Brendan O'Hara Portrait

Brendan O'Hara

Scottish National Party - Argyll and Bute

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society)

(since July 2018)

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution)

(since March 2020)

Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

(since February 2021)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
12th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Media)
20th Jun 2017 - 17th May 2018
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 12th Sep 2017
Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
20th May 2015 - 20th Jun 2017


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 35 Scottish National Party No votes vs 0 Scottish National Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 301 Noes - 206
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
Freedom of Religion or Belief: 40th Anniversary of UN Declaration

It is a pleasure to speak in this hugely important but sadly still all too relevant debate. It is a …

Written Answers
Thursday 2nd December 2021
Bridges and Tunnels: Northern Ireland and Scotland
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost has been to the public purse of the Union …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Supporting Oban's bid for City Status
That this House supports the town of Oban in its bid to achieve city status and become Scotland’s eighth city; …
Bills
Wednesday 14th November 2018
European Union Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 1st June 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 26 April 2021, a Director of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. This is an unpaid role. (Registered 19 May …
EDM signed
Thursday 2nd December 2021
Republic of Barbados
That this House welcomes the decision by the people of Barbados to become a republic and wishes the new president …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Brendan O'Hara has voted in 265 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Brendan O'Hara 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.

View all Brendan O'Hara's debates

Argyll and Bute 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).

Petitions with highest Argyll and Bute signature proportion
Petitions with most Argyll and Bute signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.


Latest EDMs signed by Brendan O'Hara

29th November 2021
Brendan O'Hara signed this EDM on Thursday 2nd December 2021

Recognition of the life of Bertie Auld

Tabled by: Patrick Grady (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North)
That this House celebrates the life of Celtic Football Club legend, and member of the European Cup winning ‘Lisbon Lions’ side, Bertie Auld, who sadly passed away on 14 November 2021; recalls that he spoke fondly of growing up in Glasgow’s Panmure Street where he played for local club Maryhill …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 2 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Independent: 1
Labour: 1
30th November 2021
Brendan O'Hara signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 2nd December 2021

Republic of Barbados

Tabled by: Douglas Chapman (Scottish National Party - Dunfermline and West Fife)
That this House welcomes the decision by the people of Barbados to become a republic and wishes the new president Dame Sandra Mason every success in developing Barbados as a successful, democratic and ambitious nation while still remembering and being aware of the island’s colonial history; and praises the citizens …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 2 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 3
Independent: 1
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Brendan O'Hara's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Brendan O'Hara, 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.


Brendan O'Hara has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Brendan O'Hara has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Brendan O'Hara


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for an independent evaluation of the effects of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on the health and social care sectors; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th November 2018

Brendan O'Hara has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


139 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have made to the Government of India on the human rights of Christian and Muslim minorities in that country in the context of forthcoming trade negotiations; and if she will include clauses recognising the centrality of human rights, including those of freedom of religion or belief, in any future trade agreement with India.

In May, the United Kingdom and India announced our intent to negotiate a free trade agreement. Since then, the Department of International Trade has launched a public consultation about our approach to negotiations.

HM Government has a history of promoting British values globally, including freedom of religion, and we are clear that upholding rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand with our trading ambitions. We engage with the Government of India on a range of matters.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost has been to the public purse of the Union Connectivity Review and Fixed Link Feasibility Study into the potential merits of a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Fixed Link Feasibility Study forms part of the Union Connectivity Review, independently chaired by Sir Peter Hendy CBE. Final invoices are yet to be received.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has conducted an (a) impact and (b) risk assessment on removing the requirement for specific car and trailer training.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) takes its commitment to road safety extremely seriously and it will work with the industry and stakeholders to drive forward the importance of safe driving and safe towing.

The vocational test changes will not affect the standard of driving required to drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), with road safety continuing to be of paramount importance. Any driver who does not demonstrate utmost competence will not be granted a licence.

Legislative changes are usually subject to a post implementation review which gives the opportunity to review and potentially update the changes made. The Department will keep these changes under review to ensure they are effective and help increase HGV testing capacity to meet demand whilst ensuring road safety is not compromised in the process.

The DVSA is exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach, and is engaging with key stakeholders, trainers and insurers, to discuss this issue.

The DVSA is also in discussions with the training industry to understand their capacity to deliver the off-road manoeuvres element of the vocational test and will work with them to develop a robust and clear process by which to assess, accredit and audit any trainers who wish to assess the manoeuvres element of the test.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to provide financial support for driving instructors that specify in car and trailer training (B+E training) in response to that training being made non-mandatory.

The Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are working across government to establish the impact on the trainer market from the regulatory changes relating to B+E testing.

DVSA will continue to encourage people who want to drive a car and trailer to get professional training to promote road safety. We are exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach and plan to meet with key stakeholders including trainers and insurers to discuss this further.

DVSA will be extensively promoting the importance of professional car and trailer training for all motorists, will encourage motorists to access online guidance on towing safely and will continue to remind motorists of the need to carry out trailer safety checks.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will implement a compulsory accreditation scheme to replace the DVLA's car and trailer training (B+E), similar to the CBT training that motorcycle drivers must undertake.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will continue to encourage people who want to drive a car and trailer to get professional training to promote road safety. We are exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach and plan to meet with key stakeholders including trainers and insurers to discuss this further.

DVSA will be extensively promoting the importance of professional car and trailer training for all motorists, will encourage motorists to access online guidance on towing safely and will continue to remind motorists of the need to carry out trailer safety checks.

Car drivers towing trailers and caravans will continue to be subject to roadside enforcement checks by DVSA.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the the oral answer of 26 October 2021 by the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Official Report, column 131, and whether he has raised the case of imprisoned human rights defender on hunger strike, Dr Abuljalil AlSingace in any bilateral meetings with Bahraini officials in (a) the UK and (b) Bahrain.

We continue to monitor and raise the case of Dr Abduljalil al-Singace and others as necessary, with the Bahraini Government as well as with the oversight bodies.
James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 18 October 2021 to Question 53919 and with reference to her Department's Human Rights and Democracy: 2020 report published on 8 July 2021, whether the Government provided assistance for the development of Bahrain’s integrated National Human Rights Action Plan; if the Government will support Bahrain in the implementation of that plan; and what reforms that plan is expected to deliver.

The UK government has not provided financial assistance for the development of Bahrain's National Human Rights Plan but did alongside others, including the UN, participate in the preparatory workshops. Until the Plan is published, it would be inappropriate to speculate on its content or possible UK support for its implementation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to reports that medical negligence may have contributed to the death of 35 year old Bahraini prisoner, Hasan Abdulnabi Mansoor, on 25 July 2021, and representations from Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy for an independent impartial investigation into his death, what assessment the Government has made of the implications for its policies of the reports of the death of Hasan Abdulnabi Mansoor.

We are aware of reports regarding the death of Hasan Abdulnabi Mansoor. The Government of Bahrain has been clear in its public statements that access to medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the constitution of Bahrain. We encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to report them to the appropriate human rights oversight body and we continue to urge the oversight bodies to carry out swift and thorough investigations into any claims made.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department's report Human Rights and Democracy: 2020 report published on 8 July 2021 whether the Government provided assistance for the development of the integrated National Human Rights Action Plan through the Gulf Strategy Fund; if the Government will support Bahrain in the implementation of that Plan; and what reforms the NHRAP expected to deliver.

The FCDO's International Programme (IP), and within it the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), is a vital tool in promoting positive change and reforms across the world, including in the Gulf. Our programmes help our partners to continue their human rights reform, address key climate change and green growth opportunities and challenges, tackle illicit finance, improve marine conservation, promote economic diversification, promote diversity and inclusion including on LGBTQ+ rights, and develop their institutions

All cooperation through the IP, including the GSF, is subject to rigorous risk assessments to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations and our values. The Government does not shy away from raising legitimate human rights concerns, and encourage other states to respect international law.

We now publish an annual summary of the GSF's work on gov.uk. We will not publish further information where doing so presents risks to our staff, programme suppliers and beneficiaries, or which may impact our relationships with our international partners, and therefore our ability to influence their reform efforts.

We will provide updates on an annual basis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will name the bodies that implemented the Gulf Strategy Fund-funded assistance received by the National Intelligence Agency Ombudsman in the financial year 2020-2021.

The FCDO's International Programme (IP), and within it the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), is a vital tool in promoting positive change and reforms across the world, including in the Gulf. Our programmes help our partners to continue their human rights reform, address key climate change and green growth opportunities and challenges, tackle illicit finance, improve marine conservation, promote economic diversification, promote diversity and inclusion including on LGBTQ+ rights, and develop their institutions

All cooperation through the IP, including the GSF, is subject to rigorous risk assessments to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations and our values. The Government does not shy away from raising legitimate human rights concerns, and encourage other states to respect international law.

We now publish an annual summary of the GSF's work on gov.uk. We will not publish further information where doing so presents risks to our staff, programme suppliers and beneficiaries, or which may impact our relationships with our international partners, and therefore our ability to influence their reform efforts.

We will provide updates on an annual basis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the net expenditure of the Gulf Strategy Fund by beneficiary state for the financial year 2020-21.

The Gulf Strategy Fund spend by programme is listed in the published summary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-development-assistance-oda-fcdo-international-programme-spend-objectives-2020-to-2021/gulf-strategy-fund-programme-summary.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports further to reports that (a) Bahraini people living in exile in London were named in the Pegasus project leak as targets for Israeli NSO Group, including human rights defender Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei and (b) at least two Bahraini activists in London, Moosa Mohammed and Yusuf Al-Jamri had their devices hacked by Pegasus spyware; and what steps he plans to take to prevent cyber attacks on Bahraini people living in the UK.

While we do not comment on the use of Pegasus against individuals, it is vital that all cyber actors use capabilities in a way that is legal, responsible and proportionate to ensure cyberspace remains a safe and prosperous place for everyone. The National Cyber Security Strategy, supported by £1.9 billion funding, has transformed the UK's fight against the cyber threat since 2016.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the 19 May 2021 decision adopted by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that the ongoing detention of death row inmates Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa in Bahrain (a) is arbitrary under four of the five categories of the WGAD’s methods of work (b) contravenes nine articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and (c) contravenes nine articles of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, what representations the Government plans to make to the Government of Bahrain on rescinding those death sentences and urgently bringing their detention in line with international law.

Ministers including myself and our officials have consistently reiterated the UK's opposition to the use of the death penalty, in all circumstances. We continue to monitor and raise the cases of Husain Moosa, Mohammed Ramadhan and others, with the Bahraini Government as well as with the Oversight bodies. We understand that the Bahraini Government is in contact with the UN regarding its human rights reform efforts.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what communications (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have had with her Nigerian counterpart on the need to locate and rescue Leah Sharibu.

We are deeply concerned by the abduction and continued captivity of children by Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and Boko Haram in North East Nigeria. We have routinely raised the case of Leah Sharibu with the Government of Nigeria since she was abducted by ISWA in 2018. Most recently, in June this year, officials at the British High Commission in Abuja raised Leah's case with the Nigerian authorities.

My predecessor visited Nigeria in April where he discussed insecurity, including kidnaps, with the Foreign Minister and the President's Chief of Staff, and raised the importance of protecting all communities. The Nigerian Government has provided assurances it is doing all it can to secure the release of all those kidnapped. We have also provided support to Nigerian Police Force units to improve their anti-kidnap capacity, to help reduce harm to victims and to hold those responsible to account.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will raise the situation of Christian and Muslim minorities in India with her Indian counterpart in any upcoming discussions.

Where we have concerns over discrimination because of religion or belief, we raise them directly with the Government of India, including at ministerial level. We also raise issues relevant to religious minorities in our wider engagement with Union and State authorities. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, discussed UK Parliamentary interest in human rights in India with Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on 23 July.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will support the formation of an international commission to assess reports of violence and other human rights violations against religious minorities in India.

We look to the government of India to assess and address any concerns in line with India's strong constitution. We will continue to work with both Union and State authorities to support freedom of religion in India, raising concerns where we have them.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support their Nigerian counterparts in locating and rescuing (a) Leah Sharibu and (b) other abducted girls in Nigeria.

We are deeply concerned by the abduction and continued captivity of children by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) in North East Nigeria. Leah Sharibu, who was abducted by ISWA in 2018, and a number of the Chibok schoolgirls, abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, are among those still missing. We continue to raise these cases with the Government of Nigeria, most recently in June. The Nigerian Government has provided assurances it is doing all it can to secure the release of all those kidnapped.

We have provided mentoring and capacity building support to Nigerian Police Force units to improve their anti-kidnap capacity, to help reduce harm to victims and to hold those responsible to account. We are also providing a comprehensive package of support to Nigeria to help tackle the terrorist threat in the North East. My [Minister Ford] predecessor visited Nigeria in April where he discussed insecurity, including kidnaps, with the Foreign Minister and the President's Chief of Staff, and raised the importance of protecting all communities. He also discussed the impact insecurity has on education with the Nigerian Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Education in July in the margins of the Global Education Summit.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help promote the rights of religious minorities in India.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India regularly meet religious representatives and have run projects promoting minority rights. Over the last three years, they have worked with local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to bring together young people of diverse faith backgrounds to work together on social action projects in their local communities. This year, the British High Commission supported an interfaith leadership programme for a cohort of emerging Indian faith leaders, including Christians, creating an opportunity to exchange expertise on leading modern, inclusive faith communities, and promoting values of tolerance and multi-culturalism. We also raise issues relevant to religious minorities in our engagement with Union and State authorities. On 15 March, while visiting India, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, discussed the situation for Christians with India's then-Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kishan Reddy.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report by the charity Open Doors entitled Destructive Lies, what assessment her Department has made of the levels of freedom of religion or belief of Christian and Muslim minorities in India.

We look to India to uphold all freedoms and rights guaranteed in its strong constitution, and by the international instruments to which India is a party. We engage with India on a range of human rights matters, working with Union and State Governments, and with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. We condemn any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, regardless of the country or faith involved.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking (a) independently and (b) jointly with (i) her international counterparts and (ii) international bodies to help ensure that victims of Daesh atrocities are provided with reparations.

The UK is a key ally to survivor and minority communities who suffered atrocities under Daesh. We played a leading role in the establishment of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD). We champion its work in gathering evidence of crimes, including sexual violence against minority communities and welcome its expanded engagement with witnesses, survivors and impacted communities. Our Embassy in Baghdad has regular discussions with the Government of Iraq and UNITAD, encouraging their closer co-operation to achieve justice for victims of Daesh's crimes.

The passage of the Yazidi Survivors Law in March 2021, which includes provisions to search for missing survivors, is a welcome step toward justice and reparations for survivors. We continue to work with a range of actors including the Government of Iraq, minorities' organisations and survivors to ensure this law is fully implemented. We are funding both psycho-social care for female survivors of conflict related sexual violence, and technical support to Iraq's Directorate of Yazidi Affairs, responsible for implementation of the law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have had with her international counterparts on establishing an investigation into the fate and location of the 2,673 Yazidi women and children who have been missing since 2014 in Iraq.

The UK is a key ally to survivor and minority communities who suffered atrocities under Daesh. We played a leading role in the establishment of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD). We champion its work in gathering evidence of crimes, including sexual violence against minority communities and welcome its expanded engagement with witnesses, survivors and impacted communities. Our Embassy in Baghdad has regular discussions with the Government of Iraq and UNITAD, encouraging their closer co-operation to achieve justice for victims of Daesh's crimes.

The passage of the Yazidi Survivors Law in March 2021, which includes provisions to search for missing survivors, is a welcome step toward justice and reparations for survivors. We continue to work with a range of actors including the Government of Iraq, minorities' organisations and survivors to ensure this law is fully implemented. We are funding both psycho-social care for female survivors of conflict related sexual violence, and technical support to Iraq's Directorate of Yazidi Affairs, responsible for implementation of the law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many applications have been submitted to the his Department's special cases email address since its launch in August 2021.

As of 8 September, the Special Cases mailbox had received over 15,000 emails. This is not the same as "cases", since by definition "special cases" are determined by exemption not by application. These emails are being assessed and categorised for action as part of the Government's overall processing of Afghan nationals' cases.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of claims by UN experts on 14 June 2021 that they had obtained credible information that (a) detainees from minority communities in China may be being subjected to forced organ harvesting and (b) that specific ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities in detention appear to be targeted.

We have taken note of the statement published by UN experts on 14 June expressing concern about alleged organ harvesting targeting minorities, including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims and Christians, in detention in China. We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practice, change or share one's faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. We continue to monitor the issue of alleged organ harvesting closely and consider carefully all evidence presented to us. We regularly raise our concerns about human rights with the Chinese authorities, and will continue to do so.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s factsheet entitled Nonbelievers in Africa published on 11 June 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the scale of challenges faced by non-religious people in Africa.

We have taken note of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's factsheet entitled Nonbelievers in Africa. Protecting freedom of religion or belief for all faiths, and none, remains a priority for the UK Government. Members of non-religious communities continue to be victims of harassment and persecution, despite progress over recent years with the promotion of freedom of religion or belief for all. The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the severity and scale of violations and abuses of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all in many parts of the world, including in Africa. As the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon underlined these points at the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group Annual General Meeting on 24 May.

Lord Ahmad works closely with the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for FoRB, Fiona Bruce MP. In addition to championing FoRB, Mrs Bruce represents the UK at meetings of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to advocate for the rights of individuals being discriminated against or persecuted on the basis of their faith or belief, including members of non-religious communities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the investigation published on 7 June 2021 by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and Human Rights Watch on abuses of children in detention and the adequacy of the Bahraini Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of the Bahraini Ministry of Interior Ombudsman; and whether the Government plans to continue allocating financial support to that Ombudsman through the Gulf Strategy Fund.

We believe that consistent, positive steps are being made on security and justice reform in Bahrain. Continued progress is in the interest of Bahrain, the UK and the international community. While we recognise that challenges remain, we are clear that stepping back from our engagement would not help to achieve this. Working in cooperation with the UNDP in Bahrain, we plan to continue our support through the Gulf Strategy Fund to strengthen Bahrain's human rights oversight institutions, including the Ombudsman.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the letter to the Rt hon. Member for Braintree and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon of 7 June 2021 from Human Rights Watch, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) independence from the executive of Bahraini oversight bodies in tackling torture; what steps he is taking to improve those aspects of Bahraini oversight bodies; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government unreservedly condemns the use of torture. The UK does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture for any purpose.

We believe that consistent, positive steps are being made on security and justice reform in Bahrain. Continued progress is in the interest of Bahrain, the UK and the international community. While we recognise that challenges remain, we are clear that stepping back from our engagement would not help to achieve this. Working in cooperation with the UNDP in Bahrain, we plan to continue our support through the Gulf Strategy Fund to strengthen Bahrain's human rights oversight institutions.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will respond to the letter to the Rt hon. Member for Braintree and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon of 7 June 2021 from Human Rights Watch on cases of Bahraini children abused in detention.

A reply will be sent. We continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to meet its international and domestic human rights commitments, including in the case of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the (a) Answer of 8 June 2021 to Question 7836, and (b) visit by the Rt Hon. Member for Braintree to Bahrain in March 2021, what human rights issues were discussed during that visit; and which cases were specifically raised.

The discussions on human rights covered a range of themes and cases. The UK continues to engage with the Government of Bahrain to support its reform agenda, and to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made for the implications for his policies of the report by Aid to the Church in Need, published 23 June 2021, on the refusal of the Water and Sanitation Agency in Pakistan to close a sewage plant next to the New Covenant School System in the Punjab.

We have not engaged on decisions about this sewage plant, which is a matter for local environmental authorities. The UK's policy towards freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in Pakistan remains unchanged. We are committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Pakistan is one of the FCDO's human rights priority countries and protecting FoRB is an integral part of our engagement on human rights in Pakistan. The UK Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Aid to the Church in Need, published 11 June 2021, that Islamist groups in Pakistan are inciting violence towards Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel who were recently acquitted after being on death row for blasphemy.

The UK Government welcomes the recent acquittal of Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel by the Lahore High Court. We remain concerned about the use of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which are only compatible with international human rights law in narrow circumstances. It is our longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.

We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns about human rights with the Government of Pakistan. Most recently on 23 and 24 June during a visit to Pakistan, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari. Lord Ahmad also met with minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns and the challenges they face.

We will continue to urge the government of Pakistan to guarantee the rights of all people in Pakistan, particularly the most vulnerable, as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international standards.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the abduction of children by terrorists in Mozambique.

The UK is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Mozambique, including abductions of children, and the increasing number of attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. At the UN Security Council High-Level Debate on Children in Armed Conflict on 28 June, the UK highlighted and condemned recent reports of children being attacked, kidnapped and forcibly recruited in Cabo Delgado. I also made clear publicly on 26 and 28 March, in the wake of deadly attacks in Cabo Delgado, that we are appalled by such acts and stand with the people of Mozambique. Lord Ahmad, the UK's Minister of State for Human Rights, spoke to Mozambican Foreign Minister Macamo on 11 March and reaffirmed UK support to help Mozambique fight terrorism.

We are working with the Government of Mozambique to address the root drivers of conflict and instability, including by providing targeted assistance under the framework of a Defence Memorandum of Understanding. The UK also has a regular high-level dialogue with the Government of Mozambique and international partners such as UNICEF about humanitarian and other crises, including the situation in Cabo Delgado. UK Aid has provided £20m of support in Cabo Delgado through UN agencies, ensuring access to food, shelter, water, sanitation and basic health.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on the Syrian people of sanctions against Syria.

UK Syria sanctions carefully target the Assad regime and its cronies, not the civilian population. The UK does not sanction medicine, medical equipment or medical assistance, and items required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic are not subject to direct restrictions on export, supply, financing or use in Syria. To further guard against unintentional humanitarian impact, UK sanctions provide for a range of exceptions, in order not to obstruct humanitarian activity, or export of medicines or other humanitarian goods.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question HL15129, if he will provide the allocated budget for the Gulf Strategy Fund, broken down by each financial year that that fund will operate.

The Gulf Strategy Fund has been allocated £10m for the 2021/22 Financial Year. Future allocations are dependent on the outcome of the forthcoming Spending Review.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to reports that imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader, Hasan Mushaima, has developed serious symptoms due to diabetes, what urgent representations the Government plans to make to its Bahraini counterparts on ensuring the immediate provision of adequate medical care to Hasan Mushaima.

We continue to monitor and raise the case of Hassan Mushaima and others, as necessary, with the Bahraini Government. The Government of Bahrain has been clear that access to medical care for those in detention is provided in line with the Constitution of Bahrain. We welcome those assurances. We encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise the matter with the Bahraini human rights oversight bodies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 752, on what most recent date the UK Government held discussions with its Bahraini counterparts on allowing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture access to (a) Bahrain and (b) Jau Prison in Bahrain.

The UK regularly raises human rights matters with the Government of Bahrain, including at senior levels. We continue to encourage both the Government of Bahrain and the UN to engage with each other on human rights issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 750 on Bahrain: Political Prisoners, whether the UK Ambassador to Bahrain raised human rights issues on his 7 May 2021 visit to Jau Prison, including the (a) issue of political prisoners and (b) cases of (i) Sheikh Ali Salman, (ii) Abdulhaldi AlKhawaja, (iii) Hassan Mushaima and (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace.

As I stated in my reply of 17 May, the visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to raise human rights matters, to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand and to understand the measures implemented to counter Covid-19. We continue to raise specific cases with senior government officials in Bahrain, as well as with the Oversight bodies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the UK Ambassador to Bahrain did not meet families of Jau Prison inmates who were subject to reported (a) abuse, (b) enforced disappearance and (c) incommunicado detention in Bahrain following a reported attack by police in that prison on 17 April 2021.

Activists and others we understand to be family members of Jau prison inmates came unannounced to the British Embassy in Manama on 4 May to hand over a letter. They did not ask to meet the British Ambassador.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the visit by the Rt Hon Member for Braintree to Bahrain in March 2021, whether the Government raised human rights issues during that visit, including (a) capital punishment, (b) torture, (c) political prisoners, (d) the abuse and detention of juveniles and (e) cases of individuals including (i) Mohammed Ramadhan, (ii) Husain Moosa, (iii) Hassan Mushaima, (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace, (v) Abdulhadi AlKhawaja and (vi) Sheikh Ali Salman.

I visited Bahrain in March 2021 to participate in the Bahrain-UK Joint Working Group. Discussions covered a range of issues, including specific human rights themes and cases.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what most recent date the UK Government held discussions with its Bahraini counterparts on allowing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture access to (a) Bahrain and (b) Jau Prison in Bahrain.

The UK regularly raises human rights matters with the Government of Bahrain, including at senior levels. We encourage the Government of Bahrain to engage with interested parties.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 185912 and with reference to the (a) findings of the United Nations Committee Against Torture that Bahraini oversight bodies are (i) not independent and (ii) not effective and (b) 9 April 2021 publication from Amnesty International which stated that Bahraini oversight bodies are ineffective in safeguarding human rights and punishing violations, what assessment the UK Government has made of the efficacy and independence of Bahraini oversight bodies’ investigations into the 17 April 2021 incident at Jau Prison in Bahrain.

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain, including reports by the United Nations Committee Against Torture and Amnesty International. We welcome action taken by the Ombudsman to investigate allegations, including the Ombudsman's unannounced visit to Jau prison in May 2021 and subsequent report. We continue to encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any, and all, such claims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the (a) United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights’ statement that there was unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by police against inmates in Jau Prison on 17 April 2021, (b) publication from Amnesty International on 9 April 2021 which stated that authorities failed to respect minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners in Jau Prison and (c) Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy report that stated over 50 political prisoners were subjected to enforced disappearance following the 17 April 2021 police attack on Jau Prison, on what basis the UK Ambassador to Bahrain stated on 6 May 2021 that Jau Prison in Bahrain is a well-run facility.

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain. The visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand, understand the Covid-19 measures implemented, and raise human rights matters with the government of Bahrain. We continue to raise specific cases as and when we have concerns.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the visit made by the UK Ambassador to Bahrain to Jau Prison in Bahrain on 3 May 2021, whether the UK Ambassador raised issues of human rights including the (a) enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention of over 50 inmates following police violence on 17 April 2021 and (b) cases of high profile political prisoners including (i) Sheikh Ali Salman, (ii) Abdulhaldi AlKhawaja, (iii) Hassan Mushaima and (iv) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace.

The FCDO considers a range of information regarding human rights in Bahrain. The visit to Jau prison on 3 May enabled the UK Ambassador and other international representatives to see the facilities at Jau prison first hand, understand the Covid-19 measures implemented, and raise human rights matters with the government of Bahrain. We continue to raise specific cases as and when we have concerns.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the outbreak of covid-19 at Jau Prison in Bahrain, and to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ call for the release of all prisoners of conscience due to the heightened risk posed to them in detention, what representations the Government (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the Bahraini Government on the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government. We understand there are currently no active cases of Covid within Jau Prison.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the death of Abbas Mallallah, in Jau Prison, Bahrain, if the Government will support an independent investigation into Abbas Mallallah's death as requested by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

We are aware of the reports surrounding the death of Abbas Mallallah. The Government of Bahrain has been clear in its public statements that access to medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the constitution of Bahrain. We would encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to report them to the appropriate human rights oversight body and we continue to urge the oversight bodies to carry out swift and thorough investigations into any claims made.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Bahraini counterpart on the Amnesty International report, published on 9 April 2021 on the findings that (a) Jau Prison is severely overcrowded in violation of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, (b) preventative measures against covid-19 are inadequate with a lack of face masks, hand sanitizer and regular testing,(c) prisoners who tested positive with covid-19 have had their phone calls interrupted and (d) the Bahraini Government has not release updated accurate information of over 70 covid-19 cases in that prison.

We have regularly discussed the challenge of managing the covid-19 pandemic in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini government. The government has informed us that: health protections have been in place in all facilities since the pandemic began, including routine testing of inmates and prison staff; a choice of vaccines is available to all prisoners, to date 100% of prisoners who have been registered for a vaccine have received it; and that all positive cases among those in custody are currently stable, with full access to medical treatment. We continue to monitor these conditions through our regular contact with the oversight bodies. We also welcome the assurances that all prisoners are eligible for the vaccination, free of charge and in line with WHO guidelines, and that any prisoner who falls ill has the same free access to treatment and care as any other citizen or resident in the Kingdom. We continue to discuss covid-19 in prisons with the Ombudsman, the NIHR (National Institute for Human Rights) and the PDRC (Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission), which actively monitor the covid-19 situation through inspection visits (NIHR and PDRC) and investigations (Ombudsman) into prison conditions. We would encourage anyone with concerns about medical treatment in prison to get in touch with the oversight bodies directly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the reported arrests of the relatives of political prisoners, Mohammed Ramadhan and Mohammed AlDaqqaq, following peaceful protests in Bahrain, what assessment he has made of reports of the criminalisation and targeting of the relatives of political prisoners who exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in that country.

We have consistently underlined, across the region, the importance of respect for the right to peaceful protest, and freedom of speech. The UK supports freedom of expression and freedom of speech as both a fundamental right in itself, and as an essential element of a full range of human rights. Bahrain remains a human rights priority country partly due to our concerns around restrictions on these freedoms.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bahraini counterpart on political prisoner, Sayed Nizar Alwadaei who has been placed in solitary confinement after testing positive for covid-19 in violation of the UN Minimum Standard for the Treatment of Prisoners.

We have previously raised the cases of Sayed Nizar Alwadaei and Husain Al Sahlawi with senior members of the Bahraini government and we continue to monitor these cases. The Government of Bahrain has been clear that access to medical care for those in detention is provided in line with the Constitution of Bahrain. We welcome these assurances and would encourage those with any concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Bahraini counterpart on ensuring that Bahraini political prisoner, Husain Al Sahlawi, receives urgent medical operations to remove potentially cancerous ulcer and treat a cyst on his eye which obscures his sight.

We have previously raised the cases of Sayed Nizar Alwadaei and Husain Al Sahlawi with senior members of the Bahraini government and we continue to monitor these cases. The Government of Bahrain has been clear that access to medical care for those in detention is provided in line with the Constitution of Bahrain. We welcome these assurances and would encourage those with any concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the letter of the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute of 21 December 2020, what the most recent date was upon which the Government made representations to the Government of Bahrain on the cases of medical negligence against the Bahraini political prisoners Hasan Mushaima, Dr Abduljalil AlSingace and Sheikh AlMuqdad.

We continue to monitor and raise the cases of Hassan Mushaima, Dr Abduljalil Al Singace and Sheikh Abduljalil Al Muqdad.

The Government of Bahrain has been clear in public statements that access to medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. We welcome those assurances.

Those with concerns regarding the treatment of a prisoner should contact the relevant authorities as well as the appropriate national oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much was spent through the Integrated Activity Fund on the customs project provided to the Royal Oman Police Customs in collaboration with the British Embassy Muscat in October 2019; and whether an Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment was conducted prior to the delivery of that project.

We do not disclose information related to individual IAF projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of (a) torture allegations which include beatings, electric shocks, and sexual abuse against political prisoners at the Royal Academy of Policing in Bahrain and (b) reports that local oversight bodies have failed to credibly investigate those allegations.

The British Government's policy is clear - we condemn the use of torture or mistreatment in all circumstances. We take allegations or concerns of torture and mistreatment very seriously. We urge that all allegations of this nature are reported to the appropriate national oversight body and continue to encourage these bodies to carry out swift, transparent and thorough investigations into any such claims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the level of kidnapping, forced conversion and marriage of Christian and Hindu girls to their older male abductors in Pakistan on the Government’s allocation of Official Development Assistance to that country; and whether his Department has had discussions with the Government of Pakistan on that matter.

We are concerned about women's and girls' rights in Pakistan and ongoing reports of forced marriage and forced conversion of Hindu, Christian and Sikh women and girls. The UK Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. On 19 October, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised our concerns about child, early and forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls, including those of religious minorities, with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. In addition, Lord Ahmad raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief with Dr Mazari on 16 November.

Pakistan is one of the UK's top development priorities and currently the second largest bilateral aid programme with a total of £257.369 million disbursed in 2019-20. This includes support for policy reform at federal and provincial levels to strengthen child protection laws to prevent child marriage. We are also supporting the creation of child courts which will ensure that issues affecting children, including child marriage, are more effectively dealt with in the legal system. Our aid relationship with any government is based on an assessment of commitment to our Partnership Principles, including human rights. While we will continue to raise human rights as a concern in our dialogue with the Government of Pakistan, including at our annual Bilateral Assistance Talks, it would not be fair for the poorest to suffer from a withdrawal or reduction of UK support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on levels of persecution of (a) women and girls from minority faith communities and (b) religious communities around the world.

The UK remains deeply concerned by the severity and scale of violations and abuses of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in many parts of the world. Defending the right to FoRB for all is a priority for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. We continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 on human rights globally, including members of all minority religious and belief communities. We recognise that women and girls from religious minorities can often suffer because of both their gender and their faith. That is why we ensure our human rights policy work considers the intersectionality of human rights, for example the importance of addressing the specific vulnerabilities experienced by women and girls from religious minority communities. We are concerned by the secondary effects of the pandemic, including incidents of hate speech; reports that some Christian communities have been denied access to aid and, and the rise in conspiracy theories that certain faiths or beliefs are to blame for the pandemic. The UK will continue to refute these divisive and harmful claims.

The UK has called for states to ensure that any restrictions put in place to protect public health, including the right to FoRB, are necessary, proportionate and time-limited. The Minister of State for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, urged states to take steps to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society, including religious and belief minorities, during the UK's closing statement at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council in July. On 16 November, Lord Ahmad virtually attended the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief in Warsaw where he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to promoting FoRB within the pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Pew Research Center’s 11th annual study of restrictions on religion published on 10 November 2020, that Government restrictions on religion rose to a record high in 2018; and what steps he is taking to tackle restrictions on religion in the (a) Middle East, (b) North Africa and (c) Asia.

We have seen the Pew Research Centre's 11th annual study of restrictions on religion and are concerned by its findings. The UK is committed to defending Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. We remain deeply concerned about violations and abuses of FoRB in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Where we have concerns, we raise them directly with governments, including at Ministerial level. The Minister responsible for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad (Tariq) of Wimbledon, underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all in a number of international meetings earlier this month, speaking at the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Ministers' Forum of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance.

The Magna Carta Fund for human rights has been used to fund a series of projects around the world, including projects to combat intolerance. The FCDO has also supported research projects in a diverse range of geographic regions, including Asia and the Middle East. These projects have provided the Government with specific recommendations on how we might tackle the problem of persecution as it affects particular countries or groups

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Government of Pakistan on the recent spate of kidnappings of young and underage Christian and Hindu girls who have been forced to convert to Islam and marry their abductor.

We are concerned about women's and girls' rights in Pakistan and ongoing reports of forced marriage and forced conversion of Hindu, Christian and Sikh women and girls. The UK Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. On 19 October, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised our concerns about child, early and forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls, including those of religious minorities, with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. In addition, Lord Ahmad raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief with Dr Mazari on 16 November.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to on the Transparency of the Integrated Fund on 22 October 2020, to clarify (a) for which financial and/or calendar year(s) they will provide summaries of activities funded by the Integrated Activity Fund/Gulf Strategy Fund, (b) when these summaries will be published, and (c) what information will these summaries contain.

We will publish a Programme Summary of the Gulf Strategy Fund for 2020/21 in March 2021. This is in line with the timetable for publication of summaries of other programmes under the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office International Programme. The Programme Summary will set out how the Fund has been used in each country and the amounts allocated.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106366 on Overseas Aid, how many of those 29 projects were delivered solely in (a) Bahrain, (b) Saudi Arabia, (c) Kuwait, (d) UAE, and (e) Oman under the Integrated Activity Fund in (i) 2018-19 and (ii) 2019-20.

We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106366 on Overseas Aid, how many projects were delivered solely in (a) Bahrain, (b) Saudi Arabia, (c) Kuwait, (d) UAE (e) Oman and (f) Qatar under the Integrated Activity Fund in 2016-17.

During the 2016/17 financial year the Integrated Activity Fund was managed by the Cabinet Office and detailed information is not held by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106365 on Overseas Aid, how many projects were applied for under the Integrated Activity Fund in the 2018-19 financial year by (a) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, (b) the Cabinet Office, (c) the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, (d) the Ministry of Defence, (e) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (f) the Department for International Trade, (g) the Home Office, (h) HM Revenue and Customs and (i) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, fwith reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question HL6838, whether the Integrated Activity Fund is used to finance (a) training and (b) other activities delivered Bahraini bodies dealing with security matters.

The Integrated Activity Fund supports Bahrain-led reform, sharing UK expertise and experience including on security matters. These projects aim to support progress on building effective and accountable institutions and strengthening the rule of law. Any training and activities provided by, or on behalf of, the British Government fully complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832, how many of the 13 projects that were delivered under the Integrated Activity Fund and covered by an Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment in the financial year 2018-2019 underwent Ministerial consultation.

During the 2018-19 financial year one Integrated Activity Fund project covered by an Overseas Security and Justice Assessment underwent Ministerial consultation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832, how many activities delivered through the Integrated Activity Fund (a) were and (b) were not subject to an Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment in financial year (i) 2016-17, (ii) 2017-18 and the (iii) 2019-20, by year.

The Integrated Activity Fund was managed by the Cabinet Office during 2016/17 to 2017/18 and this information is not held by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. During the 2019-20 financial year the Integrated Activity Fund delivered 47 projects, 16 of which were covered by Overseas Security and Justice Assessments.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832 on Overseas Aid, what the titles are of the 44 projects delivered by the Integrated Activity Fund in 2018-19.

We do not disclose information related to Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of implementers and our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832 on Overseas Aid, which Departments applied for funding from the Integrated Activity Fund for the 13 projects that were subject to Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments.

During the 2018-19 financial year the Integrated Activity Fund received applications for funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Trade, the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832 on Overseas Aid, which Government Departments applied for funding under the Integrated Activity Fund in 2018-19 for the 31 projects where no Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments were conducted.

During the 2018-19 financial year the Integrated Activity Fund received applications for funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Trade, the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832 on Overseas Aid, which of the 44 projects delivered through the Integrated Activity Fund in 2018-19 were delivered solely within one country; and what those countries are.

In 2018-19, the Integrated Activity Fund delivered 29 projects solely within Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question HL6838, which implementation partners the Government funds through the Integrated Activity Fund to support Bahraini-led reform, including in the field of human rights.

We do not disclose information related to implementing partners to maintain confidentiality and protect their security to ensure that our ability to use the Fund to deliver government policy is not compromised.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding the Government provides to (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) organisations implementing training to bodies and institutions in Saudi Arabia.

We do not provide funding to the Saudi Arabian Government. The UK Government does implement a number of projects that involve working with organisations in Saudi Arabia. HMG completes rigorous human rights risk assessments (Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments or OSJAs) before undertaking any justice or security cooperation, to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations and our values.

The UK Government provides funding to the UK armed forces to provide advice, assistance and training to aid Saudi Arabia's efforts to protect its national security and support the Saudi military's compliance with international humanitarian law. The UK Government also pays for civilian and military programmes of advice and assistance, which are then reimbursed by the Saudi Arabian Government at no cost to the UK taxpayer.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 22 May 2018 to Question HL7775 on Bahrain: Technical Assistance, if he will place in the Library copies of those Government responses to freedom of information requests which contain updates on the Integrated Activity Fund programme.

I have asked officials to deposit in the Library of the House of Commons copies of responses to freedom of information requests held by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office which contain updates on the Integrated Activity Fund programme.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the Government has not disclosed its evaluations and Overseas Justice and Security assessments of activities delivered through the Integrated Activity Fund; and what assessment he has made of the implications of that decision for Government policy on transparency of public spending.

The FCDO's general policy is to not publish OSJA assessments or the information contained in these assessments. This ensures that officials are able to be fully candid in their assessments and accurately assess the risks associated with the proposed assistance.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many activities delivered through the Integrated Activity Fund (a) were and (b) were not subject to an Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment in the 2018-19 financial year.

During the 2018-19 financial year the Integrated Activity Fund delivered 44 projects, 13 of which were covered by Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 3 July 2018 to Question 157711 on Gulf States: Overseas Aid, if he will set out (a) the activities and (b) the cost of each those activities delivered through the Integrated Activity Fund exclusively within (a) Saudi Arabia, (b) Bahrain, (c) Kuwait, (d) Oman, (e) Qatar and (f) United Arab Emirates in financial year 2019-20.

The Integrated Activity Fund supported a range of non-ODA programmes and projects across the Gulf. These included, but were not limited to, activities focusing on culture, healthcare, youth engagement, economic diversification and institutional capacity building. Activities were funded in all six Gulf Cooperation Council states: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Many of the projects and programme activities were delivered regionally, so it is not possible to provide a breakdown by beneficiary state.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Mexican counterpart on the case of six Protestant Christian families in El Encanto village, Las Margaritas Municipality, Chiapas who had their electricity cut off on 27 July because they refused to sign an agreement which obliged them to participate in religious activities associated with the Catholic religion.

We are aware of reports of the removal of some Mexican Protestants' access to water, electricity, and other basic services in Mexico. The British Embassy in Mexico City has raised this specific case with the Mexican authorities, who have agreed to look into it. The UK Government continues to engage regularly with Mexican authorities at ministerial, official, and state level to discuss human rights, including Freedom of Religion or Belief, and to support a broad human rights agenda in Mexico.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Iranian counterpart on the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh.

The UK Government has repeatedly expressed its concern at Nasrin Sotoudeh's ongoing detention. This was most recently raised with the Iranian Ambassador on 22 September, when we handed over a letter from E3 Foreign Ministers about the human rights situation in Iran. On 25 September the UK also joined 46 other countries in calling for her release at the Human Rights Council. Iran's record on human rights is of serious and longstanding concern to the UK, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has designated it as one of its Human Rights Priority Countries. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranians at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Vietnamese counterpart for the release of Nguyen Bac Truyen from detention in that country.

The UK is concerned by restrictions on freedom of expression in Vietnam. We regularly raise these issues in international fora and in bilateral contacts with the Government of Vietnam. We are concerned by prison conditions, which are affecting many inmates, including prisoners of conscience.

We raised concerns about freedom of expression and assembly, the treatment of prisoners, and the protection of civil society, during Vietnam's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January 2019. We also expressed our concern about restrictions on freedoms of expression and assembly in Vietnam in a UN Human Rights Council Item 2 Statement in September 2020. In January, the British Embassy in Hanoi met the Inter-faith Council of Vietnam to understand the restrictions religious groups in Vietnam have faced. Also in January, the former Minister for Asia and the Pacific raised the UK's concerns about human rights with the Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister during her visit to Vietnam.

We also raise individual cases of concern, including members of the Hoa Hao Buddhist movement who have faced repression. We have raised and will continue to raise our concerns in relation to Vietnam's UPR implementation plan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of freedom of religion or belief in Mexico.

The Mexican Constitution guarantees freedom of religion or belief for all its citizens. States as well as federal officials have responsibility for ensuring non-discrimination, and we welcome the 2019 launch of the National Strategy for the Promotion of Respect and Tolerance of Religious Diversity. The assessment by the Mexican Government, the local UN Human Rights office, and local civil society organisations is that while there are some cases of individuals being targeted because of their religion or beliefs, people are more often targeted for their work and activities in defence of human rights or because of religious intolerance between faith groups in Mexico.

The UK Government continues to engage regularly with Mexican authorities at ministerial, official, and state level to discuss human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, and to support a broad human rights agenda in Mexico. Most recently, on 28 July, Lord Ahmad, the Minister for human rights, discussed human rights with his Mexican counterpart.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what events took place in UK (a) embassies and (b) other diplomatic missions to mark St Andrews Day in 2019.

It is important for the FCO overseas network to promote the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries - this includes promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all the events hosted across the world, but some examples for Burns Night include our Ambassadors in Latvia, Hungary and Georgia each hosting a Burns Night supper with key stakeholders to promote Scottish culture and trade. Others promoted St Andrew's Day on social media and flew the Saltire on the day itself.

Furthermore, the GREAT marketing campaign also promotes Scottish business and culture throughout the world. The GREAT Challenge Fund is run from the FCO to enable Posts to deliver impactful GREAT activity overseas. Last financial year, there were over 40 projects promoting the devolved nations including: Bookfest International Fair in Bucharest featuring elements of Scottish literature and a Higher Education partnership in Germany promoting the University of Aberdeen and Scottish primary and secondary schools.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what events took place in (a) embassies and (b) other diplomatic missions to mark Burns Night in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

It is important for the FCO overseas network to promote the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries - this includes promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all the events hosted across the world, but some examples for Burns Night include our Ambassadors in Latvia, Hungary and Georgia each hosting a Burns Night supper with key stakeholders to promote Scottish culture and trade. Others promoted St Andrew's Day on social media and flew the Saltire on the day itself.

Furthermore, the GREAT marketing campaign also promotes Scottish business and culture throughout the world. The GREAT Challenge Fund is run from the FCO to enable Posts to deliver impactful GREAT activity overseas. Last financial year, there were over 40 projects promoting the devolved nations including: Bookfest International Fair in Bucharest featuring elements of Scottish literature and a Higher Education partnership in Germany promoting the University of Aberdeen and Scottish primary and secondary schools.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what events were hosted in UK (a) embassies and (b) other diplomatic missions to promote Scottish (i) business and (ii) culture in the last 12 months.

It is important for the FCO overseas network to promote the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries - this includes promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all the events hosted across the world, but some examples for Burns Night include our Ambassadors in Latvia, Hungary and Georgia each hosting a Burns Night supper with key stakeholders to promote Scottish culture and trade. Others promoted St Andrew's Day on social media and flew the Saltire on the day itself.

Furthermore, the GREAT marketing campaign also promotes Scottish business and culture throughout the world. The GREAT Challenge Fund is run from the FCO to enable Posts to deliver impactful GREAT activity overseas. Last financial year, there were over 40 projects promoting the devolved nations including: Bookfest International Fair in Bucharest featuring elements of Scottish literature and a Higher Education partnership in Germany promoting the University of Aberdeen and Scottish primary and secondary schools.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to Early Day Motion 630 of Session 2019-21, if he will (a) publicly condemn the 15 June 2020 decision of Bahrain’s highest court to uphold death sentences against Husain Abdullah Khalil Rashid and Zuhair Ibrahim Jasim Abdullah following concerns of serious due process violations and the alleged coercion of Zuhair’s confession through torture and (b) make representations to his counterpart in Bahrain on the immediate commutation of their death sentences.

We have raised the cases of Zuhair Ibrahim Jasim Abdullah and Hussein Abdullah Khalil Rashid at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain is fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in the constitution of Bahrain; we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to my letter of 9 April 2020 to the Bahraini Ambassador to the UK and copied to the British Ambassador to Bahrain, if he will make representations to his Bahraini counterpart on the welfare all political prisoners who allege medical negligence against them during the covid-19 pandemic.

I refer the Honourable Member to my response of 2 June 2020 to question 48474.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Bahraini counterpart on ensuring that prisoners in that country can access (a) external hospital appointments and (b) other healthcare during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government of Bahrain has been clear in public statements that access to appropriate medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. Bahrain has stated publicly that any prisoner wishing to see a doctor is taken to the prison clinic, with referral to specialist facilities where required. We have also been given categorical assurances privately. As part of the COVID-19 precautions, all medical consultations take place via a video call, ensuring the safety of the patient and the medical staff. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain and urge continued transparency.

We encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body. We continue to encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any such claims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Iran on releasing prisoners of conscience (a) Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, (b) Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and (c) Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee as a result of the threat of covid-19 to detainees in overcrowded prisons.

We have regularly expressed our concerns to the Government of Iran at the ongoing incarceration of prisoners of conscience, including the sentencing of Christians for practicing their faith. The reality is that many non-Muslims in Iran face discrimination. We will continue to take action, both bilaterally and with the international community, to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of freedom of religion or belief in Mexico.

While civil society organisations continue to report cases of Freedom of Religion or Belief violations in Mexico, assessment by the Mexican Government, the local UN Human Rights office, and local civil society organisations is that while there are cases of individuals being targeted because of their religion or beliefs, people are more often targeted for their work and activities in defence of human rights or because of religious intolerance between faiths. At the UN Universal Periodic Review session in November 2018, the UK made recommendations regarding accountability for human rights violations, and addressing impunity for violence against human rights defenders.

The UK Government continues to engage regularly with Mexican authorities at ministerial, official, and state levels to discuss human rights, including Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and to support a broad human rights agenda in Mexico. Most recently, I discussed human rights with the Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister when he visited London on 9 March.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Mexican Government on the reported removal of some Mexican protestants’ access to water, electricity and other basic services.

We are aware of reports of removal of some Mexican Protestants' access to water, electricity and other basic services in Mexico. The assessment by the Mexican Government, the local UN Human Rights office, and local civil society organisations is that while there are cases of individuals being targeted because of their religion or beliefs, people are more often targeted for their work and activities in defence of human rights or because of religious intolerance between faiths. We will continue to raise our concerns when we become aware of such cases.

As I referenced in my response to PQ 47313, the UK Government continues to engage regularly with Mexican authorities at ministerial, official, and state levels to discuss human rights, including Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and to support a broad human rights agenda in Mexico. Most recently, I discussed human rights with the Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister when he visited London on 9 March. During the Foreign Secretary's visit to Mexico in August 2019, he raised human rights with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who expressed his support for working with the UK both bilaterally and multilaterally to protect human rights. Additionally, Baroness Williams raised FoRB with the Mexican Interior Minister in September 2019.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Chinese Government on releasing Tibetan prisoners of conscience Wangdu, Geshe Orgyen, Khenpo Pagah, Sonam Lhatso, Lobsang Gendun, Yeshe Choedron, Thardhod Gyaltsen and Jamyang Lodru in light of the threat of covid-19 to detainees in overcrowded prisons.

The risk of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention is a matter of concern around the world. We will continue to engage closely with the Chinese authorities on the COVID-19 crisis.

We pay close attention to the human rights situation in Tibet, and raise our concerns with the Chinese authorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the selection of China for the United Nations Human Rights Council Consultative Group in light of China’s ongoing detention of up to a million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

The five members of the UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group are selected by their respective regional groupings. The Chinese official was selected by the Asia Pacific Group; as such the selection is a matter for that regional group.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, and regularly raise these concerns with the Chinese authorities and at the UN Human Rights Council. The Foreign Secretary raised the issue with State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 9 March.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Vietnamese Government on prisoners of conscience Nguyen Bac Truyen, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Van Hoa , Bui Van Trung and Phan Van Thu in light of the risk of covid-19 to detainees in overcrowded prison.

The UK is concerned by restrictions on freedom of expression in Vietnam. We regularly raise these issues at the United Nations and in bilateral contacts with the Government of Vietnam. We are concerned by prison conditions, which are affecting many inmates, including prisoners of conscience.

We raised concerns about freedom of expression and assembly, the treatment of prisoners and the protection of civil society in Vietnam during Vietnam's Universal Periodic Review in January 2019, and again in a UN Human Rights Council Item 2 Statement in March 2019.

Bilaterally, the former Minister for Asia and the Pacific, raised the UK's concerns about human rights with the Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister during her visit to Vietnam in January 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many assets of people belonging to the Daesh terror organisation have been frozen in the UK; what is being done with those assets; and what assessment he has made of the potential to repurpose the Daesh's frozen assets for reparations for victims of the Daesh atrocities.

There is currently around £85,000 worth of funds frozen in the UK belonging to individuals and organisations associated with ISIL and Al-Qaida. The majority of these individuals and organisations are sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council and appear on its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List. As this List concerns individuals and organisations with both ISIL and Al-Qaida affiliation, the UK has not attempted to make this delineation when reporting the value of frozen funds under this sanctions regime in the UK.

An asset freeze does not involve any change in ownership of funds or economic resources, or require funds or economic resources to be seized by the Government or Police. Accordingly, HM Treasury does not hold or own the assets of any sanctioned persons.

Instead, an asset freeze operates by preventing sanctioned persons from accessing either their own funds or receiving funds from others. HM Treasury alerts financial and other relevant institutions when individuals or organisations are sanctioned by the UN or the UK, and those institutions must then freeze the assets they hold. Anybody who contravenes these sanctions risks committing a criminal offence. The result is that the assets of sanctioned individuals and organisations are ‘frozen’.

The United Nations counter-terrorism sanctions regime was created by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) and first imposed sanctions on the Taliban. It has been amended and extended on numerous occasions, most notably to include Al-Qaida in 2000 (Resolution 1333(2000)), and ISIL (Da’esh) in 2015 (Resolution 2253(2015)), and is now governed by Resolution 2368 (2017). The aim of Resolution 2368 (2017) is to apply financial sanctions in order to prevent terrorists from raising, moving and using funds, and therefore to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts. The UK is required to comply with its obligations pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions as a matter of international law and therefore to implement all UN sanctions.

Once the conditions for delisting or unfreezing assets set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2368 of 2017 are met, relevant assets would no longer be frozen in the UK.

Financial sanctions legislation does not enable the Government to seize frozen ISIL assets, refuse the release of frozen assets or use ISIL assets frozen in the UK to provide reparations for victims of the Daesh atrocities.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on HMRC’s enforcement of classification of long- and short-term assets for commercial maritime vessels.

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.

11th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with HMRC on the classification of long- and short-term vessels under the Capital Allowance scheme for commercial maritime vessels.

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.

11th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on changing the classification of long-term assets in the maritime sector.

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.

19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's Alcohol Duty Review citation of concerns that a differential duty rate could increase levels of fraud, what effect those concerns have had on his assessment of the potential merits of introducing a differential duty rate.

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. Officials are working closely with HMRC to assess the practical implications of potential options and the Treasury will provide further updates in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the Barnett consequentials will be for Scotland from the five annual instalments under Article 145 UK-EU trade deal.

Under Article 145 of the UK-EU trade deal, the EU will make five payments to the UK in relation to the net assets of the European Coal and Steel Community.

As set out in the Statement of Funding Policy, the Barnett formula applies to changes in UK Government spending rather than to changes in UK Government revenue.

Scotland will benefit from future UK Government spending funded by these revenues, either through the Barnett formula or through UK-wide schemes.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria his Department uses to ensure (a) industries and (b) projects selected for funding from the Government's post-covid stimulus packages are aligned with the (i) UK’s net zero emissions target and (ii) UN’s sustainable development goals.

The Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. We will assess the impacts of potential interventions against their contribution to our environmental goals, including our climate change and air quality targets. The Government continues to work towards achieving the long-term changes in our economy that are necessary to achieve net zero by 2050. The Treasury is conducting a review into how the transition over the next 30 years will be funded and where the costs will fall. This will include principles to guide decision-making.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to urgently expedite the applications of (a) staff employed by Adam Smith International and (b) others employed by the UK government’s implementing partners that worked across Afghanistan and in ministries to deliver UK funded aid projects who are being targeted as UK employees by the Tailban, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

It is not appropriate to comment on individual cases in a response to a written parliamentary question


The Home Office remains committed to processing applications approved by the Ministry of Defence as quickly as possible and we are working across Government and with international partners to bring approved applicants to the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, how many applicants were (a) accepted, (b) called forward to Kabul International Airport, (c) evacuated by 28 August, (d) rejected, (e) appealed, and (f) have not yet been processed for (i) current or past locally employed UK government staff; (ii) private companies implementing UK government funded programmes; (iii) NGOs and non profit organisations implementing UK government funded programmes; (iv) Afghan government partners (including MPs, ministers, justice officials, etc); (v) Afghan media and civil society organisations, and (vi) other categories that the UK government recognised.

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and the special cases applications, how many applications were from (a) current or past locally employed UK government staff, (b) private companies implementing UK government funded programmes, (c) NGOs and non-profit organisations implementing UK government funded programmes, (d) Afghan government partners, (e) Afghan media and civil society organisations, and (f) other categories that the Government recognised.

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have submitted an application to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme including applicants and their family members between 1 April and 14 September 2021; and how many and what proportion of those applications have been (a) accepted, (b) rejected and (c) received but not yet processed.

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has allocated funding to the University of Huddersfield for the provision of that university's PhD in human rights; and whether that PhD course is planned to be reserved for Bahraini nationals.

The Home Office does not provide funding to the University of Huddersfield for the provision of a PhD in human rights in Bahrain and therefore holds no information on the detail of any courses.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 157144 on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, for what reason the activation of extended area service sites cannot be accelerated on sites where both the passive infrastructure and electricity are already in place.

We expect the contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network to be awarded in Autumn 2021. We do need to follow government procurement processes fully in this award and are unable to accelerate this aspect of the process. Each site has to be individually designed, with planning approval granted, built and then integrated into the EE/ESN network. By default, EAS masts are in the most remote and rural areas of the country, situated in difficult terrain and with accessibility issues. After the award of the contract we anticipate that a survey of each site will result in activation timelines varying depending on the work involved. We will then complete the physical work to connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this work to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department took to establish mechanisms to receive tax return data of Highly Skilled Tier 1 (General) Migrants from HMRC for indefinite leave to remain decisions.

The Home Office and HMRC have an agreed sharing protocol.

Section 40 of the UK Borders Act 2007 provides a statutory gateway to allow HMRC to share data with the Home Office for immigration and nationality functions as set out in the legislation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will set out a timetable for the activation of all Emergency Services Network sites.

The contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network (backhaul link) has not yet been awarded to a supplier. We expect this contract to be awarded in Autumn 2021. Following the award of this contract the work to deliver the links can take several months before connecting the mast to the network and, separately, activating the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 71074, on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, what steps her Department has taken to look at cases where there may be a particular case for early activation due to community need, as well as potential funding sources to enable that.

We expect the contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network to be awarded in Autumn 2021. Following the award of this contract the work to deliver the links can take several months before connecting the mast to the network and, separately, activating the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024. Unfortunately we are unable to accelerate this.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department has limited the scope of its partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver sites that were formerly part of the Extended Area Service programme under the Scottish 4G Infill Programme; and what plans her Department has to expand the scope of that partnership.

The EAS sites are principally built to support the emergency services, however where possible HO will collaborate with the Scottish 4G Infill Programme and other government initiatives such as the Shared Rural Network, the scope of this collaboration extends to all 292 EAS masts. There are currently 18 SFT sites where Home Office are utilising as part of a site share. These 18 sites meet the ESN coverage requirements and we continue to assess viability of other sites which meet both HO and Scottish 4G Infill Programme criteria.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 71074, on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, if she will take steps to allocate funding to extended area services sites across Argyll and Bute as soon as possible.

Funding has been allocated to sites across Argyll and Bute, we expect to commence works to activate these sites in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to extended area service sites that require a backhaul link to the main telecoms communications network to be commissioned but are otherwise ready for use, for what reason her Department has not provided (a) that backhaul link or (b) other maintenance solution that would provide access to the 4G mobile network for residents.

The contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network (backhaul link) is currently in the process of being awarded to a supplier, we expect this to be completed in Autumn 2021. After the award of this contract, we will complete the physical work to connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast. Contract award for maintenance is currently at the procurement phase, we expect this to be in place when sites are ready for activation.

The installation of the backhaul link (transmission) takes place once a site has been built. The contract for transmission connections is currently in the process of being awarded to a supplier, we expect this to be completed in Autumn 2021. After the award of this contract, we will complete the physical work to install the transmission and connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast.

The contract for transmission will include installation and maintenance services and is scheduled to awarded in Autumn 2021 as above.

The ordering of transmission circuits (over which the 4G services run) remain the responsibility of each commercial operator.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department not supported activation of a commercial 4G service on the majority of built extended area service sites.

Wherever possible, we have chosen a future-proofed design for EAS mast structures, meaning that they can be easily upgraded to be part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) which is being delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). SRN is a partnership between Government and industry to deliver on the manifesto commitment of increasing mobile coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by 2026. Through the SRN programme, Government will fund upgrades to the Home Office EAS sites, to enable Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to provide commercial mobile coverage from these sites.

The HO is making as many of the EAS sites available to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), working with DCMS under the SRN programme. This includes physical upgrades to the sites to enable MNOs place their equipment onto the sites. Activation and timing of the site for 4G commercial services is a responsibility of the individual operators. The role of the HO is to provide physical access to MNOs which it is enabling.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that Extended Area Service sites are ready for commercial use by mobile networks (a) as quickly as possible and (b) ahead the move from the airwave network to the Emergency Services Network in 2025.

We are striving to deliver the EAS component of ESN for emergency services’ use, as quickly as possible. 4G commercial mobile phone coverage will generally be available to EE customers as soon as these masts are activated for ESN. As part of the DCMS Shared Rural Network Programme, these masts will also be made available for commercial mobile customers of other Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) wherever possible.

The EAS sites have been designed and built primarily to support the delivery of the Emergency Services Network (ESN). The Home Office, working together with DCMS as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme are upgrading as many of the EAS sites as possible to enable all operators provide 4G commercial coverage from those sites.

EE would be able to provide 4G commercial coverage (alongside ESN) from those sites at the point those sites are fully activated.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Extended Area Service programme, for what reason only six sites in Argyll and Bute are suitable for use by a commercial 4G service.

We have chosen a future-proofed design for all mast structures in Bute and Argyll, meaning that they can be easily upgraded to allow access by the UK’s commercial mobile operators to improve coverage to communities.

A number of EAS sites are not currently able to support commercial services for technical or financial reasons. The HO is working with DCMS under the SRN programme to provide significant investment in many of these sites to enable 4G coverage to be possible from as many of the EAS sites as possible.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the destitution of some highly skilled migrants without indefinite leave to remain who have not been issued with immigration bail letters granting them the right to work or benefit from Section 3C leave.

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

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of appointments for biometric testing at the Core Service Point in Glasgow are (a) free and (b) enhanced appointments which incur a charge.

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centres are run by Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) on behalf of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) The core service points, at which free appointments are offered are located in Cardiff, Croydon, Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.

The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) regarding availability of free appointments for biometric enrolment at core service points related to SSL is published on a quarterly basis as part of the Key Performance Indicators for HMG’s most important contracts held by the Home Office.

This can be found following the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-performance-indicators-kpis-for-governments-most-important-contracts

Note: In order to find the information specific to the UKVCAS contract, this can be identified via column C and selecting Sopra Steria Ltd.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an Overseas Security and Justice Assessment or similar human rights due diligence was carried out before the visit of the Home Secretary to Muharraq Governorate Police in Bahrain on 6 December 2020.

The Home Office undertakes Overseas Security and Justice Assessments for activities that involve providing security and justice assistance to a foreign partner.

This includes any activities that could either result in changes to the laws, policies or practices of foreign justice or security institutions or which may alter their capabilities. Assessments are also carried out where the activity could result in any individuals being identified or brought into the judicial process of the foreign authority.

The Home Secretary’s visit to the Muharraq Governorate Police Station on 6 December did not involve providing any such security and justice related assistance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to take steps to provide emergency support for highly skilled migrants with pending indefinite leave to remain applications and without rights including access to public funding under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.

Highly skilled migrants within the cohort affected by the Judgement in the case of Balajigari (and others) are considered to have 3C leave by virtue of the fact that the original decisions were quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Section 3C leave allows an individual to continue on the conditions attached to their last grant of permission to stay and therefore in the case of these individuals they were not permitted to access public funds under Tier 1 (General).

Where an individual applied for indefinite leave to remain when their permission to stay had already expired they would not benefit from Section 3C leave. However, individuals in this position have been issued with Immigration Bail letters confirming their right to work and study.

As such we do not consider access to public funds is necessary for the purpose of these applicants as they are able to undertake employment.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Immigration Health Surcharge exemption will extend to international volunteers from other countries working in (a) Camphill communities and (b) other health and social care settings under the Tier 5 arrangements.

The Prime Minister has asked the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to work together to exempt overseas NHS and care staff from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care officials are currently working on how to implement this and further details will be announced in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Immigration Health Surcharge exemption will extend to people from other countries who are (a) applying and (b) plan to apply for visas under the Tier 5 arrangements to work as volunteers in (i) Camphill communities and (ii) other health and social care settings.

The Prime Minister has asked the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to work together to exempt overseas NHS and care staff from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care officials are currently working on how to implement this and further details will be announced in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of vacant positions there were at Capita Fire and Rescue as at 24 November 2021; and what comparative assessment he has made of how that vacancy rate compared with the level under his Department's Defence Fire and Rescue Service prior to the transfer of that contract.

Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) provides suitably qualified personnel to meet the operational requirements at designated MOD sites. The MOD closely monitors CFR's ability to maintain operational outputs, but current vacancy levels at Capita is a matter for the company.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether all stations included in his Department's contract with Capita received (a) new firefighting vehicles, (b) PPE, (c) training facilities and (d) any other contractual delivery requirements prior to the reduction of staff at certain Capita stations.

The Minstry of Defence (MOD) closely monitors Capita’s delivery against its contractual obligations through a rigorous performance management regime; any changes to crewing levels follow a rigorous assessment of the fire risks at the site, and must be approved by the MOD.

All resilience staff working at HMNB Clyde have the appropriate clearance, but any agreements between Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) and its sub-contractors on equipment or terms and conditions of employment are a matter for the company. The MOD continues to monitor the situation closely and will take any measures we think are necessary, while also providing CFR and their employees the space to resolve differences.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Capita has reduced the working hours of the staff across the civilian element of Capita Fire and Rescue; and what the total average weekly hours worked by operational staff (a) is as at 23 November 2011 and (b) was prior to transfer.

The Minstry of Defence (MOD) closely monitors Capita’s delivery against its contractual obligations through a rigorous performance management regime; any changes to crewing levels follow a rigorous assessment of the fire risks at the site, and must be approved by the MOD.

All resilience staff working at HMNB Clyde have the appropriate clearance, but any agreements between Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) and its sub-contractors on equipment or terms and conditions of employment are a matter for the company. The MOD continues to monitor the situation closely and will take any measures we think are necessary, while also providing CFR and their employees the space to resolve differences.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the compliance between duties of resilience staff at HMNB Clyde with (a) the Working Time Directive and (b) other rest requirements set out in law.

The Minstry of Defence (MOD) closely monitors Capita’s delivery against its contractual obligations through a rigorous performance management regime; any changes to crewing levels follow a rigorous assessment of the fire risks at the site, and must be approved by the MOD.

All resilience staff working at HMNB Clyde have the appropriate clearance, but any agreements between Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) and its sub-contractors on equipment or terms and conditions of employment are a matter for the company. The MOD continues to monitor the situation closely and will take any measures we think are necessary, while also providing CFR and their employees the space to resolve differences.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what level of security clearance the resilience workers have that are working at HMNB Clyde during the industrial action; and whether that security clearance is at the level required at that naval base.

The Minstry of Defence (MOD) closely monitors Capita’s delivery against its contractual obligations through a rigorous performance management regime; any changes to crewing levels follow a rigorous assessment of the fire risks at the site, and must be approved by the MOD.

All resilience staff working at HMNB Clyde have the appropriate clearance, but any agreements between Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) and its sub-contractors on equipment or terms and conditions of employment are a matter for the company. The MOD continues to monitor the situation closely and will take any measures we think are necessary, while also providing CFR and their employees the space to resolve differences.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many building projects on his estate, including at HMNB Clyde, that were found to be using, or were planning to use combustible cladding in the construction were allowed to continue following the fire at Grenfell in 2017.

Following the Grenfell fire new Government regulations were issued on combustible materials. These initially focussed on Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) used on the Grenfell Tower. Investigations confirmed that none of the external wall systems employed in the MOD’s highrise buildings contained ACM nor were any highrise buildings already designed and being delivered to the MOD expected to contain ACM.

Further regulations have since been issued by the relevant authorities.

All new builds on the defence estate are subject to these revised Building Regulations. The consideration of whether combustible external walling systems can be provided on buildings is defined within National Building Standards and is related to building height.

In addition, in 2020 the MOD introduced a policy directive instructing that all new external walling systems should comprise of non-combustible components.

In all highrise buildings currently occupied on the defence estate identified as having combustible external wall systems, a current Fire Risk Assessment is in place and the buildings remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many building projects on his estate, including at HMNB Clyde, that were found to be using, or were planning to use combustible cladding in the construction were halted, following the fire at Grenfell in 2017.

Following the Grenfell fire new Government regulations were issued on combustible materials. These initially focussed on Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) used on the Grenfell Tower. Investigations confirmed that none of the external wall systems employed in the MOD’s highrise buildings contained ACM nor were any highrise buildings already designed and being delivered to the MOD expected to contain ACM.

Further regulations have since been issued by the relevant authorities.

All new builds on the defence estate are subject to these revised Building Regulations. The consideration of whether combustible external walling systems can be provided on buildings is defined within National Building Standards and is related to building height.

In addition, in 2020 the MOD introduced a policy directive instructing that all new external walling systems should comprise of non-combustible components.

In all highrise buildings currently occupied on the defence estate identified as having combustible external wall systems, a current Fire Risk Assessment is in place and the buildings remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many building projects on his estate, including at HMNB Clyde, following the fire at Grenfell in 2017, were found to be using, or were planning to use combustible cladding in the construction.

Following the Grenfell fire new Government regulations were issued on combustible materials. These initially focussed on Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) used on the Grenfell Tower. Investigations confirmed that none of the external wall systems employed in the MOD’s highrise buildings contained ACM nor were any highrise buildings already designed and being delivered to the MOD expected to contain ACM.

Further regulations have since been issued by the relevant authorities.

All new builds on the defence estate are subject to these revised Building Regulations. The consideration of whether combustible external walling systems can be provided on buildings is defined within National Building Standards and is related to building height.

In addition, in 2020 the MOD introduced a policy directive instructing that all new external walling systems should comprise of non-combustible components.

In all highrise buildings currently occupied on the defence estate identified as having combustible external wall systems, a current Fire Risk Assessment is in place and the buildings remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what checks were carried out on all new building projects on his estate, including at HMNB Clyde, following the fire at Grenfell in 2017, to ascertain if combustible cladding was being used on those new buildings.

The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14 June 2017. In response to the concerns about building cladding and following Government advice the MOD surveyed the defence estate to establish if any MOD-owned sleeping accommodation blocks over six storeys were clad with Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) during July-August 2017. This found that MOD had no buildings above six storeys clad with ACM.

In December 2018, the then MHCLG issued an updated Advice Note which meant that all buildings at a height in excess of six storeys with any external cladding and containing residential accommodation had to be assessed to ascertain the type of cladding used.

All buildings on the Defence Estate were re-surveyed (surveys completed in July 2019), which identified 28 buildings (subsequently reduced to 27) which had external wall systems requiring further investigation.

Work continues to confirm the remediation required, if necessary on the high rise buildings identified at HMNB Clyde.

All currently occupied high-rise buildings on the defence estate identified as having combustible external wall systems have a current Fire Risk Assessment in place and remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when combustible cladding was last added to any new or existing building at HMNB Clyde.

The most recent high rise building completed at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde with an external wall system that investigations have revealed to have combustible elements was handed over to the Royal Navy in 2019.

All high rise buildings currently occupied on the Defence estate which have been identified as having combustible external wall systems, have a current Fire Risk Assessment in place and remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the cost of removing combustible cladding from the 22 multi-storey accommodation blocks and any other buildings at HMNB Clyde; and whether the contractors who constructed the accommodation blocks or his Department will pay for the cost of that work.

At Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, investigative works are ongoing to assess the extent and type of combustible external wall systems on the accommodation blocks so that remediation plans (if required) and associated costs may be established.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to remove combustible cladding on multi-storey accommodation blocks at HMNB Clyde; and what his planned timescale is for that removal.

Investigations to determine the level of required remediation are underway. Should removal be recommended as part of remedial works, timescales will be determined once investigations are complete.

All high-rise buildings currently occupied on the defence estate which have been identified as having combustible external wall systems have a current Fire Risk Assessment in place and remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the combustible cladding on 22 multi-storey accommodation blocks at HMNB was last inspected.

The last inspection of accommodation blocks at HMNB Clyde took place in May 2021. This consisted of a check of the external wall systems of a sample of six accommodation blocks, which represent the three different design types of the 22 accommodation blocks.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when combustible cladding was first identified as having been used on 22 multi-storey accommodation blocks at HMNB Clyde.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) were informed of combustible external wall systems on 17 of the 22 high rise accommodation blocks at HMNB Clyde in December 2013, when an independent report was commissioned by Head of Establishment Clyde. Following this report substantial fire compartmentation works were carried out by MOD’s contractor mitigating the risk of retaining the external walling system. The subsequent fire risk assessments have confirmed that the buildings remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

The external wall systems on these high rise buildings do not contain Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) used on the external wall system of Grenfell Tower. In 2017, MOD confirmed that it had no high rise residential buildings containing ACM within their external walling systems.

The 22 high rise buildings at the Clyde are primarily of a block and brick construction. The partial cladding is on the top floor and around an inner core. Investigations are ongoing as to what remediation if any is required to these wall systems.

All high rise buildings currently occupied on the defence estate which have been identified as having combustible external wall systems, have a current Fire Risk Assessment in place and remain legally compliant for continued occupation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme (a) applications were fully processed, (b) applicants and their families were able to leave for the UK before 14 August 2021 and (c) applicants were processed between 15 August 2021 and 28 August 2021 were (i) called forward to Kabul International airport and (ii) evacuated.

Under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, prior to the start of OP PITTING on 14 August, 850 applications were accepted, and 1,978 people were relocated to the UK.

During OP PITTING, no new applications were processed, although around 800 additional individuals were approved for the scheme as the eligibility criteria were expanded.

All of those eligible or otherwise approved for the scheme were called forward and around 7,000 were evacuated.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2021 to Question 143011 on Saudi Arabia: Training, for what reason disclosing that information would prejudice relations between the UK and another state; and for what reason disclosing similar information in the Answers of 6 July 2020 to Question 69656 and of 9 July 2020 to Question 69657 on Saudi Arabia: Military Aid was not deemed prejudicial to those relations.

The UK has an ongoing and wide-ranging defence engagement relationship with Saudi Arabia which is an important partner regionally and in tackling potential security and terrorist threats to both the UK and other countries.

We consider the circumstances for disclosing information related to international training on a case-by-case basis. With regards to the information sought in the hon. Member's question, we have concluded that its release could prejudice international relations.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106364 on Overseas Aid, how many projects were applied for by his Department under the Integrated Activity Fund; what the titles were of those projects; and how many of those projects were (a) approved and (b) subject to Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment in each financial year since 2016-17.

We do not disclose information related to Integrated Activity Fund projects as it would, or would be likely to, prejudice our relations with other States.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Slavery and Trafficking Reparation Orders under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 have been made for victims of the Daesh atrocities in each year since the passing of that Act.

The Ministry of Justice holds data on prosecutions and court outcomes for modern slavery offences; however, centrally held information in the courts proceedings database cannot identify the exact circumstances of the offence that led to a slavery or trafficking reparation order, for example, to identify that it was issued under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 as a result of a Daesh atrocity. This information may be held on court record but can only be obtained by manually searching court records at disproportionate cost.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
12th Feb 2020
What discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the proposals of the Scottish Government to introduce a Scottish visa.

The Government has made clear we are devising a new system that helps address those challenges, but have no plans to devolve immigration.

The new system will recognise the needs of all the nations and regions of the UK, including Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland