Crispin Blunt

Conservative - Reigate

Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee
5th Jan 2016 - 3rd May 2017
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Liaison Committee (Commons)
10th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Foreign Affairs Committee
18th Jun 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill
4th Mar 2013 - 16th Dec 2013
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)
17th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
19th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Finance and Services Committee
17th Jul 2005 - 9th Feb 2009
Opposition Whip (Commons)
15th Jun 2004 - 19th Jan 2009
Modernisation of the House of Commons
12th Jul 2005 - 15th Jul 2005
Defence Committee
17th Nov 2003 - 1st Nov 2004
Shadow Minister (Trade and Industry)
3rd May 2002 - 1st Jul 2003
Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
18th Sep 2001 - 3rd May 2002
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
21st Feb 2000 - 1st Jun 2001
Defence Committee
14th Jul 1998 - 21st Feb 2000


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 301 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 52 Noes - 307
Speeches
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

No, because the motion goes further: it leaves “support” undefined, so it will be up to the courts to define …

Written Answers
Friday 3rd December 2021
Abortion: Telemedicine
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of a February 2021 …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 13th May 2020
International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Interphobia 2020
That this House notes that 17 May is the annual International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Interphobia to highlight …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 1st November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payment of £120 expected for a survey completed on 20 October 2021. Hours: 20 mins. (Registered 21 October 2021)
EDM signed
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme
That this House notes the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACSR) was announced on 18 August 2021; further notes that hon. …
Supported Legislation
Thursday 22nd October 2020
Marriage (Authorised Belief Organisations) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the law on marriage to permit authorised belief organisations to solemnise marriages; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Crispin Blunt has voted in 312 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 341 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 351 Noes - 276
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 356 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 364 Noes - 267
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Crispin Blunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 257 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 163
View All Crispin Blunt 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(19 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(8 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(17 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
Home Office
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Crispin Blunt's debates

Reigate Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Reigate signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy


Latest EDMs signed by Crispin Blunt

15th November 2021
Crispin Blunt signed this EDM on Wednesday 17th November 2021

Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House notes the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACSR) was announced on 18 August 2021; further notes that hon. Members are still receiving desperate messages for help and that Ministerial replies to queries make repeated reference to the scheme; is concerned that three months later the ACRS is still …
54 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
6th September 2021
Crispin Blunt signed this EDM on Tuesday 19th October 2021

Drug strategy

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House notes that ONS data released on 3 August 2021 revealed a record number of drug-related deaths in 2020, with 4,561 deaths in England and Wales and 1,339 deaths in Scotland, higher than any other European country; further notes that almost half of homicides and half of acquisitive …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 11
Scottish National Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Crispin Blunt's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

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


1 Urgent Question tabled by Crispin Blunt

Thursday 24th September 2020

Crispin Blunt has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Crispin Blunt has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


127 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
3 Other Department Questions
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill on (a) equality and (b) safety for LGBTQ+ people.

The Nationality and Borders Bill, which is part of our New Plan for Immigration, seeks to build a fair, but firm asylum and illegal migration system.

On 16 September, we published an Equality Impact Assessment for the policies being taken forward through the Bill. This includes an assessment on potential impacts on people who are LGBTQ+.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to her Answer on conversion therapy to the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton on 23 September 2020, Official Report, Column 931, whether the research has been completed; if she will publish that research; and when she plans to introduce steps to end conversion therapy.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to Question 143679 on 29 January.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to her answer on conversion therapy to the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton on 23 September 2020, Official Report, Column 931, whether the research has been completed; if she will publish that research; and when she plans to introduce steps to end conversion therapy.

The Government continues to conduct research into conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government will introduce steps to end conversion therapy after the research has concluded and we have considered its findings.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that online content which is offensive and not harmful is not wrongly identified as harmful under the Online Safety Bill.

The draft Online Safety Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending free expression.

Regulation will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content. We recognise that adults have the right to upload and access content that some may find offensive or upsetting.

The largest and riskiest services will be required to set out their policies regarding content that is legal but harmful to adults and enforce these consistently. They will no longer be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.

Users will have access to effective mechanisms to appeal content that is removed without good reason.

Our approach will empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, while ensuring children are protected and maintaining robust protections for freedom of expression.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what consideration he has given in the drafting of the Online Safety Bill to the case of Handyside v the United Kingdom (1976) which concluded that expressions that offend, shock, or disturb are protected under Article 10 (2) of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The draft Online Safety Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending free expression.

Regulation will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content. We recognise that adults have the right to upload and access content that some may find offensive or upsetting.

The largest and riskiest services will be required to set out their policies regarding content that is legal but harmful to adults and enforce these consistently. They will no longer be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.

Users will have access to effective mechanisms to appeal content that is removed without good reason.

Our approach will empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, while ensuring children are protected and maintaining robust protections for freedom of expression.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Online Safety Bill whether he plans ordinary sensibilities to have any regard to the adult's membership of a class or group of people with a certain characteristic targeted by the content.

The draft Online Safety Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending free expression.

Regulation will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content. We recognise that adults have the right to upload and access content that some may find offensive or upsetting.

The largest and riskiest services will be required to set out their policies regarding content that is legal but harmful to adults and enforce these consistently. They will no longer be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.

Users will have access to effective mechanisms to appeal content that is removed without good reason.

Our approach will empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, while ensuring children are protected and maintaining robust protections for freedom of expression.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Online Safety Bill, whether it is his Department's policy that discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, or insult of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents are likely to have an adverse psychological impact on an adult of ordinary sensibilities.

The draft Online Safety Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending free expression.

Regulation will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content. We recognise that adults have the right to upload and access content that some may find offensive or upsetting.

The largest and riskiest services will be required to set out their policies regarding content that is legal but harmful to adults and enforce these consistently. They will no longer be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.

Users will have access to effective mechanisms to appeal content that is removed without good reason.

Our approach will empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, while ensuring children are protected and maintaining robust protections for freedom of expression.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made on whether online content that is considered to be blasphemous would fall within the remit of lawful but harmful content as defined within the Online Safety Bill.

The draft Online Safety Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending free expression.

Regulation will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content. We recognise that adults have the right to upload and access content that some may find offensive or upsetting.

The largest and riskiest services will be required to set out their policies regarding content that is legal but harmful to adults and enforce these consistently. They will no longer be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.

Users will have access to effective mechanisms to appeal content that is removed without good reason.

Our approach will empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, while ensuring children are protected and maintaining robust protections for freedom of expression.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason covid-19 restrictions remain on the number of people who can sing together indoors.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets.this was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils unable to access their nearest school because of religiously selective admissions.

The majority of parents are offered a place at a school of their choice. In 2021, 98% of parents received an offer from one of their top three choices of primary school, while 93.4% received offers from one of their top three choices of secondary school.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of pupils with no reasonable choice other than to attend a faith school due to a lack of secular provision in their area, or an estimate of the number of pupils unable to access their nearest school because of religiously selective admissions.

Local authorities have a duty to provide sufficient school places in their area. Faith schools have played an important role in our education system for many years. Faith schools are popular with parents and are more likely than other schools to be rated by Ofsted as Good or Outstanding.

Faith schools are allowed to give priority to children of their faith where they are oversubscribed. Of those that do, some choose to allocate only a certain percentage of their places with reference to faith, while others do not have faith admissions criteria at all.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils with no reasonable choice other than to attend a faith school due to lack of secular provision in their area.

The majority of parents are offered a place at a school of their choice. In 2021, 98% of parents received an offer from one of their top three choices of primary school, while 93.4% received offers from one of their top three choices of secondary school.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of pupils with no reasonable choice other than to attend a faith school due to a lack of secular provision in their area, or an estimate of the number of pupils unable to access their nearest school because of religiously selective admissions.

Local authorities have a duty to provide sufficient school places in their area. Faith schools have played an important role in our education system for many years. Faith schools are popular with parents and are more likely than other schools to be rated by Ofsted as Good or Outstanding.

Faith schools are allowed to give priority to children of their faith where they are oversubscribed. Of those that do, some choose to allocate only a certain percentage of their places with reference to faith, while others do not have faith admissions criteria at all.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to protect the secular ethos of (a) non-faith and (a) community-ethos academies entering into mixed-multi academy trusts.

Non-faith or community-ethos schools have different characteristics, particularly in relation to governance, compared to schools with a religious designation. Their secular character and ethos are protected regardless of which type of multi-academy trust they join.

The academy trust’s charitable object is to recognise and support a school’s individual ethos. This places an obligation on the trust and its board to ensure that a non-faith or community school’s character is safeguarded in a mixed multi-academy trust.

The supplemental funding agreement, a contract between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and academy trusts, has recently been updated to include clauses to protect the local governance arrangements of a non-faith or community school joining a mixed multi-academy trust.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it remains his Department's policy that statutory relationships and sex education will be implemented in schools from September 2020.

The Department is giving due consideration to the implementation of the statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum in the context of COVID-19. There is no intention to change the regulatory requirements for the implementation of RSHE.

The Department continues to work with key stakeholders and subject experts to develop a comprehensive programme of support for schools which includes a digital service to be delivered through GOV.UK.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that support for LGBT+ initiatives are adequately resourced during the covid-19 outbreak.

Working on LGBT rights is essential to meet DFID’s vision of a world where no one is left behind. This is central to the Global Goals and a secure and prosperous world. Organisations implementing LGBT initiatives are facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. DFID supports many programmes on access to services for all, including vulnerable and persecuted minorities, promotion and protection of rights and tackling stigma and discrimination. These programmes include initiatives on LGBT inclusion. DFID is in discussion with partners to find flexible solutions to ensure they can use the resources allocated to implement these programmes effectively.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that the most vulnerable LGBTI+ people in developing countries (a) have fair and equal access and (b) receive non-discriminatory treatment in clinics and other healthcare settings in relation to (i) covid-19, (ii) hormone, (ii) antiretroviral, (iii) PrEP, (iv) PEP and (v) condom provision during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government works to ensure that all aid reaches the most vulnerable including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Vulnerable populations will experience COVID 19 outbreaks differently. COVID 19 is likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, on 9 April, further guidance was circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response to COVID 19 and the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable people such as LGBT people should be taken into account when developing practical programmes to tackle COVID 19.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what methodology his Department uses to allocate countries to the green, amber and red travel lists; and if he will publish that methodology.

Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors.

Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include:

  • genomic surveillance capability
  • COVID-19 transmission risk
  • Variant of Concern transmission risk

A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to make a decision on whether people who are double-vaccinated can be exempt from covid-19 quarantine measures.

From 19 July, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated through the UK vaccination programme (plus 14 days) will not have to self-isolate or take a day 8 test when travelling to England from amber list countries. There are no changes to the green or red list, or for those arriving from countries on these lists.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment (a) by telephone and (b) in person in Reigate constituency between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

The Money and Pensions Service publishes data on pension wise appointments across 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment (a) by telephone and (b) in person in the South East between April 2019 and March 2020.

The Money and Pensions Service publishes data on pension wise appointments across 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of a February 2021 British Medical Journal report on sexual and reproductive health that 89 per cent of women who have used the telemedicine service for early medical abortion have reported that they would opt to have treatment at home again if necessary and a February 2021 report published by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology that complications due to abortion have decreased since that service was introduced, if he will make it his policy to make that service permanent.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS PCR tests contain latex; and what steps he is taking to ensure that people with allergies to latex have access to reliable covid-19 tests.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not made with natural rubber latex. However the presence or traces of natural rubber latex in the product as delivered to the end-user cannot be excluded completely due to the potential to come into contact with latex during transportation or handling processes. We are currently reviewing all aspects of PCR testing in light of this potential risk.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what risk assessment he has made of the implications of ending UK participation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) European Drug Report 2021; and on what basis the UK Government has withdrawn from participation, in the context of EU membership not being a requirement.

In line with the Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addition (EMCDDA) on 31 January 2020. As the UK is no longer a member of EMCDDA, it does not take part in the annual reporting process.

The UK continues to have strong domestic drugs monitoring and surveillance systems, augmented through our sharing of information and expertise with international partners, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the likelihood of alcohol and tobacco being misused, (b) the risk of alcohol and tobacco misuse causing harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem and (c) the effectiveness of excluding alcohol and tobacco from control of harmful drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

No recent assessment has been made.

The Government is committed to supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse, including through establishing alcohol care teams in hospitals and supporting children of alcohol dependent parents. We will be publishing a new Tobacco Control Plan later this year setting out plans for England to become a smoke-free country by 2030.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) his Department and (b) NHS England undertook an equalities impact assessment of the amendments to NHS England’s service specification for Gender Identity Development Services for children and adolescents published on 1 December 2020; and if he will make a statement.

No equalities impact assessment was undertaken by the Department or NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement took immediate action following the High Court Ruling on 1 December. Their amendment to the service specification for gender identity services for children and young people was published on the day of the judgement in order to protect patients and clinicians given the significant safeguarding, clinical and legal issues raised. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will be conducting a clinical risk assessment of every young person who is immediately affected by the decision.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department and NHS England are taking to ensure continuity of care for patients affected by the recent court ruling in Bell v Tavistock.

A full clinical review must be carried out for all patients under the age of 16 years old who are currently receiving puberty blockers. If the patient intends to continue on puberty blockers or progress onto cross sex hormones, the lead clinician must make a ‘best interests’ application to the Court for final determination of that individual’s needs. No patients will have puberty blockers withdrawn unless, as a result of the clinical review, a clinical decision, in consultation with the patient, is made to withdraw puberty blockers, or a court considers a ‘best interest’ decision and decides it is not in the patient’s interest to remain on puberty blockers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) his Department and (b) NHS England undertook an equalities impact assessment of the amendments to NHS England’s service specification for Gender Identity Development Services for children and adolescents published on 1 December 2020; and if he will make a statement.

No equalities impact assessment was undertaken by the Department or NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement took immediate action following the High Court Ruling on 1 December. Their amendment to the service specification for gender identity services for children and young people was published on the day of the judgement in order to protect patients and clinicians given the significant safeguarding, clinical and legal issues raised. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will be conducting a clinical risk assessment of every young person who is immediately affected by the decision.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the letter of 16 October 2020 from the Minister with responsibility for drugs to the hon. Member for Reigate, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of emerging evidence on the use of Psylocybin in the treatment of depression and trauma.

The Government has made no recent assessment of the potential merits of rescheduling psilocybin, which remains a Schedule 1 substance under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (the 2001 Regulations).

Ministers continue to take a close interest in any new evidence relating to controlled drugs and they would seek expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs before making any amendments to the 2001 Regulations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 98661 on Funerals: Coronavirus, what is defined as a funeral for the purposes of covid-19 restrictions on attendance, and what the policy is on multiple events for one deceased individual.

The current restrictions on social contact include an exemption for gathering to attend a funeral. Such a gathering can include no more than 30 people and must be held at a COVID-19 secure venue, not a private dwelling.

A ‘commemorative event following a person’s death’ may be held following the funeral including a wake, stone setting or scattering of ashes. Commemorative events are limited to 15 people and also must be held at a COVID-19 secure venue and not a private dwelling.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is permitted for up to 30 people attending a funeral to attend a memorial on (a) the same day and (b) a future day during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise how important it is to be able to attend the funeral of a loved one. That is why there is an exemption so that up to 30 people can attend a funeral.

Pre-funeral and post-funeral ceremonies may be held for up to 15 people in line with the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing). However, families may consider deferring a celebration or memorial service, until further social restrictions are lifted and at a time when attendance can take place safely.

Guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing-after-4-july

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the oral response of the Minister for Women and Equalities to the Urgent Question from the hon. Member for Reigate of 24 September 2020, Official Report, column 1137, on the Gender Recognition Act Consultation, whether the three clinics announced by the Minister for Women and Equalities in her Written Ministerial Statement of 22 September 2020 were originally identified as pilot clinics by his Department.

In 2018 a new service specification was developed for gender identity clinics, this new specification concluded that access to specialist interventions by trained healthcare professionals was needed within primary care and other local health settings.

Three new clinics were announced earlier this year. The new services will provide the range of services available from an established gender dysphoria clinic. The clinics are based in London, Manchester, and Cheshire and Merseyside. The first of these services began in July 2020 in London. These services will be evaluated as pilots over a period of up to three years to determine how they could be expanded nationally.

These services were referenced by the Minister for Women and Equalities in her response of 24 September.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) budget and (b) scope is of the planned Innovative Medicines Fund; what funding will be allocated to (a) promising innovative medicines within or outside the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, (b) medicines for rare diseases and (c) support for research into, rescheduling of and licensing of compounds classified as Schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Proposals for the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) are in development and will take full account of stakeholder views to ensure best use of the Fund. The budget for the fund will be confirmed in due course.

Alongside the IMF, we will continue to support the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which is a key part of the Government’s commitment to accelerating patient access to innovative, life-changing treatments.

The National Institute for Health Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to update the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Constitution and Functions) and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (Functions) Regulations 2013 with respect to appropriate pathways for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to appraise technologies for both rare and very rare conditions.

There are no plans to update the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Constitution and Functions) and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (Functions) Regulations 2013.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) expenditure was between (a) April 2019 to March 2020 and (b) April 2020 to September 2020.

Between April 2019 to March 2020, the expenditure for the Cancer Drugs Fund was £317 million.

For the year 2020/21, data is only available for Q1 (April to June), during which period expenditure was £82 million.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the health effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on (a) LGBT+ people and (b) other people with protected characteristics; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) has conducted a rapid review to better understand how different factors such as ethnicity, deprivation, age, gender and obesity can impact on how people are affected by COVID-19. The review’s findings, published on 2 June 2020, are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

PHE publishes a weekly epidemiological surveillance report with information about cases and deaths by sex, age, ethnicity and other characteristics. This report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the effect of the (a) introduction of the ultra-orphan pathway by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and (b) additional factors and modifiers for orphan medicines and medicines that have evidence of achieving a substantial improvement in life expectancy and/or quality of life considered by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in relation to informing methods and processes at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for the review of the methods it uses in the development of its technology appraisal and highly specialised technology recommendations in England. NICE has advised that additional factors and modifiers that may affect NICE’s decisions, including factors relevant to orphan medicines and medicines that substantially improve health and/or life expectancy, are being considered within its methods review. This review will give consideration to approaches in other health technology assessment bodies, including the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a new orphan medicines pathway at NICE to enable orphan medicines which do not qualify for the highly specialised technology evaluation programme to be appraised.

There are no current plans to establish a further National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) assessment programme for orphan medicines. Where companies are willing to price their drugs fairly in a way that reflects the benefits they bring to patients, NICE has been able to recommend a number of orphan medicines for routine NHS funding through its technology appraisal programme. NICE is reviewing its methods for the development of technology appraisal and highly specialised technology recommendations, including the methods for the assessment of medicines licensed for rare diseases. The creation of an Innovative Medicines Fund will also build on the success of the Cancer Drugs Fund and support access to the most advanced medicines for patients with rare diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 3.21 of the 2019 voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access, when NICE will review the process and methods for the highly specialised technology evaluation programme; and what methodology will be used in that review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has now initiated the review of its technology appraisal and highly specialised technologies methods in line with the commitment made in the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access. Further information about the process and timescale for the review is available on the NICE website at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/our-programmes/nice-guidance/nice-technology-appraisal-guidance/changes-to-health-technology-evaluation

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18743 on Medical Treatments: Innovation, if he will include provisions on improving access to medicine for rare diseases as part of the innovative medicines fund.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course. The Fund will build on the success of the reformed Cancer Drugs Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he has provided to regulatory and health authorities on ensuring that the UK remains an attractive place to conduct clinical trials and supply human medicines.

The Department is working directly with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the National Institute for Health Research and other partners across the health and life sciences sectors to ensure that the United Kingdom remains an attractive place to conduct clinical trials and supply human medicines.

The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill provides the UK the means to remain a world-leading regulator and an important market for medicines and medical devices and supports the delivery of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to make the UK a leading global hub for life sciences. The Bill makes clear the importance of ensuring the UK is an attractive place to bring new products to market and conduct clinical trials, specifying that before making any regulations under the Bill, the Secretary of State must consider this point.

We are determined to maintain the UK’s position as one of the best locations globally to run clinical trials.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on (a) improving access to innovative medicines and (b) fostering the life sciences sector of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence health technology evaluation review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is reviewing its methods for the development of technology appraisal and highly specialised technology recommendations in line with the commitment in the 2019 voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access. The scheme also states the Government’s expectations for the review as follows: ‘“The Department expects that any future changes to NICE methods and processes would respond to the new types of innovation coming to the market, be consistent with improving the health gain achieved by spending on new innovative medicines, and support faster adoption of the most clinically and cost effective medicines.”’

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will support the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to undertake its methods and processes in a way that (a) enables the attractiveness of the UK as a place to conduct clinical trials or supply human medicines and (b) enables that organisation to fulfil its statutory duty to promote innovation.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is reviewing its methods for the development of technology appraisal and highly specialised technology recommendations in line with the commitment in the 2019 voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access. The scheme also states the Government’s expectations for the review as follows: ‘“The Department expects that any future changes to NICE methods and processes would respond to the new types of innovation coming to the market, be consistent with improving the health gain achieved by spending on new innovative medicines, and support faster adoption of the most clinically and cost effective medicines.”’

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which medicinal products were made available on the NHS with a managed access agreement in (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019 to date.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended 11 topics for access via a Managed Access Agreement (MAA) in 2019/20 to date. In 2018/19, 12 topics were recommended via an MAA.

These topics are listed in the following table.

NICE ref

Drug

Indication

Managed access start date

2018/19

TA522

Pembrolizumab

locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer where cisplatin is unsuitable

27 April 2018

TA529

Crizotinib

ROS1-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

31 May 2018

TA528

Niraparib

platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer after second response to chemotherapy

1 June 2018

TA540

Pembrolizumab

Relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma

25 July 2018

TA554

Tisagenlecleucel

relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

16 November 2018

TA553

Pembrolizumab

adjuvant treatment of resected melanoma with high risk of recurrence

19 November 2018

TA557

Pembrolizumab (with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy)

untreated metastatic non-squamous NSCLC

21 November 2018

TA558

Nivolumab

adjuvant treatment of resected stage III and IV melanoma

30 November 2018

TA559

Axicabtagene ciloleucel

diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma after 2 or more systemic therapies

7 December 2018

TA567

Tisagenlecleucel

relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after 2 or more systemic therapies

1 February 2019

TA573

Daratumumab with bortezomib

Multiple myeloma

12 March 2019

TA578

Durvalumab

NSCLC

28 March 2019

2019/2020

TA579

Abemaciclib with fulvestrant

HER2-negative breast cancer after endocrine therapy

2 April 2019

TA581

Nivolumab with ipilimumab

untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma

5 April 2019

TA592

Cemiplimab

cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

2 July 2019

TA588

Nusinersen

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

3 July 2019

TA593

Ribociclib

in combination with fulvestrant for treating advanced hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer

17 July 2019

TA598

Olaparib

maintenance treatment of newly diagnosed BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer, after response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy

26 July 2019

TA600

Pembrolizumab with carboplatin and paclitaxel

Metastatic squamous NSCLC

8 August 2019

TA611

Rucaparib

maintenance treatment of relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer

11 October 2019

TA619

Palbociclib in combination with fulvestrant

advanced, HR+ HER2- breast cancer after endocrine therapy

28 November 2019

TA620

Olaparib

maintenance treatment of BRCA-mutated platinum sensitive relapsed ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer, after response to platinum-based chemotherapy

29 November 2019

HST12

Cerliponase alfa

neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2

5 November 2019

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the NHS Commercial Framework on access to medicines through managed access agreements.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has advised that the Commercial Framework for new medicines remains in draft at this time with publication expected in spring 2020. The Commercial Framework is designed to complement the processes and methods of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s technology appraisal programme which provides direction on when managed access agreements may be appropriate. The framework will promote the opportunities that currently exist and clarify NHS England and NHS Improvement’s involvement within the existing arrangements rather than advising on new opportunities for managed access agreements.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what Cancer Drugs Fund expenditure cap is for (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

The Government established the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) to ensure access for National Health Service patients in England to effective cancer drugs that would not otherwise have been available to them. New arrangements for the assessment and adoption of new cancer drugs were introduced in 2016 to help improve patient access to new cancer drugs and the CDF is now linked to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal programme.

Under the new arrangements, NICE now appraises all new cancer drugs, and NICE is able to recommend a drug for use through the CDF where there is too much uncertainty to be able to recommend routine use. All cancer drugs recommended by NICE are eligible for funding through the CDF from the point of NICE’s draft guidance.

Since it was reformed in July 2016, the CDF has had a fixed budget of £340 million. This will remain the same for 2020-21.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18744 on Medical Treatments: Innovation,whether he plans to hold a public consultation on his proposals for an innovative medicines fund.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course. The Fund will build on the success of the reformed Cancer Drugs Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence plans to publish the full outputs of the task and finish groups engaged in the development of its health technology evaluation review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has advised that it is considering the most appropriate way to publish the relevant information supporting the methods review work. Details will be released in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the reasons why the Cancer Drugs Fund has been underspent; and if he will make a statement.

The Government established the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) to ensure access for National Health Service patients in England to effective cancer drugs that would not otherwise have been available to them. New arrangements for the assessment and adoption of new cancer drugs were introduced in 2016 to help improve patient access to new cancer drugs and the CDF is now linked to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal programme.

Under the new arrangements, NICE now appraises all new cancer drugs, and NICE is able to recommend a drug for use through the CDF where there is too much uncertainty to be able to recommend routine use. All cancer drugs recommended by NICE are eligible for funding through the CDF from the point of NICE’s draft guidance.

Since it was reformed in July 2016, the CDF has had a fixed budget of £340 million. This will remain the same for 2020-21.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps Public Health England plans to take to assess the effectiveness of the HPV vaccination programme.

Public Health England (PHE) is conducting surveillance activities to monitor the effectiveness of the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Programme. The current HPV vaccine protects against two high-risk HPV types, HPV16 and HPV18 which cause around 80% of cervical cancers in the United Kingdom and two low-risk HPV types, HPV6 and HPV11 which cause most genital warts.

Surveillance conducted among young sexually active women in England has compared changes in the number of women who have a HPV infection over time since the introduction of the HPV vaccination.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether human papillomavirus screening is able to identify specific strains of that virus.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is the primary screening test used in the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme. This can be reviewed at the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/human-papilloma-virus-hpv/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cervical-screening-programme-overview

While there are many different types of HPV, the screening programme in England uses tests to detect for HPV 16, 18 and several other high-risk HPV types. HPV 16 and 18 are the two most common high-risk strains of HPV that are found in 99.8% of cervical cancer cases. This can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/cervical-cancer/risk-factors#heading-Two.

The results from a HPV screen test will indicate to the individual whether they are HPV positive or negative and the next steps.

HPV infection is very common and most abnormalities that develop as a result will clear themselves without intervention or treatment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination status of the patient will be recorded under the new HPV primary screening programme.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is the primary screening test used in the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme. This can be reviewed at the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/human-papilloma-virus-hpv/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cervical-screening-programme-overview

While there are many different types of HPV, the screening programme in England uses tests to detect for HPV 16, 18 and several other high-risk HPV types. HPV 16 and 18 are the two most common high-risk strains of HPV that are found in 99.8% of cervical cancer cases. This can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/cervical-cancer/risk-factors#heading-Two.

The results from a HPV screen test will indicate to the individual whether they are HPV positive or negative and the next steps.

HPV infection is very common and most abnormalities that develop as a result will clear themselves without intervention or treatment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there are circumstances under which Specialist Importers may import cannabis-based active pharmaceutical ingredients for use in the manufacturing of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in the UK.

Unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) may only be imported to meet the special clinical need of individual patients. It is not currently possible to import bulk quantities of these products. This restriction forms part of the checks and balances that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs asked the Government to put in place when rescheduling CBPMs to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion.

The Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency has received 242 notifications for the importation of unlicensed CBPMs from specialist importers in the past 12 months.

Unlicensed medicines, including CBPMs are not assessed by the MHRA for quality, safety and efficacy, but must be notified to the MHRA prior to import and meet basic production standards.

Importers registered with the MHRA can import active pharmaceutical ingredients where intended for the production of a medicinal product for use in humans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has assessed the (a) safety and (b) quality of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

Unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) may only be imported to meet the special clinical need of individual patients. It is not currently possible to import bulk quantities of these products. This restriction forms part of the checks and balances that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs asked the Government to put in place when rescheduling CBPMs to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion.

The Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency has received 242 notifications for the importation of unlicensed CBPMs from specialist importers in the past 12 months.

Unlicensed medicines, including CBPMs are not assessed by the MHRA for quality, safety and efficacy, but must be notified to the MHRA prior to import and meet basic production standards.

Importers registered with the MHRA can import active pharmaceutical ingredients where intended for the production of a medicinal product for use in humans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many notifications the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has received from (a) pharmacies and (b) Specialist Importers on importation orders for unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in the last 12 months.

Unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) may only be imported to meet the special clinical need of individual patients. It is not currently possible to import bulk quantities of these products. This restriction forms part of the checks and balances that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs asked the Government to put in place when rescheduling CBPMs to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion.

The Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency has received 242 notifications for the importation of unlicensed CBPMs from specialist importers in the past 12 months.

Unlicensed medicines, including CBPMs are not assessed by the MHRA for quality, safety and efficacy, but must be notified to the MHRA prior to import and meet basic production standards.

Importers registered with the MHRA can import active pharmaceutical ingredients where intended for the production of a medicinal product for use in humans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there are circumstances under which Specialist Importers of cannabis-based products for medicinal use are permitted to import that product in bulk.

Unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) may only be imported to meet the special clinical need of individual patients. It is not currently possible to import bulk quantities of these products. This restriction forms part of the checks and balances that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs asked the Government to put in place when rescheduling CBPMs to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion.

The Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency has received 242 notifications for the importation of unlicensed CBPMs from specialist importers in the past 12 months.

Unlicensed medicines, including CBPMs are not assessed by the MHRA for quality, safety and efficacy, but must be notified to the MHRA prior to import and meet basic production standards.

Importers registered with the MHRA can import active pharmaceutical ingredients where intended for the production of a medicinal product for use in humans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many vulnerable Afghans have been brought to the UK from Afghanistan since the end of the UK's evacuation flights on 28 August 2021.

The UK has supported over 1,300 people to leave Afghanistan since the end of Operation Pitting, this includes over 700 British Nationals and their dependents. The Government will continue to work with international partners to ensure those still in Afghanistan are able to depart the county safely. This includes holding the Taliban to their commitment to ensure safe passage.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2021 to Question 21124 on LGBT People, if he will publish the details of the targeted international LGBT rights programmes funded by his Department.

The UK government is committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT+ people. Our overseas missions prioritise engagement with local human rights defenders and we have consistently committed funding to targeted international LGBT+ rights programmes. In 2020/21 the UK committed £5.47 million to targeted international LGBT+ rights programmes. For more information on some of our programmes, see the FCDO's 2020 Annual Human Rights Report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/999607/Human_Rights_and_Democracy_the_2020_Foreign__Commonwealth___Development_Office_report.pdf

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to make public statements condemning attacks by public authorities wherever they occur on LGBTI defenders.

The UK's approach to making public statements in cases of attacks on LGBT+ defenders is always informed by advice from civil society groups on the ground. Our first principle is always that we should "do no harm" and we seek advice from local LGBT+ Civil Society Organisations to ensure that our interventions are of genuine benefit to LGBT+ communities. Some interventions are therefore not public but are made privately.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take to challenge impunity for killings of LGBTI defenders in the Philippines.

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT+ people. We are fundamentally opposed to all forms of discrimination and work to uphold the rights and freedoms of LGBT+ people in all circumstances.

The UK remains concerned about reports of human rights abuses in the Philippines, including as part of the "war on drugs", and the treatment of some human and land rights defenders and journalists. We note with concern reports of the killings of LGBT+ activists. I regularly raise human rights with the Philippines Government and last discussed this issue with Philippine Foreign Minister Locsin on the 23 March. The British Embassy in Manila continues to support the LGBT+ community in the Philippines through events and advocacy.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding he has made available to LGBTI defenders in human rights priority countries.

The UK recognises that LGBTI civil society organisations(CSOs) and Human Rights Defenders play an essential role in promoting and protecting LGBTI human rights. Our overseas missions prioritise engagement with local human rights defenders and fund programme work through local CSOs, and these feature in their human rights strategies.. In 2020/21 the UK committed about £5.5 million to targeted international LGBT+ rights programmes. Providing funding for LGBTI rights programme work remains a UK government priority

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to reply to the letter from 50 hon. Members of 11 May 2021 on the Government's policy on Turkey.

A response to this letter was sent on Thursday 17 June.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how the Government is using its term as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition to ensure that LGBT+ people's rights are being upheld globally (a) during the covid-19 pandemic and (b) more generally.

As co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) in partnership with Argentina, we are leading the ERC's work, in co-operation with civil society, to address violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and the ongoing criminalisation of same sex conduct in 70 countries. We have started work on a new ERC Strategy to guide and re-energise the work of the ERC, and are currently working on an ERC statement that calls on all governments to limit the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on people identified based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. Likewise as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK continues to raise the importance of countering discrimination within the Commonwealth, including on grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation. In both of these roles working through international organisations, we regularly raise concerns about countries that do not comply with their human rights obligations and promote non-discrimination against LGBT people, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 9 April, the UK participated in the UN Human Rights Council's first ever virtual conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Discussion focused on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis which included concerns about increased risks on vulnerable groups. In his statement to the Council, our Ambassador to the UN in Geneva stressed the importance to ensure that parliaments, media and civil society all play their role to scrutinise the actions of governments and international agencies, and that we do not lose sight of the international human rights frameworks. The British Government remains committed to upholding the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in all circumstances.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how his Department is using its term as (a) co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition and (b) Commonwealth Chair in Office to ensure governments around the world are protecting LGBT+ communities from increased marginalisation and violence during the covid-19 pandemic.

As co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) in partnership with Argentina, we are leading the ERC's work, in co-operation with civil society, to address violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and the ongoing criminalisation of same sex conduct in 70 countries. We have started work on a new ERC Strategy to guide and re-energise the work of the ERC, and are currently working on an ERC statement that calls on all governments to limit the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on people identified based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. Likewise as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK continues to raise the importance of countering discrimination within the Commonwealth, including on grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation. In both of these roles working through international organisations, we regularly raise concerns about countries that do not comply with their human rights obligations and promote non-discrimination against LGBT people, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 9 April, the UK participated in the UN Human Rights Council's first ever virtual conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Discussion focused on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis which included concerns about increased risks on vulnerable groups. In his statement to the Council, our Ambassador to the UN in Geneva stressed the importance to ensure that parliaments, media and civil society all play their role to scrutinise the actions of governments and international agencies, and that we do not lose sight of the international human rights frameworks. The British Government remains committed to upholding the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in all circumstances.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that support for LGBT+ initiatives remain adequately resourced during the covid-19 pandemic.

The British Government is fundamentally opposed to all forms of discrimination and works to uphold the rights and freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in all circumstances, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for LGBT projects comes from a variety of sources. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will consider future funding cycles for FCO funded programmes as part of its preparation for the Spending Review.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the ongoing judicial proceedings against women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia; and whether UK officials have been granted access to attend the trial sessions.

We are concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, particularly because of the use of the death penalty and restrictions on women's rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. We will continue to call for political detainees, including women's rights defenders, to be given adequate legal representation. We have pressed for due process and raised concerns over the use of solitary confinement and the use of torture. The UK attends trials of international importance in all countries where permitted. The UK, along with other embassies in Saudi Arabia, has requested and been denied access to each and every trial we have been aware of since October 2018, with the exception of the trials for those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. We regularly raise human rights issues with Saudi Arabia, most recently by the Foreign Secretary during his visit earlier this month.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 on Drugs: Misuse, if she will provide details of the (a) key partners and (b) external experts in the drugs field that have been consulted.

The new Drug Strategy will respond in full to Dame Carol Black’s review and set out our long-term ambition to combat drugs. Parts one and two of Dame Carol Black’s review include comprehensive lists of the experts and wider partners in the drugs field who she engaged with to gather evidence and seek advice.

We have continued to engage external experts to inform the development of the new Drug Strategy, including Dame Carol Black in her role as independent advisor, Dr Ed Day our National Recovery Champion, and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. We also continue to engage wider partners in the drugs field, including the National Police Chiefs Council and substance misuse treatment providers and commissioners.

We will undertake further engagement with experts and partners in the field to support the implementation of the Strategy and to inform annual reports to Parliament.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2021 to Question 58293 on Drugs: Misuse, whether a formal consultation process in line with guidelines has been used in developing the drug strategy, as was the case in the 2010 and other previous drug strategies; how existing external experts were chosen; and to what extent the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has (a) been involved in the new strategy's development or (b) provided feedback on the draft.

Like the 2017 Drug Strategy, the forthcoming Drug Strategy has been informed by extensive consultation with key partners in the drugs field. This includes through Dame Carol Black’s review of drugs, which involved significant consultation with external partners to gather information.

The calls for evidence for parts 1 and 2 of the review received responses from a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the public, academics, people working in the substance misuse sector and enforcement partners. Dame Carol also led an extensive programme of consultation events to develop her recommendations on drug treatment for part 2 of her review.

Our Strategy is responding to Dame Carol Black’s review in full. We have built on the research undertaken as part of the review, and have continued to consult external experts in order to shape the approach and interventions set out in the strategy. This includes Dame Carol Black in her role as independent advisor and Dr Ed Day our national Recovery Champion. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ Full Council has also been briefed on our strategic approach and members of the Council have provided feedback.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has for consultation in advance of its forthcoming long term drug strategy.

The Government published its initial response to Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs on 27 July, and the upcoming drug strategy will set out our more detailed response to the review’s recommendations. It will present our whole-of-government approach to combating drug misuse by supporting people through treatment and recovery and driving down drug supply and demand.

We are continuing to engage with external experts across a wide range of sectors in order to shape the approach and interventions set out in the strategy, building on the research undertaken as part of the independent review. Dame Carol is also working with the Government on the development and delivery of the strategy in her new role as an independent advisor.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Crime and Policing of 17 June 2021, Official Report, Column 531, on the Misuse of Drugs Act, what criteria her Department has applied or plans to apply when making an assessment as to whether psilocybin has a proven clinical and medical use for the purposes of determining whether to adapt the relevant legislation.

There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines (including those containing Schedule 1 drugs such as psilocybin) to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their safety, quality and efficacy.

The Government recognises that a number of studies into the potential use of psilocybin as part of the treatment for mental health conditions have been or are being conducted in the UK. However, medicines based on psilocybin have not yet been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) which would address safety, quality and efficacy concerns. If a psilocybin-based medicine is made available following an assessment of its quality, safety and efficacy by the MHRA, the Home Office will seek and then consider advice provided by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on its scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 as soon as possible. Such advice is a statutory requirement and will be considered before any decision is taken on scheduling under the 2001 Regulations.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7725, on Psilocybin: Health Hazards, for what reason her Department has not commissioned a review into the scheduling status of psilocybin in the context of no recent analysis of the evidence for that drug's harm having been commissioned or published by the Government to support the compound being a Class A and a Schedule 1 drug and recent evidence of that drug's clinical and experimental potential.

There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines (including those containing Schedule 1 drugs such as psilocybin) to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their safety, quality and efficacy.

The Government recognises that a number of studies into the potential use of psilocybin as part of the treatment for mental health conditions have been or are being conducted in the UK. However, medicines based on psilocybin have not yet been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) which would address safety, quality and efficacy concerns. Ministers could seek advice from the ACMD about the rescheduling of psilocybin-based products on the basis of evidence of the therapeutic use of unlicensed medicines, but we would ordinarily do this only in consultation with the Department for Health and Social Care and the MHRA.

The MHRA continues to support the safe and scientifically sound conduct of trials in this area and also to provide regulatory and scientific advice to companies at all stages of developing medicines. Should a company apply for a marketing authorisation (a product licence), it will ultimately be a decision for the MHRA whether to license a psilocybin-based medicine as a therapy.

If a psilocybin-based medicine is made available following an assessment of its quality, safety and efficacy by the MHRA, the Home Office will seek and then consider advice provided by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on its scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 as soon as possible. Such advice is a statutory requirement and will be considered before any decision is taken on scheduling under the 2001 Regulations.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5143, what evidence demonstrates that the arrests made have included high-level actors in the trafficking of controlled drugs; and how many of those arrested or charged in relation to Operation VENETIC have been convicted.

The NCA reports that data derived from Operation VENETIC has, to date, led to over 2,300 people being arrested, over 1000 charged and 162 individuals convicted of a range of serious offences. These include well publicised cases of individuals involved in drug trafficking, like Thomas Maher, described by the judge at his trial as “an extremely important cog in the wheel of a sophisticated network”. A large number of cases linked to Operation VENETIC are progressing through the criminal justice system and it would be inappropriate to comment further on these at this time. The NCA regularly publishes the outcomes of investigations via press notices on its website.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 11461 on Drugs: Misuse, for what reason the crimes referred to in that Answer that would be associated with a medically supervised drug consumption clinic do not apply to (a) needle and syringe programmes for injecting drug users and (b) other programmes and services that engage those users.

Needle and syringe programmes and other programmes and services that engage drug users do not involve the organiser condoning and facilitating consumption of controlled drugs on the premises, nor do they create spaces where police enforcement of the law in relation to drug possession and supply is compromised.

Drug Consumption Rooms would not be lawful in the UK due to the offences which would be committed in the course of running such a facility.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 11461, whether her Department has received written legal opinion on the provisions in law that would be engaged by the operation of medically supervised Drug Consumption Clinics.

Needle and syringe programmes and other programmes and services that engage drug users do not involve the organiser condoning and facilitating consumption of controlled drugs on the premises, nor do they create spaces where police enforcement of the law in relation to drug possession and supply is compromised.

Drug Consumption Rooms would not be lawful in the UK due to the offences which would be committed in the course of running such a facility.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons Heroin Assisted Treatment programmes are not eligible to apply for funding from Project ADDER.

Injectable opiate treatment programmes compliant with legislation and clinical guidance are supported by the Home Office and Public Health England and are in scope for Project ADDER funding. The Home Office and Public Health England have worked closely with delivery partners in each of the pilot Project ADDER areas to develop a delivery plan based on local need to provide a whole-system response to drugs misuse and drug-related harms locally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2021 to Question 14126 and with reference to the findings of the Dame Carol Black review of drugs: phase one report, what assessment has been made of the effect of county line closures and drugs seized on (a) drug availability or rates of drug use, (b) potency, (c) price and (d) new trends including local recruitment of children and children being missing for longer periods in adaption to police activity and covid-19; what Government national leadership and oversight on the implementation of a public health approaches to youth violence has taken place; how the Department for Education is involved with that oversight; what assessment she has made of the ethical implications of state use of children to be used as a covert human intelligence source as detailed in The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill; and whether a Child Rights impact assessment has been undertaken in relation to that proposed policy.

In May 2021, the National County Lines Coordination Centre published the latest County Lines strategic assessment. The assessment found that county lines continue to be at the forefront of drug supply nationally and have evolved in response to environmental changes.

The county lines business model remains heavily weighted towards the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. NCLCC’s latest assessment indicates that there has been a reduction in the total number of potentially active deal lines, with numbers reported to have fallen from between 800-1,100 in 2019/20 to 600 in 2020/21.

We continue to work with partners to address the underlying drivers of exploitation and ensure support and protection is in place for children exploited through county lines criminality. We have funded specialist support for victims of county lines exploitation to deliver one-to-one support to under 25s and their families in the three largest county lines exporting force areas

This Government is also delivering a range of initiatives to tackle youth violence including investing over £105.5 million in Violence Reduction Units from 2019 to 2022. The Home Office works closely with the Department for Education to tackle youth violence.

We will continue to use data on rates of drug use to monitor trends and inform the Government’s approach to addressing drugs and drug harms.

The Government acknowledges the strength of feeling on juvenile CHIS, however, we must recognise that some juveniles are involved in serious crimes, as perpetrators and victims. In some circumstances a young person may have unique access to information or intelligence that could play a vital part in preventing or detecting serious offences.

Young people are only authorised as CHIS in rare circumstances. Between January 2015 and December 2018, there were only 17 instances where law enforcement bodies deployed those under 18 years old as CHIS, and their participation in criminal conduct is rarer still.

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 includes a commitment on the face of the legislation that young people will only be authorised to undertake criminal conduct in exceptional circumstances.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11460, if she will ask the ACMD to advise whether alcohol and tobacco should be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971; and for what reasons her Department makes a distinction between alcohol and tobacco and controlled drugs when there is no provision in the MDA that specifically excludes legally regulated drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

We have no plans to control alcohol or tobacco under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and no plans to commission advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on this matter. Parliament considered arguments about their inclusion at the time of the Bill’s passage, including the reasons for the distinction between them and controlled drugs. Alcohol is regulated under the Licensing Act 2003 in England and Wales and tobacco is regulated under The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2021 to Question 14128, for what reasons cannabis continues to be controlled as a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended that cannabis be controlled as a class C drug (a) since it was asked to review that classification by David Blunkett following a recommendation by the Police Foundation in 2000 and (b) in its recent report on Cannabis classification and Public Health, published in 2008.

The Government considers advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) before making any classification or scheduling decisions under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. ACMD advice is not binding and decisions are ultimately for Ministers. The decision to control cannabis as a Class B drug was taken under a previous government. However, this Government remains of the view that cannabis is a harmful drug for which the current controls are proportionate.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5140, and to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7725 on Drugs: Misuse, what assessment she has made of the ethical implications of imposing legal penalties for use of drugs that have not been shown to cause harm.

The Government does not impose legal penalties on possession of drugs unless they have been shown to cause harm or to have the potential to cause harm. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) regularly provides advice on substances and their appropriate control status, and these are published on the gov.uk website. Drugs which have been controlled under the 1971 Act for a considerable period of time may not have been subject to recent analysis of their harms by the ACMD. The Government introduces new controls over drugs only after considering advice from the ACMD.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7725 on Drugs: Misuse, and with reference to the Government's response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s First Report of Session 2019, on Drugs policy, HC 1178, what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her policy of the absence of recent analyses of harm for several controlled and illicit drugs.

The Government does not impose legal penalties on possession of drugs unless they have been shown to cause harm or to have the potential to cause harm. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) regularly provides advice on substances and their appropriate control status, and these are published on the gov.uk website. Drugs which have been controlled under the 1971 Act for a considerable period of time may not have been subject to recent analysis of their harms by the ACMD. The Government introduces new controls over drugs only after considering advice from the ACMD.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's Review of the Psychoactive Substances Act, published in November 2018, what steps her Department has taken since the publication of that report to resolve that lack of evidence to evaluate the impact of the Act on rates of drug use and related harm.

We continue to collect and monitor a range of data on the use and harms of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), including:

  • Use of NPS among those aged 16 to 59 as part of the drug misuse module of the Crime Survey for England and Wales;
  • Use of NPS among 10 to 15 year olds in the Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use survey;
  • People entering treatment for problems with NPS; and
  • Deaths involving NPS.

These allow us to monitor trends and any changes in the use of, and harms from, NPS.

Alongside this data, our engagement with partners inside and outside government (including policing, charities, treatment providers and the devolved administrations) also provides an opportunity to gather and share any soft intelligence related to the use and harms of NPS.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2021 to Question 14127, on Drugs: Misuse, what criterion the Home Office Accounting Officer uses to assess the value for money of her Department's drugs misuse programmes.

All major investments and proposals for funding go through economic appraisal which is conducted in line with Green Book guidance. This is guidance issued by HM Treasury on how to appraise policies, programmes and projects, as well as the design and use of monitoring and evaluation throughout implementation. For major Home Office investments these appraisals are reviewed by the Finance and Investment Committee (FIC) which involves sign off by the Home Office Chief Analyst/HOAI Director. Where relevant evaluations already exist these are used, as well as existing management information, to form the basis of economic appraisal for new investments.

Programmes being delivered as part of the Government’s whole-system response to tackling drug misuse, including investment to disrupt drug supply and county lines, drug treatment and Project ADDER (Addiction, Disruption, Diversion, Enforcement and Recovery) have been subject to this approach. We will continue to monitor and evaluate our drug misuse programmes across Government to learn what is most effective and inform future spending decisions.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will ask the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) when he plans to reply to the letter from Professor David Nutt, Chair of the Drug Science Scientific Committee, dated 5 February 2021 on the ACMD's update report on medical cannabis from November 2020.

As the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is independent from Government, its responses to correspondence are a matter for the ACMD.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7725 which noted that a number of controlled drugs have not been subject to analysis or recent analysis of harm, if she will take steps to commission a comprehensive review of the relative harms of controlled drugs to ensure that the UK drug classification and scheduling systems are consistent with the latest scientific and medical evidence available.

The Government has no plans to commission a comprehensive review of the relative harms of controlled drugs. The Government takes expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on classification of substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

The Government commissions the ACMD to consider classification and scheduling of substances if, for example, new evidence about harms or legitimate uses emerges or there are issues of public concern. With regard to the scheduling of controlled drugs, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 exempts specified activities from the scope of the offences, for example, where controlled drugs are produced and supplied by healthcare professionals for medicinal purposes. The Home Secretary places controlled drugs in the appropriate schedule following consideration of advice from the ACMD. There is an established process for the development of medicines, overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which enables medicines containing controlled drugs to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their quality, safety and efficacy before being made available to patients in the UK. When a medicine containing controlled drugs is made available following an MHRA assessment, it may be scheduled or re-scheduled under the 2001 Regulations as appropriate, following consideration of advice provided by the ACMD.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 8524, whether value for money will be assessed as part of the Government’s ongoing monitoring and evaluation of its drug misuse programmes; and what steps she plans to take to deprioritise interventions that are not shown to be cost-effective in combating drug misuse.

The Home Office Accounting Officer has a personal responsibility to ensure that the Department’s budgets are used in a way that represents value for money for the taxpayer. A number of other departments deliver programmes to address drug misuse and their accounting officers have the same responsibility.

We have no current plans to deprioritise any aspects of our approach to tackling drug misuse, but we will continue to monitor and evaluate our drug misuse programmes across Government to learn what is most effective and inform future spending decisions.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 8524, with reference to the outcomes framework monitored through the Drugs Misuse Delivery Board and the monitoring and evaluation frameworks in place to monitor the impact of the Government’s county lines programme and Project ADDER, how these frameworks were derived, including any relevant logic models; whether the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs were consulted to advise on their development; what metrics are being used and how data is being collected; who is responsible for the publication of the findings of these frameworks; and when the reports are expected to be published.

The County Lines Programme and Project ADDER is monitored at a number of levels including by the Combating Drug Misuse Delivery Board.

The Home Office has established the County Lines Task and Finish Group to oversee delivery of the County Lines programme. The Group meets regularly to drive forward progress, monitor the impact of the funding we are providing to tackle county lines and identify challenges. Through the Task and Finish Group we worked closely with delivery partners to develop a monitoring framework for the programme including reports on the numbers of lines closed. Since it was launched, in November 2019, our County Lines Programme has already seen more than 780 lines closed, over 5,100 arrests, £2.9 million in cash and significant quantities of drugs seized, and more than 1,200 vulnerable people safeguarded

For Project ADDER (Addiction, Disruption, Diversion, Enforcement, Recovery), the Home Office in partnership with Public Health England worked closely with delivery partners in each of the pilot areas and colleagues from across Government to develop a theory of change and monitoring and evaluation framework for the programme. This includes a variety of key performance metrics relating to enforcement, diversion into treatment, as well as treatment and recovery outputs. These metrics are being collected by areas using local data systems and are being monitored on a monthly basis through programme governance board to assess overall effectiveness of the programme

The Government works closely with the ACMD and continues to look at a range of evidence in developing its strategic approach to tackling drug misuse and identifying outcomes to monitor progress. However, given the nature of the programmes, the ACMD were not involved in the development of the county lines programme and Project ADDER outcomes framework.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 8525 which noted that the cost of Operation Venetic is unknown, and to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5143 which noted that no assessment of the effects of Operation Venetic on the drugs markets has been made, if she will take steps to commission a full evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of Operation Venetic to the taxpayer, including estimates of (a) total costs across all relevant UK agencies; (b) total income raised from seized assets; (c) impacts on drug availability, rates of use, drug-related harms, and the associated costs and savings; and (d) impact on market-related violence and the associated costs and benefits, with reference to the finding of the Home Office’s 2017 evaluation of the 2010 drug strategy that drugs market violence is an unintended consequence of enforcing drug laws.

Operation VENETIC is an ongoing operation yielding tangible results on a weekly basis. As law enforcement continue to act on the significant volume of intelligence received from Operation VENETIC, we are not currently evaluating its impact. We will keep this under review. The National Crime Agency has led a number of investigations under Operation VENETIC and publishes regular press notices on the outcomes of these investigations. A wider overview of Operation VENETIC can also be found in the NCA’s 2021 National Strategic Assessment.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 8523, when the Crime and Justice Task Force superseded the Drug Strategy Board; whether information on Task Force meetings will be publicly available; how many meetings have included drug strategy on the agenda since the Task Force superseded the Drug Strategy Board; and who was in attendance at each of those meetings.

The Crime and Justice Task Force was established in January 2020. It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2020 to Question 6165 on Drugs: Misuse, what the evidential basis is for suggestion that drug consumption clinics encourage drug use; what assessment she has made of the consistency of her policy on drug consumption clinics with the findings of the reports entitled (a) Reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK, published by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in December 2016 and (b) What is the current evidence for the efficacy of drug consumption rooms?, published by Public Health England in March 2019, that there was no evidence that drug consumption clinics increase drug use; and what her policy is on evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse.

Drug Consumption Rooms are not legal in the UK. A range of crimes would be committed in the course of running such a facility, by both service users and staff, such as possession of a controlled drug, being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug, knowingly permitting the supply of a controlled drug on a premises or encouraging or assisting these and other offences.

The Government is aware of the differing views on Drug Consumption Rooms and that they are subject to much debate. We will give due consideration to any new evidence on the harms and benefits of Drug Consumption Rooms including the extent to which they condone or encourage drug use or otherwise.

We continue to support a range of evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse, such as maintaining the availability of needle and syringe programmes to prevent blood borne infections and widening the availability of naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. Heroin assisted treatment is also an option open to local areas under the existing legal framework subject to obtaining the relevant licences from the Home Office.

The Government is focused on improving the quality of, and access to, drug treatment services to support individuals to recover and turn their lives around. That is why, on 20 January the Government announced £148 million of new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs. This package includes £80 million for drug treatment services across England, which represents the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5143 what the total cost is of Operation Venetic to date; and how she plans to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Operation Venetic when no assessment has been conducted of the short-term and long-term impact to drug availability or demand in the UK.

Op VENETIC had a major impact on Organised Crime Groups involved in drugs trafficking, firearms trafficking, serious violence and money laundering. Many suspects that would otherwise have evaded justice due to their use of this criminally dedicated secure communication system are now facing prosecution for serious offences and face losing the financial benefits of organised crime due to proceeds of crime investigations.

The operation has also made a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of Serious Organised Crime in the UK, how it operates and its vulnerabilities, which is assisting law enforcement operations going forwards.

Whilst it is not possible to define an overall cost for this complex, large scale multi agency operation, over £56 million in criminal cash has so far been seized as a result of this operation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5140, how the Government plans to assess the (a) effectiveness and (b) value for money of enforcement activity in circumstances where no evaluation framework has been developed for the 2017 Drug Strategy.

This Government is taking a whole-system response to tackling drug misuse. That is why we have committed £148m this year to cut drug-related crime and support people into recovery, this includes £40m for disrupting drug supply and county lines, £80m for drug treatment and a further £28m for Project ADDER (Addiction, Disruption, Diversion, Enforcement and Recovery).

We have robust arrangements in place to oversee delivery of this work including outcomes framework which is monitored through a cross government Drugs Misuse Delivery Board.

In addition, on enforcement specifically, we have robust governance and monitoring/evaluation frameworks in place to monitor the impact of our county lines programme and Project ADDER through monthly Task and Finish Group meetings and Programme Delivery Board.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate our drugs misuse programmes to learn what is most effective in combatting drug misuse and will continue to work together across Government Departments on this.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2021 to Question 2169, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Crime and Justice Taskforce membership not including representation from the (a) Department of Health and Social Care, (b) Department for Education, (c) Department of Work and Pensions, or (d) Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, unlike its predecessor, the Drug Strategy Board.

The membership of the Crime and Justice Task Force is available at Gov.uk. Other Cabinet Ministers will be invited to attend according to the agenda.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer 20 May 2021 to Question 2168, what the evidential basis is for psilocybin being a Class A, Schedule 1 controlled drug; and whether there are other controlled drugs where no analysis or no recent analysis of harm has been conducted.

The Government has not commissioned or published any recent analysis of the harms of psilocybin. Psilocybin, as an “ester of psilocin”, is controlled as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (the 1971 Act) and is placed in Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Psilocin is also subject to the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, to which the United Kingdom is signatory.

A number of drugs which have been controlled under the 1971 Act for a considerable period of time have not been subject to analysis or recent analysis of harm. However, there is not an exhaustive list of such drugs. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs regularly provides advice on substances, and these are published on the gov.uk website. Recent assessments and reviews include: gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and related substances; fentanyls; novel benzodiazepines; Sunosi; synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists; and cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs entitled Reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK, published in December 2016, which cited research findings that drug consumption clinics reduce injecting risk behaviours and overdose fatalities and save more money than they cost, on what basis she has decided not to introduce a legal framework for the provision of those clinics; and what assessment she has made of the compatibility of that decision with aims of the Drugs Strategy 2017 to reduce the harms of drugs as part of a balanced approach to tackling drug misuse.

The Government has no plans to change the law on drug consumption rooms. While the UK Government continues to support a range of evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse, we must not do anything that encourages the consumption of drugs. Our policy on drugs is clear – we must prevent drug use in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery. In order to ensure we do all we can to tackle the harms drug misuse causes, Dame Carol Black is leading an independent review, part two of which focuses on treatment and recovery support for people substance misuse problems.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2020 to Question 92900 on Drugs: Smuggling, what assessment her Department has made of the (a) short-term and (b) long-term effects of Operation VENETIC on the (i) availability, (ii) price and (iii) purity of drugs in the illegal drugs market since the date of that answer.

UK law enforcement continue to act on the significant volume of intelligence Operation VENETIC generated, with the National Crime Agency (NCA) acting as the lead organisation in the UK on this.

The Home Office has not made an assessment of the effects of Operation VENETIC on the illegal drugs market. The NCA has led a number of investigations under Operation VENETIC and publish regular press notices on the outcomes of these investigations. The NCA’s 2021 National Strategic Assessment includes further information about the outcomes of activity following Operation VENETIC file (nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk)

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government report entitled An evaluation of the Government’s Drug Strategy 2010 which reported the finding that drugs market violence is an unintended consequence of enforcing drug laws, for what reason that finding was not tackled in the Drug Strategy 2017; and what steps the Government is taking to (a) monitor and (b) evaluate the ongoing effects of enforcement on market violence in the UK.

No evaluation framework has been developed to assess the 2017 Drug Strategy. However, a number of initiatives that have been implemented under the 2017 Drug Strategy have been subject to assessment or evaluation, including;

  • The UK Government appointed Dr Ed Day as the Government’s Recovery Champion to provide national leadership around key aspects of the drug recovery agenda and advise the Government on where improvements can be made. His first annual report was published in January 2021, which includes an assessment of the current system. It can be found here; UK government Drug Recovery Champion annual report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • In 2019, Public Health England and the Home Office published a report on a deep dive to understand the rise in crack cocaine use in six areas of England. PHE publish investigative report on increasing crack use - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs continues to carry out in-depth reviews on issues relating to drugs and drug harms. Its website includes reviews on the ageing cohort of drug users, on custody to community transitions and on homelessness and drug use for example.
  • Other projects within the 2017 Drug Strategy, such as the Holme House ‘drug recovery prison’ pilot and the Jobcentre Plus Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial to support those with substance use dependence back into employment, are subject to ongoing evaluation.

On the question of punishment for people who break the law, including buying illicit drugs, the Government is unashamedly clear that drug use is unacceptable and users must face the consequences. Prison is one possible punishment, however the police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest. They also have discretion to engage a first-time young offender with local services to assess their needs including the risk of harm. How police choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.

Addressing drugs and drug harms is not something that law enforcement alone can do and we must ensure that we intervene early and effectively to reduce the demand for drugs. We therefore take a balanced approach which brings together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.

Violence and exploitation is an inherent part of the business model of organised criminal gangs who supply drugs, and it is important that we continue to address this threat. Law enforcement partners are therefore cracking down on criminals who supply drugs, causing misery to families and communities. Violence Reduction Units and police forces work with local partners to understand and tackle the drivers of violence in their area. This year we have provided VRUs with £35.5m to continue this work, alongside an additional £30m of ‘Grip’ funding to the police force areas most affected by violent crime.

We know there is more to do to tackle drugs and the harms they cause, which is why the Home Office commissioned a major independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to examine these issues. Part one of the Review was published in February 2020 and provided a detailed analysis of drug supply and demand. In July last year, DHSC announced the second part of the review led by Dame Carol to look at prevention, treatment and recovery which will be published later this year.

The Government continues to go further than the Drug Strategy 2017. In January, the Government announced a £148 million new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs including;

  • £80 million for drug treatment services right across England – representing the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
  • £28 million for Project ADDER – a new intensive approach to tackling drug misuse, which combines targeted and tougher policing with diversionary schemes and enhanced treatment and recovery services.
  • £40 million to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our £25 million county lines programme which since November 2019 has seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

Together the funding represents a comprehensive drive by the Government to build back safer from the pandemic by helping people break free from the scourge of drug use and cutting drug-fuelled crime and violence.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government report entitled An evaluation of the Government’s Drug Strategy 2010, which reported a lack of robust evidence as to whether capture and punishment serves as a deterrent for drug use, for what reason drug users continue to be criminalised given that lack of robust evidence.

No evaluation framework has been developed to assess the 2017 Drug Strategy. However, a number of initiatives that have been implemented under the 2017 Drug Strategy have been subject to assessment or evaluation, including;

  • The UK Government appointed Dr Ed Day as the Government’s Recovery Champion to provide national leadership around key aspects of the drug recovery agenda and advise the Government on where improvements can be made. His first annual report was published in January 2021, which includes an assessment of the current system. It can be found here; UK government Drug Recovery Champion annual report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • In 2019, Public Health England and the Home Office published a report on a deep dive to understand the rise in crack cocaine use in six areas of England. PHE publish investigative report on increasing crack use - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs continues to carry out in-depth reviews on issues relating to drugs and drug harms. Its website includes reviews on the ageing cohort of drug users, on custody to community transitions and on homelessness and drug use for example.
  • Other projects within the 2017 Drug Strategy, such as the Holme House ‘drug recovery prison’ pilot and the Jobcentre Plus Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial to support those with substance use dependence back into employment, are subject to ongoing evaluation.

On the question of punishment for people who break the law, including buying illicit drugs, the Government is unashamedly clear that drug use is unacceptable and users must face the consequences. Prison is one possible punishment, however the police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest. They also have discretion to engage a first-time young offender with local services to assess their needs including the risk of harm. How police choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.

Addressing drugs and drug harms is not something that law enforcement alone can do and we must ensure that we intervene early and effectively to reduce the demand for drugs. We therefore take a balanced approach which brings together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.

Violence and exploitation is an inherent part of the business model of organised criminal gangs who supply drugs, and it is important that we continue to address this threat. Law enforcement partners are therefore cracking down on criminals who supply drugs, causing misery to families and communities. Violence Reduction Units and police forces work with local partners to understand and tackle the drivers of violence in their area. This year we have provided VRUs with £35.5m to continue this work, alongside an additional £30m of ‘Grip’ funding to the police force areas most affected by violent crime.

We know there is more to do to tackle drugs and the harms they cause, which is why the Home Office commissioned a major independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to examine these issues. Part one of the Review was published in February 2020 and provided a detailed analysis of drug supply and demand. In July last year, DHSC announced the second part of the review led by Dame Carol to look at prevention, treatment and recovery which will be published later this year.

The Government continues to go further than the Drug Strategy 2017. In January, the Government announced a £148 million new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs including;

  • £80 million for drug treatment services right across England – representing the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
  • £28 million for Project ADDER – a new intensive approach to tackling drug misuse, which combines targeted and tougher policing with diversionary schemes and enhanced treatment and recovery services.
  • £40 million to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our £25 million county lines programme which since November 2019 has seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

Together the funding represents a comprehensive drive by the Government to build back safer from the pandemic by helping people break free from the scourge of drug use and cutting drug-fuelled crime and violence.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government report entitled An evaluation of the Government’s Drug Strategy 2010, whether the Government has developed an updated evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness and value for money of the Drugs Strategy 2017; and when she plans to publish the evaluation of that strategy.

No evaluation framework has been developed to assess the 2017 Drug Strategy. However, a number of initiatives that have been implemented under the 2017 Drug Strategy have been subject to assessment or evaluation, including;

  • The UK Government appointed Dr Ed Day as the Government’s Recovery Champion to provide national leadership around key aspects of the drug recovery agenda and advise the Government on where improvements can be made. His first annual report was published in January 2021, which includes an assessment of the current system. It can be found here; UK government Drug Recovery Champion annual report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • In 2019, Public Health England and the Home Office published a report on a deep dive to understand the rise in crack cocaine use in six areas of England. PHE publish investigative report on increasing crack use - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs continues to carry out in-depth reviews on issues relating to drugs and drug harms. Its website includes reviews on the ageing cohort of drug users, on custody to community transitions and on homelessness and drug use for example.
  • Other projects within the 2017 Drug Strategy, such as the Holme House ‘drug recovery prison’ pilot and the Jobcentre Plus Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial to support those with substance use dependence back into employment, are subject to ongoing evaluation.

On the question of punishment for people who break the law, including buying illicit drugs, the Government is unashamedly clear that drug use is unacceptable and users must face the consequences. Prison is one possible punishment, however the police have a range of powers at their disposal to deal with drug-related offences in a way that is proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and the public interest. They also have discretion to engage a first-time young offender with local services to assess their needs including the risk of harm. How police choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.

Addressing drugs and drug harms is not something that law enforcement alone can do and we must ensure that we intervene early and effectively to reduce the demand for drugs. We therefore take a balanced approach which brings together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.

Violence and exploitation is an inherent part of the business model of organised criminal gangs who supply drugs, and it is important that we continue to address this threat. Law enforcement partners are therefore cracking down on criminals who supply drugs, causing misery to families and communities. Violence Reduction Units and police forces work with local partners to understand and tackle the drivers of violence in their area. This year we have provided VRUs with £35.5m to continue this work, alongside an additional £30m of ‘Grip’ funding to the police force areas most affected by violent crime.

We know there is more to do to tackle drugs and the harms they cause, which is why the Home Office commissioned a major independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to examine these issues. Part one of the Review was published in February 2020 and provided a detailed analysis of drug supply and demand. In July last year, DHSC announced the second part of the review led by Dame Carol to look at prevention, treatment and recovery which will be published later this year.

The Government continues to go further than the Drug Strategy 2017. In January, the Government announced a £148 million new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs including;

  • £80 million for drug treatment services right across England – representing the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
  • £28 million for Project ADDER – a new intensive approach to tackling drug misuse, which combines targeted and tougher policing with diversionary schemes and enhanced treatment and recovery services.
  • £40 million to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our £25 million county lines programme which since November 2019 has seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

Together the funding represents a comprehensive drive by the Government to build back safer from the pandemic by helping people break free from the scourge of drug use and cutting drug-fuelled crime and violence.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government's response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s First Report of Session 2019, on Drugs policy, HC 1178, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Committee’s recommendation that policy responsibility for drugs should move from the Home Office to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Government has not commissioned or published any recent analysis of the harms of psilocybin. Psilocybin, as an “ester of psilocin”, is controlled as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and is placed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Psilocin is also subject to the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, to which the United Kingdom is signatory.

We have no plans to move responsibility for drugs from the Home Office to the Department of Health and Social Care. Both departments have an important role to play in tackling the current issues around drug misuse.

This Government takes a balanced approach which brings together policing, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.

We have recently announced a £148million package aimed at dismantling the organised criminal gangs who encourage this terrible trade, helping those in drug treatment and recovery to stop drug-related crime, and dealing with the significant health-related harms drugs pose.

We know there is more to do which is why the Government commissioned a major independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to inform the Government’s thinking on what more can be done to tackle the harm that drugs cause. Part One of Dame Carol Black’s review of drugs was published on 27 February 2020 at the Government’s UK Drugs Summit in Glasgow. It provides a detailed analysis of the challenges posed by drug supply and demand, including the ways in which drugs fuel serious violence. It is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-drugs-phase-one-report.

Part Two of Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs was announced at the Drugs Summit and is focusing on prevention, treatment services and recovery. The final report will be made available to Ministers later this year. The Review findings will feed into wider Government work to tackle the serious harms caused by substance misuse.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government's response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s First Report of Session 2019, on Drugs policy, HC 1178, what scientific and medical analysis showed the Class A, Schedule 1 drug psilocybin to be harmful to human health; on what dates that analysis was (a) commissioned and (b) published; and who conducted that analysis.

The Government has not commissioned or published any recent analysis of the harms of psilocybin. Psilocybin, as an “ester of psilocin”, is controlled as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and is placed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Psilocin is also subject to the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, to which the United Kingdom is signatory.

We have no plans to move responsibility for drugs from the Home Office to the Department of Health and Social Care. Both departments have an important role to play in tackling the current issues around drug misuse.

This Government takes a balanced approach which brings together policing, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.

We have recently announced a £148million package aimed at dismantling the organised criminal gangs who encourage this terrible trade, helping those in drug treatment and recovery to stop drug-related crime, and dealing with the significant health-related harms drugs pose.

We know there is more to do which is why the Government commissioned a major independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to inform the Government’s thinking on what more can be done to tackle the harm that drugs cause. Part One of Dame Carol Black’s review of drugs was published on 27 February 2020 at the Government’s UK Drugs Summit in Glasgow. It provides a detailed analysis of the challenges posed by drug supply and demand, including the ways in which drugs fuel serious violence. It is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-drugs-phase-one-report.

Part Two of Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs was announced at the Drugs Summit and is focusing on prevention, treatment services and recovery. The final report will be made available to Ministers later this year. The Review findings will feed into wider Government work to tackle the serious harms caused by substance misuse.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister is responsible for reporting to the Drug Strategy Board on the implementation of recommendations in the 2019 ACMD report on Custody-Community Transitions, published on 12 June 2019; and when that Minister plans to make that report.

As set out in the Government’s response to the ACMD’s report on custody-to-community transitions, published in October 2019, the Prisons Minister at the Ministry of Justice has overarching responsibility for this issue, working in partnership with the relevant departments, agencies and devolved administrations to respond to recommendations where appropriate.

The Crime and Justice Taskforce (CJTF), chaired by the Prime Minister, has responsibility for oversight of matters including both drugs and prisons. The Drug Strategy Board has been superseded by the CJTF.

In January, the Government announced £80 million additional funding for drug treatment services in England, including a focus on increasing the number of treatment places for prison leavers, and £70 million investment in accommodation and wider support for prison leavers, including for those with substance misuse problems. In addition, part two of Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs focused on prevention, treatment and recovery and this included an examination of the criminal justice response to people with drug misuse problems. Part two of the review will be published shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to paragraphs 4 and 5 on page 3 of her Department's Factsheet on Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids, what assessment she has made of the limit of detection that is the appropriate level of sensitivity to accurately determine through laboratory analysis that there are no controlled cannabinoids present in a CBD product and that the product contains CBD in its pure form.

The Department has made no assessment of limits of detection in relation to testing for the presence of controlled cannabinoids in CBD products. The Home Office approach is one of caution, that is, that a CBD product is likely to be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (‘the 2001 Regulations’) if it contains any controlled cannabinoids.

The term ‘administration’ in the exempt product definition is not defined by the 2001 Regulations. The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 provides the following as part of its definition:

““administer” means administer to a human being—

(a) orally, by injection, or by introduction into the body in any other way; or

(b) by external application (whether or not by direct application to the body)”

The interpretation of legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts to decide.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to limb A of the definition of an exempted product on page five of her Department's Drug Licensing Factsheet - Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids, what her Department's definition is of the term administration.

The Department has made no assessment of limits of detection in relation to testing for the presence of controlled cannabinoids in CBD products. The Home Office approach is one of caution, that is, that a CBD product is likely to be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (‘the 2001 Regulations’) if it contains any controlled cannabinoids.

The term ‘administration’ in the exempt product definition is not defined by the 2001 Regulations. The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 provides the following as part of its definition:

““administer” means administer to a human being—

(a) orally, by injection, or by introduction into the body in any other way; or

(b) by external application (whether or not by direct application to the body)”

The interpretation of legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts to decide.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Saudi citizens applied for asylum in the UK in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum applications received by the UK in the chapter ‘How many people do we grant asylum or protection to?’ in the quarterly ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of asylum applications broken down by nationality are available in tables Asy_D01 of the ‘Asylum applications, initial decisions and resettlement datasets’.

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 asylum and resettlement.

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?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many schedule 1 (a) domestic and (b) import licences cannabis and cannabis-based products were granted in 2019.

In 2019, the Drugs and Firearms Licensing unit issued to premises in Great Britain 362 domestic licences covering possession of schedule 1 drugs.

Controlled drug import licences are issued for individual consignments with reference to the drug substance(s) contained in the shipment. An import licence can cover up to four different types of drug substance or preparation. A total of 452 import licences for shipments containing cannabis or with a controlled cannabinoid content were issued in 2019.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) high-THC cultivation licences, (b) low-THC cultivation licences, (c) Schedule 1 domestic licences and (d) Schedule 1 import licences were granted in 2019.

In 2019, the Drugs and Firearms Licensing unit issued to premises in Great Britain (a) 33 low THC licences to cultivate low THC cannabis (b) 20 licences to cultivate high THC cannabis (c) 362 domestic licences covering possession of schedule 1.

Import licences are issued for individual drug substances as opposed to by schedule of drug. Thousands of drug substances could fall within schedule 1 control so it is not possible to provide a figure for the number of ‘schedule 1’ import licences granted.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to recruit non-religious pastoral carers to provide belief-based support for the 56,000 regular and reserve personnel who currently identify as having no religion.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes all aspects of the health and wellbeing of its personnel very seriously. We are working to create and sustain an inclusive environment where people of all faiths and beliefs feel able to be authentic in the workplace, feel respected and are able to achieve their full potential.

MOD encourages and supports a number of faith and belief staff networks to support and connect people with each other and help to create a better working environment for our staff. These networks also play an important role connecting Defence to local faith and belief communities, who often have a strong interest in our work.

The Humanists and non-religious in Defence (HAND) Network is a thriving internal community, led by a strong champion, promoting the interest of the non-religious community within Defence. The HAND Network is working together with the MOD's Diversity and Inclusion team on an active ongoing project which seeks to address the delivery of pastoral care to non-religious Defence personnel.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing pastoral support to non-religious armed forces personnel alongside religious chaplaincy services.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes all aspects of the health and wellbeing of its personnel very seriously. We are working to create and sustain an inclusive environment where people of all faiths and beliefs feel able to be authentic in the workplace, feel respected and are able to achieve their full potential.

MOD encourages and supports a number of faith and belief staff networks to support and connect people with each other and help to create a better working environment for our staff. These networks also play an important role connecting Defence to local faith and belief communities, who often have a strong interest in our work.

The Humanists and non-religious in Defence (HAND) Network is a thriving internal community, led by a strong champion, promoting the interest of the non-religious community within Defence. The HAND Network is working together with the MOD's Diversity and Inclusion team on an active ongoing project which seeks to address the delivery of pastoral care to non-religious Defence personnel.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which compensation schemes are open for nuclear test veterans of tests that took place prior to 2005.

Nuclear Test Veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service may apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear test veterans have submitted claims under any compensation scheme; and how many of those claims have been successful.

The information requested is not held centrally. As a result, providing the answer would incur disproportionate cost.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear test veterans have (a) submitted claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme since the announcement of 26 August 2020, and (b) received compensation through a claim.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) was introduced by the Government to provide compensation to military personnel injured on or after 6 April 2005. As there have been no nuclear tests carried out since 2005, there is no eligibility for Nuclear Test Veterans (NTVs) to claim under the scheme.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on legal fees in relation to British nuclear test litigation to date.

The net amount spent on legal costs in relation to the Nuclear Test Veterans Group Litigation known as AB and Ors v Ministry of Defence is £786,939.48. The legal action reached the Supreme Court in November 2011 on the issue of limitation. The Supreme Court found in favour of the MOD in March 2012 when the legal costs in the Group Litigation were £4,786,939.48.

In line with the Court's decision to award MOD 90% of its costs of the limitation issue in the High Court and 100% of its costs in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, MOD recovered £4,000,000 in legal costs from the Claimants' After The Event Insurers giving the net costs figure of £786,939.48.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking through the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy to modernise pastoral support services for (a) the armed forces and (b) non-religious/humanist personnel.

The Integrated Review will be published later in the year. Whilst I cannot pre-empt the contents of the review, I can give assurances that the well-being of the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces is of the utmost importance. Several active faith and belief networks, including humanism, have already been developed, and the Ministry of Defence pastoral support services will continue that important work.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the equity of permitting 15 attendees at religious weddings and six at humanist weddings; and whether he plans to take steps to tackle that issue.

Humanist wedding ceremonies can take place at this time with 15 people present, as well as for the legal solemnisation of the marriage.

We understand the unique significance that weddings hold in people’s lives but, by their nature they are events that bring families and friends together. For this reason, only up to 15 people can attend a wedding. We will keep this under review.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the specific needs of (a) LGBT+ homeless people and (b) other homeless people with protected characteristics have been taken into account in the steps the Government is taking to tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

We have provided funding to assist local authorities to provide accommodation and support to vulnerable people who are at risk of, or who have been diagnosed with, coronavirus. This may include people identifying as LGBT+, as well as those who identify as having another protected characteristic.

£3.2 billion of additional funding was provided to local authorities to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across the services they deliver. This is in addition to £3.2 million in targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those rough sleepers unable to self-isolate.

The Chancellor also announced a £750 million package of support for frontline charities across the UK. This will help charities to provide support to vulnerable people during the pandemic, including those whose beneficiaries have a protected characteristic.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local planning authorities reject planning applications which do not comply with the guidance set out in (a) the National Design Guide and (b) paragraph 130 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Within the National Planning Policy Framework, and the National Design Guide, the importance of design quality and how it can be achieved was emphasised. Steps we have taken to ensure this is reflected in decision making include convening the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, which published its final report and recommendations on 30 January and which we will respond to in due course. We have also committed to producing the National Model Design Code this year which will set detailed standards for key elements of successful design.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on housing developments of the Campaign to Protect Rural England report titled, A housing design audit for England, published on 21 January 2020.

The Department welcomes the report and the research team provided evidence to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission and that their findings have informed the 45 recommendations from the commission. The Government will respond to in due course.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the proposed White Paper on planning will include guidance on the benefits of designing (a) higher density developments and (b) highways that are sensitive to their surroundings.

Guidance on design issues is not within the remit of the Planning White Paper. The purpose of the White Paper will be to make the planning process clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including homeowners and small businesses. It will also address resourcing and performance in Planning Departments. Designing at higher densities and making effective use of land, and the creation of highways that take into account place-making, are covered by our National Planning Policy Framework. These are also referenced within our recently published National Design Guide and are intended to form part of the forthcoming National Model Design Code.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of legally recognising humanist marriages.

The Law Commission will present options for how the law should be reformed in relation to who can solemnize a marriage, including how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme. The Government will consider the Commission’s recommendations very carefully.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been subject to immediate custody for offences committed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 since that legislation came into force, broken down by (a) year, (b) offence type including (i) production, supply and possession with intent to supply a controlled drug by Class A, B and C, (ii) unlawful importation by Class A, B, C and unknown class, (iii) possession of a controlled drug by Class A, B, C and unknown class and (iv) permitting premises to be used for unlawful purposes by Class A, B, C and unknown class.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on immediate custodial sentences for specific offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, in England and Wales, up to December 2020, in the ‘Principal Offence Proceedings and Outcomes by Home Office Offence Code’ data tool, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

As the data tool above does not cover the full time series requested, please see the attached table with details of immediate custodial sentences given for offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 from 2005 to 2020. 2005 is the earliest year that the level of detail required is available within the Courts Proceedings Database.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what (a) recent progress the Prisons Minister has made on reporting on the implementation of recommendations in the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report on Custody-Community Transitions, published on 12 June 2019, (b) the expected timescale is for receipt of that report and (c) Departmental bodies will receive that report once completed.

The government responded to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ (ACMD) report on Custody to Community Transitions in October 2019. The MoJ is working closely with key departments across government to tackle the misuse of drugs. We are keen to align this work with any recommendations stemming from Part two of Dame Carol Black’s review, which is due for publication shortly. This forms part of cross departmental work on combatting drug misuse, including support for those moving from custody to the community. This includes many areas highlighted in the ACMD Custody to Community transitions report.

In January, the Department of Health and Social Care received £80m additional funding for drug treatment in 2021/22. The bulk of the funding (£55m circa) has been given to local authorities via a specific grant allocation to support delivery of services to reduce drug related deaths and target the offender cohort. This funding will be used to enhance drug treatment and the numbers of treatment places available, including for those leaving prison, to reduce drug-related crime. It will also tackle the rise in drug-related deaths via the provision of naloxone to prevent drug overdoses. The remainder will fund the treatment element of the ADDER Accelerator programme and an increase the number of inpatient detoxification placements available, for people with the most complex needs.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of recognising Humanist Marriages in law following the 2014 Ministry of Justice review into marriages by non-religious belief organisations and the 2020 High Court ruling that a failure to recognise humanist marriages is discriminatory.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent. The Government will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

The Law Commission published a consultation paper on 3 September 2020 as part of its review and will welcome responses from all.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the proposals from the Law Commission on Humanist Marriages, what steps he will take to recognise humanist marriages while a comprehensive reform of marriage law is undertaken.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent. The Government will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

The Law Commission published a consultation paper on 3 September 2020 as part of its review and will welcome responses from all.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)