Deidre Brock Portrait

Deidre Brock

Scottish National Party - Edinburgh North and Leith

First elected: 7th May 2015

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (COP26)

(since January 2021)

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Commons Business)

(since December 2022)

Scottish Affairs Committee
4th May 2020 - 18th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
8th Sep 2022 - 12th Dec 2022
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jan 2020 - 8th Sep 2022
Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill
22nd Jun 2022 - 7th Jul 2022
Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]
9th Feb 2022 - 10th Feb 2022
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2018 - 7th Jan 2020
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations)
20th May 2015 - 7th Jan 2020
Scottish Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)
20th Jun 2017 - 1st Jul 2018
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
20th Jun 2017 - 1st Jul 2018
Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Scottish Parliament/Scottish Government Liaison)
20th May 2015 - 20th Jun 2017
Scottish Affairs Committee
5th Sep 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Public Accounts Commission
4th Nov 2015 - 15th Nov 2016
Public Accounts Committee
7th Jul 2015 - 12th Sep 2016


Department Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 39 Scottish National Party No votes vs 0 Scottish National Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 286 Noes - 221
Speeches
Thursday 29th February 2024
Business of the House
A lot has happened since the Leader of the House and I last faced each other, and I commend her …
Written Answers
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Infected Blood Inquiry
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what factors determined the timing of his Department's announcement on the expert …
Early Day Motions
Monday 4th December 2023
40th anniversary of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society
That this House congratulates the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, which has been celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2023; notes that …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
My partner and I have half share ownership (in total) of two flats in Edinburgh: (i). (Registered 05 June 2015)
EDM signed
Tuesday 27th February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 20th January 2021
Ministerial Interests (Emergency Powers) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to require a Minister to make an oral statement to Parliament if a contract is awarded under emergency …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Deidre Brock has voted in 640 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Deidre Brock 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
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(56 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(39 debate interactions)
Daniel Zeichner (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(35 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(80 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(56 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Agriculture Act 2020
(14,074 words contributed)
Environment Act 2021
(11,195 words contributed)
Fisheries Act 2020
(6,474 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Deidre Brock's debates

Edinburgh North and Leith 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

There should be a public inquiry into Government contracts granted during Covid-19. Many contracts have been granted without full and open procurement processes. A public inquiry would be able to ascertain whether contracts had been procured fairly and represent value for money for tax payers.


Latest EDMs signed by Deidre Brock

21st February 2024
Deidre Brock signed this EDM on Tuesday 27th February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
92 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 46
Scottish National Party: 41
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
19th February 2024
Deidre Brock signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

Alan Bates and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House supports the call for the Freedom of the City of Liverpool to be bestowed upon Liverpool-born Post Office Horizon campaigner Alan Bates; notes this is the highest civil award in the city and has previously been awarded to those who have left an indelible mark on the …
35 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 20
Scottish National Party: 8
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
View All Deidre Brock's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

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


1 Urgent Question tabled by Deidre Brock

Thursday 28th October 2021

Deidre Brock has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Deidre Brock has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


316 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what grants and incentive schemes are available to help video games studios invest in research and development.

The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.

To help recruit skilled staff from overseas, the Home Office launched a dedicated Temporary Work route for creative workers. This route maintains generous provisions for creative workers, allowing them to enter the UK to undertake paid engagements for up to twelve months, which can be extended by a further twelve months in some circumstances.

This Government is working with industry to deliver a new generation of highly skilled workers, and will articulate these plans as part of the upcoming Creative Industries Sector Vision. The £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund is providing valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK. This includes its Tranzfuser programme which mentors teams of talented and entrepreneurial graduates in regional hubs across the UK.

This Government is investing over £100 million to support research and development across the creative industries, which video games developers are able to apply for. This funding supports groundbreaking programmes including Innovate UK’s £30 million for the Creative Catalyst Programme and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s £75.6 million CoSTAR programme.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what schemes are available to help UK video games studios hire more graduates and young people.

The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.

To help recruit skilled staff from overseas, the Home Office launched a dedicated Temporary Work route for creative workers. This route maintains generous provisions for creative workers, allowing them to enter the UK to undertake paid engagements for up to twelve months, which can be extended by a further twelve months in some circumstances.

This Government is working with industry to deliver a new generation of highly skilled workers, and will articulate these plans as part of the upcoming Creative Industries Sector Vision. The £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund is providing valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK. This includes its Tranzfuser programme which mentors teams of talented and entrepreneurial graduates in regional hubs across the UK.

This Government is investing over £100 million to support research and development across the creative industries, which video games developers are able to apply for. This funding supports groundbreaking programmes including Innovate UK’s £30 million for the Creative Catalyst Programme and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s £75.6 million CoSTAR programme.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what schemes are available to help UK video games studios recruit skilled staff from overseas.

The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.

To help recruit skilled staff from overseas, the Home Office launched a dedicated Temporary Work route for creative workers. This route maintains generous provisions for creative workers, allowing them to enter the UK to undertake paid engagements for up to twelve months, which can be extended by a further twelve months in some circumstances.

This Government is working with industry to deliver a new generation of highly skilled workers, and will articulate these plans as part of the upcoming Creative Industries Sector Vision. The £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund is providing valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK. This includes its Tranzfuser programme which mentors teams of talented and entrepreneurial graduates in regional hubs across the UK.

This Government is investing over £100 million to support research and development across the creative industries, which video games developers are able to apply for. This funding supports groundbreaking programmes including Innovate UK’s £30 million for the Creative Catalyst Programme and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s £75.6 million CoSTAR programme.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Jan 2020
If he will hold discussions with the Home Secretary on defining the term Reasonable Excuse for missing the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

I regularly meet ministerial colleagues to discuss important issues of common interest, including of course on matters relating to the UK’s exit from the EU. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the detail of those discussions.

The question of the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme is a matter for the Home Secretary, but I can assure the Member for Edinburgh North and Leith that the Home Office will publish guidance on what will constitue ‘reasonable grounds’ for missing the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.

19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to publish the (a) advice of and (b) (i) evidence and (ii) methodologies used by the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry has been given a deadline for their advice; and if his Department will make compensation payments immediately on receipt of that advice.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry will include (a) a representative of the infected blood community and (b) an expert nominated by that community.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry has met; and if he will publish the (a) agendas and (b) minutes of the meetings of that group.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the membership of the expert group on compensation for infected blood products.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what consultative appointment process he used to select the (a) chair and (b) members of the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the decision was taken to set up an the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what factors determined the timing of his Department's announcement on the expert group to provide technical advice on compensation for the Government's response to the Infected Blood Inquiry on 18 December 2023.

I refer you to my response to PQ 14436 on the appointment process for the Chair. The same process was followed for appointing the clinical experts. Browne Jacobson LLP secured the contract to provide legal advice via Direct Award. Details of the legal firm contract award were published on Contracts Finder on 7 February.

The Government has moved as quickly as possible to ensure that it has access to the technical expertise necessary to inform its decision-making in relation to the Infected Blood Inquiry recommendations on compensation. The expert group formally began work on 22 January. The names of the other members of the expert group will not be disclosed to safeguard their privacy and ability to continue their frontline work while advising on Government policy.

As their work relates to the formulation and development of Government policy, their advice, evidence and methodologies as well as the minutes and agendas of their meetings will not be published.

The Government is considering all recommendations of the Second Interim Report alongside the recommendations of Sir Robert Francis’s Compensation Framework Study, and the advice from the expert group will inform this. The purpose of the expert group is to provide technical assistance in understanding how the Inquiry’s recommendations could work in practice. The Government is committed to engaging with the community and updating Parliament on progress of the Government response to the Infected Blood Inquiry as appropriate.

The Government has committed to responding to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report and this response will be informed by the advice of the expert group.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many staff were employed at Queen Elizabeth House in each UK Government department or arms-length body (a) full time, (b) part time, (c) on a consultancy basis and (d) as civil servants as of 8 January 2023.

The number of civil servants reported in post by government departments and executive agencies as at 31 March 2023 based in Queen Elizabeth House is presented in the table below. The postcode for Queen Elizabeth House, 1 Sibbald, Edinburgh is EH8 8FT.

Information on consultants based or employed at Queen Elizabeth House is not centrally available.

Table 1: Civil Servants whose postcode of government establishment or other workplace where employed or based is EH8 8FT, by civil service organisation and working pattern, as at 31 March 2023

Civil Service Organisation

Headcount of all civil servants in full-time role

Headcount of all civil servants working in a part-time role

Total headcount of all civil servants

Building Digital UK

[s]

0

[s]

Cabinet Office (excl. agencies)

10

0

10

Central Civil Service Fast Stream

[s]

0

[s]

Competition and Markets Authority

55

15

70

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (excl. agencies)

80

[s]

85

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (excl. agencies)

10

0

10

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (excl. agencies)

20

[s]

20

Department for International Trade

30

[s]

35

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (excl. agencies)

30

[s]

35

Department for Transport (excl. agencies)

5

0

5

Department of Health and Social Care (excl. agencies)

[s]

0

[s]

Government Actuary’s Department

10

[s]

15

Government Commercial Organisation

[s]

0

[s]

Health and Safety Executive

50

5

55

HM Revenue and Customs (excl. agencies)

1,825

395

2,220

Home Office

[s]

0

[s]

Ministry of Justice (excl. agencies)

[s]

0

[s]

Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (incl. Office of the Advocate General for Scotland)

75

10

80

Scottish Government (excl. agencies)

[s]

0

[s]

Valuation Office Agency

5

5

10

Total

2,220

440

2,655

Source: Annual Civil Service Employment Statistics (ACSES), Cabinet Office

[s] = confidential and suppressed due to small numbers of between 1 and 4.

Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.

Additional departments and their civil servants may be based/employed at Queen Elizabeth House but may not show in the data due to non-reporting of postcode information when reporting their locations information to Cabinet Office through ACSES.

The data in the table refers to civil service organisations and civil servants only. Data for non-civil service organisations are not available centrally.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Department provides secretariat support for the Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) committee.

The Cabinet Secretariat in the Cabinet Office exists to support the Prime Minister and the chairs of Cabinet committees in ensuring that government business is conducted in an effective and timely way and that proper collective consideration takes place. This includes providing secretariat support for the Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) Cabinet committee.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department will next publish an up-to-date organogram.

The most recent Cabinet Office organogram of staff roles and salaries for the period ending 31 March 2023 is published at:

https://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/ff76be1f-4f37-4bef-beb7-32b259413be1/organogram-of-staff-roles-salaries/datafile/33e688f4-2903-44d1-817a-332b399549d6/preview#organogram

20th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the budget is of the Cabinet's Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) committee.

There is no individual budget for the Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) committee, as it sits within the broader Cabinet Secretariat in the Cabinet Office.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many staff support the Cabinet's Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) committee (a) full-time, (b) part-time and (c) on flexible working arrangements.

Within the Cabinet Office there are 1.5 full time equivalent members of staff who support the operation of the Domestic and Economic Affairs (Union) Committee, working with policy teams across government departments, as is typical for Cabinet committees.

This reflects one full time member of staff supporting the Committee alongside other members of staff, which equates to 50% of a full time member of staff.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Prime Minister will make an assessment of the potential merits of modifying the ministerial code to (a) create a presumption against short-distance internal flights and (b) make it a breach to use short-distance internal flights where lower carbon alternatives are available.

The Government’s position on domestic flights is outlined in my answer of 24 February 2023, PQ 143903. The Ministerial Code was last updated on 22 December 2022 and there are no plans for further updates.

24th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will take steps to record data on the number of keyworkers who have (a) been affected, (b) taken early retirement, (c) lost their jobs and (d) become reliant on benefits due to long covid.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 24 February is attached and the completed answer will be deposited in the House of Commons Library.

21st Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the selection criteria are for membership of the Efficiency and Value for Money Committee.

The Domestic & Economic (Efficiency and Value for Money) Committee is a Cabinet Committee.

Membership of Cabinet Committees is decided by the Prime Minister. GOV.UK is updated regularly with the list of Cabinet Committees, their terms of reference, and membership.

21st Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who will appoint members to the Efficiency and Value for Money Committee.

The Domestic & Economic (Efficiency and Value for Money) Committee is a Cabinet Committee.

Membership of Cabinet Committees is decided by the Prime Minister. GOV.UK is updated regularly with the list of Cabinet Committees, their terms of reference, and membership.

21st Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Efficiency and Value for Money Committee will publish the minutes of its meetings.

The Domestic & Economic (Efficiency and Value for Money) Committee is a Cabinet Committee.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.



20th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Prime Minister's Office spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within the Cabinet Office, including No10, were approximately £18.3m in 2019-20, £25.1m in 2020-21 and £27.2m in 2021-22. Over this period, the Cabinet Office has responded to extraordinary national and global events, such as COVID-19 and UK Transition, through the running of large centralised public information campaigns.

The figures provided include staff loaned or seconded from other government departments who supported the centralised public information campaigns.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within COP26 was approximately £623,000 in 2020-21 and £1.2m in 2021-22.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the COP26 unit spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within the Cabinet Office, including No10, were approximately £18.3m in 2019-20, £25.1m in 2020-21 and £27.2m in 2021-22. Over this period, the Cabinet Office has responded to extraordinary national and global events, such as COVID-19 and UK Transition, through the running of large centralised public information campaigns.

The figures provided include staff loaned or seconded from other government departments who supported the centralised public information campaigns.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within COP26 was approximately £623,000 in 2020-21 and £1.2m in 2021-22.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within the Cabinet Office, including No10, were approximately £18.3m in 2019-20, £25.1m in 2020-21 and £27.2m in 2021-22. Over this period, the Cabinet Office has responded to extraordinary national and global events, such as COVID-19 and UK Transition, through the running of large centralised public information campaigns.

The figures provided include staff loaned or seconded from other government departments who supported the centralised public information campaigns.

Staffing costs for the Government Communication Service within COP26 was approximately £623,000 in 2020-21 and £1.2m in 2021-22.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many communications staff are employed by the Prime Minister's Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

The Government Communication Service supports the Government's priorities, improves people’s lives and enables the effective delivery and operation of our public services.

The number of GCS staff working in the Cabinet Office, including No10 and the COP26 campaign, is currently 413.18 full time equivalent (FTE). 391 FTE are employed on full-time contracts, with 22.18 FTE employed on part-time contracts. We do not centrally hold details on flexible working arrangements.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many communications staff are employed by the COP26 unit (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

The Government Communication Service supports the Government's priorities, improves people’s lives and enables the effective delivery and operation of our public services.

The number of GCS staff working in the Cabinet Office, including No10 and the COP26 campaign, is currently 413.18 full time equivalent (FTE). 391 FTE are employed on full-time contracts, with 22.18 FTE employed on part-time contracts. We do not centrally hold details on flexible working arrangements.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many communications staff are employed by the Department (a) full time (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements.

The Government Communication Service supports the Government's priorities, improves people’s lives and enables the effective delivery and operation of our public services.

The number of GCS staff working in the Cabinet Office, including No10 and the COP26 campaign, is currently 413.18 full time equivalent (FTE). 391 FTE are employed on full-time contracts, with 22.18 FTE employed on part-time contracts. We do not centrally hold details on flexible working arrangements.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government has made on negotiating a permanent settlement on the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU.

My officials have been in discussions with their EU counterparts since the publishing of the EU’s proposals on 13 October in response to our Command Paper. We are seeking to understand the detail of some of the headline claims the EU has made on issues such as SPS and customs checks.

We welcome the fact that the EU is ready to change its laws to reflect the unique context of Northern Ireland.

Our officials are continuing to work closely with their EU counterparts, and Lord Frost remains in close contact with Vice-President Šefčovič. While significant gaps remain, we are working intensively to see if they can be bridged.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department has spent on social media advertising aimed solely or mainly at individuals, businesses or organisations resident, working or operating in Scotland in each month since June 2017.

The Cabinet Office's social media advertising is UK-wide.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria his Department uses to select the patient-side participants in meetings on resolving the contaminated blood scandal.

The attendance list for the recent meeting between Ministers and campaigners was the subject of careful consideration by Cabinet Office to ensure representation from a wide range of groups across the infected and affected communities.

The agenda for the 28 January meeting was circulated to attendees before the meeting. The record of the meeting has been circulated to attendees for comments on factual accuracy. The Cabinet Office has no plans to publish the minute.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) agendas and (b) minutes of the meetings with patient-side participants on the contaminated blood scandal.

The attendance list for the recent meeting between Ministers and campaigners was the subject of careful consideration by Cabinet Office to ensure representation from a wide range of groups across the infected and affected communities.

The agenda for the 28 January meeting was circulated to attendees before the meeting. The record of the meeting has been circulated to attendees for comments on factual accuracy. The Cabinet Office has no plans to publish the minute.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the subject matter was of the public information campaign for his Department and the Scotland Office in the contract that was published on the 25 February 2019, CCCO19A12; and for what reasons that contract was not awarded.

The Cabinet Office and Scotland Office campaign teams required a creative agency to support the early development of concepts and content for a public information campaign to support UK Government policies in Scotland.

The subject matter was the same for the CCCO19A12 contract, which was not awarded after assessing the bids. The contract was subsequently awarded following an open market procurement conducted by the Crown Commercial Service.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what communications were required by the Scotland Office in the contract tendered and awarded by the Crown Commercial Service to World Headquarters Ltd on the 29th of March, 2019.

The Cabinet Office and Scotland Office campaign teams required a creative agency to support the early development of concepts and content for a public information campaign to support UK Government policies in Scotland.

The subject matter was the same for the CCCO19A12 contract, which was not awarded after assessing the bids. The contract was subsequently awarded following an open market procurement conducted by the Crown Commercial Service.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the infant mortality rate has been in England in each year since 2010.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many excess winter deaths there have been in England in each year since 2010.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Answer of 1 November 2019 to Question 7172, if he will publish the evaluations for the Get ready for Brexit campaign made under the Government Communication Service Evaluation Framework.

Further to my answer of 1 November 2019 to Question 7172, any such publication would be released on GOV.UK.

24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department has had recent discussions with employers on taking steps to offer (a) part-time work and (b) other flexibility to people with long covid.

The Department speaks regularly with employers and business representative organisations about flexible working. These discussions have covered a range of issues, including the importance of flexible working in managing employees with long term health conditions, such as long covid.

In December 2022 the Government announced plans[1] to make the right to request flexible working a day one right, alongside other changes to make flexible working more accessible to all employees. The Government is pleased to support the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Private Members’ Bill[2] which will deliver several of these changes.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/making-flexible-working-the-default

[2] https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3198

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what grants and programmes are available to help video games studios move to greener technology and energy.

The Government keeps energy efficiency support for all non-domestic organisations under review. Existing initiatives which may be applicable include an exemption on business rates for green technology and providing grants under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The Government are reviewing what additional levers can be introduced to help organisations to be more energy efficient, including financial support. As part of this, the Government have launched a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce to help achieve our target to reduce our energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Apr 2023
Whether she has made an assessment of the potential effect of the UK's departure from the EU on levels of employment in the science, innovation and technology sector.

This Government is making the UK the best place in the world to work in science, innovation and technology.

Our Science and Technology Framework sets out how we will attract and retain the brightest talent, including to take advantage of the opportunities of the UK’s departure from the EU.

We are working across Government and sectors to develop the best technical, innovative and entrepreneurial talent to meet the UK's science and technology superpower ambitions.

I am delighted to confirm that the UK SRTI economy is creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for the whole of the UK, which we are harnessing to create new career opportunities, nowhere more than in Scotland with Satellite City in Glasgow, gaming, and computing in Edinburgh, and many more. Since 2018, there has been a 19% increase in business R&D employment from 596,000 jobs in 2018 to 712,000 in 2021.

16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what percentage of prepayment customers had received their Energy Bills Support Scheme voucher by 30 November 2022.

The Government is monitoring effectiveness of the scheme closely, including receiving monthly data from energy suppliers. 4,044,554 vouchers were issued to 1 December. The latest figures were published on gov.uk on 20 December. Redemption of vouchers issued to traditional prepayment meter customers rose from 59% in October to 72% in November.

The Government requires suppliers to evidence that they have attempted to make a minimum of three attempts by more than one method to contact customers who have not redeemed a voucher.

Customers with smart prepayment meters receive the discount credited directly to their meter by their supplier.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the delivery of the Energy Bill Support Scheme for prepayment customers.

The Government is monitoring effectiveness of the scheme closely, including receiving monthly data from energy suppliers. 4,044,554 vouchers were issued to 1 December. The latest figures were published on gov.uk on 20 December. Redemption of vouchers issued to traditional prepayment meter customers rose from 59% in October to 72% in November.

The Government requires suppliers to evidence that they have attempted to make a minimum of three attempts by more than one method to contact customers who have not redeemed a voucher.

Customers with smart prepayment meters receive the discount credited directly to their meter by their supplier.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to support people with prepayment meters who have not yet received an Energy Bill Support Scheme voucher.

The Government is monitoring effectiveness of the scheme closely, including receiving monthly data from energy suppliers. 4,044,554 vouchers were issued to 1 December. The latest figures were published on gov.uk on 20 December. Redemption of vouchers issued to traditional prepayment meter customers rose from 59% in October to 72% in November.

The Government requires suppliers to evidence that they have attempted to make a minimum of three attempts by more than one method to contact customers who have not redeemed a voucher.

Customers with smart prepayment meters receive the discount credited directly to their meter by their supplier.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has had recent discussions with energy suppliers on taking steps to support people with prepayment meters who have not yet received an Energy Bill Support Scheme voucher.

On 4 December 2022, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all energy suppliers with customers on traditional prepayment meters reiterating the importance of ensuring these customers receive their vouchers and exhorting them to ensure customers receive prompt service and accurate information.

I then met CEOs of supplier companies on 7 December to press them further and hear about ongoing improvements.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Energy Bill Support Scheme vouchers have been issued to people on prepayment meters in the Edinburgh North and Leith constituency.

The Government does not hold constituency data.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 66895 on Business: Research, how he plans to allocate the £20 million of funding to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business led innovation.

The Innovate UK call for business-led innovation in response to global disruption due to the pandemic was originally launched as a £20 million competition awarding grants of up to £50,000 to technology and research-focussed businesses. Due to the record breaking level of interest from across the UK, it was announced on the 20th May that over 800 companies that applied to this would share grant funding of £40 million, double the amount first planned for this competition. The additional money was allocated according to the existing terms and reference of the competition, eligibility requirements and conditions can be found on the UK Research and Innovation and GOV.UK website.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the distribution of Government funding to support innovation in research-intensive businesses during and after the covid-19 outbreak, what proportion of the £750million grant package will be allocated to businesses (a) not in receipt of Innovate UK grants and (b) in receipt of Innovate UK grants.

On 20th April, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in the UK. This included £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms which will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

The Government has since confirmed that up to £500 million of this is for existing customers including £200 million of accelerated payments and up to £300 million for continuity grants and loans. £20 million of the remainder has been used to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business led innovation in response to the crisis which was open to new customers. Over 800 companies have been successful in this competition. Innovate UK has also allocated up to £39 million to increase the business advisory support services available new and existing high-growth potential SMEs.

The final part of this package was announced on the 27th June. The £191 million Sustainable Innovation Fund is open to new customers to help cutting-edge companies of all sizes recover, grow, and drive a re-building economy as well as support new green innovations, unleashing the sustainable industries of the future along the way.

Beyond the Fast-Response competition, it is currently too early to state the number of businesses that have accessed this funding

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to improve the UK's ambitions for the UNFCCC COP26.

COP26 is the most important Climate Conference since Paris in 2015 and delivering success at COP26 is a top priority for the Government. We are determined to use the COP26 Conference in November to demonstrate that the zero carbon economy is the growth story of the future. We must show that this transition is irreversible and accelerating; and that it will be fair and inclusive.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the UK and China have made in bilateral discussions on the UNFCCC COP26; and what steps he is taking to encourage other countries to improve their ambitions at that COP.

The Prime Minister spoke to President Xi of China on the 18th Feb and agreed to work closely together on the issue of climate change ahead of COP26 in Glasgow and the Convention on Biological Diversity Summit in China.

As part of our incoming COP Presidency, in partnership with Italy, we are encouraging all countries to submit increased Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long term net zero strategies ahead of COP26 which represent their highest possible ambition. The UK will play its part and come forward with an enhanced NDC well ahead of COP26 in November.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal by the Independent Game Developers’ Association to introduce a Video Games Investment Fund.

The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s games sector. As part of a wider package to support the growth of the creative industries, the Government has expanded the UK Games Fund with over £8 million investment over three years starting in April 2022. The Government recognises the high potential of UK games companies and the UK Games Fund will continue to provide targeted support to early-stage games development and talented graduates throughout the UK. In addition, the Video Games Tax Relief continues to make the UK one of the leading destinations in the world for making video games.

While we are not taking forward the proposal on the Video Games Investment Fund at this point in time, we welcome continued discussions with the games industry on how best to support a thriving UK games sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of the proposal by the Independent Game Developers’ Association to introduce a video games investment fund.

The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s games sector. As part of a wider package to support the growth of the creative industries, the government is delivering an £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund. The UK Games Fund will provide valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK. In addition, the Video Games Tax Relief continues to make the UK one of the leading destinations in the world for making video games.

We are not seeking to take forward a proposal for a new Video Games Investment Fund. We welcome continued discussions with the games industry on how best to support a thriving UK games sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much the Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Expenditure (pay costs) on communications staffing was £1,904,000 in 2019-20, £2,489,000 in 2020-21 and £2,788,000 in 2021-22. This increase reflects changes the Department has made to pay band minimums and specialist communication allowances over the three year period, whilst the communication function in the department has reduced from 4% to 2% as a proportion of the departmental FTE headcount as DCMS' responsibilities have increased significantly.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many communications staff are employed by her Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

The number of staff working in the DCMS central Communications team to deliver the communications function is currently 44 (41.63 FTE). 36 are employed on full time contracts, 8 are employed on part time contracts. DCMS has a flexible working policy, which is available to all staff.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing an industrial secondment scheme for video games lecturers.

The government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.

Through the Strategic Priorities Grant, the department is providing funding on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education, including expensive to deliver subjects, such as computer game and computer game design degrees, in addition to science and engineering more widely. The department is investing an additional £750 million over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to support high quality teaching and facilities, including in science and engineering. This includes £450 million in capital funding to invest in teaching and learning facilities.

We are also increasing the level of overall investment in the further education (FE) and skills sector, worth £3.8 billion over the course of this parliament.

It is important that lecturers enhance their teaching skills and keep their practical knowledge of game development current. The Skills for Jobs White Paper introduces a ‘Workforce Industry Exchange’ policy commitment to ensure that FE teachers have the relevant industry experience to make sure that young people are being taught the skills that employers need. This will help support the sector by encouraging collaboration with industry staff teaching FE provision and upskilling existing teachers with relevant industry skills. This will allow staff to continuously develop their professionalism and insight and ensure that FE is able to adapt to the needs of a changing economy.

To facilitate this we are working with business leaders to develop resources supporting knowledge exchange and detailing how employers can get involved in FE learning. We are keen to create a pipeline of talented individuals from industry who can teach the next generation in FE and to support industry to upskill existing teachers in the latest practices and innovations in their sector.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article by the Independent Game Developers’ Association entitled TIGA Launches Proposal for an Industrial Secondment Programme, published on 25 January 2023, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of accepting the recommendation on introducing an industrial secondment scheme for video games lecturers.

The government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.

Through the Strategic Priorities Grant, the department is providing funding on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education, including expensive to deliver subjects, such as computer game and computer game design degrees, in addition to science and engineering more widely. The department is investing an additional £750 million over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to support high quality teaching and facilities, including in science and engineering. This includes £450 million in capital funding to invest in teaching and learning facilities.

We are also increasing the level of overall investment in the further education (FE) and skills sector, worth £3.8 billion over the course of this parliament.

It is important that lecturers enhance their teaching skills and keep their practical knowledge of game development current. The Skills for Jobs White Paper introduces a ‘Workforce Industry Exchange’ policy commitment to ensure that FE teachers have the relevant industry experience to make sure that young people are being taught the skills that employers need. This will help support the sector by encouraging collaboration with industry staff teaching FE provision and upskilling existing teachers with relevant industry skills. This will allow staff to continuously develop their professionalism and insight and ensure that FE is able to adapt to the needs of a changing economy.

To facilitate this we are working with business leaders to develop resources supporting knowledge exchange and detailing how employers can get involved in FE learning. We are keen to create a pipeline of talented individuals from industry who can teach the next generation in FE and to support industry to upskill existing teachers in the latest practices and innovations in their sector.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what surplus land and buildings the Department has disposed of in each of the last five years; who the buyer of each of those areas of land was; and how much was paid for each of those areas of land.

The Department purchases land and buildings for new free school projects. As of 1 September 2022, there were 653 open free schools and more than 150 in pre-opening.

The attached table includes the disposal of surplus sites and buildings from 1 September 2017. These addresses relate to sites that the Department disposed of after having purchased them for new free schools, studio schools, or university technical colleges.

Where sites earmarked for new free schools become surplus, the Department will always aim to prioritise alternative educational or public sector uses for them where this is possible, before considering commercial disposal.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much the Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

The Department for Education’s spend on Government Communications Service staff in the Communications Directorate, in the requested years, can be found in the table below. The expenditure includes pay, pension costs, overtime, and travel.

Financial year

Spend

2019/20

£3,146,805

2020/21

£4,978,933

2021/22

£4,966,306

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

As of 25 April 2022, the Communications Directorate in the Department for Education employed 96 Government Communications Service staff, including 76 full-time and 20 part-time.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the puppy smuggling industry; and if he will make a statement.

HM Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and the low welfare import of pets.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was reintroduced to the House of Commons following the Queen's Speech in May 2022 and will progress to Report stage as soon as parliamentary time allows. The Bill allows us to further protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into the United Kingdom and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's rules on bringing pets into Great Britain, if he will make it his policy to require (a) a rabies blood test with a waiting time in line with the incubation period for that disease and (b) that (i) dogs and (ii) cats be treated for ticks prior to entry into the country.

We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering the United Kingdom on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules and all commercial imports of pets undergo 100% documentary checks, and this includes checking animal health records. All pets entering Great Britain must be vaccinated against rabies, with a minimum 21 day wait period, and all dogs entering the United Kingdom must be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (five days) before entry unless coming from tapeworm-free countries.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the United Kingdom for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, we strongly encourage pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling.

We remain aware of the concerns around non-endemic diseases and continue to monitor the disease situation carefully. Our future policy will be guided by risk assessment.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that pets brought into Great Britain under the pet passport scheme do not carry (a) diseases and (b) parasites, including (i) tapeworm and (ii) tick species that are not native to the UK.

We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering the United Kingdom on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules and all commercial imports of pets undergo 100% documentary checks, and this includes checking animal health records. All pets entering Great Britain must be vaccinated against rabies, with a minimum 21 day wait period, and all dogs entering the United Kingdom must be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (five days) before entry unless coming from tapeworm-free countries.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the United Kingdom for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, we strongly encourage pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling.

We remain aware of the concerns around non-endemic diseases and continue to monitor the disease situation carefully. Our future policy will be guided by risk assessment.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to introduce a ban on the advertising and offering for sale by overseas venues of attractions, activities or experiences involving poor animal welfare, such as low welfare elephant venues.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 17 May 2022 to the hon. Member for Rotherham, PQ 1511.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Defra Group Communications is the first single employer shared service communications team in Whitehall, working for six organisations. Alongside the core department it also provides communications support for five of the department’s largest Arm’s Length Bodies including the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the Forestry Commission and the Rural Payments Agency. Defra Group Communications staff work to different organisations across policy and operational areas and the communications spend covers six organisations. The department communications budget for the last three years has been £15.3 million for 2019-20, £14.5million for 2020-21 and £14.1 million for 2021-22.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle the long-term shortage of labour in the food and drink sector.

Defra is working closely with industry to help our world-leading farmers and food and drink businesses access the labour they need, and to ensure that our sectors are appropriately supported both this year and in the future.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot into 2021, with up to 30,000 visas available, granted for workers to come to the UK, from EU or non-EU countries, for a period of up to six months to work in the edible horticulture sector.

In December 2020, a Defra-led review into automation in horticulture was also announced alongside the extension of the Seasonal Workers Pilot. The review will report on ways to increase automation in the horticulture sector and meet the Government’s aim of reducing the need for migrant seasonal labour.

There are a number of initiatives across Government to bring these technologies to market as fast as possible, including Transforming Food Production, Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme and Farming Investment Fund as well as other public funding initiatives.

The Farming Innovation Programme opened for applications on 20 October 2021 and will support the sector to develop new technologies, systems and processes to deliver enhanced productivity and support wider net zero goals.

On 1 January 2021 the Government introduced the new points-based immigration system, under which EU and non-EU citizens are treated equally. The Skilled Worker route is open to all nationals who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of working in a skilled job they have been offered.

Alongside this, food and drink businesses will also be able to recruit those who come to the UK through our youth mobility schemes, dependents of skilled workers, plus those who arrive through other routes, such as our humanitarian protection ones, who have free access to the UK labour market.

In 2021 and beyond, the food and drink industry continues to be able to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status. Over 5.3 million EU citizens and their families have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme and EU nationals who have settled status can continue to travel to the UK to do seasonal work in the food and drink sector.

Defra is also working closely with the Home Office to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

For the longer term, the Government is encouraging all sectors to make employment more attractive to UK domestic workers through offering training, careers options, wage increases and to invest in increased automation technology.

To support these efforts, Defra is working with industry and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to raise awareness of career opportunities within the food and drink sectors among UK workers. All food and drink businesses are encouraged to advertise roles through DWP's Find A Job website, where they can upload and manage their vacancies. DWP does not charge for this service and it is available across the United Kingdom.

Defra welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s work on the Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) scheme for work across a number of sectors, including the food and drink sector. The scheme aims to help prisoners gain useful skills and work experience as they approach their release.

The Government is continuing to work extensively to understand employers’ needs through regular engagement with industry and encourage them to invest in the best home-grown talent through Government-backed schemes such as apprenticeships and T Levels.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 29 of April, 2021 to Question 185932 on fishing catches, whether he has sought to quantify the economic benefits of the fishing industry referred to in that answer.

The catching sector contributes £467m to the economy per year (35% of the seafood industry) (2018). There are around 12,000 fishermen in the UK fleet – most (78%) of them working full time. In 2019, UK vessels landed a total of 622,000 tonnes of sea fish, with a value of £987m. The economic benefits of the catching sector also provide jobs and incomes for other sectors supporting the fisher including firms that produce fishing vessels and gear, exporters, processers etc.

The Aquaculture sector contributed £375m (GVA) to the UK economy in 2018.

The seafood processing sector employs around 19,000 people (full time equivalents) (2018), contributing £537m to the UK economy (2018).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the onshore economic impacts of the fishing industry outwith the landing and processing of the catch.

The fishing industry will generate economic benefits through a variety of means including: income from UK resident crew; the sale and transportation of catch; the construction, sale, maintenance and repair of vessels; and the development of harbour and port infrastructure. The economic link licence condition ensures that those people who fish the UK’s quota contribute to the UK economy. This is a devolved issue and we have not made an assessment of the impacts.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 26 January 2021 to Question 141502, on Fishing Catches: Territorial Waters, what progress has been made on establishing the mechanism to allow data exchange.

The European Commission is supplying the UK with records of catches of quota species by EU vessels from the UK EEZ on a monthly basis. Defra officials remain engaged in ongoing technical conversations with the European Commission to establish a mechanism to allow sharing of additional data to support implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish any assessment he has made of the potential for organic and other agroecological farm systems to achieve the UK’s nature-based climate change targets.

The Government is committed to take action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. Environmentally sustainable farming is fundamental to our new approach to England's agricultural system. We are introducing three schemes that reward the delivery of environmental benefits: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, the Local Nature Recovery scheme and the Landscape Recovery scheme.

The three schemes are being designed collaboratively with stakeholders. We are considering how more environmentally sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within the schemes where these contribute towards the delivery of environmental public goods. While designing the three schemes, we are running tests and trials. The tests and trials will co-design the component parts of the schemes, while the scheme pilots will test the whole end-to-end process. Two of the tests and trials are looking at organic farming. While we do not use tests and trials to validate if specific delivery methods achieve particular environmental outcomes, the pilots will pay farmers and land managers for delivering environmental outcomes.

Defra plays a key role in supporting emissions reduction by providing scientific advice and evidence and all our publicly funded research is published as standard practice. Systems assessments of the role of organic and other extensified farming approaches in reducing greenhouse gas emissions have concluded that although such practices can reduce emissions at farm level, comparatively lower typical yields mean that, for a given level of demand, such systems do not consistently lead to reduced emissions compared to more conventional systems. Despite this, these systems can provide wider welfare and environmental benefits, for example through increasing biodiversity. The Government believes farmers are best placed to determine the best method of farming for their land and specific circumstances. While this is a private business decision, we encourage environmentally friendly farming through numerous routes which includes organics.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that organic and similar agroecological farm systems are included as nature-based solutions to achieving net-zero.

The Government is committed to take action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. Environmentally sustainable farming is fundamental to our new approach to England's agricultural system. We are introducing three schemes that reward the delivery of environmental benefits: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, the Local Nature Recovery scheme and the Landscape Recovery scheme.

The three schemes are being designed collaboratively with stakeholders. We are considering how more environmentally sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within the schemes where these contribute towards the delivery of environmental public goods. While designing the three schemes, we are running tests and trials. The tests and trials will co-design the component parts of the schemes, while the scheme pilots will test the whole end-to-end process. Two of the tests and trials are looking at organic farming. While we do not use tests and trials to validate if specific delivery methods achieve particular environmental outcomes, the pilots will pay farmers and land managers for delivering environmental outcomes.

Defra plays a key role in supporting emissions reduction by providing scientific advice and evidence and all our publicly funded research is published as standard practice. Systems assessments of the role of organic and other extensified farming approaches in reducing greenhouse gas emissions have concluded that although such practices can reduce emissions at farm level, comparatively lower typical yields mean that, for a given level of demand, such systems do not consistently lead to reduced emissions compared to more conventional systems. Despite this, these systems can provide wider welfare and environmental benefits, for example through increasing biodiversity. The Government believes farmers are best placed to determine the best method of farming for their land and specific circumstances. While this is a private business decision, we encourage environmentally friendly farming through numerous routes which includes organics.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what quantities of each species of fish have been caught by vessels on the EU Vessels List in (a) Scottish waters, (b) English waters, (c) Welsh waters and (d) Northern Irish waters since 1 January 2021.

The UK does not currently have access to a comprehensive feed of all data covering volumes of fish caught in the UK Exclusive Economic Zone by EU registered fishing vessels. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides the framework for continued data exchange and we are currently engaged in ongoing technical conversations with the European Commission to rapidly establish a mechanism to allow sharing of this data moving forward.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many vessels are on the EU Vessel List and entitled to fish in UK waters pending the issue of a foreign vessel licence.

On 31 December 2020 the UK Single Issuing Authority (UK SIA) issued licences to EU registered vessels permitting them access to fish in the UK Exclusive Economic Zone. There are currently 1,464 EU vessels licenced by the UK SIA and the latest list is published online at the following link: www.gov.uk/guidance/united-kingdom-single-issuing-authority-uksia

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many vessels on the EU Vessel List have fished in (a) Scottish, (b) English, (c) Welsh and (d) Northern Irish waters since 1 January 2021.

According to data held by the Marine Management Organisation, 334 EU flagged fishing vessels have fished within the UK Exclusive Economic Zone since 1 January 2021. This can be broken down into the following:

Exclusive Economic Zone

Number of unique vessels

England

221

Northern Ireland

5

Scotland

89

Wales

46

United Kingdom

334

Data provided includes Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) equipped* (≥12 m) foreign flagged fishing vessels with VMS pings at fishing speeds** inside UK EEZ in 2021.

* excludes any vessels without VMS (

** fishing speeds defined as > 0 and ≤ 6 knots

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what share Scotland will receive of the £100m funding for the UK fishing industry announced by the Prime Minister on 30 December 2020.

The PM confirmed during his press conference on Christmas Eve that UK fishing communities will be helped with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. This funding will directly benefit the seafood sector in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom.

.

We will set out more detail on this programme in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what criteria will be applied to determine the allocation of the £100m funding for the UK fishing industry announced by the Prime Minister on 30 December 2020.

The PM confirmed during his press conference on Christmas Eve that UK fishing communities will be helped with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. This funding will directly benefit the seafood sector in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom.

.

We will set out more detail on this programme in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the additional costs to businesses from the requirement for heat treated wooden packaging materials and pallets when trading with the EU from 1 January 2021.

Defra has established a strong relationship with the wood packaging material industry, and we have worked closely to develop policies that will ensure our biosecurity is maintained and trade continues to flow with as little disruption as possible. As part of this, some businesses involved in the wood packaging material industry have shared, in confidence, estimates of the costs involved in treatment of wood packaging material. The need for ISPM15-compliant wood packaging material is, however, an international requirement for trade and is in place to protect trading nations, including the UK, from harmful plant pests and diseases.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proposals the Government has made to the EU on future pet travel arrangements to address the needs of assistance dog owners.

Defra has routinely highlighted to the EU Commission the impacts our listed status will have on users of assistance dogs. We are also proactively and positively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders on the impacts on dog movements to the EU after the end of the transition period. We will continue to closely work with assistance dog organisations to share the latest advice and guidance (in accessible formats) with their members on pet travel requirements.

On 3 December 2020 the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of the EU voted in favour of giving the United Kingdom Part 2 listed status for the purposes of non-commercial pet travel after the transition period.

Part 2 listed status means similar health requirements to travel to the EU as now. However, new documentation will be required for pets and assistance dogs. We intend to publish further guidance shortly on what this development means for travellers, on GOV.UK.

We are disappointed not to become a Part 1 listed third country. We are clear we meet all the requirements for this and have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity. Our disease risk will also not change after the transition period and so we will continue to press the EU Commission on securing Part 1 listed status.

There will be no changes to the current pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain and we will continue to accept EU pet passports.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to implement a grace period before implementation of new rules for pet travel (a) to and (b) from the EU.

On 3 December 2020 the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of the EU voted in favour of giving the United Kingdom Part 2 listed status for the purposes of non-commercial pet travel after the transition period. It will be for the EU to decide on any future grace period relating to the regulations governing pet travel.

This status will mean, from 1 January, similar health requirements to travel to the EU as now. However, new documentation will be required for pets and assistance dogs. We intend to publish further guidance shortly on what this development means for travellers, on GOV.UK.

We will continue to press the EU Commission on securing Part 1 listed status as we are clear we meet all the requirements for this, and have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity.

There will be no changes to the current pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain and we will continue to accept EU pet passports.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has plans to streamline the pet travel arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from 1 January 2021 to address the needs of cross-border communities.

Pet travel is a devolved matter. For health and documentary requirements and future plans for pet travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, travellers should seek advice from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine in the Republic of Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether there will be changes to rules on pet travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

On 3 December 2020 the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) of the EU voted in favour of giving the United Kingdom Part 2 listed status for the purposes of non-commercial pet travel after the transition period. We intend to publish further guidance shortly on what this development means for travellers from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, on GOV.uk.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has received information from the EU on the reasoning for its decision to list the UK under part 2 rather than part 1 of the Pet Travel Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Defra has been in correspondence with the EU Commission on our listed status application for pet travel since its initial submission in 2019, and our re-submission in February 2020. The decision to list the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies as a Part 2 listed third country for pet travel was taken via a vote at the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.

We have always been clear that we meet all the requirements for a Part 1 listed third country status, and have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity. We will continue to press the EU Commission for Part 1 listed status.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the UK’s applications for listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

Defra’s initial application to be listed as a Part 1 listed third country for pet travel was submitted to the EU Commission in 2019. This application was updated, but not materially changed in February 2020. We have no plans to publish these applications at this time.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his oral contribution of 26 November 2020, Official Report, Column 962, what the source was for his statement that Scotland was 100 Environmental Health Officers short of requirements; and how that figure was calculated.

Challenges exist in estimating the number of Export Health Certificates (EHCs) required at the end of the Transition Period. Modelling was carried out to assess possible demand for certification of fish exports and certifier supply in Scotland, to support an understanding of the requirements from 1 January 2021. Demand was calculated using consignment estimates provided by the Scottish Government. The current certifier supply, or number of Food Competent Certifying Officers (who are usually EHOs) per local authority, was provided by APHA. We applied assumptions on the amount of time spent on certification based on local authority engagement and on the range of time taken to certify a consignment. The shortfall of approximately 100 Environmental Health Officers fell within this range.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons it was necessary to offer Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship claimants bridging loans for the 2019 claim year.

On 28 April the Government announced that, in England, in recognition of the disruption to cash flow for rural businesses caused by coronavirus, eligible farmers and land managers would be offered bridging payments (interest-free loans) for 75% of the current estimated value for unpaid 2019 revenue claims on their stewardship agreements.

More than 3,800 bridging payments, worth around £43 million, were made to farmers and land managers by the end of May.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of pillar 2 payments he plans to have made by the end of June 2020.

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

The Rural Payments Agency has continued to improve its payment performance and as of the 8 June 2020 has issued around £233 million 2019 Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship and legacy Woodland Grant payments to eligible farmers, land managers, foresters and rural businesses in England. We expect to issue a further £19 million by the end of June 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage other countries to improve their ambitions at the forthcoming Conventional on Biological Diversity COP.

At the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15, to be held in Kunming, China in October 2020, the 196 Parties to the CBD are set to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The UK is seeking an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to spur global action, recognising the transformative change needed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The Government wants to see new targets agreed that are ambitious, implementable and measurable.

We are proactively engaging in the CBD process in the lead up to CBD COP15. UK officials are currently attending the second CBD Open Ended Working Group in Rome where negotiations on the proposed post-2020 framework are beginning. The UK is holding an extensive program of meetings with member countries to form ongoing working partnerships, to secure agreement for an ambitious post-2020 framework.

Outside of the formal CBD process ministers, officials and our diplomatic network will continue to press to raise ambition and secure ambitious outcomes and delivery, notably with China as the host of CBD COP15.

We are focusing, among other topics, on the contribution of nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and on effective and supportive communications to spur global ambition in the time leading to CBD COP15. The UK is also leading the Global Ocean Alliance in support of a new global target of protecting at least 30% of the global ocean within Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

The UK-led Global Ocean Alliance is currently made up of 12 countries (Belgium, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden, Vanuatu) and we are proactively lobbying many more countries to join.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has to support seed potato exporters in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Both the UK and the EU have committed in the Political Declaration to reaching an agreement on our future relationship by the end of 2020. Defra will continue to work closely with seed potato businesses as the Withdrawal Agreement is signed and discussions on the future relationship start.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 13 December 2017 to Question 118331, what progress has been made on getting the best possible deal that allows the UK to continue to have tariff-free and frictionless access for goods and services into the European market.

The principles underpinning any future trade deal with the EU were set out in the Political Declaration which accompanied the Withdrawal Agreement. We would expect formal discussions on the Political Declaration to commence after we leave the EU at the end of this month.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 2 October 2019 to Question 290370 on Fisheries: Navy, how many additional frontline warranted officers have been recruited, (b) by how much has aerial surveillance been increased, (c) how many extra sea patrol vessels are now available and (d) what the baseline figure was in each case.

In England, the Marine Management Organisation has increased the number of frontline warranted officers by 50% (35 people) for 2019/2020. A framework is in place to increase aerial surveillance by a maximum of two surveillance aircrafts as risk and intelligence demands. Two additional commercial vessels have been chartered to enable an increase in routine sea-based inspections to supplement provision from the Royal Navy Fisheries Protection Squadron. A framework of agreements has been put in place with other Government departments and relevant agencies which enables provision for up to 22 further vessels to be activated, should the operational situation demand it.

As fisheries management is a devolved matter, it is for the devolved administrations to decide on appropriate levels of fisheries control and enforcement provision in their waters. However, we continue to work closely with the devolved administrations to ensure a coordinated approach to fisheries control and enforcement across UK waters.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 290388, what replies have been received from those third countries on UK plans for the continued use of existing Export Health Certificates once the UK leaves the EU.

Since the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) wrote to third countries on 21 December 2018, we have continued to work with third countries to ensure that the UK’s Export Health Certificates (EHCs) remain when the UK leaves the EU.

93 countries have responded and no notifications have been received from third countries stating the UK’s EHCs will be not be accepted.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 19 December 2017 to Question 118358 on Agricultural Products: UK Trade With EU, what progress her Department has made on developing the UK’s system for the management of agri-food imports and exports with EU countries.

The UK Government is committed to ensuring UK businesses can continue to trade with our EU partners as easily as possible after Brexit, while continuing to protect the UK’s high level of biosecurity.

Defra has built and tested a new import notification system and is in the final testing phase of a new online system for processing Export Health Certificates. Both of these could be used after the implementation period, if required, to ensure trade continues.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to incorporate into her trade negotiations the UK's priorities on promoting nature-based solutions at the UNFCC COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity COP.

We’re clear that more trade doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. We are exploring all options in the design of future trade and investment agreements, including possible environmental provisions.

We are committed to upholding the UK’s high environmental standards and will consider the full range of mechanisms available to us.

The Department is considering ways to maximise trade and investment opportunities in clean growth sectors during, and in the run up to, COP26.

The UK is also seeking an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to spur global action, recognising the important role of nature-based solutions.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much the Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

The figures below cover how much the core department and its executive agencies have spent on communications staff over the last 3 financial years:

19/20: £11,269k

20/21: £13,336k

21/22: £11,443k

The figures reflect the total payroll cost including Employers’ NI and pension contributions.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

As of 19 April 2022, communications staff within the department and agencies are below. Please note the definitions as follows:

Full time - Anyone working 37 hours over 5 days a week.

Part-time - anyone working fewer than 37 hours per week as standard.

Flexible working - anyone working 37 hours in fewer than 5 days eg compressed hours, 10 days in 9 etc.

DfTc:

Total staff = 87

Full time = 80

Part time = 2

Flexible working = 5

The figures include the central communications directorate, including 5 corporate team members, one of whom is a contractor, and 21 communications professionals embedded in policy teams across the department. The two part time members of staff are a job share.

DVLA:

Total staff = 46

Full time = 36

Part time = 10

DVSA:

Total staff = 45

Full time = 32

Part time = 11

Flexible working = 3

The figures include 5 full time contractors and 1 communications person working in Operations who is a part-time FTA.

MCA:

Total staff = 13

Full time = 10

Part time = 3

VCA:

Total staff = 3

Full time = 3

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to enable priority access to filling station forecourts for food and drink wholesalers to ensure the delivery of provisions to key public sector organisations.

This is a matter for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the average delay to hauliers exporting to the EU under the terms of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement compared to Customs Union membership.

Now the that transition period has ended goods are required to undergo further checks than those required when the UK was in the EU customs union. We have always been clear there would be changes now that we are out of the customs union and single market, so full compliance with the new rules is vital to avoid disruption, and the best way to ensure readiness is to follow the guidance on gov.uk and use the ‘Check an HGV’ service.

As yet it is too early to use observed data to provide an estimate, as freight volumes have been low, as they usually are in early January. We stand ready to help keep goods flowing smoothly as we adjust to our new relationship with the EU and ensure we take advantage of the opportunities it brings.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people receiving the Disability Element of Working Tax Credits are not disadvantaged in the transition to Universal Credit.

All individuals issued with a migration notice informing them that they must make a claim to Universal Credit will be assessed for transitional protection at the point of making a claim to Universal Credit.

Transitional protection, by way of a transitional element, will be then awarded to eligible claimants to ensure their entitlement to Universal Credit is not lower than the entitlement they received as part of their legacy benefits.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how existing overpayments will be handled in the managed migration from Working Tax Credits to Universal Credit.

When a claimant’s tax credit claim is closed, for whatever reason, including a move to Universal Credit, the debt is transferred to the Department’s Debt Management team.

Once Universal Credit is in payment, the overpayment will be recovered in line with the Universal Credit regulations.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has issued guidance on the circumstances in which the deadline for an application for Universal Credit could be extended.

The Department has issued guidance on the circumstances in which the deadline for an application for Universal Credit could be extended. This guidance is regularly reviewed and updated.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that legacy benefit claimants do not have their support terminated before moving to Universal Credit.

It is a fundamental principle of social security in the United Kingdom that people need to make a claim for benefits. For those already in receipt of benefits, Parliament made it clear, though its passage of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, that entitlement to those benefits would cease as Universal Credit (UC) was implemented.

The Department provides a range of support to individuals, to assist them during migration including a dedicated DWP telephone line and signposting to independent support through the Help to Claim service.  Help to Claim is an independent service and is available to those moving from legacy benefits because of managed migration, voluntary moves, or a change of circumstances.

The Migration Notice is the key way in which we initially communicate with legacy benefit claimants to inform them of the requirement to migrate to UC within 3 months. However, we also provide a reminder after 7 weeks and at week 10. If claimants haven’t made a claim for UC and after the 3 month period, on a case by case basis, there is a grace period of 1 month within which a tax credit claimant can make a claim for UC without losing eligibility for transitional protection.

Terminating benefits is our last resort. If a claimant does not claim by their extended deadline, they will be notified that their current benefit(s) will be terminated, unless they have significant support needs requiring a further extension. For those claimants who require significant support, we hold case conferences with Advanced Customer Support Senior Leaders who provide local expertise, working with different organisations to take a multi-agency approach. Where a claimant’s legacy benefit(s) has been terminated and they make a claim to UC within one month, their claim can be backdated to their deadline date and still be awarded Transitional Protection where applicable.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure protections for people with disabled worker status are maintained in the managed migration to Universal Credit.

People who are being moved to Universal Credit (UC) from Employment and Support Allowance take with them their Work Capability Assessment decision. They are not required to have another assessment to get the disability element they are entitled to on Universal Credit.

At the point of moving over to Universal Credit as part of the managed migration process, all claimants will be assessed for transitional protection and paid where appropriate. Transitional protection is designed so that eligible claimants will not have a lower entitlement to Universal Credit than they had entitlement to legacy benefits, at the point they move to the new benefit system.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a hardship fund for keyworkers with long covid.

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues.

The DWP already offers financial support through Universal Credit and New Style Employment and Support Allowance for people who are unable to work due to long-Covid, subject to them satisfying the eligibility criteria and contribution conditions. In addition, people with Long-Covid may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment. This support is available regardless of keyworker status. The department is not currently planning to establish a hardship fund for keyworkers with Long-Covid.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that children with long covid are (a) assessed for and (b) awarded Disability Living Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is an extra-costs benefit available as a contribution to the extra costs associated with being disabled to those children under the age of 16 who, due to a disability or health condition, have mobility issues and/or have needs which are substantially in excess of a child the same age without the disability or health condition. Entitlement to DLA depends on the effects that severe disability has on a child’s life, and not on a particular disability or diagnosis. The needs arising from Long Covid are assessed in the same way as for all other health conditions or disabilities.

From March 2021 we amended DLA statistical classifications to include the category “Coronavirus COVID-19”. Data on the DLA caseload by a range of factors, including main disabling condition, can be extracted from Stat-Xplore - Log in (dwp.gov.uk). Information on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found at Getting Started (dwp.gov.uk).

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of Personal Independence Payment descriptors for people with long covid.

No such assessment has been made.

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment is a functional assessment that assesses the impact of a person’s disability or health condition, rather than the condition itself. This means that a person with any health condition that has impacts on their functioning, and who meets eligibility criteria, can be assessed and, if they meet the appropriate assessment criteria, an award for PIP can be made. The impacts from Long Covid are assessed in the same way as for all other health conditions or disabilities.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the eligibility criteria for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit to keyworkers with long covid.

The department is advised by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC), an independent scientific body, on changes to the list of occupational diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit can be paid.

Their report, ‘COVID-19 and Occupational Impacts’, was published in November 2022 and recommended prescription for health and social care workers with five serious pathological complications following COVID-19 infection. The department is currently carrying out a detailed assessment of the report’s recommendations. Once this work is complete, the department will provide a formal response.

IIAC considered that the evidence is not, at present, sufficient to recommend prescription for Long Covid. IIAC will continue to investigate the occupational implications of COVID-19, including any post-infection associations.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing linking rules to Universal Credit.

No assessment has been made of the potential merits of introducing linking rules to Universal Credit.

Linking rules were not carried over into Universal Credit. This is because Universal Credit is a separate, simplified benefit system. Instead, each Universal Credit claim is assessed in its own right. However, Universal Credit does have a reclaims process, which provides a simple route back onto Universal Credit for claimants who experience a short break in entitlement. This process also reduces the administrative burden on claimants and encourages them to increase their earnings and protects them in periods of reduced employment.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department decided not to carry over linking rules to the Universal Credit system.

No assessment has been made of the potential merits of introducing linking rules to Universal Credit.

Linking rules were not carried over into Universal Credit. This is because Universal Credit is a separate, simplified benefit system. Instead, each Universal Credit claim is assessed. However, Universal Credit does have a reclaims process, which provides a simple route back onto Universal Credit for claimants who experience a short break in entitlement. This process also reduces the administrative burden on claimants and encourages them to increase their earnings and protects them in periods of reduced employment.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how she plans to support claimants with long-term symptoms from contracting covid-19.

Claimants with long term health conditions or disabilities, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms directly arising from infection with Covid-19, may be supported in a range of ways through social security benefits and other support measures, depending on their particular circumstances. Up-to-date information about the support available for individuals can be found on GOV.UK:

Newly unemployed claimants

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-you-were-employed-and-have-lost-your-job

Moving into work

https://www.gov.uk/moving-from-benefits-to-work

Personal Independence Payment

https://www.gov.uk/pip

24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending sick pay support for healthcare staff with long covid.

The Department introduced temporary non-contractual COVID-19 sickness guidance at the start of the pandemic, to ensure National Health Service staff received full pay should they be advised to self-isolate or become ill with COVID-19.

As we learn to live with COVID-19, we have withdrawn this temporary non-contractual COVID-19 guidance. Staff who were on COVID-19 sickness pay have moved back to the normal terms and conditions (T&Cs) sickness arrangements. The NHS T&Cs pay up to six months full pay and six months half pay, depending on length of service. The Department has no plans to assess the potential merits of extending sick pay support for healthcare staff with long COVID-19.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 174153 on Baroness Harding of Winscombe, if he will publish the diary of Baroness Harding of Winscombe, in her role as Executive Chair of Test and Trace for the first month of her appointment.

We have no plans to do so. Information on meetings at Ministerial and Permanent Secretary level only are routinely published at GOV.UK.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has issued without tendering since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; what the total value is of those contracts; how many of those contracts required advance payment of some or all of the costs; and in how many cases the supplier has failed to fulfil the contract.

As of 1 April 2021, award notices have been published for 1,151 contracts worth an estimated £19 billion by the Department in response to the pandemic for a wide range of products and services. The majority of these contracts have been let using a direct award. Contract Award Notices are published for each contract which contain information on the reasons for the selected procurement route, the value of the contract, its duration and the name of the supplier.

Advanced payments have been used on a number of personal protective equipment contracts. Each contract is different as some are payment on delivery and others have permitted a percentage of payment upfront. Our approach has been to take some managed risk in order to secure supplies in an exceptional and globally highly competitive market. Contracts have break clauses in them, meaning if the company supplies faulty products or misses delivery dates, we can cancel the contracts and reclaim the money.

Different commercial teams within the Department are responsible for manging these contracts in terms of negotiating with suppliers for refunds or other forms or redress against the supplier. This information is not currently collated and held centrally, consequently to provide a validated assessment of how many suppliers the Department has reclaimed money from would involve disproportionate cost.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the diary of Baroness Harding of Winscombe, in her role as Executive Chair of Test and Trace from the date of her appointment.

To obtain the information requested and publish Baroness Harding's complete diary would incur disproportionate cost.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details on the UK's regime to replace the role of the European Food Safety Authority.

United Kingdom food and feed safety and hygiene law lays down the principles, requirements and procedures that underpin decision-making in matters of food and feed safety. Since 1 January 2021 the Food Standards Agency (FSA), alongside Food Standards Scotland, has been responsible for providing many of the risk analysis functions previously undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Commission, with Government ministers making the final decisions, ensuring that the high standard of food safety and consumer protection we enjoy in the UK is maintained. Information on the UK food and feed risk analysis process is provided on the FSA’s website.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Draeger Safety Limited before the awarding of a contract to provide FFP3 respirators in July 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Uniserve Limited before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in May 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with P14 Medical LTD before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in April 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Clandeboye Agencies Ltd before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in May 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Inivos Limited before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in June 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with PPE Medpro Ltd before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in June 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Chemical Intelligence Limited before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in May 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with these companies over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contracts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Randox Laboratories Ltd before the awarding of a contract to provide covid-19 testing in March 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with Hologic Ltd and Randox Laboratories Ltd over the last five years prior to the awarding of SARS-Cov-2 test and COVID-19 testing contracts respectively.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Hologic Ltd before the awarding of a contract to provide SARS-Cov-2 tests in April 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with Hologic Ltd and Randox Laboratories Ltd over the last five years prior to the awarding of SARS-Cov-2 test and COVID-19 testing contracts respectively.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Ramfoam before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in May 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with Ramfoam over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contract.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Unispace Global Health before the awarding of a contract for personal protective equipment in April 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with Unispace Global Health over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contract.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a relationship with Ayanda Capital before the awarding of a contract to provide personal protective equipment in April 2020.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with Ayanda Capital over the last five years prior to the award of the personal protective equipment contract.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide resources to ensure that the palliative care of victims of the contaminated blood transfusions involves medical experts in the diseases contracted by those victims as a result of the contaminated transfusions.

Since 1988, successive Governments have voluntarily provided ex-gratia financial and non-financial support for people affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through historic treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

In 2017, country specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These four schemes are devolved, and each nation has made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments to improve parity of support across the United Kingdom.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any on compensation and other support.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to extend the compensation scheme for carers of victims of contaminated blood transfusions beyond widows and partners.

Since 1988, successive Governments have voluntarily provided ex-gratia financial and non-financial support for people affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through historic treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

In 2017, country specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These four schemes are devolved, and each nation has made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments to improve parity of support across the United Kingdom.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any on compensation and other support.

16th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department is providing emergency humanitarian assistance to help avert famine in Tigray.

Internal conflict, drought, and economic challenges are exacerbating humanitarian crises across Ethiopia. Famine risk in Tigray and elsewhere in Ethiopia increases as these factors are prolonged and if the international community does not expand humanitarian and development assistance. The UK recently increased our health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection programming across northern Ethiopia, including in Tigray. Since 2019, the UK has allocated more than £400 million to tackle humanitarian crises in Ethiopia.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if his Department will make representations to the Ethiopian Government to allow internally displaced Tigrayans to return.

The former Foreign Secretary welcomed the November 2022 peace agreement between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front, when he visited Ethiopia in December 2022. There are no formal restrictions on internally displaced persons returning, however some areas of Tigray are under the control of regional militias or Eritrean forces. Ministers and the British Embassy Addis Ababa repeatedly raise the need for withdrawal of militias and foreign forces, including through a public statement in August 2023.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the Ethiopian Government on fully implementing the Pretoria Peace Agreement.

The former Foreign Secretary welcomed the November 2022 peace agreement between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front, when he visited Ethiopia in December 2022. Since then, the UK has welcomed progress on implementation such as the handing over of heavy weapons, the establishment of a Tigray Interim Regional Administration, and the development of a comprehensive transitional justice policy. We continue to offer the UK's support, including for the successful implementation of the transitional justice policy. HM Ambassador to Ethiopia last year announced funding for the African Union's monitoring, verification and compliance mechanism to support the implementation of the Pretoria peace deal. Ministers and the British Embassy Addis Ababa continue to raise the importance of this issue with interlocutors in the Ethiopian Government.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
11th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether the Government has had discussions with Israeli counterparts on the (a) detention of children in Israeli military prisons and (b) allegations of potential human rights abuses against prisoners.

The UK is committed to working with Israel to secure improvements in detention practices in Israel. We have made plain our concern about the continued reports of ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees in Israeli military detention, particularly of children. The UK repeatedly calls on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and we have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) African Union, (b) United Nations and (c) other countries on reaching a sustained ceasefire in Sudan.

The UK is working with a range of partners, including Quad (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, US, UK), African and European countries, as well as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union and the United Nations, to bring warring parties together and secure a permanent ceasefire. As a member of the African Union-convened Core Group on Sudan, the UK is working with regional and international partners to end hostilities and secure a peace process. UK Ministers attended the UN General Assembly in September, hosting a Ministerial-level Quad meeting reaffirming our shared interests in resolving the Sudan conflict. Ministers also raised Sudan in bilateral meetings with Egypt and South Sudan, paying tribute to their generosity in accepting refugees and calling for urgent action and the coordination of regional initiatives. UK leadership with 'Sudan Core Group' partners at the UN Human Rights Council led to a robust resolution on Sudan being passed. This resolution establishes an independent, international, Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) for Sudan so that those responsible can be held to account and to deter perpetrators from further crime.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the (a) number of staff and (b) resources committed to its Crisis Response Centre.

The FCDO Crisis Response Centre has the capacity to surge staff and resources to respond to a crisis depending on the scale and nature of the incident. Following the Afghanistan response, the FCDO implemented a full review of these cadres, as well as the cross-FCDO crisis response training package, to ensure that staffing and resources are fit for purpose. This led to a full refresh of surge lists, many of whom served within the recent Sudan response.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help reunite UK citizens with close family members who remain in Sudan.

Since 25 April, the UK has supported the departure of 2,450 people, including British nationals, dependants, and other eligible nationals out of Sudan. The UK Government continues to provide limited consular assistance to British nationals still in Sudan and to those who have left by alternative means to neighbouring countries.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his department is taking to support the creation of humanitarian corridors out of Sudan.

Securing the safe passage for civilians fleeing Sudan, the protection of civilians and respect of International Law is an FCDO priority. To achieve this, we are pursuing all diplomatic avenues, including at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, through engagement with the conflicting parties, and through cooperation with counterparts from African, Quad (KSA, UAE, UK, USA) and European countries, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union and United Nations agencies.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many staff working on climate and environment in his Department have been employed at Senior Civil Service grade in each year since 2020.

The information on staff at Senior Civil Service (SCS) grades working on climate and environment across the FCDO network is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

However, climate change remains an area of utmost importance to this government and to the Foreign Secretary. Our resourcing and senior representation within the FCDO on climate and environment has grown significantly in recent years. We have many SCS across the FCDO who work on these issues either full time or as a key part of their portfolio.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reasons his Department has not appointed a Special Representative for Climate Change.

Whilst an immediate successor to the Special Representative has not been appointed, our resource and senior representation within the FCDO on climate and environment has grown significantly in recent years. Climate change remains an area of utmost importance to this government, and to the Foreign Secretary.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help address the humanitarian situation in Haiti.

We are aware of the difficult humanitarian situation in Haiti, which is worsened by the chronic security issues caused by armed criminal gangs. We are supporting Haiti through our contributions to the United Nations and other international agencies who have a strong presence on the ground, including the World Bank. Through the British Embassy in Port-au-Prince we remain in regular contact and coordination with these agencies. The UK continues to use our platform both in country and at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to help international efforts in realising a Haitian-led solution to Haiti's multifaceted challenges.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his Egyptian counterpart on freedom of (a) assembly, (b) association and (c) expression for (i) civil society activists, (ii) journalists and (iii) other people in the context of COP27.

Egypt is a human rights priority country for the UK and we regularly raise concerns with the Egyptian authorities, both in private and public. The former Prime Minister did so during his call with President Sisi on 25 August. Also, both Lord Ahmad and the then Foreign Secretary raised human rights with Foreign Minister Shoukry during his visit to London in July. The UK COP Presidency continues to work closely with the Egyptian authorities regarding COP27, urging them to ensure an inclusive summit, where civil society, youth, and independent media can participate freely.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
1st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Italian counterpart on helping to ensure that UK citizens who are (a) working at and (b) retired from Italian universities are compensated for arrears in unpaid (i) wages and (ii) pension payments.

UK citizens have made, and continue to make, a valuable contribution to educational exchange between the UK and Italy. The UK Government has been following this issue closely for several years. Her Majesty's Government Ministers and officials have made representations to their counterparts and will continue to advocate for a solution.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking in its role as penholder on Yemen at the UN Security Council to support the creation of an international mechanism to ensure accountability for human rights violations and war crimes.

We are concerned about reports of serious and wide-ranging human rights violations and abuses by parties to the Yemen conflict. In March we co-sponsored a joint statement at the Human Rights Council recognizing the collective effort needed to respond to these allegations. The statement called for all parties to comply with their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

We regret that the mandate of the UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen was not renewed last October. The UK voted in favour of renewing the mandate.

We are discussing with international partners the potential for a follow-up mechanism to support human rights accountability in Yemen. Justice and accountability are key for inclusive and durable peace.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support the Government is providing to refugees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds leaving Ukraine.

The UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or race. Combating violence and discrimination against minorities forms an important part of our wider international human rights work. We have pledged £395 million of aid to the current crisis, which includes £220 million of humanitarian assistance and deployed UK humanitarian experts to support Ukraine's neighbours, who are receiving and supporting refugees fleeing Ukraine, through providing logistics advice and analysis of needs on the ground.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ease customs red tape and reduce paperwork requirements for people trying to deliver aid to Ukrainian refugees in EU countries.

The UK Government advises people to donate cash through trusted charities and humanitarian partners, rather than donating goods. Unsolicited donations, although well-meaning, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent support from getting through. Trusted humanitarian partners are working with the Government of Ukraine and countries in the region to assess needs and deliver the assistance most required. It is usually more efficient for aid organisations to procure required items themselves, and locally, than to process, store, and distribute donated goods.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ease customs red tape and reduce paperwork requirements for people trying to deliver aid to Ukraine.

The UK Government advises people to donate cash through trusted charities and humanitarian partners, rather than donating goods. Unsolicited donations, although well-meaning, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent support from getting through. Trusted humanitarian partners are working with the Government of Ukraine and countries in the region to assess needs and deliver the assistance most required. It is usually more efficient for aid organisations to procure required items themselves, and locally, than to process, store, and distribute donated goods.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to continue to promote the principles that were in the Department for International Development's Strategic Vision for Gender Equality.

Advancing gender equality and women's rights are a core part of the UK Government's mission, and Global Britain's role as a force for good in the world, including fulfilling every girl's right to 12 years of quality education. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to this agenda.

As part of the launch of the new Department, we will refresh and build on existing strategies, as well as develop new approaches, but we do not see the core ambitions or principles of the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality changing. The challenges of advancing girls' education, sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), women's political empowerment, women's economic empowerment and ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) are as acute now, if not more so, as when we published the strategy in 2018.

The new FCDO will continue to be a progressive force for women and girls, including for their sexual and reproductive health and rights, right to education and ensuring that their needs are central to our COVID-19 humanitarian response. We are committed to highlighting the needs and rights of all women and girls.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help reduce tax avoidance.

Since 2010, the Government has introduced over 200 measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, and non-compliance, and in 2021-22 HMRC secured and protected £30.8 billion for public services that would otherwise have gone unpaid.

Last week the Government went further, closing an avoidance loophole within capital gains tax and setting out plans to double the maximum prison sentences for the most egregious tax fraudsters. The Government will also shortly consult on a new criminal offence for promoters of tax avoidance.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential impact of inflation on the budgets of devolved governments.

Spending Review 2021 provided the devolved administrations with their largest annual block grants, in real terms, of any spending review settlement since 1998. As a result, the devolved administrations’ funding is still growing in real terms over the Spending Review period despite higher inflation, which means they remain well-funded to deliver their devolved responsibilities. I continue to actively engage on this issue with my counterparts in the devolved administrations.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it is his policy to increase the rate of video games tax relief to the level proposed by the Independent Game Developers’ Association.

The Government recognises the valuable economic and cultural contribution of the video games industry. The Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) has supported £5.1 billion of UK expenditure on 1,940 games since its introduction in 2014.

At Spending Review 2021 the government confirmed £8 million for the continuation of the UK Games Fund which provides bespoke support for the UK’s independent video game industry.

The Government regularly receives proposals for changes to tax reliefs. When considering changes, the Government must ensure they provide support to businesses in a fair way and that taxpayer money is effectively targeted. An uplift in the rate of VGTR is not currently under consideration. However, the Government keeps all tax reliefs under review.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the implications for his policies of the Irish government's decision to set video games tax relief at 32 per cent.

The Government recognises the valuable economic and cultural contribution of the video games industry. The Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) has supported £5.1 billion of UK expenditure on 1,940 games since its introduction in 2014.

At Spending Review 2021 the government confirmed £8 million for the continuation of the UK Games Fund which provides bespoke support for the UK’s independent video game industry.

The Government regularly receives proposals for changes to tax reliefs. When considering changes, the Government must ensure they provide support to businesses in a fair way and that taxpayer money is effectively targeted. An uplift in the rate of VGTR is not currently under consideration. However, the Government keeps all tax reliefs under review.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has been made of the potential merits of offering VAT relief on the repair of personal and household goods to support sustainability and circular economy commitments.

The current VAT treatment of the repair of personal and household goods is subject to the standard rate of VAT at 20 per cent, as is the case for the vast majority of goods and services.

Introducing any new VAT relief would come at a cost to the Exchequer, and the Government has received over £50 billion worth of requests for relief from VAT since the EU referendum.

Although the Government keeps all taxes under review, introducing a new relief on the repair of personal and household goods would impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. VAT raised around £130 billion in 2019/20, and helps to fund key spending priorities, including health, education, and defence.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether humanitarian relief to Ukraine is being treated as non-commercial goods to ensure delivery is expedited.

The Government strongly recommends that, wherever possible, organisations and people who would like to help should donate cash rather than donating goods. This can be done through the Disasters Emergency Committee campaign and other trusted charities and humanitarian aid organisations. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed, and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed.

However, the Government recognises that many individuals and organisations have already worked hard within their communities to collect aid and wish to see those donations reach those in need as quickly as possible. That is why we have introduced a customs easement to help ensure humanitarian aid goods sent to support those affected by the Ukraine crisis are fast-tracked. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/taking-humanitarian-aid-out-of-great-britain-to-support-ukraine.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to accelerate humanitarian aid to Ukraine in line with the World Customs Organisation recommendations on forwarding of relief consignments in the event of disasters.

The Government strongly recommends that, wherever possible, organisations and people who would like to help should donate cash rather than donating goods. This can be done through the Disasters Emergency Committee campaign and other trusted charities and humanitarian aid organisations. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed, and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed.

However, the Government recognises that many individuals and organisations have already worked hard within their communities to collect aid and wish to see those donations reach those in need as quickly as possible. That is why we have introduced a customs easement to help ensure humanitarian aid goods sent to support those affected by the Ukraine crisis are fast-tracked. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/taking-humanitarian-aid-out-of-great-britain-to-support-ukraine.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had (a) with Cabinet colleagues and (b) with his officials on compensation and support for people affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

I refer the Honourable Member for Edinburgh North and Leith to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
21st May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure the retention and maintenance of the data his Department requires to make further payments to Equitable Life policyholders.

I refer the Honourable Member for Edinburgh North and Leith to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
21st May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the methodology used for the calculation of payments under the Equitable Life Payment Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Honourable Member for Edinburgh North and Leith to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the (a) timescale and (b) process is for compensation to London Capital and Finance bondholders under the Financial Conduct Authority's complaints scheme.

In my Written Ministerial Statement on 17 December 2020, I outlined the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

My statement also announced that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders . The Government will announce further details, including on timescales, the scheme’s administering body, and the eligibility of compensation, in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the timescale is for setting up the compensation scheme for London Capital and Finance bondholders.

In my Written Ministerial Statement on 17 December 2020, I outlined the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

My statement also announced that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders . The Government will announce further details, including on timescales, the scheme’s administering body, and the eligibility of compensation, in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who will administer the London Capital and Finance compensation scheme.

In my Written Ministerial Statement on 17 December 2020, I outlined the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

My statement also announced that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders . The Government will announce further details, including on timescales, the scheme’s administering body, and the eligibility of compensation, in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department is planning to impose any restrictions on compensation to bondholders under the London Capital and Finance compensation scheme.

In my Written Ministerial Statement on 17 December 2020, I outlined the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

My statement also announced that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders . The Government will announce further details, including on timescales, the scheme’s administering body, and the eligibility of compensation, in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the (a) names of the companies, other than small enterprises, that received support under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and (b) amount that each of those companies (i) claimed and (ii) was paid under that scheme.

In registering for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, businesses agreed to publication of the names and addresses of their restaurants or other outlets. HMRC do not have permission to publish other details about the businesses or their claims and are bound by a duty of confidentiality.

HMRC have published data about the number of registered establishments and claims totals and will publish a detailed analysis of the scheme in the near future. This will include breakdowns of claims values between small and larger businesses (those with more than 25 establishments).

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when the technical consultation on reform of Small Brewers Relief will be launched.

The Treasury has been reviewing Small Brewers Relief (SBR) since 2018, and before recess announced several changes to the SBR scheme in order to make it easier for small independent breweries to expand and grow.

As part of the review, I have met with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition (SBDRC), most recently in July. My predecessor Simon Clarke MP met with both groups in a roundtable in September 2019. Officials have also had frequent meetings with both groups.

The review is still ongoing and will be subject to a consultation on further technical details. This will be published later this Autumn.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the planned reform of Small Brewers Relief on small, independent breweries.

The Treasury has been reviewing Small Brewers Relief (SBR) since 2018, and before recess announced several changes to the SBR scheme in order to make it easier for small independent breweries to expand and grow.

As part of the review, I have met with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition (SBDRC), most recently in July. My predecessor Simon Clarke MP met with both groups in a roundtable in September 2019. Officials have also had frequent meetings with both groups.

The review is still ongoing and will be subject to a consultation on further technical details. This will be published later this Autumn.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Society of Independent Brewers on the Small Brewers Relief reform.

The Treasury has been reviewing Small Brewers Relief (SBR) since 2018, and before recess announced several changes to the SBR scheme in order to make it easier for small independent breweries to expand and grow.

As part of the review, I have met with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition (SBDRC), most recently in July. My predecessor Simon Clarke MP met with both groups in a roundtable in September 2019. Officials have also had frequent meetings with both groups.

The review is still ongoing and will be subject to a consultation on further technical details. This will be published later this Autumn.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition on Small Brewers Relief reform.

The Treasury has been reviewing Small Brewers Relief (SBR) since 2018, and before recess announced several changes to the SBR scheme in order to make it easier for small independent breweries to expand and grow.

As part of the review, I have met with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition (SBDRC), most recently in July. My predecessor Simon Clarke MP met with both groups in a roundtable in September 2019. Officials have also had frequent meetings with both groups.

The review is still ongoing and will be subject to a consultation on further technical details. This will be published later this Autumn.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what funding is available through the Scottish Government for victims of contaminated blood.

Following UK government decisions at Spending Round 2019, the Scottish Government benefited from an increase of over £1.3 billion in the Barnett-based block grant, which will therefore increase to £34.5 billion in 2020-21. This is the biggest day-to-day funding settlement for Scotland in a decade.

It is for the Scottish Government to allocate this funding across their devolved responsibilities, including to victims of contaminated blood if they so choose.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to implement the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the EU.

The government transposed the vast majority of the provisions in the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into domestic law through, ‘The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019’, which came into force on 10 January 2020.

This transposition ensures the UK’s AML/CTF regime remains comprehensive, responsive to emerging threats, and in line with evolving international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.

The consultation on the implementation of the Directive committed to a further technical consultation on the details of the implementation of measures related to trust registration. This consultation will launch in early 2020 and will ensure the Trust Registration Service contains a robust and proportionate framework, which will be transposed into domestic law during 2020.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on preventing banks in the UK being used as depositories in the laundering of state funds from other nations.

HM Treasury is responsible for the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (‘the Regulations’). The Regulations set out the high-level requirements on regulated firms to combat money laundering and ensure that key professionals identify their customers and understand the purpose behind transactions, including the source of funds. The Regulations are designed to combat illicit finance, while minimising the burden on legitimate customers.

The Regulations require firms in scope of the regulations to have in place appropriate risk-management systems and procedures to determine whether a customer (or their beneficial owner) is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), family member of a PEP or close associate of a PEP.

PEPs are individuals entrusted with a prominent public function. This definition includes but is not limited to heads of state, heads of government, ministers and deputy or assistant ministers, members of parliament or of similar legislative bodies.

PEPs can pose a high money laundering risk because they may be able to abuse their position for private gain. Not all PEPs, however, pose the same money laundering risk; there is a hierarchy depending on country of origin and rank, from middle tier officials to individuals with significant or absolute control over the levers, patronage and resources in a given area. For example, the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance states that UK PEPs should be considered as lower risk.

Where a firm has identified that a customer (or their beneficial owner) is a PEP, family member or close associate of a PEP, it must conduct an appropriate range of Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) measures. When carrying out EDD on PEPs, firms must take adequate measures to establish the source of wealth and source of funds which are involved in the proposed transaction or business relationship, get approval from senior management to establish or continue a relationship with that person and carry out enhanced monitoring of the business relationship.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Migration Advisory Committee will begin work on the Graduate visa review.

The Migration Advisory Committee have not yet been commissioned to review the Graduate route.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential implications for his policies of Reunite Families UK's report entitled UK family migration rules: spouse / partner migration rules: an initial findings report examining the mental health impact of the rules on children and families, published on 18 December 2023.

From 11 April 2024, we will raise the minimum income threshold for family visas to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs which are eligible for Skilled Worker visas. We will incrementally increase the threshold, moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500), and finally to the 50th percentile (currently £38,700, and the level at which the General Skilled Worker threshold is set) by early 2025. The dates of these changes will be set out in due course.

We have reviewed the Reunite Families Report published on 18 December 2023. We will add the findings to our evidence base when formulating future reviews into family immigration policies, including the Minimum Income Requirement.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he plans to announce the start date of the new minimum income threshold for spouse visas of £34,500.

From 11 April 2024, we will raise the minimum income threshold for family visas to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs which are eligible for Skilled Worker visas. We will incrementally increase the threshold, moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500), and finally to the 50th percentile (currently £38,700, and the level at which the General Skilled Worker threshold is set) by early 2025. The dates of these changes will be set out in due course.

We have reviewed the Reunite Families Report published on 18 December 2023. We will add the findings to our evidence base when formulating future reviews into family immigration policies, including the Minimum Income Requirement.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of replacing the Shortage Occupation List with the Immigration Salary List on the number of asylum seekers who are eligible to work who are in employment.

The Home Secretary has commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a rapid review of the new Immigration Salary List (ISL) in time for its implementation in the Spring Immigration Rules. The MAC is due to report on 23 February, at which point the Government will consider its recommendations carefully. We will keep the list under regular review and the MAC will carry out a fuller review later in the year.

The introduction of the ISL will not undermine our policy that asylum claims by an individual applying for permission to work must still be outstanding for 12 months or more and any resulting changes to the policy will be announced in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing an asylum right to work pilot on asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers cannot work unless they have had their asylum claim outstanding for 12 months or more, through no fault of their own. Those who apply and are granted permission to work after 12 months are restricted to applying for jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). This is based on expert advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee.

Our current policy approach on permission to work is longstanding and there are no plans to make changes, other than aligning it with the upcoming Immigration Salary List, which replaces the SOL. It is important that we distinguish between individuals who need protection and those seeking to work here who can apply for a work visa under the Immigration Rules. The Government has always been clear that asylum seekers do not need to make perilous journeys in order to seek employment in the UK.

Unrestricted access to employment could act as an incentive for more migrants to choose to come here illegally; leading to further dangerous journeys across the Channel and supporting the business model of evil people smugglers, rather than claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 27 March 2023 to Question168058 on Visas: Ukraine, whether he plans to make an announcement on the extension of visas under the (a) Homes for Ukraine scheme, (b) Ukrainian Family Scheme and (c) Ukraine Extension Scheme beyond the initial three-year period.

We are mindful that permission will start to expire, for the first arrivals under our Ukrainian schemes, from March 2025, and their need for certainty beyond that point to help them to plan ahead, for example if remaining in the UK, entering into rental agreements and living here independently. As a result, we actively keep the Ukraine schemes under consistent review.

The UK Government stands with Ukraine and firmly believes that Ukraine will be safe again. When it’s safe to do so, Ukraine will need the repatriation of its citizens to help recover and rebuild their economy and infrastructure.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
15th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has sought legal advice on the compatibility of the planned increase to the minimum income requirement with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Full legal advice has been sought on the compatibility of the proposed increase to the Minimum Income Requirement element of the family immigration rules with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as enshrined in domestic legislation in the Human Rights Act 1998.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his Department will issue further guidance on how what level of savings will be required to meet the Minimum Income Requirement for those below the salary threshold.

The revised minimum income requirement (MIR) will be implemented in spring 2024

The Government will set out any transitional provisions associated with the increase in the MIR, and further policy details, in due course.

Any applications already submitted will be considered in line with the existing policy.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will take steps to help ensure that the child dependants of UK residents who are in Gaza are able to apply for the UK visas to which they are entitled in the context of the closure of visa application centres.

The UK Government is monitoring the situation in Israel and Gaza closely to ensure that it is able to respond appropriately.

British citizens and their foreign national dependants (spouse, unmarried/civil partner, child under 18), may come to the UK provided they have valid travel documents and existing permission to enter or remain in the UK; or are non-visa nationals.

Individuals including child dependents of UK residents who do not meet these criteria will have to make a visa application, and enrol their biometrics at a visa application centre(VAC) / biometric enrolment location in a nearby country. VACs in nearby countries are operating as normal but applicants should only travel if it is safe to do so.

Specific locations and operating hours can be found at the following website for UK Visa Application Centre | TLScontact (https://pos.tlscontact.com/default/palestine)

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting refugee status to the female medical students who are represented by the Linda Norgrove Foundation.

As has been the practice under successive Governments the Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases.

We remain committed to providing protection for vulnerable and at-risk people fleeing Afghanistan and so far have brought around 24,600 people impacted by the situation back to the UK.

We continue to work with likeminded partners and countries neighbouring Afghanistan on resettlement issues, and to support safe passage for eligible Afghans. We also continue to welcome individuals to the UK through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has held recent discussions with (a) City of Edinburgh Council, (b) the Scottish Government, (c) Forth Ports Ltd and (d) any other stakeholders on proposals to accommodate asylum seekers on the MS Victoria cruise ship in Leith.

The Home Office met with representatives of Scottish government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) on several occasions in May to discuss the possibility of placing a vessel in Leith to accommodate asylum seekers.

In addition, the Home Office established a Multi-Agency Forum (MAF), involving the Council, Health, Police and other public agencies, as a structured forum for discussion with statutory bodies and key stakeholders.

The City of Edinburgh Council opposed the use of this site.

29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) estimated cost and (b) suitability of accommodating asylum seekers on the MS Victoria cruise ship in Leith.

Cost information is prospective and commercially sensitive, and as such is not available to be released. Our proposal was to use the same berth, the same quayside infrastructure and the same principal contractor that was put in place by Scottish Government officials. Furthermore, this is the same vessel used by the Scottish Government. The Home Office also proposed introducing new financial incentives for local authorities to encourage the uptake of dispersal accommodation and delivering large accommodation sites that will produce safe and secure accommodation for thousands of asylum seekers.

The Home Office met with representatives of Scottish government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) on several occasions in May to discuss the possibility of placing a vessel in Leith to accommodate asylum seekers.

The last Multi-Agency Forums (MAF) were held on the 22nd June. We are committed to work closely with all local authorities and stakeholders through MAF meetings to address any concerns of the local community and reduce the impact on local services.

If you would like to put forward specific proposals, please do contact the Home Office at: rasiengagementhubregionalconsultation@homeoffice.gov.uk and officials will happily discuss this in greater detail with you.

12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department last reviewed the list of accepted occupations for passport application and photo countersignatories; and whether she plans to increase the number of accepted occupations on that list.

His Majesty’s Passport Office policy on who can act as a referee is kept under review as part of the general programme of work to transform and modernise the passport application process. Any changes to the policy would be announced to Parliament and reflected in published HM Passport Office guidance.

The list of recognised professions can be found online. This is not a definitive list, and any alternatives a customer provides must be considered. Countersigning passport applications and photos: Accepted occupations for countersignatories - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Ukrainian crew members working on cruise ships in the UK will be eligible to apply to one of the visa schemes for Ukrainian nationals, including the Ukrainian Extension Scheme.

Both the Ukraine Extension Scheme and the Ukraine Family Scheme can be applied for by Ukrainian nationals in the UK, who meet the eligibility criteria – which can be found on GOV.UK (UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

Ukrainian nationals seeking to travel to the UK for sanctuary must use either Homes for Ukraine, or the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Individuals are able to contact an independent Immigration Adviser registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) for advice relevant to their own circumstances. Further guidance is available on GOV.UK (Find an immigration adviser: Search for an adviser - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has provided to passport applicants who do not know anyone who meets the criteria for photograph counter-signatories.

His Majesty’s Passport Office engages with customers on a case by case basis where they tell us they do not know anyone who meets the criteria for acting as an acceptable counter-signatory. Published HM Passport Office guidance provides advice to passport examiners in considering exercising discretion in these cases. Confirming ID: referees - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Customers can call the Passport Adviceline if they have questions about a passport application.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help reunite UK citizens with close family members who remain in Sudan.

Over 2,000 people have been evacuated to safety in the longest and largest airlift of any western nation during the crisis in Sudan. As well as British nationals, the UK has also evacuated Sudanese clinicians who work in the NHS.

In addition, those individuals who were evacuated from Sudan by other governments who would have met the criteria for evacuation by the UK government will also be able to come to the UK.

We recognise that some people displaced by the fighting may wish to join family in the UK, and where those family members do not have a current UK visa, they can apply for one via one of our standard visa routes, which remain available, and applications can be submitted at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Applications can be made at any VAC and we will accept applications which would normally have to be made in the country where the person is living at any VAC from someone who has been evacuated, or self-evacuated, from Sudan.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to UK visa and biometric residence permit applicants impacted by the closure of the UK Embassy in Khartoum.

Due to the current situation in Sudan, the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Khartoum is temporarily closed until further notice.

Whilst the VAC is closed, the Home Office is proactively contacting these customers by email to liaise directly on what options and support are available to them.

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the response to the Answer of 17 March 2023 to Question 162216 on Refugees: Afghanistan, whether her Department has set a target date for providing people with further information on how they can be reunited with their family members.

The Government remains committed to providing protection for vulnerable and at-risk people fleeing Afghanistan. However, the situation is complex and presents significant challenges, including how those who are eligible for resettlement in the UK can leave the country. This includes eligible immediate family members of those being resettled under the ACRS.

For those evacuated from Afghanistan under the ACRS without their immediate family members, further information will be made available in due course about options for reuniting with them. We are unable to provide a target date at this time.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to provide assurance to those people in the UK under the (a) Homes for Ukraine scheme, (b) Ukrainian Family Scheme and (c) Ukraine Extension Scheme on the longer-term status of their visa; and if she will make a statement.

In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, we launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history, with over 220,000 visas issued under Ukraine Schemes; 67,000 through the Ukraine Family Scheme and 156,000 through the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

We firmly believe that Ukraine will be safe again and we will continue to support the Ukrainian Government for as long as is necessary in their efforts against Putin.

The Government of Ukraine has been clear that it needs citizens to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so, to help rebuild the country.

Therefore, our approach has been to provide Ukrainians with access to a three-year visa for temporary sanctuary in the UK, providing them with certainty and stability while they are here, to settle into jobs, schooling and accommodation.

Of course, we keep any future need for an extension of leave in the UK under review, in line with developments of the situation in Ukraine.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending visas under the (a) Homes for Ukraine scheme, (b) Ukrainian Family Scheme and (c) Ukraine Extension Scheme for people who enter (i) further and (ii) higher education.

In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, we launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history, with over 220,000 visas issued under Ukraine Schemes; 67,000 through the Ukraine Family Scheme and 156,000 through the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

We firmly believe that Ukraine will be safe again and we will continue to support the Ukrainian Government for as long as is necessary in their efforts against Putin.

The Government of Ukraine has been clear that it needs citizens to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so, to help rebuild the country.

Therefore, our approach has been to provide Ukrainians with access to a three-year visa for temporary sanctuary in the UK, providing them with certainty and stability while they are here, to settle into jobs, schooling and accommodation.

Of course, we keep any future need for an extension of leave in the UK under review, in line with developments of the situation in Ukraine.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending visas under the (a) Homes for Ukraine scheme, (b) Ukrainian Family Scheme and (c) Ukraine Extension Scheme beyond the initial three-year period.

In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, we launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history, with over 220,000 visas issued under Ukraine Schemes; 67,000 through the Ukraine Family Scheme and 156,000 through the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

We firmly believe that Ukraine will be safe again and we will continue to support the Ukrainian Government for as long as is necessary in their efforts against Putin.

The Government of Ukraine has been clear that it needs citizens to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so, to help rebuild the country.

Therefore, our approach has been to provide Ukrainians with access to a three-year visa for temporary sanctuary in the UK, providing them with certainty and stability while they are here, to settle into jobs, schooling and accommodation.

Of course, we keep any future need for an extension of leave in the UK under review, in line with developments of the situation in Ukraine.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of automatically extending visas for people in the UK under the (a) Homes for Ukraine, (b) Ukrainian Family Scheme and (c) Ukraine Extension Scheme, if the war in Ukraine continues.

In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, we launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history, with over 220,000 visas issued under Ukraine Schemes; 67,000 through the Ukraine Family Scheme and 156,000 through the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

We firmly believe that Ukraine will be safe again and we will continue to support the Ukrainian Government for as long as is necessary in their efforts against Putin.

The Government of Ukraine has been clear that it needs citizens to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so, to help rebuild the country.

Therefore, our approach has been to provide Ukrainians with access to a three-year visa for temporary sanctuary in the UK, providing them with certainty and stability while they are here, to settle into jobs, schooling and accommodation.

Of course, we keep any future need for an extension of leave in the UK under review, in line with developments of the situation in Ukraine.

14th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many IT problem managers have been employed in her Department to resolve IT failures impacting UKVI applications in each month since 1 September 2022.

The incidences of technical issues preventing Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card production are low. Where issues are encountered operational case working teams and IT Support endeavour to resolve the issue swiftly without any adverse impacts for the customer.

For the very small proportion of cases that could not be resolved immediately, the Employer Checking Service (ECS) and Landlord Checking Service (LCS) are available to provide support to customers to verify their immigration status and permission to work and rent properties in the UK.

Longer term, the Home Office is developing a border and immigration system which will be digital by default. The ambition is to phase out physical documents, such as BRP’s, before the end of 2024 as we move towards a system of online evidence of immigration status (eVisas).

14th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the impact of IT issues in her Department on the production of Biometric Resident Permits since 1 January 2023.

The incidences of technical issues preventing Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card production are low. Where issues are encountered operational case working teams and IT Support endeavour to resolve the issue swiftly without any adverse impacts for the customer.

For the very small proportion of cases that could not be resolved immediately, the Employer Checking Service (ECS) and Landlord Checking Service (LCS) are available to provide support to customers to verify their immigration status and permission to work and rent properties in the UK.

Longer term, the Home Office is developing a border and immigration system which will be digital by default. The ambition is to phase out physical documents, such as BRP’s, before the end of 2024 as we move towards a system of online evidence of immigration status (eVisas).

9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of (a) evacuating children without their parents and (b) other instances of families being separated during their evacuation from Afghanistan under Operation Pitting on those people.

Following the evacuation of Kabul any children who we became aware of in the UK, that were not with their parents, have been dealt with on a case-by-case basis. When this has happened, we work in close collaboration with social services and the relevant local authority.

The Government has provided, and it continues to provide, a warm welcome to Afghans arriving in the UK. This includes the provision of accommodation, food, integration support, English lessons, and healthcare.

The situation in Afghanistan remains very complex and presents significant challenges, including how those who are eligible for resettlement in the UK can leave the country. This includes the eligible family members of those who arrived during Operation Pitting.

For those evacuated from Afghanistan and resettled under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), without their immediate family members, further information will be made available in due course about options for reuniting with them.

Otherwise, anyone without refugee status - including those resettled under ACRS Pathway 1 and the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) - wishing to bring family members would need to apply through the regular family visa route under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will introduce a short-term humanitarian visa scheme for people with family in the UK who have been made homeless by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The Government currently has no plans to create specific schemes for those impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria to join family members in the UK. Existing visa routes for those wishing to come to the UK are already available.

The UK continues to provide lifesaving and emergency support, coordinating closely with the Turkish government and United Nations in Syria to ensure our support meets the needs on the ground and that we can stay responsive to emerging needs.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when Priority and Super Priority visa services will be fully reinstated for spouse visa applicants.

From 9 January 2023, UKVI re-introduced priority visa services for customers with an outstanding family overseas visa application.

Priority visa services for new family overseas visa applications will be made available from 20 February 2023.

Super Priority visa services are currently offered for individuals applying for family leave to remain and family indefinite leave to remain applications from within the UK, and this service has been available throughout 2022.

Customers who submit a family overseas visa application prior to 20 February 2023 will be offered the opportunity to use the Priority visa service in line with the current offer for customers who have an outstanding application.

Data on the number of applicants retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended does not form part of any current transparency data and is not published.

However, the transparency data does include a range of processing and service standard data and can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

UKVI are offering the Priority visa service to customers with existing family visa applications in date order. Customers with the oldest outstanding family visa applications have been contacted first in fairness to those who have waited the longest in the queue. Alongside this, work has continued to reduce standard processing times for family visa applicants currently awaiting a decision.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether new spouse and partner visa applications are offered priority service after they have been submitted.

From 9 January 2023, UKVI re-introduced priority visa services for customers with an outstanding family overseas visa application.

Priority visa services for new family overseas visa applications will be made available from 20 February 2023.

Super Priority visa services are currently offered for individuals applying for family leave to remain and family indefinite leave to remain applications from within the UK, and this service has been available throughout 2022.

Customers who submit a family overseas visa application prior to 20 February 2023 will be offered the opportunity to use the Priority visa service in line with the current offer for customers who have an outstanding application.

Data on the number of applicants retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended does not form part of any current transparency data and is not published.

However, the transparency data does include a range of processing and service standard data and can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

UKVI are offering the Priority visa service to customers with existing family visa applications in date order. Customers with the oldest outstanding family visa applications have been contacted first in fairness to those who have waited the longest in the queue. Alongside this, work has continued to reduce standard processing times for family visa applicants currently awaiting a decision.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants have been retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended for spouse visa applicants in March 2022.

From 9 January 2023, UKVI re-introduced priority visa services for customers with an outstanding family overseas visa application.

Priority visa services for new family overseas visa applications will be made available from 20 February 2023.

Super Priority visa services are currently offered for individuals applying for family leave to remain and family indefinite leave to remain applications from within the UK, and this service has been available throughout 2022.

Customers who submit a family overseas visa application prior to 20 February 2023 will be offered the opportunity to use the Priority visa service in line with the current offer for customers who have an outstanding application.

Data on the number of applicants retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended does not form part of any current transparency data and is not published.

However, the transparency data does include a range of processing and service standard data and can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

UKVI are offering the Priority visa service to customers with existing family visa applications in date order. Customers with the oldest outstanding family visa applications have been contacted first in fairness to those who have waited the longest in the queue. Alongside this, work has continued to reduce standard processing times for family visa applicants currently awaiting a decision.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of removing priority service fees for applicants who have waited beyond the usual service standard.

From 9 January 2023, UKVI re-introduced priority visa services for customers with an outstanding family overseas visa application.

Priority visa services for new family overseas visa applications will be made available from 20 February 2023.

Super Priority visa services are currently offered for individuals applying for family leave to remain and family indefinite leave to remain applications from within the UK, and this service has been available throughout 2022.

Customers who submit a family overseas visa application prior to 20 February 2023 will be offered the opportunity to use the Priority visa service in line with the current offer for customers who have an outstanding application.

Data on the number of applicants retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended does not form part of any current transparency data and is not published.

However, the transparency data does include a range of processing and service standard data and can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

UKVI are offering the Priority visa service to customers with existing family visa applications in date order. Customers with the oldest outstanding family visa applications have been contacted first in fairness to those who have waited the longest in the queue. Alongside this, work has continued to reduce standard processing times for family visa applicants currently awaiting a decision.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to get back to the three-week service standard for processing Skilled Worker visa applications.

The Home Office has re-allocated resources following the conclusion of the seasonal student visa application surge and recruited additional staff to deal with the extremely high demand. As a result, we expect the time taken to assess a skilled work visa application continues to reduce.

The Home Office publishes data on visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release(opens in a new tab)’. Data on the number of applications and granted applications of the Skilled Worker visa are published in tables Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes(opens in a new tab) dataset, respectively.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average processing time was for Skilled Worker visa applications in the latest period for which data is available.

The Home Office has re-allocated resources following the conclusion of the seasonal student visa application surge and recruited additional staff to deal with the extremely high demand. As a result, we expect the time taken to assess a skilled work visa application continues to reduce.

The Home Office publishes data on visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release(opens in a new tab)’. Data on the number of applications and granted applications of the Skilled Worker visa are published in tables Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes(opens in a new tab) dataset, respectively.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Skilled Worker visas were live as of 20 October 2022.

The Home Office has re-allocated resources following the conclusion of the seasonal student visa application surge and recruited additional staff to deal with the extremely high demand. As a result, we expect the time taken to assess a skilled work visa application continues to reduce.

The Home Office publishes data on visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release(opens in a new tab)’. Data on the number of applications and granted applications of the Skilled Worker visa are published in tables Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes(opens in a new tab) dataset, respectively.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) spouse, (b) fiancé and (c) unmarried partner visa applications remain unprocessed for more than 12 weeks as of 8 June 2022.

Processing times for Marriage & Family visa applications as of 8 June 2022 have not yet been published. They will be published as part of transparency data in due course.

The transparency data does, however, include a range of processing data and the latest data can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the 24-week processing time for spouse, fiancé, and unmarried partner visas to its original 12-week service standard.

The Home Office is currently prioritising Ukraine Visa Schemes applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Staff from other government departments, including DWP and HMRC, are being surged into the Home Office to help with Ukraine work and enable normal visa routes to return to normal service levels in due course.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the impact of changing without notice the service standard for spouse visa applications from 12 to 24 weeks on applicants.

The Home Office is currently prioritising Ukraine Visa Schemes applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Applicants were informed of the change to a 24-week service standard on 11 May 2022 and the department is currently operating within this.

Staff from other government departments, including DWP and HMRC, are being surged into the Home Office to help with Ukraine work and enable normal visa routes to return to normal service levels in due course.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how his Department estimated the new 24-week processing time for spouse, fiancé, and unmarried partner visas; and what assessment she has made of the likelihood of that timeframe being met in the context of providing reliability for applicants.

The 24-week service standard is based on expected processing times due to the increased number of outstanding spouse, fiancé, and unmarried partner visa applications. This increase was due to the prioritisation of Ukraine Visa Schemes applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Processing times for the 24-week service standard have not yet been published. They will be published as part of transparency data in due course. The transparency data does, however, include a range of processing data and the latest data can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plans to take to improve (a) transparency and (b) communication in the application system for spouse, fiancé, and unmarried partner visas.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) continues to prioritise Ukraine Visa Scheme applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine, so applications for family visa routes are taking longer to process. In addition, we continue to see unpredictable levels of demand across all visa routes globally following the easing of international travel restrictions.

UKVI are committed to providing customers with information on global visa processing times, and will continue to provide updates on the Visa decision waiting times page on GOV.UK and via our commercial partners’ websites. Spouse, fiancé, and unmarried partner applicants have been informed of extended processing times via email. Customers are encouraged to consider the information on processing times before booking travel to the UK.

UKVI transparency data is published at regular intervals and the latest data can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support the Government is providing to refugees arriving in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The department have not made any assessment of the potential merits of extending the £350 per month thank you payment to refugees arriving in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme as this is a matter for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Nationals of Ukraine coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme will be given access to work, benefits and public services as laid down in the Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine, details of which can be found at:

Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine Scheme - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of extending the £350 per month payment to refugees arriving in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The department have not made any assessment of the potential merits of extending the £350 per month thank you payment to refugees arriving in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme as this is a matter for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Nationals of Ukraine coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme will be given access to work, benefits and public services as laid down in the Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine, details of which can be found at:

Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine Scheme - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to speed up the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the UK who are receiving ongoing medical treatment.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the caller waiting times to the UKVI hotline dedicated to hon. Members.

Since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, there has been a significant increase in calls to the MP Enquiry Line which has led to lengthy wait times. More staff are now being deployed to operate the line and we anticipate call wait times volumes will drop significantly as a result.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure visa applications are processed within the service standard.

Performance and efficiency of visa processing is continually reviewed to ensure performance is as strong as possible.

Information on our immigration routes with service standards and whether they have been processed against these standards is available as part of our transparency data, at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

We are, however, currently flexing resources across all routes to ensure a robust response to the Ukrainian crisis while still processing standard applications within service standard wherever possible. As a result, individuals with standard applications in study, work, and family routes may experience some temporary impact to the processing of their application.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending eligibility for the Homes for Ukraine scheme to Ukrainian nationals who lived in Belarus prior to 1 January 2022.

This Government has made clear its support for Ukrainians fleeing in fear of their lives clear by introducing the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety.

To qualify for the Scheme a person must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine).

The Government has no plans to extend the eligibility beyond this cohort.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Homes for Ukraine visa sponsorship applications have been successful to date.

The scheme has only been running for a short period so far; details on the number of visas issued will be released in due course.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to simplify (a) organisational processes and (b) documentation for people applying to the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The Home Office is continually making efforts to simplify the application process for Ukrainian refugees, and keeps this under regular review.

The latest developments can be found in the Home Secretary’s statement of 10 March which can be found: Home Secretary update on support for Ukrainians - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will consider lifting the requirement for Ukraine Family Scheme applicants to travel to visa application centres in other countries to finalise their application.

The Home Secretary updated Parliament on 10 March about the government's support for people fleeing Ukraine, including the need to visit a visa application centre to provide biometric data.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretary-update-on-support-for-ukrainians

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to safeguard and promote the welfare of refugee children arriving from Ukraine.

We recognise the deeply troubling circumstances faced by all Ukrainians who are caught up in this conflict, including unaccompanied minors, and the role many countries will need to play to safeguard those children. With respect to UK charities we are aware of a significant interest in assisting Ukrainian children.

Safeguarding and protection of these vulnerable children is paramount. It will generally be in the best interests of a child to reunite with their family members in the first instance. This is also the position of the Ukrainian Government. We have held a number of discussions with leading international organisations who are working hard to ensure appropriate processes are put in place to process and safeguard unaccompanied minors who are fleeing Ukraine.

The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) provides an immediate pathway for those Ukrainians, including unaccompanied minors, with family already settled in the UK to come to our country. The relevant safeguarding checks will be performed as part of the application process. The UFS is designed to allow as many people as possible to come to Britain and gives them immediate access to the support they need.

The routes and visa changes which we have announced so far follow extensive engagement with the Ukrainian Government to ensure they respond directly to their needs and asks. We will continue to work closely with them going forward.

We are committed to working with local government to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place, particularly for any unaccompanied children who may arrive and for whom there is no option of being reunited with extended family. The UK already has well established policies in this area for looked after migrant children.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support UK charities seeking to provide safe escape routes for Ukrainian orphans and unaccompanied refugee children.

We recognise the deeply troubling circumstances faced by all Ukrainians who are caught up in this conflict, including unaccompanied minors, and the role many countries will need to play to safeguard those children. With respect to UK charities we are aware of a significant interest in assisting Ukrainian children.

Safeguarding and protection of these vulnerable children is paramount. It will generally be in the best interests of a child to reunite with their family members in the first instance. This is also the position of the Ukrainian Government. We have held a number of discussions with leading international organisations who are working hard to ensure appropriate processes are put in place to process and safeguard unaccompanied minors who are fleeing Ukraine.

The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) provides an immediate pathway for those Ukrainians, including unaccompanied minors, with family already settled in the UK to come to our country. The relevant safeguarding checks will be performed as part of the application process. The UFS is designed to allow as many people as possible to come to Britain and gives them immediate access to the support they need.

The routes and visa changes which we have announced so far follow extensive engagement with the Ukrainian Government to ensure they respond directly to their needs and asks. We will continue to work closely with them going forward.

We are committed to working with local government to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place, particularly for any unaccompanied children who may arrive and for whom there is no option of being reunited with extended family. The UK already has well established policies in this area for looked after migrant children.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will take steps to (a) waive all visa requirements and (b) introduce a resettlement scheme for unaccompanied Ukrainian refugee children.

We recognise the deeply troubling circumstances faced by all Ukrainians who are caught up in this conflict, including unaccompanied minors, and the role many countries will need to play to safeguard those children. With respect to UK charities we are aware of a significant interest in assisting Ukrainian children.

Safeguarding and protection of these vulnerable children is paramount. It will generally be in the best interests of a child to reunite with their family members in the first instance. This is also the position of the Ukrainian Government. We have held a number of discussions with leading international organisations who are working hard to ensure appropriate processes are put in place to process and safeguard unaccompanied minors who are fleeing Ukraine.

The Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) provides an immediate pathway for those Ukrainians, including unaccompanied minors, with family already settled in the UK to come to our country. The relevant safeguarding checks will be performed as part of the application process. The UFS is designed to allow as many people as possible to come to Britain and gives them immediate access to the support they need.

The routes and visa changes which we have announced so far follow extensive engagement with the Ukrainian Government to ensure they respond directly to their needs and asks. We will continue to work closely with them going forward.

We are committed to working with local government to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place, particularly for any unaccompanied children who may arrive and for whom there is no option of being reunited with extended family. The UK already has well established policies in this area for looked after migrant children.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to publish the review of historic applications under the Tier 1 (Investor) route by the end of March 2022.

As the Home Secretary set out in her Written Statement of 21 February, the review is being finalised and it is our aim to publish it shortly.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allocating more temporary visas to workers in the food and drink supply chain to ensure sufficient food supplies at Christmas 2021 and beyond.

Recognising the extraordinary circumstances facing businesses currently, Government is providing visas as a time-limited, temporary measure for the food sector until longer term measures to improve the supply of skills domestically start to have an impact. This includes visas for up to:

  • Up to 4,700 HGV food drivers who will be able to arrive from late October and leave by 28 February 2022;
  • Up to 5,500 poultry workers can arrive from late October and stay up until 31 December 2021; and
  • Up to 800 pork butchers who will be able to arrive from early November until 31 December 2021 and stay for up to 6 months.

It will be for the sectors and companies concerned to make use of these opportunities to recruit labour over this period.

However, we must see long-term solutions delivered by employers through improved training and hiring, with better pay and working conditions, as immigration routes do not provide a guarantee of being able to recruit in a competitive global market for skilled workers. Therefore, we have no further plans to provide more temporary visas in this sector.

The Points Based System already provides for a range of roles in the food and drink sector, including roles such as Butchers, to be recruited on a global basis subject to the rules and requirements of the system being met, including on salary.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending the validity of temporary visas for HGV drivers from three to twelve months.

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.

Like other sectors the focus should be on training and recruiting from the UK based workforce in the first instance, especially given the impact of the pandemic resulting in more UK based workers looking for new employment. Reported shortages of HGV drivers across the EU and much of the developed world also indicate the ability to recruit abroad is no guarantee of being able to do so.

The temporary visa provision for HGV drivers was introduced in response to potential reduced availability of some food products in the run up to Christmas, enabling drivers to work in the UK until 28 February 2022. There are no plans to extend the validity of these visas beyond this date.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the cost was of providing transport for former prime ministers in each of the last five years.

It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on the security arrangements for protected individuals. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals concerned

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the cost was of providing police and other security protection for former prime ministers in each of the last five years.

It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on the security arrangements for protected individuals. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals concerned.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what visa regime will apply to performers who are EEA nationals travelling to the UK on short working trips after the UK leaves the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has announced at the end of the transition period, EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to continue to travel to the UK for holidays or short-term trips, without needing a visa.

The current Immigration Rules, including those for visitors, contain a wide range of provisions to cater for artists, entertainers and musicians.

The Home Office is currently engaging with the creative sector and other government departments, including DCMS, to ensure the future immigration system continues to support the thriving cultural sector in the UK.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 January 2020 to Question 900237 on Immigration: EU Nationals, what her timescale is for the publication of the guidance on what will constitute reasonable grounds for missing the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government has made clear, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the
application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

We have not published a list of reasonable grounds for missing the deadline as it is a year away and the focus should be on encouraging people to apply. We will however publish clear guidance for caseworkers in due course to ensure consistency of approach.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications by non UK national EU citizens for settled status were submitted through her Department's app.

We are not able to provide a precise figure because our app statistics include transactions for applications which have been started, but not yet submitted. However, we estimate over 3.2 million applicants have used the EU Exit: ID Document check app to scan their Passport as part of their application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many calls the helpline for EU citizens applying for settled status received in the latest period for which figures are available.

We do not currently publish data on calls into the Settlement Resolution Centre. We do ensure that resource allocated is maximised to allow our dedicated teams to answer and support as many callers as possible to assist them through the EU Settlement scheme process. Our current average answer time is 25 seconds. (January 2020)

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much and what proportion of the revenue stream from visa applications represented the cost of processing those applications in each of the last four years.

Published information for financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 & 2018-19 for revenue from visa applications can be found in the Home Office’s Annual Report and Accounts via the links below:

The cost of processing applications is not reported separately from other UKVI expenditure in the accounts, but unit cost information is published, and the link to that is also below.

2018-19

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807126/6.5571_HO_Annual_Report_201920_WEB.PDF#page=137

2017-18

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/727179/6_4360_HO_Annual_report_WEB.PDF#page=126

2016-17

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627853/ho_annual_report_and_accounts_2016_2017.pdf#page=119

Income generated via visa applications for the current financial year 2019-20 is expected to be published in June 2020.

Published visa unit costs are provided in the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-fees-transparency-data

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to vary the EU Settlement Scheme to guarantee EU citizens' right to remain in the UK.

The EU Settlement Scheme already provides resident EU citizens with the UK immigration status they will need to continue living here after the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020. The status granted under the scheme will guarantee them the same rights to work, study and access benefits and services as they have now.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications there have been to the Windrush Scheme; what proportion of those applications resulted in documentation being supplied free of charge; and how many people have received British citizenship free of charge under the Windrush Scheme.

The Home Secretary provides the Home Affairs Select Committee with updates on the work of the department in connection with Windrush. This includes information on decisions made by the Taskforce under the Windrush Scheme. The correspondence can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/correspondence-on-the-work-of-the-home-office-windrush

The published Windrush guidance confirms what documentation is provided to the applicant dependent on the individual’s circumstances, and that there is no charge for an application under the Windrush Scheme. The guidance can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807384/windrush-scheme-v3.0-ext.pdf

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear site events there were at (a) Coulport and (b) Faslane in the last 12 months.

The table below provides the number of Nuclear Site Event Reports (NSERs) at Coulport and Faslane recorded between January 2022 to March 2023. These are shown according to their categorisation using criteria agreed locally in 2015.

Nuclear Site Events- 2022

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

2

7

15

40

Faslane

0

0

20

73

47

Nuclear Site Events- 2023

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

0

2

6

7

Faslane

0

1

6

26

10

In line with Industry Good Practice and in common with other defence and civil nuclear sites, His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde has a well-established system for raising NSERs.

NSERs are raised to foster a robust safety culture that learns from experience, whether that is equipment failures, human error, procedural failings, documentation shortcoming or near-misses.

The safety significance of all reported events remains low and are below Level 1, the lowest of the seven-point Internal Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).

None of the events caused harm to the health of any member of staff on the Naval Base or to any member of the public or have resulted in any radiological impact to the environment.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2022 to Question 154058 on Clyde Naval Base and RNAD Coulport: Navy, and with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2021 to Question 184494 on Navy: Scotland, for what reason providing the information requested would incur disproportionate cost.

In preparation for the answer of 21 April 2022 to Question 154058 the Department understood that a manual trawl through personnel files would be required to answer the question, which resulted in a disproportionate cost response. A different methodology was used for the answer in April 2021 and using that same approach I am now able to provide the following information in answer to the hon. Member's Questions 154058, 154059 and 154060 of 14 April 2022.

At 1 April 2022, a total of 3,751 uniformed Royal Navy Service Personnel were stationed at locations in Argyll and Bute, which comprise the Faslane and Coulport sites. Of these, 1,367 personnel were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 36% of the total.

At 1 April 2022, 534 uniformed contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 478 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 90% of the total.

At 1 April 2022, 409 uniformed contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 364 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 89% of the total.

These figures reflect Ministry of Defence Police and Ministry of Defence Guard Service employees, who are Ministry of Defence civilian employees. The term 'uniformed contractor' has been translated to mean those employees who are neither civilian contractor, non-uniform civilian, or Service Personnel.

At 1 April 2022, 1,026 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 942 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 92% of the total.

At 1 April 2022, 479 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 434 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 91% of the total.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the number of submariners who have received radiation doses in excess of safe limits in each of the last 10 years.

No submariners have received radiation doses in excess of safe limits in any of the last ten years.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of uniformed contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.

The requested figures cannot easily be disaggregated due to the format the data is held in and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. However, it will be the case that anyone who works at these locations and has a Scottish address will pay tax in Scotland. It is estimated that c.90% of staff working at these sites will be Scottish taxpayers.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of civilian employees who are not contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.

The requested figures cannot easily be disaggregated due to the format the data is held in and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. However, it will be the case that anyone who works at these locations and has a Scottish address will pay tax in Scotland. It is estimated that c.90% of staff working at these sites will be Scottish taxpayers.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what surplus land in Scotland his Department has disposed of in each of the last five years; who the buyer of each of those areas of land was; and how much was paid for each of those areas of land.

The names, locations, property descriptions and sale years for sites disposed of in Scotland from 2017 to 2022 are listed below:

Establishment Name

Property Description

Sale Year (By Financial Year)

STRATHCLYDE VOLUNTEER ESTATE

Disposal Part ATC Site, Hillington Park

2017

LTPA LOCH GOIL

Remaining Land 0.164 to Community 0.046 to Castle Carrick

2018

KIRKCUDBRIGHT TRAINING AREA

25 sq m site for electricity sub station with associated servitude rights for overhead and underground cabling

2018

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Part of field south of redundant GPSS site Linkswood

2018

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Amenity land north of redundant GPSS site Linkswood

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Former family quarter

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Service Family Accommodation

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Single Living Accommodation

2018

GPSS TURRIFF

Redundant GPSS site Turriff

2019

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Redundant GPSS site, Linkswood

2019

GPSS HEATHFIELD

Redundant GPSS site, Heathfield

2019

GPSS FORFAR

Redundant GPSS site, Forfar

2019

LEUCHARS STATION

Telecommunications Site, Outhmuir

2019

GRAMPIAN VOLUNTEER ESTATE

Surplus land to rear of Army Reserve Centre

2019

MOD CALEDONIA

Solum of Foreshore and Seabed

2020

RRS SAXA VORD

Old Radar Station, Vallafield RAF

2020

GARELOCHEAD TRAINING AREA

Land at Feorlinbreck and Carpark/Playpark at Upland Wynd, Garelochhead

2021

The purchaser details and sale prices for the disposed sites has been withheld in view of the contractual confidentiality.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to Leidos for the operation of the Logistics, Commodities and Services Transformation Programme in each year since 2015.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 27 April 2021 to Question 185922.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-04-22/185922

Updated figures are shown below which indicate payments the Ministry of Defence has made to Leidos to operate the Logistics, Commodities and Services Transformation programme from 2020-21 to 2022-23 to date.

Year

£million (ex-VAT)

2020-21

355

2021-22

416

2022-23

16

The cost for 2021-22 has yet to be finalised and fully paid. The figure for 2022-23 covers the period 1 April 2022 to 19 April 2022.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to AWE Management Ltd under the Atomic Weapons Establishment management and operation contract in each year since 2000.

The following table shows the costs of AWE ML under the Management and Operations contract for each financial year since 2000-01, at outturn prices.

Financial Year

£ million

2000-01

275

2001-02

264

2002-03

258

2003-04

286

2004-05

354

2005-06

493

2006-07

687

2007-08

894

2008-09

800

2009-10

870

2010-11

944

2011-12

941

2012-13

830

2013-14

901

2014-15

921

2015-16

887

2016-17

815

2017-18

867

2018-19

901

2019-20

994

2020-21

984

2021-22

266*

*On 1 July 2021 the contract between AWE ML and MOD ended as AWE ML reverted to direct Government ownership, becoming a Non-Departmental Public Body wholly owned by the MOD.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many safety improvement notices have been issued by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator in each year since 2010.

The table below provides the number of Improvement Notices issued by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator since 2010.

2010

2

2011

-

2012

-

2013

-

2014

-

2015

-

2016

2

2017

1

2018

2

2019

2

2020

1

2021

1

2022

-

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many financial mitigation payments have been made to staff in his Department based in Scotland in respect of the Scottish rate of income tax; and at what salary level those payments began.

It will take some time to collate the data required to answer the hon. Member's question. I will write with the requested information in due course.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear safety events there have been at (a) Coulport and (b) Faslane in each of the last three years.

The safety significance of all reported events remains low and are below Level 1, the lowest of the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).

None of the events caused harm to the health of any member of staff on the Naval Base or to any member of the public or have resulted in any radiological impact to the environment.

The table below provides the number of Nuclear Site Event Reports (NSERs) at Coulport and Faslane recorded for 2019, 2020 and 2021. These are shown according to their categorisation using criteria agreed locally in 2015.

Nuclear Site Events - 2019

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

0

1

4

13

Faslane

0

1

5

46

88

Nuclear Site Events - 2020

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

0

0

0

26

Faslane

0

0

1

26

96

Nuclear Site Events - 2021

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

1

0

8

32

Faslane

0

2

10

33

67

22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his most recent estimate is for the date of completion of the dismantling work on the Revenge submarine and the removal of its component low level radioactive waste.

The removal of component low level radioactive waste has been successfully and safely completed on the submarine, REVENGE, marking the completion of its initial phase of dismantling work.

A demonstrator submarine is being used to define and refine the dismantling process. As the demonstrator programme progresses, the outcomes will provide more certainty in the date when REVENGE will be fully dismantled.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the national shipbuilding strategy refresh will be published.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 July 2021 to Question 27009 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr John Healey).

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to AWE Management Ltd under the Atomic Weapons Establishment management and operation contract in each year since 2000.

The following table shows the costs of AWE ML under the Management and Operations contract for each financial year since 2000-01, at outturn prices.

Financial Year £ million

2000-01 275

2001-02 264

2002-03 258

2003-04 286

2004-05 354

2005-06 493

2006-07 687

2007-08 894

2008-09 800

2009-10 870

2010-11 944

2011-12 941

2012-13 830

2013-14 901

2014-15 921

2015-16 887

2016-17 815

2017-18 867

2018-19 901

2019-20 994

In the preparation of this response for the hon. Member it came to light that in response to two previous PQs (on 22 November 2018 and 3 February 2015, Questions 194785 and 222312) the amount stated as paid to AWE ML was erroneously overstated in respect of the financial years 2012-13 to 2017-18.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 15 April 2019 to Question 241447 on Radioactive Waste: Dalgety Bay, whether the first stage of the remediations has been completed; and whether the second stage remains on target to be completed in 2021.

The first stage of the remediation work has not been completed; however work is underway on the site, following the granting of a licence by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, which was granted on 17 May 2021.

The target remains to complete all work by September 2022.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 6 December 2018 to Question 197642, how many submariners have received radiation doses in excess of safe limits in each of the last 10 years.

No submariners have received radiation doses in excess of safe limits in any of the last ten years.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department made on meeting the target in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, published in 2010, to reduce the UK's nuclear warhead stockpile ceiling from not more than 225 to not more than 180 by the mid 2020s.

As announced in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published on 16 March 2021, the UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads. I am withholding further details on the size of the stockpile for the purposes of safeguarding national security.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to Leidos to operate the logistics, commodities and services transformation programme in each year since 2015.

The Ministry of Defence has made the following payments to Leidos to operate the Logistics, Commodities and Services Transformation programme since 2015:

Year

£million (ex-VAT)

2015-16

89

2016-17

268

2017-18

326

2018-19

385

2019-20

432

2020-21

355

2021-22

13

The cost for 2020-21 has yet to be finalised and fully paid. The figure for 2021-22 covers the period 1 April 2021 to 26 April 2021.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what surplus land in Scotland his Department has disposed of in each of the last five years; and (a) who the buyer was and (b) how much was paid in each case.

The names, locations, property descriptions and sale years for sites disposed of in Scotland from 2016 to 2021 are listed below:

Establishment Name

Property Description

Sale Year (By FY)

TAYSIDE VOLUNTEER ESTATE

Army Reserve Centre

2016

MORMOND HILL COMMS SITE - RETIRED

Former Forward Scatter Site

2016

STRATHCLYDE VOLUNTEER ESTATE

Disposal Part ATC Site, Hillington Park

2017

LTPA LOCH GOIL

Remaining Land 0.164 to Community 0.046 to Castle Carrick

2018

KIRKCUDBRIGHT TRAINING AREA

25 sq m site for electricity sub station with associated servitude rights for overhead and underground cabling

2018

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Part of field south of redundant GPSS site Linkswood

2018

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Amenity land north of redundant GPSS site Linkswood

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Former family quarter

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Service Family Accommodation

2018

VULCAN NAVAL REACTOR TEST ESTABLISHMENT

Single Living Accommodation

2018

GPSS TURRIFF

Redundant GPSS site Turriff

2019

GPSS LINKSWOOD

Redundant GPSS site, Linkswood

2019

GPSS HEATHFIELD

Redundant GPSS site, Heathfield

2019

GPSS FORFAR

Redundant GPSS site, Forfar

2019

LEUCHARS STATION

Telecommunications Site, Outhmuir

2019

GRAMPIAN VOLUNTEER ESTATE

Surplus land to rear of Army Reserve Centre

2019

MOD CALEDONIA

Solum of Foreshore and Seabed

2020

RRS SAXA VORD

Old Radar Station, Vallafield RAF

2020

The purchaser details and sale prices for the disposed sites has been withheld in view of contractual confidentiality.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 285057 on Cape Wrath, who the industry partner is that undertakes routine internal audits of Environmental Management Systems delivered across the UK Training Estate including Cape Wrath.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation manage the Defence Training Estate across the UK in partnership with its industry partner, Landmarc Support Services Ltd. Landmarc Support Services Ltd is the company who undertakes internal audits of Environmental Management Systems across the UK Defence Training Estate, including Cape Wrath.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many financial mitigation payments have been made to his Department's personnel based in Scotland in relation to the Scottish rate of income tax; and at what salary level those payments began.

Since Tax Year (TY) 2018-19, retrospective mitigation payments have been made to those Regular Service personnel adversely affected, by £12 or more, through having to pay higher rates of income tax in Scotland compared to their counterparts resident outside Scotland. Not all Service personnel meeting the residency requirement for paying Scottish income tax serve in Scotland, and not all those who serve in Scotland are resident there for tax purposes.

So far, the Ministry of Defence has made just over 14,000 mitigation payments covering TYs 2018-19 and 2019-20. These have been triggered where gross taxable earnings (i.e. not just pay) have been £27,200 or more in TY 2018-19, or £28,193 or more in TY 2019-20. Payments covering TY 2020-21 will be made in June, to those whose gross taxable earnings have been £28,443 or more.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 135975 on Armed Forces: Carbon Emissions, what the timetable is for the completion of the work on developing a methodology to expand the scope of defence greenhouse gas emissions reporting to include overseas activities.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is intending to extend the scope of defence greenhouse gas emissions reporting in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts for 2021-22.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 15 April 2019 to Question 241447 on Radioactive Waste: Dalgety Bay, whether the first stage of the remediations has been completed; and whether the second stage remains on target to be completed in 2021.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to AWE Management Ltd under the Atomic Weapons Establishment management and operation contract in each year since 2000.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many safety improvement notices have been issued by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator in each year since 2010.

The table below provides the number of Improvement Notices issued by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator since 2010.

2010

2

2011

-

2012

-

2013

-

2014

-

2015

-

2016

2

2017

1

2018

2

2019

2

2020

1

2021

1

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 3 July 2019 to Question 269749 on Trafalgar Class Submarines, what the latest information is on the base ports of those submarines.

The base port of HMS TALENT was transferred to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in July 19 however her base port is temporarily HMNB Devonport, whilst she undergoes a maintenance period. She will return to HMNB Clyde on completion of the maintenance.

The base port of HMS TRIUMPH will change to HMNB Clyde on completion of her refit, which is expected to be later this year.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent progress has been made on the Submarine Dismantling Project.

I refer the hon. Member to the information on the Submarine Dismantling Project provided in "The United Kingdom's future nuclear deterrent: the 2020 update to Parliament" published on 17 December 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-united-kingdoms-future-nuclear-deterrent-the-2020-update-to-parliament/the-united-kingdoms-future-nuclear-deterrent-the-2020-update-to-parliament

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear safety events there have been at (a) Coulport and (b) Faslane in each of the last three years.

The table below provides the number of Nuclear Site Event Reports (NSERs) at Coulport and Faslane recorded for 2018, 2019 and 2020. These are shown according to their categorisation using criteria agreed locally in 2015.

Nuclear Site Events - 2018

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

2

2

1

16

Faslane

0

0

6

23

86

Nuclear Site Events - 2019

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

0

1

4

13

Faslane

0

1

5

46

88

Nuclear Site Events - 2020

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

Below Scale

Coulport

0

0

0

0

26

Faslane

0

0

1

26

96

In line with industry good practice, and in common with other defence and civil nuclear sites, Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde has a well-established system for raising NSERs and investigating and categorising them according to their safety significance, whether equipment failures, human error, procedural failings, documentation shortcomings or near-misses.

The safety significance of all reported events remains low and they are all below Level 1, the lowest level of the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).

None of the events caused harm to the health of any member of staff at the Naval Base or to any member of the public, and no event resulted in any unauthorised discharge of radioactive waste to the environment.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of uniformed contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.

At 31 December 2020, 535 uniformed contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 470 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 88% of the total.

At 31 December 2020, 419 uniformed contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 370 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 89% of the total.

These figures reflect Ministry of Defence Police and Ministry of Defence Guard Service employees, who are Ministry of Defence civilian employees. The term 'uniformed contractor' has been translated to mean those employees who are neither civilian contractor, non-uniform civilian, or Service personnel.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of civilian employees who are not contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.

At 31 December 2020, 1,015 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 925 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 91% of the total.

At 31 December 2020, 475 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 425 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 89% of the total.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of uniformed Royal Navy personnel based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.

At 1 January 2021, 3,624 uniformed Royal Navy Service personnel were stationed at locations in Argyll and Bute, comprising the Faslane and Coulport sites. Of these, 1,393 personnel were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 38.4% of the total.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the carbon emissions of the British Forces South Atlantic have been over the last three years.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not record the total carbon emissions of the British Forces South Atlantic Islands.

As part of the MOD Climate Change and Sustainability Review we are developing a methodology to expand the scope of defence greenhouse gas emissions reporting to include overseas activities.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) names and (b) locations are of the non-inhabited listed buildings on his Department's estate.

A list of names and locations of the non-inhabited listed buildings on the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list consists of 463 sites that are located on the MOD's estate.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list his Department's unused properties in Scotland; and what plans he has for each of those properties.

As of 2 March 2020, there are 863 unused Ministry of Defence (MOD) properties in Scotland. These properties are Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and a complete list by county can be found below:

Aberdeenshire

4

Angus

27

Argyll and Bute

133

Ayrshire

7

Dumbarton

4

Edinburgh

159

Fife

206

Inverness-shire

29

Isle of Benbecula

6

Midlothian

23

Moray

234

North Lanarkshire

3

Perth

1

Renfrewshire

21

Stirling

6

The Department needs to maintain a management margin of 10% vacant properties at each location so that there are sufficient homes of the appropriate size to accommodate Service Personnel when required. Although currently above this level at 27%, the Department has a plan to reduce these as part of the work to achieve a 10% management margin by Autumn 2021.

MOD continues to maintain vacant properties in Scotland at minimum Decent Homes Standard to allow their allocation to Service families, while looking for opportunities to better utilise or further rationalise the SFA estate.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) location and (b) condition is of Ramsar sites in his Department's (i) ownership and (ii) control.

A list of the location of Ramsar sites within the Defence estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes land that is either freehold, leasehold or a combination of both.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in Ministry of Defence (MOD) control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

No information is held with regards to the condition of Ramsar sites with MOD ownership or control.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the (a) sites and areas of special scientific interest, (b) special protection areas and (c) special areas of conservation under his Department's (i) ownership and (ii) control.

A list of the Sites and Areas of Special Scientific Interest; Special Protection Areas and Special Areas for Conservation within the Defence estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes land that is either freehold, leasehold or a combination of both.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in Ministry of Defence control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) names and (b) locations are of the (i) listed buildings and (ii) scheduled monuments under his Department's (A) ownership and (B) control.

A list of names and locations of the listed buildings and scheduled monuments under his Department's ownership and control will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes 778 scheduled monuments and 851 listed buildings that are located on the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) estate.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in MOD control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many aircraft owned by his Department have carried Ministers on flights in each of the last five years; and how many of those flights were (a) scheduled flights and (b) flights arranged for Ministers.

Depending on the situation, the Ministry of Defence has a number of aircraft that could be used for Ministerial travel. This information is publicly available as part of the Government's commitment to publishing transparency information which includes Ministerial travel. The information is published every quarter and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/search/all?keywords=Ministerial+travel&order=relevance

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many unauthorised incursions there have been at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport naval bases in each of the past ten years.

The number of unauthorised access incidents at HMNB Clyde, Faslane and Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport, is provided in the table below:

Year

Total

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Unauthorised access Faslane

10

-

-

~

~

~

~

~

-

-

-

Unauthorised access Coulport

~

-

-

~

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 in line with disclosure control policy. Figures ending in 5 are rounded to the nearest 20 to avoid bias, 5 or fewer is represented by ‘~’, 0 is represented by ‘-‘.

Unauthorised access is defined as an individual, or individuals, gaining access to a defined Restricted access area within HMNB Clyde by circumventing the site security system. There was no risk to the safety of personnel or vessels arising from these incidents.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2023
To ask the secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has had recent discussions with the devolved Administrations on Investment Zones.

Devolved Administrations will play an equal role in co-design, decision-making and overseeing the delivery of Investment Zones. Officials are jointly developing proposals for Ministers to agree in due course.

The Secretary of State continues to engage regularly with DA Ministers through the Inter-ministerial Standing Committee, which last met on 14 May.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the Financial Conduct Authority in its Report on insurance for multi‑occupancy buildings, published in September 2022.

The Department works closely with the Devolved Administrations to discuss shared challenges, including regarding properties affected by cladding, wider building safety and related insurance issues.

On the 30 January 2023, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that we will act to ban property managing agents, landlords and freeholders from receiving commissions and other payments from insurance firms, replacing such payments with more transparent fees.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Scottish Government on (a) insurance and (b) lending issues relating to buildings with cladding.

The Department works closely with the Devolved Administrations to discuss shared challenges, including regarding properties affected by cladding, wider building safety and related insurance issues.

On the 30 January 2023, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that we will act to ban property managing agents, landlords and freeholders from receiving commissions and other payments from insurance firms, replacing such payments with more transparent fees.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Answer of 22 April 2022 to Question 155781 on Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Information Officers, what percentage of communications staff were (a) embedded in the Department, (b) part of the central communications directorate and (c) loaned or seconded from other Government departments.

100% of the 73 officials detailed in the Department’s previous response were (a) working in the Department’s Communications directorate. None of these officials were (b) employed by the central Government Communications Service run out of the Cabinet Office or (c) loaned or seconded to the Department from other Government Departments at that time.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what surplus land and buildings his Department has disposed of in each of the last five years; who the buyer of each of those areas of land was; and how much was paid for each of those areas of land.

DLUHC has not disposed of any buildings for which it holds the freehold in the last five years. It has not owned any land in this period. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has a property seal which is used by other Government departments on building and land transactions but we do not hold records of other departments transactions. For further details on these transactions please contact the Government Property Agency.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

As of 19 April 2022 this Department’s communications function employed 73 payroll staff, of which 68 were (a) full time and 5 were (b) part time staff. 2 of those working full time have a formal (c) flexible working arrangement in place.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure information on the Homes for Ukraine helpline is available in (a) Ukrainian and (b) Russian.

I refer the Hon Member to the Homes for Ukraine factsheet that has been published online. The factsheet, which has been translated into Ukrainian and Russian, explains how Ukrainians can apply to the sponsorship scheme before arriving in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homes-for-ukraine-factsheet-for-ukrainians.

The Home Office has established a 24/7 bespoke helpline to support people to come to the UK through the different routes available. Further guidance on visa applications and details of the helpline are published here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-visa-under-the-ukraine-sponsorship-scheme.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government’s relations with the devolved Administrations.

The UK government is committed to positive and effective intergovernmental relations with devolved governments and is ready to establish new ways of working.

The last year has shown that extensive collaboration on a range of issues is the best way to achieve the best outcomes for all UK citizens.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much the Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Departmental spend on communications staff was £358,430 in 2019-20, £331,262 in 2020-21 and £564,014 in 2021-22.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

The number of staff working to deliver the communications function in the Northern Ireland Office is 13. All are employed on a full-time basis; there are no part-time communications staff. There are communications staff on flexible working arrangements but there are fewer than 5 on this arrangement.

29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department has spent on special advisers in the (a) 2022-23 financial year and (b) 2023-24 financial year as of 29 January 2024.

The information requested can be found in the Scotland Office and Office for the Advocate General annual report and accounts for financial year 2022-23. This can be accessed using the following link Scotland Office Annual Report 2022-23. The figures for the current financial year 2023-24 will be published in the department’s next annual report and accounts for financial year 2023-24 and laid in parliament by the set deadlines later this calendar year.

In addition to any salary costs, the department has incurred the following travel and subsistence costs in relation to Special Advisors during financial year 2022-23.

Financial Year

Travel & Subsistence (£)

2022-23

61,857

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department has spent on communications staff in the (a) 2022-23 financial year and (b) 2023-24 financial year as of 29 January 2024.

Expenditure on communications staffing costs, including employer’s pensions and national insurance contributions, but excluding any VAT where applicable, was:

Year

Amount (£)

23-24 (to end Dec 23)

1,081,263

22-23

1,166,270

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on public information campaigns promoting Government policies in the (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23 financial years; and how much it has spent on such campaigns in the 2023-24 financial year as of 29 January 2024.

The Office has spent the following on social media platforms to support UK Government policies and information campaigns in Scotland:

Year

Amount (£)

23-24 (to date)

17,725

22-23

49,893

21-22

39,818

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the financial settlement for Scotland.

Despite what we hear from the SNP, the Scottish Government is well-funded.

As a consequence of the decisions made by this UK Government, the Block Grant is now at record levels, with an additional £2.4 billion across three fiscal events.

Scotland receives around 25% more per person than equivalent UK Government spending in other parts of the United Kingdom.

That translates into around £8.5 billion more per year on average.

John Lamont
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Scotland Office)
20th Jun 2023
To ask the secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Scottish Government on promoting Scottish trade and culture overseas.

The UK Government is committed to the promotion of Scottish trade and culture overseas, and our network of 280 diplomatic missions serves the whole of the UK with opportunities.

I recently appeared before the Scottish Affairs Committee, along with Ministerial colleagues, to outline the UK’s work in this space in detail. This includes the work of the new Trade Minister in DBT, Lord Offord of Garvel, who will continue to promote Scotland and Scottish business and cultural interests overseas.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on public information campaigns promoting Government policies in (a) 2020-21, (b) 2021-22 and (c) 2022-23.

Departmental spend on public information campaigns for 2020-21 was £75,681, for 2021-22 was £39,818, and for April-October 2022-23 was £16,003.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2020-21, (b) 2021-22 and (c) 2022-23.

Departmental spend on communications staff for 2020-21 was £906,177, for 2021-22 was £944,645, and for April-October 2022-23 was £612,028.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many Special Advisers are employed by his Department.

The Scotland Office has four Special Advisers.

This information is publicly available and published in the Scotland Office Annual Report and Accounts: Scotland Office Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on special advisers in (a) 2020-21, (b) 2021-22 and (c) 2022-23.

Information on Special Adviser numbers and costs, including pay bands, is published annually in the Annual Report on Special Advisers as per the requirements of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Special Adviser staff costs are paid by the Cabinet Office and the Office reimburses the Cabinet Office for these costs via a budget cover transfer.

Other than salary costs, the Scotland Office has spent the following on special advisers in financial years 2020-21 to 2022-23 (to date).

Financial Year

Travel & Subsistence (£)

2020-21

28,336

2021-22

39,766

2022-23 (April to November 2022)

33,347




Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2022 to Question 155783, for what reason his Department does not employ staff directly.

As with other, comparable small Ministerial departments e.g. the Northern Ireland Office, Wales Office, the Scotland Office benefits from access to the recruitment services of larger organisations. In the case of the Scotland Office, it is the Scottish Government and the Ministry of Justice.

This supports our commitment to managing the public finances in a responsible way, promoting intergovernmental relations and providing easily accessible, rewarding career opportunities for civil servants.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether his Department includes the costs of staff seconded to his Departments from elsewhere in Government in its annual departmental budget.

The costs of all staff seconded to the Department from elsewhere in Government are included within the annual departmental budget.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many staff are employed by his Department on (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) flexible working arrangements.

The Scotland Office does not employ any staff directly. The Civil Service Statistics: 2022 reports that the Scotland Office (including the Office of the Advocate General) had 110 full time staff and 10 part time staff in post as at 31 March 2022. Information on flexible working arrangements is not collected.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

Departmental spend on communications staff for 2019-20 was £870,159, for 2020-21 it was £906,177, and for 2021-22 it was £944,645.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

The Department does not employ staff directly. All the department's staff are employed by the Scottish Government, Ministry of Justice, or other UK Government departments.

The number of staff working at the department as of 19 April 2022 to deliver the communications functions was 12. Categories with numbers less than 5 cannot be provided, as this would make individuals potentially identifiable.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the (a) Levelling Up Fund and (b) Shared Prosperity Fund on the devolution settlement for Scotland.

We have a responsibility to support economic growth UK-wide. This year the Levelling Up Fund has delivered over £170m to locally championed Scottish projects, with MPs Scotland-wide supporting these applications.

The £2.6bn UK Shared Prosperity Fund will launch next year building on this success to support communities in every corner of our UK.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the cost of his Department's communication team was in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

The Communications team cost for 2019-20 was £870,159, and for 2020-21 was £906,177.

The Office is resourced to enable effective engagement and communication with the public and organisations across Scotland. These functions have been essential to supporting the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and providing information to people and businesses as we left the EU.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what role his Department has played with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in establishing the £100 million fishing support fund.

My officials and I are in regular contact with counterparts from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a range of issues of importance to the seafood sector in Scotland, including the establishment of the UK Government's new £100 million support fund. We will provide further information after 6 May.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on social media advertising in each month since October 2020; and on which platforms that money was spent.

The Office delivers public information campaigns in Scotland to communicate important messages to the public, such as national awareness campaigns and policy initiatives. Total Office expenditure on digital campaigns from 1 October 2020 to 24 March 2021 was as follows:

Twitter

Facebook & Instagram

LinkedIn

Total Expenditure

October 2020

£ 1,512.90

£ 2,730.61

£ 507.54

£4,751.05

November 2020

£ 2,141.13

£ 5,202.38

£ -

£7,343.51

December 2020

£ 2,643.06

£ 4,622.46

£ -

£7,265.52

January 2021

£ 790.86

£ 8,238.15

£ -

£9,029.01

February 2021

£ 2,722.62

£ 7,296.12

£ -

£10,018.74

March 2021*

£ 2,811.22

£ 5,868.42

£ -

£8,679.64

* The Office has not run any public information campaigns since 24 March 2021, in line with pre-election requirements.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the travel costs for his Department have been in each quarter since January 2018 by (a) mode of travel and use by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The costs incurred in each quarter for travel by Ministers and officials in the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland is enclosed.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 14 March 2019 to Question 230101 and the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 286276, for what reasons the cost of his Department's communications team rose from £108,439 in 2010-11 to £819,640.02 in 2018-19.

The Office is resourced to deliver all of the communications functions and activities expected and required of a Government Department in its own right and on behalf of the UK Government in Scotland. The number of staff in communications reflects this requirement.

As well as frontline communications functions, such as media handling, the Government Communications Service Modern Communications Operating Model requires UK Government communications divisions to deliver the following functions: campaigns, digital, internal communications, strategic communications and external affairs - such as organising ministerial visits, events, committee meetings and stakeholder engagement activities.

The number of staff working at the Office is recorded in the Annual Report and Accounts, which are available online at gov.uk/scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on social media advertising in each month since June 2019; and on which platforms that money was spent.

The Department spent the following on social media advertising since June 2019:

2019-2020

Twitter

Facebook & Instagram

Total Expenditure

June

£1,861.02

£1,777.52

£3,638.54

July

£747.30

£807.06

£1,554.36

August

£239.60

£1,340.96

£1,580.56

September

£768.74

£595.78

£1,364.52

October

£ -

£1,924.11

£1,924.11

November

£ -

£1,307.89

£1,307.89

December

£ -

£ -

£0.00

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to Question 136969 on Scotland Office: Freedom of Information, if he will publish his Department's review of its practices on publication of Freedom of Information responses.

In 2018, the Office considered carefully whether or not it should retrospectively seek to publish online all of the responses to FOI requests since August 2014. We concluded that we did not have the resources to do so, and that the benefit to the public would not be proportionate to the cost.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 286275 on Scotland Office: Freedom of Information, if he will take steps to ensure that all future responses to Freedom of Information requests are published.

There is no obligation to publish responses to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where requests relate to matters of wider public interest we consider publishing the responses on a case by case basis.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department spent on communications staff in each year between 2010 and 2016.

The total salary costs (including National Insurance and pension costs) spent on communications staff between 2010-11 to 2015-16 is shown below:

Financial Year

Salary Costs* (£)

2010-11

201,848

2011-12

262,350

2012-13

326,146

2013-14

183,271

2014-15

350,637

2015-16

330,759

* The spend on salaries includes staff on maternity leave and those covering their post in their absence.

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18 and (c) 2018-19.

The total salary costs (including National Insurance and pension costs) spent on communications staff in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 is shown below:

Financial Year

Salary Costs £

2016-17

312,560

2017-18

282,381

2018-19

344,975

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department spent on communications staff in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

The total salary costs (including National Insurance and pension costs) spent on communications staff in each of the last 3 financial years is shown below:

Financial Year

Salary Costs (£)

2019-20

376,547

2020-21

392,857

2021-22

452,481

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many communications staff are employed by his Department (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) on flexible working arrangements as of 19 April 2022.

There are six full-time communications staff employed by the office. One further member of staff works part-time. Of the six full-time staff members, one has formal flexible working arrangements although all staff members have the option to work flexibly.

Simon Hart
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)
15th Sep 2021
What recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 on the ability of the Senedd to legislate effectively in devolved policy areas.

The UK Internal Market Act has not taken a single power away from the devolved administrations.

What it has done is protect seamless trade within our United Kingdom which is vital to Welsh business and the Welsh economy, with Wales selling more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the World put together.

Simon Hart
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)