Andrew Lewer Portrait

Andrew Lewer

Conservative - Northampton South

First elected: 8th June 2017


Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Pension Dashboards (Prohibition of Indemnification) Bill
19th Oct 2022 - 26th Oct 2022
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Andrew Lewer has voted in 918 divisions, and 21 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer 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
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 269 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 246
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 244
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Conservative No votes vs 245 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 247 Noes - 150
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 183
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
28 Jun 2023 - Holocaust Memorial Bill: Committal - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 11 Noes - 379
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Lewer voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Andrew Lewer 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
Helen Whately (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
(11 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
James Cartlidge (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(25 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(16 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Andrew Lewer's debates

Northampton South Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must exercise its power under s.23 of the Gender Recognition Act to modify the operation of the Equality Act 2010 by specifying the terms sex, male, female, man & woman, in the operation of that law, mean biological sex and not "sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate"

It has been reported that the Government may amend the Equality Act to "make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender." The Government has previously committed to not remove legal protections for trans people, an already marginalised group, but this change would do so.


Latest EDMs signed by Andrew Lewer

21st February 2024
Andrew Lewer signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Independent - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
91 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Scottish National Party: 41
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Workers Party of Britain: 1
19th December 2019
Andrew Lewer signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Labour: 1
Reform UK: 1
View All Andrew Lewer's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Andrew Lewer, 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.


Andrew Lewer has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Andrew Lewer has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Andrew Lewer has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
26th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether external parties are able to (a) participate in and (b) make contributions to decision-making at COP26 via an open, transparent and accountable process, including through engagement with the members of the UK delegation to that conference.

We ensured that civil society, businesses, cities and regions, Indigenous Peoples, youth, gender and frontline groups impacted by climate change could participate in Presidency events. This included contributing to the World Leaders Summit and side events, as well as to the UK Pavilion and the Green Zone for anyone who registered their interest. Non-party observer groups have been able to observe the negotiations and we have sought their views on a range of negotiations issues.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the Government's policy is on the use of unconscious bias training; and if she will make a statement.

The Government recognises that it is important to tackle bias in workplaces and in wider society, and it is good practice to use a range of evidence based measures to achieve this, and evaluate their success. The request for a statement on this has been noted and the Government will provide an update, detailing its position on unconscious bias training, in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the methodology for calculating the Retail Price Index used at the Budget statements of (a) 27 October 2021, (b) 3 March 2021 and (c) 11 March 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 2 September is attached.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of regulating (a) Evri and (b) other delivery companies which do not meet expected customer service standards.

The Postal Services Act 2011 designates Ofcom as the independent regulator for the postal sector with the powers to impose and enforce regulatory requirements on postal operators to fulfil its functions in relation to postal services.

In its review of postal regulation in 2022, Ofcom committed to ongoing monitoring of operators’ performance and keep under review the need for additional regulation to protect consumers.

The Government has no plans to seek change to the statutory requirements in this sector.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, with reference to his Department’s publication entitled Retention payments in the construction industry consultation: summary of responses, published in February 2020, what progress he has made on that document’s next steps, including on the policy options under consideration.

The Government continues to work with the Construction Leadership Council to resolve the problems associated with cash retentions. Any policy solution must be a sustainable one that works for the industry and its clients, addressing both the need for surety and fair payment.

The Government is currently consulting on proposals on the inclusion of retention payments under the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017.

Other Council work includes supporting a pilot project with the Get It Right Initiative to reduce defects, and collaboration with the bodies responsible for construction contractual documentation to discourage the withholding of retentions.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to Government guidance entitled Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically, what the planned (a) timescale and (b) scope is for the review into Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding for (i) people occupying non-permanent park home sites or (ii) on a boat as a continuous cruiser.

To protect public funds against potentially fraudulent activity, the Government require applicants to show proof of address. The Government understands some travellers not on permanent sites or on boats not on registered moorings may not be able to provide proof of main or sole residence. The Government is working to find an acceptable method for these households to provide this proof so they can claim their support.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, how much funding the Government provided for research into kidney disease in each financial year since 2019-20; and whether she plans to increase that funding in future years.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds research into the detection, prevention, treatment and underpinning biology of kidney disease, allocated primarily through the Medical Research Council (MRC). Over the period of 2019/20 to 2021/22, MRC has invested over £20 million in funding and support for kidney disease research with £7.7 million in 2019/20, £7.8 million in 2020/21 and £6.7 million in 2021/22.

UKRI funds research and innovation on a competitive basis, with individual applications being assessed by independent experts. In general, funding is not ring-fenced for specific conditions, and so an estimate for future spend on kidney disease research is unavailable.

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Lloyd’s Register Decarbonisation Hub’s Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional funding for electrolysers to help increase production of renewable and zero carbon hydrogen.

The Register and Fuel Monitor are valuable tools in supporting decarbonisation of the UK’s maritime industry, for which hydrogen is a potential solution. The Government has committed to at least half of its 10GW hydrogen production capacity by 2030 ambition coming from electrolytic hydrogen and has included in the Growth Plan its intention to accelerate hydrogen electrolyser capacity deployment. Further details on the Government’s plans to accelerate UK infrastructure projects will be set out in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to support roofers experiencing liquidity challenges in the context of inflation on roofing materials.

The Government is aware that construction materials price inflation is creating liquidity challenges for some businesses in the sector. We are working closely with the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Product Availability Group to monitor product and material availability and mitigate the impact of price increases and we would encourage any companies who are concerned about this to get in touch with the CLC so that their comments and views can be considered a part of that work.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to extend to March 2022 or extend indefinitely the validity of already issued Green Homes Grant vouchers in response to supply chain problems in the construction industry.

Officials are working with industry representatives to better understand the global supply chain issues which are affecting various sectors.

This will allow continuity of support to installers, while also informing future Government energy efficiency schemes.

Following the closure of the Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme the Government is refocussing efforts and funding towards alternative approaches that will both maximise the delivery of home retrofits for consumers who are most in need, and support the supply chain to keep delivering.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will take to provide sector specific support to the wedding industry in response to the restrictions to guest numbers being in place until 21 June 2021.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, including those in the wedding industry, which we keep under regular review.

My Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his Budget a raft of new measures to further support businesses, including those in the wedding industry. These include:

  • Extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme to the end of September 2021.

  • £5 billion for new Restart Grants.

  • The Government is also providing all Local Authorities in England with an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion already allocated.

  • Eligible businesses in hospitality sector will benefit from business rates relief worth over £6 billion in 2021 to 2022.

My Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer also announced the launch of the Events Research Programme, to pilot events with larger crowd sizes, including weddings with the aim of removing restrictions on events in Step 4 of the roadmap.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent meetings her Department has had with (a) authors, (b) scriptwriters and (c) playwright organisations in the last 12 months.

Arts Council England, as national development agency for creativity and culture, engages with a range of organisations on a broad range of artforms, including in the theatre and literature sectors.

Officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have, in the last 12 months, attended roundtable meetings convened by Arts Council England where author organisations have been in attendance.

Additionally, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Minister for Arts and Heritage, delivered a speech for the Northern Writers’ Awards on Tuesday 22 June, an event supported by the organisation New Writing North. Lord Parkinson also attended and provided a speech at the London Book Fair on 18 April. He attended a reading and literacy themed roundtable run as part of Baroness Sanderson of Welton’s independent review for public libraries which was attended by a representative of the Society of Authors, and has had meetings and engagements with a range of poets, playwrights and authors in the course of his ministerial engagement.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department plans to take to assess the impact of the statutory gambling operator levy on the land-based gambling industry.

The government’s recent white paper set out a range of proportionate measures to tackle practices and products which can drive harm and ensure that people who are at risk of gambling harm and addiction are protected. This includes a statutory levy on operators that will help fund research, education and treatment for those struggling with gambling addiction.

We will shortly consult on the details of how the levy will be designed, including proposals on the total amount to be raised by the levy and how it will be constructed, ensuring that a rate is fair and proportionate for different gambling sectors, including the land-based gambling industry. This approach will account for the varying association of different sectors with harm and their financial position.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will meet with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society to discuss the proposal of establishing a Freelancer Commissioner.

The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) is committed to engaging with and supporting freelancers, particularly in the creative industries. As part of the Sector Vision, published in June 2023, HM Government and industry have agreed to work together to address the recommendations of the Good Work Review, published in February by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, and co-funded by DCMS, which highlight specific areas where we can improve job quality and working practices for freelancers.

DCMS officials regularly engage with publishing organisations and individuals to understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sector to inform policy-making. For example, a roundtable discussion is being held with industry representatives on 14 September 2023 to review the impact of AI across the publishing landscape, which the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society will join and contribute to, as part of DCMS's sector engagement on AI.

24th Mar 2022
What steps her Department is taking to protect freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression and the media are essential qualities of any functioning democracy. The Department is taking a number of steps to protect freedom of expression and democratic values online. This includes our Online Safety Bill, work on open societies with the G7, and our work on press freedom and sustainability.

The Government introduced the Online Safety Bill on 17 March 2021. This legislation will usher in a new era of accountability for tech companies, and uphold free expression and pluralism online.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of supporting new types of amusement machine through the Gambling Act review to enable that industry to innovate and add to its low-stake, low prize offer.

As part of its broad scope, our Gambling Act Review call for evidence included questions on the rules governing land based gambling and the need to ensure an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land based industries.

We are carefully considering all the evidence submitted and a white paper setting out our next steps and proposals for reform will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make it her policy to undertake regular reviews of the gambling sector to ensure that policy, regulation, stakes and prizes are kept up to date.

As part of its broad scope, our Gambling Act Review call for evidence included questions on the rules governing land based gambling and the need to ensure an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land based industries.

We are carefully considering all the evidence submitted and a white paper setting out our next steps and proposals for reform will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to (a) reduce and (b) end the use of cash retentions.

In procuring construction works, the department takes account of relevant legislation, best practice and government guidelines. In deciding whether cash retentions are appropriate for procurements, the department balances managing public money considerations, the suitability of alternative approaches, and the need to ensure and enforce quality standards against the department’s desire to improve payment practices and cashflow through the supply-chain. The department regularly reviews its approach to payment and security in relation to construction procurements. In considering the use of cash retentions on future procurements, including in its construction frameworks, the department will continue to consult with contractors and other stakeholders to ensure that an appropriate position is reached and, where possible, that the use of cash retentions is reduced or eliminated.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of (a) refocussing the National Tutoring Programme to reach those children who need the most help and (b) ringfencing specific funding to support early intervention and expert literacy work to help close the attainment gap for pupils.

Since 2020, the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has delivered over 3 million courses of tutoring to pupils most in need of catch up following the effect of COVID-19. There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate academic progress. This is why the Department is investing more than £1 billion in tutoring, so that pupils can catch up through accessing high quality tuition.

The Department’s guidance for the NTP in 2022/23 sets out that schools are expected to prioritise their Pupil Premium cohort to receive tutoring, in line with the programme’s objective of supporting disadvantaged pupils. Schools are best placed to understand the needs of their pupils and so may also consider offering tuition to other pupils, where appropriate. Since the programme was launched in 2020, the Department estimates that 49.8% of pupils who have received tuition through the NTP have been eligible for free school meals in the past 6 years.

The NTP allows schools to have autonomy in deciding what subjects to deliver tutoring in. In primary schools, a high proportion of tutoring is delivered in English and mathematics. Schools are also able to choose how best to provide tutoring for their pupils, either through academic mentors, outsourced tuition partners or school led tutoring.

Closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is a priority for the Department. A large majority of school leaders across all three tutoring routes reported that the NTP was having a positive effect on reducing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils, including 85% of those doing school led tutoring, which is the most popular route under the NTP.

In addition, the Department has funded £17 million to deliver the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme, improving the language skills of Reception age pupils. The programme targets pupils needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help them make approximately three months of additional progress. Over two thirds of eligible mainstream primary schools are taking part in this evidence based programme, benefitting around 90,000 children who are most in need of language support.

The Department has committed that from 2024, tutoring will be embedded across schools in England. The Department is expecting tutoring to continue to be a staple offer from schools, with schools using their core budgets, including Pupil Premium, to fund targeted support for those pupils who will most benefit.

3rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the statement made in her Department's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time report, published in March 2023, that the Government intends to replace the NASENCo with a mandatory leadership level SENCo NPQ for SENCos that do not hold the qualification, what steps she has taken to assess the strength of the business case for that policy; on what evidence her Department based its assessment of the likely impact of that change on the ability of SENCos to identify (a) children and young people's needs and (b) appropriate interventions in a timely way; and what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the planned change on the number of children and young people who will require (i) specialist support and (ii) Education and Health Care Plans.

The introduction of a new leadership level SENCO National Professional Qualification (NPQ) to replace the existing mandatory qualification will play a key role in achieving the ambitions of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan, by ensuring that special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) consistently receive high-quality, evidence-based training. Research conducted by University of Plymouth highlighted that, while there is value in SENCOs completing the National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO), there are certain weaknesses with the current qualification, including an overemphasis on theory and academic assignment writing.

In the SEND and AP Green Paper, published in March 2022, the department consulted on the introduction of the SENCO NPQ to address these issues. There was general support for the proposal, with 48% (1,278) of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with this change and only 20% (529) disagreeing or strongly disagreeing.

NPQs are designed to provide training for education professionals at all levels, using the best available evidence to transform their practice and deliver improved outcomes for children and young people. In the interim evaluation of the 2021 reformed NPQs, early feedback from participants was that the ultimate beneficiaries of the NPQs will be pupils, who they believe will receive higher-quality teaching that results in better outcomes for pupils.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's policy paper Further education reclassification: government response, published on 29 November 2022, if she will take steps to ensure that further education colleges do not suffer financially as a result of borrowing controls; and whether colleges that were negotiating loans will be able to proceed with those negotiations.

Following the decision by the Office for National Statistics to reclassify colleges to the public sector, colleges are now subject to the requirements of Managing Public Money, which means they may only borrow from private sector sources if the transaction delivers value for money for the Exchequer.

To support and protect colleges the department is providing colleges with additional capital grant allocations totalling £150 million. Individual college allocations were published in December 2022 and will be paid from April 2023. The full list can be found here: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F1121488%2FAdditional_FE_capital_funding_allocations_2022_to_2023.ods&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK.

The department is also bringing forward £300 million in payments from the 2023/24 financial year into the 2022/23 financial year to cover the shortfall that providers experience in February and March 2023. This means we will make additional payments to institutions in February and March 2023.

These new measures are designed to help colleges manage the restrictions on commercial borrowing. Where a college believes that commercial borrowing is still required and would deliver value for money, they can submit a consent request for consideration. Departmental officials are working closely with further education colleges through these consent requests.

Departmental officials are also working on other options to support the delivery of capital projects by the sector, including for colleges that were intending to borrow from commercial sources.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's policy paper, Further education reclassification: government response, published on 29 November 2022, what plans she has to address concerns in the further education sector over borrowing controls on colleges.

Following the decision by the Office for National Statistics to reclassify colleges to the public sector, colleges are now subject to the requirements of Managing Public Money, which means they may only borrow from private sector sources if the transaction delivers value for money for the Exchequer.

To support and protect colleges the department is providing colleges with additional capital grant allocations totalling £150 million. Individual college allocations were published in December 2022 and will be paid from April 2023. The full list can be found here: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F1121488%2FAdditional_FE_capital_funding_allocations_2022_to_2023.ods&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK.

The department is also bringing forward £300 million in payments from the 2023/24 financial year into the 2022/23 financial year to cover the shortfall that providers experience in February and March 2023. This means we will make additional payments to institutions in February and March 2023.

These new measures are designed to help colleges manage the restrictions on commercial borrowing. Where a college believes that commercial borrowing is still required and would deliver value for money, they can submit a consent request for consideration. Departmental officials are working closely with further education colleges through these consent requests.

Departmental officials are also working on other options to support the delivery of capital projects by the sector, including for colleges that were intending to borrow from commercial sources.

17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will consider lifting the cap on the number of scheme suppliers Oak National Academy will signpost.

The Department will be carrying out a review of the Oak National Academy Arm’s Length Body (ALB) in 2024, as part of the wider Public Bodies Reviews programme. Government policy is that a new ALB should be reviewed within 24 months after the start of full operations. The review will act as a checkpoint to ensure that Oak is acting effectively and will include consideration of the effect on the educational publishing industry.

Monitoring market impact is a priority for the Department and will be factored into the ongoing evaluation of Oak National Academy. The Department carried out research and engaged with trade bodies representing relevant commercial suppliers, inviting submissions to inform the market impact assessment. The Department also conducted an informal survey of commercial providers on proposals for what the ALB would do.

Oak will work collaboratively to develop new content and will signpost users to a small number of other high quality curriculum sequences in each subject. The purpose of signposting is to demonstrate that there is more than a single approach to curriculum sequencing and to direct teachers to where they can find out more information regarding alternative curricula. Oak is not intended as a marketplace and its purpose is not to show teachers all available options. Teachers will still be free to use materials that are not signposted on the Oak website.

17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what methodology her Department used to perform the Market Impact Assessment published alongside the Oak National Academy business case in October 2022.

The Department will be carrying out a review of the Oak National Academy Arm’s Length Body (ALB) in 2024, as part of the wider Public Bodies Reviews programme. Government policy is that a new ALB should be reviewed within 24 months after the start of full operations. The review will act as a checkpoint to ensure that Oak is acting effectively and will include consideration of the effect on the educational publishing industry.

Monitoring market impact is a priority for the Department and will be factored into the ongoing evaluation of Oak National Academy. The Department carried out research and engaged with trade bodies representing relevant commercial suppliers, inviting submissions to inform the market impact assessment. The Department also conducted an informal survey of commercial providers on proposals for what the ALB would do.

Oak will work collaboratively to develop new content and will signpost users to a small number of other high quality curriculum sequences in each subject. The purpose of signposting is to demonstrate that there is more than a single approach to curriculum sequencing and to direct teachers to where they can find out more information regarding alternative curricula. Oak is not intended as a marketplace and its purpose is not to show teachers all available options. Teachers will still be free to use materials that are not signposted on the Oak website.

17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons her Department decided to review the impact of Oak National Academy on the educational publishing industry at two year intervals.

The Department will be carrying out a review of the Oak National Academy Arm’s Length Body (ALB) in 2024, as part of the wider Public Bodies Reviews programme. Government policy is that a new ALB should be reviewed within 24 months after the start of full operations. The review will act as a checkpoint to ensure that Oak is acting effectively and will include consideration of the effect on the educational publishing industry.

Monitoring market impact is a priority for the Department and will be factored into the ongoing evaluation of Oak National Academy. The Department carried out research and engaged with trade bodies representing relevant commercial suppliers, inviting submissions to inform the market impact assessment. The Department also conducted an informal survey of commercial providers on proposals for what the ALB would do.

Oak will work collaboratively to develop new content and will signpost users to a small number of other high quality curriculum sequences in each subject. The purpose of signposting is to demonstrate that there is more than a single approach to curriculum sequencing and to direct teachers to where they can find out more information regarding alternative curricula. Oak is not intended as a marketplace and its purpose is not to show teachers all available options. Teachers will still be free to use materials that are not signposted on the Oak website.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of taking steps to require higher education providers to record student data by biological sex.

The department has not made any independent assessment of requiring higher education (HE) providers to record student data by biological sex.

As the Designated Data Body that collects and publishes statistics about HE providers, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) specifies the information that is required from students.

HESA have consulted on how personal characteristics should be collected in future. This consultation was conducted in partnership with the UK governments, Office for Students and other UK funding bodies. This consultation considered the merits of different approaches to the recording of student sex.

Following the consultation, it was determined that the sex stated on one of the individual’s legal documents such as birth certificate, Gender Recognition Certificate, or passport ought to be recorded. If there is any conflict, the newest document should be referenced.

Details of HESA’s consultation are published here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/innovation/records/reviews/consultation-outcomes-personal-characteristics-equality-data.Details of the information required from HE providers in 2022/23 are published here: https://codingmanual.hesa.ac.uk/22056/Student/field/SEXID.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had discussions with (a) teachers and (b) eduction organisations on the potential merits of the Oak National Academy being a publicly funded body.

Oak National Academy is continuing to work with teachers across the country, giving them and their pupils access to high quality digital curriculum resources which are free, optional and adaptable. Oak is helping to tackle longstanding challenges, such as teacher workload, a significant driver of retention issues in the sector.

Over 30,000 teachers continue to use Oak each week. A significant proportion of the £43 million set aside to support Oak is expected to be provided directly to schools, publishers, and other organisations for the creation of resources. As an integral part of the process to set up Oak as an arm’s length body, the Department produced a business case, which included an assessment of potential market impact. This business case was published on GOV.UK, and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

Where Oak needs to use existing third party content, such as texts, Oak will seek to have an overarching licence with relevant licensing bodies wherever feasible so the copyright holder receives full payment for their work.

Oak’s future and operating model was discussed with teachers and others in the sector in multiple forums. Ministers held roundtable discussions with teachers and school leaders from a range of schools and multi academy trusts. The Department held a series of public webinars for teachers, school leaders and sector bodies. Plans for Oak’s future have also been discussed with teacher representatives, including school leaders and unions, and teacher viewpoints have been collected through surveys.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the 43 million funding for the Oak National Academy on revenue for teacher authors.

Oak National Academy is continuing to work with teachers across the country, giving them and their pupils access to high quality digital curriculum resources which are free, optional and adaptable. Oak is helping to tackle longstanding challenges, such as teacher workload, a significant driver of retention issues in the sector.

Over 30,000 teachers continue to use Oak each week. A significant proportion of the £43 million set aside to support Oak is expected to be provided directly to schools, publishers, and other organisations for the creation of resources. As an integral part of the process to set up Oak as an arm’s length body, the Department produced a business case, which included an assessment of potential market impact. This business case was published on GOV.UK, and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

Where Oak needs to use existing third party content, such as texts, Oak will seek to have an overarching licence with relevant licensing bodies wherever feasible so the copyright holder receives full payment for their work.

Oak’s future and operating model was discussed with teachers and others in the sector in multiple forums. Ministers held roundtable discussions with teachers and school leaders from a range of schools and multi academy trusts. The Department held a series of public webinars for teachers, school leaders and sector bodies. Plans for Oak’s future have also been discussed with teacher representatives, including school leaders and unions, and teacher viewpoints have been collected through surveys.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of converting the Oak National Academy to an arms-length body producing publicly-funded material to support the curriculum.

Oak National Academy is continuing to work with teachers across the country, giving them and their pupils access to high quality digital curriculum resources which are free, optional and adaptable. Oak is helping to tackle longstanding challenges, such as teacher workload, a significant driver of retention issues in the sector.

Over 30,000 teachers continue to use Oak each week. A significant proportion of the £43 million set aside to support Oak is expected to be provided directly to schools, publishers, and other organisations for the creation of resources. As an integral part of the process to set up Oak as an arm’s length body, the Department produced a business case, which included an assessment of potential market impact. This business case was published on GOV.UK, and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

Where Oak needs to use existing third party content, such as texts, Oak will seek to have an overarching licence with relevant licensing bodies wherever feasible so the copyright holder receives full payment for their work.

Oak’s future and operating model was discussed with teachers and others in the sector in multiple forums. Ministers held roundtable discussions with teachers and school leaders from a range of schools and multi academy trusts. The Department held a series of public webinars for teachers, school leaders and sector bodies. Plans for Oak’s future have also been discussed with teacher representatives, including school leaders and unions, and teacher viewpoints have been collected through surveys.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposals relating to the curriculum Arms-Length Body in the Schools Bill on educational publishers across the country; and if he will take steps to ensure that educational publishers are able to compete on equitable terms.

As announced in the Schools White Paper, the department will establish a new arm’s length curriculum body, building on the success of Oak National Academy’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will work with thousands of teachers to co-design, create, and continually improve packages of optional, free, adaptable digital curriculum resources and video lessons. These optional resources will be available across the UK, helping teachers deliver a high-quality curriculum.

Teachers in the UK benefit from a diverse commercial education resources market that offers a range of materials to support high-quality planning and teaching. The curriculum body will work with the market, leading a broad and inclusive national process that will involve commercial education resource suppliers as well as teachers, schools, school trusts, Subject Associations, National Centres of Excellence, and many others, as it develops and delivers its support offer for schools.

Building on our existing understanding, the department is currently working with commercial organisations to gather further information that will help us to understand the potential effect on the market. It is important to us that areas of the market that offer high-quality, carefully sequenced resources that meet teachers’ needs can continue doing so. Opportunities for educational publishers and other partners to work with the curriculum body will be open to all across the sector.

26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the withdrawal element of the Education Act 1944 on (a) a child’s education in religious education lessons and (b) the expectation that schools promote mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; and if he will make a statement.

While the department considers religious education (RE) to be an important subject, we respect parental rights and have no plans to change the right of withdrawal. Legislation gives parents the right to request withdrawing their child from all or part of a school’s RE. Parents are not required to give a reason for their requests, which must be complied with. The right of withdrawal from RE does not extend to other areas of the curriculum where religious matters are spontaneously raised by pupils or arise in other subjects such as history or citizenship.

The department believes that the current position is correct, as it balances the rights of parents and of children.

It is, of course, important that schools promote mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The Education Act 2002 requires schools to ensure the Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural (SMSC) development of all their pupils. There are many opportunities within the curriculum for schools to promote SMSC, including through RE, history, and citizenship. State-funded schools are also required to actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his Department's policy that Local Education Authorities must report how frequently they assess the appropriateness of education services for looked after children.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote the educational achievement of looked-after children, including those placed outside of their authority. They are required to appoint an officer, the local authority Virtual School Head, to ensure this duty is properly discharged.

Statutory guidance on the implementation of these duties can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/promoting-the-education-of-looked-after-children.

This requires Directors of Children’ Services and Lead Members for Children’s Services to ensure that the authority’s Children in Care Council regularly considers educational experiences, as reported by looked-after children, and is able to respond effectively to any issues.

Further, the guidance is clear that the Virtual School Head should ensure that the educational attainment and progress of children looked after by the local authority is monitored and evaluated as if those children attended a single school. It is also clear that there are systems in place to report regularly through the authority’s corporate parenting structures. It requires Virtual School Heads to publish an annual report, which should include details of how they have managed the Pupil Premium Plus and Early Years Pupil Premium for looked-after children, and evidence of how the funding has supported the achievement of the children looked after by their authority. Ofsted inspectors are required to ask for the Virtual School Annual Report as part of the framework for Inspections of Local Authority’s Children’s Services.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when will the Education and Skills Funding Agency provide an update on plans to refresh the cap on the number of new apprentices that a non-levy paying employer can take on.

The government recognises the important role that non-levy paying employers play in creating high-quality apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for young people and those in disadvantaged areas.

To support apprenticeships for all employers, the department is increasing funding for apprenticeships in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year. Non-levy paying employers can continue to reserve funding for 95% of apprenticeship training and assessment costs.

Since 1 April 2021, all small-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been able to reserve funding for up to 10 new apprenticeship starts. Employers can continue to make reservations into the 2022/23 financial year up to the maximum of 10.

Reservations levels for employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy are kept under review to ensure that this level is still sufficient to allow SMEs to use apprenticeships to support their business.

Non-levy paying employers can also access apprenticeship funding via transferred funds from levy-paying organisations. The department has made it easier for employers to benefit from levy transfers through a new ‘pledge and transfer’ online service. It is encouraging to see that over 145 employers, including Amazon UK, DPD and HomeServe, have pledged to transfer almost £9 million to support new apprenticeship starts in businesses of all sizes.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to confirm the funding allocation for Music Education Hubs beyond 2021-22; and for how many years future funding will be allocated.

The Department has invested around £380 million of funding in music education hubs between 2016 and 2021, to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. This has been followed by a commitment of £79 million in the 2021/22 financial year for music education hubs, and £1 million for charities focused on teaching music.

Decisions regarding future funding are subject to outcome of the next Spending Review. As announced on 7 September, the Spending Review will set Departmental budgets for the 2022/23 to 2024/25 financial years and concludes on 27 October 2021, alongside Autumn Budget 2021. Future funding for hubs will be confirmed subsequently.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will carry out a public consultation on the development of the new National Plan for Music Education.

The Department undertook a public consultation between 9 February 2020 and 15 March 2020, seeking views on music education to inform proposals for the refreshed National Plan for Music Education (NPME).

The Department received 5,191 responses from a range of individuals and organisations, including young people, parents and carers, teachers and music education hubs. Following a delay due to COVID-19, we have published our response to the call for evidence, the findings from which will inform the refreshed plan.

To further support the development of the plan, the Department has announced the appointment of an advisory panel made up of experts from across the music education sector, to build upon these findings.

The advisory panel includes teachers, representatives from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, UK Music, as well as Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, whose independent Review of Music Education in England informed the original NPME.

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to update guidance on wearing masks in secondary school classrooms as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that children educated in the private sector have access to mass covid-19 testing when it is introduced for secondary school pupils.

As part of the asymptomatic testing programme for secondary schools and colleges, independent schools have already started receiving test kits and personal protective equipment to deliver initial mass testing of pupils and students (two tests, three to five days apart), and will receive further equipment to support weekly testing of staff and daily contact testing. Independent schools are also able to access and utilise the guidance provided online and through webinars by the Department.

The Department are not able to extend funding to independent schools and colleges with fee-paying individuals. Non-maintained special schools and independent special schools are eligible for funding.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate the Government has made of the average annual cost of school uniform.

The Department commissioned the Cost of School Uniform report in 2015 which found the average total expenditure on school uniform for the 2014/15 school year was £212.88.

The Government is supporting the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members’ Bill to enable us to put our guidance on the cost of school uniform on a statutory footing. The Department’s existing guidance on cost considerations will form the basis for the new statutory guidance.

Second-hand uniform and swap schemes can increase both affordability and sustainability of school uniform. The Government would therefore like to see second-hand school uniform made available for parents at all schools to acquire from the school directly or from a local, established, scheme.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Department will take steps to encourage second-hand uniform shops and uniform swap schemes.

The Department commissioned the Cost of School Uniform report in 2015 which found the average total expenditure on school uniform for the 2014/15 school year was £212.88.

The Government is supporting the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members’ Bill to enable us to put our guidance on the cost of school uniform on a statutory footing. The Department’s existing guidance on cost considerations will form the basis for the new statutory guidance.

Second-hand uniform and swap schemes can increase both affordability and sustainability of school uniform. The Government would therefore like to see second-hand school uniform made available for parents at all schools to acquire from the school directly or from a local, established, scheme.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will (a) amend the delivery of the Study Programme for 16-18 year olds attending further education colleges to allow for catch-up learning rather than industrial placements and work experience as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and (b) take steps to ensure that colleges that are unable to offer full content but able to deliver the required hours under that programme do not have their funding reduced.

Industry placements and work experience for 16 to 18 year olds are important components of a student’s study programme, providing genuine insight to the world of work and allowing students to gain valuable skills. Ofqual is currently working with awarding organisations to see what adaptations are appropriate and necessary for students to be able to complete their studies, as well as catch up on missed learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Adaptations to work experience placements that are part of their qualifications will also be considered.

Where a college or other provider is unable to deliver a work experience placement as part of a study programme they will still receive their full funding allocation if they continue to deliver the planned hours by replacing the work experience with other eligible activity relevant to the student’s study programme.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role school-specific uniform plays in counteracting bullying in schools.

The Department strongly encourages schools to have a school uniform. We recognise the valuable role it can play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

It is for the governing body of a school (or in the case of academies, the academy trust) to decide whether there should be a school uniform and what it will be.

When deciding upon a school uniform policy and considering how the school uniform should be sourced, governing bodies should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers.

The Government is pleased to support the recently introduced Private Member’s Bill to ‘Make provision for guidance about the cost aspects of school uniform policies.’ It will place a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to issue statutory guidance pertaining to the cost aspects of school uniform policies. We intend to consider the views of a full range of stakeholders when developing this statutory guidance.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role school-specific uniform plays in promoting a sense of identity within schools and their local communities.

The Department strongly encourages schools to have a school uniform. We recognise the valuable role it can play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

It is for the governing body of a school (or in the case of academies, the academy trust) to decide whether there should be a school uniform and what it will be.

When deciding upon a school uniform policy and considering how the school uniform should be sourced, governing bodies should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers.

The Government is pleased to support the recently introduced Private Member’s Bill to ‘Make provision for guidance about the cost aspects of school uniform policies.’ It will place a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to issue statutory guidance pertaining to the cost aspects of school uniform policies. We intend to consider the views of a full range of stakeholders when developing this statutory guidance.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to hold discussions with school-uniform retailers, distributors and manufacturers on his Department's school uniform guidance; and what plans he has to work with that sector to implement that guidance.

The Department strongly encourages schools to have a school uniform. We recognise the valuable role it can play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

It is for the governing body of a school (or in the case of academies, the academy trust) to decide whether there should be a school uniform and what it will be.

When deciding upon a school uniform policy and considering how the school uniform should be sourced, governing bodies should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers.

The Government is pleased to support the recently introduced Private Member’s Bill to ‘Make provision for guidance about the cost aspects of school uniform policies.’ It will place a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to issue statutory guidance pertaining to the cost aspects of school uniform policies. We intend to consider the views of a full range of stakeholders when developing this statutory guidance.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) quality and (b) value for money of school-specific uniform.

The Department strongly encourages schools to have a school uniform. We recognise the valuable role it can play in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

It is for the governing body of a school (or in the case of academies, the academy trust) to decide whether there should be a school uniform and what it will be.

When deciding upon a school uniform policy and considering how the school uniform should be sourced, governing bodies should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. Governing bodies should be able to demonstrate that they have obtained the best value for money from suppliers.

The Government is pleased to support the recently introduced Private Member’s Bill to ‘Make provision for guidance about the cost aspects of school uniform policies.’ It will place a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to issue statutory guidance pertaining to the cost aspects of school uniform policies. We intend to consider the views of a full range of stakeholders when developing this statutory guidance.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the National Food Strategy, published in July 2021, what plans he has to consult UK-based food and drinks manufacturers on the recommendation that that he should bring forward a Good Food Bill before Parliament in the fourth session of the 2019–2024.

The forthcoming Government Food Strategy White Paper is a once in a generation opportunity to create a food system that feeds our nation today and protects it for tomorrow. The Government will consider the contents of Henry Dimbleby’s independent review when developing the Food Strategy White Paper including the recommendation for legislative measures.

We are committed to listening to opinions from stakeholders across the entirety of the food system and will encourage dialogue with a wide range of external and internal stakeholders to identify any policy gaps or potential options to transform the food system.

The Food Strategy White Paper will build upon work already underway in the Agriculture Act, Fisheries Act, and Environment Bill as well as docking into wider Government priorities, including Net Zero, 25 Year Environment Plan, and Build Back Greener. We will consider the need for mandatory or voluntary policy interventions as part of the White Paper and evaluate the need for additional primary and secondary legislation throughout its development.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the (a) cost of energy asset extensions for the logistics sector and (b) time taken to deliver energy asset extensions on the introduction of logistics fleet depot charging.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has established the Freight Energy Forum to address the challenges and provide solutions for the provision of zero carbon energy infrastructure for the freight and logistics sector.

Through the Forum, this government is working with industry to take a holistic approach to understand the future energy demand required for the freight and logistics sector to decarbonise, as this is an essential component in order to determine the energy asset extensions it will need.

As such, an assessment of the cost and potential impact of energy asset extensions or the time it will take to deliver them has not been undertaken. However, we are in regular contact with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) where discussions include the energy infrastructure needs of the freight and logistics sector.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on identifying a National Freight Network.

We are making good progress. The Government's current focus is on building stronger data and analysis of freight as a multi-modal system. We will be engaging with the freight and logistics sector as the work to identify a National Freight Network develops.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to build a railway line between Northampton and Market Harborough.

On behalf of sub-national transport body England's Economic Heartland, Network Rail previously prepared a feasibility study into reinstating a railway connection between the West Coast Main Line at Northampton and the Midland Main Line at Market Harborough. I encourage him to engage with England's Economic Heartland further on this.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)