Anum Qaisar Portrait

Anum Qaisar

Scottish National Party - Airdrie and Shotts

1,757 (8.0%) majority - 13-May-2021 By-election

First elected: 13th May 2021

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Levelling Up)

(since September 2023)

Women and Equalities Committee
6th Jan 2022 - 12th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)
1st Mar 2023 - 4th Sep 2023
Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]
14th Jun 2023 - 14th Jun 2023
Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill
7th Sep 2022 - 18th Oct 2022
Health and Social Care Committee
25th May 2021 - 5th Jan 2022


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Anum Qaisar has voted in 494 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Anum Qaisar Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(12 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Felicity Buchan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(25 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Anum Qaisar's debates

Airdrie and Shotts Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

The HMRC mileage rate for reimbursing the use of private cars (e.g. for employees but also volunteers) has been fixed at 45p/mile (up to 10,000 miles) since 2011. The lack of any increase since then is a serious disincentive to volunteer drivers particularly as fuel has gone up again recently.

Invest in FOP research to support this ultra-rare disease community. Research into FOP could inform the understanding/treatment of many more common conditions such as osteoporosis, hip replacements, DIPG (a rare childhood brain cancer) and many common military injuries.

In 2014 the Human Medicines Act was amended so that schools could keep emergency stocks of salbutamol inhalers without prescription. Asthma is increasing in the UK and we believe that adult sufferers of Asthma working in high-risk commercial kitchens should have similar life-saving support.

The individual must remain sovereign over their own body, discrimination against those who cannot or will not be vaccinated against COVID is incompatible with a free democracy. The Government must take firm action to prevent 'vaccination passports' and discriminatory 'no jab, no job' policies.

We, the people, demand that health and social care workers are given the right to exercise free will in relation to any medical procedure and so to be able to refuse to take the covid 19 vaccination without fear of facing discrimination at work or in wider society.

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.


Latest EDMs signed by Anum Qaisar

7th February 2024
Anum Qaisar signed this EDM on Monday 22nd April 2024

International Court of Justice Ruling on Gaza and the UK’s duties under the Genocide Convention

Tabled by: Zarah Sultana (Labour - Coventry South)
That this House notes the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 26 January 2024, which found that it is plausible that Israel’s ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza are in breach of the Genocide Convention; further notes that the ICJ issued provisional measures, including ordering …
71 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 33
Scottish National Party: 26
Independent: 6
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Alliance: 1
15th April 2024
Anum Qaisar signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Roslin Village Group

Tabled by: Owen Thompson (Scottish National Party - Midlothian)
That this House recognises the invaluable contributions made by community groups in enhancing the quality of life for residents and fostering a sense of belonging; commends the Roslin Village Group for its commitment to serving the Roslin community; notes the receipt of a £1,935 grant to support its one-year project …
7 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 6
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Anum Qaisar's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Anum Qaisar, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Anum Qaisar

1 Adjournment Debate led by Anum Qaisar

Wednesday 16th March 2022

1 Bill introduced by Anum Qaisar


A Bill to make provision about workers’ rights; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

1 Bill co-sponsored by Anum Qaisar

Miscarriage Leave Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Angela Crawley (SNP)


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
20th Apr 2022
To ask the President of COP26, to ask the President of COP26, if he will hold discussions with his international counterparts on the potential merits of prioritising discussion of food sustainability at COP27.

Food production and environmental protection are two sides of the same coin. We recognise the impact of climate change on food security if we don’t act now. We have been engaging with our international counterparts on progressing the successes of COP26, including financial commitments and actions to reduce environmental harm, and support livelihoods and food security. Looking towards COP27, we have already engaged with host nation Egypt and others to consider how we progress this.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether export control licensing requirements for AI weapons systems include checks on the (a) accuracy and (b) reliability of those systems.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and we operate one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world. This is an important lever for promoting both UK prosperity and national and global security.

We rigorously assess every application on a case-by-case basis against strict assessment criteria, the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria (the SELC).

The SELC provide a thorough risk assessment framework for export licence applications and require us to think hard about the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We will not license the export of equipment where to do so would be inconsistent with the SELC. These are not decisions we take lightly.

Alan Mak
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether any UK-based artificial intelligence companies have export licenses to Israel.

We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and Gaza closely. The UK has not granted any export licences to UK-based AI companies to export to Israel.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. The UK operates one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world.

Alan Mak
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, in the context of the UK’s accession to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (a) with which organisations and groups the Government has consulted on the digital provisions of that agreement, and (b) whether she has received legal advice on the potential effect of that agreement on (i) existing domestic data protection legislation and (ii) the UK's ability to enact new provisions for domestic data provision.

In preparation for accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Government ran one of its largest consultation exercises, consulting with individuals, businesses, business associations, NGOs and public sector bodies, receiving almost 150,000 responses.

CPTPP safeguards the UK’s high standards of personal data protection as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR, and locks in a requirement for personal data to be protected in all countries that are party to the agreement.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to take steps to help mitigate the emissions increases projected in the UK-India Free Trade Agreement Scoping Assessment, published January 2022.

A free trade agreement (FTA) with India could help address trade barriers, drive growth and support jobs across the UK. The Government is seeking provisions that support our ambitions on the environment and climate change, while preserving the UK’s right to regulate.

Alongside FTA negotiations, the UK and India work together to support clean growth. The UK-India roadmap includes an ambitious agenda for collaboration on climate change as well as work in multilateral fora such as the World Trade Organization.

At signature, the Government will publish the Impact Assessment including estimates of emissions impacts expected to result from the agreement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations her Department made to Indian negotiators on India’s human rights record during free trade agreement negotiations.

The UK is a leading advocate for human rights around the world. We remain committed to the promotion of universal human rights, and when we have concerns they are raised directly with partner governments, including at ministerial level. This is undertaken separately to negotiations of free trade agreements, although they are part of building open and trusting relationships with important partners.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department plans to conclude Free Trade Agreement negotiations with India.

Negotiations are ongoing with India. To date, there have been five formal rounds of talks. We have provisionally closed the majority of chapters in our free trade agreement talks with India and look forward to a next formal round of negotiations soon.

The Government is clear that it won’t sacrifice quality for speed. We will continue to review progress, and only sign when we have a deal that is fair, reciprocal, and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the economy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether there will be provisions in place within any free trade deal between the UK and Israel on strengthening the rights of Palestinians working in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

The Government has high regard for worker protections and has made clear that we will not compromise on these in our trade agreements. All our negotiations seek to ensure commitment to international labour protections, including at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what advice her Department has received from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on how a UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement could impact human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Department for International Trade and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office discuss the interlinkages between the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement, and the wider UK-Israel foreign policy relationship on a regular basis. This joined-up approach has informed the published strategic approach to the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement, including the Government's approach to these issues.

The UK is a leading advocate for human rights around the world and we remain committed to the promotion of universal human rights.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether provisions will be in place within any free trade deal between the UK and Israel on ensuring explicit exclusion of preferential trading terms for (a) goods and services exports produced in or (b) investment in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Under the current UK-Israel agreement, goods imported from illegal settlements are not entitled to the benefits from trade preferences. Palestinian goods imported from the Occupied Palestinian Territories benefit from the trade preferences in the bilateral agreement negotiated between the UK and the Palestinian Authority.

The UK does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories as part of Israel, including illegal settlements.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether provisions will be in place within any free trade deal between the UK and Israel on ensuring that preferential treatment does not cover trade with illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Under the current UK-Israel agreement, goods imported from illegal settlements are not entitled to the benefits from trade preferences. Palestinian goods imported from the Occupied Palestinian Territories benefit from the trade preferences in the bilateral agreement negotiated between the UK and the Palestinian Authority.

The UK does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories as part of Israel, including illegal settlements.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the intended contents of the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement include provisions for arms trade.

No. Defence matters are outside the scope of all UK Free Trade Agreements (FTA).

The Government takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and aims to operate one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. An FTA with Israel will not impact on export controls in relation to arms exports.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the intended contents of the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement include provisions for human surveillance technology.

On 20 July, negotiations between the UK and Israel for an upgraded, innovation-focused Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were launched. As part of this, our strategic approach to the negotiations was published on GOV.UK. This document sets out the UK’s key objectives in these negotiations.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the intended contents of the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement include provisions for transport technology.

On 20 July, negotiations between the UK and Israel for an upgraded, innovation-focused Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were launched. As part of this, our strategic approach to the negotiations was published on GOV.UK. This document sets out the UK’s key objectives in these negotiations.

21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the extent to which UK free trade agreements support women's rights and gender equality.

Promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment is central to the Government’s ‘Modernising Trade’ agenda and features explicitly in UK negotiation objectives.

We are using our FTAs to open new opportunities for women. We have already secured dedicated chapters with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand as well as important additional commitments across these agreements.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the data his Department holds on the size of the backlog of applications to the DVLA (a) in total and (b) by Parliamentary constituency as of 21 April 2022.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. The Government understands the impact that delays in processing paper applications can have on the daily lives of individuals and the DVLA is working hard to reduce waiting times. The DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has opened new customer service centres in Swansea and Birmingham to reduce backlogs and provide future resilience. These measures are having a positive impact.

On 21 April 2022, the total number of paper applications awaiting processing at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was 832,314. This is a significant reduction from the peak of 1.6 million in September 2021. It is important to note that the DVLA normally has around 400,000 paper applications awaiting processing at any one time as the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail each day. This information is not held by Parliamentary constituency.

18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information her Department holds on the number of patients who (a) have had polio and (b) have post-polio syndrome in the latest period for which data is available.

The Department does not hold data on the number of patients who have had polio or post-polio syndrome. However, the Department does hold data on the number of admissions to hospital, where polio or post-polio syndrome was recorded as a diagnosis, from 2018 to 2023:

- in 2018/19, there were 176 admissions to National Health Service hospitals in England where polio was recorded as the diagnosis, and 797 admissions where post-polio syndrome was recorded as the diagnosis;

- in 2019/20, there were 187 admissions to NHS hospitals in England where polio was recorded as the diagnosis, and 813 admissions where post-polio syndrome was recorded as the diagnosis;

- in 2020/21, there were 107 admissions to NHS hospitals in England where polio was recorded as the diagnosis, and 522 admissions where post-polio syndrome was recorded as the diagnosis;

- in 2021/22, there were 115 admissions to NHS hospitals in England where polio was recorded as the diagnosis, and 630 admissions where post-polio syndrome was recorded as the diagnosis; and

- in 2022/23, there were 104 admissions to NHS hospitals in England where polio was recorded as the diagnosis, and 632 admissions where post-polio syndrome was recorded as the diagnosis.

It is important to note that the number of admissions does not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period. It is estimated that there are approximately 120,000 people living in the United Kingdom who survived polio when they were younger. Some of these have, or will develop, post-polio syndrome.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding the Government has made available for research into paediatric brain tumours in each of the last five years.

The Department invests in health research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). NIHR invests in research, clinical expertise, specialist facilities, workforce, and support services across a range of clinical areas. NIHR expenditure on cancer research was over £101 million in 2021/22.

The Government is committed to funding high-quality brain cancer research. In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission through the NIHR. This includes research into paediatric brain tumours.

The £40 million funding will remain available; if we can spend more on the best quality science, we will do. The level of funding for brain tumour research depends on funding applications received. It is worth noting that all applications to NIHR that have been assessed as “fundable” in open competition have been funded and this will continue.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of ensuring all producers of products registered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency publish (a) net prices, (b) financial and other contributions to their research and development, (c) patent status, (d) licensing agreements and (e) a summary of contractual access conditions.

The MHRA is an independent regulator responsible for granting marketing authorisation to a product following a thorough review of an application submitted by its producer. There is no requirement for producers of these products registered by the MHRA to declare the information referenced, as this information is both commercially sensitive and not required for the MHRA to make an assessment of an application for marketing authorisation.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government supports provisions in the proposed international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response on (a) public interest conditions on public research &and development funding, b() price transparency and (c) tech transfer of end products.

As negotiations on the pandemic instrument are live and in their early stages, we cannot comment on the details of the United Kingdom’s negotiating position. Driving access to safe, affordable essential medical countermeasures is a key priority for the UK in these negotiations, as is ensuring that measures incentivise innovation to strengthen research and development. Officials are working with international partners and non-state actors to ensure the instrument improves access to vaccines, drugs and tests, while also supporting the life sciences sector.

We have also been clear that the UK will not sign up to a pandemic instrument or any instrument that would compromise the UK’s ability to make domestic decisions on national measures concerning public health policy.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of prescribing medicinal cannabis on the NHS.

Licenced cannabis-based medicines are routinely prescribed and funded on the NHS. However, the latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines (written in 2019), demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding for unlicensed cannabis-based products.

We are working with regulatory, research and NHS partners to establish clinical trials to prove products safe and effective. We need the cannabis industry to come forward and work with us on this.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Airdrie and Shotts dated 10 December 2021, 20 December 2021, 11 January 2022, 8 February 2022 and 3 March 2022 on developing a four-nation approach to improving research and funding into childhood cancer.

We replied to the hon. Member on 22 March 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th May 2024
To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, whether he has had discussions with his Israeli counterpart on the status of unrecognised villages in the (a) Naqab and (b) Negev region of southern Israel.

We continue to monitor the issue of unresolved Bedouin land claims, and unrecognised Bedouin villages, in the Negev/Naqab region, and lack of basic services. We continue to encourage the Israeli authorities and Bedouin communities to engage in dialogue to agree a satisfactory solution to the issue, respecting the rights of the people affected.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
18th Apr 2024
To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, whether he has had discussions with his Israeli counterpart on the alleged use of artificial intelligence software in the conflict in Gaza.

Ministers and senior officials regularly raise with their Israeli counterparts a range of issues related to the conflict.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made an assessment of the potential implications for his policies of the statement by Amnesty International UK and other NGOs entitled UK Groups say Government’s Public Position on Weapons Licences to Israel is at odds with what the Government has Admitted in Litigation, and Calls for an Explanation, as Rafah Braces for Further Atrocities, published on 28 February 2024.

The Government operates a robust and thorough assessment of licence applications against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, and we will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with those Criteria. We regularly publish data on export licensing decisions on the dedicated gov.uk site: [https://www.gov.uk/guidance/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data].

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment his Department has made of the scale of damage to UK-funded projects in Gaza since 7 October 2023.

Given the ongoing conflict, we are not able to provide this assessment at this time. There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza.

We have trebled our aid commitment for this financial year and are working closely with partners in international agencies and in the region to increase access. We are pushing to see Israel take greater care to limit its operations to military targets and avoid harming civilians and destroying homes. We continue to call for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to be respected and civilians to be protected.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how many meetings he has had with the Israeli Ambassador since 13 November 2023.

We continue to engage closely and regularly with a range of senior Israeli officials. Since the outbreak of the conflict on 7 October, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely has had two meetings with Foreign Office Ministers. The Ambassador spoke with Lord Ahmad, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, on 10 October. She also attended a meeting on 24 October between former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the families of those taken hostage by Hamas.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a new independent complaints mechanism for British International Investment.

British International Investment (BII) has an effective complaints mechanism [https://www.bii.co.uk/en/complaints-whistleblowing/] that allows external parties to report alleged breaches of the Policy on Responsible Investing (PRI). If deemed eligible, complaints will be investigated, and where appropriate, BII will enable access to remedy.

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism is under the direction of the Head of Compliance. Decisions required under the Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are made independently of the departments involved in pre-investment due diligence and post-investment monitoring of environmental, social and business integrity issues. The Head of Compliance has a reporting line to the Board's Audit & Compliance Committee.

FCDO undertakes periodic reviews of BII's assurance processes and recommends actions to improve their robustness, and monitors implementation of these. Any significant issues reported to FCDO regarding BII are notified to FCDO's Internal Audit and Investigations Department.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Israeli authorities on reports of the forced transfer of Palestinian patients from Palestinian to Israeli ambulances to enter occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv regularly raises the importance of regularised access to healthcare with the Israeli authorities. We recognise that under international humanitarian law, Israel, as the occupying power, has a duty of ensuring and maintaining public health to the fullest extent of the means available to it. The wounded and ill in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) should be able to access the urgent medical care they need.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to increase funding to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

While the seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, the UK remains a longstanding supporter to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) and values its importance as a vital humanitarian and stabilising force in the region. In the financial year 2022/2023, the UK provided UNRWA with £18.7 million and in 2023/4 our funding is approximately £10 million. Our annual contribution to their programme budget helps UNRWA provide education to over 533,000 children a year (half of them girls), and access to health services for 3.5 million Palestinian refugees. We are aware of UNRWA's financial challenges and frequently raise this with MENA regional partners at ministerial level, most recently with the government of the United Arab Emirates. To that end, the UK Government is working with UNRWA and other international donors to help ensure its sustainability.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Israel's compliance with paragraph 4 of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

We have long supported resolutions consistent with our policy, including United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The UK's position on settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace, threaten the physical viability of a two-state solution and indeed contribute to the negative trends that imperil the two-state solution. We urge Israel to halt settlement expansion immediately and we continue to monitor the changes to the settlement approval process instituted by the Government of Israel on June 18, which facilitate swifter approval of construction in settlements.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Israeli authorities on (a) recent and (b) possible future demolitions of Palestinian schools in the occupied territories.

The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions and evictions are contrary to international humanitarian law. Our opposition to the demolition of Palestinian property is long-standing. The practice causes unnecessary suffering and is harmful to efforts to promote peace. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation. Most recently, on 7 May, The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, to express the government's opposition to the demolition of Jubbet Adh Dhib school. Lord Ahmad has also visited a school under threat of demolition in Masafer Yatta during his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in January.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of investments in private healthcare providers by British International Investment on (a) people living in poverty and (b) women and girls.

British International Investment's (BII) investments are scrutinised by independent evaluators through the FCDO-BII Evaluation and Learning Programme.

Each sector evaluation includes analysis of the poverty alleviation and gender impact. Recommendations for improving impact and BII responses are published on FCDO's and BII's website. A multi-sector evaluation is currently under way, which includes a review of BII's healthcare portfolio.

In addition, BII commissions and publishes its own case studies, evaluations, and evidence reviews to help better understand the impact of its investments. Relevant case studies and evaluations include the impact of access to finance for healthcare facilities in Kenya [https://www.bii.co.uk/en/news-insight/insight/articles/what-is-the-impact-of-improved-access-to-finance-for-healthcare-facilities-in-kenya/] and investing for impact in India [https://assets.bii.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/06212044/Investing-for-impact-in-India_BII.pdf].

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure recipients of intermediated investments by British International Investment are not involved in human rights abuses.

Intermediated investments allow Development Finance Institution's to effectively: provide smaller levels of financing, raise standards in the wider market, support the development of local institutions, and mobilise other capital.

British International Investment's (BII) Policy on Responsible Investing [https://assets.bii.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/22114326/Policy-on-Responsible-Investing.pdf] sets out BII's business integrity and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations. This includes drawing on the standards set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Legally binding Business Integrity and ESG action plans are developed to improve standards of all investees over a defined period; and investees are risk assessed on a quarterly basis across various dimensions of risk including ESG and business integrity.

High environmental, social and business integrity risks are reported to FCDO and there is an established process for escalation of significant incidents.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with his Israeli counterparts on the potential impact of the Israeli permit system on Palestinian mothers from Gaza with babies receiving treatment in East Jerusalem hospitals.

Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv regularly raises the importance of regularised access to healthcare with the Israeli authorities. We recognise that under international humanitarian law, Israel, as the occupying power, has a duty of ensuring and maintaining public health to the fullest extent of the means available to it. The wounded and ill in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) should be able to access the urgent medical care they need.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many permanent staff in his Department work on policies relating to Myanmar.

Approximately 120 - 150 permanent members of staff at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, based in the UK and at the British Embassy in Yangon, work on policies relating to, or support our embassy in Myanmar.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what humanitarian assistance his Department has provided to Myanmar in each financial year since 2021-22.

Since the coup in February 2021, the UK has provided approximately £120 million to support the people of Myanmar. This has included life-saving assistance responding to the conflict and displacement, support for emergency health care and education and supporting civil society. We also recently announced an additional £2 million to support the Cyclone Mocha response.

Breakdown of ODA figures:

From 01 Feb 2021 to 31 Mar 2022: we provided £8 million

In financial year 2021/22: we provided £49.5 million

In financial year 2022/23: we provided £57.3 million

In financial year 2023/24: our allocated budget is £30.1 million (we have spent £5.13 million so far).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of (a) aviation fuel, (b) armaments and (c) financial services sanctions on Myanmar.

We have led international efforts to put pressure on the military regime and reduce its access to revenue, arms and equipment. On 27 March, the UK announced its fifteenth round of sanctions, designating those who profit from the supply of aviation fuel and military equipment to the Myanmar Armed Forces. We will continue to impose a cost on the military regime's actions, working closely with our partners in the US, Canada and the EU to ensure a strong, coordinated and targeted response.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the adherence by the Israeli Government to its legal responsibilities towards the populations of the occupied Palestinian Territories.

It has long been the government's view that Israel's presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is as an occupying power and therefore is governed by the provisions of the Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a state party. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and we have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation. We stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population. It is vital that Israeli security operations all actions are proportionate, in line with international humanitarian law and calibrated to avoid civilian casualties. The Foreign Secretary along with the Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon frequently engages with Israelis and Palestinians on issues relating to the occupation. The Foreign Secretary most recently spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen on 26 June.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much and what proportion of the £143m of aid announced on 24 May for the Horn of Africa was additional to his Department's existing budget for the region.

The £143 million is part of a wider bilateral Official Development Assistance allocation for East and Central Africa of £389.8 million as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement on 30th March 2023.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to help improve resilience in countries in the Horn of Africa to impacts of climate change.

The compounding pressures of conflict and cyclical climate disasters are driving unprecedented humanitarian needs, across the Horn of Africa. It is clear that humanitarian funding must complement and work alongside longer-term climate finances to help break the cycle of crisis and to build resilience. To support these efforts, in July the UK will host a conference at Wilton Park to agree concrete actions on how vulnerable countries can secure a proportionate share of climate finance which can be used to promote adaptation and resilient development.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Department's publication entitled UK pledges support for over a million people in East Africa, published on 24 May 2023, what recent steps he has taken to ensure humanitarian support is being delivered through local actors.

Local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) play an important role in delivering UK funded humanitarian support in East Africa and beyond. We work and consult closely with local NGOs to aid their planning, delivery and ability to access funding.

In Ethiopia in 2022 the UK provided £7.6 million to the UN's Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF) which supported a range of international and national NGOs. Similarly, the UK-funded 'Building Resilient Communities in Somalia' programme has supported a number of local NGOs alongside international civil society organisations. More broadly, the UK funds a number of Country based Pooled Funds (CBPF) and in 2022, nearly 22 percent of funding allocated by CBPFs went directly to national NGOs.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of adherence by the Russian Federation to its legal responsibilities towards the populations of the occupied Ukrainian territories.

In the course of its illegal invasion, Russia has shown a total disregard for its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and is responsible for numerous violations and abuses of human rights. Russia continues to deny full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to territory under its temporary control, where millions of people are in acute need of humanitarian assistance. Reporting from the UN and OSCE concludes that Russia's treatment of civilians, including killings, torture and forced transfers, may amount to war crimes. The UK is committed to holding Russia to account for its actions in Ukraine, including by supporting the International Criminal Court and Ukrainian domestic investigations.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of trends in the level of humanitarian aid spending by his Department in East Africa on women and girls in that region.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by crises. In East Africa there is significant evidence to show the gendered impacts of drought, conflict and other humanitarian pressures.

Across East Africa UK humanitarian programmes support women and girls with access to nutrition services, maternal healthcare, access to education and gender-based violence prevention and support services. This is aligned with our commitments in the International Development Strategy on both women and girls and humanitarian action.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the level of aid provided by his Department to (a) Afghanistan and (b) Pakistan in financial years (i) 2022-23 and (ii) 2023-24.

Afghanistan is one of FCDO's largest bilateral aid programmes. Since April 2021, the UK has spent £532 million on aid for Afghanistan. We continually monitor the situation in Afghanistan and support the UN led humanitarian response which prioritises according to need. The UK's development partnership with Pakistan focuses on underlying structural issues including population dynamics, climate vulnerability, protecting the rights of women and minorities and macroeconomic stabilisation. Within this partnership the UK has pledged a total of £36 million for flood relief efforts in Pakistan since 2022, of which over £25 million has been disbursed to date.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support locally-led peace builders in Pakistan.

The FCDO supports a variety of initiatives to build political, cultural and religious understanding between Pakistan and its neighbours. These initiatives support wider regional stability and prosperity, whilst also reducing the risks of uncontrolled escalation towards violence.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Sudanese (a) civil society and (b) communities providing first response relief in Sudan.

The UK's top humanitarian priority is to secure operational security guarantees and workable humanitarian access. There can be no international aid without safe and reliable access. As part of our engagement as the Quad (KSA, US, UK, UAE) we have pushed both for the extension of the ceasefire and ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access.

The UK will support a well-coordinated and prioritised regional response. We will coordinate with the international humanitarian system (including INGOs, UN agencies, Civil Society Organisations) to support the UN to be able to scale-up delivery within Sudan so they can move quickly to respond if and when the access situation improves.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)