It is not within the Food Standards Agency’s remit to inspect laying hen hatcheries.

There is no statutory requirement to keep records of chicks killed by maceration

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Food Standards Agency officers physically visit facilities where chicks are slaughtered.

All four of the main laying hen hatcheries in the UK use argon and CO2 gas mixtures as a permitted method of killing male day-old chicks, rather than maceration.

Maceration, or immediate crushing of the entire animal, is a lawful method of killing chicks up to 72 hours old and egg embryos (under Annex I of Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing). The method must provide for instantaneous maceration and immediate death of the animals and, as a result, they are caused no avoidable pain, distress or suffering when killed.

It is not within the Food Standards Agency’s remit to inspect laying hen hatcheries.

There is no statutory requirement to keep records of chicks killed by maceration

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to regulate the ownership of exotic animals in England.

Zoos in England are regulated by the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice (2012). Licences are awarded for up to four or six years and at least two inspections per licence have to use qualified zoo inspectors appointed by Defra. Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing conditions in zoos, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for nominating Defra inspectors for formal inspections. Defra is working with the UK Zoos Expert Committee to ensure the standards are clear and enforceable whilst representing the latest knowledge on the keeping of wild animals. We intend to launch a targeted consultation on the standards later this year.

The keeping of dangerous wild animals as pets is regulated by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The Act requires owners of dangerous wild animals to be licensed by their local authority. The aim of the Act is to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals, they do so in circumstances that create no risk to the public. We are looking closely at the wider animal welfare law to see whether it needs to be improved in relation to the welfare of exotic, non-domesticated animals. We have a manifesto commitment to start this process by banning the keeping of primates as pets and we consulted on this earlier this year.

It may also be helpful if I set out the laws already in place that provide for the protection of the welfare of exotic, non-domesticated animals in England. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. A person could therefore be responsible for an animal if they own it or are in charge of it. Responsibility for an animal includes having an understanding of the specific welfare needs, including health, of the animal and having the appropriate knowledge and skills to care for the animal. Local authorities, the APHA and the police all have powers of entry to investigate complaints of suspected animal cruelty or neglect and undertake prosecutions where necessary.

Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide properly for its welfare needs, faces an unlimited fine or being sent to prison for up six months, or both. Following a conviction for either of these offences, the court may also ban the offender from keeping any animals or certain types or animals and/or order that their animals are removed from them. The Government fully supports increasing the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty offences (including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal) from six months to five years through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill which is currently before Parliament.

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, anyone who is in the business of selling animals as pets (including non-domestic species) needs a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has plans to diverge from EU standards to pursue higher animal welfare standards for the pig farming industry.

The Government shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare and we are currently examining the evidence around the use of cages for farm animals.

We introduced a new pig welfare code of practice, which came into force in March last year, and this provides guidance to keepers and farmers on legal requirements and encourages high standards of husbandry. The pig code states that the aim is for farrowing crates to no longer be necessary and for any new system to protect the welfare of the sow, as well as her piglets. We are continuing to discuss and work with the industry on this issue.

We are co-designing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry, to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations, underpinning our high international reputation for health and welfare and future increases to regulatory standards.

We are committed to maintaining our position as world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential economic effect of banning farrowing crates on the pig farming industry.

The Government shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare and we are currently examining the evidence around the use of cages for farm animals.

We introduced a new pig welfare code of practice, which came into force in March last year, and this provides guidance to keepers and farmers on legal requirements and encourages high standards of husbandry. The pig code states that the aim is for farrowing crates to no longer be necessary and for any new system to protect the welfare of the sow, as well as her piglets. We are continuing to discuss and work with the industry on this issue.

We are co-designing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry, to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations, underpinning our high international reputation for health and welfare and future increases to regulatory standards.

We are committed to maintaining our position as world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to buy British-caught fish.

The Government is committed to supporting our seafood and fishing industries across the UK, including through growing domestic demand for our high-quality UK seafood.

Defra is partnering with Seafish (the public body that supports the UK seafood industry) to deliver the Love Seafood campaign to promote the domestic consumption of fish and shellfish. The Love Seafood campaign will run throughout this spring and aims to support the fisheries industry by encouraging people to buy and eat more UK caught seafood and will feature in national and regional press titles, regional radio, and on social media across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve flood defences in West Yorkshire.

Starting in April 2021, the Government will invest a record £5.2 billion in a six-year capital investment programme for flood defences. This investment will deliver around 2,000 flood schemes, benefiting every region of the country, and will better protect 336,000 properties from flooding.

In July 2020 we committed funding of up to £170 million to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction before the end 2021/2022. This funding will provide an immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus. The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme has been awarded £12 million to contribute to this ambitious plan by better protecting approximately 4500 jobs and 1000 businesses.

In Leeds, the Government will provide up to £21 million for the Leeds Phase 2 Flood Alleviation Scheme which will protect more than 370 businesses and 3.300 jobs. This is subject to a satisfactory business case approved by Defra and HMT. The Government will also provide £1,320,000 for the Leeds Natural Flood Management Scheme. This brings the Government's total investment in Leeds to more than £100 million to help prevent a repeat of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Since 2015/16, there has been £158 million of investment in West Yorkshire better protecting homes, business and critical infrastructure against flooding. This includes areas in West Yorkshire that have suffered severe flooding in recent years, such as Mytholmroyd on the River Calder, where over 400 homes have been better protected, and Leeds on the River Aire, where over 3,000 homes and 500 businesses have been better protected. This investment has been made up of £107 million government funding and £51 million of other external contributions.

For the next 6 years, there is planned investment of £255 million. This is made up of £146 million government funding with £109 million of external contributions required. Some of this additional funding has already been secured or identified and the Environment Agency will continue to work with partners to secure the remaining funding. This programme aims to better protect almost 7,000 more homes across West Yorkshire and deliver wider economic benefits of over £2.5 billion.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening, since the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Leaving the EU has enabled us to take a major step forward in delivering on our commitment to end excessively long journeys for animals going for slaughter or fattening.

We are currently consulting in England and Wales on proposals to end the unnecessary practice. This is a key priority for the Government, and we hope to have legislation in place by the end of the year.

The consultation period closes on 25 February 2021. Further details can be found at: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/transforming-farm-animal-health-and-welfare-team/improvements-to-animal-welfare-in-transport/

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle puppy smuggling.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to puppies and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

The end of the transition period has opened up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements and we are listening to the concerns of stakeholders around future requirements. The Government is developing a range of options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling, taking into consideration the recommendations of stakeholders and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to help promote the exports of UK food producers.

As a Government, we have a manifesto commitment that we want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British. The UK's growing reputation for high quality food and drink, produced to high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability, is an excellent platform to increase demand for our products still further around the world.

Defra works in tandem with the Department for International Trade to deliver the Food is GREAT campaign, which helps businesses to succeed in overseas markets by ensuring global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink. Food is GREAT is a key element of the joint Defra and DIT agri-food 'bounce back' package of trade support and promotion measures announced last June to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

The Food is GREAT campaign is focused on priority markets, including the USA, China, and Japan. In November, the campaign showcased a spectacular display of food and drink products from across the UK at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) 2020 in Shanghai. Activity is being planned across all priority markets, where we will work with UK businesses to promote the best of UK food and drink on the international stage.

Defra is strengthening export capability and ambition in the sector through an Export Working Group in collaboration with the Department for International Trade and representatives of the food and drink sector. This group identifies market opportunities and increases awareness of the support and tools available to exporters. A particular focus is helping SMEs build capability to grow their businesses through exports. A new International Action Plan is being developed by this group to set out the export ambition of the sector, priority markets and the full range of government support available from tailored export advice to campaign activity and a programme of expos and trade shows. This includes further enhancing in market support, building on the success of Defra's first Agri-Counsellors in Beijing and Dubai.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect on the import of waste for recycling in the UK of (a) the UK leaving the EU and (b) the Environment Bill.

The UK’s departure from the EU will not affect the way in which we import waste for recycling in the UK.

The Environment Bill includes powers to regulate imports and exports of waste. These provisions will modernise our existing regulation-making powers in this area. The Bill also includes a power to introduce electronic tracking of waste to help tackle waste crime here in the UK.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of the Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland agreed on 8 July 2021 for businesses in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire.

This free trade agreement – the most advanced Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein have ever signed – is tailored for the British economy. It contains gold standard provisions in digital trade, mobile roaming, and business travel, will reduce tariffs, and offers new duty-free quotas on exports of high-quality British food and farm products.

In 2020, there were 1,015 and 329 businesses in Yorkshire and Humber that exported goods to Norway and Iceland respectively. This deal is designed to make it easier for even more businesses in Morley and Outwood, West Yorkshire and across the United Kingdom to export to Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, saving them time and money.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential benefits for businesses located in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) the rest of the UK of the Government's proposed UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.

The Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) will expand access to Singapore’s digital economy – worth an estimated £9.4 billion in 2019 – for British businesses in Morley and Outwood and across the country.

In 2019, the UK sold almost £5 billion worth of services to Singapore, 70% of which were digitally delivered. The DEA will open further opportunities for British businesses to deliver their services through digital trade.

UK businesses also sold £5.5 billion worth of goods to Singapore in 2019. Digitising and streamlining customs and border processes can greatly reduce the administrative and other costs goods encounter at the border, benefiting both businesses and consumers.

The DEA would help to cut red tape and boost growth for British businesses who want to trade more efficiently using electronic transactions, e-signatures and e-contracts. It also will aim to remove unjustified data localisation requirements which can add significant costs to UK businesses, effectively shutting smaller traders out of new markets.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the members nominated for the Trade and Agriculture Commission have (a) science-led animal welfare expertise and (b) practical commercial experience in farming to high welfare standards.

The Trade and Agriculture Commission will be composed of independent experts in their field, whose expertise will be driven by the scope of the provisions of the amendment to the Trade Bill. This includes UK animal welfare standards, as well as UK animal and plant health standards, UK environmental standards relating to agricultural products, and international trade law and policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to increase foreign investment in UK industry in order to raise productivity.

The UK is a leading foreign investment destination; second in the world for inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stocks with $2.1 trillion, behind the USA in 2019. DIT analysis of Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2018 foreign owned firms were on average 72% more productive than domestic only firms.

In 2019/20 the Department for International Trade provided support for 1,449 FDI projects, creating almost 45,000 new jobs and safeguarding a further 8,000. In November 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new Office for Investment within the Department but under the sponsorship of Downing Street to support strategic investment. We are also prioritising regional investment and growth through our High Potential Opportunities Programme.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to support small and medium sized enterprises to increase their exports.

This Government is creating new opportunities for businesses to grow overseas, including through 66 new trade deals that, along with the EU, account for £890bn in bilateral trade. The Department for International Trade is supporting businesses to take advantage of these new opportunities through our global network, a £38 million internationalisation fund, the Export Academy as well new Trade Hubs across the UK. We have increased our lending capacity for exporters to £8bn, with £2bn dedicated to Clean Growth projects, through the award-winning UK Export Finance. We will be further enhancing the Government’s support for exporters through a refreshed Export Strategy.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps she has taken to secure a free trade deal with the US.

The fifth UK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiating round took place from 19 to 30 October 2020. Almost all chapter areas are now in the advanced stages of talks, and a significant proportion of legal text has been agreed across multiple chapters. UK and US negotiators have also continued to hold working level technical sessions since the end of Round 5 of negotiations, and we believe there is a compelling case to build on the significant progress already made.

The Biden administration is currently in the process of seeking Senate confirmation for the appointment of senior staff, including in the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The Department for International Trade (DIT) works closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and British Embassy Washington in advancing UK national objectives with the US, including on trade. DIT Ministers continue to engage senior US political figures on a bipartisan basis.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential effect of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak on UK trade.

We are monitoring the coronavirus outbreak as the situation develops including the potential effects on UK trade.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of fatalities on roads in Yorkshire.

Road safety is a priority for the Government and the Department for Transport is working with road safety stakeholders to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. We have some of the safest roads in the world, but the Government is not complacent and there is more work to be done.

As part of our in Safer Roads funding to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injury on England’s 50 most dangerous roads, North Yorkshire County Council benefitted from a total of £11.5 million to improve four roads.

The Government is also currently progressing a review into roads policing and traffic enforcement. This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to upgrade trains which travel through Morley and Outwood constituency.

All Northern’s fleet travelling through Morley and Outwood constituency will either be new or refurbished trains with the digital upgrades due to be completed by 31 December 2021.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the average commuter time for residents in the Morley and Outwood constituency.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme is a multi-billion-pound investment and the Government’s largest single investment in upgrading the country’s existing railway in the next five years. TRU will deliver extensive reliability, capacity and journey time improvements across the key east to west route, from Manchester Victoria to York, via Morley. Network Rail continue to progress development and design of the programme.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing the transport industry with assistance towards investment in greener trucks.

Decarbonising transport is a key priority for the government and we have just published our world-leading plan, “Decarbonising Transport: A Better, Greener Britain’ which outlines our commitments to decarbonise transport, including the road freight sector, and achieve net zero by 2050.

We are supporting the transport industry to invest in greener trucks through a wide range of measures. This includes £20m this year to develop Zero Emission Road Freight Trials which will support UK industry to develop cost-effective, zero-emission HGVs and their refuelling infrastructure in the UK. Trials will invest in research, innovation and construction of zero emission HGVs by UK based business and SMEs to support the development of cutting-edge HGV technology, breaking down barriers to adoption and speeding up the decarbonisation of our road freight sector.

Government supports transport industry investment in low emission trucks through the £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, which funds the deployment of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling stations. The £20m Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition matched capital funding to projects that produced low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and HGVs and the £20 million Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial supported industry-led R&D projects trialing low-emission technologies for freight.

Finally, Government is providing £582 million to continue the plug-in grants.

The plug-in truck grant (PiTG) encourages the uptake of cutting-edge, zero emission HGVs by reducing the purchase price of zero emission commercial vehicles. From March 2021 the PiTG was increased to 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £25,000, for large trucks greater than 12 tonnes. The grant rate was increased in recognition of the higher upfront cost of these vehicles.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing grants to people wishing to undertake large goods vehicle driving qualifications.

We know that the costs of training can be a barrier both to new entrants and business. We are already supporting the industry train new drivers, including through apprenticeships and support for jobseekers.

The new apprenticeship which includes training for a Category C+E licence, which is available from 2 August, will attract £7,000 in funding. There is also an incentive payment of £3,000 available for new apprentices who have an employment start date of 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

A number of proposals to further support the training of heavy goods vehicle drivers have been put forward by industry sources and we are reviewing these proposals. We wish to support the sector in overcoming these barriers to joining this vital industry.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of when the backlog of large good vehicles licence testing will be cleared.

DVSA meet regularly with the vocational training industry to understand the current and future demand for vocational driving tests so that the Agency can better plan the additional capacity that is needed. DVSA are currently making available an average of 3,000 vocational tests per week compared to 2,000 pre-pandemic.

Operational steps to further increase capacity have been recently announced and, subject to a forthcoming consultation, additional regulatory measures will significant add further to test capacity. Regular progress updates will be made available.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that overnight parking facilities for large vehicle drivers are reopened following the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Motorway Service Areas in England, which are privately owned and operated, remained open during COVID restrictions, and overnight parking therefore remained available at these sites. In addition, other lorry parks are also privately owned and operated businesses, and decisions on opening are a matter for them.

Although most legal restrictions have been lifted, the Government continues to provide guidance for businesses in managing the continuing risk of the pandemic.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage young people to enter the transport industry.

The Department for Transport is leading efforts to promote training and career opportunities for young people in the transport sector. This will help ensure we can deliver the huge investment we are making in our transport system and help build the skilled workforce for the coming decades. Some of the steps we are taking include:

  • Continuing to work with the Department for Education to ensure that Adult Education policy and Further Education reform proposals reflect the needs of the transport industry, and will work with our stakeholders to use the Department for Work and Pensions Kickstart scheme.

  • Supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activity including by being a founding signatory of the Department for Educations ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Code’, which aims to increase and support the number of young people taking up STEM subjects, making careers in engineering accessible and a reality for future generations.

In the coming months we also plan to publish a Transport Labour Market and Skills Discussion Paper. This will set out the labour market and skills challenges and opportunities for the transport sector post Covid and how we plan to build a pipeline of talent for the future. We will use this as the basis of consultation with industry and other stakeholders to find out what more we can do to make progress in this vital area.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase disability access at train stations in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire.

Several stations across Yorkshire were selected for the Access for All Main Tier programme, including Menston, Todmorden and Garforth stations. Works are due to be completed at these stations by 2024 at the latest.

We will shortly be commissioning accessibility audits of all mainline stations that will allow us to prioritise future investment in station accessibility.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage cycling over other modes of transport for short length journeys in West Yorkshire.

In 2020/2021 West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) was awarded £12,566,000 from the Active Travel Fund to aid delivery of safe walking and cycling routes in the area, such as protected space for cycling, widened pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors.

In June 2021 the Department invited WYCA to bid for active travel capital funding for the current financial year, with decisions to be made in the autumn. Announcements on local authority revenue funding for behaviour change activities this year will be made shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve the safety of train stations for people with disabilities.

The Department is committed to improving safety across the rail network. The Department expects the industry to meet current accessibility requirements whenever it installs, renews or replaces station infrastructure. Failure to do so can lead to enforcement action by the Office of Rail and Roads.

As well as the programme of accessibility improvements underway, we shall be bidding for further rounds of funding for Access for All schemes in the forthcoming Spending Review.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) England.

Government and industry have supported the installation of almost 25,000 publicly available charging devices and in the next few weeks expect to hit the important milestone of rapid chargers being available in 3,000 different locations across the UK – one of the largest networks in Europe.

We are investing £1.3 billion in accelerating the roll out of charging infrastructure over the next four years, targeting support on rapid chargepoints on motorways and major roads, and installing more on-street chargepoints near homes and workplaces to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car. Our grant schemes and the £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will see thousands more electric vehicle charge-points installed across the UK.

Leeds City Council have participated in our On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme which is available to all UK local authorities to provide public chargepoints for their residents without access to private parking. They have received £97,500 to install 15 chargepoints across the city, including in the Morley area.

As of 1 April 2021, Morley and Outwood:

  • have 29 public charging devices, of which 12 are rapids;
  • a total of 316 domestic charging devices have been installed funded by the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and the preceding Domestic Recharge Scheme;
  • a total of 52 Workplace Charging Scheme funded sockets installed in workplace carparks.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles is working extensively with local authorities to support them in delivering charging infrastructure.

The upcoming EV chargepoint Infrastructure Strategy will set out our vision and action plan for charging infrastructure rollout needed to achieve the 2030/35 phase out of petrol and diesel cars and vans successfully and to accelerate the transition to a zero emission fleet. The strategy will also set expected roles for different stakeholders and how government will intervene to address the gaps between the current market status and our vision.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase transport infrastructure in (a) Leeds and (b) West Yorkshire.

As part of its Levelling Up agenda, the Government is committed to improving transport connectivity in the North. We have recently announced a share of £15m for two new rail stations at White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds from the New Stations Fund and £173.5m from the Department has been used to support Leeds’ Public Transport Investment Programme (LPTIP) which has delivered significant improvements, including the UK’s first fully solar powered park and ride site opening in September.

This is in addition to the £317m that we are providing to the wider West Yorkshire region through our Transforming Cities Fund and the £49.6m provided in 2021/22 to support highway maintenance, pothole repairs and local transport measures. West Yorkshire Combined Authority also has access to the £4.2bn Intra-City Transport Settlements, to improve transport connectivity within West Yorkshire and the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund, launched at the Budget 2021. Bids have now closed for the first round of this Fund however, there will be further opportunities in the coming years.

The Government has committed £906m to upgrade the Transpennine main line between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester. The second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), published in 2020, has also included funding for Highways England to develop proposals to upgrade M1 Leeds Eastern Gateway, M1/M62 Lofthouse Junction and M1 Junctions 35A-39.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on reversing the Beeching cuts and restoring stations in (a) East Ardsley and Thorpe and (b) more widely.

The Government has pledged £500m to the Restoring Your Railway fund to reverse the Beeching cuts and restore lines and stations.

I understand that my Hon Friend has supported a bid to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund for the restoration of a railway station in East Ardsley. The bid is currently being assessed and we expect to announce the outcomes in the summer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve cyclist safety through enhancements to road infrastructure and layout.

The Government has announced ambitious plans for cycling and walking and has committed an unprecedented £2 billion of funding for active travel over the next 5 years. The details are set out in the Prime Minister’s Gear Change plan, published in July and can be viewed here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-plan-for-england.

The detailed design of cycle lanes is a matter for individual local traffic authorities. Design advice for cycling infrastructure, including cycle lanes, can be found in Local Transport Note 1/20 ‘Cycle Infrastructure Design’ which is at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120.

The Government also published additional Network Management Duty guidance, which was updated in November 2020. This clearly sets out what the Government expects local authorities to do in making changes to their road layouts to encourage cycling and walking.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial and other support he is providing to local authorities to improve the condition of roads.

The Department has allocated over £2.6 billion for local highways maintenance for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside London.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he make an assessment of the potential merits on introducing (a) training and (b) public service advertisements for motorists on the safe use of smart motorways.

I want our motorways to be as safe as possible. That is why the Secretary of State asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads. The Roads Minister will write to you as soon as the stocktake is completed to answer your specific question.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the renationalisation of Northern Rail.

The financial impact on public funds from the Northern rail franchise being taken into public ownership on 1st March 2020 has not yet been finalised. Financial impacts will include any additional subsidy necessary to deliver current rail services above the cost contracted in 2015.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to promote Pension Credit uptake among those who are eligible but do not claim that credit in Morley and Outwood constituency.

On 17 May, DWP Ministers hosted a roundtable event attended by a range of stakeholders who have an interest in pensioners’ financial wellbeing, to explore opportunities on getting information about Pension Credit to pensioners and their family members. A subsequent working group meeting between DWP officials and stakeholders was held on 22 June to explore taking this work forward.

The Government wants to make sure that all eligible pensioners across Great Britain, including the Morley and Outwood constituency, claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. DWP continues to use multiple ways to reach those who can claim. On 16 June, DWP joined forces with Age UK, Len Goodman, Rustie Lee and the BBC to help reach those who may be reticent about claiming Pension Credit. The aim was to renew our efforts to raise awareness of Pension Credit, encouraging people to check their eligibility and make a claim.

We have recently updated our online toolkit which provides a range of ideas and support which stakeholders can use with their customers to encourage take-up of Pension Credit. Two new videos specifically target key messages aimed at pensioners as well as their family members and friends.

Our Pension Credit pages on gov.uk have recently been updated, drawing attention to how Pension Credit can provide extra money as well as a range of other help for pensioners who get it. The online claim facility we introduced last year, further enables family, friends and organisations to help pensioners make a claim.

This year, over 11 million pensioners in Great Britain received messaging about Pension Credit with their annual State Pension up-rating letter which also highlighted that an award of Pension Credit can mean being eligible for other benefits such as Housing Benefit or a free over-75 TV licence.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to make businesses aware that they can join the Kickstart Scheme, without the threshold of a minimum 30 jobs.

The removal of the 30 minimum jobs threshold was announced by the Secretary of State on 25 January. The announcement was featured in the national press and we engaged with key stakeholders to disseminate the message throughout their employer networks.

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to actively engage with employers of all sizes to promote applications and interest in the Kickstart Scheme. Ministers are personally engaging with employers to encourage new applications.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what further steps her Department plans to take to promote the Kickstart scheme throughout West Yorkshire.

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to actively engage with employers of all sizes to promote applications and interest in the Kickstart Scheme. Ministers are personally engaging with employers to encourage new applications.

We continue to work with key stakeholders to ensure that Kickstart is offered across Great Britain and in a wide range of sectors. Through our Engagement Strategy we are focussing on targeted promotional activities working through a mix of place-based partners (such as local authorities and mayoral combined authorities) as well as trade bodies representing specific sectors.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support people who are considering changing careers as a result of the covid-19.

Through our Plan for Jobs, the department is providing broad ranging support for all jobseekers who want to change career or employment sector, including those who are looking for work as a result of Covid 19. Currently, support includes Job Finding Support (JFS), Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPS) and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS). In addition, the Restart programme is due to launch later this year, furthering support options.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to tackle unemployment in Morley and Outwood constituency as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The department is increasing unemployment support for people in all areas of the country, including Morley and Outwood, through the Plan for Jobs package. Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) were recently launched with the Job Finding Support Service to follow. In addition, 13,500 extra Jobcentre Work Coaches are being recruited to support claimants to find or re-enter employment.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people with a phobia of needles will be made aware of when a version of a covid-19 vaccine which does not require needles is approved for use.

The Department will ensure that a comprehensive announcement is made if a COVID-19 vaccine that can be delivered without the use of a needle is approved.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency continues to monitor and engage with developers and producers of both currently approved and new COVID-19 vaccines and offers scientific advice on new technical developments. We are unable to comment on products that are not approved for use in the United Kingdom due to commercial and market sensitivities surrounding the approval processes.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of non-Halal and Kosher meat options in hospitals.

The 2020 Hospital Food Review and expert panel is now in place and a programme of work has commenced to implement its recommendations. This will include the sourcing of food.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the levels of cancer diagnosis in (a) the Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) England.

Between March 2020 and July 2021, there were 3.13 million urgent referrals and over 760,000 people receiving cancer treatment

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is leading on improving cancer diagnosis and outcomes for its local population, including Morley and Outwood. The Alliance is working with its local system to ensure that there is sufficient diagnostic and treatment capacity in place to meet cancer needs, introducing new pathways and initiatives including Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) and the Faster Diagnosis Standard. A new test to identify people at highest risk of oesophageal cancer is also being launched across West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance. Cytosponge can be swallowed in order to detect Barrett’s Oesophagus or pre-cancerous cells in the oesophagus, as a COVID-safe alternative to endoscopy.

Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement are running a campaign, ’Help us help you’ to raise awareness of general symptoms of cancer and encourage people experiencing persistent symptoms to contact their general practitioner. in 2021/22 to tackle the elective backlog, from which cancer patients will benefit. This is being supported by £325 million of investment in National Health Service diagnostics. In July 2021, the NHS announced a further £20 million for Cancer Alliances to accelerate cancer diagnosis and enable management of high referral volumes. NHS England and NHS Improvement are prioritising delivery of NHS Long Term Plan commitments such as increasing diagnostic capacity and early diagnosis and survival rates through RDCs. As of June 2021, there were 102 RDCs across hospitals in England, compared to 12 in March 2020.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting time for elective surgeries for people in (a) the Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire.

The Department is taking steps to reduce waiting times for elective surgeries across England, including in West Yorkshire, and £1 billion has been made available this year to the National Health Service (NHS) to increase activity and tackle waiting lists.

Morley and Outwood constituency is covered by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System (ICS), which brings together NHS providers and commissioners, local councils and other partners to make improvements to health and care. The number of outpatient appointments provided has already returned to 2019 levels.

Partners in the ICS are taking a range of actions to further support elective recovery, including:

- Ensuring good communication with people who are on the waiting list;

- Implementing shared referral management and offering advice and guidance to help reduce the number of people waiting for treatment;

- Ensuring that hospitals are supporting each other to reduce pressures, providing mutual aid where necessary and delivering the least complex procedures as quickly as possible;

- Making use of independent sector capacity;

- Continuing to transform and modernise services;

- Focusing on achieving best practice flow of patients through hospitals to maximise the number of beds available.

The ICS is also working closely with partners across the whole of the North East and Yorkshire NHS region to support these recovery actions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to increase access to NHS dentists for people in the Morley and Outwood constituency.

Morley and Outwood was one of 18 constituencies across Yorkshire and the Humber that received additional funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the region’s Access Scheme, which has been extended until the end of March 2022. NHS England and NHS Improvement is currently evaluating the model and considering the most effective way to support practices to improve access for patients, within the funding available.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help improve the chances of survival for babies born prematurely.

The National Maternity Safety Ambition includes a target to reduce the pre-term birth rate from 8% to 6% by 2025. ‘Saving Babies Lives Version Two: A care bundle for reducing perinatal mortality’ includes an element to reduce the number of pre-term births and optimise care when pre-term delivery cannot be prevented. This includes greater intervention on prediction, prevention and preparation for mothers and babies at risk of pre-term birth. The development of specialist pre-term birth clinics across England to care for women with heightened risk of pre-term birth, is also outlined in the care bundle. The establishment of pre-term birth clinics has been widely promoted across all local maternity systems, provider trusts and clinical networks.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage members of the public to undertake first aid training.

NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with St John Ambulance are working together to create a national network of community advocates to champion the importance of first aid, training 60,000 people that will help save up to 4,000 lives each year by 2028.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the NHS backlog of medical procedures in West Yorkshire.

We have made £1 billion available this year to the National Health Service to increase activity and tackle waiting lists. Trusts in West Yorkshire can access this funding as they increase their activity levels. In May, the NHS announced a £160 million accelerator initiative to rapidly trial further innovations and interventions to boost activity. The findings will be shared across all regions, providing a blueprint for elective recovery. There is support at a national and regional level for all systems, including the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, to support them to reduce their waiting lists and deliver care to patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that new variants of covid-19 in the UK are identified as quickly as possible.

New technology to rapidly detect new COVID-19 mutations is being deployed in NHS Test and Trace laboratories. Genotype assay testing is accelerating identification where a positive COVID-19 sample contains a mutation indicative of a known variant of concern and will be used in addition to standard testing decreasing the interval from approximately two weeks to two days.

Genotype assays complement existing surveillance work that uses genomic sequencing to look for variants in positive samples. Genomic sequencing surveillance will continue to detect and monitor how COVID-19 changes over time into new variants, by identifying new mutations in the viral genome. Where new variants or mutations are found, the technology can be adapted to track the variants of most concern.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 23 April 2021 to Question 181350 on abortion: health services, whether follow-up calls regarding complications are also only a matter for individual abortion providers; and whether there is a mechanism to guarantee that such calls are made.

Abortion providers will discuss possible complications with the woman during the consultation and women will be provided with written advice and information about possible symptoms, including those which would necessitate urgent review. Women, should they have any concerns, have access to a 24 hour telephone helpline which specialises in post abortion support and care.

Follow up calls regarding complications are a matter for individual abortion providers. There is no mechanism to guarantee that proactive follow up calls are made to all patients.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to promote a whole-health approach in the provision of health services to domestic abuse victims as proposed by the SafeLives charity.

Health professionals are trained to spot the signs of domestic abuse and those at risk, referring to further support and sharing information appropriately with colleagues and other organisations. All National Health Service staff undertake mandatory safeguarding training which includes focus on domestic abuse. The Department continues to work with partners to support integrated care systems in embedding violence prevention and reduction across local health, social care and public health systems. The Department has overseen a £2 million domestic abuse pathfinder project, producing a free online toolkit and supporting the development of a model health response to domestic abuse.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to seek medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity in the event that they believe they are experiencing common symptoms of cancer.

It is vital that people seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity if they believe they are experiencing symptoms of cancer. In October, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England launched the latest ‘Help us help you’ campaign to urge people with potential symptoms of cancer to see their general practitioner. This campaign reinforces the message about the importance of seeking medical care if needed during the pandemic.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the content is of the aftercare provided to women who undergo home abortions; and whether those women receive a follow-up call to check on their pain management.

The Department’s required Standard Operating Procedures, which all independent abortion providers must comply with, set out that all providers should have protocols in place covering the support that should be in place for women following an abortion procedure.

Abortion providers will discuss possible complications with the woman during the consultation and women will be provided with written advice and information about possible symptoms, including those which would necessitate urgent review. Women have access to a 24 hour telephone helpline should they have any concerns. Follow up calls regarding pain management are a matter for individual providers.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support research on the efficacy of covid-19 vaccines for people with low immunity.

Public Health England are leading the surveillance strategy for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which will continue to monitor how effective each vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission. The strategy includes further research on how effectiveness varies by subgroup, including different clinical risk groups. Evidence on these outcomes will be generated through routine data sources, including routine testing data and general practitioner electronic health records, as well as through enhanced surveillance and building upon established research studies in specific populations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that parents and caregivers can be present with young people at hospital appointments in all NHS Trusts.

We understand the need for young people to be accompanied by their parents and caregivers at appointments and recommend that patients be accompanied where appropriate and necessary. The current guidance, published on 13 October 2020, allows visiting in outpatient and diagnostic settings in a COVID-19 secure way. This guidance was developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s clinical cell, overseen by a multidisciplinary group including colleagues from children and young people’s teams.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental wellbeing of people who have been shielding during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Every Mind Matters website is available to everyone with advice and practical steps that people can take to support their wellbeing and manage their mental health during the pandemic. The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available for anyone shielding. National Health Service volunteers can provide short-term telephone support such as Check-in and Chat for those at risk of loneliness


In addition, NHS mental health services have deployed innovative digital solutions to connect with people and provide ongoing support. Remote delivery has ensured that people can continue to access talking therapies from the safety of their own home. Online self-referral options are commonly available for psychological therapies services for adults with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. For those with severe needs or in crisis, all NHS mental health providers have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the mental health support services available to NHS staff in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have increased health and wellbeing support for National Health Service staff including a mental health helpline, access to free wellbeing apps and specialist bereavement and psychological support. In addition, an extra £30 million is being invested to enhance occupational health services and to establish mental health hubs which will offer outreach and assessment services to help frontline staff receive rapid access to evidence based mental health services. We are also supporting the development of a national support service for critical care staff.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to support the global goal of developing a cure or major disease-modifying treatment for dementia by 2025.

United Kingdom researchers are at the forefront of global efforts to find a cure or a disease-modifying treatment by 2025. The 2020 Dementia Challenge commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over five years was delivered a year early, with £344 million spent over four years. Significant elements in research are the £190 million UK Dementia Research Institute with a focus on basic science, the £43 million Dementias Platform UK supporting experimental medicine studies, and the National Institute for Health Research Translational Collaboration – Dementia, which brings together industry, academia and charities to deliver research from which patients will benefit.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that those living with Dementia who have been offered a covid-19 vaccine are supported to arrive at their scheduled appointment; and what steps his Department is taking to follow up with dementia suffers who miss covid-19 vaccine appointments.

A number of steps have been taken to ensure those living with dementia have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine and are supported to arrive at their scheduled appointment, which are outlined in a Standard Operating Procedure published by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

This states that under the Equalities Act 2010, people with a learning disability or health condition that has a substantial and long-term effect on day-to-day activities are entitled to reasonable adjustments when accessing health services. This means that steps must be taken to remove or minimise the barriers that individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), dementia, a learning disability or autistic people may face in accessing the vaccine.

Most people with a SMI, dementia, learning disability or autism will be able to receive their vaccine in the standard way. However, for the minority of individuals where this is not suitable, reasonable adjustments should be determined in advance of the vaccine provision, centred around individual needs to minimise discomfort or distress.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to encourage organisations to sign up to the workplace testing Government scheme to increase the use of lateral flow tests in the workplace.


An online portal has been launched for businesses to find out more about offering rapid workplace testing. To encourage more workplaces to sign up, businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme, along with promotional materials. The tests will be sent to businesses at no cost, making testing more accessible for businesses of all sizes.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps he has taken to support young people’s mental health since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Children and young people’s mental health services have remained open throughout the pandemic, offering digital and remote access to maintain support, and accepting new referrals. NHS England asked all mental health trusts to ensure there are 24 hours a day, seven days a week open access telephone lines for urgent National Health Service mental health support, advice and triage for all ages through a single point of access. Crisis lines are an NHS Long Term Plan ambition brought forward from 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the temporary measure allowing medical abortions to happen outside a clinical environment, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that potential abuse, coercion and sex-trafficking of under 18s who may request medical abortions at home under that measure is detected.

Safeguarding is an essential component of abortion services. All providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse and know how to respond. Providers must have written guidance that staff are aware of and can easily refer to as well as easy access to a named lead in the organisation for guidance and advice.

It is also a requirement that clinicians caring for women requesting abortion should be able to identify those who require more support than can be provided in the routine abortion service setting, for example young women, those with a pre-existing mental health condition, those who are subject to sexual violence or poor social support, or where there is evidence of coercion. These requirements apply to all consultations whether they take place via video link, telephone call or face to face.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the information provided to women undergoing consultation for late-term abortions; and whether women undergoing those consultations are informed that a child could live at 22 weeks outside the womb and feel pain.

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion and Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, which is available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

The RCOG have identified the Report ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’ should be reviewed, following the recent publication of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidance on best practice abortion care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department made of the potential effect of (a) mandatory calorie counts on menus and (b) other measures in the Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives policy paper on people with eating disorders prior to the publication of that policy paper.

Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions and it is important that people have access to the right mental health support, in the right place, at the right time. We carefully considered all views on our measures to reduce obesity and will continue to do so. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts in response to our public consultations on specific policy proposals in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses with 250 or more employees, to calorie label the food they sell. An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of shopper intent when developing the scope for the proposed location restrictions set out in the Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives strategy.

A full public consultation and impact assessment has been carried out for the proposal to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar in stores. The Government’s response to the consultation and the impact assessment will be published shortly.

Policies on restricting the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar are informed by the latest research, emerging evidence and various reports from key stakeholders including Public Health England.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to use the findings of Public Health England' report, Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives, published on 27 July 2020 on the consumption of sugar and excess calories in developing the proposed promotion and advertising restrictions.

A full public consultation and impact assessment has been carried out for the proposal to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar in stores. The Government’s response to the consultation and the impact assessment will be published shortly.

Policies on restricting the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar are informed by the latest research, emerging evidence and various reports from key stakeholders including Public Health England.

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on mental health of enabling couples to form a bubble while living in separate households during the covid-19 outbreak.

Until 3 December, people must not mix with any other households indoors apart from under certain exemptions, including being able to form a support bubble. If a person or their partner is in a single adult household, they can form a support bubble between your household and do not have to adhere to social distancing rules.

We understand these rules are difficult for everyone, but reducing social contact is paramount to protecting the National Health Service and saving lives. The Government will keep this under constant review and has published guidance on mental health and wellbeing which includes guidance on maintaining relationships, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#what-can-help-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are waiting for cancer treatment in West Yorkshire; and what the average waiting time is for that treatment.

Data is not held in the format requested.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to facilitate safe contact between the guests of care homes and their families to mitigate the effects of loneliness on mental health during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that limiting visits in care homes has been difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones.

We published updated visiting guidance on 15 October 2020, which set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to continue safely, based on the views of their local Director of Public Health.

Care homes should provide support to visitors on how to prepare for a visit, including the appropriate infection control precautions.

For areas at local COVID alert level medium visits to care homes can continue as set out in the care homes visiting guidance. For areas at local COVID alert level high and very high visits to care homes should return to exceptional circumstances only such as end of life.

Our priority remains the prevention of infection in care homes to protect staff and residents and we are considering plans to test specific family and friends to reduce the risk of visiting care homes. We will set out further details in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce mass-testing for covid-19 for students that wish to return home for Christmas.

To support the return home of students in December we provided universities with rapid lateral flow tests. Students were asked to get tested twice during the first week of December using lateral flow devices. If they received two negative tests, they were advised to return home immediately. Should a student have tested positive they would have to self-isolate for 10 days, still with enough time to return home for Christmas.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to ONS statistical release, Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England and Wales: 2 March to 15 May 2020, if his Department will make an assessment of the reasons for the higher death rate from covid-19 among disabled women.

We know that many people with long standing, limiting illnesses or health conditions are at higher risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

The survey analysis undertaken by the Office for National Statistics is provisional. We will continue to review all available evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 for disabled people, including disabled women, and we are commissioning new research to better understand the specific impacts. This evidence will inform policy development going forwards.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of using Nightingale hospitals in the winter in the event that further hospital capacity is needed.

Nightingale hospitals have helped the National Health Service to rise to an unprecedented challenge by providing extra capacity to manage surges in demand due to COVID-19.

We continue to work closely with the NHS and partners, and guidance has already been issued on restoring urgent non-COVID-19 services safely, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again if needed, including through the use of Nightingale hospitals.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on treatment time for (a) elective care and routine operations, (b) cancer and (c) urgent treatment.

The postponement of non-urgent elective operations was vital in ensuring that the National Health Service had sufficient capacity to manage COVID-19 demand, although the most urgent and emergency treatments continued to be provided. This pause in activity led to an increase in waiting times following referral. The latest performance against the target for 92% of patients to start treatment within 18 weeks following referral was 66.2% in May 2020. Performance against the target of 85% of patients having a first definitive treatment for cancer within 62 days following an urgent general practitioner referral was 69.9% in May. Performance against the target for 95% of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours upon arrival at accident and emergency was 92.8% in June 2020.

We continue to work closely with the NHS and partners, and guidance has already been issued on starting to restore urgent non-COVID-19 services safely, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again if needed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the results of the new treatment service for gambling addiction in Sunderland.

The assessment of the Sunderland clinic is ongoing. The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment to expand the coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, and to work with partners to tackle the problem at source. Up to 15 such clinics will be open by 2023/24.

The treatment clinic in Sunderland, opened in January 2020, is run by the NHS Northern Gambling Service. Throughout 2020/21, the site will continue to serve as a pilot site to test models for spreading geographical coverage of treatment provision, using central clinics that have satellite clinics in neighbouring populations.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government intends to commission further research into the findings in the letter by Helms et al entitled, Neurologic Features in Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 4 June 2020.

The Department invests £1 billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR continues to play a critical role in prioritising, funding and delivering research into COVID-19. The NIHR is prioritising COVID-19 clinical research activity through its Urgent Public Health research prioritisation process. A list of prioritised studies is available at the following link:

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/covid-studies/

The NIHR funds COVID-19 research through its research calls. The NIHR Recovery and Learning Call will fund research to better understand and manage the health and social care consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This follows on from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-NIHR Rapid Response Call and the UKRI-NIHR Rapid Rolling Call for research that aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention and/or management of COVID-19.

The UKRI Medical Research Council has funded the UK Dementia Research Institute to conduct a study into the clinical characterisation of the neurological and cognitive effects of SARS-CoV-2 linked brain injury.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure people working in blood donation centres can be tested for covid-19.

NHS Blood and Transplant staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, and their symptomatic household members, have been eligible for testing since 17 April. NHS Blood and Transplant regularly promotes the testing service to its staff. NHS Blood and Transplant staff who are absent, reporting COVID-19- like symptoms, are supported in accessing testing the Government’s online self-referral portal for essential workers, which allows them to register for a home test kit or book a drive-through test at a regional test site.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a test has access to one. All health and care staff have had access to a test since 17 April.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 tests had results confirmed within 48 hours.

Information on turnaround times for testing is published for pillars 1 and 2 weekly as part of the NHS Test and Trace statistics at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have received results from being tested for covid-19.

As of 14 October 2020, a total of 7,654,018, or one in eight people in England have received a COVID-19 test at least once since the launch of NHS Test and Trace on 28 May 2020.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS intensive care units have (a) appropriate facilities and (b) adequate resources to help save the lives of patients worst affected by covid-19.

The Chancellor recently advised that the National Health Service will get the resources it needs to cope with a COVID-19 epidemic.

The NHS is currently scaling up intensive care beds. NHS England is looking at critical care capacity - including the availability of additional facilities of independent sector providers.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific advice he has received on the risk of transmission of covid-19 in public gatherings.

Our approach has been, and will continue to be, guided by the evidence and latest advice from medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer.

It is absolutely critical in managing the spread of this virus that we take the right decisions at the right time based on the latest and best evidence.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies meets regularly to discuss relevant issues, including scientific evidence related to public gatherings.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to protect NHS staff from infection from covid-19.

‘COVID-19: Guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings’ has been published and can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/872745/Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_for_pandemic_coronavirus.pdf

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will issue guidance to hon. Members and their staff in contact with vulnerable constituents on how to deal with the risk of covid-19 infection.

Public Health England (PHE) recommends that hon. Members and noble Lords, representing members of the public model good behaviour and follow public health advice on self-isolation issued by PHE.

Guidance on self-isolation for people with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infection is available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

PHE recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19. This includes covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands, when you cough or sneeze. Putting used tissues in the bin straight away and washing your hands with soap and water often, using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

If a hon. Member or their staff thinks they have been exposed to a confirmed case, and they are worried about symptoms, they should call NHS 111. They should not go directly to their general practice or other healthcare environment.

General PHE advice on COVID-19 is updated regularly and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what testing criteria Public Health England is applying for the testing of potential covid-19 cases; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of widening that testing criteria so that higher numbers of people are so tested.

Details on case definitions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-initial-investigation-of-possible-cases/investigation-and-initial-clinical-management-of-possible-cases-of-wuhan-novel-coronavirus-wn-cov-infection#criteria

The Stay at Home Guidance states that Public Health England will not be testing people with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Those with mild symptoms are advised to self-isolate and stay at home for seven days from the onset of the relevant symptoms of a new continuous cough and a high temperature. Therefore, people do not need to be tested to act. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to enforce the NICE guidelines on offering epidurals to women in labour.

All expectant mothers should be able to make an informed choice about pain relief any time before and during labour, knowing that their choice would be fully respected if it is safe to do so.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Nadine Dorries MP) is writing to all Heads and Directors of Midwifery and Medical Directors at NHS trusts to remind them of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance regarding pain relief during childbirth to ensure it is being followed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to undertake further research on the side effects of cannabidiol products.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on cannabidiol products; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. The NIHR has identified research on cannabis-based medicinal products as a priority and has issued two calls for research proposals on this area.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to encourage research into the effect of IVF treatments on the perinatal health of babies conceived through IVF.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which has a broad portfolio of research into reproductive health, including assisted conception.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. However it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications for funding are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to (a) undertake research on and (b) raise awareness of staff in NHS Trusts of kangaroo care for premature babies.

The Department currently has no plans to fund research on kangaroo care for premature babies. The National Institute for Health Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. Applications for funding are subject to peer review and judged in open competition.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the decision by the Professional Standards Authority to renew the Society of Homeopaths’ accreditation.

The Department does not maintain a position on any complementary or alternative medicine treatments. It is the responsibility of local National Health Service organisations to make decisions on the commissioning and funding of any healthcare treatments for NHS patients, taking into account issues around safety and clinical and cost-effectiveness. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not currently recommend that homeopathy should be used in the treatment of any health condition.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is an independent organisation who has responsibility for the accredited registers scheme. The PSA is clear that accreditation is not an endorsement of a particular treatment or therapy or its efficacy but ensures that practitioners are part of a body that works to good practice and is committed to protecting the public.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many open serious case reviews there are into perinatal deaths in England.

A Serious Case Review is the terminology previously used to describe the local agency joint response review into safeguarding concerns (e.g. concerns about neglect, abuse) where the child has died or been seriously harmed. These are now referred to as Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.

Information on the number of open cases of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make it its policy to raise public awareness of the links between asthma and cleaning products.

The NHS Long Term Plan identifies respiratory disease as a clinical priority and highlights key areas for action. This includes enabling more people to self-manage their condition through introducing standardised education programmes for asthma. To deliver this, a national respiratory programme has been established. The programme has expert representation from across the National Health Service and is working in collaboration with representatives from public health.

The NHS A-Z lists common triggers for asthma and points to specific advice on this issue on the Asthma UK website at the following links:

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/indoor-environment/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will launch an inquiry into deaths relating to vaping.

There are no current plans to conduct an inquiry. Cases have been reported in the United States of America of acute lung injury suspected to be associated with e-cigarette use or vaping, although Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently recognised that either tetrahydrocannabinol or Vitamin E Acetate as the likely cause of the USA outbreak. Although to date reports in the United Kingdom do not reflect the trends in volume and pattern of the respiratory events seen in the USA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is conducting surveillance to ensure they can identify potential cases.

UK regulated e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking although not completely risk free. Five fatalities have been reported to the MHRA in the UK that may have been associated with e-cigarette use. Importantly there is no evidence that all the deaths were caused by e-cigarette use. This needs to be put into context of over 3 million e-cigarette users in the UK, and that smoking kills over 78,000 people each year alone in England.

The MHRA continues to assess all reports received in association with nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and take appropriate action to protect public health.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK citizens repatriated from Wuhan in China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak receive the necessary medical attention.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that those people repatriated by the United Kingdom Government are made as comfortable as possible throughout the duration of the 14-day period to monitor their health and to protect the public.

They will have access to a team of medical staff who will closely monitor their condition.

The team at this site is able to ensure that infection control remains at the highest standard and that individuals have access to specialist care if required. It also allows the health of those in the group to be regularly monitored and has the necessary medical facilities close at hand should they be required.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to help ensure equity in the performance of clinical commissioning groups on the (a) timeliness and (b) quality of mental health treatments for children after receipt of a referral for such treatment.

We have committed to at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 being able to access mental health support by 2023/24.

Our Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health aims to improve the provision of services for children. One of the key proposals of the Green Paper is to create new Mental Health Support Teams in and near groups of schools and colleges, to enable children to get timely support for mild to moderate conditions.

In December 2018, we announced 25 Trailblazer sites to run the first wave of 59 Mental Health Support Teams. In 12 of these areas we are also testing a four-week wait standard, exploring how Mental Health Support Teams and specialist services can work together to achieve more timely access to appropriate treatment.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Long Term plan, what steps his Department is taking to help people stop smoking in areas where smoking is more prevalent.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to the provision of tobacco dependence treatment services for all people who smoke who are admitted overnight to hospital, pregnant women and higher risk outpatients by the end of 2023/24.

The NHS Long Term Plan Implementation Framework, published in June 2019, outlines how these commitments will be delivered; encouraging local systems, to develop local plans to tackle health inequalities and best meet the needs of the populations they serve.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries mistakenly diagnosed as post concussion syndrome.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding he has allocated from the public purse to support avoidance of misdiagnosis of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the rate of misdiagnosis of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to January 2020 NHS Digital figures showing an increase in hospital admissions for eating disorders, what steps he is taking to (a) prevent people from developing those disorders and (b) support people in those situations.

Early intervention is beneficial for all mental health conditions. Our Green Paper on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision has the potential to significantly improve early intervention and prevention, which can help prevent problems continuing into or developing in adulthood.

The Government recognise that poor body image is a common problem and in most extreme cases can lead to eating disorders. This is why the Government has delivered a broad programme on body image which has included work with the advertising industry to develop young peoples’ ability to evaluate the images and messages they encounter in the media.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s investment of an extra £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24, eating disorder services for all ages are being ramped-up across the country. This Government has invested £150 million over five years since 2014, to expand eating disorder community-based care for children and young people and we have seen positive results, with an increase in the total number receiving effective treatment in the community from around 5,000 in 2016/17 to over 7,500 in 2018/19. At least three in four children are now starting treatment within one week if urgent and four weeks if non-urgent.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to support the Haitian Government since the earthquake in that country.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake the UK announced that up to £1 million of support was available for the response effort. This is in addition to our significant contributions to the UN, the Red Cross and the Start fund. A UK Emergency Medical Team has completed its assessment mission of the needs caused by the earthquake, and the UK funded an expert to join the UN's Disaster Assessment and Coordination mission, conducting an initial assessment and coordinating the international response. 1,300 UK-funded shelter, hygiene and lighting kits were sent to Haiti from the UK and Panama. The UK has also provided funding to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is assisting with operations and coordination. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Wave Knight was deployed offshore from Haiti until 29 August, supporting the US humanitarian response by serving as a landing pad for US helicopters. The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), of which the UK is a founding donor, has agreed a pay out of approximately $40 million. Further UK support remains available if required.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure animal welfare in the British Overseas Territories.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare was published on 12 May 2021 and sets out the Government's plans, aims and ambitions across animal welfare.

Our exit from the EU affords us the opportunity to raise our already high domestic animal welfare standards, to act as a dynamic leader on the world stage, and to introduce measures and protections which are right in principle.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates this Government's commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad, and also provides a foundation for conversations on how we can continue to improve animal welfare and conservation in the future.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the prevention of animal abuse in (a) South and (b) Central America.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare was published on 12 May 2021 and sets out the Government's plans, aims and ambitions across animal welfare.

Our exit from the EU affords us the opportunity to raise our already high domestic animal welfare standards, to act as a dynamic leader on the world stage, and to introduce measures and protections which are right in principle.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates this Government's commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad, and also provides a foundation for conversations on how we can continue to improve animal welfare and conservation in the future.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the prevention of animal abuse in Asia.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare was published on 12 May 2021 and sets out the Government's plans, aims and ambitions across animal welfare.

Our exit from the EU affords us the opportunity to raise our already high domestic animal welfare standards, to act as a dynamic leader on the world stage, and to introduce measures and protections which are right in principle.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates this Government's commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad, and also provides a foundation for conversations on how we can continue to improve animal welfare and conservation in the future.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the prevention of animal abuse in Africa.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare was published on 12 May 2021 and sets out the Government's plans, aims and ambitions across animal welfare.

Our exit from the EU affords us the opportunity to raise our already high domestic animal welfare standards, to act as a dynamic leader on the world stage, and to introduce measures and protections which are right in principle.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates this Government's commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad, and also provides a foundation for conversations on how we can continue to improve animal welfare and conservation in the future.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help de-escalate tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

I spoke to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 September. I raised UK concerns over civilian casualties and fatalities, urged immediate de-escalation and reinforced the importance of returning to negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. The UK continues to engage actively with international partners in support of these objectives. The Prime Minister discussed the situation in Nagorno Karabakh with President Erdogan on 28 September. And, following a request from the UK and its European partners, the issue was discussed at the UN Security Council on 29 September.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the Russia holding military exercises in the Caucasus region during recent hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Government is deeply concerned by the recent hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and regrets the loss of life. We continue to monitor the situation closely. We are aware of the recent exercises in southwest Russia, and monitor Russian exercise activity closely. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement of 14 July called for Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the ceasefire, engage in dialogue and refrain from rhetoric that could increase tensions. The prosperity of the South Caucasus and wider regional energy security depends on both sides returning to the negotiating table and engaging in substantive talks. The Government fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at facilitating this.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on (a) Caspian oil supplies and (b) British regional interests in the energy field of recent hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Government is deeply concerned by the recent hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and regrets the loss of life. We continue to monitor the situation closely. We are aware of the recent exercises in southwest Russia, and monitor Russian exercise activity closely. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement of 14 July called for Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the ceasefire, engage in dialogue and refrain from rhetoric that could increase tensions. The prosperity of the South Caucasus and wider regional energy security depends on both sides returning to the negotiating table and engaging in substantive talks. The Government fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at facilitating this.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of imposing sanctions on people responsible for human rights violations in Xinjang.

It is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future. We do not want to reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of imposing sanctions on people responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

On 6 July, The Foreign Secretary brought into force the UK's first autonomous human rights sanctions regime, which gives the Government the power to impose sanctions on those involved in the very worst of human rights abuses around the world.

As the Foreign Secretary said in his statement to the House, the Government will consider carefully further suggestions for designations under this regime. However, it would not be appropriate to pre-empt who may be designated.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help prevent the spread of covid-19 in the UK Overseas Territories.

We will always stand by the Overseas Territories. A range of government departments, led by DFID and the FCO, are supporting the Overseas Territories to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. Support includes essential medical supply, public health advice, security and access support, and financial aid to mitigate the economic impacts in the most vulnerable territories.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of a truce in the conflict in Libya.

The Government is deeply concerned by the continuing fighting in Libya. All the signs are that, despite calls for a humanitarian truce, hostilities are continuing on all sides. We are clear that an enduring ceasefire and a return to UN-led political talks are the only means of achieving the peace and stability that most Libyans crave.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Jordanian counterpart on that country’s reform of its national curriculum to strengthen anti-extremist education.

We frequently engage with the Government of Jordan on countering violent extremism, and Jordan has - in recent years - improved the content of its curriculum. We do not assess that the Jordanian curriculum contains materials that promote engagement with Daesh or other extremist groups, or promotes violent extremist behaviour.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent peace deal between the US and the Taliban on the future of Afghanistan.

The UK welcomes the agreement between the US and the Taliban, and the Joint Declaration between the United States and the Afghan government. There is an opportunity for all to come together to work for inclusive and sustainable peace. A political settlement is the only way to achieve lasting stability in Afghanistan and the wider region. It is vital that the next step is a credible and inclusive peace process that protects the progress made in the country, including protection for women and minorities. We continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards a more peaceful and positive future.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent reports of Hamas-led rocket attacks on Israel.

We are concerned by the recent escalation in Gaza, including indiscriminate rocket fire which places civilians at risk. We call upon Hamas and other terrorist groups to permanently end their attacks against Israel. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are unacceptable and unjustifiable. The perpetual cycle of violence does not serve anyone's interests, and must end. We urge all parties to adhere to the recent ceasefire arrangement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will take steps to (a) support sports teams from the Falkland Islands to participate in international tournaments and (b) tackle intimidation of such teams.

The UK Government fully supports the right of the Falkland Islanders to compete in international sports tournaments under their own flag. Officials in our missions overseas stand ready to support any Overseas Territories teams competing in international tournaments who find themselves under threat or intimidation. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials in Stanley and Brasilia were in close contact with the Falklands Team throughout the Pan American Team Continental Championships to offer support.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage a democratic resolution to the situation in Venezuela.

We maintain regular discussions with key actors on Venezuela following the United Kingdom's recognition of Juan Guaido as constitutional interim President of Venezuela. Through our Ambassador in Caracas and internationally, we have been working closely with like-minded partners - including on a sanctions regime imposed by the EU. We are also working with the US and the regional Lima Group to encourage a peaceful resolution of the current crisis and a democratic transition through free and fair elections.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Saudi Arabian counterpart on encouraging the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table to discuss the US Administration's Middle East peace plan proposal.

We have spoken to a range of regional partners about the US Administration's plan. We will continue to do so. Only Israeli and Palestinian leaders can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent. We encourage them to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking with the Gambian Government to tackle child abuse by Western tourists.

We are engaging with Gambian officials, the tourism sector and international partners to ensure that the Government of The Gambia's zero tolerance on child abuse is understood and implemented. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs in The Gambia, established in 2019, is leading work on strengthening child protection arrangements.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the December 2019 missile tests by North Korea.

We are gravely concerned by North Korea’s testing of ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The UK continues to press for diplomacy and dialogue as the best way to resolve the situation. We have repeatedly called on North Korea to engage in good faith in negotiations with the US. We fully support US efforts to persuade North Korea to dismantle its illegal nuclear and missiles programmes and believe that sanctions should remain in place until North Korea takes concrete steps towards denuclearisation. It is our firm belief that complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation is the path to a peaceful and more prosperous future for the North Korean people.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to 2019 Unicef data recording more than 170,000 grave violations against children in war zones since 2010, what steps his Department is taking in co-operation with other countries to improve children’s safety in those areas.

The UK is firmly committed to protecting children in armed conflict. We use our membership as a UN Security Council Permanent Member to prioritise conflict-related child protection issues in Council discussions and ensure that UN operations have the capacity and capability to address them. The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, contributing £800,000 in the last five years. The office works with parties to conflict that are committing grave violations to develop and implement action plans with the UN to (1) verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces, (2) prevent re-recruitment and (3) the perpetration of other grave violations. The UK increased our funding for the 2019/20 financial year by a further £450,000 to the SRSG's core mandate and £50,000 for activities relating to the SRSG's Global Coalition for Reintegration.

In 2018, the UK endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles, both key mechanisms for preventing grave violations against children. We collaborated with Sweden and others to agree Resolution 2427, adopted by the UN Security Council in July 2018, to strengthen protection mechanisms for children in armed conflict. We delivered a joint statement to the Human Rights Council in March 2019, reiterating our strong support for the mandate of the SRSG for Children And Armed Conflict, and called upon States to increase accountability for perpetrators of all six grave violations. Last year, the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UK signed up to the UN Voluntary Global Pledge – for Every Child, Every Right, which called for Member States to reaffirm their commitment to upholding and protecting child rights in the 21st century, and promoted children's perspectives in the development and assessment of strategies and programmes designed to realise their rights.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of simplifying tax rules to support subcontract use in the transport industry.

To maintain consistency and fairness across the tax system, subcontractors in the transport industry are subject to the same general tax rules as workers in other industries.

The Government keeps all parts of the tax system under review.

The Government has introduced a wider package of support worth billions to help businesses, including subcontractors, through the coronavirus period, which includes extensions to the furlough scheme; extensions to the COVID-19 loan schemes; grant support; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT deferrals.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people in Morley and Outwood constituency have (a) applied for and (b) been successful in their application for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

HMRC publish statistics on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-july-2021.

HMRC do not publish figures for the number of individuals that applied for the SEISS. As at 6 June 2021, 3,900 individuals successfully claimed a SEISS grant in Morley and Outwood constituency.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people were in receipt of support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire as at 1 July 2021.

HM Revenue and Customs publish statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme regularly. The latest statistics were published on 1 July 2021 and can be found on GOV.UK.

These statistics, the latest available, report that on 31 May 2021 there were (a) 3,200 employments on furlough where the employee was resident in Morley and Outwood constituency, and (b) 72,200 employments on furlough where the employee was resident in the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Area. Employees can have more than one furloughed employment. These are provisional figures.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many businesses have received support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in Morley and Outwood constituency to date.

HM Revenue and Customs publish statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) regularly. The latest statistics were published on 1 July 2021.

These statistics report that a cumulative total of 18,200 employments have been put on furlough at various times since the start of the CJRS where the employee was resident in Morley and Outwood constituency. This is based on claims made by 14 June 2021.

Figures for the number of businesses claiming support through the CJRS by Parliamentary constituency are not available. The registered address for PAYE schemes making CJRS claims is often different from the workplace, particularly for larger firms with a few PAYE schemes covering thousands of employees. Parliamentary constituency figures based on PAYE scheme addresses are therefore likely to be inaccurate.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress his Department has made on pursuing reform of financial services regulation to support participation in growing markets in Asia.

HM Treasury engages with a range of countries in Asia through established and regular economic and/or financial dialogues, where financial services regulation is a key theme. This encompasses Economic and Financial Dialogues with China and India, and Financial Dialogues with Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Through these dialogues HM Treasury has built new and deeper financial services relationships with Asia’s financial centres, helping to facilitate the participation of firms in our respective jurisdictions and to agree new market connectivity initiatives. The UK’s cooperation with Japan has also been enhanced via the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Where applicable additional information about these dialogues is published on www.gov.uk, including the via joint outcomes statements and in HM Treasury’s annual reports.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses with high capital investments apart from the super-deduction of capital gains tax.

The super-deduction reduces the corporation tax bill of companies that invest. Therefore, it is separate to the capital gains tax regime.

HM Treasury have published a factsheet on the super-deduction that also explains what capital expenditure qualifies for the different reliefs in the capital allowance regime. The factsheet can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967202/Super_deduction_factsheet.pdf.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reintroducing the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, once hospitality businesses are allowed to reopen.

The Government understands this is a challenging time for the UK’s hospitality sector.

The best way the Government can support businesses in the hospitality sector, is by reopening businesses that are closed when it is safe to do so. However, the Government will continue to monitor developments, engage with the sector and keep under review the case for further interventions to support business growth and employment in the sector.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support money advice organisations in communities.

In January 2019 the Government established the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) with the objectives to simplify the existing public financial guidance landscape and offer more holistic support to consumers. MaPS brings together the functions of the three former organisations that provided free-to-use financial guidance: the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.

The Government is committed to helping people access money guidance when they need it and recognises the impact of the pandemic on people’s personal finances.

MaPS partners with local money guidance organisations and signposts to them through its website and its online Money Navigator Tool. This tool was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and was launched in June 2020; it provides financial guidance tailored to individual needs.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the need to provide further support to SME high street businesses that have been closed for a prolonged period of time due to covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Government understands that this is a challenging time for high street businesses which have been acutely impacted by the pandemic. This is why the Government has delivered support to these businesses through extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), VAT and business rates relief, a moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants, cash grants to protect businesses, extensions to existing loan schemes, and ‘Pay as You Grow’ options for businesses which have taken out loans through BBLS or CBILS, giving a longer repayment period and allowing further flexibility on repayments.

The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support the country through the COVID-19 pandemic and support will continue. The 3 March Budget will outline the next stage in the Government’s Plan for Jobs including further detail on economic support to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK. The approach will reflect the steps set out in the roadmap: as restrictions ease and the economy is gradually and safely reopened, the Government will carefully tailor the level of support to individuals and businesses to reflect the changing circumstances.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether plans he has to provide further support to (a) retail and (b) hospitality businesses after the national covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s retail and hospitality sector, and at the upcoming budget the Government will outline the next stages of its plan for jobs to support businesses and families across the UK.

In January the Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. This grant comes in addition to the Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month for closed businesses.

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. This funding also comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities.

The Government is also delivering support to the retail and hospitality sector through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been extended until April; Government backed finance through loan schemes, ‘Pay as You Grow’ long-term repayments options, a VAT cut, a VAT deferral for up to 12 months, a 12-month business rates holiday; and a moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of adopting a simplified tax structure after the transition period.

The Government remains committed to a tax system that wherever possible is simple, fair and easy to use, and that tackles avoidance and evasion. It will continue to consider recommendations made by the independent Office of Tax Simplification, and keeps all taxes, including the overall system, under review. Any changes to tax policy will be announced at fiscal events.
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the average tax paid by (a) high street and (b) internet-based retailers; and what steps his Department is taking to establish a more level tax playing field for the retail industry.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth around £10 billion, and has frozen the business rates multiplier for 2021-22.

The Chancellor keeps the impacts of tax policy on different types of businesses, including high street and internet based retailers, under consideration. The fundamental review of business rates will consider all parts of the business rates system, as well as alternative taxes such as an Online Sales Tax.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are in receipt of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in Morley and Outwood constituency.

By 31 July 2020, 3,500 individuals in the Morley and Outwood constituency had claimed the first grant for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

By 30 September 2020, 3,100 individuals in the Morley and Outwood constituency had claimed the second grant for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

These figures were taken from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme statistics published on 21 August and 22 October respectively.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of treating riding schools and livery yards as agricultural settings for business rates purposes.

Agricultural land and farm buildings are exempt from business rates. Decisions on reliefs and exemptions will be considered as part of the fundamental review of business rates.

In response to COVID-19, the Government has provided 100 per cent business rates relief to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure in 2020-21, including riding schools.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he will provide to in-work single parents in the event that schools close due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government’s current advice is that no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case, unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

In the meantime, Budget has announced temporary, timely and targeted measures worth £12 billion to support the country through this period of disruption. As part of this package, self-isolators, and those caring for them, will have access to Statutory Sick Pay or New Style Employment and Support Allowance from day one of their absence. We are also ensuring Universal Credit supports the self-employed.

Budget also announced £500 million for Local Authorities in England to provide support to affected vulnerable households in their local area.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will introduce measures in the upcoming budget to help businesses manage the potential effect on the economy of the spread of covid-19.

Public safety is the government’s top priority in our response to Covid-19.

The UK is well prepared and the government is taking firm and comprehensive action, consistent with the best scientific evidence, to contain, delay, mitigate, and research the virus.

At Budget, the Chancellor outlined how the government will be supporting public services, individuals, and businesses. These include a range of measures that are timely, targeted, and temporary, so that they deliver support when and where it is needed, while protecting long-term fiscal sustainability.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what role the Freeports Advisory Committee plays prior to the publishing of proposals relating to free ports.

We have drawn on advice from the Freeports Advisory Panel, as well as evidence from successful Freeports around the world and industry experts, to develop an ambitious UK Freeport model.

We are now consulting on these proposals and seeking input from businesses, ports and the public. The Freeports Advisory Panel will continue to play an important role.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake a review level of the business rates transitional relief.

The Government is committed to conducting a fundamental review of business rates, and further information will be announced in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce the stamp duty rate for first-time buyers purchasing properties above the threshold set for first-time buyers.

At Autumn Statement 2014, residential SDLT was cut for 98% of people who pay it, unless they are purchasing additional property, and at Autumn Budget 2017 the Government introduced first time buyers’ relief which has already helped over 240,000 people get onto the housing ladder.

All taxes are kept under review as part of the Budget cycle.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce stamp duty rates for private home buyers.

At Autumn Statement 2014, residential SDLT was cut for 98% of people who pay it, unless they are purchasing additional property, and at Autumn Budget 2017 the Government introduced first time buyers’ relief which has already helped over 240,000 people get onto the housing ladder.

All taxes are kept under review as part of the Budget cycle.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to eliminate the retrospective aspects of the loan charge.

The Government published Sir Amyas Morse’s independent review of the Loan Charge on 20 December, alongside the Government’s response to his recommendations. The Government welcomes Sir Amyas’s recognition that Disguised Remuneration schemes are a form of tax avoidance and that it was right for the Government to take action to ensure the tax was collected.

Sir Amyas’s careful and considered report examines the question of from when the Loan Charge should apply. He concludes that from 9 December 2010 the law about the tax treatment of loan schemes was clear and that the Loan Charge should apply from this date.

The Government accepts Sir Amyas’s clear view on this point and intends to legislate to implement all but one of the recommendations in the next Finance Bill.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake a review of HMRC's IR35 tax regulations.

The review of the off-payroll working rules reform was announced on 7 January 2020. As set out at Budget 2018, the reform is due to be extended to medium and large organisations in all sectors from April 2020. The review will look to address any remaining concerns from businesses and individuals about how the forthcoming reform will be implemented, and will determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure smooth and successful implementation.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the mortgage rules related to the EU Mortgage Credit Directive once the UK leaves the EU.

After the UK leaves the EU – which the Government is determined to do - we will have control over the rules that we set for our financial services sector. The UK is committed to uphold global, open markets underpinned by the highest standards of regulation and appropriate levels of supervisory oversight.

Common rules will remain in place until the end of the Implementation Period on 31 December 2020. Any EU measures which become operative during that implementation period would therefore also apply in the UK.

The Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) was introduced by the European Commission following the financial crisis to improve standards for mortgage lending across the EU. The final text of the MCD was published in February 2014, with a requirement for Member States to transpose it into national law by 21 March 2016.

The MCD aims to ensure a high level of consumer protection for mortgage applicants. The majority of its rules already aligned with the existing UK regulatory system for mortgages. For the most part, the Government therefore implemented the requirements through alteration to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) rules. The FCA monitors the impact of its rules on the market closely. For example, their Mortgages Market Study of March 2019 found that broadly the mortgage market is working well for consumers.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle hoax calls to the emergency services.

Making hoax and / or nuisance calls to the emergency services is a criminal offence that carries a fine or even a jail sentence. Additional measures are in place, for example Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) proactively monitor hoax/nuisance emergency calls and have processes in place to contact customers to educate them about the impact their behaviour has and to insist that the customer stop making hoax calls. All calls to the emergency services are recorded and the number can be traced, even if withheld, and an emergency authority can contact the MNO to request they contact their customer with this educational approach. Emergency services may also request an MNO to disconnect the account of the hoax/nuisance caller. However, any decision is for the emergency authority to take.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the theft of practical tools for employment in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) England.

The Government is tackling vehicle crime as a priority. We continue to work closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime and overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce. This includes consideration of how we can reduce the number of vehicles being stolen.

Through this Working Group, a network of vehicle crime specialists has been established across all police forces in England and Wales to share expertise.

The Government is aware of the issue of tool theft and understands the negative impact this has on victims who rely on the tools of their trade to earn a living. We have established an expert Stolen Goods Working Group with the police and academia to tackle the markets for stolen goods. The group is examining ways to make property more identifiable and traceable and are working with partners to increase enforcement and encourage due diligence checks by second-hand goods traders.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle van theft in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) England.

The Government is tackling vehicle crime as a priority. We continue to work closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime and overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce. This includes consideration of how we can reduce the number of vehicles being stolen.

Through this Working Group, a network of vehicle crime specialists has been established across all police forces in England and Wales to share expertise.

The Government is aware of the issue of tool theft and understands the negative impact this has on victims who rely on the tools of their trade to earn a living. We have established an expert Stolen Goods Working Group with the police and academia to tackle the markets for stolen goods. The group is examining ways to make property more identifiable and traceable and are working with partners to increase enforcement and encourage due diligence checks by second-hand goods traders.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to promote the Places of Worship protective security funding scheme to eligible institutions.

The Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme is a key commitment in the Government Hate Crime Action Plan. The sixth year of the scheme opened on 4th June 2021 with a record level amount of funding- £3.5 million.

Officials are engaging heavily with faith networks, representative groups including the Independent Advisory Panel consisting of Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh representatives, as well as the police to ensure there is positive uptake of the scheme.

The scheme has been promoted through the media, online engagement events, leaflets and a short video circulated to faith stakeholders.

The application window has been extended by 2 weeks to the 16th July to enable additional Places of Worship to apply, and further online engagement events will be organised in this period to promote the scheme.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support perpetrator behaviour change programmes to support services to work together to tackle high-harm perpetrators of domestic violence.

The Government is committed to ensuring that abusive behaviour is tackled directly with perpetrators of abuse and the root causes of domestic abuse are addressed.

This is why in the financial year 2020/21 we committed £10 million to tackle perpetrators of domestic abuse. From this we awarded over £7 million to Police and Crime Commissioners to support the introduction of innovative approaches to preventing domestic abuse, including the expansion of interventions such as the Drive Project that work with high harm perpetrators of domestic abuse.

For the year 2021/22 we have £25 million - more than doubling the funding for tackling domestic abuse perpetrators. Building on the success of last year’s fund, I am pleased to confirm that on Friday 21st May we launched a new Perpetrator Programme Fund for Police and Crime Commissioners to bid into totalling £11.1m. The purpose of this fund is to support the introduction of more perpetrator programmes. The competition will be live for six weeks, closing on 2nd July.

With the remainder of the £25 million funding, we will be considering how we can best support the projects we funded in 20/21, as well as continuing to build up our evidence base by investing in research, technology and innovation to tackle perpetrators and keep victims safe.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce alcohol-related crimes.

The Government is committed to reducing alcohol-related crime and ensuring that swift action to tackle alcohol-related offending. In the past year, we have expanded electronic tagging for criminals serving time outside of jail and the Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement is now available across courts in England and Wales.

We are focused on establishing effective partnerships between the police, local authorities, local partnership schemes and businesses to take effective actions against alcohol-related crime and harms in the night time economy, which includes plans to improve the safety of women.

We are planning to hold a Summit this summer with police, industry representatives and stakeholders from the violence against women sector to develop plans further. This complements the excellent work that police and other local agencies continue to do to reduce and prevent alcohol related crime.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to encourage more people to join the police force in West Yorkshire.

The Government is committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 by March 2023. Today we announced that as at 31 December 2020, 6,620 additional officers had been recruited in England and Wales showing that we are on track to deliver this commitment.

We have made £700m additional funding available for PCCs in 2020-21, and in the next financial year, 2021-22, we are giving PCCs an additional £415m to support the recruitment of a further 6,000 additional police officers by March 2022.

West Yorkshire Police has been allocated 256 additional officers in the first year of the Police Uplift Programme, supported by £484.5M for the force. At 31 December 2020 the force has recruited an additional 390 uplift officers against its baseline and has therefore already exceeded its year one allocation. For year two of the uplift, the force has been allocated 239 additional officers and additional funding of £511.9M – an increase of £27.3M on last year.

The national uplift programme is also supporting all forces with a variety of attraction and recruitment strategies, whilst delivering a campaign that’s been designed to reach diverse audiences.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of recent increases in police recruitment on the number of police officers engaged in on-the-ground work.

The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers and putting violent criminals behind bars for longer.

I am delighted that almost 6,000 police officers have already been recruited as part of the uplift, working to support the national response to coronavirus as well as tackling crime and keeping communities safe.

We are committed to recruiting at pace, but also ensuring officers are fully trained and supported to meet modern crime demands. During their probation, new officers will be on the beat.

The deployment of these officers is an operational decision for Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allocate long-term funding to the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

The Home Office will be providing specific funding of £136,000 to support the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit in 2020/21. This will be in addition to specific funding for the Unit provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the funding central Government will be providing police forces in England and Wales to tackle all types of crime, including wildlife crime.

Decisions about Home Office funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2021 will be taken as part of the forthcoming Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what enforcement mechanisms Ofcom will be given to regulate tech companies.

In February 2020, the Government published the initial consultation response to the Online Harms White Paper and announced that it was minded to appoint Ofcom as the online line harms regulator.

Subject to remaining government and parliamentary processes, the regulator will have strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance and drive remedial action. The new regulatory framework will introduce a duty of care, overseen by the independent regulator. This will ensure that companies, where appropriate, take prompt, transparent and effective action to address online harms.

In the White Paper we set out that the regulator will have sufficient powers to take effective action against companies that breach regulator requirements. We have consulted on the most appropriate enforcement powers for the regulator, and are considering measures including notices, warning, fines and business disruption measures. Further information will be included in the full government response which will be published in the autumn.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will increase support available to victims of child abuse when they are attending court.

The Government is committed to meeting the needs of vulnerable victims and witnesses. It provides the Witness Intermediary Scheme to assist those with communication difficulties, including victims of child abuse.

The majority of requests for Registered Intermediaries (RIs) - a communications specialist who helps witnesses with communication difficulties - concern the assistance of children.

In 2019, RIs assisted more than 4,500 children, 560 of whom were less than 5 years old.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the ONS statistical release of 13 February 2020, Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2019, what steps her Department is taking to reduce trends in the number of (a) baby girls and (b) toddlers being killed.

Every child’s death is a tragedy. That is why the Government has called on everyone who comes into contact with babies, children and families to recognise the role we all play in keeping them safe, and the need to work together to identify concerns, share information and take prompt action.

As part of this, the Government has already taken the following steps:

  • We are transforming the way local safeguarding agencies work together, having placed a new duty on the local authority, police and health leaders to produce new safeguarding partnerships arrangements. This will ensure a more effective and collaborative response in safeguarding children, which has been especially important in light of emerging risks during the lockdown period. We have been working closely with statutory partners and wider stakeholders who may be coming into contact with vulnerable children at this time to ensure that safeguarding concerns continue to be reported and acted upon.

  • We have created a new system of practice reviews, overseen by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, to ensure that lessons are quickly and robustly learned when a serious incident or death of a child occurs. The Panel have recently announced that their third national review will focus on non-accidental injury in children under one. Government has welcomed this review and will consider the Panel’s findings in detail once published.

We reintroduced the Domestic Abuse Bill in March 2020 to better protect and support the victims of abuse and their children and bring perpetrators to justice. The Bill transferred to the Lords on 7 July having completed its Commons stages.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the reports of 31 October 2019 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children on the abuse by tourists of children in The Gambia, what steps the Government is taking to (a) identify and (b) prosecute British tourists that have committed that offence.

The Government is committed to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse wherever and however it occurs. There can be no safe space for paedophiles to operate either here or abroad and we will do all we can to keep children safe. We continue to work closely with law enforcement in the UK and international partners to stop sex offenders from travelling abroad to prey on children, close down online networks and bring offenders to justice. We announced in the 2019 Spending Round an investment of an £30 million to support UK law enforcement to bear down on child sexual exploitation and abuse.

We are also funding projects overseas to build capacity internationally against this heinous crime through Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) overseas development aid. We have sponsored a project to reduce the vulnerability of high-risk destination countries from the threat posed by UK transnational child sex offenders (TCSOs) through targeted, sustainable capacity-building in support of National Crime Agency (NCA) operational activity. The project is in its second year and will deploy a team from the NCA internationally in direct local support of international law enforcement agencies working to combat high-risk child sexual abuse and exploitation. This includes a training and mentoring programme that builds sustainable capacity locally to safeguard children and prosecute offenders in collaboration with UK and international law enforcement agencies.

In 2012, the law was strengthened to ensure that all registered sex offenders must notify the police of any foreign travel. Police are able to assess the risk an offender may pose while abroad and engage with international law enforcement or apply to the courts for a civil order to restrict foreign travel. Breach of the requirements or a civil order is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. The Government has carried out a review of the use of civil orders for transnational offenders and will draw on the findings and recommendations from the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse’ recent ‘Children Outside the UK’ report to ensure the police have the tools and powers they need to target offenders and protect children from sexual abuse.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will adopt the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation on reducing the salary threshold for skilled migrants seeking to reside in the UK.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union and the end of free movement, we will deliver a new points-based immigration system that allows us to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee published its report on salary thresholds and the points-based system on the 28 January. We are considering its findings and recommendations carefully before taking any final decisions.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding from the public purse she plans to allocate to Violence Reduction Units in each of the next three years.

Of the £100million Serious Violence Fund that was announced in March 2019 for 2019/20, £35million was invested towards Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in England and Wales.

VRUs provide leadership and strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence by bringing together police, local government, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners to identify the drivers of serious violence and agree a multi-agency response to them.

We are pleased with the early progress that has been made in establishing the VRUs and the work they are now beginning to deliver to ensure that the right support and services are directed to children and young people most at risk of involvement in serious violence.

On 29 December 2019 the Home Secretary announced a further £35 million to continue funding VRUs in 2020/21. These first two years of funding will provide local areas with the resources to start building and developing a public health approach to serious violence. We expect them to build on this platform over time and we hope to see VRUs operating beyond the end of 2021. That is why future funding for VRUs will be a key element of our spending review bid.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recent acts of vandalism on a Synagogue and a Mosque in London, if she will introduce further measures to protect religious buildings and congregations.

Attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Through the Government’s Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme, and the Jewish Communities Protective Security Grant, the Government provides reassurance and appropriate measures to better protect all faith groups from hate crime. Funding for the Places of Worship scheme has been increased in the current year to £1.6 million (double the amount awarded last year), and the Chancellor has announced a further increase to £3.2 million for 2020/21.

Tackling faith related hate crime is a key commitment in the Cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan, and we regularly engage with faith representatives and organisations.

In addition, we have committed £5 million over three years for the provision of security training to places of worship, and we have committed to consult with communities on what more can and should be done to protect faith communities.

We have also asked the Law Commission to conduct a wide-ranging review into hate crime, looking at the breadth of hate crime legislation, and whether new strands should be introduced.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has plans to use the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement to exempt defence contracts from international public procurement rules after the end of the transition period.

Since 2012, the Governments default position of defence procurement has been open competition wherever appropriate to obtain the best capability for our Armed Forces, whilst achieving value for money for the taxpayer.

The Ministry of Defence is leading the cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors to ensure our approach enables competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries. The terms of any national security exemption will be part of that review.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of using the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement's defence exemption instead of the EU defence directives’ exemption.

Since 2012, the Governments default position of defence procurement has been open competition wherever appropriate to obtain the best capability for our Armed Forces, whilst achieving value for money for the taxpayer.

The Ministry of Defence is leading the cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors to ensure our approach enables competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries. The terms of any national security exemption will be part of that review.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the spread of covid-19 on UK military bases overseas.

The Ministry of Defence has stringent measures in place to safeguard our people and reduce the risks to them and their families on UK Bases. Many of our people – both civilian and military – are working from home and where they to come into work, we have adjusted their working environment to meet Public Health England’s (PHE) guidelines. Furthermore, we have taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that the PHE’s guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation protocols, the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene are adhered to. Defence personnel are included in the national testing programme.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the spread of covid-19 on UK military bases in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence has stringent measures in place to safeguard our people and reduce the risks to them and their families on UK Bases. Many of our people – both civilian and military – are working from home and where they to come into work, we have adjusted their working environment to meet Public Health England’s (PHE) guidelines. Furthermore, we have taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that the PHE’s guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation protocols, the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene are adhered to. Defence personnel are included in the national testing programme.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the risk of covid-19 amongst personnel in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.

Mitigation measures are being put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 onboard a submarine and to maintain the health and wellbeing of their ships' companies. The Submarine Service is following Public Health England (PHE) guidelines where practical for all personnel and, to reduce the risk of transmission, further emphasis is being placed on the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene. Measures have been introduced prior to sailing which involve the whole ship's company quarantining onboard the submarine. In addition, personnel who are, or whose households are, symptomatic will be isolated before embarking, in accordance with PHE self-isolation guidelines.

Any individual who experiences symptoms while at sea will isolate onboard in accordance with PHE guidelines and receive the appropriate medical attention, until either recovery is established or they can be safely removed and returned to shore.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will commission a review of the planning permission regime for areas at risk of flooding.

National planning policy on managing flood risk was last updated in 2018, and provides a robust framework for making decisions that take flood risk fully into account. It makes clear that inappropriate development in areas at current or future risk of flooding should be avoided and directs development towards areas at least risk. Where development is necessary in such areas, and where there are no suitable sites available in areas with a lower risk of flooding, it should be made safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere and be appropriately flood resistant and resilient. It is primarily the responsibility of local planning authorities to determine applications for planning permission, having weighed up all the material planning considerations – including advice received from flood risk management bodies.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people are waiting to have their legal cases heard in court in (a) Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) West Yorkshire.

The tables below show the number of cases outstanding in West Yorkshire as at March 2021 in respect of Magistrates cases, Crown Court cases and family cases. We are unable to provide data in respect of the number of victims or defendants waiting for their cases to be heard or data specific to Morley and Outwood constituency. To obtain this data would incur disproportionate costs.

Civil

Criminal-Non SJP

Criminal SJP

Enforcement

Bradford Magistrates

47

4,099

10,477

129

Kirklees Magistrates

111

1,492

293

110

Leeds Magistrates

70

5,127

3,911

285

Below are the number of outstanding family cases in the West Yorkshire courts.

Court Name

Private

Public

Bradford

501

Huddersfield

310

Leeds

811

597

Wakefield

309

Location

Trials Outstanding

Sentencing Outstanding

Appeals Outstanding

Total outstanding

Defendants O/S (Trial cases)

Court: BRADFORD CROWN

771

146

67

984

898

Court: LEEDS CROWN

1533

293

50

1876

1,870

James Cartlidge
Assistant Whip
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the judgment of 2 July 2021 in the case of FDJ v Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to prevent pregnancy in the female prison estate; and if he will make a statement.

Sex between prisoners is not permitted. PSI 47/2011 - Prison Discipline Procedures - provides that engaging in sexual activity can lead to disciplinary charges. PSI 30/2013 - Incentives and Earned Privileges - requires prisoners to act ‘with decency at all times remembering prisons/cells are not private dwellings (this includes not engaging in sexual activity)’.

In the case that this question references, the HMPPS and MoJ policy ‘The Care and Management of Individuals who are Transgender’ was found to be lawful. This policy sets out the minimum mandatory requirements for managing transgender prisoners and offenders on probation. When managing transgender prisoners and making decisions regarding their location within the prison estate all risk information relating to each prisoner must be considered, including risk from others, risk to others and risk of self-harm. Where appropriate, this includes consideration of a prisoner’s sexual behaviours and relationships in a custodial setting and consideration of anatomy. This risk assessment process ensures that the safety, welfare and rights of all prisoners are protected.

Transgender prisoners continue to be managed via local case boards following any decision on prison location. This means that ongoing support can be provided as well as continuous risk assessment and mitigation, with any change in circumstances or risk prompting a re-referral to the Complex Case Board where location decisions can be revisited, as necessary.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made by the Midlands Coroner investigating the case of abortion pills being used at home at 28 weeks gestation in May 2020.

The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for coroner law and policy but individual local authorities have operational responsibility for coroner services. Progress in the investigation of the case is a matter for the Senior Coroner concerned.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that family lawyers sufficiently support victims of domestic abuse through the family courts process.

The use of legal representation in family proceedings for victims of domestic abuse is governed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 which sets out that legal aid funded representation is available for domestic abuse victims in some private family proceedings, subject to providing the required evidence and meeting the means and merits tests. Whilst the legal profession in England and Wales is independent of government, all lawyers must comply with strict codes of conduct set by their independent regulators, such as the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and CILEx Regulation. These codes of conduct make clear that lawyers must act in the best interests of their clients at all times as well as honouring their responsibilities as officers of the court. For example, the SRA specifically provides guidance for legal professionals on expectations in dealing with victims of domestic abuse and vulnerable consumers.

For those victims who do not qualify for legal aid representation, we are providing £800k until 2022, to the Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (FLOWS) project, run by RCJ advice. FLOWS provide free legal support to victims of domestic abuse who wish to apply for an emergency protective order from the courts. The funding is used to provide a helpline and email service for domestic abuse victims, where they can be referred to a legal aid solicitor to assist them with making their application. Victims can also receive free advice directly from FLOWS legal team if they are ineligible for legal aid.

This Government is committed to ensuring that everyone gets the timely support they need to navigate the justice system and is currently conducting a review of the means test for legal aid. This review is assessing the effectiveness with which the means test protects access to justice, and we are specifically considering the experiences of victims of domestic abuse, including where there has been economic abuse. As part of the review, we have explicitly committed to look at the capital thresholds for victims of domestic abuse, which will include considering how assets are assessed for means testing purposes. We plan to conclude the review in late 2021, at which point we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposal.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 goes even further to support victims of domestic abuse that are proceeding through Family Courts. This Act prohibits cross-examination of victims by perpetrators. It also provides automatic eligibility for special measures for victims of domestic abuse . This includes the use of video links and screens so as victims do not have to see potential abusers.

As we implement DA Act provisions in the family courts, we will work with all professionals, including family lawyers, to ensure they are ready to support victims to benefit fully from additional measures as soon as they come into force.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what comparative data his Department holds on the number of criminal cases involving domestic abuse in which there has been victim attrition in the year ending March (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not hold data directly on “victim attrition”. No data is available centrally for the Magistrates Court. The closest data available relates to trials that are cracked due to witness absence/withdrawal at the Crown Court. A cracked trial refers to a trial that does not go ahead on the planned day as an outcome is reached in advance and so does not need to be re-scheduled. This occurs when either an acceptable plea is offered by the defendant, or the prosecution offers no evidence against the defendant.

Our data relates to ‘Violence against the person’ as opposed to ‘domestic abuse’, as a domestic abuse flag is not available within our datasets. Just over one-third (35%) of the 1,680,884 ‘violence against the person’ offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020 were domestic abuse-related (ONS, year ending March 2020).

As the next publication of this data is not until June, the PQ cannot be answered comparatively at this point. The MoJ can however provide alternative comparative data on the number of criminal cases involving ‘violence against the person’. The latest data relating to January-December 2019 and January-December 2020 was published in December 2020 and shows:

  • Between January-December 2019, 224 ‘violence against the person’ trials were cracked due to witness absence/withdrawal at the Crown Court (Ministry of Justice trial effectiveness data).
  • Between January-December 2020, there were 94 cracked trials for this reason; a 58% decrease. This coincides with a 24% decrease in the total number of trials in the same period (from 11,510 in Jan-Dec 2019 to 8,784 in Jan-Dec 2020).
  • The proportion of ‘violence against the person’ trials becoming cracked due to witness absence/withdrawal increased by one percentage point between Jan-Dec 2019 and Jan-Dec 2020 (from 8% to 9% of cracked trials).
  • N.B. cracked trials data relates to trials which become cracked only on the day of trial and does not include trials which fall through before this day.
Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many judges attended training in relation to working on cases which involve domestic abuse in the most recent period for which figures are available; and whether that training was (a) delivered by specialist domestic abuse organisations and (b) evaluated for its effect on those who undertook that training.

To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College. The judiciary and professional staff in the Judicial College are responsible for the design, content, and delivery of judicial training.

Judicial training in domestic abuse is included in family law and criminal courses run by the Judicial College. It is prioritised for induction and continuation training for judges. All judges must complete their induction training before they can hear such cases. During the 2020/21 training year all judges newly appointed to sit in crime and family received this training. The training is undertaken by judges of all levels, and speakers and tutors range from district judges to judges from the Court of Appeal and the training always includes lectures from academics and experts in psychiatry, psychology and other professions and agencies working to address domestic abuse.

The training reflects the wide nature of domestic abuse and covers all areas recognised by the Government as abuse, ranging from serious sexual and other assaults, emotional abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, including financial coercion and control. Training is kept under constant review and is regularly updated to reflect latest developments.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what training members of the judiciary have received on working on cases involving domestic abuse in the last 12 months.

To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College. The judiciary and professional staff in the Judicial College are responsible for the design, content, and delivery of judicial training.

Judicial training in domestic abuse is included in family law and criminal courses run by the Judicial College. It is prioritised for induction and continuation training for judges. All judges must complete their induction training before they can hear such cases. During the 2020/21 training year all judges newly appointed to sit in crime and family received this training. The training is undertaken by judges of all levels, and speakers and tutors range from district judges to judges from the Court of Appeal and the training always includes lectures from academics and experts in psychiatry, psychology and other professions and agencies working to address domestic abuse.

The training reflects the wide nature of domestic abuse and covers all areas recognised by the Government as abuse, ranging from serious sexual and other assaults, emotional abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, including financial coercion and control. Training is kept under constant review and is regularly updated to reflect latest developments.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to build partnerships with charities, similar to its partnership with The Clink, to reduce rates of reoffending.

Our relationship with the third sector is an important part of our work to reduce rates of reoffending. We have and continue to build strong partnerships with charities both at a national and local level.

This includes The Clink, which will expand its partnership with HMPPS over the next three years, extending an award training scheme that has been available in five prisons to an additional 70. Other examples include our partnership with Recycling Lives. This provides training and work experience in eight prison-based workshops, supporting men and women into employment on release. We have also empowered prison governors to establish relationships with local charities to help meet the needs of the men and women in their care.

Our partnership work with charities is built into the way we develop policy. The Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3) is a formal advisory group to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). The RR3 provides valuable advice to Ministers and officials on a range of issues linked to reducing reoffending, from mental health and substance misuse to employment.

We continue to explore new ways of working. The Prison Leavers Project, announced in February 2021, will see test cross-sector approaches to reducing reoffending, working with colleagues from across the public and third sector to test new ideas and ways of working.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve the support available to victims of crime.

The Government is committed to ensuring that victims of crime receive the help and high-quality support they need to cope and, as far as possible, recover. Last year, we rapidly identified the impact the pandemic would have on victims and took targeted action. In May 2020, we provided over £20m in emergency funding to help domestic abuse and sexual violence support services to meet COVID-19-driven demand. In November 2020, MoJ reallocated £10m from within existing budgets to continue to meet rising levels of demand.

In 2021-22, we will provide just under £151m for victim and witness support services. This includes an extra £51m to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims, building on the emergency funding from this financial year to help services meet COVID-19-driven demand. This compares to a total budget of £48.5m in 2010-2011.

Beyond significant increases in funding to victims’ services, the Government has taken a range of actions to ensure that victims and witnesses receive the support they need in the face of delays caused by the court backlogs. Section 28 was rolled out for vulnerable victims in all Crown Courts at pace, supported by an historic communications campaign to raise awareness of support for victims of sexual violence. We continue to lead work across the criminal justice system to encourage

victim engagement including the new Victims’ Code, which came into force on 1st April. This is a clear and comprehensive framework centered on 12 key rights for victims, setting out the level of service victims can expect to receive from criminal justice agencies. The new Victims’ Code now provides a solid foundation on which we can progress the groundbreaking Victims’ Law, which we will consult on as a priority this summer.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking in response to the recommendations made by the Law Commission in February 2021 on improving protections for victims whose intimate images are taken or shared without their consent.

Activities involving the sharing of intimate images are captured by existing offences for example those tackling “revenge pornography”, harassment, malicious communications, blackmail, and “coercive or controlling behaviour”.

To further strengthen the law in this area the Government has announced it is to extend the “revenge pornography” offence to capture those who threaten to disclose such material. Provisions to extend the parameters of the offence in this manner were introduced in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The provisions will come into force two months after Royal Assent.

However, the Government recognises that there is concern over the growth of new technology and the impact on the law in this area.

We have asked the Law Commission to review the law in this area to ensure victims are properly protected. The Law Commission published a public consultation to this review on 26 February this year, with a view to announcing findings later this year, which the Government will consider carefully.

The consultation period ends on 27 May and I should like to encourage people to take part in that important public engagement.

The Government awaits the Law Commission’s findings with interest.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reduce homelessness amongst people leaving prison.

On 29th January, we announced a £70m investment programme to provide stable accommodation for prison leavers. The investment will bring together the work of Approved Premises (AP) and the Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS) with a new tier of provision for prison leavers at risk of homelessness. This new accommodation service will provide up to 12 weeks of basic temporary accommodation for prison leavers who would otherwise be homeless.

The service will launch in five of the 12 probation regions in England and Wales, namely the East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, Greater Manchester, Kent Surrey and Sussex, and the North West. All individuals aged 18 and over, either released from prison or moving on from APs or BASS, into those five regions who are at risk of homelessness, will be eligible. HMPPS will work in conjunction with MHCLG’s announced funding to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness into private rental tenancies as part of plans to secure settled accommodation by the end of the 12-week period.

It is anticipated that the new intervention will commence in Summer 2021 and will provide support for approximately 3,000 service users. It will be in operation during the 2021-22 financial year, with a view to scaling up and rolling out nationally, though the Spending Review 2021 will set out the approach for future years.

We are introducing and testing a new specialist housing advisor role in up to twenty prisons, including HMP Leeds. The new role will seek to strengthen links between prisons, through the gate teams and local authorities to improve accommodation outcomes for those at risk of homelessness.

The recently published Target Operating model for the unified probation service includes information regarding the future performance framework for probation, including a target on the number of individuals being housed on release from custody (90%), together with a measure relating to settled accommodation for all people under supervision (those released from prison and those on community sentences); this will assess the status three months after commencement of supervision (80%).

In preparation for the launch of the new unified probation service, MoJ have published a policy framework in support of the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) Duty to Refer process, which will mandate the roles and responsibilities of both prison and probation staff in making effective referrals.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to speed up the judicial process following the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the justice system.

We have taken decisive action to address the impact of the pandemic on how quickly cases can be heard in the courts. We spent over a quarter of a billion pounds on recovery last financial year, making court buildings safe, rolling out new technology for remote hearings, recruiting an additional 1,600 HMCTS staff and opening 60 Nightingale courtrooms. These measures have helped get more cases heard and we’ve reached the same level of cases completing as before the pandemic in most jurisdictions: for example, in the Crown Courts, we are completing around 2,000 cases each week.

As announced at last year’s Spending Review we have allocated £275m to increase capacity in courts and reduce delays driven by the pandemic, and an additional £40m for victims and support services, recognising the impact that COVID has had on victims of crime.

We will continue to maximise use of our existing physical estate, and we are finalising plans for sitting days this financial year, where we expect to increase them to a record level in total across all jurisdictions.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will consider introducing a British bill of rights.

We made a commitment in our manifesto to update the Human Rights Act 1998 and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our national security and effective government. We are now considering how best to do this, and have no current plans to introduce a British Bill of Rights.