David Simmonds Portrait

David Simmonds

Conservative - Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

First elected: 12th December 2019


Select Committees
Finance Committee (Commons) (since March 2020)
Finance Bill (since January 2024)
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
15th Jun 2021 - 11th Mar 2024
Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill
3rd May 2023 - 23rd May 2023
Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill
15th Mar 2023 - 23rd Mar 2023
Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No. 2) Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill)
2nd Nov 2022 - 6th Nov 2022
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
19th Jan 2022 - 27th Jan 2022
Education Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 19th Oct 2021
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
7th Sep 2021 - 22nd Sep 2021


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, David Simmonds has voted in 879 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
14 Dec 2022 - Asylum Seekers (Removal to Safe Countries) - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 67 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 69 Noes - 188
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 286 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 242
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
David Simmonds voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 285 Noes - 243
View All David Simmonds 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(13 debate interactions)
Priti Patel (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(69 debate contributions)
Home Office
(66 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(34 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Illegal Migration Act 2023
(2,960 words contributed)
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(2,639 words contributed)
Northern Ireland Protocol Bill 2022-23
(2,453 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all David Simmonds's debates

Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner 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

Mark Avery , Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay (Wild Justice) want the opening of the Woodcock shooting season to be pushed back to 1 December. 160,000 Woodcock are shot for fun across the UK whilst their population is declining. The Defra Secretary of State has powers to vary the shooting season.

The Government should not reduce the existing adult-child childcare ratios as has been suggested. There are surely better ways to reduce the cost of living – potentially endangering children in trusted care is not how it should be done.

Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands.

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme

The Government's manifesto stated “we will make intentional trespass a criminal offence”: an extreme, illiberal & unnecessary attack on ancient freedoms that would threaten walkers, campers, and the wider public. It would further tilt the law in favour of the landowning 1% who own half the country.

To not decide to scrap free travel for those who are under 18. As a teenager who has relied so much on free travel, it has allowed for me to go to school without the worry of an extra expense and explore around the beautiful city of London also. Destroying free travel would hurt so many of us.

After 9 months of maternity leave, most working mums do not receive any maternity pay and need to go back to work. I think all working parents should be entitled to 15 hours free childcare from the time a child is 9 months. It makes more sense to provide this funding from 9 months instead of 2 years


Latest EDMs signed by David Simmonds

David Simmonds has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David Simmonds, 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.


David Simmonds has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by David Simmonds

Wednesday 9th December 2020

David Simmonds has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
26th Mar 2024
What progress she has made on reaching the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

Britain is the first major economy to halve emissions, whilst growing the economy by 80%. We have more ambitious targets for 2030 than the EU, with the UK aiming for a 68% reduction in emissions to their 55%. We have over-achieved on all carbon budgets to date, and remain on track for the next.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

I have been working closely with Cabinet colleagues to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles, which will help us meet our climate change obligations alongside improving air quality and supporting economic growth.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of applications received for endorsement letters under the HGV fuel tanker driver concession have been issued with endorsement letters.

Hauliers within the fuel sector, and those companies that employ transporters of road fuels, were required to identify to BEIS non-visa nationals who were fully licenced and qualified drivers available to start immediately within the fuel haulage sector. The sector applied for nine endorsement letters from BEIS and all nine were provided.

The UK Government is working with the haulage sector to promote jobs, training and a range of other initiatives to get more people into HGV driving.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to support local outdoor activity centres.

This Government encourages everyone, no matter their age, to be as active as they can. We recognise that outdoor activity centres provide opportunities to all members of society to be active.

Outdoor Activity Centres were supported through the pandemic by government assistance such as the furlough scheme.

The Government has a range of programmes including the National Citizen Service and the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund whose delivery partners include outdoor activity centres.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support grassroots sport.

Sport and physical activity are vital for our physical and mental health, and should be front and centre as we build back better from the pandemic, which is why Sport England has invested over £1.5 billion of funding in developing grassroots sport since April 2016. This includes £120,535 of support in the Honourable Gentleman’s constituency since March 2020.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help support grassroots sports initiatives.

Sport and physical activity are vital for our physical and mental health, and should be front and centre as we build back better from the pandemic.

That’s why Sport England has invested over £1.5 billion of funding in developing grassroots sport since April 2016, including £120,535 of support in his constituency since March 2020.

At the recent Spending Review, the government set out our commitment to grassroots sports, investing £205 million to build or transform up to 8,000 multi-use sports facilities; £21.9 million to refurbish park tennis courts; and up to £30 million per year to increase access to school facilities and improve PE teacher training.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
What steps he is taking to allocate to good causes the dormant assets identified by the Dormant Assets Scheme.

The Dormant Assets Scheme enables money sitting in forgotten accounts to be unlocked for social or environmental purposes.

UK-wide, the Scheme has so far released over £745m, including £150m for coronavirus recovery last year.

Following the government’s consultation response, and years of close industry engagement, I’m delighted to say that the Scheme is now set to be expanded, potentially unlocking over £800m for good causes over the coming years.

30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to support London’s schools and local authorities with falling school rolls.

The department recognises the challenge some schools face with falling rolls, particularly in London. London is attracting an additional £75.1 million of funding for schools in 2024/25 compared to 2023/24 through the schools Dedicated Schools Grant, which is an increase of 1.6% per pupil excluding growth funding. This takes the total funding for 2024/25 in London to over £7.4 billion, based on current pupil numbers.

In the 2024/25 financial year, the department is changing how ‘growth and falling rolls funding’ is allocated to local authorities, so that this is based not only on increases in pupil numbers, but also decreases. This methodology will ensure that local authorities in which schools are experiencing significant decreases in pupil numbers will attract additional funding to support those schools. The restriction that schools must be judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in their last Ofsted inspection to be eligible for falling rolls funding has also been removed.

The department is also broadening the scope of growth funding to allow local authorities to use growth funding to meet the revenue costs of removing surplus places. Such funding could support local authorities to repurpose space to create Special Educational needs and Disability (SEND) units, resourced bases, or wraparound childcare provision in mainstream schools. This is activity which we know many local authorities are already undertaking.

More information is available in published guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pre-16-schools-funding-local-authority-guidance-for-2024-to-2025/growth-and-falling-rolls-fund-guidance-2024-to-2025.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the ban on placing children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation on outcomes for those children in the 12 months since the introduction of that policy.

The department completed a child rights impact assessment and an equalities impact assessment banning the placement of under 16s in unregulated provision. Children of this age should be placed in children’s homes or in foster care.

The department will keep these under review as we move forward with wider reforms to introduce mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers of unregulated supported accommodation for 16 and 17-year-old looked-after children and care leavers.

Ofsted will continue to monitor placement practice through the inspecting local authority children’s services framework, and the department will also continue to collect and review data on local authority placements via the annual children looked after data return. Data from the period, since the regulations were laid in 2021, will be submitted to the department by local authorities in 2022. This data will be monitored and tracked by the department and will assist us to understand the impact on outcomes for the children placed in these settings.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many under-16s are currently placed in unregulated accommodation compared to prior to when the ban on that practice came into force on 9 September 2021.

On 31 March 2021, 65 looked-after children aged under 16 were placed in unregulated accommodation. Information for the reporting year 2021/22 will not be available until November 2022.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of the requirement for providers of supported accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds to register with Ofsted on the sufficiency of placements.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to make sure there is sufficient provision in their area to meet the needs of children in their care. The government is supporting local authorities to meet their statutory duty by investing £259 million capital funding to maintain capacity and expand provision in both secure and open children’s homes. This will provide high-quality safe homes for some of the most vulnerable children and young people. This will support local authorities to develop the provision they need locally, that may not be met in the private market.

The government will invest over £142 million across the next three years to support local authorities, providers, and Ofsted to implement mandatory national standards, and Ofsted registration and inspection for currently unregulated supported accommodation providers who accommodate 16 and 17-year-old looked-after children and care leavers.

The department expects the national standards to become mandatory from autumn 2023, following a minimum six-month registration window, which will enable providers to register before the standards come into force, reducing any potential disruption or sufficiency challenges for local authorities. We will invest up to £1.3 million to support providers to prepare for the reforms.

The department will complete the required impact assessments ahead of laying the regulations, which will bring the new regime into effect.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help increase the availability of places in secure children's homes.

To help local authorities ensure there is sufficient available accommodation for all children in their care, the department is making a substantial investment in building new secure children’s homes (SCH). The Chancellor announced £259 million capital funding in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 to provide high-quality homes for some of the most vulnerable young people, closer to families, schools, and health services. This also includes £195 million to support SCH estates.

This investment will enable local authorities to undertake more ambitious work to reconfigure and expand these estates, reduce the number of children waiting for a secure welfare place in a SCH, and support local authorities to place children in their care closer to families and friends, where possible. This includes replacing ageing parts of the estates, investing in upgrades and improvement works to improve occupancy rates, increase the number of beds, and build new provision in regions, such as London and the West Midlands, where there is currently none.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department holds data on the impact of the extension of free school meals to children in families with no recourse to public funds on the educational attainment of those children.

The work that has been done on reviewing the relationship between the no resource to public funds (NRPF) condition, and access to free school meals (FSM) will not be published.

FSM eligibility will be extended to children from all groups with NRPF from the start of the summer term, with guidance for schools being published shortly. Information on the number of children who received a free meal, and attracted pupil premium funding under the temporary extension of free school meal eligibility to some NRPF households in the 2021/2022 financial year can be found in the third document here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2021-to-2022.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the review of free school meals to children from families with no recourse to public funds.

The work that has been done on reviewing the relationship between the no resource to public funds (NRPF) condition, and access to free school meals (FSM) will not be published.

FSM eligibility will be extended to children from all groups with NRPF from the start of the summer term, with guidance for schools being published shortly. Information on the number of children who received a free meal, and attracted pupil premium funding under the temporary extension of free school meal eligibility to some NRPF households in the 2021/2022 financial year can be found in the third document here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2021-to-2022.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to protect children who have been separated from parents and family on arrival in the UK.

The department takes the welfare of all unaccompanied children extremely seriously and is committed to ensuring they are properly safeguarded. Statutory duties placed on the local authority in respect of unaccompanied children will apply to any child arriving in the UK who has been separated from their parents and family.

In England Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (CA89) imposes a general duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of ‘children in need’ in their area. Section 20 CA89 imposes a duty to accommodate children in need if they meet the relevant criteria.

Generally, once a child has been accommodated by a local authority continuously for more than 24 hours, they become a looked after child and should be safeguarded and have their welfare promoted in the same way as any other looked after child, taking account of their particular needs. Any child separated from their parents and family would likely remain accommodated by the local authority, until such time as they can be re-united when possible and appropriate.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the continued provision of free school meals to children whose families are subject to the no recourse to public funds condition.

The department is working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility will continue with the current income threshold until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. The department's current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the scope is of the review of the care system; whether that review will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) amending the Children Act 1989 and other proposals for changes to legislation and (b) the decisions of the Scottish and Welsh Government to remove the reasonable chastisement defence; and if it will consult lead members for children's services that have statutory and political responsibilities for children's social care in their area.

The care review is a fundamental part of the government’s Manifesto. We are moving forward with plans to undertake this at the earliest opportunity. This includes considering the review’s scope, which has yet to be finalised but which we will confirm in due course. The scope will be broad and bold and take a fundamental look across children’s social care, with the aim of better supporting, protecting and improving the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education announced that the review would be independently led in a written statement on 12 February, which is available at the following link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-02-12/HCWS110/. The review scope will need to be developed alongside the independent leadership of the review.

We anticipate that the review will involve a wide range of figures with experience both within and around local agencies, in addition to the lived experience of children, young people and families.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department has taken to tackle horse (a) fly-grazing and (b) abandonment.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 provides powers for landowners, land occupiers and local authorities to deal with horses placed unlawfully on any land, public or private (including equine abandonments). The 2015 Act allows for action to be taken quickly where horses are placed on land without the land-owner’s permission.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to help ensure that people who neglect their horses are prosecuted.

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 amends the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) to provide one of the toughest sanctions in Europe and strengthens the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare. The 2006 Act, as amended in 2021, now means a maximum sentence of five years and/or an unlimited fine will apply to the most serious animal cruelty offences, including causing unnecessary suffering, and is a significant step forward in improving animal welfare.

Local authorities have powers under the 2006 Act to act where a horse is suspected to be suffering on any land, public or private. In such circumstances, the local authority may enter the land and take control of the animal.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support local authorities (a) manage and (b) care for neglected horses that have been left to fly-graze.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 provides powers for landowners, land occupiers and local authorities to deal with horses placed unlawfully on any land, public or private (including equine abandonments). The 2015 Act allows for action to be taken quickly where horses are placed on land without the land-owner’s permission. If no owner can be identified within four working days, options include rehoming, either privately or via charities, or offering the horses for sale.

Local authorities are responsible for compliance with the legislation and its enforcement. Enforcement will vary according to location, depending on local priorities. We therefore encourage all interested parties to work together at local level to use the available powers to address the problem of abandoned horses.

The Government considers that the relevant legislation and guidance in place provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting equine welfare. We remain committed to working with enforcement agencies and other interested parties to ensure issues of horse abandonments or neglect are effectively addressed.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Israeli companies on exporting to the UK UV-light technology developed in Israel to kill germs.

None. The importation of specific product lines is facilitated by the Department for Health and Social Care, as the lead department for domestic healthcare policy and sponsor of both the NHS and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that the UK benefits from Israeli thermal scanning technologies to detect covid-19.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv is following Israeli research and innovation related to COVID-19 closely, including in the technology sector. We have facilitated exchanges between United Kingdom and Israeli public health and scientific experts to discuss testing, epidemic management strategies, treatments and vaccine research, as well as cooperation on medical equipment.

10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on Transport for London’s finances.

The Secretary of State for Transport last met the Mayor of London on 29 November 2022. In addition I met yesterday (12 July) with Deputy Mayor Seb Dance and senior TfL officials to discuss their plans to put TfL onto a sustainable financial footing.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list the local authority areas that have reported the highest incidents of Blue Badge theft in the last year.

The Department for Transport publishes annual statistics in relation to the Blue Badge scheme in England. The latest available data shows that in the year ending March 2022, 6,183 badges were reported to be lost or stolen in England. Of these, 76% were reported to be lost, and 24% (1,497 badges) were stolen. Published statistics are not broken down by local authority.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of Blue Badges reported stolen in England in the last year.

The Department for Transport publishes annual statistics in relation to the Blue Badge scheme in England. The latest available data shows that in the year ending March 2022, 6,183 badges were reported to be lost or stolen in England. Of these, 76% were reported to be lost, and 24% (1,497 badges) were stolen. Published statistics are not broken down by local authority.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the economic impact of the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone on businesses (a) in London and (b) the South East.

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor and TfL, and it is their responsibility to manage and oversee the transport network. This includes decisions with regards to road schemes.

It is for the Mayor to assess the economic impact of his proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), including on businesses in London and the South East.

TfL has produced the London-wide ULEZ Integrated Impact Assessment (ULEZ Scheme IIA) report, which includes an economic impact assessment.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support her Department is providing to help drivers who are face delays in renewing international HGV licences.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is processing straightforward HGV driving licence applications within five days and there are no delays.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is adding new capacity to its driving test booking system all the time. Tests do become available when customers move or cancel existing bookings. Candidates can also use the DVSA’s change your driving test service (www.gov.uk/change-driving-test) to check for earlier test slots. The DVSA also suggests that candidates check other nearby test centres which may have earlier dates available.

The Department for Transport is also continuing to consider changes to help with recruitment to the transport industry. A number of measures were introduced in November 2021 to streamline the requirements for HGV and bus drivers. These included changes to testing, including removing the requirement to take tests in rigid vehicles before moving onto tests for articulated vehicles and trailers.

The Government is aware that the costs of training can be a barrier both to new entrants and business and has invested up to £34 million to create skills bootcamps to train up to 11,000 more people to become HGV drivers.

The Government is also supporting new HGV drivers through apprenticeships. By working with the industry, the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship (for articulated lorries and supported with up to £7,000 of funding) and the Urban Driver apprenticeship (for rigid lorries and supported with up to £5,000 of funding) have been developed.

The UK Government does not issue international HGV licences. Holders of an HGV licence may use that licence overseas providing the country they are driving in is signed up to the relevant international driving conventions.

Drivers may choose to carry an international driving permit (IDP) to supplement the use of their driving licence when driving in another country. IDPs can be purchased over the counter at the Post Office.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment her Department has made of the potential barriers faced by individuals in acquiring a HGV licence.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is processing straightforward HGV driving licence applications within five days and there are no delays.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is adding new capacity to its driving test booking system all the time. Tests do become available when customers move or cancel existing bookings. Candidates can also use the DVSA’s change your driving test service (www.gov.uk/change-driving-test) to check for earlier test slots. The DVSA also suggests that candidates check other nearby test centres which may have earlier dates available.

The Department for Transport is also continuing to consider changes to help with recruitment to the transport industry. A number of measures were introduced in November 2021 to streamline the requirements for HGV and bus drivers. These included changes to testing, including removing the requirement to take tests in rigid vehicles before moving onto tests for articulated vehicles and trailers.

The Government is aware that the costs of training can be a barrier both to new entrants and business and has invested up to £34 million to create skills bootcamps to train up to 11,000 more people to become HGV drivers.

The Government is also supporting new HGV drivers through apprenticeships. By working with the industry, the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship (for articulated lorries and supported with up to £7,000 of funding) and the Urban Driver apprenticeship (for rigid lorries and supported with up to £5,000 of funding) have been developed.

The UK Government does not issue international HGV licences. Holders of an HGV licence may use that licence overseas providing the country they are driving in is signed up to the relevant international driving conventions.

Drivers may choose to carry an international driving permit (IDP) to supplement the use of their driving licence when driving in another country. IDPs can be purchased over the counter at the Post Office.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions her Department has had with the DVLA on issuing of HGV licences.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is processing straightforward HGV driving licence applications within five days and there are no delays.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is adding new capacity to its driving test booking system all the time. Tests do become available when customers move or cancel existing bookings. Candidates can also use the DVSA’s change your driving test service (www.gov.uk/change-driving-test) to check for earlier test slots. The DVSA also suggests that candidates check other nearby test centres which may have earlier dates available.

The Department for Transport is also continuing to consider changes to help with recruitment to the transport industry. A number of measures were introduced in November 2021 to streamline the requirements for HGV and bus drivers. These included changes to testing, including removing the requirement to take tests in rigid vehicles before moving onto tests for articulated vehicles and trailers.

The Government is aware that the costs of training can be a barrier both to new entrants and business and has invested up to £34 million to create skills bootcamps to train up to 11,000 more people to become HGV drivers.

The Government is also supporting new HGV drivers through apprenticeships. By working with the industry, the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship (for articulated lorries and supported with up to £7,000 of funding) and the Urban Driver apprenticeship (for rigid lorries and supported with up to £5,000 of funding) have been developed.

The UK Government does not issue international HGV licences. Holders of an HGV licence may use that licence overseas providing the country they are driving in is signed up to the relevant international driving conventions.

Drivers may choose to carry an international driving permit (IDP) to supplement the use of their driving licence when driving in another country. IDPs can be purchased over the counter at the Post Office.

26th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on issuing guidance with NHS bodies on Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.

The Department has no plans to issue guidance on the treatment of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.

6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone on access to healthcare in London.

The decision to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a matter for the Mayor of London. The NHS in London has been engaged in consultations on these plans, and impacts on access to NHS services are being considered. NHS patients may be able to claim the ULEZ charge through their treating NHS provider if they cannot travel by public transport and meet clinical criteria. The existing Zone is making an important contribution to the health of Londoners.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her Department will publish further information on future plans for the NHS Special Schools Eye Care Service.

There are 83 special schools with approximately 9,324 children who have participated in the NHS England’s Special Schools Eye Care Service proof of concept programme. NHS England is currently evaluating the programme to inform the future of any special schools’ sight testing service model and will set out the further information in due course.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many special schools are currently in receipt of the NHS Special Schools Eye Care Service; and how many children attend those schools.

There are 83 special schools with approximately 9,324 children who have participated in the NHS England’s Special Schools Eye Care Service proof of concept programme. NHS England is currently evaluating the programme to inform the future of any special schools’ sight testing service model and will set out the further information in due course.

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated by Government bodies and agencies to run awareness campaigns on the risks of cancer for (a) children and (b) young adults in (i) each of the last three years and (ii) the year ahead.

There have been no specific campaigns through the Department or its executive agencies. The National Health Service is currently scoping a campaign for 2023/24 to raise awareness of the symptoms of blood cancer, which may include advice for younger people.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on its work with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Research Mission.

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) has made excellent progress since its establishment in February 2018. It has set up strategic programmes aimed at solving some of the greatest challenges facing patients with brain cancer. These programmes cover initiatives in the key areas of services, research, clinical trials, training, and patient advocacy.

TJBCM is about to launch a major new initiative, termed the Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence. Working with National Health Service trusts across the United Kingdom, the TJBCM has identified and defined standards of excellence in clinical practice, patient quality of life, clinical trials, staff training and research. The aim of the initiative is to empower NHS hospitals to achieve the highest standards of brain cancer patient care.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Israeli companies on exporting to the UK UV-light technology developed in Israel to kill germs.

We are aware of the emergence of UV-light technology for infection prevention and control and are monitoring evidence in relation to its use in healthcare premises.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has had recent discussions with his Polish counterpart on cases outstanding of children abducted from the UK to Poland.

The Government takes international parental child abduction (IPCA) very seriously and I [Minister Docherty] recognise the distress of all those affected. Ministers and senior officials raise IPCA with the Polish authorities at every appropriate opportunity. I raised the issue with my Polish counterpart, Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk, most recently on 7 September. The former Foreign Secretary also raised the issue in his dialogue with Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, on 5 July, and the Minister for International Affairs (MoJ) raised IPCA with Deputy Justice Minister Sebastien Kaleta on 18 September. We will continue to engage with representatives of the new Polish government on this issue, once formed.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with his (a) US and (b) EU counterparts on ensuring components from western countries are not used by Iran in the production of armed drones.

The UK is working alongside the US and EU to tackle Iranian weapons and components supply and to hold Iran to account for its support to Russia and its destabilising regional activity. This includes through the use of the UK's enhanced Military End-Use control which has improved the Government's ability to control non-listed components. The UK continues its support to maritime security operations in the Gulf which last year resulted in the recovery of Iranian weapons parts from unflagged vessels. The UN is shortly expected to publish its findings on the weapons following a UK invitation to view them.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
What discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the principles outlined in the successor to the Cotonou Agreement and the effect of the implementation of that successor agreement on the UK's interests.

We continue to work with the EU and our African partners on a range of priority global issues, in line with the Integrated Review and to be a force for good in the world.

The proposed successor to the Cotonou Agreement covers objectives which we share, including contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I welcome their progress on these areas.

25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action since the UK, France and Germany triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in January 2020.

Iran continues its systematic non-compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments, undermining the JCPoA and putting at risk the intensive efforts underway to restore the deal. On 16 April Iran announced that it had started uranium enrichment up to 60% using advanced centrifuges. The production of highly enriched uranium is an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level. Iran restricted access and oversight by the IAEA of its nuclear programme from 23 February. We have issued statements with our French and German partners expressing our deep concern at these steps.

We are engaged in intensive discussions in Vienna with other JCPoA participants and the US, which are aimed at returning the US to the JCPoA, bringing Iran back into full compliance with its commitments and restoring the benefits of the deal for all.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the extent of potential misappropriation of UK aid and reconstruction materials by Hamas in Gaza since the 2014 conflict.

The FCDO has robust controls against fraud and diversion of aid. We work with implementers and partners that have strong safeguards in place, which reduces risk and ensures the maximum impact of UK aid for Palestinians. FCDO funding agreements commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter-terrorism legislation. In Gaza, we implement robust controls to monitor spending, including enhanced due diligence assessments, annual audits, and regular field visits. All these ensure that UK aid reaches its intended beneficiaries.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department is taking steps to allow individuals to exit their annuity plans.

The government announced in October 2016 that it would not be continuing with proposals to remove the restrictions on the sale of existing annuities.

As these proposals progressed it became increasingly clear that the conditions required for a competitive market to emerge, with multiple buyers and sellers of annuities, could not be balanced with sufficient consumer protections. This could have led to consumers receiving poor value for their annuity income streams and suffering higher costs in the sales process. Consumer protection is a top priority for the government and it would not have been acceptable to allow a market to develop which could produce poor outcomes for consumers.

There are no plans to review the decision not to continue with proposals for a secondary market in annuities at this time.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department received an application (a) from or (b) on behalf of the Royal Docks in the London Borough of Newham to become a free port; and what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of the Royal Docks becoming a free port.

We recently published the bidding prospectus for Freeports in England, setting out how ports can apply for Freeport status, and further details on our proposals for the policy. Areas across England, including air, rail and sea ports, have until the 5 February 2021 to submit bids for Freeport status. Successful locations will be announced in the spring following a fair, open and transparent assessment process.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many withdrawal of international protection decisions were made by the UK in 2022 broken down by nationality of applicant and by applicant's protection status.

Information regarding the number of cessations or withdrawals of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2022, and the nationality, and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cessation of international protection decisions were made by the UK in 2022 by nationality of applicant and by applicant's protection status.

Information regarding the number of cessations or withdrawals of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2022, and the nationality, and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance is in the UK.

The number of decisions made within 6 months of application in table ASY_01 of the Migration Transparency data. The average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance is not published.

20th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on how many LGBT+ Afghans have been admitted to the UK since the end of Operation Pitting.

People who apply for Entry Clearance to come to the UK are normally required to attend a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to enrol their biometric information. We published guidance on Gov.UK in November 2022 which explains who can be excused or deferred from having to enrol their biometric information.

Non urgent requests for applications to be predetermined, or for individuals to be excused the requirement to attend a VAC to enrol their biometric information are being placed on hold. This is pending the publication of new guidance about how the department handles claims from individuals that it is unsafe for them to travel to a VAC.

We do not currently collate or publish information on how many applications are predetermined or the number of people who are excused from having to attend a VAC to enrol their biometrics.