Christine Jardine Portrait

Christine Jardine

Liberal Democrat - Edinburgh West

First elected: 8th June 2017

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

(since July 2022)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

(since July 2022)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

(since July 2022)

Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]
1st Mar 2023 - 7th Mar 2023
Protection from Sex-based Harassment in Public Bill
8th Feb 2023 - 22nd Feb 2023
Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill
23rd Nov 2022 - 30th Nov 2022
Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill
16th Nov 2022 - 23rd Nov 2022
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade)
7th Sep 2020 - 10th Jul 2022
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)
7th Sep 2020 - 10th Jul 2022
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)
7th Sep 2020 - 10th Jul 2022
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
21st Aug 2019 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)
21st Aug 2019 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Deputy Chief Whip
21st Aug 2019 - 6th Jan 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice)
21st Aug 2019 - 21st Oct 2019
Scottish Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 21st Oct 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
7th Feb 2019 - 21st Aug 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)
12th Oct 2017 - 7th Feb 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2017 - 12th Oct 2017


Department Event
Wednesday 28th February 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
28 Feb 2024, noon

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Department Event
Thursday 29th February 2024
09:30
Cabinet Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Feb 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Cabinet Office (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Friday 1st March 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Consular Assistance Bill: Second Reading
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Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
11:30
Scotland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Scotland
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Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
6 Mar 2024, noon

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Department Event
Wednesday 13th March 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
13 Mar 2024, noon

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Department Event
Wednesday 20th March 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
20 Mar 2024, noon

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Department Event
Wednesday 17th April 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
17 Apr 2024, noon

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Department Event
Wednesday 24th April 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
24 Apr 2024, noon

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Department Event
Thursday 25th April 2024
09:30
Cabinet Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Apr 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Cabinet Office (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Wednesday 1st May 2024
11:30
Scotland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
1 May 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Scotland
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Department Event
Wednesday 1st May 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
1 May 2024, noon

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Department Event
Wednesday 8th May 2024
12:00
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister's Question Time - Main Chamber
8 May 2024, noon

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Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 10 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 226 Noes - 287
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
I think that, at the moment, very few people, not only in this House but across the country, would differ …
Written Answers
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Public Sector: Workplace Pensions
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to ensure pension remediation for public sector …
Early Day Motions
Monday 5th February 2024
Support for bereaved children
That this House notes with sadness that, on average, a child loses a parent every 20 minutes in the UK; …
Bills
Monday 11th December 2023
Consular Assistance Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision for a right to consular assistance for British citizens abroad in cases where there has …
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 2nd May 2023
8. Miscellaneous
On 6 April 2023, I accepted a carved wooden box containing Ghraoui chocolates from Hani Raslan. Value estimated at approx. …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Death of Alexei Navalny
That this House deeply regrets the death of Alexei Navalny; notes that he was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 10th January 2024
Scottish Law Officers (Devolution) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to amend the Scotland Act 1998 to grant to the Scottish Parliament legislative competence in respect of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Christine Jardine has voted in 649 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Christine Jardine 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
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(27 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(24 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(110 debate contributions)
Home Office
(79 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(78 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(51 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(11,114 words contributed)
Finance Act 2021
(1,862 words contributed)
Financial Services Bill 2019-21
(1,642 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Christine Jardine's debates

Edinburgh West 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

Hundreds of thousands of people signed numerous petitions calling for actions that the Government has included in the Kept Animals Bill. The Government should urgently find time to allow the Bill to complete its journey through Parliament and become law.

As Parliament considers the Bill of Rights, the Government must reconsider including abortion rights in this Bill. Rights to abortion must be specifically protected in this legislation, especially as the Government has refused to rule out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

Endometriosis and PCOS are two gynaecological conditions which both affect 10% of women worldwide, but both are, in terms of research and funding, incredibly under prioritised. This petition is calling for more funding, to enable for new, extensive and thorough research into female health issues.

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

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

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

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.


Latest EDMs signed by Christine Jardine

19th February 2024
Christine Jardine signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Death of Alexei Navalny

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House deeply regrets the death of Alexei Navalny; notes that he was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner; highlights the sad news that his family have been denied access to his body and expresses sincere condolences and sympathies to them at this time; urges …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
19th February 2024
Christine Jardine signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Midlothian View

Tabled by: Owen Thompson (Scottish National Party - Midlothian)
That this House applauds Midlothian View, a local digital news brand, for being nominated twice in the Business Awards 2024 organised by Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce; recognises that the awards are a highlight of the business calendar and offer Midlothian businesses the opportunity to promote major achievements …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 3
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Christine Jardine's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Christine Jardine, 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.


Christine Jardine has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Christine Jardine

Monday 27th November 2023
Wednesday 13th January 2021

14 Bills introduced by Christine Jardine


A Bill to require an assessment of the impact on women’s safety to be published as a condition of planning approval for major developments.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to grant indefinite leave to remain to health and social care staff; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require Ministers of the Crown to disclose their tax residency status and that of members of their household, and to disclose whether they and members of their household are beneficiaries of trusts held abroad; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require United Kingdom clean air targets to comply with World Health Organization guidelines; to require the Secretary of State to report annually to Parliament on that compliance; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to make provision for a right to consular assistance for British citizens abroad in cases where there has been, or where there is a risk of, a breach of human rights, denial of access to legal representation, or torture or other human rights abuses; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 11th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 1st March 2024
Order Paper number: 2
(Likely to be Debated)

A Bill to require social media companies to publish reports setting out the action they have taken to address online abuse against women and girls, and other groups of people who share a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 7th March 2023

A Bill to make provision about the appointment by Parliament of an Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 15th November 2022

A Bill to prohibit the differential pricing of products and services that are substantially similar other than being intended for, or marketed to, a particular gender; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 12th March 2020

A Bill to guarantee the immigration rights of EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss citizens resident in the United Kingdom; to require the Government to provide such persons with physical proof of those rights; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 26th February 2020

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make non-gender-specific passports available to non-gendered, non-binary and other people who do not identify as, or exclusively as, male or female.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 14th July 2020

A Bill to grant indefinite leave to remain to health and social care staff; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 1st September 2020
(Read Debate)

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 certain asylum seekers to be granted permission to work; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 10th January 2019

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 prohibit the differential pricing of products and services that are substantially similar other than being intended for, or marketed to, a particular gender; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 5th March 2019

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 provide for the renaming of the House of Lords as the House of Peers.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 8th March 2018

29 Bills co-sponsored by Christine Jardine

Scottish Law Officers (Devolution) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Joanna Cherry (SNP)

Fertility Treatment (Transparency) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Alex Davies-Jones (Lab)

Clean Air Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (Ind)

Carers and Care Workers Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Helen Morgan (LD)

Motor Vehicle Tests (Diesel Particulate Filters) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Barry Sheerman (LAB)

Fire and Building Safety (Public Inquiry) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Daisy Cooper (LD)

Flexible Working Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

Recognition of Armenian Genocide Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

Sewage Discharges Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tim Farron (LD)

Co-operatives (Employee Company Ownership) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Christina Rees (LAB)

Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

School Toilets (Access During Lessons) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Layla Moran (LD)

Environment (Regulation) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tim Farron (LD)

Company Transparency (Carbon in Supply Chains) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Karen Bradley (Con)

Equal Pay (Information and Claims) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Stella Creasy (LAB)

International Development (Women’s Sanitary Products) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Wendy Chamberlain (LD)

Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

Gambling (Industry Levy Review and Protections for Vulnerable People) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Richard Graham (Con)

Prime Minister (Confidence) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tom Brake (LD)

Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Jo Swinson (LD)

Hereditary Titles (Female Succession) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Philip Davies (Con)

Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

European Union Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Alison Thewliss (SNP)

Pets (Theft) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Ross Thomson (Con)

Abortion Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Diana Johnson (Lab)

Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Layla Moran (LD)

Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Wera Hobhouse (LD)

Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Stewart Malcolm McDonald (SNP)


219 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
7 Other Department Questions
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she had discussions with external organisations before laying the Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories and Saving Provision) Order 2023.

We conducted thorough research in collaboration with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office to verify our understanding of each overseas system in question, to then measure against the UK’s standard route to obtain gender recognition.

Any update to the list of approved countries and territories is a periodic administrative task that does not require formal public consultation. As per the requirements of the Act we have consulted with the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the impact of rising energy prices on disabled people.

As DWP Ministers, we have frequent discussions with other members of the Government and we are collectively seeking to understand the full impact of the current cost of living on disabled people, across a range of sectors, including energy prices.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to tackle differential pricing of similar products and services that are marketed to a particular gender.

Unlawful discrimination because of sex is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. However, the differential pricing of products marketed towards men or women is not unlawful discrimination: there is no requirement on anyone to buy a product because it has been marketed to them on the basis of their gender.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals to ban conversion therapy; when her Department plans to commence its study into the (a) locations and (b) prevalence of conversion therapy in the UK; and what the planned remit is of that study.

This Government is committed to tackling the abhorrent practice of ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK.

The Government’s 2017 National LGBT Survey provides some evidence of the prevalence of conversion therapy in the UK; it found that 2% of respondents had previously undergone conversion therapy and a further 5 % had been offered it. We have commissioned further research to inform policy development in this area. Following a competitive tendering exercise, in 2019 the Government Equalities Office commissioned Coventry University to undertake research which explores evidence of practices, experiences and effects of conversion therapy. Officials are currently reviewing the findings of this report prior to publication, and reviewing the efficacy of both legislative and non-legislative measures in ending these practices.

Once this work is complete, the Government will bring forward proposals to end conversion therapy in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues, (b) cross-party groups, and (c) representatives from LGBTQ organisations on (i) transgender rights and (ii) gender recognition.

Both myself and my Ministerial team on equality issues engage with a wide range of relevant interested parties. On the matters of gender recognition and transgender rights, I have held a number of meetings with external stakeholders and relevant colleagues across government to gather a wide range of views, and will continue to do so going forward.

Officials in the Government Equalities Office also engage broadly with interested parties, feeding the insights gathered into policy advice. They regularly meet with relevant stakeholders, including most recently the LGBT Advisory Panel, devolved administrations and the National LGBT Health Advisor, Dr Michael Brady. Officials also met with around 140 organisations before and during the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the 2018 LGBT Action Plan, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

Attempts to ‘cure’ somebody of their sexual orientation or gender identity, otherwise known as conversion therapies, are wrong. This Government will deliver on the LGBT Action Plan, including the commitment to end conversion therapy. This is a complex set of issues that we are taking our time to get right, and we have commissioned research into the experiences of those who have been subjected to this abhorrent practice.

We are engaging widely before bringing forward proposals and will set out our next steps in the coming months to ensure that the actions we take are proportionate and effective.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the use of electronic communications during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Government’s use of electronic communications is a matter for the Scottish Government.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2024 to Question 8810 on Cabinet Office: Sick Leave, if he will make an estimate of the total number staff days lost to long term sick absences in each Department in each year since 2015.

The tables below provide the estimates requested, long term sick days lost per department (Table 1), along with our preferred measure, Average Working Days Lost (AWDL) per staff year which accounts for workforce size and composition (Table 2). Data is provided for the main Ministerial Departments and excludes those that have been most impacted by Machinery of Government changes, for which times series comparisons between 2015 and 2022 are not possible.

Table 1: Long Term Sickness Absence by Main Department, Days Lost, 2015-2022

Long Term Sick Days Lost

Department

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Cabinet Office

5,580

6,510

6,400

5,050

10,550

13,250

13,090

20,750

Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities

8,460

9,270

7,840

7,140

6,710

7,310

6,850

7,670

Department Culture Media and Sport

530

1,810

1,490

3,470

3,710

3,630

2,670

4,110

Department for Environment

18,960

16,690

14,890

14,240

15,490

19,880

19,210

27,070

Department for Education

10,940

7,990

7,890

12,370

13,870

13,810

9,580

20,410

Department for Transport

84,920

67,810

64,430

66,560

72,710

70,130

51,950

71,260

Department for Health and Social Care

27,790

26,270

21,140

23,520

24,950

24,300

20,880

27,770

Department for Work and Pensions

261,960

221,470

234,770

239,720

276,110

311,110

243,230

383,320

HM Customers and Revenue

214,960

232,220

225,420

208,810

205,770

233,750

189,360

243,040

HM Treasury

1,500

2,030

2,870

2,150

3,190

3,050

2,770

3,990

Home Office

95,910

103,870

101,740

114,820

119,990

132,200

109,360

148,080

Ministry of Defence

222,240

203,240

197,180

195,440

185,100

219,600

219,380

149,690

Ministry of Justice

442,840

414,460

403,990

372,220

398,510

434,270

435,690

596,420

Scottish Government

83,580

80,990

88,840

97,660

109,990

123,980

111,300

134,510

Welsh Government

23,160

23,980

22,880

22,630

23,840

17,290

14,590

20,110

Table 2 : Long Term Sickness Absence by Main Department, Average Working Days Lost per Staff Year, 2015-2022

Long Term Average Working Days Lost per Staff Year

Department

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Cabinet Office

1.9

2.2

1.9

1.1

1.7

1.7

1.4

1.9

Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities

3.4

3.8

3.6

3.1

2.4

2.3

2.0

2.0

Department Culture Media and Sport

1.0

1.5

1.4

2.7

2.5

2.1

1.3

1.4

Department for Environment

2.5

2.4

2.2

2.0

1.8

2.1

1.9

2.4

Department for Education

3.2

2.6

2.0

2.2

2.4

2.2

1.3

2.6

Department for Transport

5.3

5.3

4.9

5.0

5.3

5.0

3.6

4.9

Department for Health and Social Care

3.4

3.2

3.2

2.8

3.1

3.0

2.2

2.6

Department for Work and Pensions

3.2

2.9

3.1

3.2

3.7

4.4

3.3

4.5

HM Customers and Revenue

3.6

3.7

3.5

3.3

3.4

3.8

3.2

3.9

HM Treasury

1.2

1.3

1.7

1.1

1.6

1.4

1.1

1.5

Home Office

3.6

3.9

4.0

4.4

4.2

4.2

3.4

4.5

Ministry of Defence

4.4

4.1

4.0

3.9

3.8

4.2

4.1

2.8

Ministry of Justice

6.8

6.4

6.4

5.8

5.7

6.1

6.0

7.4

Scottish Government

5.1

5.0

5.5

5.9

6.4

6.3

5.4

5.9

Welsh Government

4.2

4.5

4.4

4.5

4.7

3.3

2.8

3.7

Notes:

  • Annual Data for year ending 31 March 20xx

  • Source – Management Information

  • Days rounded to nearest 10 days, AWDL rounded to 1 decimal place

  • Ministerial Departments which have been most impacted by Machinery of Government changes over the period, and for which, consistent comparisons are not possible, are not shown.

  • For sickness absence publications see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sickness-absence

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate of the total number staff days lost to long term sick absences in each Department in each year since 2021.

Cabinet Office publishes sickness absence data for the Civil Service on an annual basis on gov.uk. Our preferred measure is Average Working Days Lost (AWDL) per staff year which accounts for workforce size and composition. The table below provides the data requested, days lost per department, along with AWDL for context. Data for 2023 are in production for planned publication by end March 2024.

Table: Long Term Sickness Absence by Department 2021 and 2022

Organisation

2021

2022

Days

AWDL

Days

AWDL

Attorney General's Departments

5,250

2.2

7,190

2.9

Crown Prosecution Service

18,530

3.1

23,570

3.7

Serious Fraud Office

830

1.8

940

2.0

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

34,010

2.1

47,160

2.5

Cabinet Office

13,090

1.4

20,750

1.9

National Savings and Investments

370

1.9

170

0.9

Charity Commission

1,300

2.7

s

s

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

6,850

2.0

7,670

2.0

Competition and Markets Authority

1,100

1.4

870

1.0

Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport

2,670

1.3

4,110

1.4

Ministry of Defence

219,380

4.1

149,690

2.8

Department for International Trade

3,960

0.8

6,820

1.3

Department for Education

9,580

1.3

20,410

2.6

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

19,210

1.9

27,070

2.4

ESTYN

410

3.9

320

3.1

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

16,750

1.9

18,830

2.3

Food Standards Agency

3,850

2.9

4,500

3.4

The Health and Safety Executive

7,440

3.2

10,520

4.2

Department of Health and Social Care

20,880

2.2

27,770

2.6

HM Revenue and Customs

189,360

3.2

243,040

3.9

HM Treasury

2,770

1.1

3,990

1.5

Home Office

109,360

3.4

148,080

4.5

Ministry of Justice

435,690

6.0

596,420

7.4

National Crime Agency

10,640

2.1

15,180

3.3

Northern Ireland Office

140

0.9

420

2.4

Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services & Skills

6,530

3.6

9,270

5.3

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

2,260

2.1

2,650

2.1

Office of Rail and Road

590

1.9

290

0.9

Scotland Office (incl. Office Advocate General for Scotland)

320

2.8

490

4.2

Scottish Government

111,300

5.4

134,510

5.9

Department for Transport

51,950

3.6

71,260

4.9

United Kingdom Statistics Authority

9,250

2.4

10,070

2.2

UK Export Finance

250

0.7

340

0.8

UK Supreme Court

*

*

280

5.2

Wales Office

230

4.4

190

4.1

Water Services Regulation Authority

570

2.4

250

1.0

Welsh Government

14,590

2.8

20,110

3.7

Department for Work and Pensions

243,230

3.3

383,320

4.5

Notes:

  • Annual Data for year ending 31 March 2021 and 31 March 2022

  • Source – Management Information

  • Days rounded to nearest 10 days, AWDL rounded to 1 decimal place

  • s = suppressed due to data review, * = suppressed due to low counts

  • For sickness absence publications see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sickness-absence

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on how many occasions has the media briefing room at 9 Downing Street been used for (a) media briefings and (b) press conferences since its completion in 2021.

The Downing Street Briefing Room is in regular use for media briefings twice a day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and once a day on Fridays when Parliament is sitting, and once a week during parliamentary recess. There have been more than 30 televised press conferences held in it so far. It is also used for other events such as virtual calls with world leaders. It is also routinely used for internal Cabinet Office events.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Apr 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a breakdown of spending on travel, subsistence and hospitality by his Department in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

Details of ministerial and senior official travel and hospitality are published on a quarterly basis, and are available on GOV.UK.

22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

I refer the Hon. Member to PQ 136762 – Cabinet Office is unable to provide the full spend for 2022-23 until after the end of the current Financial Year.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

Cabinet Office will on most occasions procure recruitment consultancy services through Crown Commercial Service (“CCS”) Framework Agreements. Procuring through CCS Framework Agreements delivers consistency and efficiency savings through providing a range of benefits, such as:

  • Access to pre-assessed capable and proven suppliers;

  • Reducing the need for repeat campaigns;

  • Capped maximum costs protecting from market price increases;

  • Notable saving against market rates on average;

  • No hidden costs of service; and

  • Vendors may agree to further discounts for large campaigns.

Venders are also aware of, and must support, government diversity and inclusion requirements when providing their services.

The relevant CCS Framework relating to recruitment consultancy services was established in November 2018 and its first year was a transitional year. Spend incurred by Cabinet Office in the first two full years post-transition are £216,868 for financial year 2020-21 and £206,048 for financial year 2021-22.

The Cabinet Office continues to encourage the use of the CCS Framework across the Department as standard.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in their Department in each year between 1 January 2016 and 8 November 2022.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in each year since 1 January 2016 to 2 November 2022.

Individual departments are responsible for the payment of salaries and severance payments to current and former Ministers. As such, the information requested is not held centrally.

Departments are required to publish compensation payments paid to former Ministers as part of their Annual Report & Accounts.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse was of the Government's development of proposals to cut 91,000 civil service jobs.

Departments are constantly working to ensure the cost of Government is no greater than it needs to be to deliver for the public. Recent activity on workforce proposals will inform how departments maximise efficiency within their budgets, to ensure that the Government is using taxpayers’ money sustainably in the long term.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the 2021-22 Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts will be published.

The Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts 2021-22 is currently under review by the National Audit Office and is expected to be laid before the end of December.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the volume of goods processed at Killingholme port in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

I refer the hon. Member to the oral statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 23 September on HMG's work to prepare the border for the end of the Transition Period.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his oral contribution of 19 October 2020, Official Report, whether cross-border supply chains of medicines for the care and treatment of patients will continue without disruption after the transition period.

The Government, pharmaceutical industry and NHS work closely together to help ensure patients have access to the medicines and treatments they need.

The Department for Health and Social Care is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system to ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products at the end of the transition period. The Government has also written to medical suppliers about what steps they need to take.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the locations are of the new Border Control Posts for the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority; whether those posts will be on or off the docks; and on what date he plans to make an announcement of those locations.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Government funding for the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority's preparation for the end of the transition period; whether funding for that purpose will be (a) made (i) direct or (ii) via local authorities and (b) ring-fenced; and how the level of that funding will be calculated.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the timetable is for the development of an employment plan to ensure effective (a) employee cover and (b) public safety in the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent assessment she has made with Cabinet colleagues of the implications for her policies of research on the fire risk associated with lithium-ion batteries.

UK product safety laws require all consumer products to be safe. Products using lithium-ion batteries must comply with essential safety requirements set out in law.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), part of the Department for Business and Trade, has established a multi-disciplinary safety study to understand data and evidence of risks in this area and has commissioned Warwick Manufacturing Group, to conduct research examining the safety of lithium-ion batteries. This forms part of cross Government work involving the Home Office and the Department for Transport alongside London Fire Brigade and the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how much her Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

Department for Business and Trade was created on 7 February in a Machinery of Government change. During the period in question, the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) were operating as two separate Departments.

DIT expenditure was: £648,408.47.

It is not possible to disaggregate the BEIS expenditure.

DIT spend

Year

Total Spend

20/21

£183,480.00

21/22

£161,970.70

22/23 year to date 31/01/23

£302,957.77

Total

£648,408.47

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the policies set out in his Department's policy paper entitled Powering Up Britain on the Government's net zero targets.

Powering Up Britain sets out the policies that enable our carbon budgets to be met. It demonstrates we are world leaders delivering on both energy security and net zero - two sides of the same coin.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

This information is not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision on the UK's video games industry, including on independent video game developers.

Under competition law, responsibility for investigating the impact of mergers and acquisitions on competition falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s independent competition authority. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers and expertise to investigate the benefits and risks of mergers in relation to competition.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Competition and Markets Authority on the potential merits of maintaining competition in the video games industry in the context of assessing Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision.

Under competition law, responsibility for investigating the impact of mergers and acquisitions on competition falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s independent competition authority. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers and expertise to investigate the benefits and risks of mergers in relation to competition.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to help small and medium-sized enterprises manage the impact of high inflation.

The Government has reversed the National Insurance rise, which will save small businesses approximately £4,200, cut fuel duty for 12 months and brought in the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, to protect small business’ high energy bills over the winter.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps to ensure that online travel operators will meet ABTA's 31 July 2020 deadline to issue cash refunds to customers for cancelled holidays; and what steps he plans to take to ensure compliance with the package holiday travel regulations by operators that do not issue cash refunds.

Consumers are entitled to a full refund if a package holiday is cancelled due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued within 14 days. The Government is clear that these refunds must be paid when asked for by the consumer.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued guidance to explain to consumers and business the circumstances when refunds are due as a consequence of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. The CMA has a programme of work to ensure refunds arising from the Covid-19 outbreak are paid. If the CMA finds evidence that companies are failing to comply with the law, the CMA will take appropriate enforcement action, which could include taking a firm to court if it does not address its concerns. The CMA has also set up a Covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints, available through: https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/.

1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The Department publishes details of consultancy and professional services spending on an annual basis, in the Annual Report and Accounts. Due to the categorisation of spend within Department systems, it is not possible to extrapolate consultancy spend specifically in relation to recruitment activity. However, a total of £233,056.01 (excluding VAT) has been identified as spend on external recruitment consultants within the last three years, broken down as follows:

Financial Year

Spend (Ex VAT)

2020/2021

£116,358.67

2021/2022

£61,824.44

2022/2023 (to 31 January 2023)

£54,872.90

Total

£233,056.01

This spending relates to external consultancy support, engaged by the Department, for the recruitment of substantive Civil Servants at delegated grades, Senior Civil Servants and Board Members, and excludes the recruitment and delivery of Apprenticeship schemes, and contingent labour workers.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in her Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave the government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had on progressing an EU wide visa waiver for touring musicians.

This government has spoken to every EU Member State about the importance of touring. From these discussions, 20 out of 27 Member States have confirmed that UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for some short-term tours.

We are now actively engaging with the remaining Member States that do not allow any visa or permit free touring, to encourage them to more closely align requirements with the UK’s generous rules, which allow creative professionals to tour easily here. Discussions are ongoing at ministerial and official level across these target countries, and we are working with the sector to amplify each other’s lobbying efforts.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to provide (a) long-term financial support and (b) guidance to the travel and tourism sectors in (i) Edinburgh West and (ii) the UK to help those sectors recover from the covid-19 pandemic.

The government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

The government also cut the rate of VAT for certain UK-wide supplies in the tourism and hospitality sectors to 5% in July 2021, with this significantly reduced rate remaining until the end of this month. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months until the end of March 2022.

VisitBritain, the national tourist board, worked in collaboration with the tourist boards of the devolved administrations to develop the UK-Wide ‘Good to Go’ COVID-19 Secure Industry Standard, currently in use by over 45,000 tourism businesses.

The Tourism Recovery Plan points to a number of UK-wide initiatives, like the £10 million National Lottery Days Out campaign due to launch in October. This will stimulate demand for more off-season day trips to tourist sites across the UK this autumn.

The plan also announced a new rail pass launching later this fiscal year to help make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around. The pass is planned to be available in Scotland, England and Wales.

I will continue to work together with my devolved counterparts to assess how we can most effectively support the tourism sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue producers and production companies, who are unable to access support from either Scottish or English funding sources as they are registered in one nation of the UK but operate in another.

We recognise that the Edinburgh Festivals, and all organisations and venues associated with it, play a central role in the cultural, social and economic lives of many in Scotland and across the UK.

Arts Council England guidance states that the lead organisation submitting an application to one of its funding sources must be based in England, and is focused on activity that benefits people in England. However, applicants who are based in England but primarily work internationally can also be considered eligible, if they can evidence cultural significance and benefit to England.

As culture policy is a devolved matter, we would also recommend that the issue is raised with Scottish Government Ministers and Creative Scotland.

4th Jun 2020
What steps the Government is taking to support (a) Edinburgh West constituency and (b) other communities whose economies are reliant on (i) cultural and (ii) sporting events during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the devastating impact of COVID-19 and that's why we’ve introduced the unprecedented package of support including the Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed-Income-Support-Scheme, and loans tailored to the needs of businesses large and small.

Arts and Culture are devolved, but in England we are also working with cultural and sporting organisations to produce guidance to get these sectors up and running again as soon as safely possible.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to mitigate the economic effect to (a) businesses and (b) the economy of the cancellation of major events such as the (i) the Edinburgh International Festival (ii) The Open Championship and (iii) The Championships, Wimbledon.

We recognise the extreme disruption that the necessary actions we are taking to respond to the threat of Coronavirus, including prohibiting public gatherings and events and the fall in inbound tourism, are having on people’s lives, businesses and the nation’s economy.

That is why the Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to protect businesses across the UK, including the Job Retention Scheme (covering 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month), and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (up to £2,500 per month in grants for eligible self-employed workers). These support measures are open to businesses across the UK and in every sector, including Culture, Creative Industries and Sport.

In addition, DCMS has worked with our arms-length bodies in England to establish tailored support for DCMS sectors, such as the £160m Arts Council England Emergency Fund and the £195m Sport England economic package. In the specific case of the Edinburgh International Festival, I recognise that it is a cultural asset to the whole of the United Kingdom. However, sports and the arts are devolved matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and similar schemes have been introduced by the Devolved Administrations, for example the £11m Creative Scotland fund.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support freelancers in the creative industry affected by the cancellation of events due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has announced measures to protect the self-employed. So long as they fulfil the criteria for these measures, freelancers and the self employed in the music industry benefit from these measures.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of students graduating from universities without receiving their degree classification.

Unlike some education sectors, where the government has taken part in negotiations with trade unions, universities are autonomous. They are therefore responsible for the pay and pension provision of their staff. Whilst the government plays no formal role, we are concerned about the potential impact of the marking and assessment boycott on students, particularly those who are coming up to graduation, and looking to enter the jobs market or progress to further study.

The department understands that the majority of students will remain unaffected by the industrial action and, in most cases, will receive their full results on time and progress and/or graduate as normal.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has published research findings which surveyed 49% of higher education (HE) institutions in the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff. These institutions provided feedback on the impact of the marking and assessment boycott on students at their institutions:

  • Over 70% of HE institutions said that ‘less than 2% of students’ will be unable to graduate this summer due to the boycott.
  • A further 20% were ‘unsure’ of the number.
  • 4% of HE institutions said ‘between 2% and 9% of students’ would be impacted.

These research findings can be accessed at: https://www.ucea.ac.uk/news-releases/23june23/.

On 22 June 2023, I met with Universities UK (UUK), the Russell Group, and UCEA to better understand the impact of the boycott and the mitigating actions their members are taking to protect students’ interests. I have also written to the Russell Group and UUK, encouraging them to continue to do everything within their powers to protect the interests of students.

On 27 June 2023, I met with a number of HE representative groups to discuss the marking and assessment boycott, including the mitigating actions HE institutions are taking.

HE institutions are working on minimising disruption to students in a variety of ways, including reallocating marking to other staff members, and hiring external markers. Many HE institutions can award degrees when they have enough evidence of a student’s prior attainment to do so. Others will be able to assign provisional grades to students to allow them to progress and, once all papers have been marked, degree classifications will either remain as provisionally assigned or be uplifted to reflect the student’s achievements.

The government believes students should be at the heart of the HE system. This is why we set up the Office for Students (OfS) to regulate the HE sector in England, protect student rights, and ensure the sector is delivering real value for money. The OfS published guidance to students on their rights during industrial action at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-rights-and-welfare/student-guide-to-industrial-action/.

On 12 June 2023, the OfS wrote to institutions affected by the boycott to reiterate its expectations in relation to its conditions of registration. The OfS will continue to monitor this situation through their normal regulatory mechanisms.

The Department continues to engage with the HE sector and we hope all parties can reach an agreement that delivers good value for students, staff and universities, so further industrial action can be avoided.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much her Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

I refer the hon. Member for Edinburgh West to the answer I gave on 15 November 2022 to Question 76168.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse was of Ministerial severance pay in his Department between 1 January 2016 to 8 November 2022.

The provision of severance payments for Ministers is set out in legislation.

Details of the severance payments made to Ministers when leaving office are published in departments’ annual reports and accounts.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department provides for British Sign Language (a) resources and (b) teaching in primary schools.

The department does not collect information on the number of pupils who learn British Sign Language (BSL) in primary schools as it is not a mandatory subject for schools in England.

The schools national funding formula (NFF) distributes funding for primary and secondary mainstream schools in England. Funding is distributed fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. Within the NFF, the department does not allocate funding specifically for British Sign Language resources and teaching (nor for any other subjects), and school leaders have flexibility over how they use their budgets to support the attainment and progress of their pupils. They may, if they choose, include BSL in their curriculum or offer it as an extra curriculum subject.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of children who learn British Sign Language in primary school.

The department does not collect information on the number of pupils who learn British Sign Language (BSL) in primary schools as it is not a mandatory subject for schools in England.

The schools national funding formula (NFF) distributes funding for primary and secondary mainstream schools in England. Funding is distributed fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. Within the NFF, the department does not allocate funding specifically for British Sign Language resources and teaching (nor for any other subjects), and school leaders have flexibility over how they use their budgets to support the attainment and progress of their pupils. They may, if they choose, include BSL in their curriculum or offer it as an extra curriculum subject.

1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much her Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in her Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that underwater munitions clearance contractors who claim to have environmentally friendly methods of clearance, such as low order deflagration, do have the capability as claimed on their application for a licence.

Defra recognises the impact underwater noise from ordnance clearance can have on the marine environment and we have made clear in a joint position statement, published in November 2021, that quieter alternatives to loud detonations should be prioritised. The relevant regulator rigorously assesses each license application to clear unexploded ordnance from the seabed. All regulators require applicants to provide data to demonstrate the technology’s effectiveness at reducing environmental impacts, submit a detailed impact assessment, associated mitigation requirements and a robust monitoring plan, including noise monitoring, which is used to verify the technology’s effectiveness. The Government is also testing a range of alternative clearance technologies.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to employ veterinary surgeons at each of the Border Control Points under the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority.

Sanitary and phytosanitary controls on animals and animal products imported into Great Britain from the EU are being introduced in stages. From April, Port Health Authorities will be required to carry out remote documentary checks on products of animal origin, with physical and identity checks on animal products being carried out at Border Control Posts from 1 July 2021.

Defra has provided £14 million funding to local authorities in England to support Port Health Authorities with the recruitment and training of over 500 new staff, including Official Veterinarians. This includes £537,659 which has been awarded to Kingston Upon Hull City Council.

Defra is also working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, which will be responsible for carrying out checks on live animals, to ensure the recruitment and training of the additional staff required is completed for each stage of the new import regime.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to ensure the Global Fund’s allocation of resources in response to the covid-19 pandemic does not effect resources for (a) HIV, (b) TB and (c) malaria.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided up to US $1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB and malaria programmes, and support and strengthen health systems. This funding comes from savings from the fifth replenishment of the Global Fund (2017-2019). All of the funding from the sixth replenishment (2020-2022) will be used to fund programmes to fight HIV, TB and malaria and support and strengthen health systems.

The UK is proud to be the second biggest donor to the fifth and sixth replenishments of the Global Fund.

1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much her Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The total cost of support from external recruitment consultants for 2020, 2021 and 2022 was £648,408.47. This covers support for recruiting substantive civil servants at delegated grades and Senior Civil Servants (SCS) grades and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), at the Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance.

Recruitment consultant support is used when the department is looking to recruit for roles that require a specialised or senior skillset to ensure we maximise our reach, and to help attract external candidates.

Year

Total Spend

20/21

£183,480.00

21/22

£161,970.70

22/23 year to date 31/01/23

£302,957.77

Total

£648,408.47

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in her Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government. This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government. Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion. Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1027301/Salaries_of_Members_of_Her_Majestys_Government_-_Financial_Year_2021-22_-_Publication.pdf.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she will take to support businesses with cross-border supply chains after the end of the transition period.

The Department for International Trade is supporting cross-government efforts to prepare businesses for the end of the transition period. Steps include redeploying a number of advisors to provide direct advice to companies, developing digital tools covering all the steps needed to move goods across the border and webinars being run for EU based businesses to support their continued trade with UK partners.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had discussions with the (a) Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Communities and (b) devolved Administrations on the potential impact of (i) tram and (ii) light rail projects on active travel infrastructure.

The Department for Transport has regular discussions with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as well as with the devolved administrations. However, no specific discussions have taken place with these bodies regarding the impact of light rail projects on active travel infrastructure.

Local transport authorities are responsible for bringing forward mass transit projects, including developing proposals regarding technology choice, route selection and alignment. The Department encourages authorities to consider how mass transit schemes can provide effective integration with other modes, including active travel.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to support scientific innovation in sustainable transport research.

The Net Zero Innovation Board oversees the Government’s portfolio of research supporting the transition to net zero and is chaired by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser. The Department for Transport is investing £377m over the current Spending Review period into research & development on decarbonisation.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the level of VAT applied to electric vehicle charging on his electric vehicle policies.

The Government has committed to keeping the transition to electric vehicles affordable for consumers across the UK. Taxation policy and its impacts are taken into consideration when developing policies that will support and accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. Taxation is a matter for HM Treasury and the Chancellor keeps all taxes under review.

21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The records available to the Department for Transport via the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), as declared by suppliers on their permanent recruitment frameworks, for each of the last three years are as follows:

2020/21

£100,044.62

2021/22

£45,532.00

2022/23

£189,376.90 (to date)

Note: Recruitment consultancies are used by the department to attract the talent and specialist skills required to deliver its strategic objectives and services. It is possible, but unlikely, that some spend has occurred that has not been declared by suppliers, although the Department’s internal finance system does not record data in such a way that allows this to be cross-checked. These totals are inclusive of recruitment to the Department for Transport and its Executive Agencies (DVSA, DVLA, MCA, VCA and ATE) and for both senior civil service (SCS) and delegated grade recruitment. The figure for 20/21 was higher than expected due to a higher volume of recruitment targeted at individuals with specialist/hard to recruit skills. The increase in 22/23 over the previous year results from a renewed focus on the department’s places for growth agenda and a growing focus on recruiting outside London.

2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department has spent on head-hunters in each of the last three years.

Due to the financial reporting system in the department it is not possible to separate out spend associated with external recruitment consultancy services from all other consultancy spend for the majority of departmental recruitment.

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress he has made on reaching a reciprocal arrangement for the recognition of driving licences with Italy.

The Department for Transport has successfully agreed arrangements with Italy for the mutual recognition of photocard licences. As such, visitors with UK photocard licences will not need to carry an additional International Driving Permit when driving in Italy.

We have also secured interim arrangements with the Italian authorities which will allow UK licence holders resident in Italy to continue to use their valid UK licence until the end of this year. We are working with the Italian Government to finalise a permanent licence exchange agreement as soon as possible.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the end of freedom of movement on the haulage industry; and what steps the Government is taking to tackle HGV driver shortages.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the UK and the EU delivers a good outcome for UK-based international hauliers. The vast majority of journeys to and from the EU will be able to continue without the need for any additional permits, and UK hauliers also retain rights to do work within and between EU Member States, again with no extra bureaucracy.

UK hauliers will, of course, have to ensure that they comply with the immigration rules applied by EU Member States. The rules for British Citizens taking up work or providing a service in the EU will depend on the rules in individual EU Member States, as some Member States may require a visa and/or work permit from British Citizens intending to work or to provide a service there.

The Department for Transport is working across Government and with the road haulage industry to address the current HGV driver shortage, which is an issue affecting many countries worldwide. For example, the International Road Transport Union predicts a gap of 185,000 drivers by 2027 in Germany.

The Government has already taken firm action, including through training for jobseekers, additional funding for apprenticeships, and taking measures to increase lorry driver testing capacity to bring new drivers into the industry as soon as possible.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to undertake a consultation on the (a) steps needed to encourage the use of sustainable aviation fuels and (b) creation of a British sustainable aviation industry.

The Government believes that sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) have an important role to play in reducing aviation emissions and we are already providing strong support to the sector through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and industry competitions.

To further build on this support, as part of the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan, the Government announced an additional £18m in funding as well as an intention to consult on a blending mandate to drive SAF uptake in the UK. This consultation is planned for the summer and will be complemented by supporting ambitions presented in the department’s upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Net Zero Aviation Consultation.

Beyond this, the Government is committed to continue working with stakeholders through the Jet Zero Council’s SAF Delivery Group (15 meetings convened to date since November 2020) and other existing channels to explore what further policies are needed to support the sector’s development.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to change the DVSA driving test booking system to prioritise rebooking by people who had booked and paid for their tests prior to the covid-19 lockdown.

Practical driving tests resumed in England on 22 July 2020. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) did prioritise driving tests for candidates who had booked and paid for a test before the COVID-19 lockdown. From 16 July 2020, the DVSA sent emails and text messages to those candidates in batches, and invited them to go online and book a test. Test bookings for new candidates restarted from 21 August 2020.

2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much his Department has spent on head-hunters in each of the last three years.

The following figures apply to Senior Civil Service Recruitment only, to note, this does not include digital recruitment.

2020/21: £190,627.84

2021/22: £211,054.00

2022/23 YTD: £171,608.46

These figures represent executive search activity spend on SCS (Deputy Director – Director General) recruitment for non-digital roles across these years.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

  • Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.
  • This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.
  • Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past.
  • Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK here.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jun 2021
What recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of introducing a universal basic income.

The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with the Chancellor on this issue. This government does not believe a Universal Basic Income has merit, as it does not target provision according to people’s needs and circumstances, which would inevitably lead to an inefficient use of public funds.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date people who have not entered the UK on a visa will be able to apply for a national insurance number.

Prior to allocating a National Insurance Number, the applicants identity must be confirmed.

For the majority of applicants, who have already had their identity verified through another government department, primarily the Home Office, they are able to apply for a National Insurance Number. This includes visa holders, EU/EEA nationals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme and UK passport holders.

For applicants who have not had their identity verified, they will still be required to attend a face to face identity check. The reopening of our face to face service is linked to the recent government guidelines on Covid-19 restrictions and we are currently working on plans to reopen the service at the earliest opportunity in line with these guidelines.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to what extent the covid-19 outbreak is causing delays to personal independence payment renewals; and what steps the Department is taking to reduce the backlog of assessments for those payments.

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been committed to ensuring that people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment in a timely manner. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible and are treating as a priority Advance Claims, where a person’s previous Fixed Term Award has ended.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to publish the findings from the review announced in July 2019 on how the welfare system supports the terminally ill.

The evaluation remains a priority for the Department. The Department has made good progress and we expect to be able to provide an update on the outcome of the evaluation shortly.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the procedure is for foreign nationals wishing to apply for a national insurance number; for what reasons her Department has not made provision for virtual interviews for foreign nationals wishing to apply for a national insurance number during the covid-19 outbreak; whether she plans for such virtual interviews to begin in lieu of physical interviews and, if so, on what date; and what assessment she has made of trends in the number of foreign nationals being turned down for work as a result of employers’ concerns about making a mistake on a potential employee’s right to work due to their not being in possession of a national insurance number.

When applying for a National Insurance Number (NINo), all applicants are required to have their identity verified. For those applicants whose identity has already been verified by another UK Government Department, primarily Home Office, their applications are dealt with by post. For those who have not had their identity verified, primarily EU/EEA nationals, the current process requires them to attend a face to face interview with DWP to verify their identity.

Due to COVID-19, the face to face interview process was suspended from 17th March 2020. This enabled us to redeploy a large number of staff to help process the substantial number of benefit claims received during this period.

It is not possible, due to the requirement to examine ID documents, to offer a virtual service. However, we are working on a digital solution that, once in place, will enable us to restart the process. Our current plan is for that to be in place by the end of September 2020.

Employers are required to conduct mandatory Right to Work checks on all prospective employees. Having a NINo is not part of these checks, and the possession of a NINo does not prove that an individual has a right to work. Indeed, an individual can apply for a job and take up employment without a NINo. I have included a link to the guidance on Right to Work checks that is provided to employers by the Home Office.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide

The Department does not hold information on the number of foreign nationals who may have been turned down for work as a result of not having a NINo.

22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many times he has used powers to direct NHS England under section 45 of the Health and Care Act 2022; and in what context those powers were used.

Following the transfer of functions from NHS Digital in February, section 13ZC of the NHS Act 2006 (as inserted by section 45 of the Health and Care Act 2022) has been used to direct NHS England on its functions relating to information systems.

Two directions in relation to establishing new information systems have been given, and existing directions previously given to NHS Digital, and now treated as given to NHS England, have been amended. These, and future directions relating to information systems, are available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/directions-and-data-provision-notices/nhs-england-directions

The Secretary of State has not issued directions under section 13ZC in relation to any other matters.

21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The information is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has spent on head-hunters in each of the last three years.

The information is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

The provision of severance payments for Ministers is set out in legislation. Details of the severance payments made to Ministers on leaving office are published in the Department’s Annual Reports and Accounts.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of his Department's contracts for personal protective equipment are still to be uploaded to contract finder; what the value is of those contracts; whether those contracts were subject to competitive tendering; and when the remaining contracts will be published.

All contracts notices and associated contracts awarded by the Department for the supply of personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now available at the Contracts Finder service.

Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allows for the direct award of a contract without advertising in cases of “extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority”. The majority of COVID-19 related contracts were awarded using Regulation 32(2)(c) with the remainder using other procedures under the 2015 Regulations which allow for a direct award without tendering such as call-offs from pre-tendered framework contracts.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people diagnosed with a terminal illness who end their own lives each year.

We have made no such estimate.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of specialist importers’ capacity to produce the required medication from imported Bedrocan flowers after the transition period.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of alleviating medical conditions with (a) Bedrocan oils and (b) alternate cannabis-based medicines in place of finished cannabis oil.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supply of medicinal cannabis so that people who require it are able to fill their prescriptions lawfully after the transition period.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons Government contracts for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) were awarded to companies with (a) no prior expertise in producing PPE and (b) limited financial capability; and what steps the Government has taken to ensure that it demonstrated appropriate competitive tendering for PPE.

Guidance on how contracting authorities should respond to COVID-19 was published on 18 March at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0120-responding-to-covid-19

Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. These include a direct award due to extreme urgency or the absence of competition. Over 1,000 purchase orders have been raised with suppliers for COVID-19 related work, the majority through a direct award.

The Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of personal protective equipment (PPE). The aim was to reach suppliers who had experience of supplying PPE and also those who had no prior experience but who had access to sources of PPE through their business contacts. To date this has resulted in 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support. All offers were prioritised based on volume, price, clinical acceptability and lead time – this is the time from an offer being accepted by the Department to the supplier delivering those items. Many suppliers with no previous experience of PPE repurposed their production lines and/or their supply routes in order to begin or increase production or the supply of PPE items. These were often established private businesses whose net asset position is only one factor in evaluating their offer.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance has been issued for healthcare practitioners to support the accurate diagnosis of people with signs and symptoms of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is a stage which comes after relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) for many people with the condition. After a diagnosis of RRMS has been established, clinicians will observe the patient's symptoms over a period of time, in order to determine if they are associated with SPMS. With this type of multiple sclerosis (MS), a person’s disability gets steadily worse and they are less likely to have relapses (when symptoms get worse but then get better).

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis in adults: management’, updated in 2019 sets out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with MS. The guidance sets out a number of initial presentations that clinicians should be aware of when looking for signs of MS. This is supplemented by the NICE Quality Standard for MS, published in 2016, which describes what high-quality MS care, including diagnosis, looks like.

The NICE guidance is included in the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg186/resources/multiple-sclerosis-in-adults-management-pdf-35109816059077

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs108

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department collects on the number of people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Figures on the number of people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) and the proportion of these people who receive an annual care review, are not available. However, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that SPMS affects around 9,000 people in England.

The NICE guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis in adults: management’, updated in 2019 sets out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with SPMS. It contains recommendations for multi-professional care teams, including an annual comprehensive care review for all people with multiple sclerosis. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg186/resources/multiple-sclerosis-in-adults-management-pdf-35109816059077

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in England receive an annual care review.

Figures on the number of people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) and the proportion of these people who receive an annual care review, are not available. However, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that SPMS affects around 9,000 people in England.

The NICE guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis in adults: management’, updated in 2019 sets out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with SPMS. It contains recommendations for multi-professional care teams, including an annual comprehensive care review for all people with multiple sclerosis. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg186/resources/multiple-sclerosis-in-adults-management-pdf-35109816059077

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits of Integrated Care Systems for people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

No specific assessment has been made. Integrated care systems enable National Health Service organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, to take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve, including people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve health outcomes for people living with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

In order to improve the care and outcomes for people with progressive neurological conditions, such as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), NHS England and NHS Improvement produced a progressive neurological conditions RightCare toolkit, in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the MS Trust and the MS Society. This toolkit supports systems to understand and deliver the priorities in care for people living with various progressive neurological conditions, in line with best-practice guidelines.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Minister for Women and Equalities's answer to question 73 at the oral evidence session of the Women and Equalities Select Committee on 22 April 2020, what the Government's policy is on restrictions on medical treatment for gender dysphoria for people under the age of 18.

People under 18 are able to access the following medical treatment from gender identity services: psychological assessment, hormone blockers and cross sex hormones.

Surgery is not available through the under 18 service.

The availability of these treatments is dependent on age as when young people reach the age of 16, they are presumed in law to be competent to give consent for themselves for their own surgical, medical or dental treatment, and any associated procedures, such as investigations, anaesthesia or nursing care.

Those under 16 are not automatically presumed to be legally competent to make decisions about their healthcare. However, the courts under the Gillick competence, have stated that under 16s will be competent to give valid consent to a particular intervention if they have “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable them to understand fully what is proposed”.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in each ethnic group have (a) been tested, (b) tested positive and (c) died following a positive test as a result of covid-19.

Data on the number of people who have been tested, tested positive, and died from COVID-19 are not currently available in the format requested.

The latest data on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths can be viewed at the following link:

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

Public Health England is gathering and analysing data to measure the impact of COVID-19 across different population groups. This includes work to analyse confirmed cases, hospitalisations and deaths relating to COVID-19 by ethnicity, where this data is available.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

In 2022, the FCDO spent £49,599 on agencies to support the recruitment of UK specialist resource. The spend for 2021 was £79,332; and for 2020 was £120,659.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in their Department in each year since 1 January 2016 to 8 November 2022.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government. This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past. Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1027301/Salaries_of_Members_of_Her_Majestys_Government_-_Financial_Year_2021-22_-_Publication.pdf

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to help ensure investment in universal and comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is prioritised within the upcoming Women and Girls strategy.

A Women and Girls Strategy would build on the May 2022 International Development Strategy, which framed our work on women and girls through the 3Es (Educating girls, Empowering women and girls, and Ending violence against women and girls). It included a strong commitment to drive progress on universal and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the Government has not imposed sanctions on the National Bank Trust.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.
Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to relieve the covid-19 humanitarian situation in Nepal.

On Thursday 27th May, the FCDO sent 260 ventilators and 2,000 visors (worth £550,000) in response to a request for medical supplies from the Government of Nepal. Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, British Embassy Kathmandu has helped Nepal respond to COVID-19 by reprioritising over £40 million of its aid budget. This support has included the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 300,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women. On 19 May Lord Ahmad discussed with Foreign Minister Gyawali how the UK could continue to support Nepal's fight against the second wave of COVID-19. The UK is also a leading donor to COVAX, having committed £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has allocated 2,000,000 vaccine doses to Nepal, of which 348,000 have already been delivered.

13th Oct 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure (a) parliamentary and (b) independent scrutiny of Official Development Assistance spending.

This Government is fully committed to independent and parliamentary scrutiny. In August, the Foreign Secretary announced our commitment to maintaining the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). He also announced a departmental review to make ICAI even more effective, leveraging what works and producing even more practical recommendations.

8th Sep 2020
What his policy is on maintaining the statutory target to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance.

We are committed to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid and development; this is a manifesto commitment and is enshrined in law. Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been firm that development will be at the heart of the new FCDO, working hand in hand with diplomacy. Development assistance provided by the UK aims to tackle the great challenges of our time, transform lives of the world’s poorest, and make the world a healthier, safer and more prosperous place for everyone. This allows us to shape the world around us for the better and help keep us safe. As an example of what UK ODA has achieved, since 2015 more than 33 million people have been reached by our humanitarian programmes, including at least 13 million women and girls. The FCDO brings together expertise from DFID and the FCO to ensure we place our world-class development programmes at the heart of our foreign policy. Supporting the poorest countries to become self-sufficient is firmly in line with British values and our own national interest.

7th Feb 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to ensure pension remediation for public sector workers affected by the McCloud judgement.

The Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Act 2022 provides remedy for discrimination that arose when new public service pensions schemes were introduced between 2014 and 2016. The remedy has two main elements: older “legacy” pension schemes were closed as of 1 April 2022 to equalise future accrual in newer “reformed” schemes; and, from 1 October 2023 all affected members are being given a choice at retirement (or within 18 months of 1 October 2023 for those who have already retired) as to whether to receive legacy or reformed scheme benefits for the remedy period.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support his Department is providing to small and medium-sized enterprises to help with costs in the context of the rate of inflation.

The Government recognises the challenges facing businesses and that is why we have made it a priority to halve inflation this year, on the path back to the target of 2%.

We have taken several steps to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including a substantial package of business rates support worth £13.6bn over the next five years; additional tax relief at a higher rate of 14.5% for R&D intensive SMEs; and the Small Profits Rate will mean 70% of businesses will see no increase in Corporation Tax this year.

The supply side policies announced at Spring Budget – such as action on childcare support – will also provide a boost to growth without fuelling inflation and ease the pressures faced by SMEs by delivering the workforce they need to succeed.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

Consistent with the answer given to a written question on 17 May 2022, the information requested on recruitment consultant expenditure is not available, as we do not hold detail of expenditure on recruitment costs at this level of granularity for any of the financial years in question.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

HM Treasury does not hold information on head-hunters separately within its recruitment costs.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in their Department in each year since 1 January 2016 to 8 November 2022.

The Provision of severance payments for Ministers is set out in legislation.

Details of the severance payments made to ministers when leaving office are published in departments’ annual reports and accounts.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2022 to Question 30119 on Income Tax: Older People, if he will publish the constituency-level breakdown of HMRC’s Income Tax liabilities statistics containing the number of taxpayers aged 65 and over since 2019.

I refer the hon. Member for Edinburgh West to the answer that was given on the 7 July 2022 to the Question UIN 30119.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a constituency-level breakdown of HMRC’s Income Tax liabilities statistics: tax year 2019 to 2020 to tax year 2022 to 2023, containing the number of taxpayers aged 65 and over since 2019.

HMRC’s Personal income by tax year statistics contains constituency-level breakdown of taxpayer numbers for 2019-20, the latest available outturn can be found in Table 3.15 here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066946/Table_3.15_1920.ods.

Further breakdowns of this information are not readily available and cannot be provided within the time available.

HMRC’s Income Tax liabilities statistics publish a high-level regional breakdown containing the number of taxpayers in each Income Tax bracket and numbers over 65, these can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1086257/Table_2.2.ods.

For projection years, HM Treasury does not publish this information at constituency level.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a constituency-level breakdown of HMRC’s Income Tax liabilities statistics: tax year 2019 to 2020 to tax year 2022 to 2023, containing the number of taxpayers in each income tax bracket since 2019.

HMRC’s Personal income by tax year statistics contains constituency-level breakdown of taxpayer numbers for 2019-20, the latest available outturn can be found in Table 3.15 here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066946/Table_3.15_1920.ods.

Further breakdowns of this information are not readily available and cannot be provided within the time available.

HMRC’s Income Tax liabilities statistics publish a high-level regional breakdown containing the number of taxpayers in each Income Tax bracket and numbers over 65, these can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1086257/Table_2.2.ods.

For projection years, HM Treasury does not publish this information at constituency level.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will adjust the 45p per mile allowance to reflect the sustained increase in petrol prices.

The Government sets the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) rates to minimise administrative burdens. AMAPs aim to reflect running costs including fuel, servicing and depreciation. Depreciation is estimated to constitute the most significant proportion of the AMAPs.

Employers are not required to use the AMAPs. Instead, they can agree to reimburse the actual cost incurred, where individuals can provide evidence of the expenditure, without an Income Tax or National Insurance charge arising.

Alternatively, they can choose to pay a different mileage rate that better reflects their employees’ circumstances. However, if the payment exceeds the amount due under AMAPs, and this results in a profit for the individual, they will be liable to pay Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on the difference.

The Government keeps this policy under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Russian Central Bank can recover funds in pound sterling in the UK via the National Bank Trust.

I am unable to comment on individual cases. However, the UK has imposed sanctions that prohibit UK persons from providing financial services for the purposes of foreign exchange or asset management of the Central Bank of Russia, the Russian Ministry of Finance, and the National Wealth Fund of Russia. These restrictions apply to all transactions in pound sterling.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to remove non-domiciled tax status for Russians with close links to President Putin.

As with all aspects of the tax system, the Government keeps policy surrounding tax residence under review as part of the Budget process.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many Russians have been denied non-domiciled tax status in each of the last ten years.

The information requested is not available.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many Russians have claimed non-domiciled tax status in each of the last ten years.

The information requested is not readily available to HMRC and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many Russians sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Sanctions regime have claimed non-domiciled status in the UK.

The information requested is not readily available to HMRC and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the full economic impact assessment underpinning section 4.6 of the Health and Social Care Levy policy paper.

The Government has made a number of assessments of the impact of the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy, which were published alongside the announcement. These include the distributional analysis of the impact of the combined tax and spending announcements, a technical annex in our plan for health and social care, and a Tax Information and Impact Note.

In their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out their assessment of the economic effects of the Levy, including the impact on labour supply and wages. This can be found here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-october-2021/

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the National Insurance rise on economic growth; and if he will publish that assessment.

The Government has made a number of assessments of the impact of the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy, which were published alongside the announcement. These include the distributional analysis of the impact of the combined tax and spending announcements, a technical annex in our plan for health and social care, and a Tax Information and Impact Note.

In their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out their assessment of the economic effects of the Levy, including the impact on labour supply and wages. This can be found here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-october-2021/

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking to support domestic spirits producers.

At the Budget, the Government froze spirits duty for the fifth consecutive budget, saving consumers 52p off a bottle of Scotch. This is the eighth cut or freeze since 2014. It means spirits duty is at its lowest level in real-terms since 1918. Through our alcohol duty review, we are also equalising the duty rate on domestically produced liqueurs and other spirits-based drinks with imported wines.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction in domestic Air Passenger duty on the number of people using air travel for journeys that (a) are under five hours and (b) have a rail alternative.

At Budget, the Government announced that, from April 2023, it will introduce a new reduced domestic band of Air Passenger Duty (APD), covering flights between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in order to support connectivity across the UK. In addition, the Government will introduce a new ultra long-haul band, which will ensure that those who fly furthest, and have the greatest environmental impact, will pay the most.

Full details of the consultation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-aviation-tax-reform

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding has been allocated by his Department to public relations for the October 2021 Budget, including promotion on social media.

All communications products related to the October 2021 Budget are produced in house by the Treasury’s Communications Team at no additional cost.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had (a) with Cabinet colleagues and (b) within his Department on compensation and support for those affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

I refer the Honourable Member for Edinburgh West to the answer I gave on the 19 April 2021 to PQ UIN 179543.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), if he will take steps to (a) encourage the adoption of the BBRS by banks to ensure accessibility, (b) resolve the outstanding terms of reference including eligibility and insolvency, (c) finalise and publish the BBRS process to deliver the service specified by the terms of reference, (d) demonstrate the independence of the BBRS and (e) enable the BBRS to resolve historical complaints.

The Government welcomes the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), which launched on the 15th February 2021. The BBRS offers a free, independent service which is designed to settle unresolved complaints from larger SMEs with the seven participating banks, who make up the majority of the business banking market.

The former Chancellor, Philip Hammond wrote to the BBRS in 2018 to make clear that it is right the BBRS does not seek to re-open complaints that have already been settled under a previous independent redress scheme, but instead offers an opportunity for resolution to SMEs who have not had anywhere independent to take their complaint.

Beyond that high-level guidance, I would like to stress the BBRS has been setup as an independent non-governmental body, and this independence is vital to its role. Its credibility, authority and value to SMEs would be undermined if it were possible for the Government to intervene in such matters.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that businesses' insurance claims relating to the effects of the covid-19 outbreak are settled in a timely manner.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly and settle claims quickly once settlement terms are agreed. The FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

The Government is working closely with the FCA to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis and fully supports the regulator in its role.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of replacing commercial rates and VAT with a sales and service tax on all sales and services provided within the UK, to help provide a more level playing field for retailers.

The Government is committed to a fair and sustainable tax system which creates an environment for businesses to succeed.

As the economy moves towards recovery the Government must continue to support businesses, while ensuring that the tax system raises sufficient revenue to fund public services.

The Government keeps all taxes under review.

This includes business rates where a Call for Evidence was published in July 2020. The Government invited stakeholders to contribute their views on ideas for reform on all elements of the business rates system in England, including alternative taxes and the potential for an Online Sales Tax. The Government is now considering responses to the Call for Evidence.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of simplifying and equalising tax rules affecting companies, partnerships, and sole traders.

The Government remains committed to a tax system that wherever possible is simple, fair and easy to use, including in relation to the taxation of companies, partnerships and sole traders. It will continue to consider recommendations made by the independent Office of Tax Simplification, and keeps all taxes under review. Any changes to tax policy will be announced at fiscal events.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing Capital Gains Tax at Income or Corporation Tax rates under a taper relief system with a proportional reduction for each year an asset has been held.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, and any changes are made at fiscal events within the context of wider public finances. The Government’s priority is supporting jobs and the economy, through the Winter Economy Plan, Plan for Jobs and the forthcoming Budget.

Any changes to the tax system will balance the need to raise revenue with the principles of fairness and market efficiency.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of combining Income Tax and National Insurance contributions into an Income, Health and Pension Tax with health and pension provision paid until retirement or 65-67 years of age on all earned income (a) with no tax or health and pension until a minimum level of income is achieved, (b) at a basic rate and (c) at a reasonable higher rate.

This would be a significant change, as NICs and Income Tax work quite differently at present.

NICs are charged on earnings on a per-employment, per-pay period basis, whereas Income Tax is an annual tax, and takes into account an individual’s total, cumulative earnings over the year. NICs also come with specific benefits e.g. State Pension, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Maternity Allowance, and Bereavement benefits. This is in line with NICs’ role as a social security scheme, into which contributions are made from people’s earnings while in work to support them when they are out of work. NICs are currently not payable by those over State Pension age. As such, amalgamating NICs into, or even bringing them closer into line with, income tax would come with major transitional costs and issues.

In the past, governments have considered the case for amalgamating or better aligning income tax and NICs to make the system simpler for individuals and businesses. Most recently, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) considered this in 2016 in its report on ‘Closer alignment of Income Tax and National Insurance’.

The OTS analysis shows there are a range of challenges that would need to be taken into consideration before proceeding with such a radical reform. For example, it is estimated that 7.1 million would pay less NICs but 6.3 million would pay more NICs (some of whom would gain contributory benefits).

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors in (a) Edinburgh and (b) Scotland of the decision to withdraw tax free shopping from 1 January 2021.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the United Kingdom, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme in Great Britain will not be extended to passengers travelling to the EU and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government has also continued to meet and discuss with key stakeholders following the announcement of these policies.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including Edinburgh and Glasgow and smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

The final costings will be subject to scrutiny by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility and will be set out at the next forecast.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what date HMRC plans to reinstate its fraud hotline.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reopened the hotline telephony service on Monday 3 August. It operates 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. It is also worth noting that the online reporting function has been available 24/7 throughout the pandemic.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to use tax receipts held by the HMRC in parity with the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to determine financial support for freelancers in the North Sea oil and gas supply industry facing financial difficulties.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?will allow eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.??Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible if they have submitted their Income Tax?Self Assessment?tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade and have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19.

Alternatively, those who were on an employer's PAYE payroll on 19 March may be eligible to receive 80% of their usual monthly wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS is available to employers, including personal service companies, and individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme are eligible.? The scheme covers employees on any type of contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

These schemes supplement the other significant support announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at?www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a universal basic income.

There are fundamental problems with the reality of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). A flat rate UBI would not take into account people’s circumstances, and the additional costs faced by some individuals. Therefore, a UBI would not target support where it is most needed.

To protect people’s incomes during the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has announced alternative measures, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and additional support for low income families which can be delivered quickly and effectively through the existing welfare system. This includes increasing the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance, the Working Tax Credit basic element, and the rates used to calculate Housing Benefit and the UC housing element. At a time when the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs are experiencing unprecedented demand, we have rightly prioritised the safety and stability of the existing tax and benefit systems.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on pension adjustments for police officers affected by the McCloud judgement.

Neither the policy responsibility nor administrative responsibility for police pension scheme falls to the Department of Work and Pensions. There have, therefore, been no such discussions.

The relevant legislation provides that all eligible members will be given a choice to remedy the discrimination set out in the McCloud judgment and that information should be provided to eligible members by 31 March 2025. Adjustments to individual members’ benefits are an administrative matter, and the police pension scheme is locally administered by each of the separate police forces in England and Wales (policing is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

The Home Office has policy responsibility for the police pension scheme but does not have any role in the administration of police pensions. Information on the progress of forces with the remedy process is therefore not held centrally.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he expects pension adjustments for police officers affected by the McCloud judgement to be completed.

Neither the policy responsibility nor administrative responsibility for police pension scheme falls to the Department of Work and Pensions. There have, therefore, been no such discussions.

The relevant legislation provides that all eligible members will be given a choice to remedy the discrimination set out in the McCloud judgment and that information should be provided to eligible members by 31 March 2025. Adjustments to individual members’ benefits are an administrative matter, and the police pension scheme is locally administered by each of the separate police forces in England and Wales (policing is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

The Home Office has policy responsibility for the police pension scheme but does not have any role in the administration of police pensions. Information on the progress of forces with the remedy process is therefore not held centrally.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Business and Trade on the potential impact of the skilled worker visa application process on businesses.

Home Office ministers regularly engage with the Department for Business and Trade, and other Whitehall Departments on a range of matters.

This Government is keen to strike the balance between reducing overall net migration and ensuring that businesses have the skills they need to support economic growth.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to reduce the backlog of asylum applications.

Provisional data indicates that between the end of November 2022 and October 2023 the legacy backlog reduced by 64% and we remain on track to clear the legacy backlog by the end of the year as per the Prime Minister’s commitment last year.

We will continue the steps we are already taking to speed up asylum processing whilst maintaining the integrity of the system. This includes better performance management, overtime, and shorer, focussed interviews.

12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the backlog of asylum applications.

We have transformed the productivity of asylum decision making by streamlining processes, creating focused interviews and instilling accountability for performance. And as of 1 September, we have met our commitment to have 2,500 decision makers, an increase of 174% from the same point last year.

As a result, I am pleased to report to the House that we are on track to clear the legacy backlog by the end of the year, and that recently published provisional figures for July show that the overall backlog fell.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

The Home Office does not report the information sought to the level of granularity required. To identify spending on head-hunters specifically from our management systems would require a manual review of all consultancy related transactions.

This can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in their Department in each year since 1 January 2016 to 8 November 2022.

The Provision of severance payments for Ministers is set out in legislation.

Details of the severance payments made to Ministers when leaving office are published in departments’ annual reports and accounts.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing temporary recovery visas to address industries experiencing labour and skills shortages; and if she will extend eligibility for those types of visas to bus drivers.

The Points based immigration system provides for occupations within a wide range of sectors, subject to the requirements of specific routes – including English language and salary – being met. However, roles such as bus drivers do not meet the skills threshold for the Skilled Worker route. It is not the Government’s intention to launch a recovery visa.

Beyond the points based system, employers can recruit those with general work rights including the millions of people who have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, those who have arrived via our settlement route for British National (Overseas) normally resident in Hong Kong and their households, those who have arrived via a family visa and those in the UK under our Youth Mobility Schemes. They have full access to the UK labour market and are free to work in the UK and can undertake any role.

However, we must see long-term solutions to labour and skills shortages delivered by employers through improved training and hiring, with better pay and working conditions.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) applications and (b) appeals for indefinite leave to remain have been awaiting a final decision for longer than six months as of 18 May 2022.

The Home Office does not publish data on the number of applications which have been outstanding for longer than six months awaiting a final decision, nor does it hold data on those who do not have recourse to public funds awaiting a decision. To capture this data would exceed the cost threshold.

The Home Office does publish data of its performance against its service level agreement, which can be found on the GOV.UK webpage: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The appeals information requested is not readily available or published. Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service manage the appeals system and publish high level timeliness information.

The most recent publication is here: Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: October to December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who have been waiting longer than six months for a decision on an application for further leave to remain have no recourse to public funds as of 18 May 2022.

The Home Office does not publish data on the number of applications which have been outstanding for longer than six months awaiting a final decision, nor does it hold data on those who do not have recourse to public funds awaiting a decision. To capture this data would exceed the cost threshold.

The Home Office does publish data of its performance against its service level agreement, which can be found on the GOV.UK webpage: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The appeals information requested is not readily available or published. Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service manage the appeals system and publish high level timeliness information.

The most recent publication is here: Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: October to December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many further leave to remain (a) applications and (b) appeals have been awaiting a final decision for longer than six months.

The Home Office does not publish data on the number of applications which have been outstanding for longer than six months awaiting a final decision, nor does it hold data on those who do not have recourse to public funds awaiting a decision. To capture this data would exceed the cost threshold.

The Home Office does publish data of its performance against its service level agreement, which can be found on the GOV.UK webpage: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The appeals information requested is not readily available or published. Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service manage the appeals system and publish high level timeliness information.

The most recent publication is here: Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: October to December 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many holders of Tier 1 Investor visas have claimed non-domiciled tax status in each of the last ten years.

Eligibility for entry and stay under the Tier 1 (Investor) route has not been dependent on any specific legally available tax statuses.The Home Office does not therefore routinely hold data concerning the tax status of applicants. The use of available tax provisions and by whom is ultimately a matter for the tax authorities.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many holders of Tier 1 investor visas who have been sanctioned have claimed non-domiciled status in the UK in each of the last ten years.

Eligibility for entry and stay under the Tier 1 (Investor) route has not been dependent on any specific legally available tax statuses.The Home Office does not therefore routinely hold data concerning the tax status of applicants. The use of available tax provisions and by whom is ultimately a matter for the tax authorities.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the number of police investigations that have taken place under sections 2(1) and 2(A) of the Suicide Act 1961 from 1 April 2009 to 31 July 2020.

The Home Office routinely publishes number of offences and the investigative outcomes of crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales including for the offence of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person. The latest published data is up to September 2020, and the specific crime is recorded under offence code ‘76 Aiding suicide’, and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables .

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what preparations she has made for the introduction of the new British National (Overseas) visa; and what plans are in place to ensure the successful integration into the UK of Hongkongers.

On 31 January 2021 the UK Government introduced a new immigration route for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders in Hong Kong, providing the opportunity for them and their eligible family members to live, work and study in the UK.

We recognise the integration of BN(O) status holders and their family members is crucial to help arrivals to thrive in their new lives in the UK. We want BN(O) status holders and their families to feel welcome and safe in the UK; have the support to learn English and/or Welsh; to be economically active; and have access to education as appropriate.

Work is taking place across the UK Government alongside civil society groups and others to support the effective integration of BN(O) status holders arriving in the UK in the coming months.

Further information on specific provisions across the four nations of the UK will be set out in due course.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to (a) limit the level of turnover of caseworkers in her Department and (b) ensure the effective training of caseworkers.

Asylum Operations have, over the last 18 months increased the number of decision makers and support staff as part of a rolling recruitment campaign, developed a staff retention strategy to ensure Asylum Operations retains its highly skilled asylum decision makers.

The Asylum Operations Training Team ensure the effective training of caseworkers by delivering the Foundation Training Programme to all new asylum decision makers. This intensive five-week course provides staff with training on all aspects of asylum decision making. This course is followed by a period of mentoring to consolidate their learning.

In addition, an Asylum Transformation Programme is in development that will help address attrition alongside seeking to simplify, streamline and digitise processes as part of the plans to speed up Asylum decision making.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department provides to asylum caseworkers on the extent to which country-of-origin information should be (a) used in interviews and (b) evaluated in claimant decision-making.

The references to Country of Origin information across Asylum Policy Instructions are numerous.

The majority of the detail on how asylum caseworkers should consider this information, both in interviews and in final decisions, is contained in the Asylum Policy Instruction on Assessing Credibility And Refugee Status.

However, this is an issue which cuts across a number of areas including interviewing, with detail on this contained in the Asylum Interviews guidance, and is also featured in specific pieces of guidance on issues such as gender identity. It also forms part of the Foundation Training Programme for caseworkers.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, (a) how do asylum caseworkers access country of origin information for asylum seekers; and (b) how often this information is updated.

The Home Office publishes Country Policy and Information Notes, which provide country of origin information, and analysis of this information, for use by Home Office decision makers assessing protection and human rights claims. Each Note provides information concerning the situation for a particular group of people in a particular country. They are published on our intranet, the GOV.UK website and are also available through the country information sites ecoi.net and Refworld.

Our Notes are kept under constant review and updated depending on demand and the situation.

Decision makers also have access to the latest available country information through an information request service for specific enquiries to deal with particular issues raised in individual claims. These are published on our intranet.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of effectiveness of teleconferencing interviews for asylum seekers to ensure that the (a) quality and experience of interviews is maintained; (b) claimants do not suffer retraumatisation and dehumanisation; (c) the loss of physical communication and body language does not result in adverse credibility assessments.

The Home Office has successfully used video technology to support asylum interviewing since 2017 and has appropriate operating procedures that are designed to ensure participants are able to give the best account of their circumstances.Asylum Operations has an assurance process, the three lines of defence model, which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy and video conference interviews are a part of this assurance process.

Assurance Compliance and Improvement (ACI) are in the process of conducting second line assurance on interviewing via video conference but we are continuing to complete our own first line assurance.We regularly liaise with partners and received feedback to ensure our standards of interviewing are upheld.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the for the implications of her policy of the findings of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s annual inspection report on Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention, 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.

The Home Office published its response to the ICIBI’s report in April of this year. The ICIBI made eight recommendations, of which the Home Office has accepted two, partially accepted five and rejected one. The full report can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882002/Response_to_the_annual_inspection_of_adults_at_risk_in_immigration_detention.pdf

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been received since the change of conditions form for recourse to public funds was digitised at the beginning of April; what proportion of those applications have been granted; and what the average processing time for those applications was.

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to this matter. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/

We are continuing to investigate whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

While we appreciate the need for Change of Conditions applications to be dealt with quickly, there is no need for all applications to be processed within 24 hours. Individuals are not necessarily destitute when they make an application, but instead may recognise they are at risk of destitution in the near future because there has been a recent change in their financial circumstances, for example.

Cases must be assessed based on the evidence the applicant has provided, and where there is insufficient evidence, caseworkers request further information which inevitably extends the processing time but can ensure the appropriate decision is reached.

During the covid-19 crisis the application form has been digitised, and we are encouraging applicants to send in their evidence by email so that it can be received and uploaded onto cases more quickly. Where applicants are unable to provide certain evidence, particularly under the current circumstances, we have provided staff with instructions as to how and when flexibility can be exercised to help reduce unnecessary delays that would be introduced by having to seek additional evidence.

The Change of Conditions team are working through applications as quickly as they can, and UKVI have trained additional staff to work on these cases in response to the increased demand and urgency during the current situation.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of processing change of conditions for recourse to public funds application forms within 24 hours.

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to this matter. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/

We are continuing to investigate whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

While we appreciate the need for Change of Conditions applications to be dealt with quickly, there is no need for all applications to be processed within 24 hours. Individuals are not necessarily destitute when they make an application, but instead may recognise they are at risk of destitution in the near future because there has been a recent change in their financial circumstances, for example.

Cases must be assessed based on the evidence the applicant has provided, and where there is insufficient evidence, caseworkers request further information which inevitably extends the processing time but can ensure the appropriate decision is reached.

During the covid-19 crisis the application form has been digitised, and we are encouraging applicants to send in their evidence by email so that it can be received and uploaded onto cases more quickly. Where applicants are unable to provide certain evidence, particularly under the current circumstances, we have provided staff with instructions as to how and when flexibility can be exercised to help reduce unnecessary delays that would be introduced by having to seek additional evidence.

The Change of Conditions team are working through applications as quickly as they can, and UKVI have trained additional staff to work on these cases in response to the increased demand and urgency during the current situation.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the no recourse to public funds policy in the absence of available data and statistics on (a) those subject to and (b) those experiencing hardship as a result of the implementation of that policy.

The no recourse to public funds policy is based on the principle that migrants coming to the UK are generally expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. The public interest for them to be financially independent is long established. There are existing safeguards and exceptions in place for those in need, for example refugees and those on human rights routes who would otherwise be destitute.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to the matter of data on no recourse to public funds. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/. The letter commits to investigating the administrative data held on no recourse to public funds and migration, and to assessing whether meaningful information can be provided on the issue of hardship in particular. We will provide an update on this in due course.

The Home Office has also published its policy equality statement on the impact of the no recourse to public funds policy for migrants on the 10-year Family and Human Rights immigration routes. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to provide safe passage to the UK for unaccompanied child refugees in Europe who have relatives in the UK.

Throughout the transition period, we will continue to honour our commitments under the Dublin III Regulation, including the transfers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to the UK who have qualifying family members in the UK where it is in their best interests. We continue to remain in close contact with sending states, to facilitate transfers as quickly and safely as possible in accordance with respective governments’ decisions on Covid-19 and the Dublin Regulation.

Furthermore, we will continue to process all Take Charge Requests made under the family reunion provisions of the Regulation which are received on or before the 31 December 2020.

The UK has presented a genuine and sincere offer to the EU for a new, reciprocal arrangement for the family reunion of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children post-transition, and on 19 May published its draft legal text as a constructive contribution to negotiations.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she had has with her (a) US, (b) Canadian, (c) New Zealand, (d) EU, Japanese and (e) South Korean counterparts on priorities for Interpol’s strategic framework for 2021-24.

The Interpol Strategic Framework 2021-24 is currently under development by Interpol, and following its completion it will be shared with Interpol’s 194 members. Therefore, as yet no discussions have been had with the members identified within the question but engagement with members will be undertaken in the future.

Due diligence is undertaken by the UK Government into individuals seeking election to the Interpol Presidency and Home Office officials have discussed with officials in other countries prospective candidates for the role.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the criteria are for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol.

The criteria for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol are set out in the Financial Regulations of Interpol and Resolution of the General Assembly GA-2018-87-RES-14. The criteria is based on a scale that is set by the United Nations.

Additional financial contributions are covered by Articles 38-40 of the Interpol Constitution as well as Article 51 of the General Regulations.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the criteria are for the allocation of voluntary funding to Interpol.

The criteria for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol are set out in the Financial Regulations of Interpol and Resolution of the General Assembly GA-2018-87-RES-14. The criteria is based on a scale that is set by the United Nations.

Additional financial contributions are covered by Articles 38-40 of the Interpol Constitution as well as Article 51 of the General Regulations.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of convening a meeting of nations to consider the abuse of Red Notices and diffusions issued by (a) Interpol and (b) member States.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with his counterparts in the (a) the US Administration (b) Canada Government, (c) New Zealand Government, (d) Australia Government, (e) EU member states, (f) Japan Government and (g) South Korea Government on a successor to the President of Interpol.

The Interpol Strategic Framework 2021-24 is currently under development by Interpol, and following its completion it will be shared with Interpol’s 194 members. Therefore, as yet no discussions have been had with the members identified within the question but engagement with members will be undertaken in the future.

Due diligence is undertaken by the UK Government into individuals seeking election to the Interpol Presidency and Home Office officials have discussed with officials in other countries prospective candidates for the role.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a Minister in her Department has responsibility for matters in relation to Interpol.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the UK Government's policy is on the (a) appointment of officials and (b) election of officials to Interpol from countries that do not comply with the Red Notice and diffusion system.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary General of Interpol on the abuse of Red Notices and diffusions.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister in her Department has responsibility for issues relating to Interpol.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of recommending to Interpol that they include in their strategic framework for 2021-24 further reform of Red Notices and diffusions.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations of the report entitled Beyond Belief, published by Freedom from Torture on 16 June 2020, that caseworkers receive appropriate and relevant training when conducting interviews with victims of torture to encourage full disclosure and identify important aspects of claims, avoiding costly appeals; and what plans she has to report to the recommendations in that report.

The Home Office remains committed to delivering a fair and humane asylum system that is sensitive to the needs of the claimants, so that sufficient information can be obtained to facilitate fair and sustainable decisions on asylum claims. We ensure that asylum seekers are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken, even where that information may be sensitive or difficult to disclose.

The report published by Freedom from Torture acknowledges that there have been signs of progress within the Home Office. Improvements have been made to policy instructions to emphasise the importance of caseworker conduct during asylum interviews, in line with an earlier recommendation made by Freedom from Torture. The report also acknowledges the increase in asylum grant rates at initial decision stage, which is indicative of our efforts to improve asylum decision making and get decisions first time.

Following the publication of the Freedom from Torture report entitled ‘Proving Torture’, a collaborative response to improving training for asylum caseworkers was initiated to develop a training package which directly addressed concerns raised in the report. This resulted in the training course ‘Assessing Evidence: Medical Legal Reports’, which has been rolled out to asylum caseworkers, senior caseworkers and technical specialists since December 2018. The training is now mandatory for any caseworker dealing with asylum claims where Medico-legal reports have been submitted.

We will continue to look at the themes raised in the report as part of our on-going commitment to improve decision quality and the customer experience.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to BAME women who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with the sector, the police and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on victims of domestic abuse, including BAME women, and have published guidance and advice online.

The awareness campaign, #YouAreNotAlone, launched by the Home Secretary, signposts victims to further support, including specific resources for BAME women.

The Home Secretary announced £2 million in funding to ensure that helplines and online services continue to be easily accessible to victims. £1.2 million of this has already been allocated, including to Karma Nirvana, which supports BAME victims. This is in addition to the £750 million funding package announced by the Chancellor, £76 million of which will support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to LGBTQ+ individuals who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with domestic abuse organisations, police and Domestic Abuse Commissioner to monitor and assess the impact of COVID-19 on victims of domestic abuse, including LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Government has posted advice regarding national helplines, including specialist helplines, on gov.uk to guide victims to the most appropriate support for their individual needs https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help .

This has been extensively promoted through our awareness raising campaign #YouAreNotAlone.

The National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline provides emotional and practical support for LGBTQ+ people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse and remains available during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Home Office has provided £120,000 of funding each year since 2016 for the helpline.

Galop also received an additional £71,000 for the National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline from the £2m fund announced by the Home Office to help support helplines and online services during this period. This is in addition to the £750 million funding package announced by the Chancellor, £76 million of which was allocated to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need. From this funding the Home Office launched a £2m fund for national and regionally based domestic abuse organisations, of which £1.73 million has been allocated to 28 organisations.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to migrant women who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak, and victims of domestic abuse are treated first and foremost as victims. That is why the Home Office launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of immigration status, are aware that existing sources of support remain open to them, such as the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by a dedicated team of experts.

The campaign has been backed by an additional £2 million in funding to support technological capability, such as online services, helplines and technology support. £12 million of this funding has already been allocated. The advice and information from the campaign has been made available in multiple languages to reach out to as many people as possible, including languages from Asia/South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The campaign has so far generated almost 250 million impressions.

In May, the Government announced £76 million of the £750 million package of support for charities would go towards groups supporting survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as to ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

MHCLG have so far awarded £8.76 million through the Domestic Abuse Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund. Over a third of successful applications include organisations providing specialist support services and safe accommodation for BME, LGBT and disabled survivors of domestic abuse. Moreover, £22 million of the £76 million support package is being distributed by the Ministry of Justice to 548 local domestic abuse and sexual violence charities in England and Wales.

The Home Office is providing £2 million in extraordinary funding for domestic abuse support services to support national charities who would not be eligible for the support that is being distributed by either the MHCLG or the MOJ. The Bid Prospectus made clear that charities who support victims of domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds were eligible to apply. Successful applicants include; Karma Nirvana, the Muslim Women’s Network, the Black Association of Women UK and Southall Black Sisters.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on communications for the (a) #YouAreNotAlone and (b) Stay Home Save Lives campaigns to date; and what her Department's total spend on covid-19-related communications has been to date.

The Home Office has committed £219,000 so far towards the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. Not all of this spend has yet been delivered in full as media advertising is still live. Campaign value has been maximised with adverts running across donated media, as well as paid media channels.

The Home Office has not contributed funding to the Stay Home Save Lives campaign but has been supporting the campaign by sharing materials through Home Office channels.

To date, the Home Office has spent a total of £260,000 on coronavirus-related communications. This includes spend on the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.

The key #YouAreNotAlone campaign materials are being made available in Welsh and will be translated into a number of other languages. We are in the process of scoping and translating priority languages with advice from key stakeholders including Karma Nirvana, Refuge, Women’s Aid, Southall Black Sisters, Imkaan and others.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much of the £2 million in funding allocated to domestic abuse helplines and online support has been directly accessed by those support services to date.

Just under £1.2m of the funding has so far been allocated to thirteen organisations to help support helplines, web-based services and the production of additional guidance for victims. The organisations concerned have be notified of the awards and the Home Office is liaising with them on the necessary processes for transferring the funds.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what languages the #YouAreNotAlone campaign communications are available in.

The Home Office has committed £219,000 so far towards the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. Not all of this spend has yet been delivered in full as media advertising is still live. Campaign value has been maximised with adverts running across donated media, as well as paid media channels.

The Home Office has not contributed funding to the Stay Home Save Lives campaign but has been supporting the campaign by sharing materials through Home Office channels.

To date, the Home Office has spent a total of £260,000 on coronavirus-related communications. This includes spend on the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.

The key #YouAreNotAlone campaign materials are being made available in Welsh and will be translated into a number of other languages. We are in the process of scoping and translating priority languages with advice from key stakeholders including Karma Nirvana, Refuge, Women’s Aid, Southall Black Sisters, Imkaan and others.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of racially-motivated hate crimes recorded by the police in each week of 2020 to date were against people of Chinese ethnicity.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics annually on the number of racially motivated hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. Information is not routinely collected on the ethnicity of victims.

The latest ‘Hate Crime, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2018-to-2019

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have entered detention under immigration legislation since 23 March 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures covering the first quarter of 2020 will be released on 21st May 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that all people in immigration removal centres have access to soap and sanitiser during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on testing (a) staff and (b) detainees in immigration removal centres for covid-19.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on relaxing tax and pensions rules which could deter (a) police officers nearing retirement from retiring and (b) recently retired police officers from returning to serve during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 22 April, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury made a written statement confirming that the relevant tax rules are temporarily suspended. This means that that retired officers who re-join the police to support Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak will not be subject to punitive tax charges which may otherwise deter officers from returning to serve during this period.

The written ministerial statement is available at https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-04-22/HCWS196/

The Government is committed to ensuring that police forces and officers have the support and resources they need to meet the increased demands of the COVID-19 outbreak.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of UK Visas and Immigration’s country policy and information notes on Zimbabwe.

Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically. They are based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Zimbabwe country policy and information notes on “sexual orientation and gender identity and expression” and “opposition to the government” were updated in January and February 2019 respectively, incorporating recommendations from a review commissioned by the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information in December 2018.

Asylum and human rights applications from Zimbabwean nationals are subject to review in every appeal and cases are decided on their individual facts and merits.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the treatment of refused asylum seekers after their return to Zimbabwe.

The Home Office does not routinely monitor the treatment of people once they are removed from the UK. Returns are only undertaken when the Home Office and courts deem it is safe to do so.

The UK is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers who have returned to their country of origin. They are, by definition, foreign nationals who have been found as a matter of law not to need the UK’s protection, and who have no legal basis of stay in the UK. It would be inappropriate for the UK to assume any ongoing responsibility for them when they return to their own country.

Should the Home Office receive any specific allegations that a returnee has experienced ill-treatment on return to their country of origin, these would be investigated in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been returned to Zimbabwe in each of the last four calendar years.

The Home Office publishes data on returns from the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of returns, by year, type of return and asylum and non-asylum are published in table Ret_05 of the returns summary dataset. In addition, the top 10 nationalities being returned by whether an asylum or non-asylum related case, for the most recent period available are published in table Ret_04 .

Asylum-related returns relate to cases where there has been an asylum claim at some stage prior to the return. This will include asylum seekers whose asylum claims have been refused, and who have exhausted any rights of appeal, those returned under third country provisions, as well as those granted asylum/protection, but removed for other reasons (such as criminality).

The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to improve the transparency and accountability of providers on their performance against the targets set under the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility contract.

AIRE is the new Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility service provided by Migrant Help. The AIRE contract contains a number of formal performance measures, including Key Performance Indicators, which provide a mechanism by which the effectiveness of contract delivery can be measured. These are monitored in formal monthly and quarterly contract governance meetings. Measures can be taken where performance falls short of the standards we set.

We are providing regular updates on performance, particularly in relation to call waiting times to Local Authorities and Voluntary Sector partners.

Further information about the performance measures within the contract can be found in the contracts, published here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many unaccompanied child refugees have been resettled in the UK from elsewhere in Europe under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 in (a) total and (b) in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019 and (v) 2020 to date.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the Government has not yet fulfilled its duty under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 to relocate 480 unaccompanied child refugees to the UK from elsewhere in Europe.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to fulfil the UK's duty under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 to relocate 480 unaccompanied child refugees to the UK from elsewhere in Europe.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

Although examples will exist for specific roles, the Department does not, in general, make use of external recruitment consultants to fill fulltime roles and the information requested is not centrally held.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on head-hunters in each of the last three years.

The requested information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a Ministerial office within three weeks of leaving Government.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to tackle sexual harassment in the Armed Forces.

Defence has a Zero Tolerance Policy for unacceptable behaviour, including sexual harassment and sexual offences. Any incidents will be investigated, and appropriate action taken. Anyone in the Armed Forces convicted of a sexual offence will be discharged. We continue to build more independence from the Chain of Command into the Service Complaints System around sexual service complaints, and we are establishing the Defence Serious Crime Unit.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many underwater munitions disposals his Department has performed in each of the last five years in the waters surrounding the UK; and what proportion of those disposals involved (a) high order detonations and (b) low order deflagarations.

The Royal Navy’s Area Diving Groups, part of the Fleet Diving Squadron, are responsible for the disposal of underwater ordnance along the UK coastline, up to 12 nautical miles offshore. In the last five years they have conducted the following numbers of underwater demolitions involving High Order detonation of munitions at sea. No Low Order detonations were conducted.

Year

Operational tasks

2020

4

2019

7

2018

13

2017

18

2016

18

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

This information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published here.

19th Jul 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Scotland and (b) Scottish Government on the allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a core part of our Levelling Up agenda and I regularly speak to my ministerial colleagues about the fund. My officials regularly engage their counterparts in the devolved administrations to discuss any updates, concerns or queries.

The UK Government will continue to engage the devolved administrations and local partners as we develop the fund's investment framework and in advance of its publication.

I am pleased to be working more directly with local partners and communities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are best placed to understand the needs of their local areas and more closely aligned to the local economic geographies to deliver quickly on the ground.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will introduce a coordination system, developed in conjunction with specialist Violence Against Women and Girls providers and with local authorities, to allocate hotel spaces alongside specialist support to people deemed in priority need as a result of domestic abuse.

We are looking carefully at all safe and appropriate accommodation options for supporting victims of domestic abuse and their children.

The Government’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running to enable victims of domestic abuse to be able to access the support they need.

My officials have been liaising closely with Refuge and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Women’s Aid and the wider refuge sector as well as other Government Departments, including the Home Office, from the start of the lockdown to monitor how demand is changing.

In England, under homelessness legislation a person who is pregnant, has dependent children, or is vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation due to domestic abuse has priority need for accommodation and will be accommodated by the local authority. Local authorities use a range of accommodation options to find appropriate housing for victims, including working with specialist domestic abuse and/or Violence Against Women and Girls providers where appropriate.

The Scottish Government are responsible for setting policy regarding homelessness and domestic abuse in Scotland and will be able to advise further.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will allocate ring-fenced funding to local authorities for the housing of domestic abuse survivors.

Following an announcement on 17 February, my Department has now paid £16.6 million to 75 local authority-led projects in England for the delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation, helping up to 43,000 survivors.

The Government is providing a total of £3.2 billion to local authorities to help them meet additional pressures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as by supporting survivors of domestic abuse into safe accommodation.

21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

I can confirm the MoJ has no spend on recruitment consultants in the last three years.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much his Department has spent on head-hunters in each of the last three years.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government.

This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the reforms to criminal record rehabilitation periods introduced in Part 11 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, when he expects to implement those reforms.

The measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 concerning criminal record rehabilitation periods will require further secondary legislation before the policy can be implemented.

The Home Office have commissioned the Disclosure and Barring Service to make required changes to its IT systems to ensure that DBS certificates fully reflect the provisions within the Act with regard to rehabilitation periods. We expect the work to be completed before the end of 2023. The Ministry of Justice and Home Office will then lay the Statutory Instrument to bring the measures into force, once a specific date of implementation can be confirmed

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, which nationalities are represented among House of Commons staff.

Excluding staff in the Parliamentary Digital Service, the nationalities represented among House of Commons staff are in the Table attached.

9th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to support local businesses in Northern Ireland.

This Government is committed to supporting SMEs. The British Business Bank’s £70m Investment Fund for Northern Ireland will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for SMEs in Northern Ireland, and £17m of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) is delivering advice, business support and grants for SMEs. This is part of a range of measures in place and I should be glad if the hon Member requested an adjournment debate so that I could answer fully.

Steve Baker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The amount spent by the Department on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years was:

2019-20 - £31,380


2020-21
- £10,395


2021-22
- £42,336

Steve Baker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

There has been no spend on headhunters by the Northern Ireland Office in each of the last three years.

Steve Baker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government. This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past. Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data.

Steve Baker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Jun 2021
What discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the prospects for concluding negotiations on a UK-EU veterinary agreement that is compatible with the Northern Ireland protocol.

The UK is working hard and in good faith to ensure the Protocol operates in a sustainable way that works for the people of Northern Ireland. We have proposed an ambitious veterinary agreement, based on our respective high standards, to reduce checks and controls. We need the EU to meaningfully engage with these proposals to ease burdens in Northern Ireland and provide a sustainable basis for the Protocol.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, how much her office has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has not incurred headhunter costs in any of the last three financial years.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Leader of the House, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in her Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. member to the response from the Cabinet Office (82405).

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The Scotland Office has not spent any money on recruitment consultants in the last three years.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

The Scotland Office has not spent money on headhunters in any of the last three years.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government. This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government.

Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past. Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on providing additional support to Scottish businesses.

We have regular discussions with the Scottish Government. The Chancellor boosted small business growth by increasing the Employment Allowance with small business owners saving over £250 from the changes to National Insurance thresholds. We call on the Scottish Government to focus on support for business through an agenda for growth as set out by this government in the Queen’s Speech.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Scottish Government on the effect of the cancellation of the Autumn Budget on the devolved budget and furlough arrangements.

At all stages of the pandemic the UK Government has sought to work constructively with the devolved administration in Scotland and will continue to do so.

HM Treasury made an unprecedented upfront guarantee to the devolved administrations, guaranteeing Scotland would receive at least £7.2 billion in additional funding this year on top of their Budget 2020 funding. This gives Scotland the budget certainty for coronavirus response in the months ahead.

In addition, the UK Government has taken substantial action to rescue the economy from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the Plan for Jobs, published in July.

In September, the Chancellor announced a targeted package of measures in his Winter Economic Plan to support jobs and business through the winter months, by supporting businesses to keep staff on through the introduction of a new Job Support Scheme and an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last three years.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has spent nothing on recruitment consultants in the last three years.

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department has spent on headhunters in each of the last three years.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has spent nothing on headhunters in the last three years.

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what the cost to the public purse has been of Ministerial severance pay in his Department in each year since 1 January 2016.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, eligible Ministers who leave office are entitled to a one-off payment equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary at the point at which they leave Government. This applies only where a Minister is under 65 and is not appointed to a ministerial office within three weeks of leaving government. Individuals may waive the payment to which they are entitled. That is a matter for their personal discretion, but this approach has been taken in the past. Details of such payments are published in departmental annual reports and accounts, and ministerial salaries are published on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-salary-data

19th May 2021
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of proposals to devolve aspects of the benefits system to Wales in line with those powers devolved to Scotland.

None. Devolution of the benefits system is not an issue that is raised on the doorsteps of Wales and even the Welsh Government has not asked for powers equivalent to Scotland.

Simon Hart
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)