Cat Smith Portrait

Cat Smith

Labour - Lancaster and Fleetwood

First elected: 7th May 2015


Environmental Audit Sub-Committee on Polar Research
22nd Mar 2023 - 7th Feb 2024
Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]
1st Mar 2023 - 7th Mar 2023
Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill
1st Feb 2023 - 8th Feb 2023
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill
26th Oct 2022 - 2nd Nov 2022
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) (Young People and Voter Engagement)
27th Jun 2016 - 29th Nov 2021
Elections Bill
15th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021
Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
20th Dec 2016 - 19th Jul 2017
Junior Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Women and Equalities Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Cat Smith has voted in 774 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Cat Smith Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative)
President of the Board of Trade
(77 debate interactions)
Chloe Smith (Conservative)
(41 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(193 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Elections Act 2022
(46,195 words contributed)
Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020
(21,507 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Cat Smith's debates

Lancaster and Fleetwood Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We are concerned that Parliament has not discussed and will not have a say on the 307 proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations, AND the amendments to 5 Articles of the IHR that were ADOPTED by the 75th World Health Assembly on 27 May 2022.

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

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Cat Smith

12th March 2024
Cat Smith signed this EDM on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Tanks, vehicles and aircraft for Ukraine

Tabled by: Clive Lewis (Labour - Norwich South)
That this House applauds the Ukrainian resistance to the all-out Russian invasion; condemns delays and obstruction of aid, which contributed to the fall of the city of Adviivka; notes the danger to Ukraine posed by populists and the far right in Europe and the USA; recognises that the UK must …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 8
Scottish National Party: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
21st March 2024
Cat Smith signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th March 2024

Teachers’ Pension Scheme and universities

Tabled by: Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)
That this House notes that employers’ contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), of which approximately 58,000 university staff are members, are soon to increase by 5% in England and Wales; further notes, with concern, that while schools and colleges will receive additional funding from the Department for Education (DfE) …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Cat Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Cat Smith, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Cat Smith

Tuesday 25th October 2022

Cat Smith has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Cat Smith


A Bill to introduce a system of proportional representation for Parliamentary elections, for elections for directly-elected mayors in England, for local authority elections in England and for police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 24th March 2023

A Bill to introduce a system of proportional representation for local authority elections in England and for parliamentary general elections; to alter the methods used for electing the Mayor of London, for electing other directly-elected mayors in England and for electing police and crime commissioners in England and Wales; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 21st March 2023

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
9 Other Department Questions
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church has taken to close the gender pay gap.

For clergy across the Church of England, as officeholders they are paid a stipend rather than a salary. All bishops, male and female, receive the same stipend. All other clergy stipends are based on a national benchmark which is set by post, irrespective of the gender of the postholder.

The Church of England last measured its clergy gender pay gap on 1st April 2022. Across the 42 dioceses of the Church, the difference in average stipend for male and female full-time stipendiary clergy was 0.3% in favour of men (with the mean stipend for male clergy being £28,288 and for female clergy £28,205). The gap has been calculated for full-time stipendiary clergy alone. As clergy do not work standard hours there is a difficultly in calculating an hourly rate for clergy, which is the standard method for calculating gender pay gaps. There are also difficulties in standardising part-time clergy in terms of full time equivalents, as we do not have complete information about the proportion of a full-time post. This is unlikely to affect the overall figure significantly as only 8% of stipendiary clergy were part-time (less than 1 full-time equivalent) and women made up only a small majority of part-time stipendiary clergy (54% compared with 46% men).

The most recent Gender Pay Report from the National Church Institutions (NCIs) can be found here: national-church-institutions-2022-gender-pay-report-april-2023_0.pdf (churchofengland.org). 57% of the staff of the National Church Institutions (NCIs) are women. Since 2021 the representation of women has increased by 2% in the upper quartile, but the majority of women continue to be working in roles in the lower and mid-lower quartile. As the NCIs approached their pay negotiations in late 2022 and they considered the cost-of-living crisis effects on employees and affordability for the NCI charities, a focus was maintained on NCI values and on gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will make it her policy to amend the Equality Act 2010 to require employers to make reasonable adjustments for people with a disability visiting a premises for work purposes.

There are two types of reasonable adjustment duty under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) - the first is the reasonable adjustment duty on employers and the second is the ‘anticipatory’ duty on service providers (that is businesses that provide services to the public or which exercise public functions), which requires such providers to consider reasonable adjustments even before an individual disabled person accesses their services.

The Act requires employers to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the disabled employee’s job. These adjustments ensure that disabled employees are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to their non-disabled colleagues. The failure of an employer to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee or job seeker, or discounting a job application simply because the applicant is disabled could amount to direct disability discrimination under the Act.

However, the 2010 Act also recognises the need to strike a balance between the needs of disabled employees and the circumstances of their employers. What is ‘reasonable’ will therefore vary from one employer to another because of factors such as the practicality of making the adjustment, the cost of the adjustment to the employer and the resources available to different employers. There are no plans to modify these provisions.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to support women with epilepsy to make informed family planning choices and have safe pregnancies.

Tighter restrictions continue to reduce the number of pregnancies exposed to sodium valproate and support women to make informed choices. The MHRA and Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has announced it will introduce tighter restrictions to reduce pregnancies exposed to sodium valproate, including the recommendation for no new patients under 55 years of age to be prescribed valproate unless two specialists independently consider and document that no other medicine is effective or tolerated.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether it remains her Department's policy to end period poverty by 2025.

Period poverty is an issue the government takes very seriously and has taken a number of steps to address the problem.

Since January 2020, a Department for Education scheme provides free period products in schools and 16-19 education institutions in England. 94% of eligible secondary schools had accessed this scheme by December 2021. We are pleased to confirm that the continuation of free period products in schools in England for all learners who need them until 2024. We have expanded the range of products included to ensure more environmentally friendly and sustainable products, based on user feedback.

Additionally, from 1 January 2021, the ‘tampon tax’ has been abolished - with a zero rate of VAT applying to all period products. Prior to the abolition of the tax, a Tampon Tax Fund was in place to allocate the funds generated from the VAT on period products, to projects which improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls. A final round of £11.25 million in grant funding was awarded in November 2021 to distribute the VAT collected on period products in the final nine months of the 2020/21 financial year, before the tax ended.

As well as these steps, in 2019, NHS England announced that it would offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them and the Home Office changed the law to ensure that all people in custody are provided with health and hygiene products for free, to include period products.

In March 2020, in light of COVID-19, the work of the Period Poverty Taskforce was paused to free up resources to focus on the pandemic.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, for what reasons the Period Poverty Taskforce has not resumed its work since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Period poverty is an issue the Government takes very seriously and has taken a number of steps to address the problem.

Since January 2020, a Department for Education scheme provides free period products in schools and 16-19 education institutions in England. 94% of eligible secondary schools had accessed this scheme by December 2021.

Additionally, from 1 January 2021, the ‘tampon tax’ has been abolished – with a zero rate of VAT applying to all period products. Prior to the abolition of the tax, a Tampon Tax Fund was in place to allocate the funds generated from the VAT on period products, to projects which improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls. A final round of £11.25 million in grant funding was awarded in November 2021 to distribute the VAT collected on period products in the final nine months of the 2020/21 financial year, before the tax ended.

As well as these steps, in 2019, NHS England announced that it would offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them and the Home Office changed the law to ensure that all people in custody are provided with health and hygiene products for free, to include period products.

In March 2020, in light of COVID-19, the work of the Period Poverty Taskforce was paused to free up resources to focus on the pandemic. Further announcements on the plans and the work of the Taskforce will be made in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th May 2021
To ask the hon. Member for City of Chester, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, how many free local elector IDs were issued by Woking Council as part of the 2019 Voter ID trials.

Woking Borough Council issued 24 free local elector cards in 2019, as part of its participation in the UK Government's voter ID pilot. It issued 63 cards in a similar trial held in 2018.

This information was collated as part of the Commission's independant evaluations of the pilot schemes conducted in 2018 and 2019.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the hon. Member for City of Chester, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recent estimate the Commission has made of the number of eligible people who are (a) not on the electoral register and (b) not registered correctly; and how the Commission calculated those estimates.

The Commission carries out research studies on the accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers. These are based on an established, robust methodology involving house-to-house interviewing across the UK. The most recent study, published in 2019, found that 83% of people eligible to appear on a local government register in Great Britain were correctly registered.

The findings from this research can be used, with the Office for National Statistic's population estimates, to estimate that between 8.3 and 9.4 million people in Great Britain were not correctly registered. This estimate includes people not on a register, and people on a register but not at their current and therefore correct address. It is not possible, however, to provide a specific estimate for each category seperately.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent offshore employment providers recruiting in the UK from discriminating against an applicant on the grounds of a protected characteristic.

Companies based in the United Kingdom and which recruit here are subject to British laws, including those which protect people from discrimination because of their sex or any other protected characteristic. Conversely, employers based overseas who recruit British workers for overseas work are subject to the laws of the country in which they are based, and similar arrangements apply to work on ships where the ship’s ownership is outside the UK and the ship is to operate outside UK territorial waters.

This general legal position in no way excuses companies, as recently reported, which deny British women job opportunities on ships registered or owned abroad, especially where the company in question is seeking to recruit in this country. It is unacceptable to see this sort of blatant sex discrimination in 2020 if there is no genuine occupational requirement for a position to be filled by a man. The Department for Transport will be reviewing regulations on the treatment of seafarers and will be looking at this issue as part of the review.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500, for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals were payments totalling £3,072.17 made for accommodation to The Sofitel Metropole, Hanoi, on (i) 24 October 2022, (ii) 25 November 2022 and (iii) 15 December 2022; and for what purpose that accommodation was required.

The spends made between 5 October 2022 and 19 December 2022 were related to COP26 events. The team that incurred these costs has now been disbanded. To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500 in November 2022, if he will provide the location of the St Regis hotel at which £4,846.01 was spent on accommodation on 29 November 2022; for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals that accommodation was purchased; and for what purpose that accommodation was required.

The spends made between 5 October 2022 and 19 December 2022 were related to COP26 events. The team that incurred these costs has now been disbanded. To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500, for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals were payments totalling £12,878.83 made for accommodation to The Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington DC on (i) 25 November 2022 and (ii) 14-15 December 2022; and for what purpose that accommodation was required.

The spends made between 5 October 2022 and 19 December 2022 were related to COP26 events. The team that incurred these costs has now been disbanded. To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500, for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals were payments totalling £3,855.72 made for accommodation to The Four Seasons, Seattle on (i) 25 November 2022 and (ii) 7 December 2022; and for what purpose that accommodation was required.

The spends made between 5 October 2022 and 19 December 2022 were related to COP26 events. The team that incurred these costs has now been disbanded. To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500, for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals was (i) £532.16 spent at The Capital Menlyn, Pretoria, on 5 October 2022; (ii) £577.18 spent at the Melia Bali, Indonesia, on 2 November 2022; and (iii) £547.15 spent at The Hotel Palace, Berlin, on 19 December 2022; and on each occasion, for what purpose was that accommodation required.

The spends made between 5 October 2022 and 19 December 2022 were related to COP26 events. The team that incurred these costs has now been disbanded. To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500, for how many (a) nights and (b) individuals were payments totalling £1,340.37 made for accommodation to The Capitol Hotel, Tokyo on (i) 14 November 2022 and (ii) 14 December 2022; and for what purpose that accommodation was required.

Regarding the payment of £804.22 listed on 14 November 2022, that is, in fact, the date the final transaction was settled by the Cabinet Office. The payment was made in September 2022 and refers to accommodation purchased at the Capitol Hotel in Tokyo for one official for 3 nights. The purpose was to attend UK-Japan bilateral discussions.


The spend of £536.15 made on the 14th December was cancelled and the department was not charged.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason his Department deleted the film entitled May: The Rewind, published on the 10 Downing Street Twitter account on 2 June 2023, on the same evening that it was published; and whether he plans to (a) publish the film elsewhere and (b) produce an equivalent film to catalogue the work of the Prime Minister during the month of June.

No10’s digital content is produced in-house as part of the wider communications team output. Civil servants are not required to fill out time sheets.

A range of digital content is published on No10’s digital channels on a regular basis.

The video is available to the public at: https://www.facebook.com/100069280206756/videos/982077386441926

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many hours of staff time were involved in (a) designing, producing and editing the video footage, music and graphics and (b) drafting and recording the voiceover used in the film entitled May: The Rewind, published on the 10 Downing Street Twitter account on 2 June 2023; and whether any other public money was spent on the preparation of the film.

No10’s digital content is produced in-house as part of the wider communications team output. Civil servants are not required to fill out time sheets.

A range of digital content is published on No10’s digital channels on a regular basis.

The video is available to the public at: https://www.facebook.com/100069280206756/videos/982077386441926

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500 for April 2023, what the nature was of the training and development services for which Happy or Not Ltd. were paid £1,794 on 13 April, and for what purpose they will be used by his Department.

I refer the Honourable Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood to the answer provided on 6th May PQ 186920.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500 for February 2023, how many staff in his Department received training as a result of the payments to (a) The Hawkhills on 16 February and (b) Bristol Beacon on 22 February; and for what purpose each training course was required.

(a) The payment made on the government procurement card on 16 February was for one member of the Incident Response and Coordination team attending the Strategic Emergency Management course delivered by the Emergency Planning College at The Hawkhills in York on 23 and 24 March 2023. The cost covered the Emergency Planning College’s two day residential Strategic Emergency Management training and accommodation, as published in their course prospectus.

This course is available to all organisations with a role in strategic emergency management and is not specifically for Cabinet Office staff. The delegate attended to further develop their skills and abilities to provide strategic management to critical incidents in line with their job role.

(b) The event at the Bristol Beacon was aimed at 47 members of the Government Property Agency (GPA). The purpose was to launch the GPA South West and South Wales Community Group. The event was important given the essential role of the community in:

  • Supporting the Levelling up agenda and connecting with Head of Place activities

  • Delivering the GPA strategic objectives within the region

  • Driving cross-organisational working to enable GPA to best support its customers - civil servants working in GPA offices in the area

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
25th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s publication of government procurement card spending over £500 for April 2023, what training and development services were provided by Happy or Not Ltd for £1,794; and for what purpose will they be used by his Department.

Happy or Not Ltd provides digital evaluation services, and were part of a pilot to evaluate Leadership College for Government events in a new way. The pilot was unsuccessful and the Cabinet Office will receive a full refund.

The Leadership College for Government, which sits within the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit, equips public and Civil Service leaders with the skills, knowledge, and networks to solve today's most complex problems. This includes designing, convening learning and networking opportunities. A key method of tracking how successful we are in reaching these aims is through robust and innovative evaluation.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to announce the (a) membership and (b) terms of reference of the commission on covid-19 commemoration.

The Government fully recognises the need to remember those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a UK Commission on Covid Commemoration to consider the most appropriate way to remember those who have lost their lives and to recognise those involved in the unprecedented response. The Government will set out the Commission membership and terms of reference in due course.



18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether provisional driving licences will be considered valid voter ID.

Yes. As set out in Schedule 1, Paragraph 15 of the Elections Bill, provisional licences will be accepted as a valid form of photographic identification for the purpose of voting at polling stations. The Bill outlines that a licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 will be considered acceptable, and this includes provisional driving licences.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the contract awards and invoices for the most recent refurbishment and renovation of the Prime Minister's residence in Downing Street.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 3021 on 25 May 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what purpose the rooms within 9 Downing Street are used.

No.9 Downing Street is the south wing of 70 Whitehall and forms part of the Cabinet Office Estate.

The rooms are used for offices, storage and also the Broadcast Suite. The space is occupied and used by Cabinet Office and its immediate suppliers.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to research published in July 2021 by the Albert Kennedy Trust on LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of its voter ID proposals on the voting freedoms of homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

A broad range of documents already in use will be accepted as identification for voting purposes - it will not be limited to UK passports or driving licences. This will include, for example, various concessionary travel passes, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, and photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme. In addition, expired photographic identification will be accepted as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

We recognise that, notwithstanding this broad approach, a small minority of electors may not currently hold one of the required forms of photographic identification. For those people, a free, local Voter Card will be available from their local authority. A fixed address will not be a requirement to receive a Voter Card, in the same way that it is not a requirement to register to vote.


We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including Local Authorities and a wide range of charities and civil society organisations, to make sure that voter identification is rolled out in a way that is inclusive for all eligible voters, including those who are homeless and those who are LGBT+.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government's voter ID plans, what steps people in assessment and treatment units, between homes or in other forms of insecure housing and without documentation of a fixed address will need to take to obtain an elector card.

A broad range of documents already in use will be accepted as identification for voting purposes - it will not be limited to UK passports or driving licences. This will include, for example, various concessionary travel passes, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, and photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme. In addition, expired photographic identification will be accepted as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

We recognise that, notwithstanding this broad approach, a small minority of electors may not currently hold one of the required forms of photographic identification. For those people, a free, local Voter Card will be available from their local authority. A fixed address will not be a requirement to receive a Voter Card, in the same way that it is not a requirement to register to vote.


We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including Local Authorities and a wide range of charities and civil society organisations, to make sure that voter identification is rolled out in a way that is inclusive for all eligible voters, including those who are homeless and those who are LGBT+.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2021 to Question 23232 on Elections: Proof of Identity, if he will provide details of the training that will be given to polling staff.

An Equality Impact Assessment was published alongside the Elections Bill: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3020/publications

The Cabinet Office will continue the detailed planning ahead of implementation nationally, working closely with those who will be responsible for delivery including Local Authorities, the Electoral Commission, Association of Electoral Administrators and Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to publish an Equality Impact Assessments for the forthcoming Electoral Integrity Bill; and if he will make a statement.

An Equality Impact Assessment was published alongside the Elections Bill: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3020/publications

The Cabinet Office will continue the detailed planning ahead of implementation nationally, working closely with those who will be responsible for delivery including Local Authorities, the Electoral Commission, Association of Electoral Administrators and Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 21937, how many requests for advice on handling freedom of information requests the central Cabinet Office Clearing House received in 2020-21.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer given to PQ21237 on 28 June 2021.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government has taken to consult with the devolved Administrations on the introduction of voter ID.

The Elections Bill will deliver this Government's manifesto commitments to strengthen the integrity of our elections and ensure that our democracy remains secure, fair, modern and transparent. It also delivers on Government commitments made in response to consultations and Select Committee recommendations.

The legislation has benefitted from extensive engagement with the Devolved Administrations as well as the input and expertise of those working in the electoral sector.

We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including charities and civil society organisations to make sure that voter identification works for all voters.

The proposal to introduce voter identification is for reserved elections only.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he is planning to publish a Green or White paper on the upcoming Elections Bill.

The Elections Bill will deliver this Government's manifesto commitments to strengthen the integrity of our elections and ensure that our democracy remains secure, fair, modern and transparent. It also delivers on Government commitments made in response to consultations and Select Committee recommendations.

The legislation has benefitted from extensive engagement with the Devolved Administrations as well as the input and expertise of those working in the electoral sector.

We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including charities and civil society organisations to make sure that voter identification works for all voters.

The proposal to introduce voter identification is for reserved elections only.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the renovations and refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, what have the annual public grants of £30,000 specifically been spent on.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ7856 on 7 June 2021 and PQ HL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government's proposals on voter ID, what plans are in place for people that wear face coverings for religious or cultural reasons when presenting photo ID.

Everyone who is eligible to vote will have the opportunity to do so.

Those whose appearance has significantly changed in comparison to their existing identification documents can apply for a free, local Voter Card that matches their current appearance.

Polling station staff will be given appropriate training and there will be a requirement for privacy screens to allow electors who wish to have their form of identification viewed in private able to do so.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government's proposals on voter ID, what plans are in place for voters whose gender identity may not match their photo ID.

Everyone who is eligible to vote will have the opportunity to do so.

Those whose appearance has significantly changed in comparison to their existing identification documents can apply for a free, local Voter Card that matches their current appearance.

Polling station staff will be given appropriate training and there will be a requirement for privacy screens to allow electors who wish to have their form of identification viewed in private able to do so.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has referred any freedom of information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House for advice on handling in the past two years.

The Clearing House function does not have full time members of staff, and its work is done by a small team of people in the FOI team, including the Deputy Director of Freedom of Information and Transparency, alongside their other day to day responsibilities. There is no separate budget for the Clearing House.

The Cabinet Office does not routinely capture data on the number of requests which are referred to the Clearing House. However, in 2020, Clearing House gave advice on 516 aggregated ‘round robins’ (requests made to more than one department and that have repeat characteristics); a small proportion of over 30,000 requests received by government departments in the same time period.

The Cabinet Office has referred requests to the Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria, which is available on gov.uk here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information.

Information on Freedom of Information statistics is also published on gov.uk here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-foi-statistics.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings have taken place on the most recent refurbishment and renovation of the Prime Minister's residence in Downing Street; and when did these meetings take place.

Details of official Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

More generally, I refer the hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), to PQHL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the total allocated budget was for the renovations and refurbishment of the Downing Street flat; and whether that budget has been exceeded.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), to PQHL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the renovations and refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, how much of the £30,000 annual public grants allocated by his Department for that purpose has been spent.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), to PQHL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2021 to Question 3021, who was the private supplier responsible for the works funded personally by the Prime Minister.

Works funded personally by the Prime Minister were contracted privately; there has been no cost to taxpayers.

Under successive administrations, it has been the case that spending funded personally by the incumbent Prime Minister is a private matter.

In the same way, MPs’ expenses which are funded by taxpayers are made public and rightly subject to public scrutiny; however, how Hon. Members spend their earned income is a private matter for them.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2021 to Question 1107 on Elections: Proof of Identity, whether a voter's photographic ID will need to match the address where they are registered to vote in order to be valid.

Showing proof of identification is something people of all walks of life already do everyday. It is a reasonable and proportionate approach to extend this practice to voting and give the public confidence that their vote is theirs, and theirs alone.

Of the broad range of documents that will be accepted, including, for example, various concessionary travel passes, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, and photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme, many do not contain a voter’s address. An address will not need to be included on identification in order to vote. In addition, expired photographic identification will be accepted as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, who the suppliers were for the most recent refurbishment and renovation of the Prime Minister's residence in Downing Street; and what the criteria were for selecting those suppliers.

Works funded by the Cabinet Office have been undertaken by Mitie. Mitie has a framework agreement with the Cabinet Office for works on the Downing Street estate.

Works funded personally by the Prime Minister were contracted privately.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much (a) public and (b) private money has been spent on renovation and refurbishment of the Downing Street flats since the Prime Minister took up office in July 2019.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), of PQ HL14191, on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much (a) funding from the public purse and (b) private funding has been spent on renovations and refurbishment of the Downing Street flat since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), of PQ HL14191, on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what renovations and refurbishments have been made to the Downing Street flat since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), of PQ HL14191, on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will publish the full cost of the photographic identification research carried out by IFF Research published on 31 March 2021.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.

Showing identification to prove who they are is something people of all walks of life already do everyday. It is a reasonable and proportionate approach to extend this practice to voting and give the public confidence that their vote is theirs, and theirs alone.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government's plans to introduce Voter ID, whether a voter's photographic ID will need to match the address where they are registered to vote in order to be valid.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.

Showing identification to prove who they are is something people of all walks of life already do everyday. It is a reasonable and proportionate approach to extend this practice to voting and give the public confidence that their vote is theirs, and theirs alone.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the roll out of Voter ID for a local election.

As legislation is brought forward to enable the national roll out of voter identification, appropriate impact assessments, which include information on costs, will be provided for Parliament in the normal way.

Showing identification to prove who they are is something people of all walks of life already do everyday. It is a reasonable and proportionate approach to extend this practice to voting and give the public confidence that their vote is theirs, and theirs alone.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)