Damian Green Portrait

Damian Green

Conservative - Ashford

First elected: 1st May 1997


Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
14th Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office
11th Jun 2017 - 20th Dec 2017
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
14th Jul 2016 - 11th Jun 2017
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Nov 2015 - 28th Nov 2016
European Scrutiny Committee
15th Jul 2015 - 7th Nov 2016
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Sep 2012 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing) (Jointly with the Ministry of Justice)
6th Sep 2012 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Home Office)
6th Sep 2012 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration)
13th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
10th Dec 2005 - 6th May 2010
Treasury Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 16th Jan 2006
Home Affairs Committee
11th Oct 2004 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
10th Nov 2003 - 1st Sep 2004
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
18th Sep 2001 - 10th Nov 2003
Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 1999 - 1st Jun 2001
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
1st Jun 1998 - 1st Jun 1999
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 1998 - 1st Jun 1999
Procedure Committee
31st Jul 1997 - 5th Nov 1998
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
28th Jul 1997 - 22nd Jun 1998


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Damian Green has voted in 863 divisions, and 23 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green 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
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
20 May 2020 - Liaison (Membership) - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 323
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
22 Mar 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Conservative No votes vs 296 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 313 Noes - 227
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 10 Conservative No votes vs 243 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 249 Noes - 167
20 Apr 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 306 Noes - 231
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
6 Jun 2023 - Committee on Standards - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 28 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 40
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative No votes vs 279 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 284 Noes - 242
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 285 Noes - 243
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 273 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 234
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 289 Noes - 220
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 279 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 227
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 284 Noes - 226
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Damian Green voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Damian Green 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
(12 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
Home Office
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Media Bill 2023-24
(3,891 words contributed)
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(2,087 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Damian Green's debates

Ashford 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).

Damian Green has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Damian Green

22nd January 2019
Damian Green signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 22nd January 2019

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

Tabled by: Margaret Beckett (Labour - Derby South)
That this House congratulates the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on its sesquicentennial anniversary; expresses its appreciation of the members of the Office, both past and present, for their contribution to the drafting of legislation and the legislative process; and notes that the Office, now under the leadership of Elizabeth …
26 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Mar 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 15
Labour: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Damian Green's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Damian Green, 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.


Damian Green has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Damian Green

Wednesday 25th October 2023

1 Bill introduced by Damian Green


A bill to make provision about pension schemes

This Bill received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017 and was enacted into law.


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to help support charities with the cost of living.

As announced in the recent Spring Budget, the government will provide over £100 million of support for charities and community organisations in England. This will be targeted towards those organisations most at risk, due to increased demand from vulnerable groups and higher delivery costs, as well as providing investment in energy efficiency measures to reduce future operating costs.

Charities will also continue to receive support for their energy bills until March 2024 under the government’s current Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the future Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government Communications Service has conducted a formal systemic review into the public communications of all Government Departments during the covid-19 outbreak.

Communications was a critical lever for the government to deploy during the crisis. Government Communication Service professionals have used best practice from across the industry, public, private and third sectors to deliver COVID-19 Communications.

Communications during the pandemic response were regularly reviewed and we adopted an agile approach to keep up with the evolving scientific understanding of the virus and the unpredictable nature of the spread. This iterative approach ensured that our communications were regularly evaluated and always relevant to the pandemic.

Lessons learned have been shared across all of our subsequent communication campaigns.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government spent on advertising in each of the last five years; and what proportion of that spending was on (a) TV, (b) radio, (c) out of home, (d) national newsbrands, (e) local/regional newsbrands, (f) online display, (g) search, (h) direct mail, (i) magazine brands and (j) cinema advertising over the same time period.

Government communication spend, including on our national and international campaigns, is published on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine transparency arrangements. A bespoke strategy is implemented for each campaign, therefore data on how much we spend on each channel is not split out from wider communications spend.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what planned timetable is for consulting on barriers to developing community energy projects.

The Government is actively working with the Community Energy Contact Group on the content and timetable for a consultation on barriers for community energy projects. Whilst the Government hopes to publish the consultation as soon as possible, until these discussions have concluded it is not possible to outline a definitive timeline.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she plans to include the proliferation of AI-generated child abuse imagery on the agenda for the AI Safety Summit.

The UK believes that the global risks posed by frontier AI are increasingly urgent, including risks to online safety. That is why the summit programme, published October 16, includes a roundtable discussion on risks from the integration of frontier AI into society.

This issue is also being considered through wider government action. Under the Online Safety Bill, AI-generated content shared by users on social media will be regulated to limit the spread of illegal materials including child sexual abuse.

18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she plans to invite representatives from civil society to the AI Safety Summit.

The summit will focus on risks created or significantly exacerbated by the most powerful AI systems, while considering how safe AI can be used for public good and to improve people’s lives. The UK looks forward to welcoming representatives from civil society as well as leading AI nations, technology companies and researchers to Bletchley Park. Together we will turbocharge global action on the safe and responsible development of frontier AI to ensure nations and citizens globally can realise its benefits.

27th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward publication of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill to ensure the regime can be put into operation.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Autumn Statement that the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill will be brought forward in the 3rd Session. Further details on this will be announced in due course.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he will maintain the terms and conditions of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation despite the expiration of that regulation.

The retained Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation expires on 31 May 2023. On or before this date, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy may vary, revoke or replace the block exemption, acting in consultation with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has announced a review of the retained Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation and expects to submit a recommendation to my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State in late summer 2022.

15th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Terms of Reference for the BBC Funding Review Panel allow the Panel to consider all the funding options contained in the 6th report of the DCMS Select Committee of session 2019-21, and in the annex to that report.

The Terms of Reference for the BBC Funding Model Review set out that the Government wants the BBC to continue to succeed as a Public Service Broadcaster long into the future, providing high quality public service content on a universal basis.

As the Terms of Reference make clear, the review will be looking at a range of models for funding the BBC to ensure it is fair to licence fee payers, sustainable for the long term and supports the BBC’s vital role in growing the creative industries. This will include looking at options to reform the licence fee, and how the BBC can increase its commercial revenues. Given pressure on household incomes, the Secretary of State has explicitly ruled out this review looking at creating any new taxes.

The findings of the review will support the Government’s views on the future funding of the BBC. Any final decision on reforming the BBC’s funding model would be taken at Charter Review.



Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she is taking steps to help ensure that almshouse charities are regulated on a basis appropriate to small charities.

Both the Charity Commission and the Regulator of Social Housing have regulatory roles in relation to almshouse charities that are also registered providers of social housing.

Under charity law, the regulatory requirements that apply to charities are proportionate, with smaller charities subject to fewer or less detailed regulatory and transparency requirements. This includes almshouse charities.

Registration with the Regulator of Social Housing is voluntary for almshouse charities, and a number of almshouses do choose to register. Where almshouses are registered with the Regulator of Social Housing, they are required to meet the Regulator’s standards.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2023
BBC
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the BBC Mid-Term Review, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the way Ofcom evaluates the market impact of changes to the BBC’s public services.

In May 2022, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched the Mid-Term Review to assess how effectively the governance and regulation arrangements of the BBC are performing and whether any reforms are necessary. The Terms of Reference, published in May 2022, stated that the Review will look at competition and market impact, and will evaluate how the BBC and Ofcom assess the market impact and public value of the BBC in an evolving marketplace and how that relates to the wider UK media ecology, including with regard to commercial radio and local news sectors and other content makers and distributors.

DCMS is working through feedback from a wide range of stakeholders to help us develop our conclusions. We are consulting the BBC, Ofcom and the Devolved Administrations on our findings, as required by the Review’s Terms of Reference. The Government is seeking to conclude the review at pace, and to report on its findings by 2024.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what role she expects 5G connectivity to play in levelling up.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the role of 5G connectivity to play in Levelling Up.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps her Department has taken to help increase the attractiveness of investments in 5G networks.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps her Department has taken to increase private sector investment in (a) hybrid and (b) standalone 5G.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her planned timetable is for the completion of the rollout of standalone 5G in (a) Ashford and (b) the UK.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the potential economic impact of the rollout of standalone 5G in (a) Ashford constituency and (b) the UK.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government's ambition for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027 refers to (a) hybrid or (b) standalone 5G.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the potential impact of rolling out (a) hybrid 5G and (b) standalone 5G on the economy.

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure. Ofcom’s Connected Nations Autumn Update (7 October 2022) showed that non-standalone 5G is available outside up to 64% of premises across the UK.

The Mobile Network Operators are currently trialling standalone 5G, where all network architecture (base stations, core networks and backhaul) is dedicated solely to 5G. We expect standalone 5G deployments to begin in 2023, and for this to help unlock greater potential of 5G and support uses in industrial and other settings, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the UK.

The Levelling Up White Paper outlined our mission for what we want nationwide broadband and mobile coverage to look like by 2030.

The Government has made reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. Furthermore, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow operators to enter into additional agreements with site providers, enabling apparatus to be upgraded to 5G. In addition, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator programme is dedicated to accelerating the roll-out of 5G through the use of public sector assets.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to establish a new ambition for 5G, and set out how the UK can realise the full benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support community leisure centres.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities and swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy, and play an important role within communities.

This is why throughout the pandemic we provided the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which ensured the survival of leisure centres and swimming pools during the pandemic, and supported their reopening after the pandemic.

We also recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and the Government are in regular contact with business groups and the leisure sector to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses. The ongoing responsibility of providing access to public leisure facilities lies at Local Authority level, and the Government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in leisure facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to protect people's access to public swimming pools.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities and swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy, and play an important role within communities.

This is why throughout the pandemic we provided the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which ensured the survival of leisure centres and swimming pools during the pandemic, and supported their reopening after the pandemic.

We also recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and the Government are in regular contact with business groups and the leisure sector to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses. The ongoing responsibility of providing access to public leisure facilities lies at Local Authority level, and the Government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in leisure facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she had made of the implications for her policies of the submission to the Government's consultation by ISBA and the Advertising Association that privatising Channel 4 would weaken competition in the TV advertising market.

Channel 4 is one of this country’s greatest broadcasting assets but we must think long-term about the challenges ahead and make sure it has the capital it needs to continue to contribute to the UK’s success in public service broadcasting.

We have consulted on the best ownership model to support Channel 4 into the future. Our public consultation closed on 14 September. We are carefully considering the views and evidence we have received, including from advertising stakeholders, to inform the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Whatever decision is made about Channel 4’s ownership model, any reforms will not compromise our commitment to the wider creative economy.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make and publish an assessment of the impact of privatising Channel 4 on businesses and jobs in the UK TV production sector.

The government recognises that Channel 4 has consistently delivered on its remit in the decades since being established, including supporting the UK’s independent production sector.

Forty years on, this sector is now flourishing. Independent production is increasingly less reliant on income from UK public service broadcasters, and will continue to be in demand for the high-quality, differentiated, distinctively British content it produces. In the 10 years between 2008 and 2018, the contribution of PSB commissions to sector revenue fell from 64% to 42%, due in large part to the growth of international revenue.

The consultation opened on 6 July, running for 10 weeks, before closing on 14 September. We are currently analysing responses to our consultation. Once we have answered the questions set out in the consultation, we will know what specific impacts to assess and will therefore be in a position to carry out an impact assessment

Whatever decision we make, it will not compromise this government’s commitment to the independent production sector and wider creative economy. Our support for the UK film and TV industry has helped it bounce back from the impact of the pandemic when it had to shut-down in March 2020. For Q4 2020 the UK film and TV industry had the second highest production spend for any quarter on record - at £1.19 billion.

Last year, the government invested over £1 billion through the creative sector tax reliefs which support the UK screen sectors. In High-End TV, the UK has seen a production boom worth over £4 billion since a dedicated tax relief was introduced in 2013.

More than 600 productions have been supported by the government’s UK Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, protecting over 55,000 jobs and securing £1.9 billion of production spend.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government will take to safeguard Channel 4's remit in the event of its privatisation.

The Government has recently consulted on whether an alternative ownership model for Channel 4 (but one where it retains a public service remit) may be better for the broadcaster, and better for the country.

We want Channel 4 to continue to be a public service broadcaster, and we want it to and continue to contribute socially, economically and culturally to life across the UK. The reason the Government is looking into the future ownership model of Channel 4 is to ensure its sustainability and ability to deliver a PSB remit for decades to come.

Our consultation has examined Channel 4’s remit and obligations within this framework. We are currently analysing responses to our consultation, and evidence received through it, to inform our policy-making decisions.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to (a) undertake and (b) publish an impact assessment on the implications of the privatisation of Channel 4.

The government has recently consulted on whether an alternative ownership model for Channel 4 (but one where it retains a public service remit) may be better for the broadcaster, and better for the country.

We want Channel 4 to continue to be a public service broadcaster, and we want it to and continue to contribute socially, economically and culturally to life across the UK. But there is a wealth of evidence - including Ofcom’s recent report - on the future challenges facing our traditional linear TV broadcasters. Channel 4 is uniquely constrained in its ability to meet these challenges while it remains under public ownership - particularly because its access to capital and ability to pursue strategic partnership opportunities is limited.

Moving Channel 4 into private ownership could allow it to access new capital, take advantage of international opportunities, and create strategic partnerships only available through the private sector.

Consulting on the broadcaster’s future has therefore been about ensuring that Channel 4 can continue to contribute to the UK’s success in public service broadcasting for years to come, and how we ensure its ownership model best supports this aim

The consultation opened on 6 July, running for 10 weeks, before closing on 14 September. We are currently analysing responses to our consultation, and evidence received through it, to inform our policy-making decisions. Once we have answered the questions set out in the consultation, we will know what specific impacts to assess and will therefore be in a position to carry out an impact assessment.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions the Government is having with other governments on the creation of international rules to ensure that online news publishers are fairly remunerated by technology companies for the news content they generate.

Fair and competitive digital markets sit at the heart of the government’s strategy on press sustainability. Central to our plans in this area is our pro-competition regime for digital markets, which will include an enforceable code of conduct to rebalance the relationship between publishers and platforms. No decisions have been taken on this yet but we expect to launch our consultation later in the year.

Given the global nature of digital technologies and markets, we recognise that we will be most effective if we work together. We therefore continue to monitor developments in this area internationally and to engage with other governments to understand their approaches.

We are discussing our approach to press sustainability in the context of digital markets with international partners through bilateral engagement and as part of our G7 presidency. The Secretary of State has raised the issue of press sustainability with his G7 counterparts with a view to promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to consult on the final form and functions of the Digital Markets Unit; and if he will make a statement.

In November last year, the government announced that it would establish a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. At the heart of that regime will be a mandatory code of conduct to govern the relationships between dominant firms and different groups of users that rely on their services, to promote fair trading, open choices and trust and transparency. It will cover the relationships between news publishers and platforms.

A non-statutory Digital Markets Unit (DMU) was established in April, housed in the CMA, to introduce, maintain and enforce the code of conduct. The Unit has begun to operationalise the new regime, and the Digital Secretary has asked it to work with the communications regulator Ofcom to look specifically at how a code of conduct would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers such as news publishers, including to ensure they are as fair and reasonable as possible.

We will consult on the form and function of the DMU this year, and legislate to put it on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what role the Digital Markets Unit will have in tackling monopolistic behaviour among tech companies in promoting news content.

In November last year, the government announced that it would establish a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. At the heart of that regime will be a mandatory code of conduct to govern the relationships between dominant firms and different groups of users that rely on their services, to promote fair trading, open choices and trust and transparency. It will cover the relationships between news publishers and platforms.

A non-statutory Digital Markets Unit (DMU) was established in April, housed in the CMA, to introduce, maintain and enforce the code of conduct. The Unit has begun to operationalise the new regime, and the Digital Secretary has asked it to work with the communications regulator Ofcom to look specifically at how a code of conduct would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers such as news publishers, including to ensure they are as fair and reasonable as possible.

We will consult on the form and function of the DMU this year, and legislate to put it on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Digital Markets Unit has plans to create a code of conduct covering technology platforms' relationship with news organisations; when that code of conduct will be published; and if he will make a statement.

In November last year, the government announced that it would establish a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. At the heart of that regime will be a mandatory code of conduct to govern the relationships between dominant firms and different groups of users that rely on their services, to promote fair trading, open choices and trust and transparency. It will cover the relationships between news publishers and platforms.

A non-statutory Digital Markets Unit (DMU) was established in April, housed in the CMA, to introduce, maintain and enforce the code of conduct. The Unit has begun to operationalise the new regime, and the Digital Secretary has asked it to work with the communications regulator Ofcom to look specifically at how a code of conduct would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers such as news publishers, including to ensure they are as fair and reasonable as possible.

We will consult on the form and function of the DMU this year, and legislate to put it on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of safety measures taken by bowling centres during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement on the ability of those centres in Tier 3 to re-open.

Since 2 December, as set out in the COVID Winter Plan, we have returned to a tiered approach to COVID-19 restrictions in England. Relevant venues in the entertainment, leisure and tourism sectors - including bowling alleys - will be permitted to reopen in tiers 1 and 2, subject to curfew restrictions and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance. In tier 3 areas, indoor venues and attractions - including bowling alleys - must close.

We worked closely with a range of visitor economy stakeholders to develop our guidance for leisure and hospitality venues. We continue to engage with bowling stakeholders, such as the Ten-Pin Bowling Proprietor’s Association, to update and review our guidance. Further specific guidance on bowling alleys has been published within UKHospitality’s ‘COVID-19 Secure Guidelines for Hospitality Businesses.’

Our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

Bowling centre operators can continue to access the Government’s comprehensive support package - including the extended furlough and self-employed support schemes, new grant schemes, as well as various government-backed loans. We have also provided business rates relief and grants for many in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector.

We are listening to stakeholders’ concerns, and will continue to closely monitor the ongoing impact of Government restrictions on bowling alleys.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance is available for local authorities to help them negotiate wayleaves for their housing stock with telecoms infrastructure providers.

On 27th August, I wrote, together with the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, to all tier-1 local authorities in the country on the subject of telecoms infrastructure deployment. This letter highlighted newly published Government guidance on how local authorities can 1) enable access to public assets, such as housing stock, and 2) ensure appropriate valuation of assets for access agreements.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force has offered to meet each authority individually to discuss this guidance and issues particular to each area. Kent County Council took up this offer on the 13th October. Many authorities are taking a proactive approach across the UK, including Croydon, for example, which has signed master wayleaves to connect their social housing stock to gigabit broadband.

Further guidance on these matters can be found on the Government’s Digital Connectivity Portal.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to ensure a reasonable cost of wayleaves for installing full fibre in new and existing housing developments.

My department has introduced a suite of measures to deploy nationwide gigabit broadband as cheaply and as quickly as possible.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill once enacted will make it easier for network operators to install gigabit broadband in multi-dwelling buildings such as blocks of flats). Third Reading in the House of Lords is expected to take place shortly.

The Bill creates a faster, cheaper application process in the First-tier Tribunal that operators may use in situations where (i) a leaseholder has requested a connection to be installed, (ii) repeated requests for access have failed to illicit a response from the landowner and (iii) the operator requires access to common parts of the building (such as hallways, basements and stairwells) in order to connect the consumer.

It is expected that the Bill will bring costs of applying to the courts for access for the operator down to below £500 and shorten the process to around 6 weeks.

The Electronic Communication Code is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land by operators.

Government has always been clear that good working relationships between Code operators and site providers are a key factor in the Electronic Communications Code operating effectively. The Code is premised on the concept that reasonable attempts will be made to negotiate mutually acceptable agreements in the first instance, and that cases will only be referred to the courts where this proves impossible.

We are also bringing forward legislation to deliver gigabit broadband to the majority of new homes at minimal costs to developers.

Government is seeking to amend Building Regulations to require housing developers to provide gigabit broadband unless the costs to the developer exceeds £2000.

To support developers and to ensure as many new homes as possible receive gigabit broadband the Secretary of State has received commitments from the CEOs of Openreach, Virgin and Gigaclear to contribute to the costs of connecting new homes.

These commitments ensure that, taken with the amended Building Regulations, gigabit broadband will be deployed to 99% of new build premises.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policy on the Outside In programme of the findings of the National Audit Office's report of January 2015 on the Superfast (Rural) Broadband Programme: update.

In 2013 and 2015 the NAO published reports on the progress of the Superfast (Rural) Broadband Programme. Since we last reported, the Superfast Programme has moved increasingly to gigabit-capable full-fibre solutions in place of copper telephone wires from premises to a local cabinet.

The Superfast Programme has delivered over 5.2m premises with superfast broadband, which constitutes 17% of all households in the UK and reached the target of 95% coverage in December 2017. After hitting this target Ministers agreed to continue the programme using a combination of underspend, early clawback, Local Body/Devolved funding and EU funding (ERDF and EAFRD). With coverage now beyond 96%.

The NAO have recognised what has been achieved through the Superfast Programme in their latest report from 16th October 2020 called ‘Improving Broadband’ and has made several recommendations to the Department to be utilised as part of its development of the UK Gigabit Programme.

We are developing our approach to delivering the £5 billion UK Gigabit programme as fast as possible and my officials will ensure that all recommendations that have been made by the NAO will be taken into account during this work. This is a very complex programme and we want to make sure our interventions cater for current need, geography and cost-effectiveness and incorporates lessons learned from previous programmes.

We understand the challenges in achieving nationwide coverage, particularly in hard to reach areas. And have been working closely with industry and local authority partners to develop an approach that will scale with the market’s ambitions.

In the meantime we are already connecting some of the hardest to reach places in the country, not only through our Superfast Broadband but additionally with Local Full Fibre Networks and Rural Gigabit Connectivity programmes.

Further details about the £5 billion of public funding committed at the Budget will be announced at the Spending Review on the 25th November.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to reform the Electronic Communications Code to support the rapid rollout of full fibre digital infrastructure to (a) private new build developments, (b) publicly owned social housing and (c) unadopted roads.

We intend to consult on whether further reforms to Electronic Communications Code (the Code) are necessary to support investment in networks. My Department is working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector to understand whether the current legislative framework supports the delivery of the gigabit-capable infrastructure.

In developing the consultation, officials will take into account changes needed to ensure the Code is fit for purpose. This will include considering publicly owned social housing and unadopted roads. The Government has recently published guidance to local authorities with regard to public assets, such as social housing. This is available on the Government’s Digital Connectivity Portal here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/digital-connectivity-portal

We will also bring forward legislation to deliver gigabit broadband to the majority of new homes at minimal costs to developers. As part of this, the Government is seeking to amend the Building Regulations 2010 to require housing developers to provide gigabit broadband unless the costs to the developer exceeds £2,000.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of the work of Confucius Institutes on freedom of speech at universities.

The department recognises concerns about overseas interference in the higher education (HE) sector, including through Confucius Institutes. We regularly assess the risks facing academia. The department is taking action to remove any government funding from Confucius Institutes in the UK, but currently judges that it would be disproportionate to ban them.

Like any international body operating in the UK, Confucius Institutes need to operate transparently and within the law, with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities also have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and that the right due diligence is in place.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023 will ensure that universities in England have the tools they need to deal with interference with, and threats to, freedom of speech and academic freedom wherever they originate. Section 9 of the Act will require the Office for Students to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions, in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE. This includes the reporting of educational or commercial partnerships and would therefore cover arrangements with, for example, Confucius Institutes.

The department is now going further in the Integrated Review Refresh, launching a new and comprehensive review of legislative and other provisions designed to protect the academic sector, to identify what more we could or should be doing.

The government is clear that any challenges to our core values, whatever their origin, will not be tolerated.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is taking steps to tackle potential national security risks posed by Confucius Institutes at UK universities.

The department recognises concerns about overseas interference in the higher education (HE) sector, including through Confucius Institutes. We regularly assess the risks facing academia. The department is taking action to remove any government funding from Confucius Institutes in the UK, but currently judges that it would be disproportionate to ban them.

Like any international body operating in the UK, Confucius Institutes need to operate transparently and within the law, with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities also have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and that the right due diligence is in place.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023 will ensure that universities in England have the tools they need to deal with interference with, and threats to, freedom of speech and academic freedom wherever they originate. Section 9 of the Act will require the Office for Students to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions, in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE. This includes the reporting of educational or commercial partnerships and would therefore cover arrangements with, for example, Confucius Institutes.

The department is now going further in the Integrated Review Refresh, launching a new and comprehensive review of legislative and other provisions designed to protect the academic sector, to identify what more we could or should be doing.

The government is clear that any challenges to our core values, whatever their origin, will not be tolerated.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of Chinese influence through Confucius Institutes at UK universities since the Integrated Review Refresh in March 2023.

The department recognises concerns about overseas interference in the higher education (HE) sector, including through Confucius Institutes. We regularly assess the risks facing academia. The department is taking action to remove any government funding from Confucius Institutes in the UK, but currently judges that it would be disproportionate to ban them.

Like any international body operating in the UK, Confucius Institutes need to operate transparently and within the law, with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities also have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and that the right due diligence is in place.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023 will ensure that universities in England have the tools they need to deal with interference with, and threats to, freedom of speech and academic freedom wherever they originate. Section 9 of the Act will require the Office for Students to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions, in order to assess the extent to which such funding arrangements present a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE. This includes the reporting of educational or commercial partnerships and would therefore cover arrangements with, for example, Confucius Institutes.

The department is now going further in the Integrated Review Refresh, launching a new and comprehensive review of legislative and other provisions designed to protect the academic sector, to identify what more we could or should be doing.

The government is clear that any challenges to our core values, whatever their origin, will not be tolerated.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of expanding the number of schools enrolled in the National School Breakfast Programme.

​​In November 2022, the Department extended the National School Breakfast Programme for an additional year, until the end of the summer term in 2024. £30 million has been set aside to fund this programme. This funding will support up to 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. Schools are eligible for the programme if they have 40% or more pupils from disadvantaged households, as measured by the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to extend the duration of the scheme for providing computers at home for disadvantaged children; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets, and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, to children who would not have otherwise had online access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care.

The laptops and tablets were an injection of support to help local authorities and academy trusts to provide access to education and social care during the COVID-19 restriction period. Laptops and tablets are owned by the local authority, academy trust or school, who can choose to lend unused laptops and tablets to children and young people who need them most, and who may face disruption to face-to-face education in the event of future local COVID-19 restrictions.

The Department is now supplementing this support by making available 250,000 additional laptops and tablets in the event that face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions and children become reliant on remote education. This scheme is intended to enable schools to support disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who cannot afford their own laptops and tablets. Schools will also be able to order laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children across all year groups who are shielding as a result of official or medical advice, all year groups who attend hospital schools, and those completing their Key Stage 4 at a further education college.

In the event that face-to-face education is disrupted, we know that it is critical to get schools the support that they need in the shortest timeframe. The majority of laptops and tablets ordered through this scheme will be delivered within two working days, subject to availability.

4th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle litter.

Our Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation. The strategy contains a number of commitments, many of which have been completed or are nearing completion. Progress reports on delivering the Litter Strategy can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/litter-strategy-for-england-progress-reports.

The Prime Minister’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan set out how we will support council’s to take tougher action against those that litter. For example, last July we significantly raised the upper limit on fixed penalty notices from £150 to £500.

The Chewing Gum Task Force, established by Defra and funded by producers, has provided almost £2.5 million in grants since 2022 to help nearly 100 councils remove gum stains from high streets and invest in long-term behaviour change to prevent gum being dropped in the first place. The Task Force has just launched another grant scheme for councils this year. Further information can be be found at: https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/local-authorities/reduce-litter/gum-litter/chewing-gum-task-force.

National Highways has developed a new campaign that aims to educate and change road users’ behaviour towards littering. The campaign will run from 12 February to 10 March and road users will be implored to stop littering as its deadly impact on wildlife is revealed.

In January this year, we announced our plans to ban disposable vapes in the UK. This will help to tackle a huge and growing stream of hard-to-recycle waste and litter, with nearly 5 million thrown away every week.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made an assessment of the potential benefits of digital tools in helping small and medium-sized developers to comply with biodiversity net gain on small sites.

The Government intends to implement mandatory biodiversity net gain for most new major development under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) from November this year, for minor development from April 2024 and for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) from 2025.

The temporary transition for small sites until April 2024 is intended to lessen the short-term administrative burdens and to allow local planning authorities and smaller developers a longer period to prepare for biodiversity net gain.

The relative regulatory burden of BNG for small developers can be higher, so this transition is important to ensure time for small developers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement, associated guidance, and the small sites metric. We are developing tools that will help small, medium, and large developers alike. We are also providing training and guidance that will support developers in the necessary assessments and processes.

In addition, we are aware a number of digital tools are being developed in the private sector to support small and medium sized developers.

Given that this is a temporary transition until April 2024, and that small development only makes up a small proportion of overall land use change from non-developed to urban land cover[1], we expect this transition period will a limited impact on biodiversity.

We also know that some developers are already voluntarily delivering biodiversity net gain ahead of it becoming mandatory. The transition period for small sites does not prohibit developers from delivering voluntary BNG ahead of April 2024.

Defra intends to lay the small sites metric alongside the statutory metric ahead of implementation in November.

[1] Net gain impact assessment (publishing.service.gov.uk) Section 2.2.2

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has to implement the biodiversity net gain on small sites after April 2024.

The Government intends to implement mandatory biodiversity net gain for most new major development under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) from November this year, for minor development from April 2024 and for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) from 2025.

The temporary transition for small sites until April 2024 is intended to lessen the short-term administrative burdens and to allow local planning authorities and smaller developers a longer period to prepare for biodiversity net gain.

The relative regulatory burden of BNG for small developers can be higher, so this transition is important to ensure time for small developers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement, associated guidance, and the small sites metric. We are developing tools that will help small, medium, and large developers alike. We are also providing training and guidance that will support developers in the necessary assessments and processes.

In addition, we are aware a number of digital tools are being developed in the private sector to support small and medium sized developers.

Given that this is a temporary transition until April 2024, and that small development only makes up a small proportion of overall land use change from non-developed to urban land cover[1], we expect this transition period will a limited impact on biodiversity.

We also know that some developers are already voluntarily delivering biodiversity net gain ahead of it becoming mandatory. The transition period for small sites does not prohibit developers from delivering voluntary BNG ahead of April 2024.

Defra intends to lay the small sites metric alongside the statutory metric ahead of implementation in November.

[1] Net gain impact assessment (publishing.service.gov.uk) Section 2.2.2

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of her Department's decision to delay the implementation of biodiversity net gain on small sites until April 2024 on (a) the amount of habitat created in that period, (b) the amount of habitat destroyed in that period, (c) the UK’s ability to meet its commitments under the G7 2030 Nature Compact and (d) small developers.

The Government intends to implement mandatory biodiversity net gain for most new major development under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) from November this year, for minor development from April 2024 and for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) from 2025.

The temporary transition for small sites until April 2024 is intended to lessen the short-term administrative burdens and to allow local planning authorities and smaller developers a longer period to prepare for biodiversity net gain.

The relative regulatory burden of BNG for small developers can be higher, so this transition is important to ensure time for small developers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement, associated guidance, and the small sites metric. We are developing tools that will help small, medium, and large developers alike. We are also providing training and guidance that will support developers in the necessary assessments and processes.

In addition, we are aware a number of digital tools are being developed in the private sector to support small and medium sized developers.

Given that this is a temporary transition until April 2024, and that small development only makes up a small proportion of overall land use change from non-developed to urban land cover[1], we expect this transition period will a limited impact on biodiversity.

We also know that some developers are already voluntarily delivering biodiversity net gain ahead of it becoming mandatory. The transition period for small sites does not prohibit developers from delivering voluntary BNG ahead of April 2024.

Defra intends to lay the small sites metric alongside the statutory metric ahead of implementation in November.

[1] Net gain impact assessment (publishing.service.gov.uk) Section 2.2.2

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Statutory Instrument to commence the implementation of biodiversity net gain under Part 6 of the Environment Act 2021 will confirm the implementation dates for the (a) main and (b) small sites metric.

The Government intends to implement mandatory biodiversity net gain for most new major development under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) from November this year, for minor development from April 2024 and for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) from 2025.

The temporary transition for small sites until April 2024 is intended to lessen the short-term administrative burdens and to allow local planning authorities and smaller developers a longer period to prepare for biodiversity net gain.

The relative regulatory burden of BNG for small developers can be higher, so this transition is important to ensure time for small developers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement, associated guidance, and the small sites metric. We are developing tools that will help small, medium, and large developers alike. We are also providing training and guidance that will support developers in the necessary assessments and processes.

In addition, we are aware a number of digital tools are being developed in the private sector to support small and medium sized developers.

Given that this is a temporary transition until April 2024, and that small development only makes up a small proportion of overall land use change from non-developed to urban land cover[1], we expect this transition period will a limited impact on biodiversity.

We also know that some developers are already voluntarily delivering biodiversity net gain ahead of it becoming mandatory. The transition period for small sites does not prohibit developers from delivering voluntary BNG ahead of April 2024.

Defra intends to lay the small sites metric alongside the statutory metric ahead of implementation in November.

[1] Net gain impact assessment (publishing.service.gov.uk) Section 2.2.2

8th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2022 to Question 53520 on Animal Welfare: Electric Shock, what data her Department holds on the level of discomfort that e-collar systems cause in (a) livestock and (b) dogs; and if she will commission research in this area.

The best proven method of preventing a dog from attacking livestock is to keep the dog on a lead when exercising around other animals, as advised by farmers and other keepers of livestock. The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs includes guidance on how to keep dogs safe and under control. The code is available here: Code of practice for the welfare of dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Defra’s research into electric shock collars is available here: Science Search (defra.gov.uk) .

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the National Sheep Association’s letter to Government on 26 August 2022 on its concerns about the potential impact of banning e-collars on the numbers of livestock killed by dogs.

The best proven method of preventing a dog from attacking livestock is to keep the dog on a lead when exercising around other animals, as advised by farmers and other keepers of livestock. The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs includes guidance on how to keep dogs safe and under control. The code is available here: Code of practice for the welfare of dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Defra’s research into electric shock collars is available here: Science Search (defra.gov.uk) .

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects to respond to the consultation on Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which closed on 4 June 2021; and if he will make a statement.

Further details on when a Deposit Return Scheme will be introduced will be set out in the Government response to last year's consultation. We are working towards publication in late 2022.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will introduce a rolling review process for future Free Trade Agreements to protect the interests of UK agriculture.

We will always consider the effects of any trade agreement we negotiate on the agricultural industry, and we have a range of tools to defend British farming against any unfair trading practices. The Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements both include safeguards for our farmers.

In addition, the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission will scrutinise new free trade agreements once they are signed, providing an additional layer of independent scrutiny.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons