Dan Carden Portrait

Dan Carden

Labour - Liverpool, Walton

Environmental Audit Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 5th Jan 2022
Armed Forces Bill Select Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury)
10th Apr 2020 - 15th Oct 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
3rd Dec 2018 - 6th Apr 2020
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 29th Apr 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 29th Apr 2019
Procedure Committee
23rd Oct 2017 - 19th Mar 2019
Shadow Minister (International Development)
12th Jan 2018 - 2nd Dec 2018


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 8th September 2022
09:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Evaluating innovation projects in children’s social care
8 Sep 2022, 9 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Susan Acland-Hood - Permanent Secretary at Department for Education
Indra Morris - Director General for Families Group at Department for Education
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 12th September 2022
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: HMRC Annual Report and Accounts 21-22
12 Sep 2022, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Jim Harra - Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary at HM Revenue and Customs
Angela MacDonald - Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary at HM Revenue and Customs
Justin Holliday - Chief Finance Officer at HM Revenue and Customs
Jane Whittaker - Director for Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 15th September 2022
09:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Grassroots participation in sport and physical activity
15 Sep 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Sarah Healey - Permanent Secretary at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tom Hollingsworth - Chief Executive at Sport England
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 19th September 2022
15:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Managing central government property
19 Sep 2022, 3 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Alex Chisholm - Permanent Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Civil Service at Cabinet Office
Stephen Boyd - Chief Executive at Government Property Agency
Mark Chivers - Government Chief Property Officer at Government Property Agency
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Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Thursday 30th June 2022
50 Years of Pride in the UK
I congratulate the hon. Members for Lanark and Hamilton East (Angela Crawley) and for Carshalton and Wallington (Elliot Colburn) and …
Written Answers
Tuesday 9th August 2022
Community Diagnostic Centres: Private Sector
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many community diagnostic centres are (a) operated in …
Early Day Motions
Monday 16th May 2022
Success of Liverpool men's and women's football teams
That this House extends its warmest congratulations to Liverpool Football Club for their victory in the 150th FA Cup final …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th July 2022
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Trust Reservations
Address of donor: Merchant House, 5 East St. Helen Street, Abingdon OX14 5EG
Amount of …
EDM signed
Thursday 21st July 2022
Civil service jobs in the North West
That this House is extremely concerned about the government’s plan to cut 91,000 jobs from the Civil Service within three …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Dan Carden has voted in 464 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Dan Carden 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
Chris Philp (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
Greg Hands (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(5 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(28 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(22 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Armed Forces Act 2021
(2,396 words contributed)
Finance Act 2021
(1,468 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Dan Carden's debates

Liverpool, Walton Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.


Latest EDMs signed by Dan Carden

19th July 2022
Dan Carden signed this EDM on Thursday 21st July 2022

Civil service jobs in the North West

Tabled by: Margaret Greenwood (Labour - Wirral West)
That this House is extremely concerned about the government’s plan to cut 91,000 jobs from the Civil Service within three years; recognises that this amounts to around one fifth of civil service jobs based on 2021 figures; notes that, in 2021, outside of London, the North West of England was …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
12th July 2022
Dan Carden signed this EDM on Monday 18th July 2022

Public scientific hearing on animal experiments

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House applauds the new Animal Sentience Bill, enshrining in law the ability of animals to experience joy and feel suffering and pain; notes the science-based campaign For Life On Earth with its Beagle Ambassador, rescued laboratory dog Betsy; is shocked to see the harrowing exposé showing thousands of …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 8
Labour: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
Alliance: 1
View All Dan Carden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Dan Carden, 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.


Dan Carden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Dan Carden

Monday 6th June 2022
Tuesday 27th April 2021

Dan Carden has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


635 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
9 Other Department Questions
6th Jul 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Committee on Standards' report entitled, Review of the Code of Conduct: proposals for consultation, published on 29 November 2021, what steps the Commission is taking to action the recommendation that a more in-depth training session on the code of conduct should be offered within six months of a Member of Parliament first being elected.

All new Members returned at a General Election receive one-to-one meetings with members of the Registry Office at which the Code of Conduct is explained alongside their responsibilities in relation to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Members elected at by-elections have similar meetings with Members of the Registry Office. The Committee on Standards has said that it intends to hold an inquiry on raising awareness of the Code of Conduct and the Register. That inquiry will consider the provision of adequate and appropriate training. Members are always advised to seek the advice of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Registry Office should they have any questions on the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules.

6th Jul 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Committee on Standards' report entitled, Review of the Code of Conduct: proposals for consultation, published on 29 November 2021 and its report entitled, New Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules: promoting appropriate values, attitudes and behaviour in Parliament, published on 24 May 2022, what steps the Commission is taking to help ensure that the Register of Members' Financial Interests is published in more searchable and analysable formats.

Following the report from the Committee on Standards, Parliamentary Digital Service and the Registry Office established a project team to develop and deliver fully searchable registers and a new online interface for Members to register their interests. The initial phases of the project have been completed. The project board that oversees this work will now make proposals to the House authorities on the delivery of this work.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the impact the exclusion of alcohol dependence and other addictions from the protections of the Equality Act 2010 has had on (a) discrimination and (b) stigmatisation of people with a history of alcohol dependence.

While the Government recognises the personal challenges faced by people with addictions or dependencies such as alcohol, we subscribe to the view of successive Governments since the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, that it is not appropriate to give such conditions protected status under discrimination law. Alcohol addiction or dependency therefore remains specifically excluded from the Act’s definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010.

Addiction and dependency can however sometimes cause a disability – for example lung or kidney failure – or be the result of a disability, for example a mental health condition. Where the addiction arises due to medically prescribed drugs or other medical treatment – for example an individual who has an addiction to painkillers because they are prescribed following an accident or surgery – protection may also be available under the Act. We believe that this offers the right balance between protecting individuals on the one hand and employers and service providers on the other.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference the Third report of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, HC 977, entitled Reform of the Gender Recognition Act, what progress she has made in implementing the recommendation that the Government should bring back an action plan for reform to the Gender Recognition Act within 12 weeks in relation to the spousal consent provision, the requirement to live in the acquired gender and the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

The Government has responded to the recent Women and Equalities Committee report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act stating our view that the position we set out in September 2020 is right and appropriate. The balance struck in this legislation is correct. The evidential and diagnosis requirements in the GRA ensure that the process is rigorous and provides assurance that the system is robust, whilst offering provision for people who wish to change their legal sex.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he plans to take to create a joint strategy for tackling climate change and and protecting the natural environment following COP26.

The UK Government is committed to taking bold action to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. However, we are clear that countries cannot tackle environmental and climate crises alone; we need a concerted global effort. The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use is an unprecedented commitment from 142 countries, covering over 91% of global forests, to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. It’s underpinned by almost $20bn of public and private finance, by sustainable trade and by support for indigenous peoples’ rights. We will work with other countries that endorsed the Declaration to convert this political commitment into strong action on forests and land use. This will include working through multilateral events in 2022 such as meetings of the G7 and G20, and at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2021
What steps the Government is taking to promote climate action and a green recovery from the covid-19 pandemic ahead of COP26.

The Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan and Net Zero Strategy sets out our blueprint for a Green Industrial Revolution. The plan invests in green technologies and industries; leverages billions of pounds of private sector investments to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs, and level up across the UK. It’s a clear plan to build back greener from the covid pandemic.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions has she had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the impact of algorithmic decision-making on people with protected characteristics.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Officials in the Equality Hub and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have discussed with the CDEI its Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making.

As part of its 2021-22 Annual Plan, the EHRC is developing guidance on artificial intelligence and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), for government departments and public bodies. This is in response to recommendations from the CDEI as well as the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Additionally, as part of the planning process for the EHRC’s 2022-25 Strategic Plan, the Commission is engaging with key stakeholders, including the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Alan Turing Institute to build its capability to respond to the most pressing equality and human rights issues arising from the use of artificial intelligence.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to ban LGBT conversion therapy.

This Government is committed to tackling the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy in the UK. As the Prime Minister has reiterated, this practice has no place in civilised society.

We are considering both legislative and non-legislative options to end conversion therapy practices for good. Officials have been reviewing the current legislative framework to see how harmful and unacceptable practices referred to as conversion therapy may already be captured by existing laws and offences. Where this is the case, we will look to ensure that the law is clear and enforced. Where conversion therapy practices are not already unlawful we are looking at the best ways to end these practices without sending them underground.

The Government is working at pace on ending conversion therapy and will outline in due course how it intends to proceed with an effective and proportionate response.

8th Nov 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to ensure the effectiveness of the Serious Fraud Office.

The Law Officers’ sponsorship and statutory superintendence of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is undertaken in accordance with the Framework Agreement between the Law Officers and the Director of the SFO, which was published in January 2019.

As set out in the Framework Agreement, The Law Officers regularly meet the Director and her senior leadership team to discuss the SFO’s work in tackling the top level of serious and complex fraud, bribery, and corruption. This includes regular Ministerial Strategic Boards, chaired by the Attorney General or Solicitor General, which oversee the strategic direction of the SFO and hold the SFO to account for the delivery of its strategic objectives.

6th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what has been the cost to the public purse of appealing the Information Commissioner’s Decision Notice of 18th December 2019, reference FS50772671.

I refer the hon. Member to his previous Parliamentary Question answered on 8 March PQ133263.

The government does not comment on the costs of ongoing litigation and will publish the costs after the conclusion of the case.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Committee on Standards and Public Life's report on MPs' Outside Interests and the Committee on Standards' report entitled, New Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules: promoting appropriate values, attitudes and behaviour in Parliament, published on 24 May 2022, if the Government will take steps to implement the recommendations in those reports on the rules on (a) paid advocacy and (b) the provision of advice on parliamentary affairs.

The Government is carefully considering the Committee on Standards' report, the Committee’s draft Procedural Protocol and covering report. The Government will be responding in full to the report and its various recommendations. The Code of Conduct for MPs rightly remains a matter for Parliament and any changes must be taken forward on a cross-party basis, in order to ensure a standards system that is robust, fair and has the backing of the public and MPs.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
25th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of (a) length of time and (b) costs for resolving procurement challenges and disputes; and what plans he has to make the system faster and more efficient.

Current procurement laws allow for the exclusion of suppliers from bidding for procurements where they have been convicted of, or there is evidence of, bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. The Procurement Bill, introduced to Parliament on 11 May, broadens and strengthens the exclusion grounds. It is for contracting authorities to consider whether suppliers must or may be excluded from each procurement. We intend to publish guidance to assist authorities in conducting due diligence, for instance by pointing to relevant sources of information.

The Procurement Bill also includes new, clearer and more transparent measures for how procurement can be conducted in an emergency. It makes provision for contracting in an emergency, for example where necessary to protect life. This will give people confidence that contracts are being let appropriately even when there is a need to procure at speed. New rules will also continue to allow buyers to run a quick informal competition in situations of extreme urgency (currently they are more likely to opt for a direct award to reduce the risk of delay).

The Government’s response to the Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement discussed the costs and duration of legal challenges and we are continuing to explore feasible options for faster and more accessible routes for valid challenge of procurement decisions. We intend to establish a new Procurement Review Unit to improve capability and compliance, thereby reducing the need for legal challenges, and providing an alternative mechanism for complaints to be addressed.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
25th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure effective parliamentary oversight of the use of emergency procurement measures.

Current procurement laws allow for the exclusion of suppliers from bidding for procurements where they have been convicted of, or there is evidence of, bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. The Procurement Bill, introduced to Parliament on 11 May, broadens and strengthens the exclusion grounds. It is for contracting authorities to consider whether suppliers must or may be excluded from each procurement. We intend to publish guidance to assist authorities in conducting due diligence, for instance by pointing to relevant sources of information.

The Procurement Bill also includes new, clearer and more transparent measures for how procurement can be conducted in an emergency. It makes provision for contracting in an emergency, for example where necessary to protect life. This will give people confidence that contracts are being let appropriately even when there is a need to procure at speed. New rules will also continue to allow buyers to run a quick informal competition in situations of extreme urgency (currently they are more likely to opt for a direct award to reduce the risk of delay).

The Government’s response to the Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement discussed the costs and duration of legal challenges and we are continuing to explore feasible options for faster and more accessible routes for valid challenge of procurement decisions. We intend to establish a new Procurement Review Unit to improve capability and compliance, thereby reducing the need for legal challenges, and providing an alternative mechanism for complaints to be addressed.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
25th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to tackle potential enforcement loopholes to ensure the effectiveness of proposals for (a) failure to prevent offences, (b) deferred prosecution agreements and (c) other proposals for the exclusion of bidders from public procurement in respect of companies involved in (i) bribery, (ii) fraud, (iii) money laundering and (iv) tax evasion.

Current procurement laws allow for the exclusion of suppliers from bidding for procurements where they have been convicted of, or there is evidence of, bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. The Procurement Bill, introduced to Parliament on 11 May, broadens and strengthens the exclusion grounds. It is for contracting authorities to consider whether suppliers must or may be excluded from each procurement. We intend to publish guidance to assist authorities in conducting due diligence, for instance by pointing to relevant sources of information.

The Procurement Bill also includes new, clearer and more transparent measures for how procurement can be conducted in an emergency. It makes provision for contracting in an emergency, for example where necessary to protect life. This will give people confidence that contracts are being let appropriately even when there is a need to procure at speed. New rules will also continue to allow buyers to run a quick informal competition in situations of extreme urgency (currently they are more likely to opt for a direct award to reduce the risk of delay).

The Government’s response to the Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement discussed the costs and duration of legal challenges and we are continuing to explore feasible options for faster and more accessible routes for valid challenge of procurement decisions. We intend to establish a new Procurement Review Unit to improve capability and compliance, thereby reducing the need for legal challenges, and providing an alternative mechanism for complaints to be addressed.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the covid-19 inquiry will not hold public evidence hearings until 2023.

The timing of a statutory inquiry’s various stages are, under the Inquiries Act 2005, a matter for its independent chair to determine.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 3128 on Earl Mountbatten of Burma: Disclosure of information, if he will provide a breakdown of the costs to the public purse incurred in relation to this matter to date.

I refer the hon. Member to his previous Parliamentary Question answered on 24 May PQ 3128.

The government does not comment on the costs of ongoing litigation and will publish the costs at the conclusion of the case.



Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what cost has been incurred to the public purse in respect of not allowing the public release of the Mountbatten archive as at 21 February 2022.

I refer the hon. Member to their previous Parliamentary Question answered on 24 May 2021 PQ3128.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish Sir Robert Francis' study into options for a framework for compensation for people infected and affected by infected blood upon his Department receiving it.

The study will report to the Paymaster General no later than 14 March 2022. The Government will give full consideration to Sir Robert's study - which is separate from the independent public inquiry. The Government's response and Sir Robert's study will be published.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of Government covid-19 contracts have been awarded without following a competitive tender process since the beginning of March 2021.

This information is not held centrally.


Details of Government contracts above £10,000 should be published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether procurement will be included in the scope of the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 will be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022. Further details, including the terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Freedom of Information requests were (a) sent to and (b) granted in full by Government departments and agencies in each of the last five years.

The Cabinet Office publishes Freedom of Information statistics for central government bodies on a quarterly and annual basis, which are available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-foi-statistics.

Government Departments respond to Freedom of Information requests in line with the legislation, including applying relevant exemptions where applicable.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will ask the relevant authorities to undertake detailed audits of the 73 Government covid-19 contracts identified by Transparency International UK as containing corruption red flags.

Intensive collaboration with the private sector specifically on procurement has been, and continues to be, both necessary and essential for Government to properly manage and handle the Covid-19 crisis. During the most challenging periods, being able to procure at speed was critical in providing that response. Despite that, the Government has always made clear that all contracts, including all those entered into as part of the Government’s Covid-19 response, must achieve value for money for taxpayers and use sound commercial judgement. The details of all awards are published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Proper due diligence is carried out for all government contracts and Government takes these checks extremely seriously. Government Departments, as individual contracting authorities, are responsible for ensuring that they have in place robust processes for spending public money fairly and achieving value for money for the taxpayer. This includes ensuring that appropriate levels of due diligence are undertaken on the supplier prior to award of contracts.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans publish details of (a) companies that were awarded contracts via the high-priority lane for covid-19 procurement and (b) who referred them.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000, and £25,000 in the wider public sector, are publicly available and published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

We plan to publish details of companies that were awarded contracts via the high-priority lane for Covid-19 procurement, and who referred them to the high-priority lane, in due course. This commitment goes above and beyond usual transparency obligations.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish its response to Nigel Boardman's report into the development and use of Supply Chain Finance (and associated schemes) related to Greensill Capital in government.

I refer the Honourable member to Written Statement HCWS293.

The Government notes the work of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs and Treasury Committees, as well as the forthcoming Standards Matter 2 report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Once these reports have been published, we will consider their work alongside Mr Boardman’s recommendations, and set out a substantive Government policy statement to Parliament in due course.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's timetable is for publishing its response to its consultation on planned reforms to public procurement.

Leaving the EU provides the UK with the opportunity to overhaul the public procurement regulations that govern how contracting authorities spend some £290bn of taxpayer’s money.

We received over 600 responses as part of the consultation exercise. The process of analysis of these comments is now complete and we are finalising our response to the consultation ahead of publication in the coming weeks.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reducing the UK parliamentary general election spending limit.

As I announced in my written ministerial statement on 3 December 2020, it is the Government’s intention to review party and candidate spending limits for all polls within the legislative competence of the UK Government, other than local council elections in England which were uprated last year, with a view to uprating them in line with inflation since they were originally set. This will create a baseline for regular and consistent reviews of all limits in future.

In some cases, there has been a significant gap since the last time spending limits were raised - some, including those for political parties at UK parliamentary elections, haven’t changed since 2000. This impacts campaigning ability given inflationary costs of printing and communication, which is vital for parties and candidates to communicate their views with voters. Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. By updating for inflation, the limits remain in line with the original intent of Parliament when they were introduced.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason his Department has prevented access by the public to the full Lord and Lady Mountbatten archives at the University of Southampton; and if he will make a statement.

The Cabinet Office is working with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive whilst ensuring sensitive information, including personal data, is handled appropriately and in line with Freedom of Information Act.

Diaries from 1918 to 1934 have already been released. Further volumes will be released in due course as necessary sensitivity work is completed. This is in line with undertakings given by Earl Mountbatten in 1969 on the publication of the archive.

18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) amount and (b) breakdown of costs incurred by the Government to date in respect of preventing the release of the personal diaries and correspondence of the 1st Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

The Cabinet Office is working with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive whilst ensuring sensitive information, including personal data, is handled appropriately and in line with Freedom of Information Act.

Diaries from 1918 to 1934 have already been released. Further volumes will be released in due course as necessary sensitivity work is completed. This is in line with undertakings given by Earl Mountbatten in 1969 on the publication of the archive.

13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's news story, Statement on government procurement following this week’s NAO report, published on 19 November 2020, how and to whom the high priority mailbox was advertised.

The mailbox was available across government and with Parliamentarians. This was done through email correspondence to ministerial private offices and senior officials in the PPE sourcing programme, who then onward shared as they considered appropriate.

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government response to the Justice Committee's report Post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, HC 96-I, published in July 2012, what progress the Government has made on implementing its response to the recommendation that the time limit for prosecution of offences under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be extended; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ182093 on 21 April 2021.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish an updated Register of Ministers' Financial Interests.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced the appointment of Rt Hon Lord Geidt to serve as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests. The Independent Adviser oversees the production of a List of Ministers' Interests, and the next publication will occur once Lord Geidt has concluded that process.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to ensure that the newly appointed Independent Advisor for Ministerial Standards has the powers to investigate whether there has been a breach of the Ministerial Code (a) independently of the Prime Minister and (b) on their own terms.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced the appointment of Rt Hon Lord Geidt to serve as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests. Lord Geidt is a Crossbench Member of the House of Lords, a Privy Councillor and a former Private Secretary to The Queen. He brings a distinguished record of impartial public service and experience of Government to bear on the appointment.

The Prime Minister has agreed Terms of Reference for the role with Lord Geidt. These have been published on Gov.uk and will be deposited in the House libraries.

As part of these new Terms of Reference, and taking into account the recommendations of the Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Independent Adviser will now have the authority to advise on the initiation of investigations.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the information the Government holds on communications or meetings held between (a) Ministers, (b) advisors of those Ministers and (c) senior civil servants and those companies who have been awarded Government contracts since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

This information is not held centrally.


Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, (a) in what way and (b) to whom was the high-priority lane for covid-19 contracts advertised.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the use of emergency procurement procedures are subject to parliamentary oversight.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to resume undertaking procurement competitively for all contracts.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to (a) rectify and (b) prevent breaches of transparency obligations in public procurement; and if he will make a statement.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a requirement for (a) company identifiers and (b) spend data is planned to be included in upcoming public procurement reforms.

In its Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement, the Government has proposed legislating to require all contracting authorities to publish procurement data throughout the commercial lifecycle in a format compliant with the Open Contracting Data Standard. This should include supplier identifiers and spend data. The Government’s response to the consultation will be published in due course.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he made of potential conflicts of interest prior to the decision to appoint Nigel Boardman to lead the Government's Greensill lobbying review.

The Prime Minister has asked Nigel Boardman, a distinguished legal expert, to lead this review. Mr Boardman provided a declaration of interests and an assessment was made that there were no conflicts of interest arising.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of extending the six-month time limit for prosecution of offences under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act on levels of compliance with that Act.

This Government will continue to consider the recommendations made for reform of section 77 of the Act.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish full details of communications or meetings held between (a) Ministers, (b) No.10 special advisors and (c) senior staff and (i) David Cameron and (ii) wider representatives of Greensill Capital since August 2018.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a copy of the advice provided by his Department to Bill Crothers regarding his decision to join Greensill as an advisor to its board in 2015.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the scope of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 to include (a) in-house lobbyists and (b) interactions with special advisers and senior civil servants.

As is best practice, the Government is currently conducting post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014. Earlier this year, Ministers met stakeholders, including industry and civil society representatives, and sought their views on the legislation, including the scope and effectiveness of the Register of Consultant Lobbyists. The work is ongoing and publication of the memorandum will likely now be after the conclusion of the Boardman review so that any findings can be taken into account.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish his Department's internal conflicts of interest policy.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service. The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions .

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the scope of the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will include (a) corporate lobbying of Government more broadly, (b) the revolving door between Government and the private sector, (c) enforcement of the Ministerial Code and (d) other issues of (i) transparency and (ii) accountability.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will hold public hearings.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will be supported by an independent advisory board.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to expand the scope of the lobbying register; and if he will make a statement.

As is best practice, the Government is currently conducting post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014. Earlier this year, Ministers met stakeholders, including industry and civil society representatives, and sought their views on the legislation, including the scope and effectiveness of the Register of Consultant Lobbyists. The work is ongoing and publication of the memorandum will likely now be after the conclusion of the Boardman review so that any findings can be taken into account.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reforming the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACBOA) including (a) statutory status, (b) enhancing sanctioning powers, (c) increasing resources and (d) making ACOBA fully independent of Government.

The Cabinet Office has been working with Lord Pickles on reviewing and improving the regime governing the acceptance of employment following departure from Government. This ongoing work will also take into account any lessons learnt from the Boardman review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assssment he has made of the effectiveness of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments; and if he will make a statement.

The Cabinet Office has been working with Lord Pickles on reviewing and improving the regime governing the acceptance of employment following departure from Government. This ongoing work will also take into account any lessons learnt from the Boardman review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to make the Ministerial Code a statute.

The Government has no plans for legislation on this matter.

The Ministerial Code is the responsibility of the Prime Minister of the day and customarily updated and issued upon their assuming or returning to office. The Code sets out the standards of conduct expected by the Prime Minister of all who serve in Her Majesty’s Government. It provides guidance to Ministers on how they should act and arrange their affairs in order to uphold these standards and lists the principles which may apply in particular situations.

It is the Prime Minister’s responsibility to set standards of behaviour for members of the Executive, and to account for the actions of the Government.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the correspondence from the Minister for the Constitution to the Executive Secretary of the​ Group of States Against Corruption (​GRECO) on 24 July 2020, what progress he has made on the post-legislative review of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014; which organisations have been contacted as part of that review; and what the timeline is for implementing recommendations that come out of that review.

As set out in the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution’s letter of 24 July 2020 to GRECO, the Government has now commenced post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

In January, I hosted two discussions with stakeholders to gather views, including with industry and civil society representatives. These stakeholders were also invited to feed in the views of their wider networks. The Government is currently considering the views gathered and will set out its position in due course.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the findings of the Boardman Review published on 8 December 2020, what timetable the Government has in place for implementation of the review’s recommendations; and whether Ministers plan to provide regular updates on their progress to Parliament.

The Government has published on gov.uk a statement following press coverage regarding the NAO report.

The process of implementing the Boardman recommendations began immediately, and the programme is being assured by the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee (COARC). We committed to provide an update on implementation six months after publication.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the 26 November 2020 National Audit Office report on its investigation into Government procurement during the covid-19 pandemic, how the process of making referrals to the High Priority Lane for procurement was made known; what criteria were used for identifying those who should be informed of the High Priority Lane; and (c) who was informed of the High Priority Lane process.

The Government has published on gov.uk a statement following press coverage regarding the NAO report.

The process of implementing the Boardman recommendations began immediately, and the programme is being assured by the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee (COARC). We committed to provide an update on implementation six months after publication.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will extend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to private companies contracted to deliver public services; and if he will make a statement.

Since 2010, this Government has been at the forefront of opening up data to allow Parliament, the public and the media to hold public bodies to account and has introduced a range of measures to increase transparency in public sector contracts. At present, the Government has no plans to legislate in this area.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to review the Government's business appointment rules for civil servants.

The government monitors policies and procedures, such as the Business Appointment Rules, and whether or not they can be improved on an ongoing basis.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will include conditions to ensure that companies tendering for public contracts must (a) meet their tax obligations and (b) disclose publicly their beneficial owners.

Details of policy announcements will be made in the usual manner.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on (a) establishing and (b) appointing members of the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps were taken to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential conflicts of interest during the appointment process to the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

Further to the answer of 4 November, the Cabinet Office has undertaken an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement over many months to gather a range of views to shape our proposals on procurement reform. The Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel was designed to draw together experts from each part of the procurement community – suppliers, lawyers, academics and international experts.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish all (a) guidance and (b) advice that his Department provides to Government departments on responding to Freedom of Information requests; and if he will make a statement.

This Government is fully committed to transparency, and ensuring all requests for Freedom of Information (FOI) are handled appropriately. All requests are considered in an applicant-blind manner, regardless of - for example - the occupation of the applicant. The Cabinet Office FOI process complies with relevant protections under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Under section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Cabinet Minister issues a Code of Practice, available on gov.uk, which provides guidance and advice to public authorities on the handling of Freedom of Information Requests. In addition, and in line with practice since 2005, the Cabinet Office provides advice to Departments, to ensure cases are handled consistently, and sensitive material handled appropriately. A Clearing House was established in 2004 and has operated in different forms since the FOI Act came into force in January 2005 as an advice centre to coordinate complex requests across Whitehall. There is now no stand alone Clearing House team, but coordination functions are carried out by a number of staff members who have a range of wider responsibilities. Policy responsibility for Freedom of Information transferred from the Ministry of Justice to the Cabinet Office in 2015.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the the National Audit Office investigation into government procurement during the covid-19 outbreak, what steps the Government is taking to ensure basic information on contracts is published in a timely manner.

Being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the NAO report which recognises that the government ‘needed to procure with extreme urgency’ and ‘secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers’.

All contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published as soon as possible in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Robust processes are in place for the award of government contracts. PPE offers were assessed using the same eight step process, including quality checks, price controls and other due diligence, no matter where the original referral came from. This eight step process has been published in the NAO’s report. For further details please see the statement on gov.uk.

We are committed to transparency in public procurement. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. We regret that some details have not been uploaded in a timely fashion. All will be published as soon as possible and significant information is already available online.

The forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will strengthen our longstanding and essential policies that are fundamental to public procurement including transparency, ensuring value for money and fair treatment of suppliers. As part of this, we will propose legislating to reinforce that contracting authorities would need to publish basic disclosure information, including the basis of award decisions.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learned from how we responded to this unprecedented global pandemic and the government is fully committed to doing so. We will address the NAO report’s recommendations in due course. As I stated in my answer on 12 November, we are engaged in both internal and external audit to review how our procurements during this period have been conducted.


The service to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support has closed. Information for businesses seeking to offer coronavirus support is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

Government departments are responsible for conducting their own procurements and must follow their own guidance and procedures on identifying, reporting and managing conflicts of interest in procurements.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in the Government procurement process.

Government departments are responsible for conducting their own procurements and must follow their own guidance and procedures on identifying, reporting and managing conflicts of interest in procurements.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) agendas and (b) minutes of the meetings of the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

The Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel was a group of experts on public procurement, convened by the Cabinet Office to discuss potential proposals for reforming the public procurement regulations. Announcements of procurement policy will be made in the usual way. In line with the practice of successive administrations, such details are not normally disclosed.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, and (b) value for money of private companies contracted to provide public services in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

As has been the case under successive administrations, departments are responsible for their commercial decisions, including the award and monitoring of contracts. All contracts, including those designed to address Covid-19 issues, must achieve value for money for taxpayers. Details of awards should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines on gov.uk.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what penalties have been applied to private companies who have not fulfilled the terms of procurement contracts related to the covid-19 outbreak.

As has been the case under successive administrations, departments are responsible for their commercial decisions, including the award and monitoring of contracts. All contracts, including those designed to address Covid-19 issues, must achieve value for money for taxpayers. Details of awards should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines on gov.uk.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to make an assessment of the potential effect of introducing mandatory Voter ID on the ability of (a) Black, (b) Asian and (c) minority ethnic people to vote.

Requiring proof of identity to vote in a polling station will strengthen the integrity of our electoral system, and give the public confidence that our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century.

Both Electoral Commission and Cabinet Office evaluations show that the voter identification pilots were a success and the overwhelming majority of electors cast their vote without a problem. There was no indication that any consistent demographic was adversely affected by asking for identification to vote.

Photo identification has been required in Northern Ireland since 2003, when introduced by the last Labour Government. Labour Ministers told Parliament: “The measures will tackle electoral abuse effectively without disadvantaging honest voters.... [ensuring that] no one is disfranchised because of them ” (Hansard, 10 July 2001, Col. 739) and “the Government have no intention of taking away people’s democratic right to vote. If we believed that thousands of voters would not be able to vote because of this measure, we would not be introducing it at this time” (Lords Hansard, 1 April 2003, Col. 1247). There has been no adverse effect on turnout or participation by such groups since then.

The Government has taken due regard to the public sector equality duty. We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders including charities and civil society organisations to make sure that such reforms are inclusive for all voters. I have met with charities representing those who are elderly, suffer from dementia, are LGBTQ+, are BAME and other groups. For any voter who does not have one of the required forms of photographic ID, a local elector ID will be available, free of charge, from their local authority.

ID is already requested normally and reasonably in many areas of life, including by many constituency Labour parties, who require voter identification to vote in Labour Party selection meetings. The Labour Party’s NEC also mandates two forms of ID for any members joining an association which is in special measures.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 21 July 2020 to Questions 75431 and 75432 on Bank Services, 75433 on Bank Services: Foreign Nationals and 75434 on Bank Services: Undocumented Migrants, whether that information is held by another Government department.

The information requested is not held centrally.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the National Audit Office report on Low-carbon heating of homes and businesses and the Renewable Heat Incentive, published on 23 February 2018, what progress his Department has made on implementing the recommendations set out in Part Three: controlling the costs and the impact of fraud and non-compliance.

All recommendations from the 2018 National Audit Office Renewable Heat Incentive report have been implemented.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Renewable Heat Incentive, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of participants who are (a) not complying with or (b) gaming the regulations; and what assessment he has made of impact of those actions of the effectiveness of that scheme.

Ofgem’s 2020/21 audit programme indicates a non-compliance rate of 0.4% for non- domestic Renewable Heat Incentive participants and 4.5% for domestic.

The impact of non-compliance is published annually in the BEIS Annual Report and Accounts:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021.

Reforms have been implemented to tackle gaming as it arises. The Government is confident that the prevalence and impact of gaming is low.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the amount it has overpaid to Renewable Heat Incentive participants who have not complied with the regulations.

This information is published annually in the BEIS Annual Report and Accounts: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021.

Ofgem continue to take steps to reduce the rate of non-compliance and actively seek to recover payments when they discover they have been made in error.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2022 to Question 418, on Offshore Industry: Carbon Emissions, what assessment the Government has made of the Jackdaw project's compatibility with targets for the oil and gas sector set out in the North Sea Transition Deal and the UK's carbon budgets and net zero target.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 18 May 2022 to Question 418.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the new oil and gas licensing round in the North Sea on the UK's (a) international climate obligations and (b) net-zero target.

The North Sea Transition Authority plans to launch another licensing round later this year, taking into account the forthcoming climate compatibility checkpoint.

The climate compatibility checkpoint will be used to assess whether any future licensing rounds remain in keeping with the UK’s climate goals.

The Government invited contributions on the design of the checkpoint with a public consultation, which closed at the end of February. The Government is currently considering the responses to the consultation, and will respond in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of Shell's proposed Jackdaw Field Development with the UK's (a) international climate obligations and (b) net-zero target.

Development proposals for oil fields under existing licences are a matter for the regulators - the North Sea Transition Authority and the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED). As part of that regulatory process, OPRED completes an Environmental Impact Assessment and a public consultation on any proposal, ensuring the impact on the environment is taken into account. OPRED’s decision on the Environmental Impact Assessment for Jackdaw will be made in due course.

The emissions reduction targets in the North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) are monitored by the North Sea Transition Authority, emissions from any new fields as production comes on stream would be taken into account in continuing to ensure the targets in the Deal are met.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent the mis-selling of individual voluntary arrangements.

Used appropriately, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) provide a flexible, accessible way for consumers in financial difficulty to come to an arrangement with their creditors. Acting as oversight regulator on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Insolvency Service works with the Recognised Professional Bodies that regulate the insolvency practitioners who supervise IVAs to ensure that relevant technical and ethical guidance in this area is adhered to, and where it is not, that regulatory action is taken.

The Insolvency Service has published guidance to the Recognised Professional Bodies on monitoring volume IVA providers that it expects them to follow. This includes reviewing “introducer” agreements with particular reference to marketing and quality of advice, and an expectation that in instances where it has been identified that an IVA provider has engaged an introducer firm that provides unregulated advice, the agreement will be terminated.

Officials work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority, the Advertising Standards Authority and the not-for-profit advice sector, all of which have an interest in this area, to ensure that consumers have access to clear and appropriate debt advice for their circumstances.

The Government is currently considering responses to its consultation on the future of insolvency practitioner regulation, including a proposal to introduce the regulation of firms offering insolvency services (including IVA providers) and will publish its response in due course.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help protect consumers from unequal variation across England in standing changes on electricity bills.

Standing charges are charges that suppliers pass on to their customers, the largest element of which is the cost of the electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks, which vary depending on the different costs in a geographic area.

The standing charge is passed on to consumers as a flat rate per day rather than as a percentage charge based on how much energy they use. Ofgem requires energy suppliers to separate out the standing charge from the energy unit rate so consumers can see what the different charges amount to.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, (a) how many prepayment gas meters are currently in use in Liverpool Walton and (b) what the average number of prepayment gas meters is in England constituencies.

Regional data on the proportion of customers on prepayment tariffs is published as part of the Quarterly Energy Prices statistical series, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-energy-prices#2022.

Data is not collected at the constituency level.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, (a) how many prepayment electricity meters are currently in use in Liverpool Walton and (b) what the average number of prepayment electricity meters is in England constituencies.

Regional data on the proportion of customers on prepayment tariffs is published as part of the Quarterly Energy Prices statistical series, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-energy-prices#2022.

Data is not collected at the constituency level.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a right to local supply for renewable energy generation schemes.

The right to local energy supply already exists under the Electricity Act 1989. Ofgem has powers to award supply licenses that are restricted to specified geographical areas or premise types.

In view of recent supply market instability Ofgem has paused assessment of new supply licence applications and is strengthening the licensing process to ensure participants are sufficiently resilient to market shocks.

One of Ofgem’s key strategic priorities remains to increase flexibility across the electricity system to support the delivery of net zero and ensuring that consumers benefit from these innovative changes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including emissions embedded in imports in the UK’s carbon budgets.

Carbon budgets are set and monitored in line with international carbon reporting practice, which is to measure emissions on a territorial basis.

The Climate Change Committee agrees with the use of territorial emissions for the Government’s emissions reduction targets. In its ‘Reducing UK Emissions - 2019 Progress Report to Parliament’, the Committee set out that territorial emissions are the standard accounting approach for measuring emissions internationally, as this approach avoids the risks that emissions are missed or double-counted

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to review carbon budgets 3, 4 and 5 following the adoption of a 1.5°C target.

The Government accepted the Climate Change Committee’s advice on setting the levels of carbon budgets 1-6; and setting a 2050 net zero target. The Climate Change Committee made clear in their advice on the 6th Carbon Budget, published in December 2020, that they do not consider it necessary to re-set the levels of the existing carbon budgets (carbon budgets 4 and 5, covering 2023-27 and 2028-32) in light of the net zero target having been set.

The UK over-achieved against the first (2008-12) and second (2013-17) carbon budgets, and the latest projections show that the Government is on track to meet the third (2018-22) carbon budget too. The Government exceeded the required emissions reduction in the first carbon budget by 1.2%, and the second carbon budget by nearly 14%.

Taken together, the transitions set out in the Net Zero Strategy for every sector of the UK economy keeps the Government on track for meeting Carbon Budgets 4, 5 and 6, the country’s international commitment under the Paris Agreement (the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution), and net zero by 2050. The Government will continue to monitor its progress across these areas.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a UK-wide citizens’ assembly to propose solutions to the current energy crisis, accelerate decarbonisation and transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.

The British people elected this government to deliver on their priorities which included setting out a pathway for Net Zero by 2050. Further information on our pathway to Net Zero can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2022 to Question 113821, whether representatives from civil society (a) will be or (b) are already represented on the Critical Minerals Expert Committee.

The membership of the Critical Minerals Expert Committee is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-secretary-opens-latest-meeting-of-the-critical-minerals-expert-committee.

At the latest meeting of the Committee on 28 January 2022, officials presented plans for continuing to engage widely with the sector through a series of roundtables on specific topics. Engagement is already underway, including with civil society representatives, and the Government would welcome contact from further stakeholders.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what process was used to select members of the Critical Minerals Expert Committee; who is involved in the Critical Minerals Expert Committee; and whether that committee has met yet.

The Critical Minerals Expert Committee is chaired by BEIS Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Paul Monks. Members were selected based on recommendations from relevant Government departments. The full membership and further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-secretary-opens-latest-meeting-of-the-critical-minerals-expert-committee .

The Committee has met three times, and the latest meeting was opened by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on 28 January 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will protect the Energy Company Obligation which provides energy efficiency schemes for the poorest households.

The Government have committed to extending the Energy Company Obligation Scheme from 2022 to 2026,​ boosting its value to £1billion a year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government's contract for covid-19 vaccines with Pfizer includes an investor state dispute settlement clause.

We are not able to disclose the details of some clauses of contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers as this information is commercially sensitive.

11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to support the community energy sector as part of the Government's ambition to meet the net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Through the introduction of UK-wide growth funding schemes, such as the Community Renewal Fund and the Towns Fund, Government is enabling local areas to tackle net zero goals in ways that best suit their needs.

We encourage community energy groups to work closely with their local authority to support the development of community energy projects within these schemes.

For example, the Towns Fund has awarded over £23.6m to Glastonbury Town which includes the Glastonbury Clean Energy project that aims to generate renewable energy for use by other projects within the Plan, as well as local businesses and residents.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount the NHS paid in 2021 for the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine; and what estimate he has made of the projected price for that Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in (a) 2022 and (b) 2023.

We are not able to disclose specific costs of individual vaccines procured to date, as details of contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers are commercially sensitive.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the £5.2 billion research and development funding announced at the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, what proportion of that funding will support the UK’s net zero target.

The Autumn 2021 Spending Review (SR) announced record-breaking investment in the UK’s world leading research base, increasing by £5.2 billion to £20 billion per annum by 2024/25 in line with the target of UK economy-wide R&D investment reaching 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The Net Zero Strategy also confirmed that we have mobilised over £26 billion of government capital investment for the green industrial revolution, including at least £1.5 billion for net zero research and innovation.

Following the SR, BEIS is currently working through the allocations process to set detailed R&D budgets through till 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to add tidal range technology into the National Planning statements and make it part of the UK's net zero strategy.

As set out in the Net Zero Strategy: Building Back Greener published on 19 October 2021, we will continue to explore the role that marine energy technologies could play in achieving our net zero target.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the role of building standards in improving the energy efficiency of the built environment, in the context of the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy.

As set out in the recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Government aims to ensure domestic and non-domestic buildings are constructed to be highly efficient, better for the environment, and fit for the future.

The UK has a strong track record in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40% now above Energy Performance (EPC) Band C, up from just 9% in 2008.

The Government will look to bring in interim building standards Regulations Part L and F, in June 2022, to increase energy performance standards for domestic and non-domestic buildings ahead of the Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standard.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to publish a response to its consultation on corporate transparency and register reform.

The Department is considering the responses and will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The Warm Home Discount currently helps over 2 million low-income and vulnerable households each year with a £140 rebate off their winter energy bill. This year the scheme is providing £354m of energy bills support.

As per the Energy White Paper in 2020, we are extending and expanding the Warm Home Discount scheme to £475m, to support 3 million households each year until 2026. The Government recently consulted on reforming the scheme to focus the support to fuel poor households and we will publish our response in the coming months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support public engagement on net zero in the Net Zero Strategy in respect of tackling gaps in consumer protections to give people the confidence to make changes to homes.

The Government’s upcoming Net Zero strategy will look at how the Government can best engage with the public in supporting them to make the right choices when retrofitting their homes and businesses.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to make it easier for people to make energy efficiency improvements to homes and adopt low-carbon heat technologies.

In 2019 there were around 1.3 million fewer fuel poor households living in the least energy efficiency Band E, F or G rated property compared to 2010.

Government is committed to ensuring as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, affordable and cost effective. Support for energy efficiency improvements is available through schemes including the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Support for low carbon heating is currently available through the Renewable Heat Incentive, and from April 2022, the Clean Heat Grant will provide support to households switching to low carbon heating.

The Government will set out more details of how it will accelerate deployment of energy efficiency and low carbon heating in the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of potential floating wind projects that could be developed by 2040.

The Government has set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target. This will stimulate development in projects and investment in the supply chain. In addition to our existing floating wind projects, Hywind Scotland and Kincardine, there are also a number of floating wind projects already in early development.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is sufficient supply chain development in the UK to support the delivery of floating wind beyond 2030.

The Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio fund, announced in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, is accelerating the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models in power, buildings, and industry. An important element of this is the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme which aims to support development and demonstration of state of the art technologies and products in the future offshore wind industry.

Our Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme has recently supported the development of significant new offshore wind manufacturing capacity in the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential economic merits of setting a target for floating wind for 2040.

The Government has set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target. This will stimulate development in projects and investment in the supply chain. In addition to our existing floating wind projects, Hywind Scotland and Kincardine, there are also a number of floating wind projects already in early development.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to accelerate research into motor neurone disease.

The Government is strongly committed to supporting research into dementia and neurodegeneration, including motor neurone disease (MND). We are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia and neurodegeneration.

In 2019/20, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Medical Research Council (MRC), spent around £13.4 million on Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. This included research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a form of MND. Over 5 years (2015/16 - 2019/20) MRC expenditure relevant to MND and ALS totalled £45 million.

In addition, UKRI, through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, supports a diverse portfolio of neuroscience research and innovation totalling around £30 million per annum. This work may underpin MND research by furthering current understanding of the structure and function of the nervous system; cell biology and genetics; mental processes including learning and memory and neuro, Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care has spent over £10 million on MND research over the past five years through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2019/20 alone, the NIHR invested £2.7 million in MND research through NIHR research programmes and the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for UKRI of the £120 million funding gap between its allocations and commitments as a result of reductions in the Official Development Assistance budget.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the Financial Year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to their award holders to set out the process for reviewing ODA funding this year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships and supporting the UK research sector. The Government is committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to £14.9bn in 2021/22. This follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21. It will mean UK Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure funding for covid-19 research is not affected by reductions to the Official Development Assistance budget.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

BEIS is working with its delivery partners to implement the R&D ODA settlement for financial year 21/22. This work looks to protect the most impactful research programmes, with prioritisation driven by the Government’s Strategic Framework for ODA. The Framework includes priorities to tackle climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls’ education; science and research; open societies and conflict; humanitarian assistance; and trade.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what due diligence he carried out when considering whether Greensill Capital should be an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The decision to accredit Greensill Capital was made independently and in accordance with the British Business Bank’s (Bank) usual procedures. The Bank ran an accreditation process for lenders to participate in the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), which included due consideration of whether a prospective lender met the criteria set out in the CLBILS Request for Proposals (a publicly available document).

The criteria included requirements such as the ability to demonstrate a track record of lending to larger enterprises, provision of evidence based forecasts, the ability to demonstrate that it has sufficient capital available to meet their lending forecasts, a viable business model, robust operations and systems, the proposed lending will not have unreasonable lender levied fees and interest, and that the lender has all the necessary regulations, licences, authorisations and permissions to operate the scheme.

At the point of accreditation and based on the information provided to it, the Bank considered that Greensill Capital met the required criteria.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister’s announcement of 12 December 2020 that the the UK will end support for fossil fuel sector overseas, whether an impact assessment was undertaken by his Department prior to the decision to delay the implementation of that policy until after a consultation period.

It is important to ensure we provide appropriate notice and transitional support for UK industry. That is why the Government launched a short consultation, seeking views on how to further enable an accelerated growth in UK clean energy exports and on the impacts of the timing of implementation of the policy shift announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 12 December 2020. The consultation closes on 8 February 2021. The decision to consult in advance of implementation did not require an impact assessment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister’s announcement of 12 December 2020 that the Government was ending all UKEF support for fossil fuel projects overseas and the fact that UKEF continues to consider applications for support in the oil and gas sector, whether he has made an assessment of applying the ban retrospectively from 12 December 2020.

The date of implementation of the new policy will be determined following the consultation that was launched on the same day. During the consultation period and ahead of the implementation of the new policy, the Government will continue to apply current policy for all in-scope activities including proposals for high carbon projects, with consideration of relevant factors including climate change.

UKEF is already actively seeking to support projects in the clean growth and renewables sectors and will continue to work actively with UK companies on international projects within the clean energy sector.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to create a publicly accessible register of the beneficial owners of overseas companies that own or buy UK property.

The Government remains committed to establishing a new beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property in order to combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. The Government is mindful that the register is a novel scheme and it is important to get it right. The register requires primary legislation to be established, and the Government will legislate when Parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) employers and (b) trade unions on the use of fire and re-hire tactics in negotiations with employees.

The Department has engaged Acas to look into fire and rehire practices and they are talking to business and employee representatives, to gather evidence of how fire and rehire has been used.

Acas officials have made good progress in their independent and impartial discussions and are expected to share the evidence gathered with BEIS officials in February this year.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the net zero strategy; and whether that strategy will include plans to meet the UK’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

We will publish the Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26. We will build on my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and the Energy White Paper, as well as upcoming plans in key sectors such as the Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Heat and Buildings Strategy.

The UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution is ambitious and demonstrates our continued leadership in tackling climate change. Our Net Zero Strategy will be a comprehensive plan for decarbonising sectors across the economy, both to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and meet our interim targets, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

We are building on the strong foundations we have established in decarbonising our economy; our ambitious manifesto commitments; and announcements from the Prime Minister and my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer of measures to cut emissions as we build back better in our economic recovery from COVID-19.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which businesses have received loan guarantees under the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, (b) Business Interruption Scheme, (c) Large Business Interruption Scheme and (d) Future Fund.

Details of awards under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course. The Future Fund is not a loan guarantee scheme, however details of investments made through the Future Fund alongside private investors are commercially confidential.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress is being made on the retrofitting of homes and buildings to become more energy efficient.

In the Clean Growth Strategy (2017), the Government set out its ambitions that all properties should be EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, affordable, and practical. We have demonstrated our ambition as properties at EPC Band C has increased from 9% in 2008 to 34% in 2018. In addition, from 1990 to 2019 emissions from homes has reduced by 17%.

The Green Homes Grant will give homeowners and landlords an opportunity to upgrade the energy performance of their homes. We also plan on introducing the Future Homes Standard by 2025, which will help ensure that the homes in the UK will be fit for the future. Homes across the UK will be future proofed with leading energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures. The £50m Social Housing Decarbonisation Demonstrator will make progress toward increasing the energy efficiency of social housing. The £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will offer grants to public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals, to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades.

The Government is also planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from all homes and buildings and set buildings on track for net zero.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with representatives of Southampton University on releasing the correspondence between Jawaharlal Nehru and Lady Mountbatten for open public access.

The correspondence between Lady Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru is held in a private collection. The papers are not owned by the University of Southampton nor are they public records. We have, therefore, had no discussions with the University on releasing the correspondence for open public access.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department is taking steps to help support public swimming pools transition to renewable energy.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities, including swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. We are committed to supporting these facilities to transition to renewable energy sources.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. The scheme supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, as set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy in October 2021.

Leisure centres are eligible for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. For example last year, during Phase 3a, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council was awarded £1,728,500 to decarbonise the swimming pool at Todmorden Sports Centre.

The next application window to the scheme, Phase 3b, is planned to open in September, with the guidance published beforehand.

Sport England are also able to provide guidance on sustainable design formats for leisure centres. The recent redevelopment of St Sidwell's Point Leisure Centre in Exeter provides one such example.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal by culture industry organisations for a Smart Fund to ensure creators and performers are paid for their work.

The Government agrees that creators should be fairly remunerated. The Government is taking forward work to achieve this, including a programme considering the remuneration issues related to music streaming.

DCMS Ministers and officials have been engaging with the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) on their proposals for a Smart Fund. It is encouraging to see proposals from the sector to support creators and fair remuneration. However introducing statutory levies of this nature can present significant challenges, including the risk that costs would be passed to consumers. This is of particular concern in the context of wider cost of living challenges. We encourage DACS to work with the tech industry to explore options for industry-led solutions.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of using the tax system to incentivise low carbon or carbon neutral TV and film production.

This Government believes the creative industries, including TV and film production, have a great opportunity to lead the way in transitioning to a low carbon economy, and welcomes the work delivered by a number of schemes in this area, including BAFTA’s ‘albert’ sustainability initiative.

The Government will continue to facilitate discussions on sustainable production within the industry domestically and internationally, as it did when the UK held the Presidency of the Council of Europe’s European Audiovisual Observatory last year, with the theme ‘sustainability’.

The Government keeps all tax reliefs under review and regularly receives proposals for changes to tax reliefs. When considering changes, HM Treasury must ensure they provide support to businesses across the economy in a fair way and represent good value for money for the taxpayer.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of provisions in the Online Safety Bill on efforts to tackle online fraud.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver vital protections for users from online fraud, including romance scams and scams ads.

Through the Bill, all companies in scope of the framework will need to take action to tackle fraud where it takes place through user-generated content or via search results. This will increase people’s protection from the devastating impact of scams posted on social media.

Additionally, the largest social media platforms and search engines will have to prevent fraudulent adverts appearing on their services. This will make it harder for fraudsters to advertise scams online, and protect people from this crime.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to support the Information Commissioner’s Office to tackle the backlog of Freedom of Information complaints.

The Freedom of Information Act is regulated and enforced independently of the government by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO responds to all Freedom of Information complaints with an email acknowledging receipt, which sets out current expected timescales for a response. All complaints are triaged: investigations into relatively simple cases usually commence within 30 days of receipt, while more complex cases may take longer for an ICO officer to investigate.

The ICO currently receives Grant In Aid funding from the government for its statutory responsibilities in relation to the Freedom of Information Act.

4th Feb 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK regulation on global tech companies.

We want to make the UK the safest place to go online and the best place in the world to set up a digital company. To achieve this aim we need a step change in our regulatory approach.

From establishing the new pro-competition regime for digital markets to our world leading work on online harms this will drive competition, keep people safe and promote our democracy online.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that broadband remains affordable to people in receipt of (a) universal credit and (b) other low-income benefits.

The government has worked closely with industry throughout the pandemic and agreed a set of commitments with the UK’s major broadband and mobile operators to support vulnerable consumers during the Covid-19 period. Providers committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported. This is in addition to lifting all fixed broadband data caps and providing new and generous landline and mobile offers, such as free or low cost mobile data boosts.

There are already social tariffs available which offer low cost landline and broadband services for those on certain means-tested benefits. However, in line with Ofcom’s recommendation in their Affordability Report published in December 2020, the government encourages those providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so and we will monitor the situation closely.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 116638 on Government Departments: Procurement, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in his Department's procurement process.

The department takes all possible steps to identify and tackle conflict of interest and potential bias, including the embedment of fair and open tender processes, overseen by multiple officials from different areas of the department. Other measures include regular review of our policies, ensuring they are relevant to current contexts and adhere to central government guidelines.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded by his Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

No COVID-19 contracts were awarded by the Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether support is available to people who are unable to access free childcare as a result of having started new employment after the term start date.

30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds is available to parents who expect to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national minimum or living wage, and under £100,000 per year. Parents who meet this income criteria can take up a 30 hours free childcare place from the term following a successful application. This means parents can start using their 30 hours entitlement from the 1 April, 1 September or 1 January following their application.

Parents who have secured new employment after the term start date can apply to start a 30 hours place the following term. In the meanwhile, there is other support available. Parents will be eligible for the universal 15 hours free early education entitlement for all three and four-year-olds.

Alongside the universal 15 hours free early education entitlement, parents who meet the eligibility criteria for Tax-Free Childcare can make further savings on their childcare. Tax-Free Childcare can help parents save on up to 20% of their childcare costs, worth up to £500 every 3 months for children aged 0-11, or up to £1,000 every 3 months for disabled children aged 0-16, and has the same income eligibility criteria as 30 hours free childcare. Parents can start using Tax-Free Childcare immediately following a successful application and do not need to wait until the following term.

Working parents with a lower income can receive support from the childcare element of Universal Credit. This can be used in addition to the 15 hours universal free early education entitlement. Through Universal Credit, parents can get help with up to 85% of their eligible childcare costs, reimbursed through their Universal Credit award.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Department for Health and Social Care about reducing the risk of covid-19 disruption and absences in the run up to the upcoming assessment and exams period in schools and colleges; and if he will (a) communicate to schools that they can use any stocks of lateral flow tests held locally and (b) make free testing available for all pupils, staff and exam invigilators to cover this period.

Candidates and centres should adhere to the guidance on living with COVID-19.

Candidates are expected to attend their exams wherever possible, and school and college staff should encourage them to do so. However, where that is not possible, exam boards have taken measures to support students to access a grade, including spacing the exam timetable with at least ten days between the first and last exam in each subject. They have also confirmed that eligible students completing one assessment (exam or non-exam assessment) will be able to receive a grade through special consideration, provided they have an acceptable reason for missing the other assessments.

A candidate who is staying at home and avoiding contact with others, in line with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance, would be eligible to apply for special consideration to receive a grade based on the other assessments they complete. This includes candidates with the symptoms described in the UKHSA guidance, and those with a positive COVID-19 test result.

Public health advice continues to be that testing in education and childcare settings is no longer needed. Most infectious diseases in education and childcare settings can be managed by following the advice in UKHSA’s updated health protection in education and childcare settings guidance. Students and staff should follow UKHSA’s advice for those who have symptoms.

Although schools and colleges may still have some unused test kits in stock, they should not continue to hand out test kits to staff or students. The department is working with UKHSA to explore options for removal of testing resources no longer required.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his planned timetable is for consulting on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Review.

The outcome of the SEND Review will be published as a green paper for full public consultation by the end of March.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government is taking steps to support local authorities to improve collection and storage of children’s services data.

Local authorities record and store children’s services data in digital case management systems they procure from the market. Our Children’s Social Care Digital Programme has worked with local authorities and case management system suppliers to develop guidance, which will be published shortly. It aims to support local authority planning, procurement and implementation of case management systems.

We are also working across government on how data and technology can be used to enable better multi-agency information sharing in safeguarding, including an investigation study on the feasibility of adopting a consistent child identifier.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to guidance entitled Political Impartiality in Schools published on 17 February 2022, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of that guidance with the requirement for schools to adopt LGBTQ+ inclusive approaches, as required by his Department's statutory guidance entitled Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

Legal duties on political impartiality do not supersede schools’ other statutory requirements. Both the ‘Political Impartiality in Schools’ guidance and the statutory guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) support schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum that will enable all pupils to be healthy and safe and to equip them with the knowledge, skills and values that will prepare them to be informed and active citizens in modern Britain.

The ‘Political Impartiality in Schools’ guidance sets out the issues schools should be considering to determine whether an issue is political, including whether it is subject to ongoing ethical debate, without a clear consensus in public opinion. It also provides scenarios chosen in part to help build an understanding of what constitutes a political issue. Ultimately school leaders and teachers will need to use reasonable judgement to determine what is and is not a ‘political issue’. Where schools remain unsure if a topic is a ‘political issue’ it is advisable to avoid promoting a particular view to pupils, and instead give a balanced factual account of the topic, in line with the legal duties on political impartiality. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/political-impartiality-in-schools.

Schools should take a reasonable and proportionate approach to ensuring political impartiality, alongside their other responsibilities, including their legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 (including the Public Sector Equality Duty for state-funded schools) and the statutory requirements to teach RSHE which is clear that pupils should be taught LGBT content at a timely point in their school years. At secondary level pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health, and gender identity, in an age-appropriate and inclusive way.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools will have flexibility over how they deliver these subjects, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of all pupils.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to engage with families with disabled children following the publication of the Green Paper on special educational needs.

The department will publish the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) review Green Paper in the first quarter of this year for full public consultation.

It is critical that we hear from as many people as possible during our consultation to get invaluable feedback on our proposals from a wide range of perspectives. This includes parents and carers, children, young people and sector professionals.

The department is working with a steering group and a range of other individuals and organisations to best ensure that children and young people with SEND, and parents and carers will be able to engage fully.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support local authorities to tackle backlogs in disabled children’s health and care services.

I refer the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton and the hon. Member for Rother Valley to the answer I gave on 21 January 2022 to Question 106872.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to amend the Mental Health Support Teams model to ensure that it is fit for purpose in SEN schools.

As part of the government response to the consultation published in July 2018, a commitment was made to establish new mental health support teams (MHSTs), working in or near schools and colleges. The full consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

The interim report of the independent evaluation into the first 25 MHST trailblazer sites testing out new ways of supporting children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs in educational providers was published in July 2021. This can be found here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/brace/publications.aspx.

Findings included that 89% of local service models were underpinned by a clear understanding of local needs and had been designed to take all groups of children and young people into account. In some cases the ‘standard’ MHST interventions were felt to be less suitable and effective for some groups including younger age children, children who were self-harming, children with special educational needs, and vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The core functions of the MHST model are to deliver specific interventions for mild to moderate mental health needs, to support education settings including special schools to develop their holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing. It is also to facilitate access to appropriate external specialist services to help children and young people get the right support and stay in education.

The department is clear that local service providers must carefully consider health inequalities and disadvantage when deciding how an MHST is structured. It must also work with each education setting to scope out and co-design the support offer required to ensure it reflects the needs of pupils and students, the setting, and the local system.

MHSTs may, with local partners, develop thematic or specialist teams to work with specific types of settings or needs, and some have now adapted their offer to provide tailored support in special schools. The department will look to build on learning from their approach, as well as findings from the independent evaluation, to support understanding of how best to meet the needs of settings and children and young people in special schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Mental Health Support Teams model for delivery in SEN schools.

As part of the government response to the consultation published in July 2018, a commitment was made to establish new mental health support teams (MHSTs), working in or near schools and colleges. The full consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

The interim report of the independent evaluation into the first 25 MHST trailblazer sites testing out new ways of supporting children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs in educational providers was published in July 2021. This can be found here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/brace/publications.aspx.

Findings included that 89% of local service models were underpinned by a clear understanding of local needs and had been designed to take all groups of children and young people into account. In some cases the ‘standard’ MHST interventions were felt to be less suitable and effective for some groups including younger age children, children who were self-harming, children with special educational needs, and vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The core functions of the MHST model are to deliver specific interventions for mild to moderate mental health needs, to support education settings including special schools to develop their holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing. It is also to facilitate access to appropriate external specialist services to help children and young people get the right support and stay in education.

The department is clear that local service providers must carefully consider health inequalities and disadvantage when deciding how an MHST is structured. It must also work with each education setting to scope out and co-design the support offer required to ensure it reflects the needs of pupils and students, the setting, and the local system.

MHSTs may, with local partners, develop thematic or specialist teams to work with specific types of settings or needs, and some have now adapted their offer to provide tailored support in special schools. The department will look to build on learning from their approach, as well as findings from the independent evaluation, to support understanding of how best to meet the needs of settings and children and young people in special schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to (a) set national standards in respect of SEND provision and to (b) ensure equitable provision throughout the country where local authorities decide how specialist provision will be made in their area.

The department has heard throughout the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review that the level of variation in SEND provision across the country is part of what drives some of the challenges and dissatisfaction with the current system. This is part of what we plan to address through the Review to ensure better outcomes and experiences for those with SEND, within a sustainable system. The department will publish proposals as a green paper for public consultation, in the first 3 months of 2022.

Currently, the department supports and hold local areas to account for the quality of their local SEND provision through joint inspections by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission. Once an inspection report has been published, SEND case leads in the department work closely with our regional SEND adviser team and NHS England advisers to support and challenge local areas to secure the improvements required.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will include safeguarding children from sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy in the proposed Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance.

Our statutory safeguarding guidance Keeping children safe in education (KSCIE) is already very clear that all school staff should be aware of indicators of any form of abuse and or neglect, and what they should do if they have any concerns about a child being abused. Child abuse under the name of so-called conversion therapy is no different.

KCSIE is under constant review and maintained to make sure it is reflective of abuse, harm, the law and government policy. We will consider updating KCSIE in line with any legislative changes following the Government Equalities Office consultation “to help the development of legislation for banning conversion therapy”. The consultation closes on 4 February.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase the number of specialist professionals supporting children and young people with a vision impairment, including specifically habilitation professionals and qualified teachers of the visually impaired.

The department is firmly committed to ensuring that children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), including visual impairments, receive the support they need to achieve in their early years, school and college.

Information on the number of qualified teachers of the visually impaired, and specialist habilitation workers, is not collected by the department.

It is a legal requirement for qualified teachers of classes of pupils who have sensory impairments to hold the relevant mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI). To offer MQSIs, providers must be approved by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

We intend to develop a new approval process to determine providers of MQSIs from the start of the academic year 2023/2024. Our aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers of children with visual, hearing, and multi-sensory impairment, in both specialist and mainstream settings.

High needs funding, which is specifically for supporting children with more complex SEND, will be increasing by £1 billion in the financial year 2022-23 and will bring the overall total of funding for high needs to £9.1 billion. This unprecedented increase of 13% comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last two years.

Decisions about how funding is used, including for the employment of specialist teachers for visually impaired children and specialist habilitation professionals, are made by local authorities and schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many specialist habilitation workers were working within school settings in England in each of the last five years.

The department is firmly committed to ensuring that children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), including visual impairments, receive the support they need to achieve in their early years, school and college.

Information on the number of qualified teachers of the visually impaired, and specialist habilitation workers, is not collected by the department.

It is a legal requirement for qualified teachers of classes of pupils who have sensory impairments to hold the relevant mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI). To offer MQSIs, providers must be approved by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

We intend to develop a new approval process to determine providers of MQSIs from the start of the academic year 2023/2024. Our aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers of children with visual, hearing, and multi-sensory impairment, in both specialist and mainstream settings.

High needs funding, which is specifically for supporting children with more complex SEND, will be increasing by £1 billion in the financial year 2022-23 and will bring the overall total of funding for high needs to £9.1 billion. This unprecedented increase of 13% comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last two years.

Decisions about how funding is used, including for the employment of specialist teachers for visually impaired children and specialist habilitation professionals, are made by local authorities and schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired were working in schools in England in each of the last five years.

The department is firmly committed to ensuring that children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), including visual impairments, receive the support they need to achieve in their early years, school and college.

Information on the number of qualified teachers of the visually impaired, and specialist habilitation workers, is not collected by the department.

It is a legal requirement for qualified teachers of classes of pupils who have sensory impairments to hold the relevant mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI). To offer MQSIs, providers must be approved by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

We intend to develop a new approval process to determine providers of MQSIs from the start of the academic year 2023/2024. Our aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers of children with visual, hearing, and multi-sensory impairment, in both specialist and mainstream settings.

High needs funding, which is specifically for supporting children with more complex SEND, will be increasing by £1 billion in the financial year 2022-23 and will bring the overall total of funding for high needs to £9.1 billion. This unprecedented increase of 13% comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last two years.

Decisions about how funding is used, including for the employment of specialist teachers for visually impaired children and specialist habilitation professionals, are made by local authorities and schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what mechanisms are in place to encourage effective cross-department working to help ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities receive the relevant support for their needs.

Working across government to ensure the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are met, is a priority for this department.

In July 2021 the government published the National Disability Strategy, setting out our vision to improve the everyday lives of disabled people. We gave a range of commitments over supporting children and young people with disabilities in their education and preparation for adulthood.

One of the most frequently occurring types of SEN recognised in children and young people is autism. We are working closely with partners across government to improve support for autistic people of all ages.

In July 2021, we published jointly with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) the new ‘Autism Strategy’, which extended to children and young people for the first time, with funding in its first year of £74 million. In it, we set out how we will continue our programme of developing training and resources for education staff. We also committed to working in collaboration across government, with autistic people and their families, the NHS, local government, and the voluntary sector, to implement the strategy, and we are continuing to do so.

Focusing on the health and care needs of children and young people with SEND, the department contributes to the cross-system, cross-government building the right support delivery board which is responsible for driving further progress in reducing the number of autistic children, young people, and adults, with a learning disability in mental health inpatient settings. We are a key partner in the children and young people’s workstream, which is one of the board’s core priorities.

Working closely with DHSC, the department has lent its support to the Down’s Syndrome Bill, currently moving through parliament, and proposed by my right hon. Friend for North Somerset, which seeks to improve services and life outcomes for people with down’s syndrome. The bill would place a new duty on my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to issue guidance in England to certain health, social care, housing and education authorities on meeting the specific needs of people with down‘s syndrome.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has for engaging the parents and carers of children and young people with a vision impairment in the upcoming SEND Review.

Throughout the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Review, we have engaged extensively with children and young people with a range of SEND, and their parents, to ensure we have heard their views directly about how the system needs to improve, including for those with a visual impairment

The outcome of the Review will be published in the first three months of this year as a Green Paper for full public consultation. We will ensure that our subsequent public consultation is accessible to a wide audience and provide a range of alternative formats to support those with vision, motor, cognitive or learning difficulties and deafness or impaired hearing engage fully in the consultation.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to actively engage children and young people with a vision impairment in the upcoming SEND Review.

Throughout the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Review, we have engaged extensively with children and young people with a range of SEND, and their parents, to ensure we have heard their views directly about how the system needs to improve, including for those with a visual impairment

The outcome of the Review will be published in the first three months of this year as a Green Paper for full public consultation. We will ensure that our subsequent public consultation is accessible to a wide audience and provide a range of alternative formats to support those with vision, motor, cognitive or learning difficulties and deafness or impaired hearing engage fully in the consultation.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the delay in the publication of the SEND Review on the support for disabled children and their families in their home.

The Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review is making good progress in identifying the reforms needed to improve support for children and young people with special educational needs and their families.

The COVID-19 outbreak has inevitably frustrated the pace of the review and has materially altered the context for reform. That is why we continue to listen and work with system leaders to get this right by drawing on the best evidence available.

The government remains committed to publishing proposals for public consultation that will give children with SEND greater opportunities to succeed, by fundamentally improving the way we deliver support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether 16 to 19 year olds are to continue to have the opportunity to study for BTECs and other applied general qualifications.

The department has consulted in two stages on proposals for reforming post-16 qualifications at level 3. Our aim is to ensure that every qualification approved for public funding has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes.

The second stage of consultation ran from 23 October 2020 to 31 January 2021 and asked for views on the range of qualifications that will sit alongside A levels and T Levels in future. These proposals build on feedback from the first consultation and include a small number of groups of academic qualifications that can be taken alongside or as an alternative to A levels, where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that A levels alone cannot deliver, and where they meet our new quality criteria.

No decisions have been made yet. The responses to the consultation are informing our thinking and we intend to publish a full response in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will ensure that covid-19 catch-up funding for 16 to 19 year olds is not limited to students with low prior attainment in GCSE English and maths.

Catch-up funding for 16 to 19 year olds is provided through the 16-19 Tuition Fund. This is focused on supporting those young people who are at significant disadvantage and whose learning has been impacted most severely by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We targeted this funding among 16 to 19 year old students for those with low prior attainment because:

  • We know that these young people are disproportionately likely to be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Students who leave full-time education with low attainment are far more likely to become Not in Education, Employment or Training and far less likely to progress to higher level courses, including higher education and apprenticeships. We also know that they earn significantly less over their lifetimes.

  • Students with low prior attainment are more likely to have fallen behind in lockdown, as they will have found it harder to ‘self-study’ at home and are more likely to disengage.

Those without GCSE English and/or maths at the expected standard at age 16 is the agreed measure used for disadvantage in 16 to 19 education and an established part of the 16 to 19 funding formula.

Funding is available to spend on those students without a grade 5 or above in English and/or maths GCSE. However, providers are required to prioritise support for students who have not achieved a grade 4 in English and/or maths. If providers have funding available within their allocations, they can consider whether any young people with a grade 4 also needs catch up support.

As further evidence emerges, we will consider if refinements to eligibility for future funding are needed to maximise its value and impact in providing catch-up support for 16 to 19 students.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

The government is investing an additional £291 million in 16 to 19 education in 2021 to 2022. This is in addition to the £400 million awarded in the 2019 Spending Review which was the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010. This has allowed us to raise the base rate of funding for all providers of 16 to 19 education, including school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges, for the first time since the current funding system was introduced in 2013, from £4,000 in each academic year up to 2019/20, to £4,188 in academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22, as well as to make further funding increases targeted on high value and high cost programmes. We are continuing to increase our investment in T Levels and will allocate up to an extra half a billion pounds a year to deliver these new programmes once they are fully rolled out. The Government has also committed £83 million capital funding in the 2021-22 financial year to ensure that eligible post-16 providers can accommodate the expected demographic increase in 16 to 19-year-olds. More details about this funding and eligibility for the funding will be announced in due course and we will keep the policy under review.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what checks are in place to ensure that private companies contracted to supply food parcels as part of the free school meals scheme comply with the guidance set by LACA, Public Health England and the Department for Education; and what penalties apply to contractors who fail to meet those standards.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for supporting free school meal pupils who are at home. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme which will be up and running from next week.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, met the leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. I’m grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school in the first instance. If the issue is not resolved then, a hotline is available at the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish a new careers strategy.

The Department for Education is currently working on an ambitious programme for further education (FE) and skills reform and a white paper. Our reform programme will level up the FE sector and the white paper will set out a vision for post-16 technical education. This will include making sure that young people and adults have access to the independent advice and guidance they need to progress into their chosen career, including employment or further academic or technical training.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support will be provided for careers guidance programmes to meet the potential increase in demand for retraining and employment advice as a result of job losses due to the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the Skills Recovery package, we are providing an extra £32 million to the National Careers Service which delivers impartial careers information, advice and guidance to adults and young people. This extra funding will be available until March 2022 and will provide personal careers advice and guidance for 269,000 more people in priority groups whose jobs or learning have been affected by COVID-19. This is additional to the 400,000 customers which the service currently supports.

The National Careers Service is also supporting the delivery of the online Skills Toolkit. This is a new online platform which aims to give people easy access to free, high quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of grow lights and other artificial lighting in agriculture on levels of light pollution.

The Government recognises that light pollution may have an impact on the environment and biodiversity as well as affecting the health and wellbeing of people.

Through the 25 Year Environment Plan, we have committed to reducing all forms of pollution, including light pollution. My department works with colleagues across government whose policy areas affect the use of artificial light, including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework policies include consideration of the impact of light pollution on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation. Defra has also contributed to the development of the DLUHC Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution published in November 2019.

The Government has put in place a range of measures to ensure that light pollution is effectively managed through the statutory nuisance regime. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities have a duty to investigate complaints about light emitted from premises which could constitute a nuisance or be harmful to health and have powers to take action where there is a problem.

Steve Double
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the use of grow lights in sports (a) stadiums and (b) training facilities on levels of light pollution.

The Government recognises that light pollution may have an impact on the environment and biodiversity as well as affecting the health and wellbeing of people.

Through the 25 Year Environment Plan, we have committed to reducing all forms of pollution, including light pollution. My department works with colleagues across government whose policy areas affect the use of artificial light, including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework policies include consideration of the impact of light pollution on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation. Defra has also contributed to the development of the DLUHC Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution published in November 2019.

The Government has put in place a range of measures to ensure that light pollution is effectively managed through the statutory nuisance regime. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities have a duty to investigate complaints about light emitted from premises which could constitute a nuisance or be harmful to health and have powers to take action where there is a problem.

Steve Double
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the impacts of light pollution on (a) biodiversity and (b) human health.

Defra has funded or co-funded national and international assessments of drivers of change on insects and wider biodiversity such as the global IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. This report notes the effects of artificial light on nocturnal insects may be growing.

Defra has worked with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework is clear that policies and decisions should limit the impact of light pollution on local amenity, dark landscapes and nature conservation.

Furthermore, Defra has contributed to the development of the DLUHC Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution, published in November 2019, which emphasises the importance of getting the right light in the right place at the right time and sets out the factors that are relevant when considering the ecological impacts of lighting.

A range of measures are in place to ensure that light pollution is effectively managed through controls in the planning system, the statutory nuisance regime and improvements in street lighting.

We continue to work with partners including leading scientists to review the latest studies related to light pollution and ensure we continue to address key threats to biodiversity.

As regards to the effects of light pollution on human health, specific research is limited. In 2018, the European Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks published an opinion on Potential risks to human health of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). It concluded that there is no evidence of direct adverse health effects from LEDs in normal use (lighting and displays) by the general healthy population. Full report can be found here: https://health.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2019-02/scheer_o_011_0.pdf

Steve Double
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on introducing mandatory business food waste reporting.

The Government plans to consult on mandatory food waste reporting later this year.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help ensure the UK becomes nature positive by 2030.

This is a devolved matter and therefore the information provided relates to England only.

This Government has set a world leading target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030, which represents our commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Measures set out in the Environment Act, such as Biodiversity Net Gain, Local Nature Recovery Strategies, Conservation Covenants and a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities, will drive action towards our targets and objectives, alongside wider action and investment.

Our forthcoming Nature Recovery Green Paper will set out proposals to better enable us to recover nature and achieve our goal to protect 30% of our land and sea for nature by 2030. We are establishing a Nature Recovery Network which will support the Government's goals of halting biodiversity loss by improving and connecting habitats and species. In establishing the Network we will also provide wider benefits, such as landscapes more resilient to climate change through improved ecosystem function, natural solutions that reduce and store carbon, and improving people's connection with nature.

The Government's Nature for Climate Fund is providing more than £750 million over the course of this Parliament to create new, and protect existing, habitats in England by helping restore 35,000ha of peatland, and supporting a trebling of woodland creation rates, by 2025. The England Peat Action Plan provides a strategic framework to improve management and protection of both our upland and lowland peatlands, to ensure our peatlands are functioning healthily. As set out in the England Trees Action Plan, we are committed to increasing tree planting in this parliament to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK, to put us on track to ensure at least 12% woodland cover in England by the middle of the century.

We are also repurposing our system of agricultural payments to reward farmers and land managers for the environmental services they provide – including creating and maintaining habitat, and sustainable farming practices. This will be delivered through three new Environmental Land Management schemes – the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery.

At sea, we have built an extensive network of 372 Marine Protected Areas covering 38% of UK waters, and are focusing on making sure they are protected properly. Using new powers introduced by the Fisheries Act 2020, the Marine Management Organisation is developing an ambitious three-year programme for assessing sites and implementing byelaws, where necessary, to manage fishing activity in all English offshore MPAs. Furthermore, the Government is introducing a number of pilot Highly Protected Marine Areas for biodiversity recovery, which will have the highest levels of protection in our seas.

These actions to protect, increase and improve habitats, and reduce pressures on ecosystems will deliver the Government's ambitious commitments on the environment.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to hold a public consultation on the Government Food Strategy White Paper after its publication.

The forthcoming Government Food Strategy is a once in a generation opportunity to create a food system that feeds our nation today and protects it for tomorrow. It will build on existing work across Government and identify new opportunities to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, more resilient, and more accessible for those across the UK.

Defra is committed to consulting stakeholders on any specific policies that affect them that are announced in or around the Food Strategy. Furthermore, in developing the Government Food Strategy, Defra is committed to listening to opinions from stakeholders across the entirety of the food system. We are speaking with a wide range of external and internal stakeholders to identify any policy gaps or potential options to transform the food system, using existing engagement forums and new relationships. In developing the Food Strategy, we are also considering Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system, which was underpinned by a Defra Call for Evidence and active citizen engagement.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in (a) the Department of Health and Social Care, (b) Cabinet Office, (c) Department for International Trade, (d) Department for Education and (e) other Government departments on the (i) recommendations of the National Food Strategy and (ii) development of the Government Food Strategy.

The forthcoming Government Food Strategy is a once in a generation opportunity to create a food system that feeds our nation today and protects it for tomorrow. It will cover the entire food system from farm to fork, building on work already underway in the Agriculture Act, Fisheries Act, and Environment Bill as well as docking into wider Government priorities, including Net Zero, 25 Year Environment Plan, and Build Back Greener. It will also consider the evidence of Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system.

Defra is therefore working very closely with all other relevant Departments on the Food Strategy – at official and Ministerial levels - to identify new opportunities to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, more resilient, and more accessible for those across the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to enshrine a right to food in law.

No such formal assessment has been made but since 1976, the United Kingdom has recognised the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 11 notes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food”, and seeks “to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources”; and “taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.” The Covenant is not incorporated into domestic law, as the Covenant does not require States to do so and the Government considers that its method of implementation of the Covenant fulfils the UK’s obligations under Article 2(1).

The UK is also committed to delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, including on ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture and on ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. This Government is wholly committed to supporting people on lower incomes through a range of measures, including by spending over £110 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22.

We recognise that some people may require extra support over the winter as we enter the final stages of recovery, which is why vulnerable households across the country will now be able to access a new £500 million support fund to help them with essentials. The Household Support Fund will provide £421 million to help vulnerable people in England with the cost of food, utilities and wider essentials. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41 million for the Scottish Government, £25 million for the Welsh Government and £14 million for the Northern Ireland Executive), for a total of £500 million.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposals made by Action Plan for Animal Welfare, published 12 May 2021 on banning e-collars on reactive dogs.

One of the key reforms in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare is to ban hand-held remote-controlled electronic training collars (“e-collars”), given their scope to harm the welfare of dogs, including those deemed reactive. We continue to work closely with the animal welfare sector, enforcement agencies and Governments across the four nations on this ban.

Concerns that e-collars can cause long-term harm have been raised by a number of trainers, behaviourists, the animal welfare sector and dog-keeping organisations. In light of these concerns, Defra undertook research studies AW1402 and AW1402a. The resultant peer-reviewed report on this research, carried out between 2007 and 2010, was robust and showed that many users of the hand-held devices were not using them properly in compliance with the manufacturers’ instructions, thereby having a negative impact on the welfare of some dogs. As well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm, there was also concern that e-collars can redirect aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets, making underlying behavioural and health problems worse.

Data from the research were published separately in two different reputable scientific journals, which required additional independent peer review exercises involving scrutiny from experts in the same field prior to publication. This gives the Government further confidence that the results are robust.

We have listened carefully to a range of views from pet owners and respondents, as well as consulting key stakeholders including animal welfare charities, e-collar manufacturers, and trainers who use e-collars. Defra ran a public consultation in 2018 on the proposed ban on e-collars for cats and dogs in England. A summary of the responses received can be found here; Animal welfare: banning the use of electronic training collars for cats and dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Training dogs is important to help them learn to behave appropriately and to make it easier to keep them under control. It can also help strengthen the relationship you have with them. Defra supports reward-based training, which includes the use of things that dogs value (e.g. toys, food and praise), is enjoyable for dogs and is widely regarded as the preferred form of training dogs. It is important to seek professional advice to identify/discuss any behaviour problems and the best training options for a dog. An incorrect training regime can have negative effects on a dog’s welfare.

The legislation needed to ban remote controlled electronic training collars will be laid before Parliament as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department plans to provide support to Iran for their covid-19 outbreak.

On 3 March the UK, jointly with E3 partners (Germany and France), announced a comprehensive €5 million package of both material and financial support to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Iran. The UK component of this support consists of a £2 million contribution to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its work in Iran. This was made on 17 March and will pay for medical equipment, including laboratory items and protective kit, as well as an uplift in staffing.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18886 on CDC: Fossil Fuels, what the (a) original investment value was and (b) current net asset value is for CDC's investment in (i) Albatros Energy, (ii) Proton Energy, (iii) Simba Oil Ltd, (iv) SODEP and (v) Uquo Integrated Gas Business (Accugas).

The total amount invested across the five investments specified in the question was $5.2 million. The total net asset value, as of 31 December 2019, had risen to $6.2 million.

CDC publishes the amounts it invests directly into businesses and investment funds on its website www.cdcgroup.com. It does not disclose individual valuations as these are commercially sensitive.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to allocate additional emergency funding to UK international development charities to ensure those charities do not (a) close, (b) cut programmes and (c) retrench staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

DFID is talking to our partners to look at ways to address the challenges posed to them and their projects by COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with our partners and take a flexible approach in order to find pragmatic solutions to support both our partners and our programmes.

DFID is implementing the UK government position on supplier partner relief to ensure that we offer support where this is appropriate.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to reassign ageing to a specific Ministerial portfolio within her Department in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Ageing is an important element in the Department for International Development (DFID’s) efforts to tackle extreme poverty and our collective commitment to ‘leave no-one behind’. Baroness Sugg has direct responsibility for ageing as part of her portfolio on Inclusive Societies, and we will make this more explicit in her online portfolio. We recognise that, in addition to their other vulnerabilities, older people, people with pre-existing conditions, and those with complex needs are disproportionately impacted and at more serious risk of severe complications and fatality due to COVID-19.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19 and has, to date, committed up to £241 million of funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. We will work with all of our humanitarian partners to ensure that the most vulnerable, including older people and people with disabilities are reached and supported. We are therefore continuing to take action to support countries to care for their populations.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help ensure that a covid-19 vaccine developed with support funded by the international development budget is affordable for developing countries.

The UK is at the forefront of supporting the science-led approach to tackling COVID-19 around the world and has invested £65 million so far into COVID-19 research. This includes investment in research and development of a possible vaccine, as well as more immediate gains such as rapid diagnostics and therapeutics.

An effective vaccine will be vital to the long-term control of the outbreak. To date the UK has invested £40 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), specifically for COVID-19 vaccine development, alongside our existing support to their research. DFID will work with CEPI and others to ensure that any vaccine candidates are affordable and accessible to developing countries.

We have also made available up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund to help developing countries meet their debt repayments so that they can focus their available resources on tackling coronavirus. This will enable developing countries to direct greater resources to their healthcare efforts, helping prevent the virus from spreading around the world.

Our response builds on the UK’s longstanding record of supporting countries across the globe to prepare for large disease outbreaks. This includes being the largest donor to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Between 2016 and 2020, DFID provided £1.44 billion of support to GAVI. With UK support they have vaccinated 76 million children between 2016 and 2020, saving 1.4 million lives from vaccine preventable diseases.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what advice (a) her Department and (b) the UK Government Coronavirus International Taskforce is providing to low income countries on covid-19 herd immunity.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable. G7 leaders made an important statement on Monday on the need to coordinate a global response to COVID-19. DFID is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to respond to international requests for technical support in managing COVID-19.

This includes supporting countries with preparedness and disease control interventions to make sure we save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are connecting technical experts in partner countries with epidemiologists and public health experts. We are also sharing information that the UK is using to model the pandemic with others.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to increase medium-term funding for the World Health Organisation until the end of 2020 to tackle covid-19.

The UK provides around £120 million each year to the World Health Organization (WHO). To support the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable the UK has provided an additional £10 million to the WHO’s Emergency Flash Appeal to help prevent the spread of this outbreak by supporting developing countries to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms. In addition, experts funded by UK aid will be deployed to the WHO to help coordinate the international response.

We are keeping further international funding under regular review.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government has shared its covid-19 (a) scientific model, (b) evidence and (c) herd immunity conclusions with governments of countries that are recipients of UK (i) aid and (ii) development assistance.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable. G7 leaders made an important statement on Monday on the need to coordinate a global response to COVID-19. DFID is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to respond to international requests for technical support in managing COVID-19.

This includes supporting countries with preparedness and disease control interventions to make sure we save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are connecting technical experts in partner countries with epidemiologists and public health experts. We are also sharing information that the UK is using to model the pandemic with others.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with Kevin Kennedy, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis; and what requests for support she has received from Mr Kennedy.

DFID officials speak regularly with Kevin Kennedy and his team. Most recently they discussed the updated UN Readiness and Response Plan, requesting $500 million from the international community to support the emergency response in Idlib. DFID has contributed to that response.

On 3 March the Secretary of State announced an additional £89 million of humanitarian aid to Syria, including £15 million specifically for Idlib. This will deliver emergency support such as medical items, clean water and shelter, in addition to evacuating medical staff and civilians from unsafe areas where military forces are advancing.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with Filippo Grandi, the UN high Commissioner for Refugees, on the humanitarian needs of people displaced by fighting in the Idlib area of north west Syria.

DFID officials are in regular contact with UNHCR counterparts.

The UK is deeply concerned that over 950,000 Syrians have been displaced by the violence in Idlib since 1 December, with over 80% being women and children. On 3 March, the Secretary of State announced an additional £89 million of humanitarian aid to Syria, including £15 million specifically for Idlib. This will deliver emergency support such as medical items, clean water and shelter, in addition to evacuating medical staff and civilians from unsafe areas where military forces are advancing.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the international community is taking to help stop the spread of covid-19 to refugee camps in north west Syria and elsewhere in the region.

There are no known cases of COVID-19 in refugee camps at present in North West Syria and elsewhere in the region.

DFID recognises that individuals in refugee camps are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In Syria, the international community is taking steps to help stop the virus spreading. On 1 March, the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator released US $15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to help fund global efforts to contain the virus in Syria. The funding, which will be allocated to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, will go towards monitoring the spread of the virus, investigating cases and the operation of national laboratories.

DFID is closely monitoring the situation and looking at specific support we could provide to existing partners. In Syria and the region, our healthcare funding through the WHO provides medicine and equipment to hospitals and health centres, including in IDP camps, as well as training of healthcare staff. DFID support also assists health systems strengthening, enabling real-time decision making in improving the health response and preventing mass outbreaks of disease.

Globally, the UK is continuing to support efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. We have provided £40 million investment into vaccine and virus research, and £5 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO). We are working with other countries to use forums such as the G7 presidency to focus international efforts in support of the WHO led response.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she has made an assessment of the potential effect on the effectiveness of her Department of removing ageing as a specific policy area with Ministerial responsibility.

My Department recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers and face multiple exclusions in developing countries across the globe.

Baroness Sugg has direct responsibility for ageing as part of her portfolio on inclusive societies.

Ageing is an important factor in DFID’s efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. This is reflected in our departmental strategy papers. Both the Disability Inclusion Strategy and the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people with a cash transfer to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support the needs of older people.

The UK Government recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers in developing countries around the globe.

DFID’s vision is a world where all people, in all stages of their lives, are engaged, empowered and able to exercise their rights. Ageing is an important factor in our efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. For example, DFID’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people with a cash transfer to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many projects the CDC Group has invested in since 2011 relating to fossil fuel power generation, exploration, production, storage or distribution; how much funding was allocated to each such project; and on what dates that funding was allocated.

The names of current CDC investments relating to fossil fuels are: Eneo (Formerly Sonel); Actis Energy Cameroon Holdings (Eneo); Azura Power West Africa Ltd; Azura Power; Cenpower; Amandi Energy; Maria Gleta; Proton Energy; Uquo Integrated Gas Business (Accugas); Simba Oil Ltd; SODEP; Broron Oil & Gas; Amandi Energy; Elton International Co; Africa Oilfield Services/AOS Orwell Ltd; Gas Train; Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc; Globeleq Ltd (Dibamba); Globeleq Ltd (Azito); Globeleq Ltd (Kribi); Globeleq Ltd (Tsavo) Globeleq Ltd (Songas); Globeleq Africa Holdings; Africa Oil Corp; Eland Oil & Gas; Petrobras Oil & Gas B.V.; GMR Energy Ltd / Skyron Eco Ventures (GMR Infrastructure); ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd; Karadeniz Powerships; Kosmos Energy; Sirajganj 4; Summit Meghnaghat; Africa Terminaling Company Ltd; Viathan Engineering Ltd; Te Power; Albatross Energy, Mali; Petroleum Products Pipeline SA; Les Centaure Routiers; Bell Oil and Gas; Vivo Energy.

Information on these investments is available on CDC’s website [https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/our-investments/].

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the financial value was of CDC Group's investments in (a) Karadeniz Powerships (b) Maria Gléta (c) Les Centaure Routiers (d) Petroleum Products Pipeline SA (3PL) (e) Bell Oil and Gas; and on what dates those investments were made.

CDC invests in energy projects to support access to energy for 600 million Africans without power and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The total invested in aggregate across all 5 of these projects is $3.6 million. The date of each investment was a) March 2016 b) March 2018 c) February 2019 d) February 2019 e) May 2019.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many energy projects involving the burning of heavy fuel oil has CDC Group invested in since 2011; and (a) how much and (b) on what dates that funding was allocated to each of those projects.

Since 2011, CDC has invested in four energy projects designed to run on heavy fuel oil in four countries in Africa: Kenya, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea-Conakry. The funding was committed in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The total invested into the four projects is $77.3 million which represents less than 1.5% of CDC’s total investment portfolio.

CDC invests in energy projects to support access to energy for 600 million Africans without power and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in a socially just manner. Over the past two years, CDC has committed over $500 million to renewable energy projects, almost 25% of CDC’s total investment commitments made over this period. Whenever CDC invests in fossil fuels, it does so with the aim to increase efficiency, reduce emissions and as part of a low carbon transition plan.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to improve access for humanitarian agencies operating in Yemen.

The UK is increasingly concerned by the constraints placed on the international humanitarian response in Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2451, we are calling on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian actors and agencies and ensure that humanitarian workers are able to conduct their work safely and without harm.

In mid-February, donors (including the UK), International Non-Governmental Organisations and the United Nations met in Brussels and agreed to move forward with a coordinated response to improve access for humanitarian agencies operating in Yemen, including reducing aid if restrictions are not lifted.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with nearly 80% of the entire population, over 24 million people, requiring some form of humanitarian assistance. More than 20 million people in Yemen do not have reliable access to food and almost 10 million people face extreme food shortages.

The UK is increasingly concerned by the constraints placed on the international humanitarian response in Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2451, we are calling on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian actors and agencies and ensure that humanitarian workers are able to conduct their work safely and without harm.

A political settlement is the only way to fully address the humanitarian crisis and we encourage further constructive engagement from all parties to achieve this.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to support countries with weaker health systems following the declaration by the World Health Organisation that coronavirus is a global health emergency.

DFID has stepped up support for developing countries following the World Health (WHO) declaration, through an initial £5 million contribution to WHO’s Emergency Flash Appeal and deploying experts to the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa in the Republic of Congo. In addition, DFID Country Offices are in close contact with country partners in preparing for and responding to an outbreak, and we are working alongside the Department for Health and Social Care and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on further research into the virus.

More generally, DFID’s health system strengthening programmes build capability for health security such as disease surveillance and response systems.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans his Department has to attend the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2020; and what his Department's objectives are for that meeting.

Gender equality is a top development priority for the UK. Girls and women across the world are held back by systematic and entrenched inequality and discrimination.

This year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women is particularly important: 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the foundational international agenda for women’s empowerment agreed in 1995, and five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. DFID will be attending the event.

Our engagement with CSW will reinforce the UK’s bold leadership on gender equality, in the face of an increasingly coordinated and effective opposition to women’s rights globally.

DFID is working across government and with like-minded partners to drive forward our international priorities for girls and women including: negotiating a progressive and forward-looking Political Declaration, championing the critical role of civil society in collaborating with governments, the UN and other key actors, and standing firm against the attempted rollback of the international framework.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what members of African civil society attended the UK-Africa investment summit.

The Summit brought together, amongst others, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations. Forty entrepreneurs from Africa, owning smaller businesses, participated. The Government has also organised more than ten events in the lead-up to, and as follow-up to, the Summit to gather views from a range of stakeholders, including African Civil Society Organisations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much his Department has spent on supporting (a) coal-mining and (b) coal-fired power stations in developing countries in each of the last five years.

DFID does not provide ODA bilateral assistance for coal and has not done so since 2012.

In the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) we do not support coal projects expect in rare circumstances and only for the poorest countries where there is no economical alternative. The Prime Minister’s announcement means DFID Ministers will now review all coal and other fossil fuel projects that are presented to the Boards of the MDBs and make a decision on each case.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which (a) coal-mining projects and (b) countries will be affected by the policy announced on 20 January 2020 by the Prime Minister that all UK aid-funded support for coal-mining and coal-fuelled power stations in developing countries will cease.

The UK is one of the first countries to commit to ending unabated coal generation. We have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990, while our economy has grown by two thirds. In May, the UK went without running coal power generation for over two weeks – the longest coal-free period in the country since the 1880s.

The UK and Canada are leading on initiatives to help countries build commitments to move away from unabated coal, such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance which now has 97 members, with growing membership from financial institutions.

In the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) we do not support coal projects expect in rare circumstances and only for the poorest countries where there is no economical alternative. The Prime Minister’s announcement means DFID Ministers will now review all coal and other fossil fuel projects that are presented to the Boards of the MDBs and make a decision on each case.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the (a) invitees and (b) attendees of the January 2020 UK-Africa investment summit.

The Summit brought together African leaders and delegations from 21 countries: Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.

Six multilateral organisations and international financial institutions also participated: the African Development Bank, the African Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the World Bank.

In addition, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations attended the Summit.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of the TradeConnect initiative with Official Development Assistance requirements.

Trade Connect, a new £20m programme to help firms in developing countries remove ‘last mile barriers to export’, is focused on creating jobs and raising incomes to promote sustainable economic growth. The programme has been assessed to be compliant with the terms of spending ODA under the International Development Act 2002. The Trade Connect programme will help firms export to more to international markets and will not be restricted to direct trade with the UK or UK Companies.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the effect on development impact of the TradeConnect initiative.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20 January 2020, the UK announced its commitment to helping African countries break down barriers for trade and investment. We are strengthening Britain’s trading partnerships with an offer that supports both British and African businesses to trade more and grow faster.

The new £20million Trade Connect programme will help businesses in developing countries overcome these barriers and sell more internationally. TradeConnect will therefore contribute to development by supporting growth creation in targeted firms and sectors.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the UK Africa Investment Summit 2020; and what proportion of that cost will be met from the Official Development Assistance budget.

As with all such Government events, the full costing will be available in due course. 2020 UK ODA spend, including for this Summit, will be reported in Statistics on International Development, published by DFID in Autumn 2021.

I am placing a summary of achievements at the Summit in the Library of the House.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the itemised costs of the UK Africa Investment Summit 2020.

As with all such Government events, the full costing will be available in due course. 2020 UK ODA spend, including for this Summit, will be reported in Statistics on International Development, published by DFID in Autumn 2021.

I am placing a summary of achievements at the Summit in the Library of the House.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the names of the members of African civil society that were invited to the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020.

The Summit brought together, amongst others, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations. Forty entrepreneurs from Africa, owning smaller businesses, participated. The Government has also organised more than ten events in the lead-up to, and as follow-up to, the Summit to gather views from a range of stakeholders, including African Civil Society Organisations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has held discussions with the Prime Minister on appointing a Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Mexico.

The Department for International Trade is constantly reviewing suitable markets to identify where the appointment of a Trade Envoy can be of greatest benefit to the trade and investment aims of the UK.

Discussions are ongoing with respect to the appointment of a Trade Envoy to Mexico.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government's contract for covid-19 vaccines with Pfizer includes an Investor State Dispute Settlement clause.

The Department for International Trade is not responsible for the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans she has to include anti-corruption provisions in future trade deals.

As detailed in our ‘Strategic Approach’ publications, we are aiming to secure provisions in free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand that address the trade-distorting effects of corruption on global trade and fair competition to help maintain the United Kingdom’s high standards in this area.

The United Kingdom-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement includes a new provision covering anti-corruption, which signals the United Kingdom and Japan’s shared ambition to combat the distorting effects of corruption on trade.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has plans to end UK Export Finance support for fossil fuel projects.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to HMG support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support to UK exports in all sectors. This includes the oil and gas sector, but also many other sectors such as renewables and green growth.

UKEF is helping to drive UK content into overseas renewables and green growth projects across the globe and has been proactively developing the breadth of its support for these sectors. This is supported by £2 billion of direct lending for UKEF, which was announced in the Spring Budget, to support UK exports to these sectors.

The support provided by UKEF to UK exporters takes the form of direct loans, guarantees and insurances for which premiums are charged and, for which, there is no net cost to the taxpayer.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to announce an end to UK funding for fossil fuels overseas to include an end to UK Export Finance support for fossil fuels.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to HMG support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support to UK exports in all sectors. This includes the oil and gas sector, but also many other sectors such as renewables and green growth.

UKEF is helping to drive UK content into overseas renewables and green growth projects across the globe and has been proactively developing the breadth of its support for these sectors. This is supported by £2 billion of direct lending for UKEF, which was announced in the Spring Budget, to support UK exports to these sectors.

The support provided by UKEF to UK exporters takes the form of direct loans, guarantees and insurances for which premiums are charged and, for which, there is no net cost to the taxpayer.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to help strengthen seafarers’ employment rights following the actions of P&O Ferries on 17 March 2022.

The government continues to promote and deliver its seafarer protections nine-point plan, and the wider objectives of Maritime 2050.

On 6 July, the government introduced the Seafarers’ Wages Bill to the House of Lords and published the Government’s Response to the Consultation on Seafarers’ Remuneration. The Bill seeks to ensure that seafarers working on vessels that regularly use UK ports are paid at least an equivalent rate to the UK National Minimum Wage, irrespective of flag or nationality.

This is in addition to other commitments in the nine-point plan, including BEIS’ forthcoming consultation on a “fire and rehire” statutory code, reform to longer-term working conditions for seafarers, and working with international partners to collaborate on seafarer protections and welfare.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential implications of unskilled staff being used to fill skilled roles during periods of industrial action in the rail industry; and whether his Department has provided guidance to rail companies on this subject.

The use of agency and temporary workers in the rail sector is not new and there is existing general guidance on the use of agency workers available. The proposed change in law, which will apply across all sectors, is designed to minimise the negative impact of strikes on the public by providing employers with more flexibility during periods of industrial action. It would help mitigate against the impact of future rail strikes by allowing trained, temporary workers to carry out crucial roles to keep trains moving. However, train operating companies – and all employers - will still be obliged to comply with existing health and safety regulations and contractual obligations designed to keep both employees and the public safe. Where temporary agency workers are used, they must of course be qualified and trained to safely and efficiently undertake the work in question. This development means that where possible and appropriate, temporary agency workers could be used to support services during times of industrial action, which is good news for passengers and those who rely upon the railway.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish details of the Government’s review of contracts it holds with P&O and DP World.

The Transport Secretary has instructed a comprehensive survey of all contracts between P&O Ferries and DP World, and Government.

Before any action is taken, we need to have a clear understanding of exactly what has happened which is what we are doing right now with BEIS. DfT is working closely with BEIS to establish the facts of what has happened in this case.

We are confident that there is little by way of Government contracts with P&O Ferries or DP World however the cross-Government review remains underway.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made in allowing citizens of Mexico to have their covid-19 vaccination status recognised by the UK.

The Government is taking a phased approach to the rollout of our inbound vaccination programme and will continue to work with international partners to expand the policy to more countries and territories where it is safe to do so. Vaccine certification between countries and territories varies considerably and the government has published minimum criteria on gov.uk that both digital and paper certificates must meet.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) increase in SUV use and (b) potential impact of that matter on the Government's progress to reaching its net zero targets.

The government has announced that from 2035 all new cars and vans must be fully zero emissions at the tailpipe and the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will end from 2030 onwards. Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have significant zero emission capability which will be defined through consultation later this year.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of theory driving test availability in the Liverpool City Region; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure additional test facilities.

The average waiting time for a driving theory test in the Liverpool City Region is 5 weeks.

The theory test centre estate and service for England, Scotland and Wales, which is currently delivered by a sole supplier, is changing. From 6 September 2021, the contract for running theory test centres is to be split into three regions and the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202.

As part of its service recovery, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has extended theory test centre opening hours in England, where conditions allow, creating 300,000 extra theory test appointments. It has also opened 10 temporary theory test super centres in England, which will create a minimum of 120,000 extra appointments each month.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made in reducing barriers to travel for people with assistance dogs seeking to travel to the (a) EU and (b) Northern Ireland.

The Government is engaging with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to explore means to streamline pet travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland recognising the high standards of animal health that we share. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has also written to the European Vice-President seeking to ensure that an agreement can be made to address the barriers imposed on pet travel between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Northern Ireland-based pets and assistance dogs returning to Northern Ireland from Great Britain can continue to use a Northern Ireland-issued EU Pet Passport to re-enter Northern Ireland and will not need an animal health certificate. Current guidance on pet travel to Northern Ireland is available on DAERA’s NIDirect website.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affiars are proactively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders on the impacts on dog movements from Great Britain to the EU and to Northern Ireland.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the level of retention of jobs in the aviation sector relating to special assistance support for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that the aviation sector is home to many highly skilled and highly trained staff. We recognise that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will result in greater uncertainty over future demand (at least in the short/medium term) and that this has a knock-on effect on the operational requirements of airlines. However, airports are legally obliged to provide assistance, free of charge, for disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility to ensure equal access to aviation.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the 12-month period drivers can use non-GB driving licences.

Holders of driving licences issued outside of the European Union who become resident in Great Britain can drive small vehicles (motorcars and motorcycles) for up one year from the date they become resident.

To continue driving after this period the driver must either exchange their licence, if it was issued by a country which has been designated for licence exchange purposes, or apply for a provisional driving licence and pass both a theory and practical driving test.

The Government keeps the ongoing impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic and any changes that may be needed to existing arrangements under review.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what timescales the Government has for implementing the recommendations of the Global Travel Taskforce.

The recommendations contained in the Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) report cover three broad principles: first, setting out clear public health measures; second, seeking to increase demand safely; and third, looking to the UK to drive a co-ordinated response with global partners.

The Test to Release (TTR) scheme, one of the key recommendations in the GTT, went live on 15 December. This provides passengers arriving in England with the option to shorten the self-isolation by up to half following a negative COVID-19 test.

The launch of TTR is just the first step – the remaining 13 recommendations also represent key deliverables that will play an important role in supporting industry to get back on a trajectory towards strong economic growth, and are being worked on at pace.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making on supporting the UK’s aviation sector in the development of sustainable aviation fuels.

The Government is committed to promoting the use and production of sustainable aviation fuels. To help overcome barriers to the sector’s development in the UK the Department for Transport’s Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) has made up to £20m of matched capital funding available. As part of this competition we are currently supporting two projects looking to build plants capable of supplying advanced fuels at a large scale for use in aviation.

In addition, we are incentivising the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). Such fuels are eligible for support under the RTFO and can be categorised as a development fuel, thereby potentially benefiting from a higher tradeable certificate value. DfT officials are also working closely with industry to explore further options for how we can support the UK’s development of sustainable aviation fuels.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the COVID Emergency Management Arrangements (EMA) with Train Operating Companies (TOC), what provisions are included in the EMA to ensure that TOCs are not in a financially advantageous position under the EMA than their financial performance under their franchise agreements in the months before the covid-19 lockdown.

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the normal financial mechanisms of franchise agreements, transferring all revenue and cost risk to the government. Operators are required to continue to fulfil their obligations under the EMAs for a small, pre-determined management fee. Fees are set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets. The maximum fee attainable was set on the basis that it will be lower than the returns attainable in operator’s existing franchise agreements where they bore revenue risk.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the COVID Emergency Management Arrangements (EMA) with Train Operating Companies, what steps his Department took to ensure that those companies had sought financial support packages in advance of entering into the EMA.

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the existing franchise agreements' financial mechanisms for an initial period of six months. They were developed at an early stage of the covid-19 crisis as a bespoke solution to address the particular circumstances of rail franchises. These include the fact that the government would face large and direct financial exposure via its obligations under the Railways Act if any franchise were to fail financially and become unable to operate its services. The EMAs include explicit provisions to prevent 'double recovery', ensuring franchisees cannot be compensated through the EMAs where funding from other government support schemes has been obtained.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG), what steps his Department took to ensure that large bus operators had sought financial support packages before entering into the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) what steps he is taking to ensure that bus operators recoup only the costs of their operations under the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made over-payments to bus operators under the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to monitor the potential for over-payments to be made in relation to the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG); and what processes his Department has put in place to recoup over-payments made in relation to the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in Liverpool Walton are recipients of legacy benefits; and what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people are made aware of the transition to universal credit.

The data held for people in Liverpool Walton who are on Legacy benefits is published at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk. Everyone who is required to move to Universal Credit will receive a migration notice informing them that they need to make a claim for Universal Credit. The document also underlines the benefits to these claimants in considering a voluntary move to Universal Credit now. The Department is committed to raising awareness among legacy benefit claimants of the transition to Universal Credit and helping them decide whether moving sooner would be right for them. The latest data estimates that 55% of legacy claimants could be better off on Universal Credit. A national multi-channel advertising campaign launched in March. It is focused in particular on tax credit customers and encourages them to use an independent benefits calculator and seek independent advice to find out if they could be better off and help them decide whether to move to Universal Credit voluntarily.

On the 25th April, the Department published its Completing the Move to UC Strategy for Universal Credit. This document explains how the department will ensure that the 2.6m households currently on legacy benefits will migrate to Universal Credit by the end of 2024.

We will continue to keep our wider communications strategy under close review.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support people with a history of alcohol dependence into work.

DWP has a range of interventions in place to support individuals with a history of alcohol dependence into work.

The Department has commissioned the Individual Placement and Support for Drug and Alcohol Dependency programme. Delivered by the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities, this provision blends intensive job-search and in-work support with clinical treatment to enable individuals with a dependency to overcome barriers to employment. The programme is currently being delivered in 46 Local Authority areas, including Birmingham, Sheffield, and Leeds, and will be expanded to all 150 Local Authority areas in England by the end of 2024/25. This brings the total investment in the programme to over £39 million across the next three years.

Individuals with a history of alcohol dependence can also receive tailored support from our dedicated work coaches, such as the adjustment of Universal Credit work-search requirements and access to the Access to Work grant for any adaptations required in the workplace. They are also able to gain priority access to the Work and Health Programme, which supports people to enter into and stay in work.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the cumulative impact on the living standards of households in receipt of universal credit of (a) not up-rating benefits in line with inflation, (b) the end to the £20 weekly uplift to universal credit and (c) the rise in living costs.

No assessment of the cumulative impact of these measures has been made.

The Government is uprating Universal Credit in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.

The Government is providing £12 billion of support to ease cost of living pressures, with help targeted at working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable. A further £9 billion has been announced to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.

Since 2010 the Government has regularly published cumulative analysis of the impacts of its tax, welfare and public spending policies on households. The most recent assessment was published at Budget 2021. It showed that, in 2021/22, the poorest 60% of households will receive more in public spending than they contribute in tax. And households in the lowest income decile will receive more than £4 in public spending for every £1 they pay in tax on average.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of not uprating benefits in line with inflation on levels of child poverty in Liverpool, Walton constituency.

No such assessment has been made. The Government is up-rating benefits in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.

The latest statistics on the number and proportion of children who are in low income families by local area, covering the six years, 2014/15 to 2019/20, can be found in the annual publication: Children in low income families: local area statistics 2014 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).

This Government is committed to reducing poverty and supporting low-income families, and believes work is the best route out of poverty. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment – particularly where it is full-time – in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of not uprating benefits in line with inflation on the incomes of households in receipt of universal credit, in the context of the end to the £20 weekly uplift.

The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation in the year to September. All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September.

The Government is providing £12 billion of support with the cost of living, with help targeted at working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable. A further £9 billion has been announced to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to help ensure that appropriate job opportunities are available and accessible to young people in their local areas.

Through Jobcentre Plus, DWP is helping young people to find the right support, education or training that will ultimately lead to sustained employment opportunities and career progression.

Core skills are fundamental in securing, retaining, and progressing in work. This Government has invested in apprenticeships, traineeships, vocational and basic skills training, alongside careers advice and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs).

The Plan for Jobs provides a comprehensive package of support for young people, including the Youth Offer and Kickstart. The Kickstart scheme is dedicated to helping 16 to 24-year olds at risk of long-term unemployment develop their skills and experience through fully funded six-month jobs.

The DWP Youth Offer provides intensive work search support to young people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit and in the Intensive Work Search group. As part of this, Youth Hubs are co-located with partner organisations in a place-based approach. These co-delivered partnerships provide vital links within the community and offer a multitude of services, including opening up more employment opportunities within local areas.

Through our partnership network we are engaging with a broad spectrum of providers who are co-located including colleges, employers, and local authorities. Some of the national providers are National Careers Service, Princes Trust, Aspire, NHS and probation services. These organisations have access to skills and training programmes and can help with CV writing, job applications and interview preparation.

Our National Employer and Partnership team are helping to build local partnerships which are critical to delivery in this area. We also work closely with smaller organisations offering bespoke local work-related opportunities, enabling employers to support and engage their future workforce.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to increase the earnings threshold for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State has today announced an increase in the weekly earnings limit in Carer’s Allowance from April 2022. Further details available here: UIN HCWS420

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to ensure disabled people were adequately consulted during the recent Health and Disability green paper consultation.

In the 18 months prior to the formal launch of the consultation, we ran a significant engagement programme to ensure that the views of disabled people and their representatives shaped the content of the consultation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued to engage with a series of virtual events organised with national charities, and a series hosted by MPs from across the political spectrum, attended by individuals and organisations from their constituencies.

The Green Paper was published on 20 July 2021 in a variety of accessible formats. These include braille copies, a British Sign Language video with an audio track and subtitles, a large print version, a full audio version available digitally and on CD and an easy read version.

Throughout the consultation period itself, we held more than 40 events with disabled people, people with health conditions and their representatives, including a series of virtual events as well as face-to-face events across the UK.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of universal credit deductions on household budgets.

No such assessment has been made.

There is a limit placed on the overall amount that can be deducted from Universal Credit. Formerly 40% of the Universal Credit Standard Allowance, this was reduced from 30% to 25% in April 2021. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, in order to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the State Pension in tackling pensioner poverty; and if she will make a statement.

In the latest statistics there were 200,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty, after housing costs, compared to 2009/10.

The State Pension is the foundation of support for older people, providing the basis on which people can build additional private savings for their retirement. Under this Government, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension is now over £2,050 higher than in 2010.

In addition, Pension Credit provides invaluable financial support for the most vulnerable pensioners and is a passport to a range of other benefits.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of legacy benefits for people with severe disabilities.

There are a number of legacy benefits but people with severe disabilities are most likely to be in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is paid at different rates depending on an individual’s circumstances. In income-related ESA, claimants with severe disabilities may also be eligibility for additional amounts, such as the Enhanced Disability Premium and or the Severe Disability Premium. To reflect the functional impacts of their health condition or disability on their capability to work, claimants found to have limited capability for work and work related activity receive an additional support group component.

Claimants may also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment to help meet the extra costs of living faced by disabled people.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the backlog of people waiting for personal independence payment claims to be processed.

I refer the Hon member to the answer I gave on 15 September 2021 to Question UIN 50029

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) time it takes to clear a personal independence payment claim and (b) number of people waiting for a decision as of 1 November 2021.

In response to part (a) of this question, data on processing times for all Personal Independence Payment (PIP) New Claims to July 2021 (the latest available data) is published in Table 2A of the PIP Statistics tables which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1016795/tables-pip-statistics-to-july-2021.xlsx

Data relating to all PIP New Claims up until 31st October will be released on 14th December 2021.

In response to part (b) on this question, the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of giving British Sign Language (BSL) full legal recognition; and whether the Government plans to grant full legal recognition to BSL.

On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised that British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right. Provision for accessing services by users of BSL are covered by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Existing equality legislation already means employers, service providers and public bodies have to provide services in BSL and other formats when it is reasonable to do so. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the needs of all those with protected characteristics.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the rate of Statutory Sick Pay on the level of compliance with self-isolation rules during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

This government has a strong safety net that helps people who are facing hardship and are unable to support themselves financially and we have taken steps to strengthen that safety net as part of the government’s response to the pandemic.

As part of strengthening this safety net we have made Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payable from the first day of sickness absence from work, rather than the fourth – where an individual is self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus and meets all SSP eligibility conditions.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provides a minimum level of income for employees when they are sick or incapable of work. Employers are legally required to pay SSP to eligible employees who are off work sick or incapable of work, where employees meet the qualifying conditions. Some employers may also decide to pay more, and for longer, through Occupational Sick Pay.

SSP is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances.

Working people on low incomes who are required to remain at home by NHS Test and Trace to help stop the spread of the virus and cannot work from home could be eligible for a £500 payment to financially support them while self-isolating.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12293 on Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations, when the approach to provide consistency for claimants across audio recording of work capability assessments and personal independence payment assessments will be published.

Work is ongoing to develop the details of our approach and we will provide an update in due course.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to ensure the provision of audio recording equipment for people who wish to keep a record of their personal independence payment assessment; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the Rt.Hon Member to the answer I gave on 10 February 2020 to Question UIN 12293.

6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of (a) trends in the level of eating disorders in the LGBT+ community and (b) the availability of specialised treatment services for that condition in that community.

No specific assessment has been made. While there are no specialised eating disorder services specifically targeted towards the LGBT+ community, all support provided to patients would be based on clinical need, taking any protected characteristics into account.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many community diagnostic centres are (a) operated in full or in part by private sector organisations and (b) offering services that have been outsourced to the private sector.

The attached table shows the operational community diagnostic centres (CDCs) as of 5 July 2022 and the overall activity levels at each site where available, including tests and checks, as of 19 June. The table also shows the activity levels of early adopter sites which are no longer operational.

NHS England is currently reviewing the definitions of CDC sites and how each type of site reports activity. In the first year, 'hub’ and ‘spoke’ sites jointly reported activity data. Therefore, the attached data may not include activity where sites formerly reported through this joint model and have since separated into a distinct ‘hub’ or ‘spoke’ site. The reporting of activity data for separate spoke sites will commence from September 2022.

We have committed £2.3 billion for the launch of up to 160 CDCs by March 2025. While future CDC locations have not yet been confirmed, regions are working with integrated care systems, diagnostic networks and primary care services to determine the location and configuration of services, based on the needs of the local population. Information on the number of CDCs operated in part or in full by the private sector or offering services which have been outsourced to the private sector is not held centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) tests and (b) checks have been delivered by each community diagnostic centre since the rollout of those centres began.

The attached table shows the operational community diagnostic centres (CDCs) as of 5 July 2022 and the overall activity levels at each site where available, including tests and checks, as of 19 June. The table also shows the activity levels of early adopter sites which are no longer operational.

NHS England is currently reviewing the definitions of CDC sites and how each type of site reports activity. In the first year, 'hub’ and ‘spoke’ sites jointly reported activity data. Therefore, the attached data may not include activity where sites formerly reported through this joint model and have since separated into a distinct ‘hub’ or ‘spoke’ site. The reporting of activity data for separate spoke sites will commence from September 2022.

We have committed £2.3 billion for the launch of up to 160 CDCs by March 2025. While future CDC locations have not yet been confirmed, regions are working with integrated care systems, diagnostic networks and primary care services to determine the location and configuration of services, based on the needs of the local population. Information on the number of CDCs operated in part or in full by the private sector or offering services which have been outsourced to the private sector is not held centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the sites of community diagnostic centres that are (a) open and (b) planned as of 5 July 2022.

The attached table shows the operational community diagnostic centres (CDCs) as of 5 July 2022 and the overall activity levels at each site where available, including tests and checks, as of 19 June. The table also shows the activity levels of early adopter sites which are no longer operational.

NHS England is currently reviewing the definitions of CDC sites and how each type of site reports activity. In the first year, 'hub’ and ‘spoke’ sites jointly reported activity data. Therefore, the attached data may not include activity where sites formerly reported through this joint model and have since separated into a distinct ‘hub’ or ‘spoke’ site. The reporting of activity data for separate spoke sites will commence from September 2022.

We have committed £2.3 billion for the launch of up to 160 CDCs by March 2025. While future CDC locations have not yet been confirmed, regions are working with integrated care systems, diagnostic networks and primary care services to determine the location and configuration of services, based on the needs of the local population. Information on the number of CDCs operated in part or in full by the private sector or offering services which have been outsourced to the private sector is not held centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to develop the timeline of the national dementia strategy.

We will set out plans for dementia in England shortly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to respond to the email sent to his Department by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton on 23 May 2022.

We replied to the hon. Member on 20 June 2022.

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the need for NICE guidance for (a) Tourette’s Syndrome and (b) other tic disorders.

There are no current plans for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop a guideline on Tourette’s syndrome. NICE’s guideline on suspected neurological conditions includes the initial assessment of symptoms which may indicate a neurological condition and makes recommendations on tics and involuntary movement in children. Best practice guidance on the management of Tourette’s syndrome is available from the British Medical Journal at the following link:

https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/1042

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to improve the quality of training on (a) Tourette’s syndrome and (b) other tic disorders for service providers in England.

Individual National Health Service employers are responsible for ensuring that staff are trained, competent and have the necessary skills to safely and effectively treat patients in their care, including those with Tourette syndrome. Health Education England’s e-learning for healthcare also offers sessions including content on Tourette’s Syndrome. Patients with Tourette’s syndrome are usually referred to specialist neurology services and the General Medical Council’s approved curriculum includes a section on movement disorders.

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase funding for research into the (a) causes of and (b) treatments for Tourette’s syndrome.

Through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the Department welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including Tourette’s syndrome. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR’s funding is available through open competition and researchers are encouraged to submit applications in this area. The NIHR has supported a study on deep brain stimulation in people with Tourette’s syndrome and a digital behavioural intervention for tics in children and adolescents with Tourette’s syndrome.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of specialist practitioners (a) researching and (b) treating Tourette’s Syndrome in England.

Patients with Tourette’s syndrome may require support from a range of professionals, including clinical psychologists. Health Education England is increasing the number of trained clinical psychologists nationally, supporting a 60% expansion in the clinical psychology training intake in the past two years.

Whilst there are no specific plans to increase the number of specialist practitioners researching Tourette’s syndrome, the National Institute for Health and Care Research and UK Research and Innovation welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including Tourette’s syndrome. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of access for kidney transplant patients to (a) Evusheld and (b) other drugs that help increase resistance to covid-19.

Kidney transplant patients are eligible for community-based treatments via COVID Medicines Deliveries Units, which includes antiviral and neutralising monoclonal antibody treatments.

While Evusheld had been granted conditional marketing approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 17 March 2022, it highlighted uncertainty on the appropriate dose needed for protection against the Omicron variant. The UK Health Security Agency is undertaking further testing which will inform any decisions on next steps, including procurement.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will convene a dementia medicines taskforce to accelerate the development of new medicines.

Officials have met Alzheimer’s Research UK to discuss the proposal for a Dementia Medicines Taskforce. We are currently considering the merits of the proposal to accelerate patient access to medicines with NHS England and NHS Improvement We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, including on diagnosis, risk reduction and prevention and research. The strategy will include ambitions for research to develop new disease-modifying treatments.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve retention and recruitment of NHS dentists.

In ‘Advancing Dental Care Review: Final Report’, Health Education England (HEE) made recommendations to address recruitment, retention and attracting dentists and other dental professionals into the National Health Service. These recommendations are being implemented through HEE’s Dental Education Reform Programme.

We are also working with stakeholders including the British Dental Association to make the NHS dental contract more attractive to the profession, which aims to improve patient access and reduce health inequalities. Between April and June 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked practices to deliver at least 95% of contracted units of dental activity to safely improve access, including for new patients.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to reduce waiting lists for new patients at dentist surgeries.

In ‘Advancing Dental Care Review: Final Report’, Health Education England (HEE) made recommendations to address recruitment, retention and attracting dentists and other dental professionals into the National Health Service. These recommendations are being implemented through HEE’s Dental Education Reform Programme.

We are also working with stakeholders including the British Dental Association to make the NHS dental contract more attractive to the profession, which aims to improve patient access and reduce health inequalities. Between April and June 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked practices to deliver at least 95% of contracted units of dental activity to safely improve access, including for new patients.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will expand access to the spring booster vaccination programme to people with motor neurone disease.

During the spring booster vaccination programme, an additional dose is being offered to residents in care homes for older adults, individuals aged 12 years old and over who are immunosuppressed and adults aged 75 years old and over. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) do not currently recommend a further dose for those with motor neurone disease, unless the existing criteria applies.

The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data, particularly in relation to the timing and value of any further doses. On 19 May 2022, the JCVI published interim advice on an autumn COVID-19 booster programme. The JCVI advises that a booster dose should be offered to residents in care homes for older adults and staff; frontline health and social care workers; all those aged 65 years old and over; and adults aged 16 to 64 years old who are in a clinical risk group, such as motor neurone disease.

The JCVI will continue to review the vaccination programme, the definitions of clinical risk groups and the epidemiological situation to inform its final advice. The Government will consider the JCVI's final advice before determining which groups should be included in the autumn COVID-19 booster programme.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to taking cross-Government action on the social determinants of health in the Health Disparities White Paper.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Arfon (Hywel Williams) on 23 May 2022 to Question PQ4490.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation by the Alzheimer’s Society that £70 million be committed by the Government to improving dementia diagnosis rates in England; and if he will make a statement.

No formal assessment has been made.

In 2021/22, we provided £17 million to clinical commissioning groups to address the needs of those waiting for diagnosis and those who have a diagnosis but are unable to access support services due to the pandemic. To further support recovery of the dementia diagnosis rate and access to post diagnostic support in 2022/23, NHS England will provide funding to support general practitioners to pilot approaches in some areas. We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, which will include a focus on dementia diagnosis.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve dementia diagnosis rates in deprived areas of England.

No formal assessment has been made. NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the monthly dementia diagnosis rate each month and provide analysis on trends at regional and sustainability and transformation partnership level to aid targeted recovery efforts. In 2021, factsheets were published to encourage local conversations to understand patterns and potential reasons for any trends in dementia diagnosis rates and identifying specific areas for support. In 2021/22, we also provided £17 million to clinical commissioning groups to address the needs of those waiting for diagnosis and those who have a diagnosis but are unable to access support services due to the pandemic.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also commissioned the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ Dementia Intelligence Network to investigate the underlying variation in dementia diagnosis rates in specific areas in England. This will include a focus on social and economic deprivation; rurality; demographic characteristics including age, ethnicity and educational attainment; and general health and life expectancy. We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, which will include a focus on dementia diagnosis.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people living with dementia receive a prompt diagnosis.

No formal assessment has been made.

In 2021/22, we provided £17 million to clinical commissioning groups to address the needs of those waiting for diagnosis and those who have a diagnosis but are unable to access support services due to the pandemic. To further support recovery of the dementia diagnosis rate and access to post diagnostic support in 2022/23, NHS England will provide funding to support general practitioners to pilot approaches in some areas. We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, which will include a focus on dementia diagnosis.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) availability of free covid-19 lateral flow tests and (b) functioning of the Government's webpage to order those tests during the (i) week and (ii) day prior to the end of the free provision of those tests on 1 April 2022.

Prior to 1 April 2022, the Government asked the general public to order or collect test kits only if eligible for new COVID-19 treatments, working or volunteering in a high risk setting or supporting people at higher risk from COVID-19. To ensure an even distribution of lateral flow device tests, one pack of seven tests could be ordered from GOV.UK within a 72 hour period. While tests may have been temporarily unavailable to manage capacity, availability was refreshed regularly.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to assess the impact of the Government's new calorie labelling requirements on people with eating disorders; and whether he will keep the policy under review.

The Department published an impact assessment and an equalities impact assessment on the likely effect of the policy. As part of these assessments, we have considered the available evidence around eating disorders and displaying calorie information. The Department will continue to evaluate the impact of the out of home calorie labelling Regulations, including on people living with eating disorders. We will review the Regulations and publish a post-implementation review within three to five years.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2022 to Question 131213, on Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling, when the Government plans to begin the Alcohol Labelling consultation.

The consultation will be launched in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to reduce waiting times to access an initial appointment with gender identity services.

The National Health Service continues to establish new pilot gender dysphoria clinics under a new delivery model for this service. Pilot clinics have already opened in London, Cheshire and Merseyside, Manchester and the East of England and a further clinic is planned to open in Sussex later this year. These clinics will begin evaluation process to establish the viability of the new clinical models. This will reduce waiting times for patients and ensure the availability of these services for transgender people.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the UK's preparedness for another pandemic.

Pandemic preparedness is kept under continuous review and evolves in response to new scientific information, lessons learned from prior pandemics, responses to other infectious disease outbreaks and exercises to test response mechanisms.  We continue to prepare for a range of pandemic and emerging infectious disease scenarios and aim to have robust, flexible and deployable capabilities which can be adapted to outbreaks of different scales and characteristics.

The UK Health Security Agency became fully operational on 1 October 2021 and is dedicated to ensuring that we are protected from all future health threats, including enhancing preparedness for pandemics via the Centre for Pandemic Preparedness.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on reviewing NHS mileage rates in the context of the recent increase cost of fuel.

There have been no specific discussions as this is a matter for the NHS Staff Council. Reimbursement of travel costs are covered by the NHS Terms and Conditions, jointly agreed by employers and the National Health Service trade unions. The Department continues to work with the NHS Staff Council to ensure terms and conditions arrangements are fit for purpose.

The current rate for staff who use their vehicles to make journeys in the performance of their duties is 56 pence per mile, above HM Revenue and Customs’ approved mileage rate of 45 pence per mile. This rate reduces after 3,500 miles to 20 pence per mile. The NHS Terms and Conditions sets out the process for reviewing the rate of reimbursement every six months. This includes reviewing fluctuations in fuel prices.

18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to respond to the letter dated 17 February 2022 from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton.

We replied to the hon. Member on 24 March 2022.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the clinical evidence used to create the latest version of the guidance on care home visiting, updated 24 February 2022.

While there was no specific clinical evidence provided prior to the publication of the guidance published on 24 February, the update was based on advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Its advice recommended that:

- the end of February was not an appropriate time to stand down isolation guidance in vulnerable settings. This advice was based on COVID-19 infection across vulnerable settings being severe, resulting in high numbers of hospitalisations and deaths in the past;

- Prevalence remains high, the future epidemic trajectory unpredictable and the removal of restrictions will mean more residents/patients being newly exposed to infection. Furthermore, reinfection with Omicron is more common than with previous variants. The UKHSA has advised that changes in vulnerable settings should not be in lockstep but rather a step behind wider society given levels of community infection are a key risk in outbreaks;

- The purpose of staying away from the setting or self-isolation of residents/patients is to protect vulnerable people in these settings from the risk of transmission of infection. Self-isolation and reduced contact are a standard public health intervention to prevent infection, which is especially important in closed settings with highly vulnerable people; and

- Increased contact with COVID-19 positive individuals is more likely to lead to outbreaks, which can have severe impacts in vulnerable settings and on their ability to deliver a service. For all settings, this can mean a closure to all but emergency admissions and visiting (particularly impactful in care homes and prisons), cohorting of staff and residents/ patients resulting in reduced capacity, and areas of the service being shut, for example, wings in hospitals.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is gathering evidence to assess the (a) physical and (b) mental health impact of isolation in care settings.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) provides advice to the Department on the risk of the spread of infection in care homes and on the risks of isolation on residents’ mental and physical wellbeing. In addition, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities monitors the impact of COVID-19 on the population’s mental health through its surveillance tracker. The Department and the UKHSA are reviewing the isolation rules and updated advice is due to be published in the adult social care infection prevention and control guidance by 1 April 2022.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to support an urgent evaluation by NHS England of blood cancer outcomes during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service is establishing non-specific symptom pathways to streamline diagnostic services for cancer, including those symptoms which may indicate potential blood cancer. We are also investing £325 million in diagnostics to provide patients with access to personalised care.

The current ‘Help us help you’ awareness campaign was launched in March 2022, to address some of the barriers which may prevent people consulting their general practitioner on the potential symptoms of cancer. NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing future phases of the campaign in 2022/23 to raise awareness of key cancer symptoms. The full impacts of the pandemic on blood cancer outcomes are not yet known. We remain committed to returning the number of people waiting over 62 days to start treatment to pre-pandemic levels and increasing referrals by encouraging patients to come forward.

Since September 2020, the Cancer Alliance Data, Evaluation and Analysis Service and the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service have published analysis on the recovery of urgent cancer referrals and first treatments by age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation. This data is informing the restoration and recovery of cancer services and is available at the following link:

http://www.ncin.org.uk/local_cancer_intelligence/cadeas

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what reassurances he has had from NHS England that the increased provision of care in the community and remote consultations as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will not result in missed blood cancer diagnoses.

The National Health Service is establishing non-specific symptom pathways to streamline diagnostic services for cancer, including those symptoms which may indicate potential blood cancer. We are also investing £325 million in diagnostics to provide patients with access to personalised care.

The current ‘Help us help you’ awareness campaign was launched in March 2022, to address some of the barriers which may prevent people consulting their general practitioner on the potential symptoms of cancer. NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing future phases of the campaign in 2022/23 to raise awareness of key cancer symptoms. The full impacts of the pandemic on blood cancer outcomes are not yet known. We remain committed to returning the number of people waiting over 62 days to start treatment to pre-pandemic levels and increasing referrals by encouraging patients to come forward.

Since September 2020, the Cancer Alliance Data, Evaluation and Analysis Service and the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service have published analysis on the recovery of urgent cancer referrals and first treatments by age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation. This data is informing the restoration and recovery of cancer services and is available at the following link:

http://www.ncin.org.uk/local_cancer_intelligence/cadeas

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department does not provide regular reporting on the number of clinical trials underway by the NHS.

Regular reporting on clinical trials underway in the National Health Service is available via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS provider websites. The NIHR funds and supports a range of clinical trials underway in the NHS. The Department, which funds the NIHR, requires NHS providers with NIHR contracts to report quarterly on trial recruitment for all their clinical trials as part of the ‘Performance in Initiating and Delivering Clinical Research’ exercise. Providers’ performance data must also be published on their website. The NIHR publishes a comparison table showing the performance of all NHS organisations which submit information to the exercise and trend analyses.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the adequacy of the level of funding available to the NHS to tackle waiting lists for blood cancer treatment.

No formal assessment has been made. However, we have committed to invest more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to recover elective services, including those for blood cancer patients. The National Health Service is establishing non-specific symptom pathways to bring together equipment and expertise to streamline diagnostic services for cancer, including for symptoms which may indicate potential blood cancer.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to obtain additional resources to urgently tackle workforce shortages within the NHS.

In February 2022, we published the ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’. The plan sets out how the Department will support the National Health Service to increase capacity and reduce disruption to patient care by supporting the workforce. The Department is committed to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament to ensure a sustainable long-term supply for the NHS. In December 2021, the number of nurses had increased by over 27,000 compared to September 2019.

We have introduced a non-repayable training grant offering at least £5,000 per academic year for three years for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. Over 30,000 students have accepted a place nursing and midwifery programmes in the 2021 recruitment cycle - an increase of 28% compared to 2019. We have also increased the number of medical school places by 25%. The NHS Retention Programme is also targeting interventions to encourage staff to stay in the NHS whilst support their health and wellbeing.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of launching a public awareness campaign on the ongoing risk posed to immunocompromised people as covid-19 restrictions are eased; and what steps people can take to ensure that immunocompromised people continue to be protected while covid-19 is in circulation.

No specific assessment has been made. However, on 25 February 2022, updated public health advice was issued for those who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

On 4 April, updated guidance was published for those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness if they become infected with COVID-19, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

‘COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19’, published in February, offers advice on safer behaviours to reduce the risk of infection, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-living-with-covid-19/covid-19-response-living-with-covid-19#protecting-people-most-vulnerable-to-covid-19

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish updated detailed guidance and communications for people who are immunocompromised as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Updated guidance was issued on 25 February 2022 for those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

Enhanced protections such as those offered by treatments, additional vaccinations and potentially other non-clinical interventions may benefit this group.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of haematological workforce shortages on patient outcome and experience.

The Department has made no such assessment.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made the adequacy of supply within the haematological workforce in the NHS; and whether the Government has plans to increase haematology capacity.

The Department has made no such estimate.

Health Education England continues to identify priorities for investment across all medical specialties and the wider workforce. Haematology has seen moderate expansion as part of the investment in cancer and diagnostics in the last two years. Haematology is also one of the specialties under review for investment to support the recovery of services and discussions are ongoing with NHS England and NHS Improvement on possible expansion. If successful, additional training places will be established from August 2022.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 117883, tabled on 3 February 2022 by the hon Member for Liverpool, Walton.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 117883.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 117041, tabled on 2 February 2022 by the hon Member for Liverpool, Walton.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 117041.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial provision has been made to support training of the future cancer nurse specialist workforce.

As part of a £52 million investment in the cancer and diagnostics workforce in 2021/22, Health Education England is offering 250 training grants to enable existing and aspiring cancer nurse specialists to undertake additional training to develop specialist clinical, leadership, education and research capabilities. Spending plans for individual budgets, including for training cancer nurse specialists, for 2022/23 to 2024/25 are subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and will be finalised in due course.

3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to update the Clinical Practice Guidance for the Assessment of Young Women aged 20-24 with Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding from 2010.

The Clinical Practice Guidance for the Assessment of Young Women aged 20 to 24 years with Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding was produced by the former Public Health England. Since 2021, its functions have been shared across a number of organisations. NHS England and NHS Improvement have no plans to update this guidance. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produce guidance and pathways for health professionals on possible cervix cancer, which is available at the following link:

https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/cervical-cancer-hpv/

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2022 to Question 119788, what steps he is taking to tackle to the increase in waiting times for children and young people with eating disorders.

We have invested a further £79 million in 2021/22 to expand children’s mental health services, including allowing 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and reducing waiting times. NHS England and NHS Improvement also announced an additional £40 million in 2021/22 to address the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health, including eating disorders.

This investment supplements existing plans to expand and improve mental health services, including eating disorder services, as set out in the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20-2023/24. Since 2016, additional funding has been provided for children and young people's community eating disorder services each year, with £53 million per year from 2021/22. This will enhance the capacity of the 70 new or improved community eating disorder teams.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2022 to Question 120897, on Prescriptions: Fees and Charges, if he will undertake an assessment of the potential merits of bringing England in line with the rest of the UK by removing prescription charges.

We have no plans to do so.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cancer scans have been cancelled as a result of a shortage of radioactive materials since 2020.

Departmental officials regularly engage with major suppliers of radiopharmaceuticals and other stakeholders to ensure the continuity of supply for patients. The data requested on the number of cancer scans which have been cancelled is not collected centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure adequate supply of radiation material for cancer scans.

Departmental officials regularly engage with major suppliers of radiopharmaceuticals and other stakeholders to ensure the continuity of supply for patients. The data requested on the number of cancer scans which have been cancelled is not collected centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 8 November 2021 to Question 63865 on Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling, when he plans to launch the consultation on alcohol labelling.

The consultation will be launched in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 17 November 2021 on Health Update, whether any companies were classified by his Department as VIPs in addition to those listed in the attachment to that statement.

Since the Written Statement of 17 November 2021, it has been identified that Technicare Ltd, previously trading as Blyth Group, should have been included in the list of suppliers which secured contracts for personal protective equipment through the high priority lane. We have corrected the record and the updated list of suppliers is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ppe-procurement-in-the-early-pandemic

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 17 November 2021 on Health Update, whether any companies were channelled through the high priority lane for government contracts in addition to those listed in the attachment to that statement.

Since the Written Statement of 17 November 2021, it has been identified that Technicare Ltd, previously trading as Blyth Group, should have been included in the list of suppliers which secured contracts for personal protective equipment through the high priority lane. We have corrected the record and the updated list of suppliers is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ppe-procurement-in-the-early-pandemic

8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing England in line with the rest of the UK by removing prescription charges.

We have made no recent assessment. Approximately 89% of prescriptions in England are already dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are in place to help those most in need.

Decisions on prescription charges in the rest of the United Kingdom are a matter for the devolved administrations.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) children and (b) young people showing indication for depression that would identify them in need of support; and how those figures compare to pre-pandemic levels.

While no specific assessment has been made, access to children and young people’s mental health services is monitored through the National Health Service Mental Health Dashboard. This records data on the number of children and young people under 18 years old accessing support from NHS-funded community services. We also monitor population prevalence of different conditions through periodic surveys.

However, children and young and young people with symptoms of depression may report to primary or secondary care, or to some schools’ services, such as mental health support teams. There is no single dataset for children and young people with symptoms of depression presenting to these services, by condition.

‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2021 - wave 2 follow up to the 2017 survey’, published by NHS Digital in September 2021, found that approximately 17.4% of children aged between 6 and 16 years old had a probable mental health disorder in 2021. However, it is not possible to compare rates of depression to those identified in the 2017 survey as the 2021 data does not record the specific condition.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of children who present with tic type behaviour (a) as at February 2022 and (b) prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

This information is not collected centrally.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of children who present with emetophobia (a) as at February 2022 and (b) prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

The information is not held centrally.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of post-diagnosis support services for parents and carers of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

While we have not made any specific assessments, we recognise the need to improve access to support following an autism diagnosis being made. In 2021/22 as part of the £31 million of funding provided for autism and learning disability services under the COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided £7 million of funding to local areas to test and implement timely, quality autism diagnosis and post-diagnosis pathways for children and young people, including support for parents and carers. In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with the Department for Education on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review which seeks to ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of post-diagnosis support services for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

While we have not made any specific assessments, we recognise the need to improve access to support following an autism diagnosis being made. In 2021/22 as part of the £31 million of funding provided for autism and learning disability services under the COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided £7 million of funding to local areas to test and implement timely, quality autism diagnosis and post-diagnosis pathways for children and young people, including support for parents and carers. In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with the Department for Education on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review which seeks to ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to (a) increase and (b) tailor the provision of mental health services for children in response to increasing demand for those services following the covid-19 outbreak.

We are investing at least an additional £2.3 billion a year to expand mental health services by 2023/24 to enable an extra 345,000 more children and young people to access National Health Service-funded mental health support.

In March 2021, we announced an additional £79 million for children’s mental health services in 2021/22 to allow approximately 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and accelerate the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges. NHS England and NHS Improvement are also investing a further £40 million in 2021/22 to address the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of children who present with eating disorders (a) at February 2022 and (b) prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Data collected on waiting times for children and young people with eating disorders shows that there has been a significant increase in demand in the wake of the pandemic. This data can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cyped-waiting-times/.

For urgent cases, latest figures (October to December 2021) show that 649 children and young people with an eating disorder started treatment, compared to pre-pandemic levels of 353 (January to March 2020). A further 203 children and young people were waiting to start treatment, compared with pre-pandemic levels of 18.

For routine cases, latest figures (October to December 2021) show that 2,460 children and young people with an eating disorder started treatment, compared to pre-pandemic levels of 1,850 (January to March 2020). A further 1,918 children and young people were waiting to start treatment, compared with pre-pandemic levels of 543.

Data for February 2022 is not yet available.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of post-diagnosis support services for young people aged 17+ with Autistic Spectrum Disorder; and what specific tailored support is available to help those young people transition to adulthood.

This specific assessment has not been made although we recognise the need to improve access to support, following an autism diagnosis being made. In 2021/22 as part of £31 million funding provided to NHS England and NHS Improvement under the COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Plan for autism and learning disability services, NHS England and NHS Improvement has provided £7 million in funding to local areas to test and implement timely, quality autism diagnosis and post-diagnosis pathways for children and young people, including those aged 17 years old and above. As set out in Statutory Guidance on Autism published in March 2015, local authorities should work together with education and social care partners to plan for and provide services for autistic children and young people as they move from being children to adults and to ensure that support services are tailored to the needs of their local population.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Department of Health and Social Care Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21, Paragraph 212, how much of the £8.7 billion loss to the public purse on (a) items not suitable for any use, (b) items not suitable for use in the NHS, (c) changes in market price and (d) excess stock was borne as a result of contracts which were awarded via the high priority lane.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Impairment type

Amount relating to high priority lane

Total amount

Items not suitable for any use

£0.36 billion

£0.67 billion

items not suitable for use in the health and social care sector

£1.1 billion

£2.6 billion

Changes in market price

£1.0 billion

£4.7 billion

Excess stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) are calculated by the total volume of items held at 31 March 2021 in each category and comparing to future expected demand for that category. Therefore, we are unable to apportion excess PPE impairment by different suppliers and purchasing routes.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation his Department undertook with (a) residents and (b) the families of residents in care homes, when forming the most recent guidance on care home visiting.

Care homes visiting guidance was updated on 31 January 2022. This reflected feedback received during regular stakeholder meetings where potential changes to policy and guidance are discussed. The Relatives and Residents Association, Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society attend our regular stakeholder meetings to represent the perspective of residents and families.

The Department reviewed all guidance in September 2021 to ensure it meets the needs of the adult social care sector and care recipients. This included a series of focus groups with residents and families.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many inspections have been carried out by the Care Quality Commission to ensure care homes adhered to the guidance with respect to visiting for families of residents over the last 12 months; and how many care homes have been found not to have been following that guidance.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) expects providers to follow the Government’s guidance on visiting. The CQC’s adult social care inspectors request information on visiting arrangements on all care home inspections. Between 1 February 2021 and 31 January 2022, the CQC conducted 4,764 inspections of care homes. In 4,597 or 96.5% of inspections, the CQC received assurance that providers were adhering to the guidelines, while in 167 or 3.5% of inspections, this assurance was not received.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to section 1.1 of his Department's most recent guidance on care home visiting, if he will publish the exceptional circumstances in which someone may need the additional support of more than one essential care giver; and who is responsible for making that decision.

All care home residents should be supported to nominate an essential care giver, who can visit in most circumstances, including during an outbreak. There will be exceptional circumstances where the additional support of more than one essential care giver may be required, for example, if a nominated essential care giver is unwell. The Department promotes a localised approach for providers, carers, residents and their families to make decisions around these exceptional circumstances, utilising individualised risk assessments.

Residents, their loved ones and their carers are best placed to make decisions about their care. They should be included in all decision-making, including determining a resident’s essential care giver and how many they should have. Registered care home managers will take decisions based on the specific circumstances in their setting.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the human rights implications of his recently updated care home visiting guidance on the right to private and family life.

In developing the most recent and previous iterations of care home visiting guidance, Department seeks to right balance the duty to protect and promote care home residents’ rights to family life against the risk of incursion of COVID-19 into care homes. Judgements are informed by clinical advice and data from the UK Health Security Agency, the Department’s ethical framework for adult social care and taking into account the views of care home residents and their loved ones. Equality and health impact assessments are carried out to ensure that the rights of those with protected characteristics are upheld.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what specific support his Department is providing to care home residents to help them (a) identify an essential care giver and (b) receive regular visits from that care giver.

Our guidance states that all residents should be supported to nominate an essential care giver. It recognises that residents, their loved ones and their carers will be best placed to make decisions on who the essential care giver should be. The guidance also sets out the arrangements for essential care givers and where a resident lacks the mental capacity to nominate their essential care giver. If a resident or their family have concerns that care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately, it should be raised with the home in the first instance. The Care Quality Commission can also investigate complaints.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 10 January 2022 to Question 97125 on Coronavirus: Protective Clothing, how much of the total cost for items of personal protective equipment that were (a) not fit for use and (b) identified as excess stock was paid to companies which secured contracts via the high priority lane.

The technical assurance process is ongoing, therefore the quantity of personal protective equipment currently deemed not fit for use is not yet available. The Department continues to work through resolution processes with the relevant companies.

1,177 million items were identified as having potential use in other settings, at a corresponding cost of £1,826 million, of which £931 million was paid to suppliers processed through the high priority lane. The Department estimates there are 3.8 billion items of excess stock. However, as excess stock is not ring-fenced as a separate category, the information on the costs for items secured through high priority lane contracts is not available.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost to the public purse is of personal protective equipment procured during the covid-19 outbreak which had to be (a) repurposed and (b) resold after being found unfit for use in medical settings; and how much of that cost was spent with companies which were awarded contracts via the high priority lane.

The technical assurance process is ongoing, therefore the quantity of personal protective equipment currently deemed not fit for use is not yet available. The Department continues to work through resolution processes with the relevant companies.

1,177 million items were identified as having potential use in other settings, at a corresponding cost of £1,826 million, of which £931 million was paid to suppliers processed through the high priority lane. The Department estimates there are 3.8 billion items of excess stock. However, as excess stock is not ring-fenced as a separate category, the information on the costs for items secured through high priority lane contracts is not available.

26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of cancer specialist nurses.

We have provided £52 million in 2021/22 for Health Education England to invest in the cancer and diagnostics workforce, including offering training grants for 250 nurses wishing to become cancer clinical nurse specialists and for an additional 100 nurses wishing to become chemotherapy nurses. Following the Spending Review in 2021, individual budgets for 2022/23 to 2024/25, including for training the cancer workforce, will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

The NHS People Plan includes a programme to retain staff through prioritising health and wellbeing. All staff have access to resources such as health and wellbeing apps, a helpline and text service and 40 mental health hubs. The NHS Retention Programme is also targeting interventions to support staff to stay in the profession.

26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 10 January 2022 to Question 97125 on Coronavirus: Protective Clothing, how much of the total cost for items of personal protective equipment that were not fit for use was paid to companies which secured contracts via the high priority lane.

The technical assurance process for personal protective equipment (PPE) is ongoing. The quantity of PPE items currently deemed not fit for use has been reduced to 984 million items, with a corresponding purchase price of £326 million. Of this, £61 million was paid to suppliers that were processed through the High Priority Lane. The Department continues to work through resolution processes with companies that provided PPE which is not fit for use, including those processed through the High Priority Lane.

19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 18 January 2022 to Question 905095 on Care Homes: Visits, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to guarantee regular and safe visiting to (a) residents in care homes and (b) patients in hospitals.

We have no plans to bring forward legislative proposals. Decisions on how to facilitate visiting are best taken locally, in the context of national guidance. Care homes, National Health Service trusts or other NHS bodies should make an assessment in the context of local prevalence of COVID-19 and the specific design of their facilities.


19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 18 January 2022 to Question 905095 on Care Homes: Visits, whether he plans to issue further guidance to NHS trusts to improve consistency with regards to hospital visiting arrangements.

Guidance on hospital visiting is decided by NHS England and NHS Improvement which is kept under review and is updated when necessary. As was the case prior to the pandemic, hospital visiting is at the discretion of NHS Trusts and other bodies, based on national principles, who make their own assessment as to the visiting arrangements that can be in place given local prevalence of COVID-19 and the specific setup of their facilities. There are no plans to issue further guidance at this time.

19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 9 December 2021 to Question 90496, what steps his Department is taking to improve compliance with Government guidance relating to visiting residents in care homes.

The Care Quality Commission assesses visiting arrangements as part of its regular inspections of care settings or when investigating complaints. We also work with UK Health Security Agency health protection teams to resolve any local issues with non-compliance. The Department provides guidance and communicates through regular stakeholder meetings, newsletters and social media to state that blanket bans on visiting are not acceptable. The most recent data as of 21 December 2021 shows that 92.9% of care homes in England were accommodating visitors.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure (a) residents in care homes and (b) patients in hospitals are allowed safe and regular visits from family members.

We expect care homes to facilitate visits wherever possible. Our guidance says that each resident should be allowed three nominated visitors in addition to an essential care giver. Visitors to care homes should take a test before each visit and be asked to follow the infection control procedures set out in Government guidance. In hospitals, visiting arrangements are currently at the discretion of local trusts. Visiting should be welcomed in a careful, COVID-secure way.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential effect of pressures resulting from the covid-19 outbreak on GP staff retention in (a) Liverpool, Walton constituency and (b) the Liverpool City Region.

We have no plans to make a specific assessment. However, we have established a £250 million Winter Access Fund to support general practitioner practices and increase capacity. We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the profession to understand how we can improve staff retention and the working environment due to the impact of the pandemic.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the recruitment and retention of GPs.

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and the profession to increase recruitment, address the reasons why doctors leave and encourage them to return to practice. We have increased the number of general practitioner (GP) training places, with 4,000 trainees accepting a place this year – an increase from 2,671 trainees in 2014.

The updated GP Contract Framework announced a number of new retention schemes alongside continued support for existing schemes for the general practice workforce. These include the GP Retention Scheme, the International Induction Programme, the Return to Practice Programme, the Fellowship Programme, the New to Partnership Payment and Supporting Mentors Scheme.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government's contract for covid-19 vaccines with Pfizer includes an Investor State Dispute Settlement clause.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has advised that it is unable to disclose the details of some clauses of contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers as this information is commercially sensitive.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor care homes' compliance with Government guidance on facilitating visits during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department monitors how care homes are implementing guidance on a weekly basis using the Capacity Tracker data collection and data on visitor test registrations. Currently, approximately 93% of care homes in England are accommodating residents receiving visitors.

We regularly review and update guidance on care home visiting, based on the latest clinical advice. If a resident or their family have concerns that a care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately, it should be raised with the home in the first instance. The Care Quality Commission can also investigate complaints and has regulatory powers to take action where providers do not appropriately support people to have access to visits.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure accurate (a) diagnosis and (b) treatment of paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome.

In 2020, the National Health Service was the first healthcare system internationally to identify the constellation of symptoms that constitute the Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Related to SARS-COV-2 infection in children (PIMS-TS). NHS England collaborated with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to create a case definition for PIMS-TS. Cases will be identified based on guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. NHS England convened an expert group of clinicians to develop a consensus guideline on the treatment of PIMS-TS, which is available at the following link:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500943/

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that affordable covid-19 testing is available for people wishing to travel overseas.

We are working with private testing providers to reduce the cost of testing. We have reduced the cost of NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals from £88 to £68 for fully vaccinated arrivals and from £170 to £136 for two tests for arrivals who are not fully vaccinated. Since international travel testing requirements were introduced the average cost of a day two polymerase chain reaction test has fallen to £45.

For United Kingdom residents or individuals with residency rights who would suffer severe financial hardship by paying the full cost of their managed quarantine or testing fees before they travel, hardship arrangements may be available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Liverpool Walton and colleagues of 13 October 2021 on Dame Carol Black's Independent Review of Drugs.

We replied to the hon. Member on 8 December 2021.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether contracts between his Department and suppliers make specifications about sub-contracting arrangements.

The Department has standard terms and conditions when procuring goods services and works from suppliers, which vary depending on the value of the contract and the items being procured. Most contracts contain specific provisions detailing how contractors select and manage sub-contractors.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 60499 tabled by hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton on 21 October 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 30 November to Question 60499.

16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Health and Care Bill on NHS employment contracts.

The Health and Care Bill does not make any changes to National Health Service employment contracts. The Health and Care Bill provides for clinical commissioning group staff to transfer to integrated care boards (ICBs) via a transfer order. This has now been extended to allow transfer orders to be used for other health care employees who are transferring to ICBs.  All staff including board level will transfer via the transfer scheme. Board level colleagues will transfer in either their new designate role or as a displaced member of staff and part of the talent pool.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the uptake of the third covid-19 dose programme amongst severely immunosuppressed people.

Data on the combined number of third primary doses and booster vaccinations is published daily by NHS England at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

However, it is not currently possible to disaggregate third doses from booster vaccinations.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 171711 on Dementia: Research, when the Government plans to bring forward proposals for a new dementia strategy.

We are currently working with stakeholders and have established task and finish groups to develop the strategy. We expect this work to conclude in the coming months and we will set out our plans on dementia for England in the first half of 2022.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to diagnose long covid in young children.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has established 14 paediatric hubs to coordinate care for children and young people with ‘long’ COVID-19. Any parent or guardian concerned that their child may be exhibiting symptoms should seek advice from their general practitioner, who will be able to refer the child for assessment if appropriate.

We have so far invested £50 million into research for ‘long’ COVID-19. This includes £1.4 million over three years for The CLoCk Study on ‘long’ COVID-19 among non-hospitalised children and young people.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of allowing non-prescribed storage of salbutamol inhalers in commercial kitchens.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has not made an assessment of the potential merits of allowing non-prescribed storage of salbutamol inhalers in commercial kitchens. In order to amend Human Medicines Regulations as required, evidence to support such a change should demonstrate that the medicine could be handled safely, used in the proposed emergency circumstances and that any risks could be mitigated.

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the backlog in needs assessments to ensure that disabled children can access the health support they need.

We are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services for disabled children. Children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) who require additional provision will receive an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment. The SEND Regulations 2014 make clear that local authorities must complete an EHC plan assessment within twenty weeks after the request is received unless exceptional circumstances apply. The Department for Education monitors local authority performance on EHC plan assessments to establish where there are long-standing delays and provide support. This could include training for staff, extra monitoring or engagement with partners to improve joint working.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding is being made available to deliver the Government’s commitment to end new cases of HIV by 2030.

Funding for HIV treatment and care services is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement through specialised commissioning. HIV testing and prevention is funded by local government through the ringfenced Public Health Grant. In addition, in March 2020, the Government announced that the HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) would be routinely available across England. The Public Health Grant in 2021/22 includes £23.4 million to cover local authority costs of routine commissioning of PrEP in addition to £11 million in 2020/2021. PrEP is now routinely available in the specialist sexual and reproductive health services throughout the country.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the 19.6 per cent annual increase in alcohol specific deaths; and what steps he is taking to reduce alcohol harm.

There is a programme of work underway to address alcohol-related health harms and their impact on life chances, including the establishment of specialist alcohol care teams in hospitals and supporting children of alcohol dependent parents. The new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will spearhead efforts to improve treatment and support and we have made the largest increase to drug and alcohol treatment funding for 15 years, with £80 million of new investment.

We have also committed to publish a new United Kingdom-wide cross-Government addiction strategy which will consider a range of issues, including drugs, alcohol and problem gambling.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on adequately funding disabled children’s health and care services in the long-term.

No meetings have taken place between the Secretary of State and the Chancellor of the Exchequer specifically to discuss this issue, however the Department is in discussion with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement about how the provision of health and care services to disabled children can be improved. We have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils in the period of 2020-21 and 2021-22 to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care. Since 2019-2020, the Government has provided additional funding for the social care grant and is allocating £1.7 billion in 2021-2022.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for dedicated health and care catch-up policies for disabled children and their families.

This specific assessment has not been made, however as part of COVID-19 recovery planning the Department are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to look at how we can improve the provision of health and care services to disabled children. The Government has given over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils in the period of 2020-21 and 2021-22 to support them with the impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure the rights of care home residents to have safe family visits and end blanket visit bans during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government does not have plans to legislate to enable visiting. Where there are limits on visiting in individual care homes, this could be because of available space, the layout of rooms or because the home has had an outbreak.

If a resident or their family think the care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately then they should raise it with the home in the first instance. They can also contact the Care Quality Commission who will investigate complaints.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding of the report entitled The case for a Disabled Children’s Fund, published by the Disabled Children's Partnership in July 2018, on the funding gap in disabled children’s health and care services; and what estimate he has made of the difference in funding available for those services (a) before and (b) since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have made no specific assessment nor such an estimate. However, as part of COVID-19 recovery planning we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services to disabled children. We have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care. Since 2019-2020, the Government has provided additional funding for adults’ and children’s social care via the social care grant and is allocated £1.7 billion in 2021-2022.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 179430 on Hospices: Finance, what recent assessment he has made of the financial sustainability of hospices; and if he will make a statement.

Whilst the Department has not conducted a national assessment of hospice sustainability, we recognise the funding challenges facing the sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We and have worked with HM Treasury and NHS England and NHS Improvement to maintain hospice provision.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also funded Hospice UK to explore sustainable approaches to future care delivery. The Hospice UK ‘Future Vision Programme - Discovery Phase’ report sets out a range of options for hospices to consider in exploring future sustainability, acknowledging that as most hospices are independent, charitable organisations their circumstances will differ. The report is available at the following link:

https://www.hospiceuk.org/docs/default-source/hospice-iq-documents-and-files/hospice-uk-future-vision-programme---discovery-phase---final-report-ts-amends---20200912-(5).pdf?sfvrsn=2

Palliative and end of life care services are commissioned locally by clinical commissioning groups in response to the needs of their local population. This includes an understanding of the sustainability of available services.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on publishing the names of (a) companies which went through the high-priority lane for covid-19 contracts and (b) the people who referred those companies.

We have no plans to publish a list of suppliers as there may be associated commercial implications. The Department has to consider the position of suppliers in terms of the recognition that disclosure of their names may damage the supplier’s reputation, affecting their competitive position and could have a potentially detrimental impact on their revenue. We also have no plans to publish the names of those who referred those companies as this would make it less likely that individuals would provide the Department with commercially sensitive information in the future and consequently undermine the ability of the Department to fulfil its commercial role.

Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves have now been published for all personal protective equipment contracts awarded by the Department which contain the details of the supplier, the value of the contract and the items ordered under the contract.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the status is of the high-priority lane to assess and process potential personal protective equipment leads.

The high priority lane for the procurement of personal protective equipment has closed.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of the personal protective equipment (a) stockpile and (b) supply chain.

We have significantly strengthened and diversified our supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE) by looking to new suppliers abroad as well as boosting United Kingdom manufacturing capability, which has helped build resilience. UK-made supply comprised 82% of the expected demand for PPE in England for the period 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, not including gloves, which were explicitly excluded from the September target.

We have almost 32 billion items of PPE on order, the majority of which has been delivered or en route. Since February 2020, the Department has distributed over 10.4 billion items of PPE, predominantly for use by health and social care services in England and by December 2020 we had built a four-month stockpile of all COVID-19 critical PPE. Many millions of items of PPE are now distributed through our PPE portal, which means primary and social care providers are able to order PPE to meet all their COVID-19 PPE needs until the end of March 2022, free of charge. We are confident we have secured enough PPE for the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and that we have the processes and logistics in place to distribute PPE to where it is needed.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress the Government has made on the cross-government addiction strategy, announced on 28 November 2019.

Work on the cross-Government addiction strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but has now resumed.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to begin the 12 week consultation on calorie labelling for alcohol products; and if he will make a statement.

Through ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, published in July 2020, we are committed to consult shortly on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on all pre-packaged alcohol they sell. The consultation will also cover introducing calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks sold in the out of home sector, for example bought on draught or by the glass.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the wider economy of a pay rise greater than one per cent for NHS staff.

The Department works closely with HM Treasury during the Pay Review Body process. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have discussed National Health Service pay throughout the pay round, including the Government’s written evidence to the independent Pay Review Bodies.

The Government’s evidence to the Pay Review Bodies sets out information on a range of factors, including the wider economic and fiscal context. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies, consisting of industry experts, for their recommendations which will be based on a comprehensive assessment of evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including NHS system partners and trade unions. As the Pay Review Bodies are independent, we cannot pre-empt their recommendations. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies to report in late spring and will carefully consider the recommendations when we receive them.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff on staff retention.

The Government has committed to providing National Health Service staff with a pay uplift in 2021/22, in order to recognise the unique impact of the pandemic. The level of pay award has not yet been set and we are looking to the independent pay review bodies for a recommendation.

We have submitted our written evidence to the review bodies, which sets out what is currently affordable and also provides information on recruitment and retention in the NHS. In reaching their recommendations the review bodies will consider evidence from a range of parties, including NHS unions. They will also consider factors such as the economic context including inflation, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for the taxpayer. We have asked the review bodies to report in the spring and will carefully consider their recommendations when we receive them.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the level of projected future demand for clinical palliative care services; and whether his Department has plans to increase funding to meet that future demand.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to an urgent review into the level of statutory funding required for palliative care provided by independent hospices to ensure that those hospices can continue to provide care in the medium term.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of levels of statutory funding for palliative care services provided by independent hospices for meeting projected future demand for those services.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to increase statutory funding for clinical palliative care services provided by independent hospices.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on staffing levels of the changes to the registration fees for the Health and Care Professions Council from July 2021.

No such assessment has been made.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential effect on the wider economy of a greater than 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

The Department works closely with HM Treasury during the Pay Review Body process. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have discussed National Health Service pay throughout the pay round, including the Government’s written evidence to the independent Pay Review Bodies.

The Government’s evidence to the Pay Review Bodies sets out information on a range of factors, including the wider economic and fiscal context. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies, consisting of industry experts, for their recommendations which will be based on a comprehensive assessment of evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including NHS system partners and trade unions. As the Pay Review Bodies are independent, we cannot pre-empt their recommendations. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies to report in late spring and will carefully consider the recommendations when we receive them.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the OBR's inflation forecast of his Department’s proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

The Government has committed to providing National Health Service staff with a pay uplift in 2021/22, in order to recognise the unique impact of the pandemic. The level of pay award has not yet been set and we are looking to the independent pay review bodies for a recommendation.

We have submitted our written evidence to the review bodies, which sets out what is currently affordable and also provides information on recruitment and retention in the NHS. In reaching their recommendations the review bodies will consider evidence from a range of parties, including NHS unions. They will also consider factors such as the economic context including inflation, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for the taxpayer. We have asked the review bodies to report in the spring and will carefully consider their recommendations when we receive them.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will set out a timeline for the implementation of the dementia moonshot.

There is currently no planned date for publication of a strategy to deliver the dementia moonshot. However, the Government is strongly committed to supporting research into dementia. As part of our 2020 Challenge on Dementia, the Government has spent £344 million on dementia research in the past five years and we are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia at all stages on the translation pathway including medical and care interventions. Later this year, we plan to bring forward proposals for a new strategy to set out our plans for dementia care, support, awareness and research in England.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who are not formally registered as housebound but have significant (a) mobility impairments and (b) other physical limitations are offered (i) support to travel to and attend their vaccination appointment safely and (ii) a home vaccination if they are unable to travel to and attend their appointment safely.

For these individual patients, general practitioners will determine the best approach to vaccination, alongside the community teams, based on their knowledge of the patient and circumstances. Some of these patients may be able to attend Primary Care Network (PCN) designated sites with assistance and discussion should be held with the family and /or carer to facilitate this process.

We recognise that there will be a cohort of patient who are completely housebound and unable to travel to a PCN designated site for immunisation even with assistance. PCNs have established roving vaccination teams, which are aimed at those who cannot leave their homes. These teams have already been used for care homes and will also focus on people who are housebound, with additional funding of £10 per patient being provided to help them do this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out a timetable for the re-introduction of close contact care home visits in England.

We have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and ensure visits can go ahead safely in some form. As set out in updated visiting guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently allowed. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

As of March 8th Care Homes will be expected to offer indoor visits for a single named visitor for every resident, supported by testing and PPE. In addition, visits should continue to be available using screens, pods etc so that each resident can see more than just a single visitor should they wish. Further detailed guidance on the new visiting arrangements will be published shortly.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the rate at which housebound people in high priority groups are receiving the covid-19 vaccine.

The National Health Service is vaccinating in line with the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority cohorts and people within high risk communities are being vaccinated to meet these targets. Most recent figures show that the NHS, working with their partners, have now vaccinated four in five of the over 80 year olds in England. As more general practitioner and community pharmacy led local vaccination services become operational, we will be able to extend the number of vaccinations given to those who are housebound through roving teams.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the Government’s strategy for ensuring housebound people in high priority groups can receive a covid-19 vaccination.

The National Health Service, alongside its health and social care partners have developed three different delivery models which will operate concurrently to provide flexibility in our approach and ensure the entire population has access to the vaccine. This includes delivery through hospital hubs, local vaccination services and vaccination centres.

Local vaccination services are well placed to support the specific needs of our highest risk individuals, including those unable to leave their home. Working together in Primary Care Networks and community pharmacies, they are able to coordinate and deliver vaccines to the homes of those who are housebound via mobile units as set out in the United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2021 to Question 129095 on Emma Stanton, who made the decision to reduce the lobbying ban to just four months.

The business appointment rules decision regarding Dr Emma Stanton’s appointment with Oxford Nanopore were made by the Department’s Human Resources Director in consultation with the Permanent Secretary. The period of any conditions relating to business appointment rules are always proportionate to the circumstances and in this case reflected Emma Stanton’s short Civil Service appointment with NHS Test and Trace.

The overarching business appointment rules will continue to apply for any new employment for two years after the last day of Emma Stanton’s Civil Service employment with any related conditions decided for each new employer and the related circumstances, as required.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to train health care professionals on how to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the covid-19 vaccines.

Public Health England produces comprehensive training and information materials for COVID-19 vaccinators. This includes information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines and key messages for healthcare professionals to convey to those being vaccinated. All vaccinating staff involved in the deployment programme are required to complete training that includes modules on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a covid-19 vaccine passport.

As with other vaccination programmes, vaccine record cards are issued to patients with the relevant details about the vaccine including the date of their vaccination and their vaccine type. This does not constitute an immunity passport and will not be used as a form of identification.

The Government will review whether COVID-19 status certification, could play a role in reopening the economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. This review will include assessing to what extent certification would be effective in reducing risk and the potential uses to enable access to settings or a relaxation of COVID-19 secure mitigations. The Government will also consider the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of this approach and what limits should be placed on organisations using certification. We will continue keep options under review as more evidence emerges.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on progress on meeting childhood immunisation targets.

For pre-school vaccinations preliminary data suggests that, whilst there was an initial decrease in the number of vaccinations delivered during the early weeks of the pandemic compared with the same period in 2019, the situation rapidly stabilised and recovered. For school-aged immunisation programmes were impacted due to school closures, though providers offered immunisations through a range of school and community settings. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible, and no later than August 2021.

The latest verified data for this period will be published in September 2021.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the Government’s Vaccine Strategy.

The publication of England’s national vaccine strategy has been delayed as a result of our ongoing focus on responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine strategy has been kept under review and is now in the process of being refreshed to reflect the new models for delivery and the vaccine development seen in the COVID-19 vaccine development and roll out.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of his Department working with scientists to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the covid-19 vaccines.

The voices of scientists and researchers are an important part of the communications activity undertaken by the Department and wider Government to reassure the public about vaccines and ensure that people have access to accurate information. The Department and its partners work closely with stakeholders from the scientific community and provides regular updates to stakeholders on the vaccine programme, to support them with their own communications about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Public Health England has also produced a range of ‘explainer videos’ presented by scientific leaders and experts, including those involved in vaccine development and the vaccine deployment programme. The videos can be viewed at the following link:


https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/covid-19-vaccine/resources/

The Government has also worked extensively with organisations such as the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and vaccine manufacturers and developers to highlight their work on vaccine safety and efficacy. This includes, for example, the ABPI’s Valuing Vaccines campaign, and direct collaboration with manufacturers such as AstraZeneca and Valneva, as well as work with Wockhardt to highlight safety of the fill/finish aspects of vaccine manufacture. More information the Valuing Vaccines Campaign can be found at the following link:


https://www.valuingvaccines.org.uk

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a copy of the advice provided by his Department to Emma Stanton, former Director for Supplies and Innovation, before she took up private sector employment with Oxford Nanopore.

Emma Stanton was advised of conditions before she took up employment with Oxford Nanopore, which are in relation to Civil Service business appointment rules and are which are commensurate with the short length of time she was working for NHS Test and Trace.

These related to restrictions on lobbying of the United Kingdom Government and related commercial activities and a reminder on the use of privileged information gained in her time at NHS Test and Trace.

A copy of the advice, redacted to remove personal information, is attached.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department is evaluating the effectiveness of the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool; and when he plans to publish the findings of that evaluation.

The Liverpool COVID-19 Community Testing Pilot Evaluation Interim evaluation report is available at the following link:

https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2020/12/23/covid-19-liverpool-community-testing-pilot-interim-findings-published/

1st Dec 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will commission an independent review of the parliamentary Register of Members’ Financial Interests to establish whether there is adequate disclosure of (a) trusts, (b) offshore holdings and (c) the financial interests of (i) spouses and (ii) other family members.

I suggest that the hon. Member raise his concerns with the Committee on Standards. The Committee’s remit, as set out in Standing Order No. 149, includes reviewing from time to time the form and content of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and any proposals for change from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. The Committee has recently launched a formal review of the Code of Conduct for Members. The accompanying Guide to the Rules contains the rules on registering interests. I understand that the Committee intends in 2021 to prepare a revised version of the Code and the Guide for the House to approve. That will give the House an opportunity to consider any recommended changes.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the creation of a cross-government strategy on reducing health inequalities as part of the Government’s covid-19 recovery strategy.

There are no plans for a cross-Government strategy on reducing health inequalities, as a result of COVID-19 or as part of the ongoing approach to tackling the virus. At each stage of its COVID-19 response, the Government has sought to minimise the harm on people’s wellbeing, livelihoods and physical and mental health. We recognise that some groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and addressing these impacts is a priority as we continue to respond to the pandemic and develop interventions to support those affected.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding to enable local authorities to administer (a) discretionary payments and (b) other aspects under the covid-19 self-isolation support schemes.

Local authorities have been awarded an initial £50 million to cover the costs associated with this scheme, with £25 million to cover the costs of the main Test and Trace Support Payment; £15 million for discretionary payments; and £10 million for administration costs.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021 and people may also apply for other benefits if they have to self-isolate, such as Statutory Sick Pay. During this time, we will continue to review the efficacy of the scheme, including the impact of COVID-19 incidence levels.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 1116638 on Government departments: procurement, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in his Department's procurement process.

Regulation 24 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires contracting authorities to take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures. The Department has robust rules and processes in place to ensure that conflicts of interest do not occur, including declaration from suppliers, publication of ministerial interests and robust departmental guidance.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the critical urgency of the situation and requirement to protect the National Health Service and the country led to specialist consultants and contractors being brought in at extreme pace. This meant that some work was initiated before final contract details were put in place or had been formally awarded. This situation has been addressed. Over 900 contracts have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to COVID-19. Information on the precise number of such cases has not been centrally collated by the Department.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded by his Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

Regulation 24 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires contracting authorities to take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures. The Department has robust rules and processes in place to ensure that conflicts of interest do not occur, including declaration from suppliers, publication of ministerial interests and robust departmental guidance.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the critical urgency of the situation and requirement to protect the National Health Service and the country led to specialist consultants and contractors being brought in at extreme pace. This meant that some work was initiated before final contract details were put in place or had been formally awarded. This situation has been addressed. Over 900 contracts have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to COVID-19. Information on the precise number of such cases has not been centrally collated by the Department.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to expand the eligibility of the Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 for people required to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

There are no immediate plans to expand eligibility, though we continue to work closely with the 314 unitary authorities and district councils in England to review the scheme.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the UK National Screening Committee on the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool.

We have had no such discussions. Community Testing is a case detection strategy we are implementing as a public health intervention, screening has different clinical considerations.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the National Association of Funeral Directors to inform the guidance for conducting funerals during the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England and the Department officials have held weekly discussions with the National Association of Funeral Directors as part of the funeral sector stakeholder group. Through this group, the funeral sector has the opportunity to engage on funeral guidance and raise any concerns.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all contracts (a) advertised and (b) awarded to private companies to supply tests for Operation Moonshot.

As part of Operation Moonshot, the Government has established partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to its testing programme – from companies supplying testing kits and supplies, to logistics and processing partnerships. All Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on the GOV.UK Contract Finder service.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to assess the (a) suitability and (b) accuracy of tests used for the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool.

The antigen lateral flow test used for COVID-19 testing in Liverpool is highly specific, which means that only a small proportion of people who do not have COVID-19 will receive a false positive result. Ongoing quality assurance work has shown the tests to be as effective in identifying asymptomatic positive cases as symptomatic positive cases. If a person tests positive on a lateral flow test, it is likely that they are infectious at that moment. This means that by using the lateral flow test we can identify people with a high viral load who are the most likely to spread the virus further.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to renew the thalidomide health grant in April 2023.

While we are unable to take commit future funds at this time, ahead of the forthcoming Spending Review, we remain committed to supporting thalidomiders to live a full and independent life. We are working closely with the Thalidomide Trust to consider how thalidomiders can be best be supported in the future.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for surgery during the covid-19 outbreak.

The size of the waiting list reduced by 9% between March and May as the National Health Service suspended non-COVID-19 services to help free up capacity to support the response to COVID-19. The NHS is now restoring non-COVID-19 services, including routine surgery and the waiting list has subsequently increased by 5% between June and July while the number of completed admitted pathways has increased 51% over the same period.

The return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels includes making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This is being done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have also been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on ensuring that people whose surgery has been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak receive the treatment they need.

The size of the waiting list reduced by 9% between March and May as the National Health Service suspended non-COVID-19 services to help free up capacity to support the response to COVID-19. The NHS is now restoring non-COVID-19 services, including routine surgery and the waiting list has subsequently increased by 5% between June and July while the number of completed admitted pathways has increased 51% over the same period.

The return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels includes making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This is being done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have also been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking tackle the risk of stigma faced by people who are unable to wear face masks due to hidden disabilities and/or mental health reasons.

Our guidance published online is clear that there are exemptions where people do not need to wear face coverings. We are also clear that people do not need to prove they are exempt and they should not be challenged about this.

If someone is more comfortable showing they are exempt from the requirement to wear face covering, they are able to use some form of optional visual cue. Different options are available on GOV.UK, on charity and organisations websites, or could be hand-made. This aims to tackle the stigma faced by people who are unable to wear a face covering due to hidden disabilities and/or mental health reasons

The Government is running a proactive communications campaign on face coverings to alert the public to the places where they are required to wear a face covering, who is exempt from wearing one, and how to wear one correctly.

We are actively engaging with stakeholders including disability charities to communicate new guidance to their members as well as highlighting this message to the general public on social media and via broadcasting opportunities.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to update NHS guidance on allowing non-essential visitors to NHS facilities as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England revised its guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting imposed under previous guidance was lifted with immediate effect.

Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies, and will take into account local prevalence. The number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor can be permitted in certain circumstances including those individuals receiving end-of-life care.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on immunisation targets.

The impact of COVID-19 on immunisation targets has been variable. Preliminary data suggests that, whilst there was an initial decrease in the number of pre-school vaccinations delivered in primary care during the early weeks of the pandemic compared with the same period in 2019, the situation rapidly stabilised and recovered. In contrast, school-aged immunisation programmes were more impacted as a result of school closures. Providers have been working with schools to catch-up those programmes as schools have re-opened.

Due to the public health advice on social distancing and shielding, general practices were not expected to offer the opportunistic shingles vaccine to those aged 70, unless the patient was already in the general practitioner practice for another reason. Coverage among those turning 70 or 78 during quarter 4 – who were vaccinated up to the end of June 2020 - achieved lower coverage (9.3% and 10.4%, respectively) than among those who turned 70 or 78 after the same eligibility interval in previous quarters.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the proposed vaccine strategy.

Publication of England’s draft Vaccine Strategy has been delayed as we have rightly been focusing on responding to the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic.

We will keep the Vaccine Strategy under review in light of the ongoing pandemic response. Our current ambition is to update and refresh the strategy in 2021 to reflect the changing landscape and investment in vaccine development through the Vaccines Taskforce.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure access to enzyme replacement treatment at a local specialist centre for children with rare diseases.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of those affected by rare disease and continues to implement the commitments made in the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases.

There are three specialist centres in the country that prescribe enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of lysosomal storage disorders. These diseases are very rare and the expertise to treat this cohort of patients is concentrated in these centres where staff are experienced in their care and where they are also engaged in research into these conditions.

Enzyme replacement therapy is usually delivered via an infusion at home with the support of homecare providers.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the delay between data being collected at military covid-19 testing units and that data being shared with local authorities and Director of Public Health.

We have interpreted the hon. Member's question as relating to the Department's Mobile Testing Units (MTUs), and therefore the response focuses on the building up of this service and sharing the results with local authorities and Directors of Public Health. These MTUs have been set up across the United Kingdom, directed locally, with several additional units held back for strategic reserve. From 2-8 July, 95.8% of test results from MTUs were returned the day after the test was taken, with 88.8% returned in under 24 hours.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Gracious Speech of 19 December 2019, Official Report column 31, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to reform the Mental Health Act 1989 during the 2019-21 Session.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Luton South (Rachel Hopkins MP) on 14 July 2020 to Question 68461.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th May 2020
What steps the Government is taking to introduce a new (a) living wage and (b) financial settlement for social care workers.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities to address the pressures on local services caused by the pandemic. This funding can be used to cover the cost of pay for care workers who are currently unable to work because they may be shielding (if they are among the clinically extremely vulnerable) or self-isolating – and this has been included in guidance to local authorities.

My department is working with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to confirm that funding provided to local authorities has been distributed to social care providers, and on to the workforce, in accordance with this guidance.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men aged over 50 years old received the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test under the NHS Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme in each year since 2015; and how many of those patients were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This information is not collected centrally.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men aged over 50 (a) requested and (b) were refused a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test under the NHS Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme in England in each year since 2015.

This information is not collected centrally.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men over 50 years old have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in each year since 2015.

The following table sets out how many men in England aged 50 or over were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the years from 2015:

Year

Amount of men 50 and over

2015

40,805

2016

40,690

2017

40,717

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her (a) Spanish and (b) Moroccan counterparts following the recent death of 23 migrants in Melilla.

Senior officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have spoken to the relevant authorities in Spain and Morocco regarding the incident. We welcome the decision of both authorities to carry out investigations.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what criteria she will use to determine when to apply sanctions to countries in breach of international law.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act) provides the legal framework for the UK to impose, update and lift sanctions autonomously. The UK makes decisions on whether or not to designate each individual or entity under powers provided by the Sanctions Act and the relevant sanctions regulations. We will use our sanctions regimes as part of an integrated approach to promote our values and interests, and to combat state threats, terrorism, cyber-attacks, and the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 139505, what steps she is taking to convene discussions between Somaliland, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and neighbours in the region on the recognition of Somaliland as an independent state; and what recent assessment she has made of the barriers that remain to the UK granting Somaliland diplomatic recognition.

The UK Government's position on recognition has not changed, and is consistent with the entire international community, which does not recognise Somaliland's unilateral declaration of independence. As stated in the answer of PQ 139505, it is for Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to come to any agreement about their future relationship. Any new arrangements would need to be recognised by the African Union and neighbours in the region. The UK continues to encourage dialogue between Mogadishu and Hargeisa on this issue.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 December 2021 to Question 82118 on Qatar: Football, what discussions she has had on reforms to workers' rights in Qatar since December 2021.

We welcome the steps that Qatar has taken to date on workers' rights, and maintain that the priority now is full implementation of those reforms. My officials discussed these on 30 March with representatives from Qatar's Ministry of Labour and the International Labour Organization office based in Doha. We look forward to continuing to support Qatar's efforts in this area.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the particular vulnerabilities of girls displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.

We are committed to supporting Ukrainian women and girls, recognising the critical contribution women are making on the frontline and in communities affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.  The UK has pledged £220 million of humanitarian assistance to save lives and to protect vulnerable people, including women and girls, inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries as they are forced to flee to safety.

We continue to support Ukraine with a £40 million suite of programming, including through the Good Governance Fund and Conflict, Stability and Security Fund programmes - that includes ongoing support to women's social, political and economic participation across the country. This includes the UK's support of the establishment of 16 shelters, 5 crisis rooms and 10 centres for Gender Based Violence survivors.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to assist with the provision of (a) education and (b) psychosocial support for Ukrainian children who have been displaced.

The UK has now committed £395 million in aid to the current crisis. This includes £220 million of humanitarian assistance which will be used to save lives, protect vulnerable people inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. It will also be used to support refugees, including children, fleeing Ukraine through the provision of logistics, advice and analysis of needs on the ground.

We are working to ensure aid agencies are able to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched its Ukraine Appeal on 2 March which has now reached over £100 million, with the government matching £25 million of the publics donations. This is our largest ever aid-match contribution, which will help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to ensure provision of essentials like (a) water, (b) food and (c) healthcare to Ukrainian children who have been displaced.

The UK has now committed £395 million in aid to the current crisis. This includes £220 million of humanitarian assistance which will be used to save lives, protect vulnerable people inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. This funding will help aid agencies respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation by providing access to basic necessities and medical supplies UK Government humanitarian experts have also deployed to the region to support those fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

The UK has matched pound for pound the public's first £25 million for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which has now surpassed £100 million. Donating will help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the need for humanitarian support for displaced children in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

The UK has now committed £395 million in aid to the current crisis. This includes £220 million of humanitarian assistance which will be used to save lives, protect vulnerable people inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. It will also be used to support refugees, including children, fleeing Ukraine through the provision of logistics, advice and analysis of needs on the ground.

As of 8 March, 2 million people are known to have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries, according to UNHCR [link: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine].

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to integrate the successful elements and key learnings of the EQUIP-T programme in Tanzania into its other education Official Development Assistance bilateral programmes aimed at improving children’s literacy and numeracy at scale.

The EQUIP-T education programme in Tanzania is a good example of an at-scale, sustainable programme that had a measurable impact on learning. It was recently included as an example in a global review of how best to improve learning at scale. It showed how the programme successfully improved literacy and numeracy skills for pupils, especially girls and more disadvantaged children, working with like-minded partners and supporting teachers to improve learning for all.

The principles of this programme - strengthening the education system, supporting teachers and reaching the most marginalized - sit behind all of our programming. The Girls' Education Action Plan, which the Prime Minister launched last year, and the global education targets agreed at the G7 have reinforced the UK commitment to prioritise improving children's foundational learning at scale and we use data and evidence to do this effectively. Our programmes continue to be underpinned by the best available evidence, including learnings from the EQUIP-T programme - for example, our new programming in Bangladesh which we announced last year, and several new bilateral programmes currently under design. We routinely apply learnings and quality evidence to inform our approach - including the recommendations from the recent Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel report which reinforces the importance of focusing on foundational literacy and numeracy skills, working at scale and reaching the most marginalized children in order to address the learning crisis.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 85319, in addition to the EQUIP-T programme, which other UK bilateral education programmes have achieved improvements to learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy at scale.

Improving learning outcomes is a priority for UK AID, and we are working bilaterally and with international partners to help education systems improve learning at scale, especially for most marginalised children.

Having competent, creative and well-supported teachers is one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to get girls' learning. In Ghana, our bilateral programme has supported the Government's Teacher Education Policy reforms, making teaching a degree profession for the first time and putting in place new National Teaching Standards. To date, these nation-wide reforms have improved teaching practices of 70,000 student teachers and 1,500 teacher educators. In northern Nigeria, the UK has been working in partnership with State Governments, British Council, Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund to ensure schools are 'teaching at the right level'. This proven cost-effective remedial strategy provides dedicated time for children to master basic skills, alongside regular assessment of students' progress. This approach is now being replicated across several States in northern Nigeria. In Malawi, the UK is supporting the government's reform of the primary school maths curriculum; developing new teaching and learning materials; training all teachers nationwide; and establishing ongoing school-based support. This will benefit over 3.2 million students and over 40,000 teachers nationwide.

We are also working with like-minded partners internationally to ensure better use of education evidence and learning data. Our new Global Education What Works Hub is supporting the generation and use of evidence to understand what education interventions work in what contexts, and how these can be scaled effectively to deliver learning at scale for all.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will hold discussions with the government of Guinea on the penalties in place in that country against LGBT people.

The UK stands with LGBT+ individuals globally to affirm our commitment to the principle of non-discrimination on all grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We work through our Embassy in Conakry, as well as international organisations, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT+ people in Guinea, and to address discriminatory laws. The UK encourages Guinea to oppose all forms of discrimination and uphold the obligations in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of the African Charter.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the use of air strikes in in Tigray.

We are deeply concerned by recent airstrikes in northern Ethiopia. I raised my concerns with Minister Redwan in Addis Ababa 20 January. I also met Prime Minister Abiy in Addis Ababa on 20 January when we discussed the conflict.

As we pursue an end to the violence the protection of civilians is of the utmost importance to our work. We repeat our call for a ceasefire and we request all parties to end hostilities including airstrikes.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have had with the government of Pakistan on the protection of religious minorities in that country.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Pakistan is one of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) human rights priority countries and protecting FoRB is an integral part of our engagement on human rights in Pakistan. The United Kingdom Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently on 23 and 24 June during a visit to Pakistan, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Minister responsible for human rights, raised the need to promote respect for all religions with Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, as well as other senior government ministers including Foreign Minister Qureshi, and Human Rights Minister Mazari. During these meetings, Lord Ahmad highlighted the need to address persecution, promote respect for all religions and increase tolerance for religious minorities. He met minority communities during the visit to understand better their concerns, including a meeting with representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an interfaith roundtable and discussions with influential religious leaders.

In addition, the UK works within the United Nations, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB around the globe. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to (a) help ensure freedom of religion or belief in Afghanistan and (b) protect Sikh, Hindu and other religious minorities in Afghanistan.

We are deeply concerned about human rights in Afghanistan, including violence and discrimination towards religious minorities. Ethnic and religious minorities have long faced attacks and discrimination in Afghanistan and we are monitoring the situation closely. We have made human rights a central feature of all of our contact with the Taliban to date, including the visit to Kabul on 5 October by the Prime Minister's High Representative for Afghanistan Transition, Sir Simon Gass. We will continue to work closely with international partners to call for freedom of religion to be respected in Afghanistan. On 7 October, the UK co-sponsored a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that created a Special Rapporteur mandate to monitor human rights in the country.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to challenge human rights violations in Ethiopia.

We are extremely concerned by reports of widespread human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia. Civilians must be protected and the violence must stop. The UK is supporting the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that their joint investigation into atrocities in Tigray, with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, is independent, transparent and impartial and holds the parties to this conflict directly responsible for their actions. It will issue its report on 1 November. We are also examining how we can best support institutions undertaking investigations into Human Rights abuses and violations. The Foreign Secretary, our Ambassador in Addis Ababa and I continue to raise human rights issues in our discussions with the Ethiopian Government and more broadly we have reminded all warring parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's Oral Statement on Afghanistan on 6 September 2021, Official Report, column 26, by when he expects all representations made by hon. Members to have been answered.

As Minister Cleverly set out in the Urgent Question on 9 September, where the FCDO has received cases which are to be dealt with by the Home Office and MoD under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme and the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, we will pass those on to the relevant Department, whilst also individually notifying MPs which Department their specific cases have been passed to by 16 September. The FCDO will continue to handle British National cases and will be in contact with MPs about the specific cases they have raised within 7 days, providing as much detail as possible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to work with countries neighbouring Afghanistan on keeping their borders open and resettling refugees that flee by land.

On 3 September we announced £30m of life-saving aid to Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to help those who choose to leave Afghanistan as part of the Government’s efforts to support regional stability.
Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle (a) conflict, (b) the covid-19 pandemic and (c) the climate crisis as causes of global hunger.

COVID-19 is making an already bad food security situation worse and dozens of countries are in or at risk of a generalised food security crisis. As Oxfam's report states, 2020 saw a sharp increase in severe hunger in countries affected by conflict, and according to latest estimates, the number of people at emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 has risen further to 41 million.

Humanitarian preparedness and response is one of the seven priority areas for the UK's aid budget this year. FCDO will spend £906 million to maintain the UK's role as a force for good at times of crisis, focusing on those countries most affected by risk of famine. We are combining this funding with our diplomatic and aid expertise: following our 2020 Call to Action to Prevent Famine, our Presidency this year secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine. In addition, we have adapted many of our programmes to address impacts of COVID-19 and the longer-term climate crisis. For example, the UK co-chaired multilateral Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has adapted its portfolio to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and to deliver a greener recovery in the poorest countries most affected by the triple threat.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report published by Oxfam entitled The Hunger Virus Multiplies, published on 9 July 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding in that report that 20 million more people have been pushed to extreme levels of food insecurity in 2021.

COVID-19 is making an already bad food security situation worse and dozens of countries are in or at risk of a generalised food security crisis. As Oxfam's report states, 2020 saw a sharp increase in severe hunger in countries affected by conflict, and according to latest estimates, the number of people at emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 has risen further to 41 million.

Humanitarian preparedness and response is one of the seven priority areas for the UK's aid budget this year. FCDO will spend £906 million to maintain the UK's role as a force for good at times of crisis, focusing on those countries most affected by risk of famine. We are combining this funding with our diplomatic and aid expertise: following our 2020 Call to Action to Prevent Famine, our Presidency this year secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine. In addition, we have adapted many of our programmes to address impacts of COVID-19 and the longer-term climate crisis. For example, the UK co-chaired multilateral Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has adapted its portfolio to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and to deliver a greener recovery in the poorest countries most affected by the triple threat.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that humanitarian support reaches the 350,000 people experiencing famine-like conditions in Tigray, Ethiopia.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and shares the concerns outlined in the report on 24 June by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report in June reported high levels of food insecurity in Tigray with 353,000 in 'catastrophe' as per the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) levels. Ensuring assistance gets to those who need it most remains our priority in Tigray. We continue to explore all options with partners to expand humanitarian access by both air and land.

On 14 June I announced that the UK will allocate a further £16.7 million to the crisis in Tigray. This will support civil-military coordination to help aid get to those in need and address famine risk through the provision of healthcare, sanitation, and nutritional support. This allocation is on top of the existing £27 million in 2020-21 already directed to the response, and an additional £4 million allocated to support nutrition and vaccinations in Tigray. This brings UK total funding to support response to the crisis to £47.7 million. We continue to urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, allow unfettered humanitarian access and respect international humanitarian law.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the (a) number of incidents of attacks on Palestinian healthcare facilities by Israeli forces in April and May 2021 and (b) number of investigations opened into those incidents by Israel.

The UK welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. The UK priority now is ensuring timely humanitarian access into and out of Gaza, including for essential health services. We are urging the Government of Israel to ensure this access is maintained. We have made clear our concern about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, including significant damage and destruction of civilian infrastructure including homes, schools, hospitals, and clinics.

The United Kingdom has also provided an initial £3.2 million of UK aid to UNRWA's emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May 2021. This appeal is helping to address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the unimpeded delivery of fuel and emergency humanitarian relief to Gaza.

Access for humanitarian purposes into and out of Gaza remains critical. We are urging the Government of Israel to ensure access is maintained to ensure delivery of humanitarian supplies, including fuel. I announced on 20 May that the UK is providing £3.2 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May. The emergency appeal by UNRWA focuses on meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016), what steps his Department is taking to pursue accountability for attacks on health workers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We condemn any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, and urge restraint in the use of live fire. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we have advocated swift, transparent investigations. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to address settler violence, and urge them to thoroughly investigate every instance to bring those responsible to justice.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, whether he has plans to create an Independent Expert Advisory Group to (a) advise him on the implementation of such sanctions, (b) ensure that objective criteria are applied consistently in respect of such sanctions and (c) review the delisting of people or entities under those regulations.

UK sanctions are smart tools that are carefully targeted to achieve their goals, while minimising potentially negative wider impacts. Designations under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 may only take place where the relevant legal tests as set out in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 and the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 are met.

The policy note that we have published alongside the regulations sets out some of the factors relevant to the consideration of designations under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021. These factors include HMG's wider anti-corruption priorities and the scale, nature and impact of the serious corruption in question, among others.

Under section 22 of the Sanctions Act, if at any time the Minister responsible for a designation considers that the designation criteria are not met, the Minister must revoke the designation. Periodic reviews of autonomous sanctions designations will take place every three years under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Designated persons may also request an administrative review of their designation, and, if this does not result in the designation being varied or revoked, may make further requests if there is a new significant matter to consider.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, whether he plans to introduce a system allowing for non-governmental actors to provide information on corrupt actors.

We recognise the important role non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play in countering corruption globally. We have published an information note for NGOs designed to help NGOs engage with the sanctions regime, which provides further information on the regime's purpose and scope and the information required in considering designations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, what plans he has to ensure transparency on the use of such sanctions; and if he will provide quarterly reports to Parliament on the (a) amounts of assets frozen, (b) visas denied, (c) types of assets frozen and (d) requests received for the delisting of people or entities under those regulations.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 includes a number of reporting obligations. As required by Section 30 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 the Government will report annually to Parliament on all sanctions regulations.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, undertakes an annual frozen asset review. This requires all persons that hold or control funds or economic resources that are owned, held or controlled by a designated person and subject to UK financial sanctions to report them to OFSI. OFSI also gathers information through the exercise of its statutory powers. HM Treasury does not disclose information about individual assets held in the UK. The Home Office does not comment on individual cases with respect to travel bans.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to update the Government's strategy on supporting human rights defenders.

The UK strongly supports Human Rights Defenders worldwide to enable them to carry out their work safely and without fear. We are considering carefully the request from Amnesty International and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for a UK Government strategy on Human Rights Defenders. In 2019, the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, launched the document 'UK support for Human Rights Defenders' which was drawn up with significant and important input from relevant stakeholders, including Amnesty International, and which sets out how the UK Government engages with Human Rights Defenders to advance the human rights agenda globally.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the allocation of funding from the public purse for global child and maternal health outcomes remains a priority for his Department; and if he will make a statement.

As set out in the Integrated Review, global health is one of the most pressing issues for international collaboration. Global health remains a top priority for UK Official Development Assistance. The UK is committed to working with others to improve child and maternal health outcomes in order to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children by 2030. Our work to deliver this ambition includes our commitment of up to £1.65 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support Gavi's goal to immunise a further 300 million children.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to publish the Ending Preventable Deaths Action Plan.

The UK is committed to working with others to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children by 2030. We hope to publish our approach to ending preventable deaths in due course.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will deliver the commitment made by the Prime Minister in September 2019 to 12 years of quality education for all girls by (a) protecting the ODA allocation for education from budget reductions, (b) increasing that allocation to 15 per cent of UK ODA and (c) allocating £600 million of funding from the public purse to the Global Partnership for Education.

As set out in the Integrated Review, this Government's commitment to stand up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is unwavering. The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget this year in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction. Girls' education is one of these priorities.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We will temporarily move to a target of spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7%. This is a temporary measure, and we will return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to increase (a) political and (b) financial support for the forthcoming replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education.

The UK has placed girls' education and broader gender equality at the heart of our G7 Presidency. We have set out two ambitious global objectives to get 40 million more girls in school and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years, and we are using our G7 Presidency to rally others behind these objectives and stand up for every girl's right to 12 years of quality education.

A well-funded GPE will be central to delivering these global objectives, especially in securing education financing from developing countries' domestic budgets. That is why we look forward to hosting the Global Education Summit to refinance GPE with the Government of Kenya in July. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will meet the request by civil society to allocate £600 million of funding to the Global Partnership for Education for the 2021-25 replenishment in 2021.

The UK has placed girls' education and broader gender equality at the heart of our G7 Presidency. We have set out two ambitious global objectives to get 40 million more girls in school and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years, and we are using our G7 Presidency to rally others behind these objectives and stand up for every girl's right to 12 years of quality education.

A well-funded GPE will be central to delivering these global objectives, especially in securing education financing from developing countries' domestic budgets. That is why we look forward to hosting the Global Education Summit to refinance GPE with the Government of Kenya in July. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which Independent Power Plants (IPP) and Captive Power Plants (CPP) in Nigeria are now owned by the UK Government as a result of CDC's acquisition of a majority stake in CPGNL Limited.

CDC has a 70% stake in Globeleq. Globeleq acquired a 74% stake in CPGNL Limited on 24 December.

CPGNL Limited comprises 11 power plants with a total generating capacity of 57 Megawatts (MW); further details are commercially sensitive.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value is of (a) the UK government's proposed investment in the Qua Iboe gas-fired power station in Nigeria through CDC Group's Globeleq subsidiary, (b) CDC Group's current investments in fossil fuel energy in Nigeria and (c) CDC Group's current investments in renewable energy in Nigeria.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based on the core principles of reaching net zero by 2050, enabling a just transition and strengthening adaptation and resilience.

CDC's full energy portfolio, as of December 2019, is available online: https://assets.cdcgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/11174306/Fossil-Fuels-and-Renewables-portfolio-as-at-31-December-2019-pdf.pdf.

CDC will only consider new investments in gas power and related infrastructure if they are aligned with the Paris Agreement and aligned with a country's pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Information on CDC's pipeline of investments is commercially sensitive and therefore is unable to be disclosed.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the value is of the Government's proposed investment in the Temane gas-fired power station in Mozambique through CDC Group's Globeleq subsidiary.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based on the core principles of reaching net zero by 2050, enabling a just transition and strengthening adaptation and resilience.

CDC's fossil fuel policy, published in December 2020, applies to all new commitments. This policy excludes future investment in the vast majority of fossil fuel subsectors including coal, oil and upstream gas exploration and production, with very limited exceptions. CDC will only consider new investments in gas power and related infrastructure if they are aligned with the Paris Agreement and aligned with a country's pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

Commercial discussions regarding the proposed Temane power project remain ongoing. Financial information on CDC's investment is commercially sensitive and therefore is unable to be disclosed.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value is of CDC Group's current investments in (a) solar and (b) wind energy in Mozambique.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based