Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"

Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to establish humanitarian visas and a means for people to apply for those visas from Afghanistan to reduce dangerous journeys for people seeking asylum.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

On Wednesday 18 August, the Government announced the launch of a new bespoke Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), to welcome up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK. The scheme will focus on those most at risk and in its first year will resettle up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans. This scheme delivers on the Government’s commitment in the New Plan for Immigration to create safe and legal routes for those in fear of persecution and oppression in their home country. The Government is working urgently to open this route and further details will be announced in due course on gov.uk.

The new route is separate from, and in addition to, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which offers any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life priority relocation to the UK.


Written Question
Immigration: Afghanistan
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to expand the Afghan Interpreters Scheme to include people engaged in UK-linked initiatives and human rights activists who are at risk of being targeted by the Taliban.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched on 1 April 2021. The scheme enables any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

Our Afghan relocation policy is one of the most generous in the world and has already supported over 8,000 directly employed former Afghan staff and their families to start new lives in the UK.

The Home Office is committed to providing protection for vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan. The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK, who have been forced to flee the country, in its first year, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term.


Written Question
Asylum: LGBT People
8 Jul 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to address the specific experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and to ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are not penalised in their asylum applications in the event that they do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity immediately upon arrival.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office has and continues to work closely with a diverse range of organisations specialising in asylum and human rights protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTQ+) communities, not only to facilitate the development of bespoke guidance and training products but also to further our work for LGBTQ+ within our asylum system.

We ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are signposted to relevant NGOs specialising in the support of these individuals. This is done through an information leaflet given to all asylum claimants at the point of claim which includes sections on legal advice, additional help and assistance with links to relevant legal bodies and support organisations. LGBTQ+ asylum seekers can also access support from Rainbow Migration (formerly the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group), who provide both practical and emotional support for LGBTQ+ people including how to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and to reduce isolation.

The Home Office recognises that discussing persecution may often be distressing and those seeking asylum are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken. Our caseworkers are very mindful that many asylum seekers come from cultures which shun any open expression or discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognise that the intimate nature of disclosure set against the individual’s cultural background may have made it difficult for some to disclose and discuss their sexuality or gender identity with officials at a port of entry.

Where it appears that a claimant has been in the UK for a prolonged period of time before either coming to immigration attention or voluntarily seeking protection, this will be explored with the claimant. Consideration will be given to any explanation offered for not seeking protection at the first available opportunity, or for not disclosing the issue of sexuality or gender identity as a claim basis at the first available opportunity. Adverse inference however will not solely be drawn from someone not having immediately identified their sexual or gender identity as a basis to their claim.


Written Question
Hate Crime
8 Jul 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking in advance of the publication of the Law Commission's final report in respect of its Hate Crime review, due to be published in 2021.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

In 2018, the Government also asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of current hate crime legislation, including whether additional protected characteristics, such as sex, gender and age, should be included.

The Law Commission is due to publish its recommendations later this year, following which the Government will formally respond.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices
24 Jun 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of evidence from the (a) Scottish and (b) Welsh Governments following the introduction of minimum unit pricing on (i) the consumption of alcohol and (ii) levels of alcohol harm.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

There are no plans to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in England at this time. The Government continues to monitor the impact of MUP in Scotland and Wales as it emerges, including the recent report by Public Health Scotland. We have an existing agenda on tackling health harms from alcohol and are committed to supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse.


Written Question
Asylum: Temporary Accommodation
26 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative cost benefit analysis her Department has made of the respective cost to the public purse of continuing to provide temporary accommodation to failed asylum seekers under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the effect of not providing such accommodation on the effect on street homelessness.

Answered by Chris Philp

Failed asylum seekers and other migrants unlawfully present in the UK are not eligible for mainstream welfare and housing benefits. Accommodation is available under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, but only where the individuals are taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a practical or legal obstacle preventing their departure. Failed Asylum Seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return. No assessment has been made of the impact of changing the legislation so that failed asylum seekers are provided with accommodation without these conditions, but the cost to the public purse is likely to be extremely high, particularly as such a policy is very likely to encourage unfounded asylum applications and there would be little incentive for the individuals to leave the UK when their claims are rejected.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has put in place to avoid the homelessness and rough sleeping of vulnerable migrants who have been in receipt of section 4 support and accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak when the ban of evictions ceases.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice he has received from Public Health England on the implications for the health of (a) migrants, (b) communities and (c) the public to cease provision of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and restart evictions during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Liverpool City Region
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many decisions to discontinue section 4 support her Department plans to issue weekly in (a) Liverpool and (b) the Liverpool City Region in response to a resumption of cessations of support as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) notice and (b) additional support her Department plans to give to (a) local authorities and (b) other relevant stakeholders supporting vulnerable individuals prior to the ending Section 4 support and the restarting of evictions.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to improve (a) access to and (b) provision of domestic violence support services.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

This Government is committed to ensuring domestic abuse organisations are able to meet the needs of victims. To that end we have awarded £27 million in additional funds to support domestic abuse services this financial year alone, comprising £25 million from the government’s £76 million in emergency funding for the most vulnerable in society, and an extra £2 million from the Home Office in April 2021 to bolster the capacity of domestic abuse organisations affected by the pandemic.

To ensure victims know where and how to access support, we have launched guidance on our gov.uk website and delivered a successful #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost access to help and support services - reaching almost 25 million UK adults and securing over 130 million followers on social media

This January, we also launched a new Ask for ANI Codeword scheme to enable domestic abuse victims to seek safe and discreet support from over 2,600 participating pharmacies who will be able to provide victim focussed support, including engagement with specialist victim support services and the police as necessary.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Crime
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Institute of Alcohol Studies' report, Inequalities in victimisation: alcohol, violence and anti-social behaviour, published in May 2020, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of that report.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The Government is committed to tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour.

The Government has a wide-ranging approach to support the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse, including support for children of alcohol dependent parents and action to reduce alcohol-related crime. Since 2016 the Government has invested more than £16 billion in local government public health services, including alcohol treatment services.

Alcohol is no excuse for domestic abuse or any other kind of abusive behaviour. The Domestic Abuse Bill introduces new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders that will allow courts to tailor requirements to address the perpetrator’s behaviour. This could include abuse exacerbated by alcohol, for example a requirement to be assessed for an alcohol treatment programme.


Written Question
UK Border Force: Heathrow Airport
9 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to resolve the industrial dispute between her Department and Border Force staff at Heathrow Airport.

Answered by Chris Philp

Changes to colleague working arrangements in line with government guidance have been introduced following extensive consultation which began in October. The aim is to help protect Border Force officers, and the public from coronavirus. This best practice is supported nationally by independent bodies such as ACAS, and the PCS itself. Organisations across the country have implemented similar arrangements to ensure their staff and the public are protected.

We are fully engaged with staff and unions at Heathrow to resolve any potential industrial dispute.

Industrial action would cause unnecessary disruption at an already difficult time. Border Force has robust contingency plans in place to ensure any industrial action does not impact on border security.


Written Question
Corruption
15 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an independent Anti-Corruption Agency in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by James Brokenshire

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”


Written Question
Corruption
15 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an Independent Commissioner for Corruption; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by James Brokenshire

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”