Hilary Benn Portrait

Hilary Benn

Labour - Leeds Central

First elected: 10th June 1999

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

(since September 2023)

Energy Security and Net Zero Committee
12th Jun 2023 - 20th Nov 2023
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
27th Jan 2020 - 16th Jan 2021
Liaison Committee (Commons)
20th May 2020 - 15th Jan 2021
Committee on Exiting the European Union
12th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
12th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
13th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
19th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Liaison Committee (Commons)
19th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
19th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Foreign Secretary
8th May 2015 - 26th Jun 2016
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
7th Oct 2011 - 8th May 2015
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
26th Jan 2011 - 7th Dec 2011
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
28th Jun 2007 - 6th May 2010
Secretary of State for International Development
6th Oct 2003 - 28th Jun 2007
Minister of State (Department for International Development)
13th May 2003 - 6th Oct 2003
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Minister for Prisons and Probation)
29th May 2002 - 13th May 2003
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
6th Dec 1999 - 1st Jun 2001
Environment Sub-committee
6th Dec 1999 - 1st Jun 2001


Department Event
Wednesday 28th February 2024
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
28 Feb 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Department Event
Wednesday 24th April 2024
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
24 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Northern Ireland
The first point I would make to the right hon. Gentleman is that the three examples I have just given …
Written Answers
Thursday 11th January 2024
Medical Records: Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason NHS numbers issued in Northern Ireland …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 13th June 2023
Fire Safety Remediation in Blocks below 11 metres
That this House notes with concern that leaseholders living in blocks below the arbitrary height threshold of 11 metres are …
Bills
Wednesday 4th September 2019
European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019
A Bill to make further provision in connection with the period for negotiations for withdrawing from the European Union.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Mentorn Media Address
Address of donor: Tinopolis Centre, Park Street, Llanelli SA15 3YE 97
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Monday 5th June 2023
Indefinite leave to remain for bereaved partners
That this House supports the Refugee and Migrants Forum of Essex and London’s call for a fee waiver to be …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 21st March 2023
Same Sex Marriage (Church of England) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to enable clergy of the Church of England to conduct same sex marriages on Church of England premises …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Hilary Benn has voted in 731 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Hilary Benn 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
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
(50 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(30 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(28 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(74 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(49 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Hilary Benn's debates

Leeds Central 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

No general statutory duty of care exists in HE. Yet, a duty of care is owed to students, and the Government should legislate for this. HE providers should know what their duty is. Students must know what they can expect. Parents expect their children to be safe at university.

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.


Latest EDMs signed by Hilary Benn

13th June 2023
Hilary Benn signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Tuesday 13th June 2023

Fire Safety Remediation in Blocks below 11 metres

Tabled by: Hilary Benn (Labour - Leeds Central)
That this House notes with concern that leaseholders living in blocks below the arbitrary height threshold of 11 metres are facing uncapped costs to fix cladding and other building safety defects, which may lead to repossessions and bankruptcy; believes that these leaseholders are no more to blame for the national …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 21
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
19th April 2023
Hilary Benn signed this EDM on Monday 5th June 2023

Indefinite leave to remain for bereaved partners

Tabled by: Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
That this House supports the Refugee and Migrants Forum of Essex and London’s call for a fee waiver to be introduced for bereaved partners applying for indefinite leave to remain; notes that the death of a loved one brings multiple emotional, practical and financial costs; believes that people whose leave …
37 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Nov 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 14
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Hilary Benn's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Hilary Benn, 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.


Hilary Benn has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Hilary Benn has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Hilary Benn


A Bill to make further provision in connection with the period for negotiations for withdrawing from the European Union.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 9th September 2019 and was enacted into law.


746 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 Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what representations she has received on increasing funding for the performing arts.

The Government has increased funding for the performing arts.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport principally supports the arts through funding for Arts Council England, which makes individual decisions about which organisations and projects to fund at arm’s length from Ministers. At the Spending Review in 2021, the Government provided increased funding for Arts Council England. Arts Council England’s indicative financial settlement for 2022–5 includes an uplift of £43.5 million, or 2 per cent. As a result of this, and money from the National Lottery, Arts Council England will be spending more each year (by around £30 million) through its new Investment Programme (2023–6) than in the previous round (2018–23). It is investing in a record number of organisations, in more parts of the country than ever before.

This is in addition to the direct funding programmes through which the Department invests in arts and culture such as the Cultural Investment Fund and cross-Government funds such as the Towns Fund and the Levelling Up Fund which have benefited arts and cultural organisations across the country, as well as the more than £1.5 billion of support the Government made available to around 5,000 organisations and sites during the pandemic through the Culture Recovery Fund.

At the Budget last month, we extended the higher rates of Theatre Tax Relief, Orchestras Tax Relief, and Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief until 2025 – changes that are estimated to be worth £350 million over five years.

The Department is proud to work with a range of organisations representing the performing arts, and to receive representations about funding and other issues which can help them thrive. Arts and culture make a huge contribution to this country, not only to our economy and international reputation, but also to the wellbeing and enrichment of its people and communities.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will list the circumstances in which a person may be required to show a Gender Recognition Certificate.

The Government is clear that we want people who are transgender to be able to live their lives as they wish. As announced in September 2020, we believe the current provisions in the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) are effective and allow for those who wish to legally change their sex to do so. The process of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) should, however, be modern and affordable. The newly developed digital application process for GRCs launched on 29 June last year.

The digital application page on gov.uk sets out the list of uses of a GRC which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she plans to take steps to enable opposite-sex couples to convert a civil partnership to marriage.

The Government Equalities Office ran a consultation on the future of conversion rights in England and Wales in 2019.

We continue to analyse the public responses to the consultation, and intend to publish the government’s response and bring forward any necessary legislation as soon as possible.

All updates on the outcome of this consultation, including on the ability for opposite-sex couples to convert their civil partnership to marriage, will be made available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/civil-partnerships-next-steps-and-consultation-on-conversion in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to ensure effective prosecution of fraud and economic crime.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) continue to play a significant role in bringing fraudsters to justice. In 2021/2022, the CPS prosecuted 7,200 defendants, where Fraud and Forgery was the principal offence and the conviction rate was 84.1%.

In 2022-23 the SFO have successfully prosecuted three fraud cases resulting in four criminals being sentenced to a total of 48 years in prison; and also secured the largest ever corporate confiscation order in the UK against Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd, at £93m.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Attorney General, whether the CPS plans to issue guidance on the impact of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000's provisions on holding a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation on organisations or individuals who hold meetings with members or supporters of Hamas to encourage them to turn away from violence and join peace talks.

The CPS recognises the vital work undertaken by civil society to provide humanitarian relief and to promote peacebuilding efforts overseas and that this can take place within a backdrop of instability and fluid governance arrangements, including heavily sanctioned countries or in countries/regions where proscribed terrorist groups are active.

While there are no plans to issue guidance covering these specific circumstances, the CPS intends to publish general prosecutorial guidance in 2022 on the interaction between counter terrorism legislation and the work of aid agencies operating overseas that provide humanitarian relief or promote peacebuilding efforts. A draft of the guidance has been prepared and the CPS is currently engaging in wider consultation with HMG colleagues prior to publication.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what arrangements his Department is planning for the handling of groupage for the operation of the proposed red and green lanes covering goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework.

The Windsor Framework delivers significant benefits for operators who move groupage consignments and mixed loads, including the removal of burdensome paperwork and a reduction in checks.

The green and red lanes under customs arrangements are entirely virtual lanes with separate underlying electronic processes. Green and red lane goods can therefore be moved in the same vehicle without requiring physical segregation, meaning hauliers will not have to alter their logistical arrangements

Mixed loads containing agri-food goods moving through the red and green lane will also be permitted. Whilst the lorry as a whole would not benefit from the full facilitations of the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme, the subsection of goods moving under the scheme will still benefit from the advantages it offers, including removing the need for veterinary signed certificates for individual products. Guidance for traders on how these movements will operate is available on Gov.uk.

It will be a commercial decision for traders and hauliers as to how they move goods. This will be no different in principle to how hauliers make decisions on whether to operate groupage loads at present.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will list the circumstances in which people are required by law to produce or show their birth certificate.

The requested information is not centrally held by the Cabinet Office.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the monitoring of regulatory divergence from the EU, how many full-time equivalent staff undertake that work; how external stakeholders input into that work; which Department coordinates and/or shares that work across Government; and if he will publish assessments made of the impact of any regulatory divergence.

This government is making the most of our new found freedom to reform, repeal and replace outdated retained EU law that does not serve the interests of the UK. We are creating a regulatory environment which will promote growth, innovation and prosperity, cutting at least £1 billion of red tape for businesses, while maintaining the high standards the British people rightly expect.

Cabinet Office is leading and coordinating the programme of work being undertaken by Secretaries of State across government, to identify and deliver the regulatory and economic opportunities that Brexit has provided. No staff within the Brexit Opportunities Unit in the Cabinet Office monitor how the EU chooses to diverge from the UK.

The Government monitors significant EU policy developments that are likely to affect UK interests, to ensure compliance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and support business readiness as necessary. My officials and I undertake regular engagement with the Devolved Administrations on the opportunities arising from leaving the EU, using Common Frameworks and other existing intergovernmental structures.



1st Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how his Department (a) reviews EU developments and new regulations, (b) assesses the potential effect of UK divergence from those regulations on (i) UK industry, (ii) trade barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (iii) devolved administrations, (iv) level playing field provisions in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and EU adequacy and equivalence decisions and (v) levels of protection for the environment, labour and human health and (c) makes assessments as to which regulations the UK should align with and where there may be potential opportunities from divergence.

This government is making the most of our new found freedom to reform, repeal and replace outdated retained EU law that does not serve the interests of the UK. We are creating a regulatory environment which will promote growth, innovation and prosperity, cutting at least £1 billion of red tape for businesses, while maintaining the high standards the British people rightly expect.

Cabinet Office is leading and coordinating the programme of work being undertaken by Secretaries of State across government, to identify and deliver the regulatory and economic opportunities that Brexit has provided. No staff within the Brexit Opportunities Unit in the Cabinet Office monitor how the EU chooses to diverge from the UK.

The Government monitors significant EU policy developments that are likely to affect UK interests, to ensure compliance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and support business readiness as necessary. My officials and I undertake regular engagement with the Devolved Administrations on the opportunities arising from leaving the EU, using Common Frameworks and other existing intergovernmental structures.



1st Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how the Government manages UK regulatory divergence from the EU.

This government is making the most of our new found freedom to reform, repeal and replace outdated retained EU law that does not serve the interests of the UK. We are creating a regulatory environment which will promote growth, innovation and prosperity, cutting at least £1 billion of red tape for businesses, while maintaining the high standards the British people rightly expect.

Cabinet Office is leading and coordinating the programme of work being undertaken by Secretaries of State across government, to identify and deliver the regulatory and economic opportunities that Brexit has provided. No staff within the Brexit Opportunities Unit in the Cabinet Office monitor how the EU chooses to diverge from the UK.

The Government monitors significant EU policy developments that are likely to affect UK interests, to ensure compliance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and support business readiness as necessary. My officials and I undertake regular engagement with the Devolved Administrations on the opportunities arising from leaving the EU, using Common Frameworks and other existing intergovernmental structures.



12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the names of the companies contracted to work on the new press briefing room at 10 Downing Street.

The Government has established facilities within 9 Downing Street, rather than 10 Downing Street, which are being used for daily broadcasting by a number of news organisations, therefore I refer the Rt. Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 169917 on 22 March 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, when he plans to reply to the letter from the Rt. hon. Member for Leeds Central of 15 January 2021 on his appearance before the Liaison Committee.

I sent a letter to the Chair of the Liaison Committee relating to my appearance before the Committee on 13 January 2021, including follow-up letters from members, on 1 February 2021. A copy is available on the Committee’s website.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Minister will answer in the House on matters relating to the operation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the EU-UK Partnership Council.

Further to the answer given to PQ138410 on 20 January, there have been no meetings of the Trade Partnership Council to date. It has however agreed by committee procedure, the extension of the provisional application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.


From 1 March Lord Frost, as Cabinet Office minister, is the UK co-chair of the Partnership Council as of 1 March 2021, and is accountable for its overall operation. Departments will lead on the Trade and Cooperation Specialised Committees in their areas.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, who will represent the UK as Co-Chair on the UK-EU Partnership Council.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ138410 on 20 January 2021.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his comments made on a visit to East Yorkshire on 6 July 2020, what procedures were being referred to in relation to care homes not following procedures during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the answer I gave to the Leader of the Opposition on 8 July, Official Report, Cols 963 and 964.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Answer of 5 May 2020 to Question HL3246, what progress he has made in negotiations with the EU on future mobility arrangements.

I refer the Rt. Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 48438 on 2 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the UK is seeking to negotiate with the EU reciprocal visa free travel for the purposes of tourism after the transition period.

I refer the Rt. Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 48438 on 2 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his timeframe is for reviewing the restrictions imposed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on weddings taking place; and if he will make make a statement.

Our Plan To Rebuild, the Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, is published on gov.uk and includes details on plans for weddings. We understand the frustration couples planning a wedding must be feeling at this time. We are keeping these restrictions under review and will ease them as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to work closely with faith leaders and local government over the coming weeks to go through the practicalities of doing so.

Marriages and civil partnerships under the special procedure for those who are seriously ill and not expected to recover, are taking place in some cases where it is safe to do so in line with PHE guidance.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to encourage civil society dialogue as set out in paragraph 125 of the Political Declaration agreed with the EU.

We want a relationship with the EU which is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals, and centred on free trade. We will have a relationship with our European friends inspired by our shared history and values.

The Political Declaration sets out the potential scope of the future relationship. This is now a matter for negotiations.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Minister has lead responsibility for negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU.

I refer the Rt. Hon. Member to the answer given by the Leader of the House of Commons to PQs 11512, 11514, 11515 on 6 February 2020.

Oliver Dowden
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how much the Government will receive as a result of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme interest rate being higher than the Bank of England base rate.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a delegated scheme; as such, interest rates will depend on the specific loan agreements between a borrower and their lender.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding balance. The Government does not benefit from interest repayments on loans through the CBILS scheme.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, for what reasons the rate of interest on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has increased to eight per cent.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a delegated scheme; as such, interest rates will depend on the specific loan agreements between a borrower and their lender.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding balance. The Government does not benefit from interest repayments on loans through the CBILS scheme.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many and what proportion of charities that took out loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme have outstanding monies to pay.

The Department for Business and Trade has not made an estimate of the number of charities that took out loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and so does not have an estimate on the proportion of charities which have an outstanding balance on their loan.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many businesses have gone into liquidation following the non-payment of a loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Department for Business and Trade has not made an estimate of the number of businesses that took out loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) that have since ceased trading. This will be considered as part of the scheme's ongoing evaluation, which will consider the impact of CBILS on business survival.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of mechanisms to enable companies to remove (a) potentially defamatory reviews and (b) threatening comments from online review sites.

The government introduced in Parliament the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill on 25 April which includes a delegated power to amend a list of automatically unfair practices set out in the Bill.

Government plans to address fake and misleading reviews by adding these practices to that list of banned practices, following consultation this year. This will give greater clarity to business and consumers and, where fake reviews or misleading reviews are posted, allow enforcers to take effective action quickly.

The threatening communications offence in the Online Safety Bill, will capture communications which convey a serious threat of harm to a likely audience.

This includes communications such as a threat to life, rape, or serious injury; or causing serious financial harm.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 10 May 2023 on Regulatory Reform Update, HCWS764, what changes to EU-derived reporting requirements could save businesses £1 billion a year.

The Government published an impact assessment on reducing the administrative burden of record keeping requirements under the Working Time Regulations which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/retained-eu-employment-law-reforms

The 10 May announcement is a down payment on the Government’s plans to reduce regulatory burdens for business, helping to unlock economic growth. It will be followed by further announcements setting out our ambitions for reform across the UK economy.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent estimate she has made with Cabinet colleagues of the potential cost of upgrading all homes in England to at least energy performance certificate rating C.

The Government set out an aspiration in the Clean Growth Strategy for as many homes as possible to reach an Energy Performance Rating Band C by 2035 where cost-effective, affordable and practical. Achieving this will require mobilising up to £65 billion of capital investment.

The Government is investing £6.6 billion over this Parliament on clean heat and improving energy efficiency in buildings. In addition, £6 billion of new Government funding will be made available from 2025 to 2028.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will take steps to prevent energy companies from building up large amounts of credit in customer accounts as a result of direct debits.

According to Ofgem guidance, suppliers should review credit balances every six months to avoid an excessive build-up of credit. Ofgem have conducted a series of Market Compliance Reviews, including on direct debit processes and performance, and has identified areas where suppliers need to improve.

Customers can ask their supplier to refund a credit balance at any time. Suppliers must do so promptly unless they have reasonable grounds not to.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason it is his Department's policy that intellectual property practitioners who represent businesses before the Intellectual Property Office are not required to be regulated in the UK.

The Government supports appropriate regulation of intellectual property practitioners where this is necessary to ensure that applicants and rights holders are effectively represented.

We have not seen a need to change the current regulatory framework. The Government continues to welcome evidence from practitioners and consumers if they consider there to be deficiencies in the current system.

20th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to students in higher education who are living away from home for their energy bills.

In private rented accommodation, landlords are required to reflect in the price they charge for energy, the actual costs and any Government support they receive through the Energy Bills Support Scheme and Energy Price Guarantee. This includes, where landlords charge based on usage, making a reasonable estimate of the appropriate unit rate to charge.

Where students live in commercially provided accommodation supplied by a non-domestic contract such as a hall of residence, they may benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme depending on when the commercial provider signed their energy contract. If so, the commercial provider is required to pass on the savings to their student tenants.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his planned timetable is for the online application portal to be available for people without a direct relationship with their energy supplier to apply for a £400 payment through the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding will provide support of £400 for energy bills for around 900,000 households without a domestic electricity supply. Those that are eligible will need to submit a short online form via the Government’s GOV.UK pages, with the application portal due to open in January.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the total (a) potential amount of renewable electricity that could be generated by wind turbines in the UK and (b) actual amount of renewable electricity generated by wind turbines in the UK that was used by the National Grid in 2021.

BEIS records this information in Chapter 6 of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) publication: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/renewable-sources-of-energy-chapter-6-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes.

Table 6.2 shows that installed UK wind capacity was 25.8GW for 2021, generating 64.7TWh of electricity. The theoretical total generating capacity of these turbines is 226TWh of electricity, though this would imply they were generating 100% of the time. Actual output is heavily influenced by weather conditions. Table 6.3 shows that wind operated at 29% of potential maximum in 2021. Typically, we would expect this percentage to increase over time with newer, more efficient deployment

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take into account the additional energy costs faced by people with Huntington’s Disease in his review of the energy support scheme in April 2023.

The Government is supporting the most vulnerable UK households with £1,200 of support provided in instalments over this year.

The Treasury-led review of the energy support schemes will consider how to support households with energy bills after April 2023. The objective of the review is to design a new approach that ensures enough support for those in need, that will also cost the taxpayer significantly less than planned.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Energy Price Guarantee will support housing associations that have fixed business electricity contracts for multi-occupancy buildings where the costs are billed to tenants alongside their rent.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide a price reduction to ensure all eligible businesses and other non-domestic energy users are protected from excessively high energy bills over the winter period. Housing associations on eligible non-domestic tariffs will be covered by the scheme and will need to make sure the benefits of the scheme are passed onto tenants in a reasonable and proportionate way.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the amount of additional electricity demand that will result from (a) heat pumps in residential homes and (b) domestic electric vehicle charging.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out how electricity demand is likely to increase by 40-60% by 2035, including increased demand from electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that apartment blocks can receive signals for smart meters so as to allow for the charging of electric vehicles.

Energy suppliers are working on solutions to extend the range of the smart meter Home Area Network, and are already rolling out a “dual band” communications hub which can operate on two different frequencies and therefore serve many previously hard to reach flats and tower blocks.

The Government is working with industry to ensure a technical solution is developed for the small minority of properties that cannot be served by the new “dual band” communications hub.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the impact of the location of electric meters in block of flats on the ability of residents to connect to smart meters and charge electric vehicles.

Energy suppliers are working together on solutions to extend the range of the smart meter Home Area Network. Energy suppliers are now rolling out a new type of communications hub which can operate on different frequencies and therefore serve many previously hard to reach flats and tower blocks.


Legislation came into force on the 15th June 2022 which requires all new homes and buildings in England, including blocks of flats, and those undergoing major renovation, with associated parking to install a charge point. These requirements provide best value for money by avoiding more costly retrofitting in the future.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to require retailers to sell one pair of different size shoes to people who have two different sized feet as a result of a disability or toe amputation.

This is a matter for individual retailers. However, the Government would encourage retailers to make reasonable adjustments to their store polices to cater for all consumers.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what data his Department holds on the number of disconnections of customers in England for non-payment of (a) gas and (b) electricity bills in each of the last five years.

Ofgem, as the independent regulator of the gas and electricity markets, publishes details on the number of customer disconnections on their website:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-data-and-research/data-portal/all-available-charts?keyword=disconnection%20for%20non-payment&sort=relevance.

This information is available up to Q2 2021 and dates back to Q1 2006. Ofgem regulates the market in Great Britain, so this data is for customers in Great Britain.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what data his Department holds on the number of disconnections of customers in England for non-payment of (a) gas and (b) electricity bills in each of the last five years.

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

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the energy price cap does not apply to commercial meters for communal areas in the blocks of flats.

The energy price cap was introduced following a two-year investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which identified that domestic consumers on default tariffs were paying a loyalty penalty.

The CMA found no evidence of a loyalty penalty for consumers supplied via their landlord rather than being supplied directly to a meter in their home. Landlords purchase energy via a negotiated commercial supply contract. Ofgem has a rule in place limiting the maximum resale price at which landlords can resell gas or electricity to their tenants.

The Government is committed to legislating within this parliament to regulate the heat networks sector. In December the Government announced that Ofgem will take on the role of regulator and have new powers to regulate prices in this sector.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to protect leaseholders living in flats with communal heating systems from energy bill increases.

Renters and leaseholders are facing financial pressures this winter, which is why the Government is taking action worth more than £9.1billion in supporting households through initiatives such as the Energy Bills Rebate, the Household Support Fund, Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. Depending on their financial situation and income, people may qualify for one or more of these schemes and should get in touch with their local authorities who will best advise them on their eligibility.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many company directors have been struck off for (a) wrongful trading, (b) fraudulent trading and (c) unfit conduct in (i) England and (ii) Yorkshire in each of the last five years.

Companies House publishes information annually on the number of disqualification orders notified to the Secretary of State in the United Kingdom under the Insolvency Act 2000 and the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. The information includes disqualifications for wrongful trading, fraud in a winding up and unfit conduct. This information covers the UK as a whole and Companies House is unable to provide separate figures for England and Yorkshire.

The latest published information can be found at the following url https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/companies-house-management-information-tables-2020-to-2021

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the extent of the practice whereby companies commission work from sub-contractors and then liquidate that company in order to avoid paying for the work only for the directors to establish a new business under a different name; and if he will make a statement.

Office holders appointed to administer a liquidation are required to investigate the conduct of directors and report about that conduct to the Insolvency Service within three months of the liquidation. This may lead to investigation and proceedings to disqualify or, in serious cases, prosecute directors for misconduct. Depending upon the evidence obtained, such misconduct can include where a director caused a company to incur a debt which they had no intention of the company repaying.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Licence Lite applications have been made in each year since 2009; and how many were awarded by Ofgem in each of those years.

Ofgem have provided the following information on the number of Licence Lite applications received each year since 2009, and how many were granted a licence.

Year

Number of Licence Lite Applications

Number of Licence Lite granted

2009 - 2015

0

0

2016

1

0

2017

2

3

2018

1

0

From 2019 to present, Ofgem have not received any applications for a Licence Lite.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the additional renewable electricity generating capacity required to support the estimated number of electric vehicles in (a) 2025, (b) 2030 and (c) 2035.

The Government works closely with National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) to ensure there is adequate capacity available to meet peak demand in a range of scenarios, now and in the future. Each year NGESO evaluate how much capacity will be necessary to meet demand in the years ahead and utilise this assessment to determine targets for the annual Capacity Market auctions. Auctions held to date have secured the majority of Great Britain’s capacity needs out to 2024/25.

The Government will take action so that, by 2035, all electricity will come from low carbon sources, subject to security of supply. This includes the Government’s commitment to deliver 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, alongside the expansion of other low-cost renewable technologies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of fireworks and bonfires on the level of CO2 emissions in England around 5 November.

BEIS currently does not estimate the level of CO2 emissions produced by bonfires and fireworks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support people with paying their energy bills and insulating their homes during winter 2021.

The Energy Price Cap will protect millions of customers this winter. The Government also provides a range of support to low-income, fuel poor and vulnerable households including:

  • Warm Home Discount, providing eligible households with a one-off £140 discount on their energy bill for winter 2021 to 2022.
  • Winter Fuel Payment, £200 for households with a memberwho has reached State Pension age and is under age 80; or £300 for households with a memberaged 80 and over.
  • Cold Weather Payment, a £25 payment for vulnerable households on qualifying benefits when the weather is, or is expected to be, unusually cold.

The Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out the actions we will be taking to reduce emissions from buildings in the near term, including £3.9 billion of new funding.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy that all energy suppliers must offer a no standing charge tariff to residential customers.

The setting of tariffs is a commercial decision for energy suppliers. Since 2016, suppliers have been able to offer a greater range of tariffs to accommodate different customer needs, including tariffs with a low or even zero standing charge.

The payment of a standing charge reflects the fixed costs of providing and maintaining supply, regardless of energy usage, including meter rental, meter readings, accounting and billing and maintenance of the energy network. Tariffs with a low or zero standing charge attract a much higher unit rate to ensure these fixed supply costs are met.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward the Thomas Cook Compensation Bill, as announced in the Queen's Speech on 19 December 2019.

The Government understands that an alternative route for Thomas Cook personal injury claimants is being pursued that would potentially be financially beneficial to them.

The Government is committed to introducing the legislation to establish the payment scheme for customers of Thomas Cook with serious and long-term injuries for which the company would have been liable but for its insolvency, if it is established that there are no alternative routes to compensation.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of policies put in place by UK businesses in respect of covid-19 secure working conditions for their staff operating overseas, including outsourced operations.

UK businesses operating overseas are required to follow the legal obligations and guidance set out by the government in the jurisdictions that the business is operating. We expect that UK businesses have and will continue to take steps to protect their employees and others from the risks of COVID-19, both at home and overseas.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposed fossil fuel development by Siccar in the Cambo area, in partnership with Shell, with the UK's climate change commitments.

Projections of future supply of oil and gas from the UK, as used by BEIS and the Climate Change Committee, factor in assumed production from fields that have been licensed to date (including Cambo).

All development proposals for oil and gas fields with existing licences are subject to a robust regulatory process before a decision on approval is made by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the number of small businesses fined by Companies House and HMRC during the covid-19 outbreak for late (a) filing and (b) payment; and if he will make a statement.

Companies House registers companies, not businesses. The information currently filed with Companies House does not allow it to determine company size. Therefore, it cannot determine the number of small companies that have been subject to a late filing penalty. However, the total number of Civil Penalties raised during the period 1st April 2020 to 31st May 2021 are 241,918.

In order to assist companies affected by the pandemic, measures were put in place by the Department, including allowing companies extra time to file accounts. Also, any appeal to the Registrar against paying a penalty on the grounds a company has been impacted by the pandemic immediately before the filing deadline are being treated sympathetically.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the planned timescale is for the Competition and Markets Authority to report on its investigation of the acquisition by Uber of GPC Software Ltd.

Competition investigations into mergers are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is an independent non-Ministerial department. On 29 January 2021, the CMA began a merger inquiry in relation to this transaction, which is being carried out independently. The CMA is working to a deadline of 29 March 2021 to complete its initial review. Following its initial review, the CMA can either clear the merger or launch an in-depth assessment of the competition issues. The CMA will publish on its website updates on its review of this merger.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received on the effect of shortages of foam and particleboard on the UK furniture industry; and if he will make a statement.

The issue on the effect of shortages of foam and particleboard on the UK furniture industry has been raised with the Department through correspondence, as well as engagement with the UK furniture sector.

Various factors have contributed to a severe lack of raw materials for manufacturers, including successive storms in the Gulf of Mexico, annual turnarounds at chemical plants in Europe, and technical issues at another plant. This has subsequently impacted the cost of these materials.

The reported issues with the supply of some chemicals used in foam production is a commercial issue and likely a result of an increased global demand on these materials. We will continue to monitor the situation and engage with the furniture sector to gain a better understanding of the situation and its impact.

20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he was consulted on the recent decision by UK Research and Innovation not to extend the studentships of doctoral students affected by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises that the disruption of recent months has impacted the ability of doctoral students to undertake their research projects. This has led to students having to adjust their projects, making decisions around changing their approach, collecting different data, or changing the way they had planned to work with people, labs, archives or facilities.

As it is not possible for all students to adjust their projects and training plan in such a way, I announced in April that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded PhD students in the final year and whose studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic would be provided with additional support. Subsequently on the 11th November, UKRI provided a further £19.1 million of funding to support students in earlier years, including disabled students, those with long-term illness, those who are neurodivergent, or those with caring responsibilities.

Combined, these two interventions have meant that UKRI has made over £60 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.

UKRI as the national funding agency for research and innovation, has independence to deliver funding under the direction of BEIS ministers. BEIS and UKRI are continuing to assess the impact of Covid 19 across all the research and innovation they fund.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a person who has been informed by letter that they are clinically extremely vulnerable and should not go to work can be put on the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) continues to support businesses and individuals throughout the UK. Where employees are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable, they can be furloughed through the CJRS. As with the previous scheme, it is up to employers to decide whether to furlough these employees.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the UK car industry of tariffs in the event that no agreement is reached in the current negotiations between the UK and the EU on the future relationship.

We are confident that we can reach a deal and will continue to work hard to reach an agreement with the EU for as long as there is a constructive process ongoing. The Political Declaration sets out our ambition for a zero tariff and zero quota Free Trade Agreement; reducing the costs and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK and the EU.

Extensive engagement has been taking place between the Government and the automotive sector on future trade negotiations. We shall continue to work with companies over the next few months to ensure that they are well prepared for the end of the transition period.

In addition, the Government has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK’s automotive sector.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has issued advice to energy companies on doorstep cold-calling during the covid-19 outbreak.

The energy regulator Ofgem has a duty to protect the interests of consumers.

Ofgem rules to protect consumers subject to doorstop sales activity, include requirements that companies and their representatives only recommend tariffs that are appropriate to a consumers circumstances and preferences and that a record of the information provided to a consumer is kept for two years.

In an open letter published on 16 June, Ofgem set out their expectation that face to face activities should be in line with Government Covid-19 guidelines.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason tanning salons are currently unable to open as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are being eased; what assessment he has made of the risks of their opening; and what guidance he can provide on how to mitigate those risks.

On 23 June, the Government published guidance for close contact services, including tanning salons, on how they can reopen safely once they are able to do so.

We are taking a phased, cautious approach to reopening our economy, working with businesses, trade associations and medical experts on the safest way to reopen close contact services like massage therapists, beauty salons and tattoo parlours, where there is often greater risk of transmission due to prolonged periods of face-to-face contact and close proximity between staff and customers.

We intend to allow close contact services, such as reflexologists and tattoo parlours to re-open as soon as it is safe to do so.

Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and making any changes to our approach depends on us continuing to meet the five tests.

15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to publish the gambling white paper.

The Gambling Act Review is wide-ranging and aims to ensure regulation is fit for the digital age. We will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming weeks.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential health risks from tyre crumb fill on 3G sports pitches.

Artificial grass pitches are recognised as a durable, safe, year-round playing surfaces, able to withstand intensive use and all kinds of weather. They mean more people can benefit from the social and health benefits of physical activity.

We recognise the concerns that have been raised about the safety and environmental impact associated with these pitches, and take them very seriously.

Sport England have monitored numerous independent scientific studies on the safety of rubber crumb, which have reported a very low or negligible level of concern for human health. The European Chemicals Agency European Chemicals Regulatory Authority (ECHA) published its own findings in 2019, following an extensive EU-wide study, and found no reason to advise people against playing sport on 3G pitches with rubber crumb.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the regulatory framework for these matters now sits at a UK level (except for Northern Ireland). The four national governments of the UK and their agencies are working with leading sports and industry bodies to provide greater reassurance to communities that artificial grass pitches in this country are both safe for the environment and for people to play on.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to implement in full the recommendations of the fan led review of football governance in the forthcoming Queen's Speech.

The Government has endorsed the principle that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game. We are working at pace to consider the recommendations of the Fan Led Review, and determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator. The response to the review, including next steps, will be issued in the coming weeks.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to reduce the number of gambling advertisements on television.

Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, as long as they comply with the advertising codes. These codes set rules such as preventing gambling adverts from airing around any programmes that particularly appeal to children. All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority and Ofcom.

The gambling industry’s own Code for Socially Responsible Advertising also includes restrictions on televised advertising, such as a ban on showing most forms of gambling advertising before 9 pm, and the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban preventing betting ads from airing during and immediately before and after live sporting events.

The Government is currently reviewing the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. As part of its broad scope, the Gambling Act Review will look at the impacts of advertising and marketing by gambling operators, wherever it appears. We will publish a White Paper outlining our conclusions in the coming weeks.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact on the income of (a) sports clubs, (b) community centres and (c) other voluntary organisations of the changes to the Communications Code which enable providers to reduce rental payments to them for equipment on their property.

The 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code were intended to make it cheaper and easier for digital communications operators to deploy and maintain their networks. It was the government’s view that the cost of acquiring rights to install digital infrastructure prior to 2017 was too high and needed to be addressed. The pricing regime now in place is more closely aligned to those for utilities such as water and electricity and reflects the fact that access to good quality digital services is an increasingly critical part of daily life for residents across the UK.

Following the introduction of the 2017 reforms, DCMS engaged closely with stakeholders to understand the impact they were having, and a consultation on potential further reform to the Code was published in January 2021. The valuation regime introduced in 2017 was not included in that consultation. The Government continues to believe that framework strikes a fair balance between ensuring individual landowners are not left out of pocket and encouraging the industry investment needed for consumers across the UK to have access to robust digital services.

The response to the government’s consultation was published in November 2021 and the Product Security and Telecoms Infrastructure Bill, bringing forward the measures set out in that response, has been introduced.

We anticipate that the changes being brought forwards through that Bill will lead to better collaboration between site providers and telecoms operators and help mutually acceptable outcomes to be achieved. This will speed up the rollout and upgrading of digital services throughout the UK, providing the public with the digital connectivity they need both now and in the future.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will review the potential effect of the 2017 Electronic Communications Code on rents paid to landowners to allow mobile masts on their land.

Since the introduction of the reforms in 2017 we have continually listened to feedback from stakeholders on the impact those changes have had on the expansion and improvement of digital networks across the UK. The culmination of this process was a consultation on potential further reform to the Code, published in January 2021. The consultation closed in March 2021 and responses are being considered. The Government’s response will be published shortly.

The provisions concerning how rents are calculated were not part of that consultation. The 2017 reforms were intended to strike a balance between ensuring individual landowners do not incur any losses and enabling the deployment of digital networks more cost effective. It is the Government’s view that the cost of acquiring rights to install digital infrastructure prior to 2017 was too high and needed to be addressed. The pricing regime now in place is more closely aligned to those for utilities such as water and electricity and reflects the fact that access to good quality digital services is an increasingly critical part of daily life for residents across the UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has undertaken research into the incidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among footballers.

The safety, wellbeing and welfare of everyone taking part in sport is absolutely paramount. National Governing Bodies are responsible for the regulation of their sports and for ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to protect participants from harm, including serious injuries. With that in mind, we expect sports to do all they can to protect their players as a fundamental part of their duty of care.

The Government remains committed to working with sports to build on the positive work on concussion that is already taking place, including the use of research. To that end, the Secretary of State and I hosted two roundtables on concussion in sport earlier this year to understand the issues from the perspectives of players and to push the sports on what more they can be doing, including research.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to compensate people who have lost money as a result of the collapse of Football Index.

The Secretary of State has appointed Malcolm Sheehan QC to lead the independent review of the Football Index gambling product and we have published its scope and terms of reference on gov.uk. This review is entirely separate from the ongoing administration proceedings, which are looking at assets and liabilities of the company and recompense to customers. As I said in my Written Ministerial Statement of 7 June, the independent review will be conducted and report in such a way as to avoid prejudicing that process and the Gambling Commission’s ongoing regulatory investigation. The statement can be found at: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-06-07/hcws63

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to help ensure that the Honresfield Library remains in the UK.

The UK’s export-licensing procedures allow us to identify important items of cultural property of national significance which are in danger of being sold abroad and to consider whether an attempt should be made to keep them in the UK, whilst respecting the rights of owners.

An export licence is required for cultural goods manufactured or produced more than 50 years before the date of export and valued above certain thresholds (except in the case of documents and manuscripts where there is no minimum financial value).

If items at risk of export are considered by an expert adviser to be of outstanding importance they are referred to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. If the Committee decides that an object meets one or more criteria used to determine national importance, it may recommend that the Secretary of State defers the granting of an export licence in order to give a UK institution or collector the opportunity to acquire it.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans a further programme of financial support for organisations affected by Tier 2 and Tier 3 local covid-19 alert level restrictions.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday 1 November, universal restrictions will be in place for the whole of England from 5 November until 2 December. Given the far reaching implications of this, the Government extended the furlough scheme for the duration of this period and grants for businesses forced to close. Due to this, some of the measures recently announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support a regional approach will be paused.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to respond to the recommendations of the recent report of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group.

We welcome all contributions to the debate around gambling, including the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group’s recent report, and we are considering its findings and recommendations carefully. We also look forward to forthcoming reports from the Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, and the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into gambling regulation and problem gambling, to which we will formally respond.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether it is Government policy to seek to negotiate an agreement on multi-entry touring visas for UK musicians wishing to perform in the EU as part of the future partnership negotiations.

DCMS has engaged extensively with union bodies, companies, orchestras, individual musical practitioners and cultural organisations. We understand the importance of being able to tour. We recognise that this depends on musicians and crew being able to move quickly and easily between countries, taking necessary equipment with them.

We want a relationship with the EU based on friendly cooperation. On temporary entry for business purposes (mode 4), a reciprocal agreement based on best precedent will mean that UK citizens will be able to undertake some business activities in the EU without a work permit, on a short-term basis. The same would apply for EU citizens making business visits to the UK. The precise details, including range of activities, documentation needed, and the time limit, will be negotiated.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect on UK musicians of leaving the transitional period without an agreement with the EU.

The UK’s creative industries deliver around 12 per cent of the UK’s total exports in services, and have grown rapidly in recent years. The government is committed to ensuring this growth continues.

DCMS has engaged extensively with union bodies, artists and cultural organisations to help understand the needs of the creative and cultural sector, including UK musicians who make up a significant proportion of people in these sectors. We understand the diverse circumstances of companies, organisations and individual practitioners and how they may need to adapt as we leave the EU.

We want a relationship with the EU based on friendly cooperation, centred on free trade on the lines of the free trade agreement the EU has with Canada. On temporary entry for business purposes (mode 4), a reciprocal agreement based on best precedent will mean that UK citizens will be able to undertake some paid business activities in the EU without a work permit, on a short-term basis. The precise details, including range of activities, documentation needed, and the time limit, will be negotiated. We are confident that such an agreement based on friendly cooperation can be achieved. However, in the event that such a comprehensive free trade agreement cannot be agreed, the transition period will end and the UK will operate under the deal agreed with the EU in 2019 and an arrangement similar to that between Australia and the EU.

In all circumstances, we expect UK musicians’ work to continue to be an export that is highly valued in the EU as it is across the world.

21st Apr 2020
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of masts that will be required to roll out 5G throughout the UK.

The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a global leader in 5G technology and ensuring that the majority of the population has access to a 5G signal by 2027. We have made good progress toward these aims, with 5G networks available in over 70 UK towns and cities and the investment of £200m in a 5G testbeds and trials programme.

5G deployment is still in its infancy and decisions on rollout and deployment remain a matter for the network operators themselves, based on need and demand for 5G services. It should be noted that in many cases 5G deployment will be delivered utilising masts that are currently used for the delivery of 4G services.

As roll out continues Government will continue to work with industry and stakeholders to support the timely and efficient rollout of 5G across the UK.

19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has had recent discussions with the travel industry on trends in the cost of family holidays during school holidays.

The Secretary of State for Education has not had recent discussions with the travel industry on trends in the cost of family holidays during school holidays. However, information and research on the cost of holidays is widely available online.

16th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of children on the roll of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools who have been absent for four weeks or longer.

Data on absence and attendance are collected via two sources. The School Census collects data on total termly absence only and does not collect dates or continuous periods of absence. It does not collect data on whether pupils were absent for a period of four weeks or longer. It collects data on proportion of absence over a term or year.

Information on absence is also collected via data submitted to the Department by participating schools on a daily basis. The information requested is not readily available from this source and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much her Department spent on (a) teacher training and (b) educational resources on international development in the 2022-23 financial year.

The Government is committed to providing a world class education system for all pupils and has funded significantly in education to achieve that.

The Department does not specifically fund Initial Teacher Training on international development.

Schools receive core funding, to cover all the core running costs of a school. Overall, funding for both mainstream schools and high needs increased by £4 billion in 2022/23 compared to the previous year. Total funding for mainstream schools was £53.8 billion in the 2022/23 financial year.

All schools and academies have the freedom to choose how to spend their core funding according to their own unique circumstances and priorities, providing that all expenditure ultimately benefits their pupils. The Department does not allocate specific budgets for each subject. It is for schools to decide the allocation of resources at an individual school level.

Geography is part of the statutory National Curriculum for maintained schools at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Within geography, the National Curriculum and subject content for GCSE does set out requirements for teaching human geography, including economic, global, and international development.

Citizenship is also part of the statutory National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. As part of Citizenship, pupils will learn about Parliament, the importance of voting and elections, the role of police, courts and justice, free press, human rights and international law and the governments of other countries, both democratic and non-democratic. They are also taught the actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much her Department spent on education about international development in schools in England in the last financial year.

The Autumn Statement 2022 announced additional funding of £2 billion in both 2023/24 and 2024/25, over and above totals announced at the Spending Review 2021. This means funding for mainstream schools and high needs is £3.5 billion higher in 2023/24, compared to 2022/23. That is on top of the £4 billion, year on year increase provided in 2022/23. This is an increase of £7.5 billion, or over 15%, in just two years.

This additional funding will enable headteachers to continue to allocate budgets to areas that positively impact educational attainment, including high quality teaching and targeted support to the children who need it most, as well as help schools to manage higher costs, including higher energy bills.

All schools and academies have the freedom to choose how to spend their core funding according to their own unique circumstances and priorities, providing that all expenditure ultimately benefits their students. The Department does not allocate specific budgets for each subject. It is for schools to decide the allocation of resources at an individual school level.

Geography is part of the statutory National Curriculum for maintained schools at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Within geography, the National Curriculum and subject content for GCSE sets out requirements for teaching human geography including economic, global and international development.

Citizenship is also part of the statutory National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. As part of citizenship, pupils will learn about Parliament, the importance of voting and elections, the role of police, courts and justice, free press, human rights and international law and the governments of other countries, both democratic and non-democratic. They are also taught the actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to support students whose courses have been affected by the insolvency of Supporting Minds CIC.

Supporting Minds is a private organisation that neither has contracts with, nor receives government funding from, the Education and Skills Funding Agency or the Office for Students in respect of the provision it delivers and students it has enrolled.

The department’s advice to any individuals affected by the closure of this organisation is to contact the National Careers Service to seek advice about the options for enrolling onto another course with a different provider.

The National Careers Service provide careers information, advice and guidance to people of all ages and can help individuals to make decisions on learning, training and work at all stages of their career. Their website is available at: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk.

As a private provider not receiving government funding, the department assumes it will have charged students for its provision. Affected students will need to make a claim with the insolvency practitioner to try and recover those funds.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will publish a list of the circumstances in which a person is required by law to produce or show their birth certificate in an education setting.

The Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011, and associated student support regulations, require higher education students to provide information requested by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

For the first year of their course, undergraduate students that apply to Student Finance England for student support are asked to provide proof of identity on their application form by including details from their passport. Student Finance England share the passport details of the applicant with HM Passport Office to confirm that they are valid. If a student does not have a valid, current passport, they are asked to send a photocopy of their UK birth or adoption certificate to Student Finance England.

There are other circumstances where an educational institution may request evidence for verification purposes. This could include, but is not limited to, a birth certificate in order to prove identity, date of birth or the right to work in the UK.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice and training is given to primary schools on tackling pupil bullying.

The government has sent a clear message that bullying should never be tolerated, and we are committed to supporting all schools to tackle it. The department provides advice for schools, which outlines their responsibilities. The advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional and mental health needs. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

The department is providing over £2 million in funding, between 10 August 2021 and 31 March 2023, to five anti-bullying organisations to support both primary and secondary schools to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate related bullying and Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic based bullying.

We have also published, ‘Respectful School Communities’, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach that promotes respect and discipline. This is available here: https://educateagainsthate.com/school-leaders/?filter=guidance-and-training-school-leaders.

All schools should set clear, reasonable and proportionate expectations of pupil behaviour in line with the department’s guidance on behaviour and discipline in schools, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-in-schools--2.

It is for individual schools to develop their own best practice for managing behaviour in their school.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance and training is available for primary schools on tackling pupil bullying.

The government has sent a clear message that bullying should never be tolerated, and we are committed to supporting all schools to tackle it. The department provides advice for schools, which outlines their responsibilities. The advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional and mental health needs. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

The department is providing over £2 million in funding, between 10 August 2021 and 31 March 2023, to five anti-bullying organisations to support both primary and secondary schools to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate related bullying and Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic based bullying.

We have also published, ‘Respectful School Communities’, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach that promotes respect and discipline. This is available here: https://educateagainsthate.com/school-leaders/?filter=guidance-and-training-school-leaders.

All schools should set clear, reasonable and proportionate expectations of pupil behaviour in line with the department’s guidance on behaviour and discipline in schools, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-in-schools--2.

It is for individual schools to develop their own best practice for managing behaviour in their school.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she plans to take steps with Cabinet colleagues to review the charging of overseas student fees to British National (Overseas) visa holders from Hong Kong who have moved to the UK.

To qualify for home fee status in the UK, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the UK. This includes people who are covered by the EU Withdrawal Agreement, have long residence in this country, or who have been granted international protection by the Home Office. There are also requirements associated with ordinary residence in the UK.

Subject to meeting the normal eligibility requirements, British Nationals (Overseas) status holders will be able to qualify for home fee status once they have acquired settled status in the UK. This is usually acquired after five years.

There are no plans to review British Nationals (Overseas) status holder’s access to home fee status.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
17th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether students will be given information on what will be in their (a) GCSE and (b) A-level exams in England in summer 2023.

On 29 September, the Department and Ofqual confirmed exams will largely return to well-established, pre-pandemic arrangements in summer 2023.

The Department confirmed that advance information will not be provided for any exams taken in summer 2023. The Department has, however, decided that formulae and equation sheets for GCSE mathematics, physics and combined sciences exams should be provided in summer 2023, as was the case for exams in 2022. Ofqual has also confirmed a return to pre-pandemic grading in 2023. To protect pupils against the disruption of recent years, and in case pupils’ performance is slightly lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic, senior examiners will use the grades achieved by previous cohorts of pupils, along with prior attainment data, to inform their decisions on where to set grade boundaries.

These decisions reflect that while the 2023 cohort may have experienced some disruption due to the pandemic over the course of their qualifications, it has not been as significant as that experienced by pupils who received qualifications in 2022. Pupils will, for example, have had more time to cover the curriculum, practise assessments and understand education recovery programmes and interventions.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he will take steps to increase financial support to foster carers.

Local fostering service providers are responsible for setting the allowances paid to foster carers and should review their rates each year and to set out a clear policy on what their foster carers can expect. Whilst these will vary in accordance with local need, they should cover the costs for caring for the child. The Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards, issued by the Secretary of State under the Care Standards Act 2000 (CSA), sets out the expectations that are placed on foster carers and their agencies: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192705/NMS_Fostering_Services.pdf. This includes that all foster carers receive at least the national minimum allowance (NMA) plus any agreed expenses to cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with them (standard 28). The National Minimum Allowance is uprated annually, most recently in April 2022.

Foster carers also receive Qualifying Care Relief that is made up of two parts: tax exemption on the first £10,000 shared equally among any foster carers in the same household, and tax relief for every week a child is in their care.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his planned timetable is for making a decision on funding for Leeds City College to replace the Enfield site and College House with a new building in Mabgate.

Leeds City College and the project to replace the Enfield site and College House, with a new building in Mabgate, was announced as ‘approved in principle’ following the college’s successful application to the Further Education Capital Transformation Fund. Department officials have met with the college to seek further assurance on some elements of their plans to help ensure the investment is value for money and will provide appropriately sized facilities to support local demand for further education and vocational training.

A decision will be made in due course and notified to the college. We expect this to be in the next two weeks.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish High Needs Block funding per pupil for every local education authority in England in each of the last five years.

High needs funding is the money the department distributes, mainly to local authorities, for children and young people with the most complex needs. The department announced in summer 2021 that high needs funding will increase nationally by £780 million, or 9.6%, in 2022-23 compared to the 2021-22 financial year; this follows the increase of more than £1.5 billion over the previous two years. This will bring the total high needs funding we allocate to £8.9 billion, an increase of over a third since 2019-20.

On top of this, the 2021 Spending Review settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in the 2022-23 financial year, on top of the funding we previously announced. The department will confirm in due course how we will allocate this additional funding for 2022-23, and what local authorities’ high needs allocations for 2023-24 and 2024-25 will be.

The increase next year that we announced in the summer means that every local authority will attract an increase of at least 8% per head of 2-18 population, with some local authorities seeing increases of up to 11%. Leeds Council will be receiving a maximum increase of 11% per head on the amount of high needs funding allocated in the 2021-22 financial year. This amounts to a provisional high needs funding allocation of over £108 million in 2022-23, and that does not yet include an allocation of the additional funding the department has available from the 2021 Spending Review.

In setting the limit on gains, the department considers the distribution of funding across all local authorities, including how many are on the minimum percentage increase. This distribution balances improving fairness according to the high needs national funding formula (NFF), with ensuring that every local authority attracts a significant increase to help with the cost pressures they are facing. The table below shows the significant year-on-year increases that Leeds Council has been receiving since 2018-19 and the reducing impact of the limit on their NFF gains, as well as how the £20.8 million adds the differences each year between the provisional NFF allocations with and without the formula gains capped.

See note 1 below [1]

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

A. Limit (cap) on per head gains (year-on-year)

6%

17%

12%

11%

B. NFF provisional allocation before gains cap

£73.4m

£75.0m

£90.0m

£101.3m

£110.4m

C. NFF provisional allocation after gains cap

£66.3m

£69.8m

£85.3m

£97.4m

£108.5m

D. Difference between allocations with and without gains capped [2] (B-C)

£7.1m

£5.1m

£4.7m

£3.9m

£1.9m

Total difference between allocations with and without gains capped 2018-19 to 2020-21

= £20.8m

Notes to table:

  1. The high needs NFF provisional allocations shown in the table are to provide the explanation of the £20.8 million requested in Question 73735. They do not include additional funding that was made available to all local authorities in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and do not include any of the deductions for academies and colleges’ place funding, or other adjustments that are made in the final allocations of high needs funding to authorities.
  2. All the numbers have been rounded so the differences may not add up precisely.

Finally, the department are unable to publish the high needs block funding per pupil for every local authority in England in each of the last five years. This is because the department does not collect information on the number of pupils who attract to their school the different types of high needs funding, or the level of funding that an individual pupil attracts. In addition, there is a wide range of practice in the proportion of children awarded an Education, Health and Care Plan, for example, across different local authorities, which make such comparisons difficult. It is possible to make a range of other local authority comparisons using the data in the department’s published high needs benchmarking tool. That tool is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-benchmarking-tool.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will remove the cap on gains under the High Needs Block within the National Funding Formula.

High needs funding is the money the department distributes, mainly to local authorities, for children and young people with the most complex needs. The department announced in summer 2021 that high needs funding will increase nationally by £780 million, or 9.6%, in 2022-23 compared to the 2021-22 financial year; this follows the increase of more than £1.5 billion over the previous two years. This will bring the total high needs funding we allocate to £8.9 billion, an increase of over a third since 2019-20.

On top of this, the 2021 Spending Review settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in the 2022-23 financial year, on top of the funding we previously announced. The department will confirm in due course how we will allocate this additional funding for 2022-23, and what local authorities’ high needs allocations for 2023-24 and 2024-25 will be.

The increase next year that we announced in the summer means that every local authority will attract an increase of at least 8% per head of 2-18 population, with some local authorities seeing increases of up to 11%. Leeds Council will be receiving a maximum increase of 11% per head on the amount of high needs funding allocated in the 2021-22 financial year. This amounts to a provisional high needs funding allocation of over £108 million in 2022-23, and that does not yet include an allocation of the additional funding the department has available from the 2021 Spending Review.

In setting the limit on gains, the department considers the distribution of funding across all local authorities, including how many are on the minimum percentage increase. This distribution balances improving fairness according to the high needs national funding formula (NFF), with ensuring that every local authority attracts a significant increase to help with the cost pressures they are facing. The table below shows the significant year-on-year increases that Leeds Council has been receiving since 2018-19 and the reducing impact of the limit on their NFF gains, as well as how the £20.8 million adds the differences each year between the provisional NFF allocations with and without the formula gains capped.

See note 1 below [1]

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

A. Limit (cap) on per head gains (year-on-year)

6%

17%

12%

11%

B. NFF provisional allocation before gains cap

£73.4m

£75.0m

£90.0m

£101.3m

£110.4m

C. NFF provisional allocation after gains cap

£66.3m

£69.8m

£85.3m

£97.4m

£108.5m

D. Difference between allocations with and without gains capped [2] (B-C)

£7.1m

£5.1m

£4.7m

£3.9m

£1.9m

Total difference between allocations with and without gains capped 2018-19 to 2020-21

= £20.8m

Notes to table:

  1. The high needs NFF provisional allocations shown in the table are to provide the explanation of the £20.8 million requested in Question 73735. They do not include additional funding that was made available to all local authorities in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and do not include any of the deductions for academies and colleges’ place funding, or other adjustments that are made in the final allocations of high needs funding to authorities.
  2. All the numbers have been rounded so the differences may not add up precisely.

Finally, the department are unable to publish the high needs block funding per pupil for every local authority in England in each of the last five years. This is because the department does not collect information on the number of pupils who attract to their school the different types of high needs funding, or the level of funding that an individual pupil attracts. In addition, there is a wide range of practice in the proportion of children awarded an Education, Health and Care Plan, for example, across different local authorities, which make such comparisons difficult. It is possible to make a range of other local authority comparisons using the data in the department’s published high needs benchmarking tool. That tool is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-benchmarking-tool.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason Leeds local authority received £20.8 million less for High Needs between 2018-19 and 2021-22 than indicated by the National Funding Formula.

High needs funding is the money the department distributes, mainly to local authorities, for children and young people with the most complex needs. The department announced in summer 2021 that high needs funding will increase nationally by £780 million, or 9.6%, in 2022-23 compared to the 2021-22 financial year; this follows the increase of more than £1.5 billion over the previous two years. This will bring the total high needs funding we allocate to £8.9 billion, an increase of over a third since 2019-20.

On top of this, the 2021 Spending Review settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in the 2022-23 financial year, on top of the funding we previously announced. The department will confirm in due course how we will allocate this additional funding for 2022-23, and what local authorities’ high needs allocations for 2023-24 and 2024-25 will be.

The increase next year that we announced in the summer means that every local authority will attract an increase of at least 8% per head of 2-18 population, with some local authorities seeing increases of up to 11%. Leeds Council will be receiving a maximum increase of 11% per head on the amount of high needs funding allocated in the 2021-22 financial year. This amounts to a provisional high needs funding allocation of over £108 million in 2022-23, and that does not yet include an allocation of the additional funding the department has available from the 2021 Spending Review.

In setting the limit on gains, the department considers the distribution of funding across all local authorities, including how many are on the minimum percentage increase. This distribution balances improving fairness according to the high needs national funding formula (NFF), with ensuring that every local authority attracts a significant increase to help with the cost pressures they are facing. The table below shows the significant year-on-year increases that Leeds Council has been receiving since 2018-19 and the reducing impact of the limit on their NFF gains, as well as how the £20.8 million adds the differences each year between the provisional NFF allocations with and without the formula gains capped.

See note 1 below [1]

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

A. Limit (cap) on per head gains (year-on-year)

6%

17%

12%

11%

B. NFF provisional allocation before gains cap

£73.4m

£75.0m

£90.0m

£101.3m

£110.4m

C. NFF provisional allocation after gains cap

£66.3m

£69.8m

£85.3m

£97.4m

£108.5m

D. Difference between allocations with and without gains capped [2] (B-C)

£7.1m

£5.1m

£4.7m

£3.9m

£1.9m

Total difference between allocations with and without gains capped 2018-19 to 2020-21

= £20.8m

Notes to table:

  1. The high needs NFF provisional allocations shown in the table are to provide the explanation of the £20.8 million requested in Question 73735. They do not include additional funding that was made available to all local authorities in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and do not include any of the deductions for academies and colleges’ place funding, or other adjustments that are made in the final allocations of high needs funding to authorities.
  2. All the numbers have been rounded so the differences may not add up precisely.

Finally, the department are unable to publish the high needs block funding per pupil for every local authority in England in each of the last five years. This is because the department does not collect information on the number of pupils who attract to their school the different types of high needs funding, or the level of funding that an individual pupil attracts. In addition, there is a wide range of practice in the proportion of children awarded an Education, Health and Care Plan, for example, across different local authorities, which make such comparisons difficult. It is possible to make a range of other local authority comparisons using the data in the department’s published high needs benchmarking tool. That tool is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-benchmarking-tool.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice he received from Public Health England prior to his decision that from 17 May face coverings for pupils and students in classrooms or communal areas will no longer be recommended.

Following the Step 3 announcement on 10 May, the Department published updated guidance for schools, which included updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, from 17 May face coverings are no longer recommended for pupils and students in classrooms or communal areas in schools. Face coverings are also no longer recommended for staff in classrooms. The Department recommends that in all schools face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible.

Ahead of Step 3, the Department worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and the Cabinet Office to consider a range of evidence, balancing both health and educational considerations. This included the latest available education data, latest data analysis on case rates in secondary school age children and the broader COVID-19 epidemiological position, as well as stakeholder intelligence from schools and further education (FE) colleges on their experiences of wearing face coverings in classrooms and any perceived effect on teaching, education, and communication.

The epidemiological picture overall has continued to improve since the full reopening of schools and FE colleges on 8 March and cases overall have continued to decline in the UK. As the four tests have been met it was appropriate to remove the recommendation to wear face coverings in schools. This was supported by PHE.

The reintroduction of face coverings for pupils, students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transmission.

Where head teachers have concerns on the use of face coverings in response to a particular local outbreak or variant of concern, they should seek the advice of their local Director of Public Health who will advise on whether the reintroduction of face coverings for pupils, students or staff may be needed for a temporary period.

Our policy on face coverings and the system of controls is kept under review and is informed by the latest scientific and medical advice from PHE.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when schools will be able to start taking pupils on residential trips as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time. The Department has updated its advice to schools on the planning and booking of educational day and residential visits: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance#educational-visits.

It is in line with the Government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many English universities have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism; and if he will list the universities that have not yet done so.

The government has asked all English higher education (HE) providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) to adopt the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA definition is an important tool in tackling antisemitism. Adopting this widely recognised definition sends a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to HE leaders most recently in October 2020 to reiterate the importance of the definition and to urge all providers to consider adopting it.

The government is pleased to report that at least 91 providers have now adopted the definition, with many more preparing to adopt it. We know that other providers are in the process of considering adoption.

The decision on adoption of the definition rests with individual providers, but the government will continue to urge them to adopt the definition and ensure that HE is a genuinely fulfilling and welcoming experience for everyone.

I am proud that so many providers have taken a positive step towards eradicating antisemitism by adopting the definition since the Secretary of State for Education’s letter, but further progress is still needed to stamp it out. This is why, in the Secretary of State for Education’s most recent strategic guidance letter, the government asked the OfS to undertake a scoping exercise, to identify providers which are reluctant to adopt the definition. The letter asked them to consider introducing mandatory reporting of antisemitic incident numbers by providers, with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base, which the OfS can then use to effectively regulate in this area.

The Secretary of State for Education also asked the OfS to ensure that, if antisemitic incidents do occur at a provider, they should consider if it is relevant in a particular case whether the provider has adopted the IHRA definition when considering what sanctions, including monetary penalties, would be appropriate to apply.

We will continue to work across the government to ensure that racism and religious hatred of any kind is not tolerated anywhere, including in our world-leading universities.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to follow the Northern Ireland Executive in giving students a £500 payment due to the disruption caused to their education by the current lockdown.

The government is aware of the disruption caused to education due to the current lockdown but we will not be providing cash payments to individual students, instead we created a wider support package to aid students during this difficult time. We are making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship given the £20 million made available to higher education providers in December 2020.

This is a difficult and uncertain time for students, but we are working with the sector to make sure all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies and to ensure students are able to access the support they need. The new student hardship support will really benefit those students most in need by putting money into their pockets.

The £70 million of student hardship funding will be distributed by the Office for Students to higher education providers in the approved (fee cap) category of registration, who will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, including international and self-funded students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. We would encourage all students who need assistance to reach out to their university as soon as possible.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with universities on the potential merits of adopting a no detriment policy for students this academic year in response to disruption experienced during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The government recognises that students have faced many changes over the last year, as higher education (HE) providers have had to adapt teaching, learning and assessment methods in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Last year, these adaptations included some providers putting in place no detriment policies to ensure that students were not unfairly affected by these challenging circumstances.

It is vital that a fair approach to exams and assessment is in place and understood by students. This must enable students to progress and leave with qualifications that reflect their hard work. The government’s clear expectation is that quality and academic standards must be maintained. We expect providers to make all reasonable efforts for student achievement to be reliably assessed and for qualifications to be awarded securely.

The Office for Students (OfS), the regulator in England, has committed to protecting students throughout the present crisis, whilst ensuring that quality and standards are upheld. Guidance for providers, published by the OfS and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, makes clear that all HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and standards. This means ensuring that courses are high quality, students are supported and achieve good outcomes, and standards are protected.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a rent refund policy for higher education students who are unable to live in their student accommodation as a result to covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

Universities and private accommodation providers are autonomous and responsible for setting their own rent agreements. The government plays no direct role in the provision of student accommodation.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we encourage universities and accommodation providers to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, transparent and have the best interests of students at heart.

We recognise that, in these exceptional circumstances, some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students to clarify that providers are able to draw on existing funds, worth around £256 million for the academic year 2020/2021, towards hardship support. The government is making available up to a further £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, said on 7 January, we are considering what more we can do to provide further support to students.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason education supply staff are not automatically signed up to the flexible furlough scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until 30 April 2021. Employers can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

If supply staff employed via employment agencies are unable to work due to COVID-19, under some circumstances their employment agency can place them on furlough and use the CJRS to claim for 80% of their wages, including during school holiday periods, provided that the eligibility criteria are met: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Employers can now flexibly furlough their employees for the hours the employee would usually have worked in that period, whilst also being able to work outside of the hours they are furloughed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#flexible-furlough-agreements. Employees can work for any amount of time and any work pattern, but they cannot do any work for their employer during hours that employers record them as being on furlough.

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer's discretion as it is dependent on a range of factors that the employer is best placed to determine, for example, the amount of work available for employees.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the safety of university libraries for staff and students from the transmission of covid-19; and whether he has plans to review the covid-19 guidance on the opening of university libraries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority and the government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE providers in this unprecedented situation, while mitigating the impact on education. As stated in the spring term 2021 student return guidance published on 7 January 2021, all HE providers should offer asymptomatic mass testing to all students on their return, which will help to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and control outbreaks. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

Due to the national lockdown measures now in place, we must take further steps to reduce transmission, including by significantly reducing the number of students returning to university from their winter break accommodation, and limiting the number of people travelling to and from university facilities, including libraries. The majority of courses should be delivered online until at least mid-February. Providers are permitted to open facilities to support the teaching and learning of those students who can return for face-to-face teaching, and a limited number of other students who have an exceptional reason to return to university facilities, but these should be maintained for essential use only wherever possible. Our aim is to minimise the number of students who return to university to access university facilities.

Universities have worked extremely hard to put in place a wide range of measures to deliver a COVID-secure environment. Measures include enhanced cleaning and improved ventilation and changes to university lay-out to comply with social distancing guidelines. In addition, all universities have plans for managing and controlling outbreaks. These have been agreed with local directors of public health and continue to be reviewed and updated based on emerging lessons and local situations. Providers have carried out risk assessments for each setting including libraries, putting in place measures to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to issue new guidance on teaching (a) about Sikhism in secondary schools and (b) diversity and inclusion in KS2 and KS3.

The Department for Education does not provide guidance to schools on teaching about any specific religion.

All state funded schools are required to teach religious education (RE) which must reflect that “the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain”. For most maintained schools, in each local authority area the key document in determining the teaching of RE is the statutory locally agreed syllabus, which sets out details of what must be taught. Alternatively, academies and most schools designated as having a religious character may develop and teach their own RE syllabuses.

Schools should publish online the content of their curriculum in each academic year for every subject, including religious education.

The Department provides non-statutory guidance to schools on how the Equality Act 2010 affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the Act, including inclusion and diversity in how the curriculum is delivered. The guidance can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.

Diversity is also being considered by the Independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities established by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, to examine inequality in the UK. In their Call for Evidence, the Commission asked for evidence to describe how the school curriculum could be adapted in response to the ethnic diversity of the country. The Commission is due to report to my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, by the end of February 2021 and the Department will carefully consider the Commission’s report when published.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the spread of covid-19 of students returning to their university residences after Christmas 2020.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our higher education institutions during this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

On 7 January we published updated guidance on ‘Students returning to, and starting higher education, in Spring Term 2021’. This sets out that most students should not return to university and should study from their current residence, where possible, until at least mid-February. Only those students who are on courses which are most important to be delivered in-person, to support the pipeline of future key workers, should return to university as planned. Other students are being asked to stay where they are and access their learning online during the period of national restriction. These students should be able to return, on a staggered basis, once national restrictions are lifted. Further information on this guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950367/Students_returning_to_and_starting_higher_education_in_Spring_Term_2021.pdf.

All students should be offered testing on their return to university and we strongly encourage them to take this up. Any returning student who chooses not to be tested should self-isolate for 10 days.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the allocation of laptops to St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Leeds in response to the covid-19 outbreak was reduced from 19 to four; and if he will make a statement on how the allocation of such laptops relates to the needs of pupils in individual schools.

The Department has invested over £195 million to support remote education and access to online social care, delivering over 220,000 laptops and tablets during the summer term for disadvantaged pupils who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The Department is adding to this support by making over 340,000 additional laptops and tablets available to support disadvantaged pupils that might experience disruption to their education. Since September 2020, over 100,000 of these have been delivered to schools.

In the context of significant global demand, the Department has updated its allocation process to more accurately align orders with the number of pupils schools typically have self-isolating, ensuring as many pupils as possible benefit from receiving a device this term. We recognise that levels of self-isolation may be higher in different areas of the country and that face to face education is being prioritised in all eventualities.

This more targeted approach will mean as many schools and disadvantaged pupils as possible benefit from receiving a device in the event that their face to face education is disrupted.

Where schools need additional devices for disadvantaged pupils, they should contact the Department’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk.

These laptops and tablets are an injection of support to help local authorities, academy trusts and schools to provide access to remote education and online social care. Local authorities, academy trusts and schools are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which pupils need access to a device.

The laptops and tablets are owned by the local authority, trust or school, who can lend unused laptops and tablets to pupils who need them most if they experience disruption to face to face education due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has made to providers of accommodation on behalf of university students who wish to terminate their contracts early in order to be able to go home to study online.

We are committed to ensuring students receive high-quality education. Higher education (HE) providers remain open and face-to-face teaching has continued throughout the period of national restrictions. We are only asking HE providers to move online by 9 December for the remainder of autumn term to enable students to return home prior to the winter break, safely following the national restrictions, and to still be able to continue their studies.

The government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation whether the accommodation is managed by universities or private sector organisations. We urge accommodation providers to be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period. A number of universities and large companies waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.

If students face financial hardship and struggle to pay their rent, support is available. In the first instance, a student should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context tenants and landlords are encouraged to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme. Many HE providers will have hardship funds to support students in times of need, including emergencies. The expectation is that where any student requires additional support, providers will support them through their own hardship funds.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance on consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and help businesses treat their customers fairly. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds.

Students may be entitled to refunds from certain accommodation providers depending on the terms of their contract and their particular circumstances. If students need help, organisations such as Citizens Advice offer a free service, providing information and support.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support ESOL teaching that has been disrupted by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We want to get all further education learners, including ESOL students, back into education settings as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers and teachers.

Many FE providers are already open for some learners, including those who are 16-19 and adults, subject to the required safety measures being met. From Autumn 2020, all learners, including those who are 16-19 and adults will return to a full high-quality education programme delivered by their college or post 16 learning provider.

We are providing a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96M for colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

We will continue to pay grant funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year and funding allocations for 2020/21 have been confirmed, and payments will be made in line with the national profile.

We are also exploring options within adult education and will be making decisions on where we may be able to introduce flexibilities to help remove barriers, including IT equipment or connectivity costs, for learners wishing to access their provision online.



Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the children of parents who are shielding will be required to attend school from September 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools plan for a full return.

Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of COVID-19. This means that even the small number of pupils who remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

Some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school.

The current advice on shielding can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19.

The guidance on the full opening of schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons Windmill and Low Road primary schools in Leeds have been unable to access the free school meal voucher scheme run by Edenred.

Windmill Primary School and Low Road Primary School have been issued with an activation email from Edenred and user accounts have been created for both schools to order the free school meal vouchers. Using data held by the department, school administrators have been sent a welcome email with details on how to access and activate the school’s account. The welcome email was sent between 31 March and 2 April 2020.

On 19 June both schools asked for their contact emails to be updated and, once verified by the department, they will receive new activation links.

The status of Windmill and Low Road Primary Schools’ account can be checked online using the Edenred public portal. It also includes guidance on how to proceed if schools are experiencing technical problems with accessing their accounts: https://edenreduk.secure.force.com/publicportal/.

Schools who are experiencing technical difficulties with Edenred can contact them directly via the dedicated helpline (0333 400 5932) or an email address (freeschoolmeals@edenred.com) set up specifically for schools participating in the national voucher scheme.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make an assessment of the effect on BAME communities of the requirement that non-EU nationals must in general have indefinite leave to remain in order to apply for student finance.

Student finance is generally available to those who have no restrictions on their ability to live and work in the United Kingdom, so that they are likely to be able stay in the UK to complete their education and contribute to the UK economy afterwards.

In 2016, the regulations governing student support were amended to introduce a new eligibility category for those who do not have settled status but who have resided in the UK for an extended period. The amendment extended access to support to students who have spent half their life or at least 20 years in the UK preceding the first day of the first academic year of their course, or 7 years for those under 18 years old. Like most other students, they must be ordinarily resident in England and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for the 3 years preceding the first day of the first academic year of their course to qualify for support.

An equality impact assessment was carried out on this change before it was introduced. This can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/517514/bis-16-200-new-eligibility-category-for-higher-education-student-support-equality-impact-analysis.pdf. This assessment concluded that the policy could particularly benefit people from the Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia Central, Europe Other or Middle East regions.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Leeds Central, dated 8 April 2020, on high school places in South Leeds.

I can confirm that the letter, received by the Department on 8 April 2020, from the right hon. Member for Leeds Central has been responded to.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has issued to students on securing accommodation in advance of the start of the autumn 2020 university term.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

I have written to students advising them that a number of universities and private accommodation providers are now considering how COVID-19 impacts can be managed in accommodation contracts for the 2020/21 academic year to give students confidence to make their plans.

I welcome the actions of many university and private accommodation providers in waiving and refunding rents this summer, along with their efforts to support and care for their students through this difficult period.

Students who have already signed an accommodation contract for next year and, because of COVID-19, think it may no longer fit their requirements, should talk directly to their housing provider.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance on consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds affected by COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds. This sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and help businesses treat their customers fairly. Students may be entitled to refunds from accommodation providers depending on the terms of their contract and their particular circumstances. If students need help, organisations such as Citizens Advice offer a free service, providing information and support.

If a student thinks that their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/; https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and: https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the re-opening of universities in autumn 2020.

We expect universities to be open for the autumn term, with a blend of online teaching and in-person tuition that they consider appropriate, taking account of the need to minimise risk to staff and students.

We are working with the higher education sector to identify guidance and best practice that will be needed for universities to make informed decisions about their provision. This will help them to decide when and how they can make facilities accessible again for staff and students in a way that minimises the risks and in line with public health advice.

Universities have remained open throughout lockdown and have applied their research expertise to finding solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak in this unprecedented period. They have also delivered some fantastic and innovative examples of high-quality online learning, and now the sector is working hard in preparation for the new academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether teachers in schools are allowed to wear face masks when teaching children during the covid-19 outbreak.

Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people from other households and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained (for example, on public transport or in some shops). This does not apply to schools, which should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Cleaning and maintaining hygiene are important measures in controlling the spread of the virus.

Guidance for schools on how to implement protective measures can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether parents who do not let their child return to school as covid-19 lockdown measures are eased will face fines for their child’s non-attendance.

From the week commencing 1 June, at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers). We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time.

By returning pupils gradually, settings can initially reduce the number of children and young people in classrooms compared to usual and put protective measures in place to reduce risks.

Eligible children – including priority groups - are strongly encouraged to attend their education setting, unless they are self-isolating or they are clinically vulnerable. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.

Further guidance for parents and carers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to reimburse schools that have bought school meal vouchers for pupils in cases where parents have been unable to access the Edenred voucher system.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

We are committed to ensuring that no child should go hungry as a result of the measures introduced by government during this period. This is why we have introduced a number of immediate measures to ensure children who usually receive free school meals still have access to this provision while they are not attending school.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that food parcel arrangements may not always be possible, and so at the end of March we launched a national voucher scheme to provide schools with additional flexibility to decide what is best for families in their schools. This was an unprecedented intervention to support eligible children during this period.

Voucher codes are being processed through the national scheme and many thousands of families are redeeming them. Edenred has reported that over 17,000 schools have placed orders for the scheme and as of Wednesday 20 May, Edenred reported that more than £96 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket e-gift cards by schools and families. We have been working closely with Edenred to improve the scheme, and we thank schools using the system for their patience while it has been upgraded to meet increased demand.

We understand that alternative approaches, such as providing food parcels or purchasing vouchers for shops not in the national scheme, may mean that schools incur additional costs. We have published guidance on the financial support available for schools who incur these additional costs in this way here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

Schools will be able to claim up to a certain limit, depending on their number of pupils, and where they are unable to meet these additional costs from their existing resources, or which they could only meet by drawing down on reserves and undermining their long-term financial sustainability. In exceptional instances where individual schools face additional costs that are higher than the grant’s limits, schools will be able to apply to increase their limit.

Our latest guidance for schools on free school meals provision during this period is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what arrangements are in place to enable schools to contact Edenred about problems with free school meals vouchers.

Schools can contact Edenred using either the email address or phone number set up specifically for the department’s national voucher scheme (freeschoolmeals@edenred.com or 0333 400 5932). Call volumes are very high at the moment so we would recommend submitting queries via email where possible. As always, we thank schools for their patience and for ensuring that families most in need continue to receive the support they require.

We are working tirelessly with Edenred to resolve any outstanding technical problems so that children eligible for free schools meals are supported quickly.

These are rapidly developing circumstances and we will continue to keep the situation under review and to keep Parliament updated accordingly.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of telephone calls to Edenred have been unanswered since 23 March 2020 to date.

During this period, we are asking schools to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Voucher codes are being processed and many thousands of families are redeeming them. As of 28 April our supplier, Edenred, reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme and as of Monday 4 May, Edenred has reported that over £47 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme.

Schools can contact Edenred using either the email address or phone number set up specifically for the Department of Education’s national voucher scheme (freeschoolmeals@edenred.com or 0333 400 5932). Call volumes are very high at the moment so we would recommend submitting queries via email where possible. We do not hold call handling details.

We are working closely with Edenred on the performance of the voucher scheme and their engagement with queries from schools.

As always, we thank schools for their patience and for ensuring that families most in need continue to receive the support they require.

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which (a) plant and (b) animal diseases are screened for when importing products into the UK.

The UK has a strong, risk-based regulatory regime in place which implements a comprehensive range of the Government's measures across the plant biosecurity continuum (pre-border, at the border, and inland) to minimise biosecurity risks and meet World Trade Organisation standards. Import requirements for Great Britain are in place to guard against a wide range of regulated plant pests and diseases and to detect any new and emerging issues requiring assessment and possible mitigation. These requirements include a prohibition on the highest risk trees and the phytosanitary certification of regulated plants (including trees) which are permitted for import, to provide official confirmation that prescribed conditions have been complied with. Such imports must be pre-notified to the Government and are subject to an official inspection and surveillance programme. Similar arrangements are in place in Northern Ireland, under the Northern Ireland P rotocol.

We constantly review whether further safeguards are needed and have a scientific process to assess the changing threats to plant biosecurity. The UK Plant Health Risk Register contains details of over 1400 plant pests and pathogens, 30% of which can affect trees. Risks are reviewed monthly with Ministers and prioritised for action such as further regulation or increased inspections.

The UK requires competent authorities in EU and non-EU countries to provide health certificates to exporters of animals and animal products to the UK. The health certificates are tailored for the species or type of product imported into the UK and sum up a number of compulsory conditions for animals and products of animal origin to be imported into the UK . The certificates require guarantees of freedom from exotic and notifiable animal diseases in the UK, including Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease and also all other exotic 1 and endemic 2 diseases of animals.

_

1Exotic disease - not normally present in the UK, such as foot and mouth disease

2Endemic disease - already present in the UK, such as bovine TB

The gov.uk page is the main source of information on notifiable and exotic disease available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/notifiable-diseases-in-animals.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of Shell's proposal to commence seismic blasting on the Wild Coast of South Africa on (a) whales and (b) other marine life in that area.

The issue of seismic exploration off the east coast of South Africa is before the judiciary in South Africa. The UK will continue to track developments.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people have been (a) issued with a fixed penalty notice for failing to comply with a noise nuisance warning notice and (b) prosecuted following a noise nuisance warning notice in England in each of the last five years.

Defra does not hold information on Noise Abatement Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices. This information is only held at local authority level.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many noise (a) abatement notices and (b) warning notices have been issued in England in each of the last five years.

Defra does not hold information on Noise Abatement Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices. This information is only held at local authority level.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has received representations from (a) national parks and (b) areas of outstanding natural beauty requesting additional powers to control the use of motorcycles.

The Government published its response to the Landscapes Review on 15 January. This included some consultation questions on potential restrictions to motor vehicles on unsealed unclassified roads and making a greater range of enforcement powers available to National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority to help manage visitor pressures. We have received 15,000 responses to our consultation and are currently in the process of analysing these. We will publish a response to the consultation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on (a) cats and (b) dogs being transported to the UK with their owners in the passenger cabin of aircraft; and if he will make a statement.

The Government takes the importation of pets seriously and we are committed to preserving our high standards of biosecurity and animal welfare.

All pets travelling into Great Britain (GB) are checked for compliance prior to entry. To facilitate this, Defra requires that all pets entering GB airports are transported safely and securely to the pet checking facility. Operations at airports are sensitive and complex, and other vital border controls need to be considered. In practice, this means that most pets currently travel to GB by air as 'manifest cargo'. This enables the pets to be transferred directly to the pet checking facility and means that a documentary record of the pet’s arrival is available to customs and other border control officials.

The safety and welfare of the animals is given prime importance before approval to transport the animals is granted. Carriers are required to ensure that air quality and quantity, temperature and pressure is maintained while the animals are on board. Food and water must also be provided, according to the journey duration. Stringent requirements are also in place for pet transport containers under the International Air Transport Association Live Animals Regulations, with space and ventilation concerns paramount.

Currently, the only animals that are authorised to travel in the cabin of a commercial aircraft into GB are Recognised Assistance Dogs.

We have no immediate plans to change the means by which pet cats and dogs may enter GB by air.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the impact of 5G on insect populations.

Defra has funded national and global assessments of the status of pollinating insects and the factors driving changes in their populations. These assessments do not identify 5G as a driver.

Defra has not undertaken any formal assessment of the potential effect of the roll out of the 5G network on insects, other animals or other wildlife. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead Department for 5G roll out and I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given to the hon. Member for Stroud, Dr David Drew, on 29 May 2019 to PQ 256919.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will list all the food products that are currently blocked from entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The vast majority of food products can currently move from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI). However, there are various products affected by EU prohibitions and restrictions which apply on movements from GB to NI due to the Northern Ireland Protocol. This includes bans on specific products, such as mechanically separated meat, Live and Un-depurated Live bivalve Mussels from class b and class c waters and seed potatoes.

POAO goods moving from GB to NI must be accompanied with an Export Health Certificate, unless it moves under STAMNI (Scheme for Temporary Agri-food Movements to Northern Ireland). The UK has been successful in achieving a derogation from the EU prohibition on chilled meat. Under our Unilateral Declaration chilled meat may continue to move from GB into NI using model health certificates while we work with the EU on a more sustainable solution. [ Declaration by the United Kingdom on Meat Products: 30 June 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)]

There are also certifications for products regulated for plant health purposes, such as most fruit and vegetables, which must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate. All fresh produce is covered by STAMNI and moves without plant health paperwork. However, not all traders are eligible for STAMNI.

This is not sustainable, and it is an example of the bottom line that the Protocol is not working. We are proposing a common-sense solution: goods going to the EU should go through regulatory checks and customs formalities, and those staying in the United Kingdom should not. That means no checks or documentation for goods moving from GB to NI and staying there.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will list the types of kosher food that currently cannot be sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The vast majority of Kosher foods, including Products of Animal Origin (POAO), can currently move from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI). A small proportion of POAO commodities are classed by the EU as ‘Prohibited and Restricted’ (P&R), which ordinarily would prevent them from moving into the EU or NI from a third country. At present, these POAO P&R goods are still able to move from GB to NI by virtue of the ‘standstill period’, which has preserved existing grace periods for GB-NI trade while we work with the EU on a more sustainable solution. This includes the Kosher commodities that fall into a P&R category.

However, POAO (including Kosher) commodities moving from GB to NI must be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate, and also meet further regulatory conditions. The certification process is complicated and time consuming, which has rendered the supply of Kosher commodities to the small NI Jewish community uneconomical for most suppliers. The community can therefore technically access Kosher goods, but in practice they are still unable to do so by virtue of how the NI Protocol works.

This is not sustainable, and it is an example of the bottom line that the Protocol is not working. We are proposing a common-sense solution: goods going to the EU should go through regulatory checks and customs formalities, and those staying in the United Kingdom should not. That means no checks or documentation for goods moving from GB to NI and staying there, such as Kosher foods for the NI Jewish community.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many new footpaths his Department has created in England in each of the last five years.

The Highways Act 1980 allows highway authorities to create a new right of way where it can be shown that there is a need for it. As such, local highway authorities have statutory duties to record public rights of way, these are kept at a local authority level and the relevant date for each public right of way can be found in the definitive map and statement. The department does not hold a record of what footpaths have been created in an individual year.

However, our network of National Trails is managed centrally, and work is continuing to support this network and in particular to complete the England Coast Path. To date, Natural England has published proposals for more than 99% of the England Coast Path route, and over 450 miles is already open to the public. The table below shows the total mileage of England Coast Path opened in each of the last five years:

Year

Miles opened

2017

44

2018

N/A

2019

94.5

2020

16.2

2021

56.7

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help support community orchards.

As set out in the England Trees Action Plan, the Government intends to support community orchards through proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, making clear the expectation that trees, such as community orchards, should be incorporated into new developments. We are committed to ensuring towns and cities are greener and more climate resilient, with trees on streets, in parks and urban orchards, supported through the Urban Tree Challenge and Local Authority Treescape Funds.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to reduce methane and CO2 emissions from animal agriculture in order to help meet the UK's net zero emissions target.

The Government is committed to take action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. We are introducing three schemes that reward environmental benefits: the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. Together, these schemes are intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy. Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering public goods, including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

The Agricultural Transition Plan outlined how the government will support farmers and land managers by investing the money freed up from phasing out direct payments to pay for improvements to the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions.

Defra takes a key role in supporting emissions reduction by providing scientific advice and evidence. This includes long term breeding work to develop more efficient, productive and resilient crops and livestock, as well as research on more efficient feeding strategies for livestock. Innovation in livestock feeds is resulting in promising technologies to reduce methane emissions. We have commissioned work to holistically evaluate suitability, scalability and net mitigation effects of methane-inhibiting livestock feed supplements in a UK context.

More detail on the Government plans to help the UK meet its climate targets will be set out in the Net Zero strategy, to be published ahead of COP26.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether musicians travelling to the UK from the EU with instruments that have CITES requirements can travel using (a) the Eurotunnel and (b) other roll-on roll-off services.

Any musical instruments covered by CITES controls must be imported or exported through one of the 36 designated land, sea and airports which are all currently operational. The up to date list of the ports is available on the following GOV.UK page: www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-cites-listed-specimens-through-uk-ports-and-airports.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether musicians travelling to the UK from the EU with instruments that have CITES requirements must travel through CITES designated points of entry and exit.

Any musical instruments covered by CITES controls must be imported or exported through one of the 36 designated land, sea and airports which are all currently operational. The up to date list of the ports is available on the following GOV.UK page: www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-cites-listed-specimens-through-uk-ports-and-airports.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the (a) application for Musical Instrument Certificates (MICs) for musicians travelling to the UK from the EU with instruments that have CITES requirements must be made in the country of export and (b) UK recognises the same (i) MICs and (ii) CITES requirements necessary for EU member states.

A Musical Instrument Certificate (MIC) is ordinarily issued by the country of residence to facilitate multiple cross border movements of instruments covered by CITES controls.

Following our departure from the EU, by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, the UK retained the CITES legislation and procedures followed whilst we were members of the EU. The UK will continue to accept MICs issued by EU Member States.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reduced numbers of EU citizens working on UK farms on crop yields in the first six months of 2021; and if he will make a comparative assessment of (a) the number of EU citizens working on UK farms and (b) crop yields in the first six months of 2020 and the first six months of 2021.

Defra continues to work closely with the agriculture sector on its workforce requirements.

Defra makes use of all available information to understand labour demand and supply, considering both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements. This includes engaging closely with farmers, growers and industry bodies to consider the latest data and business intelligence.

In 2021 and beyond, agricultural businesses will continue to be able to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status and EU nationals who have settled status can continue to travel to the UK to do seasonal work in 2021.

Over 5.1 million EU citizens and their families have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The application deadline was 30 June 2021 and where a person eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

In addition to this, the Seasonal Workers Pilot has been expanded for 2021, from 10,000 to 30,000 visas, 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.

Defra is also working across Government to ensure there is a long-term evidence-based strategy for the agricultural workforce beyond 2021.

Defra produces crop statistics annually as part of the Agriculture in the UK statistical release. This data does not break down the yields into periods of less than a year, so we do not have the data to respond to part (b).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will (a) list the designated ports responsible for checking musical instrument certificates under CITES and (b) confirm whether those ports are all currently operational.

Any musical instruments covered by CITES controls must be imported or exported through one of the 36 designated land, sea and airports which are all currently operational. The up to date list of the ports is available on the following GOV.UK page: www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-cites-listed-specimens-through-uk-ports-and-airports.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to recent reports of unsold electrical goods being destroyed by Amazon, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make it unlawful for retailers to destroy unsold stock.

There is already an obligation, set out in the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, for businesses that handle waste to take all measures reasonable to apply the waste hierarchy. Failure to meet the legal obligation can lead to enforcement action from the Environment Agency in England.

We also have a producer responsibility system in place under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations to ensure all waste electrical and electronic products are collected and treated properly. This supports action in line with the waste hierarchy by those who treat electronics to ensure priority is given to preparing the products for reuse where possible, and then recycling so full use is made of components and materials.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the future funding arrangements will be for the National Wildlife Crime Unit; and whether that funding will be for 12 months or on a longer term basis.

Since 2016, Defra and the Home Office have committed £300,000 a year to fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). This contribution has been continued into the financial year 2021/22. The NWCU's other funding partners, the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the National Police Chiefs Council, have similarly undertaken to maintain their contributions through 2021/22. Decisions on the government's future funding of the NWCU will be taken as part of the next Spending Review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to strengthen the law against hare coursing.

We made it clear in our Action Plan on Animal Welfare that we are determined to do more to crack down on the illegal practice of hare coursing and we have committed to introducing legislation. On 17 June I will be chairing a round table with the police and stakeholders to share our outline proposals and initiate detailed consultations with officials.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is his policy to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers from 2023; and if he will make a statement.

The government plans to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers subject to further evidence and analysis. On timelines for implementation, we want a timetable that is bold but realistic, given our desire to develop and implement an effective, cost-efficient scheme that works coherently across the UK. We will provide further information on this timetable, along with further details of the proposed DRS, in our forthcoming consultation in 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many grazing livestock farms in lowland areas had only (a) sheep and (b) beef cattle, in England in 2019.

In June 2019, the number of lowland grazing holdings in England with sheep but no beef cattle was 11,766, while the number of holdings with beef cattle but no sheep was 8,553.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of farmers switching from lamb to beef production.

In 2019, there were 7,085 grazing livestock farms in lowland areas in England with some amount of beef and sheep on the holding. These businesses have the ability to change the mix of these enterprises within their business.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with Arla on the relocation of its production capacity to the UK in the event of tariffs being charged on dairy products by the UK and the EU.

The Secretary of State met the Chief Executive of Arla on 9 October 2019, where the impact of a no deal exit on Arla was discussed.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the assessment he has made of the effect on dairy producers in the UK of tariffs being charged by the UK and the EU in the event of no agreement being reached in the current negotiations on the future relationship.

Previous studies (e.g. LEI Wageningen Uur, 2016) have indicated that the application of MFN tariffs on trade between the EU and UK would result in an increase in domestic farm gate prices for raw milk.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for the bid by the Canal and River Trust for capital funding to enable the development of the Leeds Inland Port and the upgrading of eight locks on the Aire and Calder Navigation.

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Leeds North West on 22 October 2020, PQ UIN 105528.

[questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105528]

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made as to whether there are sufficient supplies of heat-treated pallets to meet EU regulations covering the transport of products from 1 Jan 2021.

After the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between Great Britain (GB) and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). This is in line with international requirements for trade and is in place to protect both the EU and GB from harmful plant pests and diseases.

Defra has established a strong relationship with the WPM industry. The UK Timber Pallet and Packaging Confederation (TIMCON), the Freight Transport Association , National Association of Pallet Distributors, the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) and the Closed Pallet Pooling Coalition have been working hard with Defra and industry to ensure there are sufficient compliant pallets available for 1 January 2021. This will ensure our biosecurity is maintained and trade continues to flow with as little disruption as possible.

The WPM industry have been working tirelessly to both increase the stock of compliant WPM and to grow our WPM treatment capacity by increasing the number of heat treatment facilities (kilns) and their hours of operation and by simplifying and improving ISPM15 processes to reduce the time needed to treat their WPM. In a recent survey of the industry, 70% of respondents indicated they were confident that they would be fully ready by the end of the Transition Period. TIMCON is also strongly encouraging FEFPEB and EU national associations to engage and support their countries’ WPM industries to increase their own stocks of compliant pallets.

Defra, the Forestry Commission and other relevant plant health authorities are continuing to work closely with the WPM sector to address what further actions they need to take to manage this new requirement by the end of the Transition Period.

As there will be no immediate change to the biosecurity threat of WPM originating from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, GB will maintain its current risk-based checking regime for EU WPM.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice he has issued to food manufacturers on food packaging labelling requirements from 1 Jan 2021 for items (a) exported to the EU and (b) shipped from GB to Northern Ireland.

Ministers meet regularly with food manufacturers, and representatives of other parts of the supply chain, to discuss preparations for the end of the transition period including for food labelling.

The GOV.UK website provides guidance on these matters and is kept under review and updated as appropriate. Some food labels may need to change after the transition period depending on where the food is marketed and what information is provided on the label.

I can confirm that there will be a period of adjustment for labelling changes required at the end of the transition period. During this period the changes that UK businesses need to make when selling between different markets will be minimised. We are working to determine the appropriate time industry needs to make changes and will provide guidance as soon as we can do so, to ensure that businesses have clarity and certainty.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether new food packaging labelling will be required from 1 Jan 2021 for items (a) exported to the EU and (b) shipped from GB to Northern Ireland.

Ministers meet regularly with food manufacturers, and representatives of other parts of the supply chain, to discuss preparations for the end of the transition period including for food labelling.

The GOV.UK website provides guidance on these matters and is kept under review and updated as appropriate. Some food labels may need to change after the transition period depending on where the food is marketed and what information is provided on the label.

I can confirm that there will be a period of adjustment for labelling changes required at the end of the transition period. During this period the changes that UK businesses need to make when selling between different markets will be minimised. We are working to determine the appropriate time industry needs to make changes and will provide guidance as soon as we can do so, to ensure that businesses have clarity and certainty.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many different firms have been contracted to deliver food to people who are shielding; and whether those firms are being paid the same for that work.

Defra have contracted two firms, Brakes and Bidfood, to deliver food boxes to extremely clinically vulnerable people who have no other means of accessing food. The contract details including the contract and value will be published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in due course and in any event within the prescribed publishing timeframe. The contracted price per delivered box is the same for both firms.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect on insects of electro-magnetic radiation.

Defra has supported national and global comprehensive scientific reviews on status and pressures for insects and other pollinators.

In 2014, we published a review of the status and value of pollinators in England and the UK, which we updated last year. We also supported a major global review of the status and threats to insect pollinators, published in 2015 by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. These reports did not identify electromagnetic radiation (EMR) as a significant threat to pollinating insects. Instead they highlighted key threats such as habitat loss, inappropriate pesticide use and invasive species. We have subsequently taken action on each of these.

Further studies have been published subsequently. In 2018, an EU-funded ‘EKLIPSE’ study concluded that “few ecological studies exist, but when they do, the reported EMR effects are negligible, contrasting, or cannot be separated from other environmental factors”.

Scientific evidence on risks to pollinators is continually evolving and we take it very seriously. We continue to work closely with leading UK scientists to keep EMR and other potential drivers of change under review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has plans to replace the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP).

I refer the hon. Member for Leeds Central to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend for East Devon on 26 July 2021, UIN: 36810.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many businesses have received support from his Department's network of international trade advisors since its launch in 2020, broken down by region of the UK.

The Department is not able to provide, reliably, the management information data requested. Published research from the Export Client Quality Survey reported 7,896 unique businesses supported by International Trade Advisors between April 2018 and March 2019.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many meetings (a) he has and (b) other Ministers of his Department have attended with international trade advisers in the (i) Northern Powerhouse, (ii) Midlands Engine, (iii) South and (iv) London regions; and which Ministers were in attendance at each of those meetings.

According to Department for International Trade records, the Secretary of State did not attend any meetings with international trade advisers since February 2020.

Other ministers have attended twenty-seven meetings with international trade advisers since February 2020. Ten meetings took place in the Northern Powerhouse region, one in the Midlands Engine, fifteen in the South, and one in London.

Minister Stuart attended six meetings in the Northern Powerhouse, eleven in the South, one in the Midlands Engine, and one in London.

Minister Jayawardena attended four meetings in the Northern Powerhouse, and four meetings in the South.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many businesses by region have been supported through the Export Academy; and what the cost to the public purse has been of the Export Academy since it was launched in 2020.

The Department is not able to provide, reliably, the management information data requested. 2018/19 is the last published data from the Export Client Quality Survey which reported that over 19,000 unique businesses were supported by the Department for International Trade.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the use of UK arms exported to Israel; and whether she plans to review the licensing of such exports.

HM Government continues to monitor closely the situation in Israel. We have procedures in place to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. We consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard procedure.

HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she plans to review UK exports of (a) tear gas and (b) rubber bullets to the US.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Any licence granted by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may be subject to conditions. In addition, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. There are currently eight extant licences that may be linked to law enforcement agencies. Six are Open Individual Export Licences (‘OIELs’), which have potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. Two are Standard Individual Export Licences (‘SIELs’), which have numerous potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. There are also 15 Open General Licences (‘OGLs’) for which businesses can register that cover the export of anti-riot gear.

Much information is in the public domain already. We publish information on all export licences issued, refused and revoked on a quarterly and annual basis as official statistics on GOV.UK – at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data – and whilst data on actual exports is not required to be centrally held, the licences issued until the end of December 2019 are available.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the number of dishwashers that were imported into the UK from outside the EU in each of the last five years.

Details of UK imports of dishwashers from outside the EU is attached.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information the Government holds on the number of electric vehicle charging points at each motorway service station in England.

Around 96% of motorway service areas in England have charging available. There are currently more than 450 open-access (can be used with any electric vehicle) rapid (50kW) and ultra-rapid (150kW+) chargepoints at motorway service areas across England.

10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to review HS2 site safeguarding in Leeds after the report on bringing HS2 trains to Leeds is published.

The Integrated Rail Plan set out that safeguarding of the previously proposed high speed route north of East Midlands Parkway will remain in place until the conclusion of the HS2 to Leeds Study.

The Government periodically reviews land requirements for the HS2 rail project and updates the extent of safeguarding accordingly.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the news story entitled All new smart motorways scrapped, published by his Department on 15 April 2023, what plans he has for the proposed conversion of the hard shoulder between junctions 2 and 3 of the M621 to an additional lane for traffic.

On 17th April 2023, in a Written Ministerial Statement the government confirmed that all plans for new smart motorways had been cancelled.

The M621 is not a smart motorway, it is an urban motorway with a fixed 50mph speed limit over the majority of its length. The work between junctions 2 and 3 is designed to improve journeys, traffic flow and safety. The scheme is currently in construction and will be completed as planned.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve the emissions testing process for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA’s) Market Surveillance Unit conducts impartial testing of vehicle emissions on behalf of the Department for Transport. This includes testing plug-in hybrid vehicles in real-world conditions. Analysis of these results will also inform the Government’s view of future improvements to regulatory emissions tests.

22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average cost of installing an electric vehicle chargepoint.

There are a variety of factors which affect the cost of installing an electric vehicle chargepoint. These include but are not limited to:

  • the type of chargepoint installed,
  • the requirement of upgrades to the electricity system,
  • labor costs in the area.

Given these factors, an average cost of installation may not be representative of an individual cost of installation.

In May 2022, Ricardo Energy & Environment published a report, commissioned by the Climate Change Committee, looking at costs and impacts of on-street charging. This report provides an overview of the costs associated with installing several different chargepoint types, ranging from a total of £1,025 for a home charger to £138,250 for a 150kW rapid charger.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with train operating companies on any potential changes to workers' (a) pay, (b) conditions and (c) pensions.

To ensure that as Ministers we have the very latest position, we are constantly updated on the Department’s engagement with the industry and have regular meetings with operators.

The disputes are between individual employers and the trade unions and it would not be for Government to intervene in this relationship. We encourage meaningful discussions and for the trade unions to return to the negotiating table in order to end these rail strikes which impact businesses, users and the general public.

26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his timeframe is for publishing the terms of reference for the Integrated Rail Plan study into (a) how to bring HS2 trains to Leeds from East Midlands Parkway and (b) capacity at Leeds station.

We will set out the Terms of Reference for the studies set out in the IRP shortly. We will continue to liaise closely with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council in the meantime.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects the study to find a way of bringing HS2 trains from East Midlands Parkway to Leeds to be completed.

The Terms of Reference for the Leeds Study, which will be evaluating the most effective way to route high-speed trains to Leeds and capacity solutions at Leeds station and the surrounding area, are due to be published shortly. The study is expected to take 18 months.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to introduce the Driver Vision Standard, which is currently operating in London, in other cities.

The Transport for London direct vision standard is their initiative to improve safety for vulnerable road users by improving direct vision for drivers of goods vehicles over 12 tonnes. The Government makes legislation on a national basis and our focus is improving safety requirements for all new vehicles. There are no plans to introduce different requirements for driver vision on a city by city basis. The Government is actively considering the implementation of a range of measures intended to improve safety for all vehicles. The UK helped to establish these measures under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and they include improved direct vision for drivers of vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes.

18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what routes his Department has produced costings in the first phase of the proposed West Yorkshire Mass Transit system.

The Department has not produced costings, as it is for West Yorkshire Combined Authority to develop the scheme. The figures used by the Department come from proposals submitted by West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements programme.

18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the fastest journey time from Leeds to Sheffield by rail is; and what that journey time is planned to be under the proposals set out in the Integrated Rail Plan.

Journey times from Leeds to Sheffield by rail currently take around 40 minutes. Intercity connections will be further considered within the £100m funding announced in the IRP which includes work on how best to take HS2 services to Leeds.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether an environmental impact assessment has been undertaken on the number of additional journeys that will result from the introduction of a 32 tonne limit on volumetric mobile plants.

The standard weight limits applicable to four-axle rigid vehicles is 32 tonnes. In 2017, the Government published the response to a consultation relating to specialised vehicle testing in which it was asked whether volumetric mobile plants (VCMs) should be permitted to exceed the standard 32-tonne weight limit for vehicles of their design.

Vehicle weight limits are necessary to maintain the integrity of road structures and ensure vehicles are not overloaded, presenting a danger to other road users. No environmental impact assessment has been undertaken; however, an impact assessment was conducted at the time of the regulatory change, which included these factors, and is available online.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the latest study by Highways UK on the impact of 38.4 tonne and 44 tonne volumetric concrete mixers on road infrastructure.

National Highways (then Highways England) commissioned a report into the load effects of volumetric concrete mixers (VCMs) in 2017. The Department for Transport does not have plans to publish the report.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to make the fitting of GPS trackers on all new cars compulsory.

Before new road vehicles can be placed on the market and registered, manufacturers must obtain type approval to the relevant technical requirements. The technical requirements are established at an international level and currently do not require the fitting of GPS trackers on new cars. There are no plans to amend these requirements.

The Department for Transport will be consulting during the autumn on legislation to introduce a new GB type approval scheme for road vehicles. This will include a Call for Evidence on possible new measures to introduce into the GB scheme in the future.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's estimate is of covid-19 vaccination rates in (a) India and (b) Pakistan as of 31 August 2021.

The World Health Organization publishes data on vaccination rates. As at 18 August 2021, India has approximately 125 million fully vaccinated individuals, which is over 9% of the population. Pakistan has approximately 12.5 million fully vaccinated individuals, which is over 5% of the population. The Department for Transport does not produce forecasts for global vaccination rates.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will set out the criteria used in respect of the covid-19 travel rules in deciding that (a) Pakistan should remain on the red list and (b) India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates should move from the red to the amber list, announced on 5 August 2021.

Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) risk assessments of countries and territories, alongside wider public health factors. Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country and territory include genomic surveillance capability, COVID-19 transmission risk and variant of concern transmission risk. A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions.

These are intended to be temporary measures and the government keeps data for countries and territories under regular review.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress has been made on development of the Sevington lorry park and checking facility in Ashford; and how many lorries a day is that site processing as at 28 June 2021.

Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF) has operated well since it opened in January, conducting COVID-19 testing for hauliers leaving the UK. This has been an important operation in order to keep freight moving in times when the pandemic has peaked, and countries have had to instigate COVID-19 border protocols.

HMRC successfully transitioned their operations from Waterbrook IBF to Sevington IBF in March. The total number of vehicles processed by HMRC at Sevington on 28 June was 723, with a total of 676 COVID-19 tests being carried out on the same day.

Landscaping commenced with the beginning of the planting season, which is an important part of our environmental strategy to mitigate against visual impacts and to enhance biodiversity. The Department is also reviewing lighting on-site following feedback from local residents and the public and will be looking to implement some changes shortly.

Construction of the Border Control Post (BCP) has been progressing well with structures for all buildings now in place and accommodation buildings being erected. Completion of the BCP is on course for the end of the year.

29th Apr 2021
What recent progress has been made on HS2.

Construction is underway and already supporting over 15000 jobs including over 500 apprenticeships. Phase 2a has also achieved royal assent.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received from UK citizens living in France on the problems that those citizens are encountering in exchanging a UK driving licence for a local driving licence; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to establishing reciprocal arrangements with France with the minimum of bureaucracy. The Government has secured interim arrangements with the French authorities which will allow UK licence holders to continue to use their valid UK licence until 1 January 2022. We are working with the French government to finalise a permanent arrangement and to find a solution for those with expired UK licences. The Government commits to providing an update as soon as possible.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Kent Access Permits have been issued to date.

The total number of Kent Access Permits that have been issued to date is 106,201.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of lorries that have left the UK via (a) the Port of Dover and (b) Eurotunnel from 1 Jan 2021 to the latest date for which information is available.

The Department for Transport (DfT) does hold estimates of the number of lorries that have left the UK via the Short Strait crossings since the start of the year. However some the data used to estimate this is provided by transport operators on a commercially confidential basis. Whilst these operators may give permission for this data to be shared during periods of specific disruption, the DfT does not have permission to share this information during times of normal running. As such it is not possible to provide this information at this time.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans for electric scooters to be required to emit a sound to warn pedestrians of their approach; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has been working closely with a number of local authorities and rental e-scooter service providers since last July to establish trials to build evidence about e-scooter use.

All e-scooters used in trials must have a horn or bell so that users can make others aware of their presence and continuous sound emitter devices are also being trialled; their efficacy will be reviewed along with all other evidence from trials later this year.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether lorries travelling into Kent from the rest of the UK but not travelling to EU countries will from 1 January 2021 have to register with the DVSA in order to demonstrate an exemption for a Kent Access Permit.

As set out in HM Government’s Border Operating Model first published on 13 July 2020, HGV drivers making domestic journeys that start, travel through, or end in Kent, will not need to obtain a Kent Access Permit. It is recommended that all drivers who are transporting goods domestically carry paperwork detailing their journey so any possible delays can be minimised

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish guidance for lorries travelling into Kent from the rest of the UK but not travelling to a country in the UK on how they can demonstrate from 1 January 2021 that they do not need to be in possession of a Kent Access Permit in order to enter the county of Kent.

As set out in HM Government’s Border Operating Model first published on 13 July 2020, HGV drivers making domestic journeys that start, travel through, or end in Kent, will not need to obtain a Kent Access Permit. It is recommended that all drivers who are transporting goods domestically carry paperwork detailing their journey so any possible delays can be minimised

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether EU-registered lorries that have entered the UK to make deliveries will require a Kent Access Permit for their return journey if they are empty.

Subject to passage of the necessary Statutory Instruments, an empty HGV using the Short Straits crossings on its return to the EU will require a Kent Access Permit.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the proportion of EU-registered lorries that have entered the UK in a seven day period to make deliveries that will require a Kent Access Permit because they are carrying return loads destined for the EU.

All EU registered HGVs returning in a 7 day period will need a Kent Access Permit if using the short straits crossings, even if they are carrying an empty trailer. We are working closely with EU based hauliers and their industry associations to ensure they understand this requirement and have access to the information they need to take exports to the EU from 1 January.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which Government agency or agencies will be responsible for (a) checking lorry paperwork, (b) issuing fines and (c) impounding non-compliant lorries under the proposed Kent Access Permit scheme.

In August 2020, Her Majesty’s Government consulted on the use of a Kent Access Permit (KAP) for any EU-bound Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV – goods vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes) taking goods via the Short Straits Channel crossing after the end of the EU transition period. Under these proposals, if taken forward:

  1. Contractors working for DfT, HMRC and Defra (or its agencies) would confirm if an HGV driver has a valid KAP using the Smart Freight Service, and in some cases, conduct documentation checks.

  2. Fixed Penalty Notices or Financial Penalty Deposit Notices of £300 would be issued by the Police or the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if an HCV driver did not have a valid KAP.

  3. The DVSA would be able to impound vehicles should the driver choose not to pay the fine.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to make a decision on the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund bid.

The Department for Transport received the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund business case on 28 November 2019. The Department is currently carefully assessing all 12 business cases from eligible city regions and will announce the outcome of this process within the next few months.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the capacity of Leeds train stations to cope with the predicted increase in passenger demand over the next 20 years.

The Department has consulted widely with Network Rail, Train Operators, and stakeholders in Leeds and West Yorkshire on options to relieve the shortage of capacity and plan for expected growth in rail traffic. We are now developing a programme of possible improvements which will benefit passengers in the area in the medium to long term. Next steps include developing and authorising a number of short & medium-term infrastructure improvements to increase capacity and performance in the Leeds Station area.

With regards to Leeds station specifically, the Government is committed to making improvements to the station to increase its capacity, including work already under way to add a new platform and tracks and upgrade the signalling.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the planned expansion of UK airports is compatible with the Government's policy on CO2 reduction.

The Government recognises that the fight against climate change is the greatest and most pressing challenge facing the modern world.

The Government is committed to setting a clear ambition for the aviation sector and is carefully considering the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

We are planning to consult shortly on an update to the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how aviation can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions, in order that the aviation sector can continue to thrive.

The Airports National Policy Statement guarantees that any new runway at Heathrow will only be built if an applicant for development consent can demonstrate that any increase in carbon emissions from the scheme will not materially impact the government’s ability to meet its carbon reduction targets, now and in the future.

The Government is also supportive of airports making best use of their existing capacity, subject to the assessment of the merits of individual applications, including consideration of their environmental impacts. The government set out its policy position for the South East of England in Beyond the Horizon: The future of UK aviation: Making best use of existing runways.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he is taking steps to help (a) repair and (b) reopen the Forum Leisure Centre swimming pool located within his Department's property in Quarry Hill, Leeds.

The Department for Work and Pensions are in the process of arranging a comprehensive scheme of repairs to the plant room servicing the Quarry House Leisure Centre Pool.

A quote for the works has been received and validated. With lead time for materials & subsequent programme of works, it is anticipated the pool will re-open in December 2023.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he is taking steps to investigate the filming of Jobcentre staff and customers in Leeds and elsewhere by Auditing Yorkshire.

DWP takes the safety of its staff and customers very seriously. Filming on our premises has the potential to cause distress and undermine individual security.

Incidents involving Audit Yorkshire and other similar groups are being reviewed. Where appropriate we will seek to remove Social Media footage and pursue legal action.

In relation to measures to prevent filming of staff and customers within our premises, DWP maintains a policy of requiring permission for filming to take place within our premises, which after a review of legal advice, is regarded as private land.

This review has made some recommendations on strengthening our response in this area. We continue to monitor the situation and are working with other Departments to align best practice in these types of incidents.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to issue Ukrainian refugees with a letter confirming their entitlement to local housing payments.

Eligibility for benefits, including help with housing costs depends on a person’s immigration status in the UK as determined by the Home Office. Those who were residing in Ukraine immediately before 1 January 2022, and who have fled in response to the Russian Invasion are eligible for income-related, disability and carer benefits from day one of their arrival in the UK, subject to all other entitlement conditions being met.

DWP does not issue letters to individuals regarding potential eligibility. However, all claims to benefit will be decided in accordance with current legislation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the increase in the State pension on pensioners who receive a small amount of pension credit.

State Pensions and Pension Credit will increase by 10.1% from 10 April 2023, so there will be no reduction in Pension Credit payable as a result of the increase in State Pensions.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
23rd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is her Departments policy that people applying for support for equipment under the Access to Work programme are required to make a new application when they change jobs.

To enable disabled people to receive the appropriate in-work support, they may need to contact Access to Work when they change job if their support needs or equipment change. Where the disabled person changes job and their support needs and equipment remain the same, there is no need to make a new application, as Access to Work will fund the costs of moving equipment previously funded by Access to Work.

To support disabled people to have flexibility to access short term contracts, Access to Work has also introduced a flexible application for self-employed freelancers and contractors. The flexible application enables support to be transitioned from job to job, regardless of the time lapse between periods of employment and provides assurance for the disabled person and potential employers.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will review the universal credit eligibility requirements for disabled people in education.

Most full-time students in higher education do not qualify for Universal Credit because one of the conditions of entitlement is that a claimant must not be in education.

Students, including disabled students and those with health conditions, access fees and living costs support for their higher education courses through various loans and grants funded through the student support system. It is important that Universal Credit does not duplicate this support, which is designed for their needs unlike the social security system.

In some circumstances, people in full-time education are able to claim Universal Credit. These exceptions to the rules generally provide financial help not covered by the student support system or avoid anomalies in cases where one member of a couple is a student.

There is an exception where a person has already been determined to have limited capability for work before entering education and is entitled to Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Disabled Adult/Child Payment (Scotland) or Armed Forces Independence Payment. The rules for this exception are designed to encourage those already claiming Universal Credit because of disability or ill health to take up education that may help them into work in the future.

As with all policies, we continue to keep the support we offer to disabled students claiming UC under review.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people in the Leeds Central constituency who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance.

     

We estimate that 260 cases qualifying for arrears payments were based in the Leeds Central constituency as of the end of the exercise.

Notes:

Figure rounded to the nearest 10.

End of the exercise refers to 1 June 2021. Geographical breakdowns are derived from address information recorded on the Department's Customer Information System (CIS) for 1 June 2021. For deceased cases this will be the last address held on the CIS as of the extract date (28 December 2021) for that National Insurance number.

Analysis is based on administrative data for the ESA underpayments exercise that was correct as of 21 July 2021.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants received their final payment of the £20 a week universal credit uplift on or prior to 8 September 2021.

For Universal Credit claimants, Assessment Periods that ended on or after 6 October 2021 will not include the additional £20 per week.

The latest available statistics, taken from Stat-Xplore, show that the number of people who were on Universal Credit on 9 September 2021 was 5.8 million.

These statistics are published monthly and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people in Leeds Central who will be affected by the proposed cut of the universal credit uplift.

It is not possible to produce a robust estimate of exactly how many people will be affected by the removal of the £20 uplift during October due to uncertainty around the speed of the economic recovery and the resulting effect on the caseload.

The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department will complete its investigation into the fraud allegedly committed against the hon. Member for Leeds Central's constituent ML and reinstate her tax credits.

The Department takes fraud very seriously. Where it does enter the benefit system, there are dedicated teams on hand to investigate potential fraud. The Department provides a clear message to claimants on Gov.uk as to what constitutes benefit fraud and what action we will take if benefit fraud is suspected. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/benefit-fraud

All cases are progressed as quickly as possible, but some cases are complex and can take time to resolve. We cannot provide an update on any particular case by way of a parliamentary response, nor can we provide details on any ongoing fraud investigation. However, we would invite the Rt. Hon member to write to us about the case that has prompted his concerns, which will allow us to respond accordingly.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department takes to check that a tenancy agreement and the rent quoted are genuine when considering the housing allowance element of a universal credit claim.

For those who live in the Private Rented Sector, we have an upload facility available for claimants to submit evidence to support their claim for housing costs support. Where necessary, original documents can be provided face to face to a Work Coach. In some circumstances, housing costs can be verified by directly contacting the landlord. Housing costs are always verified directly with the Social Sector landlord in Social Rented Sector cases.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of cases referred through the benefit fraud portal were found to be fraudulent claims in the last 12 months.

DWP takes fraud and error very seriously and values the part played by members of the public in reporting potential benefit fraud.

Between 1st September 2020 and 31st August 2021, we estimate that around 6% of allegations received through the GOV.UK on-line reporting tool found evidence of benefit incorrectness that resulted in a range of outcomes, including prosecution, the imposition of an Administrative Penalty, benefit correction and recovery of overpaid monies. This figure is calculated as a proportion of allegations reported via the GOV.UK on-line fraud reporting tool that contained sufficient information for our referral management team to record them on our systems and progress them.

All allegations of fraud are corroborated by DWP in the first instance to decide on the appropriate course of action where there is a concern about entitlement. Where fraud is proven, we are committed to the use of appropriate penalties.

We are increasingly focussed on preventing fraud and error entering the benefit system, with the Chancellor announcing £44m at the Spring Budget to support the expansion of both our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service and our new Enhanced Checking Service, with the development of Transaction Risking as a means of identifying high risk claims.

Our work with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies, both nationally and across borders, helps ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

Our Annual Report and Accounts published on 15 July 2021 provides more information on what we are doing to prevent fraud from occurring: DWP annual report and accounts 2020 to 2021(opens in a new tab)

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will prioritise personal independence payment reassessments in cases where the applicant has a known mental health issue.

Eligible Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants are invited to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – “reassessment claims” – in one of four ways:

  • On reaching age 16;
  • When reporting a change of circumstances which might result in a change in their DLA award;
  • Shortly before an existing DLA fixed term award comes to an end; or
  • Through random selection for those with long-term or indefinite DLA awards where none of the triggers above apply.

No invitations to claim PIP are prioritised by the DLA claimant’s health condition or disability.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is for a personal independence payment (PIP) renewal assessment to be undertaken; and what comparative assessment she has made of that waiting time with waiting times in April (a) 2020 and (b) 2019.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment renewal assessment cases were awaiting consideration in Leeds Central constituency on 1 January in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the merits of repeated DWP assessments where an individual applicant has had a (a) brain tumour or (b) severe head injury when there is no evidence that the person’s condition will improve.

In both Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments, healthcare professionals advise on a review period that is appropriate to the individual claimant. In the WCA, if a claimant has a condition that causes severe functional impairment and there is no realistic prospect of recovery of function they can be placed in the severe conditions group and would not be routinely reassessed. In PIP, claimants receiving the highest level of benefit whose functional ability will not improve will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10-year point. The up-coming Health and Disability Green Paper will focus on how we can make further improvements to assessments and seek views on future changes

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of applications to be KickStart Gateways have been (a) received (b) approved, (c) rejected or (d) received and are still awaiting consideration.

I refer the Honourable Member to PQ 118516 regarding the number of applications from gateway organisations. Officials are working hard to develop our data gathering and analysis processes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many EU citizens holding (a) settled status and (b) pre-settled status have had their applications for universal credfit refused since 1 March 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department holds digital pension records for all pensioners.

The number of people claiming State Pension was 12.6 million at August 2019 with an estimated spend on State Pensions for 2018/19, at around £97 billion.

References: DWP benefits expenditure and caseload tables publication, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2019 and the August 2019 Statistical Enquiry, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-benefits-statistics-february-2020/dwp-benefits-statistical-summary-february-2020#pensions

The DWP holds the digital information necessary to support the payment and administration of State Pensions.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason NHS numbers issued in Northern Ireland are not transferable to England.

There has never been a single National Health Service number system across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prior to the introduction of the current 10-digit format NHS number in 1995/96, there were 22 different NHS number formats in existence; one of these was the Northern Ireland NHS number format. The rationalisation that took place introduced the common format we have now. Whilst a common format NHS number is in use there has never been a decision for a single database operating across both authorities.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had recent discussions with providers of life insurance on the level of premiums offered to applicants who have tested negative for Huntington's disease.

The Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance is a shared agreement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on the use of genetic testing in underwriting insurance policies.  Compliance with the Code, and the adoption of the Commitments in the Code, is a condition of membership for all ABI members.

The Government and the ABI launched a Call for Evidence on the Code on 25 July 2023 and closed on 17 October 2023. The Call for Evidence gathered views around how to transparently assess which predictive genetic test results may need to be disclosed under the Code in the future, as well as whether approaches used in other countries should be considered.

The ABI has recently published a revised Consumer Guide to the Code, which directly addresses concerns about the level of premiums offered to applicants who have tested negative for Huntington's disease. The consumer guide is available at the following link:

https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/genetics/abi-consumer-guide-2023---code-on-genetic-testing-and-insurance.pdf

While no specific conversations have taken place with life insurance providers, the Government continues to work closely with the ABI to ensure the Code remains fit for purpose and beneficial to both consumers and the insurance industry.

16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has conducted research on the guidance provided to insurance companies by the governments of other European countries on requesting information about the genetic history of life insurance applicants.

The Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance is a shared agreement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on the use of genetic testing in underwriting insurance policies.  Compliance with the Code, and the adoption of the Commitments in the Code, is a condition of membership for all ABI members.

The Government and the ABI launched a Call for Evidence on the Code on 25 July 2023 and closed on 17 October 2023. The Call for Evidence gathered views around how to transparently assess which predictive genetic test results may need to be disclosed under the Code in the future, as well as whether approaches used in other countries should be considered.

The ABI has recently published a revised Consumer Guide to the Code, which directly addresses concerns about the level of premiums offered to applicants who have tested negative for Huntington's disease. The consumer guide is available at the following link:

https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/genetics/abi-consumer-guide-2023---code-on-genetic-testing-and-insurance.pdf

While no specific conversations have taken place with life insurance providers, the Government continues to work closely with the ABI to ensure the Code remains fit for purpose and beneficial to both consumers and the insurance industry.

16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential merits of including references to conditions other than Huntington’s disease in the code on genetic testing and insurance.

The Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance is a shared agreement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on the use of genetic testing in underwriting insurance policies.  Compliance with the Code, and the adoption of the Commitments in the Code, is a condition of membership for all ABI members.

The Government and the ABI launched a Call for Evidence on the Code on 25 July 2023 and closed on 17 October 2023. The Call for Evidence gathered views around how to transparently assess which predictive genetic test results may need to be disclosed under the Code in the future, as well as whether approaches used in other countries should be considered.

The ABI has recently published a revised Consumer Guide to the Code, which directly addresses concerns about the level of premiums offered to applicants who have tested negative for Huntington's disease. The consumer guide is available at the following link:

https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/genetics/abi-consumer-guide-2023---code-on-genetic-testing-and-insurance.pdf

While no specific conversations have taken place with life insurance providers, the Government continues to work closely with the ABI to ensure the Code remains fit for purpose and beneficial to both consumers and the insurance industry.

16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of prison inmates who have Huntington's disease.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is offering to patients on home dialysis who face higher energy bills as the result of their treatment.

Certain specialised services in the National Health Service, including home Haemodialysis, do include the provision of financial support to offset energy costs faced by patients using medical equipment at home. It is for individual commissioned providers to agree the process for the reimbursement of utility costs for Haemodialysis patients at a local level and manage their budgets autonomously.

The Department does not have a policy on energy costs at this time. However, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England are supporting the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero’s review of energy rebate schemes that are currently available for users of medical equipment at home; as well as supporting the Department of Energy’s policy development work in this area which they plan to publish for low-income vulnerable energy consumers post April 2024.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time in Leeds is for a specialist appointment following a referral for gender dysphoria.

The mean average wait time for a specialist appointment following a referral for gender dysphoria at the Leeds Gender Identity Clinic is 111.1 weeks, and the median average is 65.6 weeks.

The service operates a standard and priority waiting list, both are included in this data. Priority wait is for those people who have had a diagnosis in an NHS England Gender service and are returning to access further treatment, or those who are transferring from another National Health Service gender clinic.

To increase service capacity, NHS England has established four new pilot gender identity clinics since 2020. A fifth will open in Sussex in September 2023. This model will be rolled out nationally if the initial clinics are positively evaluated.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on the development of NICE guidelines for Huntington's Disease.

The Department and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence officials are currently discussing the possible development of a guideline on Huntingdon’s disease through the established topic selection arrangements. This entails consideration of factors such as the burden of disease, the evidence base and variation in practice.

2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time is for adults (a) to be assessed and (b) to receive treatment for ADHD.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 April 2023 to Question 175511.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for (a) diagnosis of and (b) treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in England in each of the last five years.

There is, at present, no single, established dataset that can be used to monitor waiting times for assessment or treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nationally.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population, in line with relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. NICE guidelines for ADHD diagnosis and management do not recommend a maximum waiting time standard from referral for an assessment of ADHD, nor do they set out a timeframe within which treatment for ADHD should be provided, but it does explain the key considerations for clinicians when deciding whether to offer treatment.

In a recent Westminster Hall debate on 1 February 2023, I committed to look at how we can improve data on ADHD assessment waiting times, to help improve access to ADHD assessments in a timely way and in line with the NICE guideline.

We are supporting ICBs to expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people can get the support they need.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the health benefits of introducing a national lung screening programme.

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) undertook a review of the evidence relating to the clinical effectiveness of screening for lung cancer in adults with a history of tobacco smoking. This found high quality evidence that screening in this group identified lung cancer earlier and significantly reduced deaths from lung cancer.

Following a public consultation, the UK NSC recommended that lung cancer screening should be implemented in the United Kingdom. The Department is currently considering the recommendation from the UK NSC with NHS England.

20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the average waiting time for diagnosis for someone who has been referred with suspected ADHD in by England.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population including assessments and diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ICBs and National Health Service trusts should have due regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline NG87: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management. This NICE guideline aims to improve the diagnosis of ADHD and the quality of care and support that people receive.

While the NICE guideline does not recommend a maximum waiting time standard from referral for an assessment of ADHD or from assessment to the point of diagnosis, a diagnosis should be made as soon as possible, and we are clear that people should not have to face long waits. Consultant-led mental health services are covered by the NHS 18-week maximum waiting time.

We are supporting ICBs to generally expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people can get the support they need.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 137735 on Brain: Diseases, if he will hold discussions with mental health trusts on whether they are excluding patients in need of community mental health care because they have organic brain disorders.

The Department has no plans to hold discussions with mental health trusts on this issue.

NHS England has advised that it is not aware of any mental health trusts excluding patients in need of community mental health care because they have organic brain disorders. Trusts should operate according to clinical need. Mental health services should not be a first port of call for someone with an organic brain disease. However, if an individual with organic brain disease develops mental health issues, or has existing mental health issues, there should be no reason to exclude them from mental health services.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will have discussions with representatives of the insurance industry on the prices for life insurance offered to people who have a family history of Huntington's disease and also have a confirmed negative predictive test.

The Secretary of State has not had discussions with the insurance industry on prices for life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s with a negative predictive test and, has no plans to have such discussions. However the Department works closely with the Association of British Insurers on the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance to ensure it remains fit for purpose. This has included discussions with the Huntington’s Disease Association during the recent three yearly review of the Code, which was published in December 2022.

While there are no plans to make a formal comparative assessment, we are aware of stakeholders raising concerns regarding access to life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s while having a negative predictive test and we will be working with ABI to understand this further.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make a comparative assessment of the (a) terms and (b) prices offered to individuals who (i) had and (ii) did not have a family history of Huntington's disease by insurance companies for life insurance in each of the last three years.

The Secretary of State has not had discussions with the insurance industry on prices for life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s with a negative predictive test and, has no plans to have such discussions. However the Department works closely with the Association of British Insurers on the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance to ensure it remains fit for purpose. This has included discussions with the Huntington’s Disease Association during the recent three yearly review of the Code, which was published in December 2022.

While there are no plans to make a formal comparative assessment, we are aware of stakeholders raising concerns regarding access to life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s while having a negative predictive test and we will be working with ABI to understand this further.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the insurance industry on the premia for life insurance offered to people who have a family history of Huntington's disease but have a confirmed negative predictive test.

The Secretary of State has not had discussions with the insurance industry on prices for life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s with a negative predictive test and, has no plans to have such discussions. However the Department works closely with the Association of British Insurers on the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance to ensure it remains fit for purpose. This has included discussions with the Huntington’s Disease Association during the recent three yearly review of the Code, which was published in December 2022.

While there are no plans to make a formal comparative assessment, we are aware of stakeholders raising concerns regarding access to life insurance for people with a family history of Huntington’s while having a negative predictive test and we will be working with ABI to understand this further.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the prevalence of mental health trusts excluding patients in need of community mental health care because they have Huntington’s disease.

No such assessment has been made. Access to NHS mental health services is based on clinical need, including for patients with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year for the expansion and transformation of mental health services in England by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people, including those with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders, can get the NHS-funded mental health support that they need.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the prevalence of mental health trusts excluding patients in need of community mental health care because they have organic brain disorders.

No such assessment has been made. Access to NHS mental health services is based on clinical need, including for patients with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year for the expansion and transformation of mental health services in England by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people, including those with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders, can get the NHS-funded mental health support that they need.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to extend opt-out HIV testing.

As part of the Government’s HIV Action Plan, NHS England has expanded opt-out HIV testing in accident and emergency departments in areas of extremely high diagnosed HIV prevalence, over five cases per 1,000 people, a proven effective way to identify new HIV cases. NHS England is investing £20 million over three years, 2022/25, to support this activity.

We will be considering the full evidence from the first year of opt-out testing, alongside the data on progress towards our ambition of ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, to decide whether we further expand this programme to areas with high HIV prevalence that is two to five cases per 1,000 people. We will also share the findings from the opt-out testing programme with local health systems to inform local decisions on expansion.

1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Association of British Insurers about the genetic discrimination against applicants for life insurance.

The Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance (the Code) is an agreement between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Government which aims to prevent genetic discrimination and provide reassurance to the public about genetic testing and access to life, critical illness, and income protection insurance products.

Given advances in genetics and genomics, to ensure that the Code remains fit for purpose, the Government and the ABI agreed the Code should be reviewed, in a joint process, every three years. The first review of the Code, conducted by the Department and ABI, was published in December 2022. It sets out further steps which will be taken over the coming year to gather further information, via a call for evidence and stakeholder workshops, to ensure the Code remains mutually beneficial for both consumers and the insurance industry.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of the circumstances in which a person is required by law to produce or show their birth certificate in a health setting.

We are not aware of a legal requirement for a birth certificate as the only valid identification for services in the National Health Service.

26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Integrated Care Boards in England have a dedicated care co-ordinator for Huntington's Disease.

The information requested is not held. NHS England specialised commissioning does not centrally commission dedicated care co-ordinators for Huntington’s Disease within integrated care boards.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of rising energy bills on the hospices, including their financial stability.

No assessment has been made. Following a HM Treasury led review into the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme will run from April until March 2024 and continue to provide a discount to eligible non-domestic customers, including hospices.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of Bedrocan cannabis medicines for children suffering from epilepsy.

Clinical guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state, there is insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness to support a population-wide practice recommendation for the use of unlicensed cannabis-based products, including Bedrocan products, for the treatment of adults and children with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy. NICE also made recommendations for further research to inform future decisions on the routine prescribing and funding of unlicensed cannabis-based medicines on the National Health Service.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has issued two calls for research proposals and a highlight notice on medicinal cannabis. Manufacturers, including those for Bedrocan products, are responsible for generating evidence to support the use of these products and to seek regulatory approval. The Government encourages manufacturers to do so and offers scientific and research advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the NIHR.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the proportion of antibiotics dispensed in the UK that are manufactured in (a) the UK, (b) the European Union and (c) elsewhere.

The data is not held centrally.

15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce a national lung screening programme as recommended by the UK National Screening Committee.

The Department and NHS England are determining how a lung screening programme could be established and the recommendation will be considered in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to support home care workers using their own vehicles to visit clients with fuel costs.

Home care workers may be eligible to benefit from Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs), which are used by employers to reimburse an employee’s expenses for business mileage in their private vehicle. These rates aim to reflect running costs including fuel, servicing and depreciation.

Employers do not have to use AMAP rates and can instead choose to reimburse more or less, subject to certain tax conditions. Employees who receive less than the advisory rate can claim tax relief on the difference.

7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate the charges levied by agencies for the supply of locum GPs.

We have no plans to do so.

25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will ask mental health trusts to ensure that their eligibility criteria include patients with organic brain disorders, such as Huntington’s disease, to help those people access mental health support services where mental health is the presenting symptom.

Access to mental health services is based on clinical need, including for people with organic brain disorders such as Huntington’s disease. The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year to expand mental health services in England by 2023/24. This includes increasing access to National Health Service talking therapies through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) to ensure that 1.9 million adults, including those with Huntington’s disease, can receive support for conditions such as anxiety and depression.

The NHS is developing the IAPT services include a focus on people with long term conditions. The IAPT - long term conditions services have been established to support integrated pathways between IAPT services and physical health for people with long term conditions, including neurological conditions. All integrated care systems are expected to commission IAPT services integrated into physical healthcare pathways as part of IAPT expansion plans locally.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will ask NICE to develop specific national guidelines on Huntington’s disease to help ensure patients with that disease have a coordinated care pathway.

There are no current plans for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop a guideline on Huntington’s disease. NHS England is developing a neuropsychiatry service specification which when finalised, will outline the multi-disciplinary approach to caring for patients with complex neurological conditions, including Huntington’s disease, who require specialised assessment and mental health support.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much Government funding is being spent on research to help tackle the symptoms of Huntington’s disease.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In 2020/21, the Government’s expenditure on dementia and neurodegeneration research, including Huntington’s disease, was £77 million.

In the last five years, the NIHR directly funded two studies into Huntington’s disease with a total award value of £316,267. Additionally, the NIHR has supported the delivery of over 35 studies relating to Huntington’s disease via the Clinical Research Network infrastructure, including 12 specifically focusing on symptom management.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 September 2022 to Question 51448, on Muscular Dystrophy: Research (a) whether the NIHR plans to fund research into the cause and potential treatments for Distal Myopathy-5 and ADSSL1 Myopathy and (b) if she will make an assessment of research being undertaken in other countries into this disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has no plans to issue any specific commissioned calls for research. The NIHR welcomes applications for funding into any area of health and care research. Research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards based on the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. There are no plans to make a comparative assessment of specific research being undertaken in other countries.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 July 2022 to Question 39768 on Numed Healthcare: Medical Equipment, whether Numed Inc Products has indicated to NHS Supply Chain whether it intends to stop importing any equipment specifically made for the treatment of children with heart disease.

Numed Inc Products gave notice to NHS Supply Chain in August 2022 that there are two cardiac products it intends to discontinue in the European Union and the United Kingdom in February and May 2024. While two of these products are no procured through via NHS Supply Chain, it is engaging with the company to ensure that any products required remain available.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 September 2022 to Question 51448 on Muscular Dystrophy: Research, whether the National Institute for Health and Care Research has plans to undertake research into the (a) cause of and (b) potential treatments for (i) Distal Myopathy-5 and (ii) ADSSL1 Myopathy.

It is not usual practice for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and other research funders to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics. Research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards made based on the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. Research into the cause of and potential treatments for Distal Myopathy-5 and ADSSL1 Myopathy would be subject to a successful bid for the NIHR’s research funding.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of NHS Trusts have a six month termination clause in contracts for the supply of clinical waste services.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Contractual decisions are made by individual trusts locally and the Department does not mandate terms of each contract.

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research is being undertaken into the (a) cause of and (b) potential treatments for Distal Myopathy-5 and ADSSL1 Myopathy.

The Department funds the majority of research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR has not funded any research into the cause and potential treatments for Distal Myopathy-5 and ADSSL1 Myopathy in the last five years.

19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2022 to Question 11557 on Numed Healthcare: Medical Equipment, whether NHS Supply Chain has received communication from Numed Inc Products’ United Kingdom distributor as of 19 July 2022.

NHS Supply Chain has received routine communication from NuMED Inc Products’ United Kingdom distributor.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the (a) identification and (b) treatment of pancreatic cancer.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are accelerating access to cancer diagnosis and treatment, through non-symptom specific pathways and the new Faster Diagnosis Standard. In addition, we are investing £2.3 billion in community diagnostic centres and endoscopy services in the next three years, to improve the diagnosis and the detection of cancers, including pancreatic cancer.

The current ‘Help us help you’ campaign focuses on the barriers to earlier presentation across all cancer types. A further campaign is planned later in 2022 to address abdominal and urological symptoms, which can include symptoms relevant to pancreatic cancer.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a new audit of pancreatic cancer services to support the National Health Service to identify and address variation in access to treatment. NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with Pancreatic Cancer UK to raise awareness of Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy and shared guidance with Cancer Alliances.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to GP services in England about the treatment of excessive ear wax which has led to deafness.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) no longer advises manual ear syringing due to the associated risks, such as trauma to the ear drum or infection. NICE suggests alternative arrangements for treatment of excessive ear wax, such as ear irrigation using an electronic irrigator, micro-suction or another method of earwax removal. General practitioner services are increasingly recommending self-care methods as the primary means to support the safe removal of ear wax, such as in cases of deafness. Commissioners should ensure that there is appropriate access to ear wax removal services where it is clinically appropriate for the patient.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to help ensure that NuMed Healthcare will not cease to import equipment made for the treatment of children with heart disease from the US after January 2023.

NHS Supply Chain has not received communication from NuMed Inc Products’ United Kingdom distributor on potential disruptions to the supply of paediatric cardiology devices, once new regulatory requirements come into effect on 1 July 2023. Due to the large volume of suppliers and the array of specialised products available under NHS Supply Chain’s framework, the incoming regulation changes are not expected to cause supply or resilience issues within the National Health Service as there are suitable alternatives available.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently finalising the response to the public consultation on future medical device regulation, which will outline the new regulatory requirements from 1 July 2023 and appropriate transitional arrangements. The consultation considered routes to market for medical devices once regulatory changes take place and any proposals will be outlined in the response. Officials are engaging with industry stakeholders on the future approach to regulating medical devices.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will publish decisions on funding for the Leeds General Infirmary building project to provide a new adult hospital, maternity centre and the new Leeds Children's Hospital.

The Government is committed to the delivery of 48 hospitals by 2030, including Leeds General Infirmary. Individual allocations for trusts will be determined once the respective full business cases have been reviewed and agreed.

All hospital schemes in the programme are working with the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the support of regional, system and local trust leadership, to design and deliver these projects. The programme will support these new hospitals to implement efficiencies from economies of scale and benefit from building concurrently. The programme has ongoing discussions with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust regarding the development of its plans, supporting the ‘Building the Leeds Way’ approach.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the NHS will make available Evusheld as a preventative covid-19 treatment for people who are immunosuppressed.

Whilst Evusheld is not currently authorised for use in the United Kingdom, the Government continues to monitor the emerging data for the treatment.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) advice and (b) communications her Department is providing to people who are immunosuppressed following the removal of covid-19 restrictions.

On 25 February 2022, the Government issued updated public health advice for people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

For most people, they are no longer at substantially greater risk than the general population and are advised to follow general guidance on reducing the risk of infection with COVID-19, in addition to any further advice from their doctor.

Updated guidance was also issued for those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

Enhanced protection is also offered by treatments, additional vaccinations and potentially other non-clinical interventions. The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to offer short-term help, such as telephone support or help with collecting shopping, medication and other essential supplies.

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of established brain tumour centres are funded by (a) Governmental bodies and (b) the third sector.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are the direct commissioners of neurosurgery services, radiotherapy services and chemotherapy services, all of which are involved in the care of patients with brain tumours. There are 24 National Health Service commissioned and funded neurosciences centres which undertake surgery and NHS commissioned oncology centres which coordinate and deliver other aspects of care. Some follow-up care may be undertaken outside of these centres, within hospital oncology departments.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Disabled Facilities Grants for children with autism in enabling them to stay in their homes as opposed to being placed in residential care.

The refreshed national autism strategy has been extended to children and young people, recognising that many autistic people can live well in their own homes if these are adapted to their needs. Since 2010, we have invested more than £4 billion in the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), delivering an estimated 490,000 home adaptations. The number of children with an autism diagnosis who received a DFG in each of the last five years is not held centrally.

Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies, has published a guide for local authorities ‘A Guide to Adaptations For Children and Young People With Behaviours That Challenge’ which includes advice on DFGs for autistic children and young people and those with learning disabilities. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://booklets.foundations.uk.com/adaptationsforbehavioursthatchallenge#page=1

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has provided through the Disabled Facilities Grants for children with autism in each of the last five years.

The refreshed national autism strategy has been extended to children and young people, recognising that many autistic people can live well in their own homes if these are adapted to their needs. Since 2010, we have invested more than £4 billion in the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), delivering an estimated 490,000 home adaptations. The number of children with an autism diagnosis who received a DFG in each of the last five years is not held centrally.

Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies, has published a guide for local authorities ‘A Guide to Adaptations For Children and Young People With Behaviours That Challenge’ which includes advice on DFGs for autistic children and young people and those with learning disabilities. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://booklets.foundations.uk.com/adaptationsforbehavioursthatchallenge#page=1

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much NHS Digital has spent on external consultants in each of the last five years.

The following table shows NHS Digital’s expenditure on consultancy in each of the last five years.

Year

Expenditure

2016/17

£1,584,760

2017/18

£332,659

2018/19

£1,798,760

2019/20

£1,394,062

2020/21

£926,724

Source: NHS Digital Annual Report and Accounts.

Note:

This data has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health and Social Care Group Accounting Manual, which defines consultancy as the provision to management of objective advice and assistance relating to strategy, structure, management or operations of the organisation in pursuit of its purposes and objectives.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of whether some individuals are more susceptible to electromagnetic fields than others; and what research that assessment is based on.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advises that electromagnetic fields below recommended guideline levels do not cause symptoms and cannot be detected by people, even those who consider themselves more susceptible to electromagnetic fields. This advice is based on reviews of scientific evidence, including a review undertaken by the independent expert Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation in April 2012. The UKHSA will continue to monitor evidence as it emerges.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of any potential health risks arising from the roll-out of 5G; and if he will place a copy of the latest research in the Library.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) provides advice on potential health risks and protection from exposure to the radio waves from telecommunications systems, including those providing 5G services. Its latest advice based on the available research is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/5g-technologies-radio-waves-and-health/5g-technologies-radio-waves-and-health

Based on an assessment of the evidence, the UKHSA has concluded it is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area. However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to international guidelines on limiting exposure and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health. The UKHSA continues to review the evidence applicable to 5G and other radio technologies and will update its advice as necessary.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether social care staff providing support to individuals in their own homes are required to be vaccinated against covid-19.

Regulations to extend vaccination as a condition of deployment beyond residential care settings to any other Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated activity in health and social care, subject to certain exemptions and conditions will come into force on 1 April 2022. The regulations require CQC-registered providers to ensure that anyone they deploy in the provision of this activity, who will have face to face contact with service users, has provided evidence of vaccination or exemption. This applies to home or domiciliary care services, supported living and extra care housing as well as other regulated activities. It does not apply where care is provided under a Shared Lives agreement. Activities which are not CQC-regulated, such as care provided by personal assistants, are not within the scope of the regulations.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice he has received on any potential link between myocarditis or myopericarditis and the covid-19 vaccine being injected accidentally into the blood stream; and if he will make a statement.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is currently investigating all potential causes for events reported following COVID-19 vaccination. However, the MHRA has not provided specific advice on any potential link with myocarditis or myopericarditis. As COVID-19 vaccines are used via intramuscular injections in the upper arm, it is extremely unlikely that they will be injected into a blood vessel. The MHRA has not identified any evidence of an association with errors of administration in the United Kingdom with reports of suspected myocarditis.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the Information Commissioner on NHS trusts having access to staff vaccination records.

The Department has engaged with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), setting out the information requirements and issues arising from the vaccination as a condition of deployment policy. The Department is continuing to engage with ICO through this process including the processing of evidence of a worker’s vaccination status, as required by the regulations.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether hospital trusts in England can access the vaccination records of their staff in order to ensure that all staff have been vaccinated against covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

National Health Service (NHS) trusts are permitted under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 to access the COVID-19 vaccination records of their staff for the purpose of controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, NHS trusts may choose to access vaccination records to allow them to manage the deployment of workers as part of meeting COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what professional advice he has received on the extent to which vaccination against covid-19 reduces transmission of the virus by the person vaccinated to other people.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) provides scientific advice to the Government based on the available evidence. The UKHSA’s weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Report provides regular updates on vaccine effectiveness against person-to-person transmission. This information updated regularly as new evidence emerges and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-surveillance-reports

Recent data suggests vaccine effectiveness against infection through person-to-person transmission is lower for the Omicron variant. However, high levels of protection against symptomatic disease were seen shortly after a booster dose. Further evidence is needed to understand the effect of the Omicron variant on the duration of protection and vaccine effectiveness against severe disease.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 6 December 2021, Official Report, column 64, whether he has any further advice for UK citizens who have contracted and recovered from covid-19 overseas on testing to demonstrate their negative status.

From 7 December 2021, all travellers are required to take a pre-departure test and receive a negative result to depart for England. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), lateral flow device and LAMP tests may be used for this purpose. Recent infection and associated immunity is not necessarily associated with a residual positive PCR test. There is no guarantee that a new positive test outcome is not a new COVID-19 infection and potentially a variant of concern.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he is making available to travellers wishing to come to the UK who have recently recovered from covid-19 and are deemed no longer to be contagious about the need to take a test given that it may show a positive result.

Proof of natural immunity is not accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Those who have recently recovered from infection should take a pre-departure lateral flow device test, as it less likely to return a positive result from historic infection. Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to take pre-departure tests.

Guidance for travellers on testing for travel to England is at available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england#positive-test-results

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to allow people who have a religious objection to being vaccinated against covid-19 to obtain a Covid pass; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to allow people with religious objections to obtain a NHS COVID Pass. The possible reasons for exemptions from vaccination are limited and apply to medical conditions. If an individual is not fully vaccinated, they can currently obtain a NHS COVID Pass for domestic use with proof of a negative lateral flow test, or proof of recovery within the last six months.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Trusts in England have cancelled priority two elective procedures, as of 12 November 2021.

This information is not collected in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate physician associates; and if he will make a statement.

The Government expects to consult on a draft statutory instrument that will bring the physician associate roles into statutory regulation next year. Statutory regulation of physician associates will begin no earlier than the summer of 2023.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were on waiting lists for joint replacement surgery in England as of 12 November 2021.

Information is not available in the format requested. The current number of people waiting for trauma and orthopaedic services, which includes joint replacement surgery, is 700,000.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the number of GP appointments in England that are being carried out face-to-face with patients as of 1 October 2021.

Appointment data for October 2021 is not yet available. However, from 1 to 31 August inclusive, which is the latest data available, there were an estimated 23.9 million appointments in general practice excluding COVID-19 vaccinations. Of these, 13.8 million were face to face appointments, representing 58% of all appointments that took place during that period.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of wheelchairs made available to NHS patients in the last 12 months were manufactured in the UK.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the public health grant allocated to Leeds City Council in (a) cash and (b) real terms in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested is shown in the attached table. The Public Health Grant was created in 2015. The value of the Grant in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 is therefore not directly comparable to subsequent years, as responsibility and funding for 0 to five year olds public health services was transferred from the National Health Service to local government from 1 October 2015.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason CTM has yet to respond substantively to the case referred to them in May 2021 by the hon. Member for Leeds Central on behalf of his constituent, Mr Q.

CTM has advised the Department that they have no record of the Rt hon. Member’s correspondence. However, following the Rt hon. Member’s letter of 28 April to the Department, CTM aim to ensure that the booking system as simple and accessible as possible particularly during times of high demand.

While accommodating very large family groups can be challenging hotels will prioritise allocating larger or connected rooms to families.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a response to the correspondence from the Right hon. Member for Leeds Central of 10 May 2021 regarding his constituent Mr Q., reference HB6862.

We replied to the Rt hon. Member on 2 November 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who normally receive a flu vaccination, including people with asthma and lung conditions, will receive a covid-19 booster vaccination in autumn 2021.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) interim advice is that COVID-19 booster vaccinations should first be offered to the most vulnerable. The JCVI advises a two stage approach, with individuals in stage one offered a booster vaccine and flu vaccine, as soon as possible from September. Individuals in stage two would be offered a booster vaccine as soon as practicable after stage one, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible. The JCVI suggests those aged 16 to 49 years old who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at risk group, including some patients with chronic respiratory disease and asthma are currently included in stage two.

Final decisions on the timing and scope and cohort eligibility, booster programme will be confirmed once the JCVI has provided their final advice.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS England plans to use the flu vaccine list to prioritise patients, including those with asthma, for the covid-19 booster vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published interim advice on a potential Covid-19 booster vaccination programme on 30th June 2021 which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-interim-advice-on-a-potential-coronavirus-covid-19-booster-vaccine-programme-for-winter-2021-to-2022/jcvi-interim-advice-potential-covid-19-booster-vaccine-programme-winter-2021-to-2022

The JCVI’s interim advice is that COVID-19 boosters are first offered to the most vulnerable. They advise a two-staged approach, with individuals in Stage 1 offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as well as a flu vaccine, as soon as possible from September 2021, and individuals in Stage 2 offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as practicable after Stage 1, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible. Adults aged over 50 years old, and those aged between 16 and 49 who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group, are included in Stage 2.

It is important to note that the JCVI’s advice is interim to inform planning, and this may be subject to change.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the hotel quarantine charges increased from 12 August 2021 in relation to the covid-19 travel rules.

The cost for staying in a managed quarantine facility when arriving from a red list country has increased to £2,285 for a single adult and £1,430 for a second adult to better reflect the total costs involved with providing their quarantine, including transport to the hotel, security, provision of welfare services and the two PCR tests which must be taken on day two and day eight of the stay. The price remains unchanged at £325 for children aged 5-12 and free for children under five.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of British citizens vaccinated against covid-19 in the USA who will be able to demonstrate their vaccination status once they return to the UK.

No such estimate has been made. Since 30 September, a pilot process has been in place for overseas vaccinations to be recorded in NIMS and for some of these to be surfaced through the COVID Pass. This process is a proactive outreach model run by the Vaccine Data Resolution Service who contact patients with overseas vaccinations in their health records. They are invited to book a slot in a regional vaccination centre to present evidence of their vaccination, and to receive any additional vaccinations they may need. By the end of October there will be one vaccination site in every region in England offering this service. The vaccination site creates a NIMS record for the overseas vaccinations. Currently any Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen or Moderna vaccinations administered by the EMA, FDA or Swissmedic will then be inputted into the NHS COVID Pass.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether UK citizens double vaccinated in the USA with the Moderna vaccine are able to obtain a covid-19 digital vaccine passport on their return to the UK.

No such estimate has been made. Since 30 September, a pilot process has been in place for overseas vaccinations to be recorded in NIMS and for some of these to be surfaced through the COVID Pass. This process is a proactive outreach model run by the Vaccine Data Resolution Service who contact patients with overseas vaccinations in their health records. They are invited to book a slot in a regional vaccination centre to present evidence of their vaccination, and to receive any additional vaccinations they may need. By the end of October there will be one vaccination site in every region in England offering this service. The vaccination site creates a NIMS record for the overseas vaccinations. Currently any Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen or Moderna vaccinations administered by the EMA, FDA or Swissmedic will then be inputted into the NHS COVID Pass.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of travellers entering the UK from (a) India and (b) Pakistan, who were tested by the NHS in July 2021, were found to have a positive result for covid-19.

The Data is not held in the format requested.

Data on arrivals is produced on three weekly cycles aligned with risk assessments and decisions within the international travel traffic light system. In the reporting periods covering 01 July to 11 August 13,888 people arriving from India were tested for COVID-19 with 143 people testing positive. 17,312 people arriving from Pakistan were tested with 324 people testing positive. Data on arrivals tested and testing positive can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to exempt medicines required to treat sickle cell disease from prescription charges.

Sickle cell disease is not included on the list of conditions that entitle people to free prescriptions. The Government currently has no plans to review or extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list. Around 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are already in place to help people. To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, the cost of prescriptions can be spread by purchasing prescription pre-payment certificates. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of UK nationals who may be affected by the Government of Malta’s decision to deny entry to UK travellers who have had one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in each month that that decision takes effect.

No specific estimate has been made.

However, following discussions with officials the Maltese Government confirmed on 15 July that all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency would be accepted and United Kingdom travel advice was updated.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to review the guidance issued by his Department on face mask standards for NHS workers in the context of research recently published by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which found that wearing a FFP3 mask can significantly improve protection against covid-19 infection.

The United Kingdom Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Cell continually monitors and reviews emerging evidence and data. The Cell has considered the findings of this research and concluded that, as there are some limitations in the scientific methods that were implemented, the study does not change the overall evidence base supporting the current IPC guidelines.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of CTM's performance in dealing with complaints on the operation of the quarantine hotel booking service.

Whilst there has not been a formal assessment of Corporate Travel Management’s (CTM) complaint’s process, the Managed Quarantine Service has weekly meetings with CTM’s senior leadership where operational performance issues are discussed and escalated as appropriate. Performance against the contract is managed and assessed according to the terms of the contract. Overall performance, including in relation to complaints, is discussed regularly between Departmental officials and CTM and any areas that need improvement are addressed.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the proportion of covid-19 tests (a) which have been lost in transit and (b) where the results have not been reported to the person who took the test, in the last 12 months.

No estimate has been made.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of potential health effects of 5G mobile networking technology.

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) should be adopted and there is no convincing evidence that radio wave exposures below the ICNIRP guideline levels cause adverse health effects. The ICNIRP guidelines cover exposures arising from new 5G technologies, as well as from older technologies.

It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area. However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the adequacy of the number of mental health beds in England; and what estimate he has made of waiting times to access those beds.

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

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS patients have access to Transcranial Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound (TcMRgFUS) for the treatment of medication refractory Essential Tremor (ET) in (a) Leeds and (b) the North of England; and if he will make a statement.

A centre at Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust in London has already been identified and it is intended that this service will commence in May. A second centre in the North of England will be required and discussions are ongoing with commissioners about the possible location. It is envisaged that there will need to be a formalised provider selection process given the number of expressions of interest received.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS England will continue to fund BSL Health Access; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a rapid review into access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation in the National Health Service which is near completion.


All NHS providers must comply with the public sector equality duty set out in the Equality Act 2010 and the Accessible Information Standard to ensure that deaf people who wish to communicate using BSL can do so. NHS England and NHS Improvement have extended access to BSL interpretation of their 111 service via Interpreter Now.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to reduce the cost of covid-19 home test kits for travellers entering the UK.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to reduce the cost of covid-19 home test kits for travellers entering the UK.

For those in quarantining at home, the testing package of two COVID-19 tests is £210 if purchased from NHS Test and Trace. We recently introduced private sector testing of travellers to offer a wider choice of providers for those who need to purchase private tests. The prices and service offered by these approved providers may vary. These costs will be kept under constant review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will use his discretion to waive the hotel isolation fee for people returning to the UK from red list countries after having been to visit terminally-ill relatives abroad in cases where the person cannot afford that fee.

We have no plans to do so. For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of these there is an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. We have set out how to apply for this on GOV.UK, in particular for individuals who receive income related benefits.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on how many covid-19 Day 2 and Day 8 tests sent out by Live Covid Testing to people undergoing travel quarantine at home have not been processed on return to Live Covid Testing as a result of a lack of barcode information relating to those tests; and if he will make a statement.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on whether people in travel quarantine at home who are sent covid-19 Day 2 and Day 8 tests by Live Covid Testing are told to keep a record of the barcode attached to those tests before sending those tests back to Live Covid Testing in case that barcode information is subsequently needed for identification purposes.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the number of complaints received on the late delivery of covid-19 Day 2 and Day 8 tests to people in quarantine at home by Live Covid Testing.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who have pre-ordered covid-19 Day 2 and Day 8 home quarantine tests are entitled to refunds in the event that those tests are delivered after those days have elapsed.

At present, the Government does not provide refunds for tests. The advice set out in guidance is that a day two test be taken on or before day two and a day eight test be taken on or after day eight. In the event of a delay, the guidance advises that a day two test be taken as soon as it or a replacement arrives.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of NHS dental appointments; and if he will make a statement.

Dentistry has been particularly affected by the risk of COVID-19 transmission due to the number of aerosol generating procedures carried out. This has resulted in the need for an enhanced level of PPE and reduced throughput to allow for thorough cleaning and resting of rooms between patients, as set out in Public Health England’s Infection Prevention and Control guidance.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Chief Dental Officer for England to increase levels of service, as fast as is safely possible. We have been closely monitoring what has been possible and on 29 March announced that the threshold for full NHS contractual payment would be raised to 60% of normal activity. We continue to explore what more can be done to increase capacity including piloting pre-appointment testing.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the availability of NHS treatment for binge eating disorder.

No such assessment has been made.

For children and young people, there is a programme in place to promote early access to effective, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-approved treatments for all eating disorders, including binge eating disorder, working in partnership with children, young people and their families. Information on the eating disorders programme is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/eating-disorders/

For adults, the Adult Eating Disorders: Community, Inpatient and Intensive Day Patient Care guidance published by NHS England and NHS Improvement in August 2019, emphasises that eating disorder services should provide evidence-based treatment, care and support for a range of eating disorder diagnoses, including binge eating disorder.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued on the use of do not resuscitate orders relating to (a) people with learning disabilities and (b) disabled people; and whether his Department has revised any such guidance in response to recent reports that do not resuscitate orders are allegedly being applied to individuals without their consent.

We have been clear that learning disability should never be a reason for a Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decision and that blanket DNACPR decisions are completely inappropriate.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued a number of joint statements to health and care providers reiterating that DNACPR decisions must not be applied in a blanket fashion to any group. The 2020/21 General Medical Services (GMS) contract Quality and Outcomes Framework now includes a requirement for all DNACPR decisions for people with a learning disability to be reviewed. We have asked the Care Quality Commission to undertake a review of DNACPR notices issued during the pandemic. This review has started and will report later in 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the UK Government has promised to send surplus covid-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam.

The United Kingdom has contributed £548 million towards the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which provides the 92 most vulnerable economies access to COVID-19 vaccines. Vietnam has been allocated over 4.8 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine under this mechanism and delivery can be expected in the second quarter of 2021.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Questions 133711, 133713 and 133715 tabled by the hon. Member for Leeds Central on 6 January 2021.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s questions will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the press release of 2 October 2020, PM confirms £3.7 billion for 40 hospitals in biggest hospital building programme in a generation, whether the funding that has been announced to date as part of the New Hospitals Programme is sufficient to meet the target of delivering 40 new hospitals.

The Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP) sets out our strategy for long-term rolling investment in health infrastructure with further funding to be confirmed through future Spending Reviews. Individual allocations for trusts will be determined once the respective final business cases have been reviewed and agreed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy to ensure that the Leeds Teaching Hospital scheme for the new Children's Hospital and Adult building will be completed by 2025.

A national programme has been established to deliver the Government’s commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030. The programme is working collaboratively with the new hospital projects, including advanced schemes like Leeds. Whilst we are unable to comment on individual project timings, which may be subject to change under this programmatic approach, the programme delivery timetable will ensure that all of the new hospitals, including Leeds, are completed by 2030 and drive maximum value for taxpayers’ money.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the latest research findings from research funded by his Department into glioma cancer have shown; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the format requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the risks to tradespeople working in other people's homes of contracting covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

No such assessment has been made.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who do not have an NHS number are able to receive the covid-19 vaccine in the UK.

Whilst a National Health Service number might be used for administration purposes, having an NHS number is not a pre-requisite to be offered the vaccine. The provision of the COVID-19 vaccine is a primary medical service and will be offered to all individuals living in the United Kingdom.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what studies are being undertaken on the effect of covid on BME communities; and if he will make a statement.

Investment of £4.3 million has been made in new research projects into the impact of COVID-19 among people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, including health and social care workers.

The projects will explore the impact of the virus specifically on migrant and refugee groups; working with key voices within BAME communities to create targeted, digital health messages; the introduction of a new framework to ensure the representation of people from BAME backgrounds in clinical trials testing new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19; and the creation of one the United Kingdom’s largest COVID-19 cohorts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that medical students should be vaccinated against covid-19 as well as all other NHS staff.

All frontline healthcare staff who are eligible for seasonal influenza vaccination should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. Temporary staff, including those working in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients are also included.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice he has received on making homelessness workers and the street homeless priority groups within the covid-19 vaccination programme.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with voluntary community and social enterprise partners, inclusion health providers and others to develop an accessible model for delivery of the vaccine to people from inclusion health populations.

In the immediate period we are asking partners to support their clients and service users to register with a general practice, where they are not already and, if they have health conditions that would make them clinically vulnerable/clinically extremely vulnerable that this is recorded to ensure they receive the vaccine in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) advice on prioritisation.

Homelessness workers may be categorised as frontline healthcare workers or social care workers. If they are frontline health care workers, they will be vaccinated in priority group two. If they are frontline social care workers, the local authority Director of Adult Social Services should have ultimate responsibility for identifying eligible social care workers, underlined by the principle aim of achieving high rates of vaccination amongst frontline social care workers who work closely and regularly with those who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that blind and visually impaired people have access to the information they need on covid-19 vaccination.

PHE has published braille and large print versions of COVID-19 vaccination information.

The national booking letters are sent in size 16 point font as standard as defined by the RNIB as large print). As well as providing an option to book on the National Health Service website, the national booking letters also provide 119 as an option. Booking information will be available in braille, audio, larger print and easy read soon. This is in addition to what general practitioners and Primary Care Networks are doing locally.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice he has received from Pfizer/BionTech on the implications for (a) patient safety and (b) efficacy of administering the second dose of their covid-19 vaccine more than 21 days after the first dose.

A phase three clinical trial study on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine efficacy demonstrated a two-dose vaccine efficacy of 95% with a second dose delivered between 19 and 42 days. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is of the view that the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is likely to provide protection for at least 12 weeks.

The four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers agreed with the JCVI, that at this stage of the pandemic, prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall, in the shortest possible time, preventing mortality and protecting the National Health Service. From data available to the JCVI, the first dose of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provides substantial protection within two to three weeks of vaccination for clinical disease and in particular severe COVID-19 disease.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that all staff working at covid-19 test centres should be vaccinated; and if he will make a statement.

Testing staff who work at sites for symptomatic members of the public where assisted tests are carried out, are eligible to be prioritised for a vaccine as they are considered frontline healthcare workers for the purpose of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation prioritisation. Laboratory staff and those at sites for asymptomatic testing are not considered frontline healthcare workers and therefore will not be eligible for vaccine prioritisation.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether student nurses on placement will receive covid-19 vaccinations alongside other NHS employees.

Frontline health and care staff are at high risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection and of transmitting that infection to multiple persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 as well as to other staff in a healthcare environment. They have been prioritised in the first phase. Staff working on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, temporary staff, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients are included within the priority group of frontline healthcare workers.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the risk of transmission of covid-19 in yoga classes; and if he will make a statement.

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier, which available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

We have also published supporting a document, to accompany the most recent regulations. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when NHS and care staff will receive the BioNTech/Pfizer covid-19 vaccine.

The National Health Service (NHS) began vaccinating patients and NHS workers against COVID-19 at hospital hubs on 8 December 2020, in the biggest immunisation programme in the UK’s history. The majority of the vaccines so far have been administered to over 80 year olds, care home workers and NHS staff, through more than 730 vaccination sites across the UK; hundreds more are opening this week to take the running total to over 1,000.. Vaccination sites are also working with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Government guidance that states, Anyone who has previously received a positive test result for covid-19 should only be re-tested within a 90-day period if they develop any new symptoms of covid-19, whether a person who has tested positive for covid-19 and has completed 14 days of isolation is required to isolate again if a subsequent test within 90 days is positive but the person is displaying no symptoms.

A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has completed 14 days of isolation is required to isolate again if a subsequent test within 90 days is positive but the person is displaying no symptoms.

Anyone who has previously received a positive test result for COVID-19 should only be re-tested within a 90-day period if they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19. This is because it is possible for tests to detect residual virus for some time after COVID-19 infection.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons Leeds Arts University has not been included on the list for rapid covid-19 testing ahead of the Christmas 2020 holiday period.

We have worked with 152 universities in England, which covers three quarters of the student population, to offer the majority of asymptomatic COVID-19 tests before they returned home for the Christmas break.

Almost all universities who expressed an interest in mass testing continued through the programme to order test kits and set up asymptomatic testing sites. However, due to the unprecedented scale of the operation, not every university was able to take part in the December phase of the project. Students at Leeds Arts University were given access to the testing service at Leeds Beckett University.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether public (a) demonstrations, (b) marches and (c) picketing are permitted under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 place necessary and proportionate restrictions on movement, gatherings and businesses. They do not restrict anyone’s right to hold or express their views, or to do so in a way that could be construed as a protest, provided these Regulations are adhered to. Similarly, picketing is permitted, provided the statutory restrictions and code of practice on picketing are followed, as well as the Coronavirus Regulations.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of tests in the Liverpool mass covid-19 testing programme have returned positive results; and how that rate compares with the positive test rate found by national pillar 1 and pillar 2 testing.

In the first phase of the community testing pilot from 6 November to 9 December 2020, 25% of 498,000 residents took up lateral flow tests (LFTs) and 36% took up LFT or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. 897 individuals were identified as positive via LFT and 2,902 via PCR. Comparable national testing data is not available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether someone is able to travel abroad under the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown rules to attend a commemorative event to celebrate the life of someone who has died or to visit their grave.

In England, individuals must remain at home unless they meet an exemption, which includes attending a commemorative event celebrating the life of a person who has died. In addition, all but essential travel is advised against, including foreign and domestic travel. Any individual who travels abroad to attend a commemorative event must follow the guidance set out by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. In addition, adherence to the COVID-19 rules in the destination travelled to must be followed. This may include self-isolating, providing details to local authorities, testing for COVID-19 or even restrictions on entry.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has received representations on the sustainable global supply of paediatric cardiology equipment from following the transition period.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system to make detailed plans to help ensure continued supply of medicines, medical products and equipment to the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period.

This includes:

- medicines (prescription-only, pharmacy and general sales list and unlicensed medicines);

- medical devices and clinical consumables;

- supplies for clinical trials and clinical investigations;

- vaccines and countermeasures; and

- blood, tissue and transplant materials.

Further detail on the plans to help ensure continuity of medical supplies is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many units offering treatment for patients suffering from long covid there are in England.

In July 2020, the National Health Service launched the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus. This is a two-phase endeavour with phase one being available as an open, publicly available site containing general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19, including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Over 100,000 people have used the online service since it was launched in July.

On 7 October the NHS announced £10 million is be invested this year to help kick start and designate ‘long COVID-19’ clinics that will be available to all patients in England. Alongside this, new guidance has been commissioned by NHS England from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the clinical case definition of ‘long COVID-19’. This will include patients who have had COVID-19 who may not have had a hospital admission or a previous positive test. It will be followed by evidence-based NICE clinical guidelines that will outline the support that ‘long COVID-19’ patients should receive, enabling NHS doctors, therapists and staff to provide a clear and personalised treatment plan. This will include education materials for general practitioners and other health professionals to help them refer and signpost patients to the right support.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much has been spent on research on the causes of, and treatment for, tinnitus in each of the last five years.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including tinnitus. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. Information on individual projects funded by the NIHR can be found at the following link:

https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/

NIHR support for tinnitus research was over £1.8 million between 2015/16 and 2019/20. This included funding for research projects, and funding for NIHR managed infrastructure to support tinnitus research. Current NIHR funding includes £15 million over five years from April 2017 to support deafness and hearing loss research in NIHR’s Manchester, University College London, and Nottingham Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). The Nottingham BRC has a core research theme on tinnitus and noise sensitivity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) music ensembles and (b) orchestras can meet in groups of more than six people following the Government's announcement on 9 September 2020 of new covid-19 restrictions; and if he will publish guidance on that matter.

The latest evidence indicates that the COVID-19 infection rate is beginning to rise across the country. It is therefore now vitally important that the Government takes decisive action to limit any further spread and reduce the likelihood of a further national lockdown of the type that was necessary earlier this year. These measures were announced last week with clear guidance on what would change.

The rule of six does not apply to gatherings necessary for work. Non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can legally continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than six at any time.

If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than six (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much has been allocated from the public purse to research on glioma brain tumours in each of the last five years.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research reports expenditure on glioma brain tumour research in each of the last financial years is shown in the following table:

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

£1.29 million

£1.40 million

£1.69 million

£1.94 million

£2.12 million

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of calorie labelling on the incidence of eating disorders.

We recognise concerns people with eating disorders may have on measures to reduce obesity and are committed to striking a careful balance between enabling people to make healthier food and drink choices whilst not negatively impacting on those with or recovering from an eating disorder.

Obesity represents a huge cost to the health and wellbeing of the individual, the National Health Service and the wider economy. With over six in 10 adults and more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 years old overweight or obese, it is right we take action.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses, that is businesses with 250 or more employees, to calorie label the food they sell.

An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and can be viewed at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason only £6 million of the £40 million in funding allocated for brain tumour research has been allocated to such research to date; and if he will make a statement.

The £40 million announced for brain tumour research in May 2018 was for a period of five years. To date £6 million has been committed to brain tumour research through National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programmes and the NIHR Academy. This does not include full NIHR spend which also includes spending made through NIHR infrastructure. Infrastructure spend can only be identified on an annual basis after the end of the financial year. We have relaxed the deadlines for NIHR infrastructure reporting this year to enable the health and social care system to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to extend the 12 month duration of the maternity exemption certificate for dental care for new mothers who were unable to access dental treatment during the covid-19 lockdown.

There are no plans to extend the existing charges exemption for pregnant women and those who have given birth in the last 12 months due to the pandemic.

Urgent dental care was available through the peak pandemic period via urgent dental centres and all dental practices providing NHS services were able to restart face to face care from 8 June.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish pillar 2 covid-19 testing data by postcode.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the MSOA (Middle Layer Super Output Area) map, allows users to type in a postcode to see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) total number and (b) the rolling average number of positive (i) pillar 1 and (ii) pillar 2 covid-19 tests has been in the (A) LS1, (B) LS2, (C) LS6, (D) LS7, (E) LS9, (F) LS10 and (G) LS11 postcodes in each of the last eight weeks.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data. Postcode level data is sensitive as there is a risk of disclosing the health information of individuals, and as such we do not have plans to provide public, postcode level data at this time


We do however publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people


Data on the seven-day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/dashboards/progression

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice has been provided to blind and partially-sighted people about the operation of social distancing; and if he will make a statement.

The Government are committed to supporting blind and partially sighted people through every stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and are working across Government to ensure that all disabled people are able to get the support they need. The Government has set out in guidance to businesses that they should consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are visually impaired, at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb9703de90e07082fa57ce0/working-safely-during-covid-19-shops-branches-v2-140620.pdf

If a blind and/or partially sighted person needs to go out for a walk or to access essential goods they can contact friends or family who may be able to help the person to be guided safely. If a person cannot organise alternative care they can contact their local authority or health care provider. The Government has published advice regarding social distancing for blind and/or partially sighted individuals who need to go out for a walk or to access essential goods. The regulations allow for a person from another household to guide them (under the ‘provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person’ provision). This guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care/guidance-for-those-who-provide-unpaid-care-to-friends-or-family

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of the representations received by (a) his Department and (b) Public Health England in respect of that organisation's report entitled Covid-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes published on 2 June 2020.

No representations were sought or received by Public Health England for its epidemiological report entitled ‘Covid-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’, published on 2 June 2020.

Alongside the epidemiological review, Professor Fenton undertook a rapid evidence review and external stakeholder engagement with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the black, Asian and minority ethnic community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of COVID-19 on their communities. The results of that work have now been published and will inform the Government’s next steps being taken forward by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP).

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people contacted by the track and trace system will be told the identity of the covid-19 positive person it is said they have come in contact with (a) as a matter of routine or (b) if they ask for that information.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

The NHS Test and Trace service will not share the name or details of a COVID-19 positive person, as this is confidential. This includes where someone who has been named as a contact asks for the identity of the person who is COVID-19 positive.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the scientific assessment supporting the decision not to subject people arriving in the UK to checks for covid-19.

The Government considers advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) before adopting new policies and interventions in relation to COVID-19. SAGE relies on external science advice, including advice from expert groups and their papers. In the case of COVID-19, this includes the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). The agendas and minutes of meetings of NERVTAG are available online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/new-and-emerging-respiratory-virus-threats-advisory-group

The Government has recently published online statements and accompanying evidence which demonstrate how our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved as new data has emerged. These statements are available online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ECMO machines the NHS has in England; and what plans he has to procure additional machines in response to covid-19.

Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is used for patients with severe respiratory failure with a potentially reversible cause. There are five adult ECMO centres in the United Kingdom, two of which are in London and the others are based in Leicester, Manchester and Cambridge. The Department does not hold data on the number of ECMO devices available for use at any one time but is working with National Health Service colleagues to secure additional capacity.

The Government will be working alongside NHS England to tailor its response to the nature, scale and location of the threat of COVID - 19 in the UK, as our understanding develops.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether having the pneumococcal vaccine has potential benefits for patients with covid-19.

Based on our knowledge of influenza, an epidemic of viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19 infection, could potentially result in an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease above and beyond the normal seasonal variation. The United Kingdom pneumococcal conjugate programme in children provides strong ‘herd immunity’, which protects the whole population, including the elderly, against the 13 types contained in the vaccine. Cases due to other types of pneumococcus may also be covered by the vaccine which is offered as part of a national programme to those in clinical risk groups and to all over 65s. This vaccine covers 23 types of pneumococcus and will provide modest protection against severe forms of infection to those vaccinated. Both immunisation programmes may therefore help to mitigate any potential risk of an increase in pneumococcal infection associated with any COVID-19 epidemic.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether family members caring at home for people (a) with covid-19 and (b) in self-isolation to protect others from covid-19 should wear face masks.

Public Health England have published guidance for patients in self-isolation at home and family members who share their accommodation at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolation-for-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-for-people-who-live-in-the-same-accommodation-as-the-patient

Face masks are not normally recommended as they do not provide protection from respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. They are only recommended to be worn by infected persons when advised by a healthcare worker in order to reduce the risk of transmitting infection to others.

However, if for any reason the patient is unable to wear a face mask, then family members sharing their accommodation may do so, if advised, whilst in the same room as the patient.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) available ventilators and (b) staff trained in the use of those ventilators in the NHS in the latest period for which figures are available.

Ventilator machines are usually linked to patients in Intensive Care Units/Critical Care/High Dependency Units, although some patients may have them at home or use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines to assist with their breathing.

Information on Critical Care Bed Capacity is published by NHS England and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/

Availability of an NHS Critical Care Bed indicates the associated number of National Health Service staff with the appropriate skills and training are available to deliver the required treatment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has commissioned any research studies on the potential effects of 5G on the ability of the human body to absorb oxygen.

The Department funds research on the effects on health of electromagnetic fields and mobile technologies through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Public Health England (PHE).

Most notable current research commissioned by NIHR includes the ongoing Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health and the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones at Imperial College London.

Whilst no specific research has been commissioned on the potential effects of 5G on the ability of the human body to absorb oxygen, PHE continues to monitor the health-related evidence in respect of electromagnetic fields, including radio waves from developing wireless communication systems such as 5G.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients in the area covered by Leeds clinical commissioning group waited more than 18 weeks for surgery after referral for a (a) hip and (b) knee replacement in each of the last five years.

The attached table shows the total number of the number of hip and knee replacement procedures and the amount that waited longer than 18 weeks from pathway start.

The data shows the number of procedures per year between the periods 2014/15 – 2018/19.

It should be noted that the data does not show individual patients as the same person may have been admitted into a National Health Service hospital on more than one occasion.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for an appointment at an NHS Gender Identity Clinic in the Leeds clinical commissioning group area in the 12 months for which figures are available.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve early intervention and treatment in cases of eating disorder among young people.

We know the difference that early intervention can make and recognise that the earlier treatment is provided, the greater the chance of recovery. It is vital that everyone with an eating disorder can access quick, specialist help when necessary.

The Government set up the first waiting times to improve access to eating disorder services for children and young people. The standard we are working towards is that by 2020/21, 95% of children with an eating disorder will receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and within four weeks for routine cases. Data from January to March 2019 shows 80.6% of all patients started urgent treatment within one week and 82.4% of patients started routine treatment within four weeks.


27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on the availability of medicinal cannabis prescriptions for children with epilepsy; and if he will make a statement.

On 1 November 2018, the law was changed to allow clinicians on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Specialist Register to prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use, where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.

On 20 December 2019 a letter was published on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website reminding prescribers of the GMC’s guidance on the prescribing and use of unlicensed medicines – and to clarify the procedure for prescribing and supplying cannabis-based products for medicinal use. Licensed cannabis-based products indicated for epilepsy, such as Epidyolex, may be prescribed in-line with the condition of the marketing authorisation. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/guidance-prescribing-cannabis-based-products-medicinal-use.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medicinal cannabis have been issued in the last 12 months.

There have been 2,655 items for licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines issued on a National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement for the period December 2018 to November 2019, the latest data available.

There have been 234 items for licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines issued on a private prescription that have been submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reporting and monitoring purposes only for the period December 2018 to November 2019.

The NHS Business Services Authority does not hold data for prescriptions dispensed by hospital pharmacies. This information is not held centrally and not routinely published. Intelligence from NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Controlled Drugs Accountable Officers is that a low number of patients are receiving prescriptions for cannabis-based products for medicinal use in independent secondary/tertiary care in England. However, this data is not collected nationally or routinely published.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the secondary cancer diagnosis rate was for (a) Leeds and (b) England in each of the last 5 years.

The following table lists finished admission episodes with a primary or secondary diagnosis of cancer in Leeds and England.

Leeds

England

Year

Cancer

Secondary cancer

Cancer

Secondary cancer

2014-15

14,280

4,835

1,924,381

575,650

2015-16

14,795

5,245

1,999,218

623,227

2016-17

15,725

5,185

2,077,837

654,192

2017-18

15,580

5,005

2,131,848

700,014

2018-19

14,795

4,715

2,220,501

742,844

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what NHS policy is on offering (a) PET, (b) CT and (c) MRI scans to patients undergoing treatment for primary cancer in order to identify whether they have any secondary cancer.

The optimal staging of cancers by use of Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning, either individually or in combination, varies between cancer types and is guided by clinical consensus, professional guidelines and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence publications.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in how many cases of secondary cancer diagnosed in each of the last five years had the patient undergone (a) a PET scan, (b) a CT scan or (c) an MRI scan prior to or during their treatment for the primary cancer in (i) Leeds and (ii) England.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2023 to Question 187387 on Iraq: Political Prisoners, whether he plans to make further representations to the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq following the extension to the prison sentence of journalist Sherwan Sherwani.

The UK Government remains committed to pressing the case for improvements in the human rights situation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and to advocating for human rights for all, including in relation to freedom of expression and the freedom for journalists to do their jobs free from harm.

The UK Government, through our Consulate General in Erbil, takes a close interest in the treatment of journalists and human rights activists in the KRI, and they are monitoring the case of Mr Sherwani.

We have always been clear that journalists and political activists should be free to operate without undue interference from security forces or fear of indefinite detention.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) support and (b) protect Palestinian healthcare services in the occupied West Bank.

We strongly condemn all forms of violence and incitement to violence. Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the principles of proportionality, distinction and necessity. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv regularly raises the importance of regularised access to healthcare with the Israeli authorities. Israel, as the occupying power, has a duty to ensure and maintain public health to the fullest extent possible. During his call on 4 July with the Israeli chargé d'affaires in London, the Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, urged Israel to safeguard access to healthcare and take proactive steps to guarantee the safety of civilians during Israeli operations in the West Bank. The Foreign Secretary emphasised the importance of the proactive protection of civilians during his call with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on 5 July. The wounded and ill in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories should be able to access the urgent medical care they need. The UK's annual contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) also helps to fund (among other activities) access to health services for 3.5 million Palestinian refugees.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made for the implications of its policies made of the situation in Pakistan following the arrest of former prime minister, Imran Khan.

As the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have said, the UK has a close and longstanding relationship with Pakistan. We support peaceful democratic processes and adherence to the rule of law and we are continuing to monitor the situation in Pakistan. Lord [Tariq] Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia, has spoken to the High Commissioner for Pakistan to the UK and to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he with hold discussions with his counterparts in Egypt on releasing Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mohamed Baker and Neama Hisham from detention.

The UK Government has consistently expressed disappointment about the detentions of Alaa Abd El-Fattah and his co-defendants Mohamed El-Baqer and Mohamed Ibrahim, known as Mohamed 'Oxygen', with the Egyptian authorities since their arrest and detention in September 2019, including most recently on 4 April when Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon discussed human rights with FM Shoukry in Cairo. Neama Hisham was detained on 17 April and released on the same day.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Swedish authorities to help prevent the potential deportation of Kathleen Poole.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 February 2023 to Question UIN 146805 https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-02-17/146805. We continue to engage with the Swedish Authorities on the case of Ms Poole. Consular colleagues are in frequent contact with the Migration Agency and police. His Majesty's ambassador has raised Ms Poole's case with senior officials and Ministers. Officials will continue to offer support to Ms Poole's family.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his policies of the extent of Government corruption in Zimbabwe.

The UK sees corruption as an important barrier to economic reform and inclusive growth in Zimbabwe. We engage with the Government of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, civil society and other actors in the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe. In 2022 we sanctioned a Zimbabwean businessman for serious corruption. No UK aid is channelled directly through Government of Zimbabwe systems, instead, we work primarily through multilateral organisations, notably United Nations agencies, international Non-Governmental Organisations and the private sector to deliver our programmes.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March to Question 163724 on Ukraine: Humanitarian Aid, whether funds held by the independent foundation being established with the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea FC will be able to assist all those in humanitarian need as a result of the war in Ukraine including those not in Ukraine.

The proceeds from the sale of Chelsea FC are held in a frozen bank account; any use of the funds requires a licence from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation. The Government committed that the Treasury will only issue a licence which ensures that the proceeds are used exclusively for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine. The war has left an estimated 17.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection inside Ukraine, with 5.4 million internally displaced.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether there are (a) any foodstuffs and (b) any manufactured goods that producers in Northern Ireland cannot sell to customers in Great Britain because of the EU regulations applying in Northern Ireland that are listed in the annexe to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Government is unequivocal in its commitment for unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods to the whole United Kingdom market. That means a permanent guarantee of being able to place goods on the UK market in all scenarios - meaning no forms, checks, controls, or tariffs, or any barriers to the market whatsoever, whatever the future form of regulations in Northern Ireland. Those are protections that are enshrined in law and which we will build on further following the Windsor Framework.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Tunisian counterpart on the release of Said Ferjani.

Lord [Tariq] Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for North Africa, raised the UK's issue with the recent wave of arrests directly with Tunisian Chargé d'Affaires on 23 February, underlining the importance of due legal process and respect for freedom of expression and association. His Majesty's Ambassador to Tunisia also raised UK concerns regarding the arrests with Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar on 23 February. Officials and Ministers have regular discussions with the Tunisian authorities to reiterate the UK's belief in the importance of space for legitimate political opposition, civil society, strengthening human rights and including all voices in building resilient and successful democracies. We will continue to engage the Tunisian authorities on these issues.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Bangladesh.

Preventing religious violence and upholding Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in Bangladesh is a UK priority. In March, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon met State Minister Alam and discussed the violence against the Ahmadiyya in Bangladesh and underlined the importance of freedom of religion and belief. Our support in Bangladesh aims to ensure that the rights of religious minorities, including the Ahmadiyya community are respected, and that these communities are protected from discrimination. We regularly engage with a wide range of civil society and non-governmental organisation partners to understand the causes and effects of inter-religious conflict. The UK will continue to support freedom of religion and belief, and human rights concerns through regular dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh and through our development programme funding.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he expects the humanitarian fund set up with the proceeds of the sale of Chelsea FC will start delivering funds to support those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.

The proceeds from the sale of Chelsea FC (£2.35 billion) are frozen in a UK bank account. They cannot be moved or used without a licence from The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation. An independent foundation is being established to manage and distribute the funds for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine. Humanitarian experts outside of Government are responsible for this highly complex process. Setting up an organisation of this scale rightly takes time.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to respond to the email of 1 March from the Rt hon member for Leeds Central on his constituent's husband Mr HM.

This email was transferred from the Home Office to FCDO on 8 March. We will respond as soon as possible within the Cabinet Office 20-day deadline.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia on the case of Abdullah al-Howaiti in the context of (a) the 2018 Juvenile Law, (b) the 2020 Royal Decree and (c) other commitments made by that country to end the execution of child defendants.

Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office human rights priority country, in part because of the increased use of the death penalty. The FCDO is monitoring the case of Abdullah Al-Howaiti. The Minister responsible for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has raised the case on multiple occasions with the Saudi authorities, most recently in December 2022. We will continue to monitor and raise the case of Abdullah Al-Howaiti with the Saudi authorities.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of whether aid intended for earthquake victims is able to pass into (a) Turkey and (b) Kurdish areas without any bureaucratic obstacles.

We have been working closely with the Turkish authorities to facilitate the rapid delivery of aid to earthquake affected areas. In Syria, we continue to engage with the UN, International and NGO partners to ensure that aid reaches those who are most in need of humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible, including to marginalised communities and to areas which are hard to reach. The UK welcomes the UN-brokered agreement to open additional border crossings into northwest Syria for an initial period of three months. To date the UK has delivered over 330 tonnes of aid to earthquake hit Turkey and Syria.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of whether the Kurdish Red Crescent is able to operate freely following the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The UK is working to ensure that aid reaches those who are most in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have not made an assessment of the operations of the Kurdish Red Crescent which is not currently recognised by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The UK is providing life-saving support to those in Turkey and Syria, including tents, blankets and medical equipment. In Turkey, we are supporting the Turkish Red Crescent, which has mobilised teams in over 10 affected regions. In Syria, we are primarily working through UN efforts, including via the Syria Cross Border Fund and international NGOs to make sure aid reaches those in need. Additionally, we have provided significant support to the White Helmets to support their search and rescue operations in north west Syria.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made any representations to representatives of the Moroccan Government on the potential deportation of Hassan Al Rabea to Saudi Arabia.

Mr Al-Rabea was extradited from Morocco to Saudi Arabia on Monday 6 February. The UK regularly engages with Morocco at all levels and engages in frank discussions across a wide variety of subjects, including human rights, as we also do with Saudi Arabia.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if will make representations to the Swedish authorities on the potential deportation of Kathleen Poole from that country.

Consular officials have been supporting the family of Ms Kathleen Poole since 31 January. On 2 February this case was raised during my meeting with the State Secretary to the Minister for EU Affairs, and on the 15 February by His Majesty's Ambassador to Sweden with the Swedish Authorities. Swedish Immigration laws are a matter for the Swedish Government and the FCDO cannot interfere in laws of another country, just as we would not expect them to interfere in ours.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his Pakistani counterpart on the release of the police report into the death of Farook Ali.

British High Commission (BHC) staff in Islamabad, including the High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner, have met with and written repeatedly to the Pakistani police, including the Inspector General, to register their interest in the Farooq Ali case and to request a thorough and transparent investigation. The High Commissioner has raised the case with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and through her the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. Consular officials have raised the delays to the final police report and will continue to press for it to be finalised.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department is providing support to British Council staff in Afghanistan to travel to Pakistan so they can apply to come to the UK.

Eligible at-risk British Council contractors who supported the UK effort in Afghanistan, and expressed interest in the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), are being considered for resettlement through ACRS Pathway 3 in its first year. Any offer of resettlement will be contingent on security screening and provision of biometric information. We continue to work, including with likeminded partners and countries neighbouring Afghanistan, on resettlement issues and to support safe passage for eligible Afghans. We do not comment on the details of specific routes for individuals who are eligible for resettlement.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Somaliland.

The human rights situation in Somaliland deteriorated in 2022, in particular the curtailing of media freedoms, restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and expression and the use of disproportionate force and live fire to disperse protestors. We see the promotion of respect for human rights as essential to peace and stability. We will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Somaliland and to work with human rights defenders across Somaliland to use our collective voice to call for change.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much and what proportion of humanitarian aid to East Africa was spent on nutrition support in the 2021-22 financial year.

In financial year 21/22 the UK spent £221 million on humanitarian aid in East Africa. This included the provision of specialist nutrition commodities and health care and sanitation activities - sectors which are integral to nutrition. Given the broad nature of our nutrition work we are not able to provide accurate information about the size and proportion of humanitarian aid to East Africa that was spent on nutrition support in the 2021-22 financial year.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which UK-funded aid programmes in East Africa have had reduced levels of funding since 2020.

In 2020 total bilateral Overseas Development Aid spend in East Africa amounted to £1.058 billion. In 2021, this decreased to £608 million. Comparative figures for 2022 are not currently available and will be published in due course within the 2022 Statistics on International Development report. Details on the FCDO's overall programme spend by year and by country are published online on UKaid Development Tracker (https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/).

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterpart in Pakistan on (a) the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims and (b) the alleged desecration of Ahmadi places of worship in that country.

Protecting freedom of religion or belief for minority communities is central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. The Minister for Development raised the treatment of Ahmadi Muslims with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on 9 January. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for South Asia, also raised this issue with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 14 December, and with Ministry of Interior officials on 8 December. The British High Commission in Islamabad continues to engage at a senior level with government representatives and civil society; the High Commissioner raised the issue with Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar on 4 January.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Gulf Strategy Fund supports any work in prisons in Saudi Arabia.

The Gulf Strategy Fund does not support any work in prisons in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of Israel on the threatened revocation of Salah Hammouri’s residency in Jerusalem.

We have called upon the Government of Israel to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations, and to allow them to freely operate in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the welfare of Dawit Isaak and other journalists who were arrested in Eritrea in 2001.

We are aware of the missing journalists, including the dual Swedish-Eritrean national Dawit Isaak, who disappeared in September 2001. Although there are no recent updates as to their current status and welfare, we frequently raise concerns about human rights with the Government of Eritrea. Eritrea consistently ranks towards the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index, with internal media operated by the state. Through our Embassy in Asmara and with international partners, we continue to call upon the Government of Eritrea to release all those who have been arbitrarily incarcerated for their freedom of expression, religious or political beliefs.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Iran on the arrest, detention, killing and sentencing to death of those people taking part in recent protests.

The execution of Mohsen Shekari was a tragedy. The use of the death penalty against protestors standing up for their basic human rights is morally abhorrent. The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. On 8 December, the Foreign Secretary released a statement condemning the regime's action and summoned Iran's most senior diplomat to demand that Iran must halt all executions and end the violence against its own people. The UK will continue to hold Iran to account for its brutal crackdown of protests and refusal to respect the basic human rights of its citizens.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the reported detention of Harem Rafat Fatah in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

We are aware of the reported detention of Harem Rafat Fatah in the Kurdish region of Iraq and have assessed that it does not imply changes to Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office policies. The UK is a vocal supporter of human rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This includes supporting a timely investigation and a fair trial for all suspects. Where we have concerns about due process or human rights we raise these with senior members of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Tigray.

The humanitarian situation in Tigray remains very serious. According to the UN, approximately 5.4 million people require life-saving aid and hundreds of thousands are on the brink of famine. The recent peace agreement between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) contained commitments to provide unfettered humanitarian access and the restoration of essential services. We welcome the early signs of progress, but humanitarian delivery needs to scale-up rapidly if it is to meet the desperate needs.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential threat of human rights violations against the Bahai community in Iran.

The Baha'i community in Iran is systematically discriminated against, harassed, and is targeted by the authorities. Reports indicate that the Iranian government has this year redoubled repressive efforts against the Baha'i community, with expropriation and repossession of land, destruction of homes, and increasing detention of members of the community. As the FCDO Minister responsible for Human Rights and Freedom of Religion and Belief, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said on 5 August: persecution of religious minorities is a serious human rights violation and cannot be tolerated in 2022. I reiterated our commitment to holding Iran to account at a Westminster Hall debate on 11 October.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made any representations to his Pakistani counterpart on the killing of Mr Naseer Ahmad who was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan.

The UK condemns discrimination and violence against religious communities in Pakistan, including against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.  Lord Ahmad publicly condemned the murders of Naseer Ahmad, in Rabwah, in August, and of Abdus Salam, in Punjab Province, in May. The British High Commissioner in Islamabad raised Mr. Salam's death with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada. We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their belief.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has taken recent steps to help ensure the security of university and college lecturers in Afghanistan who (a) worked for the British Council and (b) made applications under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

Under the third pathway of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), and in year one, the Government is considering eligible, at-risk British Council contractors for resettlement (as well as eligible at-risk Gardaworld contractors and Chevening alumni). In the first year, we will offer up to 1500 places to eligible at-risk British Council contractors, GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni, including their eligible family members. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are reviewing each Expression of Interest (EOI) to assess if the eligibility criteria have been met, and have started notifying individuals of the outcome. Expressions of Interest are being considered in the order they were received. Some are being prioritised because their role or the projects they worked on mean they are particularly at risk, or because there are exceptionally compelling circumstances.

Leo Docherty
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 received any reports that university and college lecturers who worked for the British Council in Afghanistan and are still in the country have received letters from the Taliban requiring them to complete a detailed identity form which focuses on their experience working with foreign organisations.

We are aware of reports that some British Council contractors who are in Afghanistan have received requests from the Taliban to provide detailed information on their circumstances. Eligible at-risk British Council contractors have been able to express interest in resettlement in the UK under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) Pathway 3 through an online process. ACRS Pathway 3 provides a safe and legal route for up to 1500 eligible at-risk British Council contractors, Gardaworld contractors, Chevening alumni and their family members to come to the United Kingdom and rebuild their lives.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of recent events in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

The UK is saddened by the loss of life that occurred during recent events in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. We understand that initially peaceful protests against plans to change Karakalpakstan's autonomous status within Uzbekistan developed into violent unrest with casualties among civilians and law enforcement personnel. The situation now seems calm. The Uzbek authorities have announced an official investigation, involving Parliament and civil society.

On 7 July, Lord Ahmad raised the unrest in Karakalpakstan with the Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister and the British Ambassador and his team in Tashkent are also in contact with the Uzbek authorities. We have been clear in our communications that the right to peaceful protest and respect for media freedom should be protected. In discussion of these events in multilateral fora, we urged the Uzbek authorities to adhere to their international commitments and due process, as they seek to understand what happened. We will continue to monitor developments closely.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made a recent assessment of the impact of violence in Darfur on the Massaleit community.

The ongoing violence and destruction in West Darfur is very troubling. We issued a statement on 25 April, setting out our concerns and the need for the Sudanese authorities to deliver their responsibilities to protect civilians. We underscored the importance of an independent investigation into the violence at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 27 April and helped to secure a UNSC statement condemning the violence on 29 April. We are in working with the UN to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected and have urged the military to allow humanitarian aid to flow without hindrance. We have raised our concerns over violence in Darfur with the Sudanese authorities, most recently during a visit to Khartoum by the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan on 25-28 June. We will continue to raise these concerns, to press the Sudanese authorities to deliver their obligation to protect civilians, and push for accountability for any crimes committed.

The fragile security situation across Sudan has been exacerbated by the political crisis since the military coup on 25 October. We are therefore pushing all political actors to engage in dialogue and return to a civilian-led government. We are also calling for the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) and progress in wider peace talks.

26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to the Government of Iraq on the case of Jim Fitton, a retired geologist and British citizen, who has been arrested and charged with offences relating to artefacts.

Following the verdict, consular officials in Iraq and the UK are continuing to provide consular assistance to Mr Fitton and his family. The British Ambassador in Baghdad has and will continue to, raise our interest in Mr Fitton's case with the Iraqi Government. This included raising with the authorities the UK's strong opposition to the death penalty - both the possibility of it being applied in Mr Fitton's case and in all circumstances as a matter of principle. Whilst he is detained, we will continue to register our interest in Mr Fitton's case and that the conditions of the prison are in line with international standards. Mr Fitton's safety and welfare remain of the upmost importance.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make representations to the Taliban leadership on allowing all girls to return to school immediately.

The Government has made clear its condemnation of the Taliban's decision not to re-open girls' secondary schools, including through statements from the G7+, female Foreign Ministers and the UN Security Council. Women in Afghanistan, and Afghan women in the UK diaspora, demand that girls' right to education be upheld, and we stand with them. As the Prime Minister has said several times, we are working to hold the Taliban to account to ensure that they live up to the promises they have made. With our international partners, we continue to press the Taliban to reverse this decision.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made representations to President Kais Saied of Tunisia on his decisions to (a) dissolve the Tunisian Assembly of Representatives and (b) put MPs on trial for participating in a virtual meeting of parliament.

The UK has expressed its views regarding the political situation in Tunisia, bilaterally and through statements on behalf of G7 Ambassadors. We engage regularly with representatives of the government in the country, most recently on 7 April when the British Ambassador to Tunisia met Foreign Minister Jerandi, and on 1 March when she called on Prime Minister Najla Bouden. The Minister for North Africa, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, also raised these issues during a meeting with the Tunisian Ambassador to London on 4 April.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what her planned timetable is for the establishment of the TCA UK Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum.

The Civil Society obligations in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement moved to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). FCDO ministers are currently finalising the UK Domestic Advisory Group membership list and the first meeting is expected shortly.

The Government is in discussions with the European Commission to set the date for the Civil Society Forum which will take place after the first meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group. The UK delegation to the Civil Society Forum will be announced once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the TCA Partnership Council.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to assist BBC Media Action staff in Afghanistan.

We continue to work, including with international partners, to relocate British nationals and eligible Afghans through third countries. We also provide as much information as we can through our Travel Advice. We have supported over 3,700 individuals to leave Afghanistan since the end of Operation PITTING. This includes BBC Media Action staff. Safe passage continues to be a priority in our engagement on Afghanistan, including with Taliban representatives.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what level of surcharge has been applied under the Northern Ireland Protocol to Christmas cards sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Full implementation of the Protocol would introduce burdensome customs requirements on post and parcels sent from GB to NI, including those that are 'business to consumer' and 'consumer to consumer'. A grace period for these requirements is currently in place.

Nonetheless, we have seen disruption to supplies of post and parcels into NI. This includes the introduction of surcharges for GB to NI deliveries and price differentiation, while over 200 businesses have stopped delivery into NI.

We are also aware of incidents where deliveries into NI have incorrectly been subject to customs formalities. Following detailed checks, we are unaware of any examples where Christmas cards ended up being subjected to a fee or surcharge.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many staff who formerly worked as contractors for the British Council in Afghanistan will no longer be eligible for resettlement in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme as a result of the recently announced changes to the eligibility rules.

In August 2021 the Government evacuated British Council employees and agreed to resettle more than 50 British Council contractors. Many have already arrived in the UK with their families, and the Government continues to assist those eligible to come to the UK to do so. The Government will continue to honour its commitment to consider further British Council contractors for resettlement. As Victoria Atkins MP announced to the House on 6 January, they will be considered for resettlement under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the impact of the recent change to the eligibility rules for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme on Afghan staff still living in the country who were contractors working for the British Council.

In August 2021 the Government evacuated British Council employees and agreed to resettle more than 50 British Council contractors. Many have already arrived in the UK with their families, and the Government continues to assist those eligible to come to the UK to do so. The Government will continue to honour its commitment to consider further British Council contractors for resettlement. As Victoria Atkins MP announced to the House on 6 January, they will be considered for resettlement under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the human rights situation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan.

The UK Government is monitoring the issue of discrimination and violence against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and religious minorities in Pakistan closely. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia and the Minister responsible for Human Rights, has spoken out publicly to strongly condemn targeted killings of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, including the murder of Kamran Ahmad in Peshawar on 9 November. Lord Ahmad discussed the need to promote respect for all religions when he met the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, on 28 November. During his visit to Pakistan on 22 and 23 June, Lord Ahmad raised the treatment of minorities, including Ahmadi Muslims, with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari. He also raised the use of cybercrime laws against members of the Ahmadi community with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior, Shahzad Akbar. In addition to his meetings with the Government of Pakistan, Lord Ahmad met with representatives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and took part in an interfaith roundtable to better understand the concerns of Pakistan's minorities. Pakistan is one of the FCDO's human rights priority countries and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is an integral part of our engagement on human rights. In July 2022 the UK will host an international Ministerial Conference to Advance FoRB in London.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will recognise the National Unity Government of Myanmar.

The UK has a longstanding policy and practice, held by successive Governments, of according recognition to states, not governments. Nevertheless, the UK is clear in our condemnation of the coup and stand in solidarity with those calling for a return to democracy, including the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) who have a strong democratic mandate from the November 2020 Election. The UK has supported representatives from the NUG to amplify their voice on the international stage. They have briefed the UN Security Council in informal "Arria" meetings on 9 April and 29 July. We are also clear that we the wider international community must engage with the NUG.

Both I and my predecessor have met with members of the National Unity Government, most recently meeting with Daw Zin Mar Aung on 4 November. Officials are engaging regularly with senior figures in the NUG.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the status is of the around 175 British Council contractors who have applied to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) but have so far received no answer; whether those contractors are eligible for ARAP; what the process is by which those contractors may be able to gain rapid approval under the category 4 case-by-case approvals system; how that approvals system will work; and when that approvals system will commence.

We stand by our commitment to help all Afghans who are eligible to come to the UK. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) offers resettlement for eligible Afghan staff who have assisted the UK Government, and their families, and others who have worked with the Government in exceptional circumstances. As the then Foreign Secretary confirmed to the House on 6 September, applications from British Council contractors will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with the (a) Secretary of State for Defence and (b) Home Secretary to expedite the relocation of the 30 plus British Council contractors and their families who have previously been approved for relocation under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy but remain in Afghanistan.

Providing support to those individuals eligible for Her Majesty's Government support, including the remaining Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy approved British Council contractors, remains a top priority and we have focused our efforts on this, including putting in additional resources. We have created a new Joint Afghanistan Casework Unit, staffed by officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Home Office and Ministry of Defence, which is taking forward the UK's commitment to resettle individuals and those family members confirmed to be eligible. We will continue to work to take advantage of all opportunities to help those eligible to come to the UK to leave Afghanistan.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to her Iranian counterpart on the imprisonment of the human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran.

The UK Government has repeatedly raised Nasrin Sotoudeh's ongoing detention with the Iranian authorities. On 25 September, the UK joined 46 other countries in calling for her release at the Human Rights Council. We have designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and press Iran to improve its poor human rights at every appropriate opportunity, including by taking action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. Human Rights Defenders worldwide must be able to carry out their work safely and without fear.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much the Government (a) spent on mine action and mine clearance in each of the last three financial years and (b) plans to spend on mine action and mine clearance in each of the next three financial years.

From 2018 until 2020 the UK invested £124 million to help clear deadly explosive devices worldwide through the Global Mine Action Programme 2. In financial year 2018/19 we invested £28.8 million, in 2019/20 we invested £58.2 million and in 2020/21 we invested £37 million.

The Global Mine Action Programme 3 (GMAP3) is due to begin in 2022. It will involve landmine clearance and risk education to help affected communities keep safe, and capacity development for national authorities to help them manage their landmine contamination. We are working towards finalising funding and country allocation for GMAP3 for the next three years, as part of a broader effort to prioritise our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations she has made to the Government of Egypt on the continued detention of Abdolmoneim Aboulfotouh.

The Foreign Secretary raised human rights in her first meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry in New York on 20 September. I [Minister Cleverly] also raised human rights with Foreign Minister Shoukry and met human rights activists during my recent visit to Cairo. We welcome Egypt's new human rights strategy and our strong bilateral relationship with Egypt allows us to raise human rights concerns frankly when we have them. Our focus is to lobby on ending pre-trial detention and improving prison conditions in Egypt

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation facing the Oromo people in Ethiopia.

We are concerned by incidences of ethnic violence in Ethiopia including in the Oromia region, and especially on the Oromo border with the Amhara region. The Government of Ethiopia, regional governments and community leaders on all sides must be clear that they do not support ethnic-based violence and discrimination, and on the importance of respecting human rights and safeguarding human life. The Foreign Secretary and I have both raised the importance of respect for human rights - I did so most recently with the Minister of Peace in July. The elections of 21 June also took place in challenging and problematic conditions with a restricted political environment, including the detention of opposition members, harassment of media representatives and parties facing difficulties in freely campaigning. We call on the government and all stakeholders in Ethiopian society to ensure that a meaningful, broad-based national dialogue process takes place and to commit to peaceful solutions. This is needed to enable Ethiopia's democratic development and to reduce conflict across the country.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of recent reductions in UK aid on the use of donated medicines in developing countries.

The UK government continues to be a major donor to international health organisations and programmes, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and COVAX, which fund essential medicines in developing countries. UK funded health programmes continue to strengthen health systems to deliver medicines to the most vulnerable people in some of the poorest countries in the world. Additionally, in June the Prime Minister pledged that the UK will share 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with developing countries within the next year of which 30 million will be delivered by the end of 2021. Throughout our investments, we support the safe handling and use of donated medicines in line with UK legislation and regulatory requirements and the requirements of recipient country governments.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Nigeria.

The UK Government follows developments on human rights in Nigeria closely. We are particularly concerned by the increase in criminal and terrorist violence across Nigeria, which is having an impact on the human rights of those affected, including the right to life. We are also concerned by allegations of serious human rights violations committed by the police and military, including those currently under investigation by the judicial panels of inquiry established following last year's #EndSARS protests. The Nigerian Government's recent decision to ban Twitter is also a troubling development, with an impact on Nigerians' freedom of expression.

Our position on human rights is firm: they are universal and must apply equally to all people. We regularly raise human rights with the Nigerian Government. I [Minister Duddridge] raised issues with the President's Chief of Staff, the Foreign Minister and the Governor of Lagos during my visit to Nigeria in April. We discussed rising insecurity and the importance of ensuring accountability for any human rights violations, including those being investigated by the #EndSARS judicial panels of inquiry. I [Minister Duddridge] have publicly expressed my concern about the recent Twitter ban. We will continue to stress the importance of protecting human rights for all Nigerians, and will continue to support efforts to improve human rights compliance and conditions in Nigeria.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of reported killings and human rights abuses in Oromo in Ethiopia.

We are concerned by frequent incidences of ethnic violence and protests in Ethiopia including in the Oromia region, and especially on the Oromo border with the Amhara region. Regional Presidents and community leaders on all sides must be clear that they do not support ethnic-based violence and discrimination, and on the importance of respecting human rights and safeguarding human life. The Foreign Secretary and I have both raised the importance of respect for human rights and the need for political dialogue. Following the elections of 21 June, we must now see further steps in a transition to more democratic governance in which all of Ethiopia's diverse population can fully engage.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether following the execution in Saudi Arabia of Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish who was sentenced to death for protest-related crimes committed as a child, he will make representations to the Saudi authorities on behalf of nine other young men facing execution for childhood crimes, including Abdullah al-Howaiti.

The United Kingdom strongly opposes the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. The Saudi authorities are aware of the UK Government's strong position on such cases. We reiterated our opposition to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia in a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September 2020. On 24 May 2021, during my [Mr Cleverly] visit to Saudi Arabia, I discussed the death penalty, including those charged with conducting crimes as minors, with the President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr Awwad Alawwad. Our Embassy in Riyadh has raised our concern over the cases of Mustafa al Darwish and Abdullah al Howaiti.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make urgent representations to the Government of Pakistan to halt the planned execution of Mr Abdul Rehman scheduled for 25 May 2021.

We understand that a stay of execution has been issued in Mr Rehman's case. We will continue to monitor the case closely.

It is our longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. The UK has raised at the highest level with the Government of Pakistan its concerns about specific cases and continues to urge Pakistan to ensure due process and adherence to international obligations.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will review the Government's position on recognising the massacre of Armenian people in 1915 as genocide in response to the recent decision of the US Administration to make that recognition.

The events of 1915-1916 were a tragic episode in the history of the Armenian people and they must never be forgotten. The UK Government of the day condemned the massacres and this Government fully endorses that view. The longstanding policy of the UK Government is that any judgement on whether genocide has occurred is a matter for competent courts, rather than for governments.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the reported civilian casualties resulting from the recent airstrikes on Gaza.

The Foreign Secretary delivered a message of de-escalation in his calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 11 and 16 May, and to Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and Palestinian Head of Mission in London to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm.

All countries, including Israel, have a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend their citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and are calibrated to avoid civilian casualties. We continue to call upon Hamas and other terrorist groups to permanently end their incitement and rocket fire against Israel. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable. Our priority now must be an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and an end to the killing of civilians.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of (a) whether Eritrean troops have withdrawn from Tigray and (b) the humanitarian situation in Tigray.