Jim Shannon Portrait

Jim Shannon

Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford

First elected: 6th May 2010

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

(since July 2017)

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

(since May 2015)

30 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Access to Medicines and Medical Devices, Bahá'í Faith, Carbon Monoxide, Carers, Cleaning and Hygiene Industry, Coastal Communities, Coeliac Disease, Diagnostics, Disability, Eggs, Pigs and Poultry, Energy Studies, Eye Health and Visual Impairment, Farming, Hazaras, Health in all Policies, Healthy Homes and Buildings, Hong Kong, International Freedom of Religion or Belief, Liver Disease and Liver Cancer, Marine Energy, Muscular Dystrophy, National Trust, Pakistani Minorities, Pro-Life, Relationships, Respiratory Health, Shooting and Conservation, Sleep, Tibet, Vascular and Venous Disease
66 Former APPG memberships
Adult Social Care, Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Air Passenger Duty Reform, Alevis, Antibiotics, Autism, Bangladesh, Beer, Blood Cancer, Brain Tumours, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Children who need Palliative Care, Children, Teenagers, and Young Adults with Cancer, Christianity in the Holy Land, Cleaning and Hygiene, Communities Engagement, Connaught Income Fund, Counter-Extremism, Cystic Fibrosis, Dairy, Democracy and Human Rights in the Gulf, Diabetes, Endangered Species, Equipment for Disabled Children, Equitable Life, Equitable Life Policyholders, Fairtrade, Fatherhood, Financial Crime and Scamming, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, Gambling Related Harm, Hairdressing, Barbering and Cosmetology, Heart Valve Disease, Infant Feeding and Inequalities, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Loneliness, Lyme Disease, Malawi, Markets, Media Freedom, Medical Cannabis under Prescription, Medicines and Medical Devices, Meningitis, Mentoring, Micronutrients and Health, Mutuals, Obesity, Pakistan Minorities, Pancreatic Cancer, Pigeon Racing, Premature and Sick Babies, Professional Sales, Religion or Belief, Reserves and Cadets, Rural Crime, Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention, Terminal Illness, Union, Universal Credit, Unpaid Work Trials, Veterans, Visitors' Economy, Vulnerable Groups to Pandemics, Wood Panel Industry, Yazidi People
Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill
26th Jan 2022 - 2nd Feb 2022
Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill
15th Dec 2021 - 5th Jan 2022
Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill
8th Dec 2021 - 15th Dec 2021
Local Government (Disqualification) Bill
24th Nov 2021 - 1st Dec 2021
Cultural Objects (Protection From Seizure) Bill
9th Nov 2021 - 17th Nov 2021
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)
8th May 2015 - 8th Jun 2017
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)
8th May 2015 - 8th Jun 2017
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
5th Dec 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Sub-Committee
8th Sep 2015 - 5th Dec 2016
Defence Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 5th Dec 2016
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
3rd Apr 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)
12th May 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)
12th May 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


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
Tuesday 5th March 2024
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
5 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 23rd April 2024
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
23 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
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 3 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 0 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Steel Industry: Wales
I commend the hon. Lady for securing this debate. She is right to say that the job losses at Tata …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Sick Leave
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an estimate of the number of …
Early Day Motions
Monday 19th February 2024
Death of Alexei Navalny
That this House deeply regrets the death of Alexei Navalny; notes that he was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption …
Bills
Tuesday 18th July 2023
High Income Child Benefit Charge (report to Parliament) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require the Chancellor of the Exchequer to report to Parliament on the likely effects of increasing in …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th October 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: International Centre for Law and Religious Studies (ICLRS)
Address of donor: J Reuben Clarke Centre, 341 E …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Bus services
That this House recognises the dire state of bus services throughout the country and is concerned that bus provision has …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 7th February 2024
State Pension Age (Compensation) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a compensation scheme for women born between 6 …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Jim Shannon has voted in 767 divisions, and 15 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 7 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
3 Feb 2021 - Exiting the European Union (Excise) - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 7 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 74 Noes - 353
13 Jan 2021 - Financial Services Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 3 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 265 Noes - 355
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 6 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
30 Sep 2020 - Town and Country Planning - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 208 Noes - 329
23 Sep 2020 - PUBLIC HEALTH - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 4 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 337 Noes - 6
21 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 6 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 257
16 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 6 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 208 Noes - 330
6 Jul 2020 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 6 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 338
19 May 2021 - A Plan for the NHS and Social Care - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 7 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 265 Noes - 366
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 3 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 3 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 3 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
31 Oct 2022 - Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 132
30 Nov 2022 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Jim Shannon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 285
View All Jim Shannon Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(111 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(104 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(95 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(543 debate contributions)
Home Office
(277 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Jim Shannon's debates

Strangford 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

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

Review statutory maternity pay in line with inflation and cost of living

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is currently:
90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
£156.66 or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for next 33 weeks. This averages £7.5k p/a

Millions of UK citizens have a disability or serious medical condition that means they use more energy. Many people need to use a ventilator 24/7. People use electric pumps to feed through a tubes. People need to charge their mobility equipment, such as electric wheelchairs, stair lifts, bath seats.

Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one off payment as part of the Cost of Living support package. We have larger utilities bills and food costs when compared to non-disabled people. We rely on these utilities and food to stay alive.

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

The Government should prohibit the sale, use and manufacture of free-running snares under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, putting them in the same category as self-locking snares, which are already illegal.

As Parliament considers the Bill of Rights, the Government must reconsider including abortion rights in this Bill. Rights to abortion must be specifically protected in this legislation, especially as the Government has refused to rule out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

The proposed Human Rights Act reforms must be withdrawn. The Government must not make any changes to the Human Rights Act, especially ones that dilute people's human rights in any circumstances, make the Government less accountable, or reduce people's ability to make human rights claims.

Reverse the plan to withdraw funding for most applied general qualifications such as BTECs and guarantee they will continue to play a major role in the qualifications landscape. Students should not be forced to choose between studying A levels or T levels from the age of 16.

Shooting of Badgers is licensed by Natural England as part of the DEFRA Badger cull. 24,000+ Badgers were shot in 2019.

Join other nations in providing a route to safety for refugees. Waive all visa requirements for Ukrainian passport holders arriving in the UK.

Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID. Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs.

We demand the Government restore England’s publicly funded, publicly provided NHS by reversing all privatising legislation, ending ongoing PFI contracts, and scrapping plans for Integrated Care Systems and for-profit US-style ‘managed care’.

Make it illegal for any employer to mandate vaccination for its employees. This should apply to all public sector (including the NHS, armed forces, care workers), third sector and all private sector.

Given how many animals are sold online, we want Government to introduce regulation of all websites where animals are sold. Websites should be required to verify the identity of all sellers, and for young animals for sale pictures with their parents be posted with all listings.

In 2014 the Human Medicines Act was amended so that schools could keep emergency stocks of salbutamol inhalers without prescription. Asthma is increasing in the UK and we believe that adult sufferers of Asthma working in high-risk commercial kitchens should have similar life-saving support.

The maximum penalty for failure to stop after an incident is points and a 6-month custodial sentence. Causing death by careless/dangerous driving is between 5-14 yrs. The sentence for failing to stop after a fatal collision must be increased.

The offence of causing 'death by dangerous driving' should be widened to include: failure to stop, call 999 and render aid on scene until further help arrives.

Current legislation allows for public use of fireworks 16 hours a day, every day, making it impossible for vulnerable groups to take precautions against the distress they can cause. Better enforcement of existing law is insufficient; limiting their sale & use to licensed displays only is necessary.

I would like the UK Government to make it law that nightclubs must search guests on arrival to prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment. This could be a pat down search or metal detector, but must involve measures being put in place to ensure the safety of the public.

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

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.

Cervical screening needs to be every year.

This is because women are dying, mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters and sisters are dying.

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

Many missing microchipped pets are never reunited as it’s optional to scan & check microchip registration. It’s time veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues checked pet & keeper match on the original database at a pets 1st consultation or yearly checkup. It’s their only chance to get home

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

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

Bring in a law which enforces professional football clubs to have at least 51% fan ownership similar to how the Bundesliga operates this rule.

The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game. This should happen by December 2021.

Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.'

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.

The government should allow BTEC students to achieve teacher predicted grades rather than being forced into a system that is unethically downgrading thousands of students grades.

Schools can be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. Children are mingling at schools and returning to families who are potentially vulnerable, keeping rates high.

It's only been since schools opened that infection rates have been high in Kent, and keeping them open may keep it high.

Cancel all standardise testing for year 11 and year 12 students in 2021. By replacing tests with smaller amounts of course work and teacher assessment, students would have a fair chance at achieving their target grades and it would relieve stress for teachers and students.

Please don’t send students back until we know we have had the priority groups vaccinated such as the elderly, the extremely clinically vulnerable, and those with underlying health conditions.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

Being the first to close and still no clue as to when we can open, this seasonal industry is losing its summer profits that allows them to get through the first quarter of next year.

Even if we are allowed to open in December, 1 months profit won't be enough to keep us open in 2021. We need help

The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.

Advice from the JCVI on the priority groups for a Covid-19 vaccine does not include school/childcare workers. This petition calls for these workers, who cannot distance or use PPE, to be kept safe at work by being put on the vaccine priority list when such a list is adopted into government policy.

I want the Government to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine. This includes restrictions on travel, social events, such as concerts or sports. No restrictions whatsoever.

The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.

Matthew was taken to, ‘a place of safety’, and died 7 days later.
24 others died by the same means, dating back to the year 2000. An indicator that little was done to address the growing problems.
Something went terribly wrong with the NHS Mental Health Services provided to my son.

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.

We propose to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to make pet theft a specific offence, distinct from that of inanimate objects; and in sentencing, the courts must consider the fear, alarm or distress to the pet and owners and not monetary value.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

Illegal immigrants are entering the UK in many different ways, including small boats from France which are not stopped by either French or British forces.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.


Latest EDMs signed by Jim Shannon

21st February 2024
Jim Shannon signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 22nd February 2024

Bus services

Tabled by: Sarah Dyke (Liberal Democrat - Somerton and Frome)
That this House recognises the dire state of bus services throughout the country and is concerned that bus provision has decreased by 28% since 2011; understands the important role buses have to play in the fight against climate change; acknowledges the growing isolation of vulnerable and elderly people in rural …
4 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
21st February 2024
Jim Shannon signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 22nd February 2024

Wigan Warriors and the World Club Challenge

Tabled by: Judith Cummins (Labour - Bradford South)
That this House welcomes the upcoming World Club Challenge; supports British Super League Champions Wigan Warriors in their upcoming match against the Australian NRL champions the Penrith Panthers; congratulates both teams on their success in their respective leagues; and commends the success of the Super League in cultivating an internationally-competitive …
2 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Jim Shannon's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

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


1 Urgent Question tabled by Jim Shannon

Tuesday 21st February 2023

3 Adjournment Debates led by Jim Shannon

Tuesday 10th January 2023
Thursday 16th July 2020
Tuesday 17th March 2020

5 Bills introduced by Jim Shannon


A Bill to require the installation of automated external defibrillators in public buildings, sporting facilities, schools, higher education and other education and skills facilities, and facilities that provide care to vulnerable people; and to make associated provision about training and signage.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 24th March 2023

A Bill to require the Chancellor of the Exchequer to report to Parliament on the likely effects of increasing in line with inflation the income threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge and of determining that threshold by reference to household income instead of individual income.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 18th July 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the installation of automated external defibrillators in public buildings, sporting facilities, schools, higher education and other education and skills facilities, and facilities that provide care to vulnerable people; and to make associated provision about training and signage.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 21st June 2021

A Bill to require the installation of automated external defibrillators in public buildings, sporting facilities, schools, higher education and other education and skills facilities, and facilities that provide care to vulnerable people; and to make associated provision about training and signage.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 2nd December 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the provision of audio announcements on public buses; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 3rd December 2014

86 Bills co-sponsored by Jim Shannon

State Pension Age (Compensation) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Alan Brown (SNP)

Autism (early identification) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Duncan Baker (Con)

Universal Jurisdiction (Extension) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Teenagers (Safety and Wellbeing) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Alex Norris (LAB)

Sun Protection Products (Value Added Tax) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Amy Callaghan (SNP)

Spiking Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Richard Graham (Con)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Darren Henry (Con)

Sale of Tobacco (Licensing) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Bob Blackman (Con)

National Minimum Wage Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Paula Barker (Lab)

National Eye Health Strategy Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Marsha De Cordova (Lab)

Markets and market traders (review of support) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Simon Baynes (Con)

Immigration and Nationality Fees (Exemption for NHS Clinical Staff) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Rob Roberts (Ind)

First-Aid (Mental Health) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Dean Russell (Con)

Employment Equality (Insurance etc) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Natalie Elphicke (Con)

Employment Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Steven Bonnar (SNP)

Employee Share Ownership (Reform) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - George Howarth (Lab)

Electricity Supply (Vulnerable Customers) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Sam Tarry (Lab)

Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Barry Sheerman (LAB)

Consumer Telephone Service Standards Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Robert Halfon (Con)

Bus Services (Consultation) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Dean Russell (Con)

Aviation Banning Orders (Disruptive Passengers) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Gareth Johnson (Con)

Renewable Liquid Heating Fuel Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - George Eustice (Con)

Supply of Drugs to Children Under 16 (Aggravated Offence) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Kevin Hollinrake (Con)

Pets (Microchips) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - James Daly (Con)

Flexible Working Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

Recognition of Armenian Genocide Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

Seals (Protection) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tracey Crouch (Con)

Plastics (Wet Wipes) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Fleur Anderson (Lab)

Import of Products of Forced Labour from Xinjiang (Prohibition) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Digitally Altered Body Images Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Luke Evans (Con)

Digital Devices (Access for Next of Kin) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Ian Paisley (DUP)

Co-operatives (Employee Company Ownership) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Christina Rees (LAB)

Community Wealth Fund Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Paul Howell (Con)

Consumer Protection (Double Charging) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Huw Merriman (Con)

Bereavement Leave and Pay (Stillborn and Miscarried Babies) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Sarah Owen (Lab)

Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Patricia Gibson (SNP)

Transport (Disabled Passenger Charter) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Charlotte Nichols (Lab)

Electric Vehicle Charging Points (New Buildings) (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Felicity Buchan (Con)

Tree-lined Streets Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Chris Clarkson (Con)

Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

Sexual Offences (Sports Coaches) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tracey Crouch (Con)

Education Employment (Accompaniment to Hearings) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Brendan Clarke-Smith (Con)

Desecration of War Memorials Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Jonathan Gullis (Con)

Conveyancing Standards Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Marco Longhi (Con)

Pets (Microchips) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - James Daly (Con)

Ministerial Interests (Emergency Powers) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Owen Thompson (SNP)

New Homes (New Development Standards) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Con)

Jet Skis (Licensing) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Hywel Williams (PC)

Digitally Altered Body Images Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Luke Evans (Con)

Hong Kong Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Alistair Carmichael (LD)

Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christine Jardine (LD)

Clean Air (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Chris Philp (Con)

Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (Con)

Parental Leave (Premature and Sick Babies) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - David Linden (SNP)

Police Officer Training (Autism Awareness) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Ann Clwyd (Lab)

Gambling (Industry Levy Review and Protections for Vulnerable People) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Richard Graham (Con)

Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Louise Haigh (Lab)

Compensation Orders (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Andrew Griffiths (Con)

Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019
Sponsor - Geoffrey Robinson (Lab)

Access to Fertility Services Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Steve McCabe (Lab)

Hospital (Parking Charges and Business Rates) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Voter Registration (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Armed Forces (Derogation from European Convention on Human Rights) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Leo Docherty (Con)

Election Expenses (Authorisation of Free or Discounted Support) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Craig Mackinlay (Con)

Multi-employer Pension Schemes Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Alan Brown (SNP)

British Indian Ocean Territory (Citizenship) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Henry Smith (Con)

Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Food Insecurity Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Emma Lewell-Buck (Lab)

Immigration Detention of Victims of Torture and Other Vulnerable People (Safeguards) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Joan Ryan (TIG)

Gypsy and Traveller Communities (Housing, Planning and Education) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Andrew Selous (Con)

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018
Sponsor - Steve Reed (LAB)

Public Sector Supply Chains (Project Bank Accounts) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Debbie Abrahams (Lab)

Wild Animals in Circuses Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Trudy Harrison (Con)

Pets (Theft) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Ross Thomson (Con)

Armed Forces (Statute of Limitations) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Lord Benyon (Con)

Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Bambos Charalambous (Ind)

Child Maintenance Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Marion Fellows (SNP)

Cold Weather Payments Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Hywel Williams (PC)

DiGeorge Syndrome (Review and National Health Service Duty) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - David Duguid (Con)

Refugees (Family Reunion) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Angus Brendan MacNeil (Ind)

Courts (Abuse of Process) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Liz Saville Roberts (PC)

Crime (Assaults on Emergency Services Staff) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Holly Lynch (Lab)

Statutory Nuisance (Aircraft Noise) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Tania Mathias (Con)

Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Alison Thewliss (SNP)

Representation of the People (Voter Proof of Identity) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Chris Green (Con)

Organ Donors (Leave) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Louise Haigh (Lab)


3009 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
100 Other Department Questions
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what funds the Commissioners allocate to churches for (a) cameras, (b) alarms and (c) other security equipment.

All churches are eligible to apply for the Home Office hate crime scheme if they need support with new or upgrading equipment or facilities.
The Benefact Trust has funded alarms for churches. More details are available on the Church of England website about how to support parishes with resources and advice: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare/advice-and-guidance-church-buildings/security-and-crime-prevention

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department are taking to reduce incidences of workplace misogyny.

Everyone should be able to live without fear of harassment or violence, in the workplace as much as anywhere else. Strong laws against workplace harassment are set out in the Equality Act 2010.

We listened carefully to the experiences shared through our consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace, and committed to a new package of measures which will prioritise prevention. As part of this work, the Government is supporting the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill introduced by the Hon. Member for Bath, which will strengthen protections for employees against workplace harassment.

This builds on the steps we are taking to foster workplaces that celebrate diverse experiences and backgrounds. The Government’s Inclusion at Work Panel will tackle bias and ensure fairness in the workplace by developing and disseminating effective resources to help employers. This will help to create workplaces where everyone feels supported and encouraged to reach their career potential.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department is taking steps to ensure that the televised coverage of the Eurovision song contest to be held in Liverpool reflects the success of the Ukrainian entry in the previous year's contest.

It is deeply regrettable that Russia’s illegal invasion has prevented Ukraine hosting the contest in 2023 after its superb victory in last year’s event.

The BBC, Liverpool and the Government are fully committed to ensuring the best of Ukrainian culture is showcased in this year's contest and that their win and our friendship with Ukraine will be celebrated appropriately.

All editorial decisions on the content of the show are for the BBC to make, and we recognise that the BBC is working alongside the Ukrainian national broadcaster to ensure close creative alignment.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to provide financial support for charities, in the context of the cost of living crisis.

As announced in the recent Spring Budget, the Government will provide over £100 million of support for charities and community organisations in England. This will be targeted towards those organisations most at risk, due to increased demand from vulnerable groups and higher delivery costs, as well as providing investment in energy efficiency.

Charities will also continue to receive support for their energy bills until March 2024 under the government’s current Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the future Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department are taking steps to encourage British television productions to film in Northern Ireland.

With world-class facilities and access to a highly-skilled talent pool, Northern Ireland enjoys global recognition as an important production centre for film and television.

Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland. Funded by the Department for the Economy and the Department for Communities, Northern Ireland Screen’s production credits include the Academy Award nominated film Belfast.

The British Film Institute NETWORK works to support, develop and champion new and emerging filmmakers across the UK. The BFI will continue to delegate funding to Northern Ireland Screen to lead BFI NETWORK in Northern Ireland, with an award of £480,000 across the three years.

To support independent screen content following the pandemic, including film, to grow internationally the government launched the UK Global Screen Fund in April 2021. DCMS has committed a further £21 million to develop, distribute and promote independent UK screen content in international markets. All three strands of the UK Global Screen Fund offer support for Northern Irish companies and projects and several significant awards to Northern Ireland-based companies have been made to date.

DCMS has funded the British Film Commission (BFC) with £4.8 million over three years to support the growth of seven geographic production hubs across the UK nations. Through this, the BFC has provided ongoing support for Northern Ireland’s expanding studio infrastructure initiative, including design support and general guidance to four key studios: Belfast Harbour, Titanic, Loop and Silverwood.

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have also all commissioned critically acclaimed television programmes set and produced in Northern Ireland. This includes Bloodlands, The Secret and Derry Girls.

At Spring Budget 2023, the government went further to support and boost the competitiveness of the TV industry across the UK, through the creative industry tax reliefs. The government announced that the film, high end TV, children’s TV and animation tax reliefs will be reformed to a single Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit, which will provide a greater benefit than the current reliefs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with representatives of the arch-diocese of Jerusalem on damage to graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion in January 2023; and what steps he plans to take to (a) help promote religious acceptance and harmony in the UK and (b) prevent vandalism at cemeteries.

The escalating violence in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories is of deep concern. Representatives of the Church continue to work closely with the Department of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the British Consulate in Jerusalem, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and other faith leaders in the city. The Archbishop of Canterbury remains in close contact with the Archbishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Hosam Naoum, and the Bishop of Southwark regularly visits the region with Roman Catholic bishops as part of the Holy Land Coordination Group.

Following the attacks, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement that read, “The desecration of Christian graves in Jerusalem is a blasphemous act. I join the Chief Rabbi [Ephraim Mirvis] and religious leaders in Jerusalem in condemning it and hope those responsible will be brought swiftly to justice. As we continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land, I stand with Archbishop Hosam Naoum and other Jerusalem church leaders in calling for respect, protection, equality and justice for its Christian community – who are the Living Stones of the church.”

Interviewed immediately after the attacks Archbishop Naoum spoke about the increasing use of exclusion, segregation, and intolerance alongside increasing attacks on the holy sites.

The Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have urged all sides to "actively reaffirm their commitment to a promotion of an environment of safety, mutual respect and religious tolerance in the Holy Land." They also called for assurances to be given to the Christian community in Jerusalem following the increasing levels of extremist threats against them. At a recent meeting with the Jordanian Parliament Committee of External Affairs in Amman, the Heads of Churches raised concerns about the future of a continued presence of Christians, specifically Arabic Christians, in Jordan, Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The statement by the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Hosam Naoum, can be read here: https://j-diocese.org/wordpress/2023/01/04/statement-on-the-recent-vandalism-and-desecration-of-the-protestant-cemetery-on-mt-zion-4-january-2023/

The statements of the Patriarchs and Head of all Churches in Jerusalem can be read here: https://j-diocese.org/wordpress/2023/01/05/head-of-churches-statement-on-the-recent-vandalism-desecration-of-the-protestant-cemetery-on-mt-zion/

The statement of the World Council of Churches can be read here: https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/wcc-statement-on-desecration-of-historic-protestant-cemetery-in-jerusalem

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help ensure that cultural attractions around the UK provide sufficient access for disabled people.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is committed to improving the accessibility of our cultural and heritage attractions across the UK for everyone, regardless of their background.

In June 2021 the Government Disability Unit launched an enhanced programme of Disability and Access Ambassadors. As part of this, David Stanley was appointed as the Arts and Culture Disability and Access Ambassador. The Department is working closely with him to improve accessibility to the sector for people with disabilities.

DCMS investment has enabled important accessibility upgrades in cultural venues across the country, including via the joint DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, and via infrastructure grants to DCMS-sponsored cultural bodies. Examples include support for level access at the National Gallery, and new lifts, ramps, and signage at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, amongst other projects.

DCMS’s arm’s-length body The National Lottery Heritage Fund has a longstanding commitment actively to promote accessibility in heritage through its grant-making. The Heritage Fund invested £950,900 in the Curating for Change placement programme, led by and for disabled people, working with 16 national and local museums to deliver employment opportunities. In 2022 research was undertaken by ‘Vocal Eyes’ to improve digital access and information on cultural sites, to expand engagement with blind and visually impaired people.

Arts Councils across the UK are also working together with the British Film Institute to launch a free, UK-wide arts access scheme by early 2024. This scheme will operate across all arts and cultural venues, for seamless, barrier-free booking which is responsive to individual circumstances and needs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will hold discussions with the Church of England on taking steps to help increase foodbank donations.

A debate about the pressures on the cost of living was held in the General Synod at its February 2023 sessions. Renewed calls and commitments were made there to provide continuing support for the most vulnerable, through parish-based local community partnerships with charities and food bank providers


The Trussell Trust report that their network of food banks receives a significant proportion of their donations from churches and despite a fall during the pandemic when church congregations were not meeting, donations have increased again over the last year, despite the increasing costs that churches and congregants face themselves.

Ensuring that donations keep match with demand is crucial for helping food banks to support everyone who needs them, though decreasing overall demand in the longer term is a shared goal of the Church, providers and Government

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to support parish churches in holding events for (a) families and (b) other individuals.

A vibrant children’s and youth ministry is often a key component of church growth and creates intergenerational support for new parents and caregivers from experienced parents, grandparents and youth workers. Most Church of England parishes provide activities to engage with families and young people. Examples include breakfast, lunch and holiday clubs, youth clubs, messy church and events in partnership with local authorities, other churches and faith communities. Most dioceses have specialist children, youth or families advisers. More information and resources can be found on the Church of England website here: Our work with children and young people | The Church of England

The Archbishops’ Commission on Families and Households will soon be publishing a report looking at the role of the family in today’s society. Details of the Commission are here: Families and Households Commission | The Church of England .

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department is taking steps to ensure that (a) Newtownards Library and (b) other public libraries have sufficient funding to encourage more people to visit them.

Public libraries policy in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter. The funding of the public library service in Northern Ireland, including Newtownards library, is a matter for the Department for Communities, with provision and promotion of the service secured through Libraries Northern Ireland.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with relevant funding bodies on funding for smaller churches, including those in rural villages.

Officials from the National Church Institutions are seeking a meeting with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the 2017 independent Taylor report on the sustainability of Church Buildings. Despite being commissioned by the Government, the Government has yet to respond.

The Church Commissioners are providing £11million in funding for 2023-25 to support a new “Buildings for Mission” programme to provide support, through dioceses, to local parishes with the challenges they face in maintaining their church buildings.

National grant funding is no longer ring-fenced for religious buildings despite the largest number of listed buildings in the country being from that classification. While grant funding is also available from national and local charities, this can only go so far. The Church of England is grateful to the great many congregations and local philanthropists who continue, despite current financial difficulties, to support the work of the Church.

Recent reports from the National Churches Trust have shown that every £1 invested in a church building returns £16 to the community in other services and facilities. If the Church can spend less time on repairing buildings, an even greater focus could be given to supporting the communities it serves. The evidence for this can be found in the 2021 House of Good report, available at: House of Good 2021

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church is taking steps to promote freedom of religion and belief in (a) Hong Kong and (b) globally.

Freedom of Religion and Belief was discussed at the 2022 Lambeth Conference of global Anglican bishops, where many first-hand accounts of the context in different countries were shared.

Bishops and officials of the National Church Institutions are working closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative, to equip civil servants, Government ministers, bishops and churches to respond effectively as possible to violations of freedom of religion, and in follow up to the Bishop of Truro’s report.

Freedom of religion was one of the founding principles of Hong Kong, which has led to a high diversity of faith communities and of those with no faith. The Church of England remains concerned about the treatment of these communities and is monitoring the situation closely.

The Church remains involved in providing welcome and support to those arriving here from Hong Kong under the British National Overseas passport scheme. One local example from Leeds diocese can be seen here: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/news/hong-kong-arrivals-welcomed-and-baptised-leeds-church

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
18th Jan 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will hold discussions with senior church leaders on encouraging church leaders to hold celebrations to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

Churches across the country will be organising events to celebrate the coronation. Many will mark the occasion by ringing a special peal of bells and encouraging new ringers to help. The Central Council of Bell Ringers is able to provide advice and support to towers of ringers who want to join in and ‘Ring for the King’: Ring for the King – Ringing for the King’s Coronation

The Royal School of Church Music are also encouraging choirs to join their ‘Sing for the King’ project. More information is available for directors of music, organists and clergy from the RSCM here: Sing for the King! | RSCM

Buckingham Palace has announced a series of events and festivities over several days, in which churches and community groups will take part. Many parishes are likely to be hosting a service of thanksgiving, alongside participating in the ‘Big Help Out’, and other local celebrations. Guidance and resources will be sent to all dioceses and parishes in the coming weeks.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church is taking steps to plant more trees on its land in rural areas.

During 2021 the Church Commissioners planted approximately 2 million trees across their land holdings. In 2021 the Commissioners also purchased land in Wales with the intention of establishing a new woodland of c.85,000 new trees (subject to the grant of planting permissions).

Across the land portfolio the Commissioners have conducted numerous woodland reviews assessing opportunities for new planting schemes, creating wildlife corridors. Via the implementation of environmental land management schemes farm tenants are planting more hedgerows and the Commissioners are encouraging the inclusion of in-hedge trees.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in what way cathedrals are supporting community cohesion in communities they serve.

First and foremost cathedrals are places of worship, but like parish churches they are also community buildings and often a focus for civic gatherings of faith, political and business leaders in our cities, which facilitate discussions for the common good. They are regularly used for pilgrimages, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and lectures, which are open to all in the community.

The 2021 report by the Association of English Cathedrals (Economic Social Impacts of England’s Cathedrals) put the combined economic value of cathedrals at approximately £235 million in local spending per year

Some examples of community cohesion projects include:

  • Bradford Cathedral‘s Faiths Trail, which offers opportunities to link visitors to worship spaces in the city, including the cathedral, a mosque, a Hindu temple and a gurdwara.
  • In Birmingham Cathedral a new Common Wealth table installation in the grounds has been booked for cross-faith community conversations.
  • Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas market attracts over 400,000 visitors annually, generating local employment and offering local craftspeople an opportunity to showcase their work.
  • St Edmundsbury Cathedral hosted a summer flower festival this year to celebrate 1,000 years of the Abbey at Bury St Edmunds, and has hosted an animatronic dinosaur, science and art activities during the school holidays, and film screenings and lectures.
  • Liverpool Cathedral held a charity abseil down its tower to support local initiatives with 800 people taking part. It has an annual sleepout to raise money for the Whitechapel Centre homeless project, hosts a community market and provides hospitality to the local community.
  • Gloucester Cathedral has recently employed a full-time member of staff as a Community Engagement Manager, reflecting the amount of outreach work the Cathedral does. It has run a regular breakfast club for the homeless twice a week since 2007. More recently, the cathedral has started a gardening group and a walking rugby group. The Cathedral also regularly exhibits the work of a formerly homeless photographer, to raise awareness of the level of homelessness in the city.
  • Leicester Cathedral has run a series of local community arts events in partnership with local schools.
  • Norwich Cathedral hosted ‘Dippy the Dinosaur’ this year, on loan from the Natural History Museum, and also regularly hosts art and music events for the county.

More details on the economic and social impact of England’s cathedrals are available in the Association of English Cathedrals Report: Economic Social Impacts of England’s Cathedrals

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to help support (a) family relationships, (b) parenting and (c) marriage.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Families and Households is considering all aspects of this subject and will publish its report in early 2023. The Church of England’s support for families, parenting and marriage comes in many forms. Parishes offer:

  • early years groups and children’s clubs to support child development and provide parental support.
  • counselling and social support for those in need, such as work with foodbanks, credit unions and Citizens Advice to reduce the pressures of financial difficulty on relationships.
  • marriage guidance for couples wishing to marry, prior to the ceremony.
  • work with organisations such as Relate to offer relationship advice and support or counselling.
  • tackling loneliness in the young and old, by visiting people in care homes and hospitals, and by providing spaces for groups, clubs and societies to meet.

Nationally the Church of England provides resources to clergy and couples considering marriage through the ‘Your Church Wedding’ website: https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/your-church-wedding This gives advice for couples at all stages of marriage preparation.

Marrying in the local church remains one of the most cost-effective ways of having a relationship recognised in law and costs around £550 (approved by Parliament). This fee can be reduced for pastoral reasons at the discretion of the local Incumbent.

The National Churches Trust report ‘House for Good’ has updated its estimates of the contribution of churches to their local community. The report estimates the national value of the Church’s work on counselling and mental health support at over £4.5million, work with youth groups and young people at an additional £1.8million, support with food and foodbanks at £36million and drug and alcohol support at £0.5million. The full update is available here: House of Good 2021

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to plan for long-term maintenance of its churches and cathedrals.

The Cathedral and Church Buildings team of the National Church Institutions (NCIs) are working closely with the cathedrals and major churches of the Church of England to evaluate the overall maintenance work required. The Church Commissioners are providing £11million in funding for 2023-25 to support a new “Buildings for Mission” programme to provide support, through dioceses, to local parishes with the challenges they face in maintaining their church buildings


The Church is grateful to the Government for its support for cathedrals and major churches during the pandemic when the Culture Recovery Fund made over £60.6m available to 582 parishes and cathedrals. The Church advocates for the continuation of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, worth up to £42m a year, until a suitable alternative can be found. The NCIs are working closely with Government, heritage partners and philanthropic funders, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund in response to its recent strategic review.

The Church awaits the response of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to the recommendations made by the Government’s independent review led by Bernard Taylor into the sustainability of Church buildings, which was published in 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/english-churches-and-cathedrals-sustainability-review

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, by what proportion the number of ordinands in the Church of England has changed since 2016.

In 2016 there were 1,184 ordinands in total, including 476 ordinands starting training. In 2020 those figures had risen to 1,373 in total, including 591 starting training, the largest number in a generation.

The latest numbers, for 2021, show 1,276 in total, including 478 starting training, which is partly a result of the impact of Covid. There is an expectation that overall numbers will increase again.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to promote environmental, social and governance leadership in its investments.

The Church Commissioners Responsible Investment Team regularly engages with the companies in which they invest on environmental and social issues, and good governance. The Church Commissioners’ Stewardship report 2021 contains examples of work on impact investment, respect for the planet and respect for people: https://www.frc.org.uk/getattachment/8e8fdb87-6c32-4bf3-b549-e8209db00976/The-Church-Commissioners-for-England_Stewardship-report-2020.pdf The Commissioners are signatory members of the Financial Reporting Council, which has approved the report.

The Church Commissioners and other global investors are also acting to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their investment portfolios to drive progress towards a net zero, nature-positive economy. These investors make up the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA). Details can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/church-commissioners-and-other-investors-tackle-commodity-driven

More information about the Church Commissioners' work in responsible investment can be seen here: Responsible Investment | The Church of England

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to use environmentally=friendly farming methods in its agricultural land.

The Church Commissioners encourage existing farm tenants to adopt environmentally friendly farming practices across all their agricultural land. Throughout the year the Commissioners’ asset managers and agents have conducted meetings with their existing agricultural tenants to discuss various environmental opportunities, including hedgerow improvements, benefits of cover crops and other regenerative farming practices.

When re-letting farmland on the open market the Church Commissioners emphasise their net-zero ambitions and seek out tenants who adopt nature-friendly farming methods, via a vigorous tender process, farm letting particulars and updated farm business tenancies. The new tenancies include soil improvement clauses and requirements for landlord and tenant to work collaboratively on conducting carbon audits and environmental improvements such as hedgerow planting.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the church has taken recent steps to provide affordable and sustainable housing on its land.

The Church Commissioners are currently promoting land for approximately 30,000 new homes across England. Approximately 30% of these new homes will be classed as affordable. The Commissioners aim is to deliver high-quality new homes and employment opportunities within sustainable communities which support and enhance their local surroundings.

The Commissioners have recently appointed an Affordable Housing Asset Manager to increase the delivery of affordable housing across the portfolio, and have recently collaborated with a Housing Association to deliver ten affordable homes and three bungalows in a rural community known as Shepherdswell, near Dover in Kent.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent steps the Church of England has taken to help support Ukrainian refugees.

The toolkit published on the Church of England website contains information for parishes and individuals seeking to respond and is updated regularly with the latest advice and guidance: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/community-action/war-ukraine-responding

Numbers being hosted continue to rise. We are aware of particularly good models in the London and Canterbury dioceses, and other dioceses have partnered with Citizens UK, working collaboratively to deliver partnerships for hosting. Many churches are also working on welcome and education programmes, and community hubs.

The Church is also addressing concerns around the risk of exploitation and modern slavery facing Ukrainian refugees, through the work of the Clewer Initiative with national and diocesan safeguarding bodies.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church of England has had recent discussions with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church on the conflict in Ukraine.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ met online earlier in the year, and channels of communication remain open. A brief meeting took place between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Russian Orthodox delegates at the World Conference of Churches Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany (31 August to 8 September 2022) where there was a robust exchange. The Archbishop of Canterbury also met with leaders of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The Church continues to pray for an immediate ceasefire and a return to dialogue in order to secure a negotiated peace settlement. The Church calls on all parties to respect the principles of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and for the humane treatment of all prisoners of war.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to strengthen its parish ministry.

The Church Commissioners intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, to support the Church’s mission and ministry, including through parishes across England. The core of the extra funding will be channelled into the revitalisation of parish and local ministry and go some way to continue enabling local parishes to serve their communities and the whole nation. The distributions will help fund dioceses’ plans by reaching more young and disadvantaged people, radically cutting the Church’s carbon footprint, and addressing issues of racial justice.

During the cost of living crisis, the Church Commissioners have worked with the Archbishops’ Council to provide £15 million for dioceses, both rural and urban, to help churches struggling to pay energy costs. The fund will help churches to remain as centres of worship and pastoral care and will also make a key difference in helping churches to continue opening their buildings for vital practical support for their communities over the winter through social action such as food banks and warm hubs.

Funding from the Church Commissioners has helped to enable the continued rise in the numbers of ordinands in training, who will be the parish clergy of the future, and the most recent data from the 2020 Ministry Statistics are available here: Ministry Statistics 2020 report . An updated document is in the process of being compiled.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have taken recent steps to help support the implementation of recommendations in the report entitled Bishop of Truro's independent review of FCDO support for persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2022.

The Church of England is in regular contact with officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regarding the implementation of the Bishop of Truro’s Review Recommendations and what further measures might be needed to support freedom of religion our belief for all. The Church of England offered support and advice in advance of the Ministerial on International Religious Freedom that the Government hosted in July 2022 and is assisting with follow up to the Ministerial.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps parish churches are taking to help (a) progress towards net zero and (b) increase biodiversity.

Parish churches are signing up to the Eco Church scheme, which asks them to consider how they manage their building and their carbon footprint, and how they manage their churchyard or other land around the church for the benefit of people and nature. It also asks them to integrate environmental issues into their worship and teaching, to join in with wider environmental issues in their community and beyond, and to challenge congregation members to take steps to reduce carbon and take care of the planet in their own lives.

As of October, over 4,000 CofE churches have signed up to the Eco Church scheme, 1,350 have reached bronze, just over 400 silver and 25 gold. Case studies can be seen here: Net Zero Carbon and Environmental case studies | The Church of England. Projects include replacing heating systems with heat pumps or direct electric heating, a community garden in urban Liverpool, and a wild flower garden in the space next to the graveyard in a Sheffield city church. Churches are also being encouraged to review how and when they put the heating on, good maintenance and wherever possible fixing draughts, to reduce overall energy use.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent steps the church commissioners have taken to help support parishes that are replacing (a) gas and (b) oil central heating equipment.

The Church of England’s Environment Programme has produced guidance for churches that are reviewing their heating, and webinars for advice, which can be seen at: Heating | The Church of England & Webinars on getting to net zero carbon | The Church of England

The Church Commissioners intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, to support the Church’s mission and ministry, including through parishes across England. The core of the extra funding will be channelled into the revitalisation of parish and local ministry and go some way to continue enabling local parishes to serve their communities and the whole nation. The distributions will help fund dioceses’ plans by reaching more young and disadvantaged people, addressing issues of racial justice, and radically cutting the Church’s carbon footprint. By providing help for net zero programmes, and access to experts in renewable heating advice, parishes will be helped with their plans to replace gas and oil heating systems.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on making an assessment of freedom of religion and belief in China.

Bishops and officials of the Church of England regularly engage with Ministers and officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on a range of thematic and geographic concerns regarding freedom of religion or belief, which include the human rights situation in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Bishops in the House of Lords regularly raise concerns about the same through questions to Government. Details of these can be seen at:

Nigeria: Nigeria – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Democratic Republic of Congo: The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

China: China – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Most recently on 17th November the Bishop of St Albans led a debate in the House of Lords on allegations of human rights abuses in China.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on taking steps to help tackle violence against Christians in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bishops and officials of the Church of England regularly engage with Ministers and officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on a range of thematic and geographic concerns regarding freedom of religion or belief, which include the human rights situation in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Bishops in the House of Lords regularly raise concerns about the same through questions to Government. Details of these can be seen at:

Nigeria: Nigeria – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Democratic Republic of Congo: The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

China: China – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Most recently on 17th November the Bishop of St Albans led a debate in the House of Lords on allegations of human rights abuses in China.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on taking steps to help tackle (a) violence against and (b) the abduction of Christians in Nigeria in the last 18 months.

Bishops and officials of the Church of England regularly engage with Ministers and officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on a range of thematic and geographic concerns regarding freedom of religion or belief, which include the human rights situation in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Bishops in the House of Lords regularly raise concerns about the same through questions to Government. Details of these can be seen at:

Nigeria: Nigeria – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Democratic Republic of Congo: The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

China: China – The Church of England in Parliament (churchinparliament.org)

Most recently on 17th November the Bishop of St Albans led a debate in the House of Lords on allegations of human rights abuses in China.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Commissioners are taking to help ensure rural parishes are supported in providing assistance to parishioners in need.

The Church Commissioners intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, to support the Church’s mission and ministry, including through parishes across England. The core of the extra funding will be channelled into the revitalisation of parish and local ministry and go some way to continue enabling local parishes to serve their communities and the whole nation. The distributions will help fund dioceses’ plans by reaching more young and disadvantaged people, radically cutting the Church’s carbon footprint, and addressing issues of racial justice.

In addition, during the cost of living crisis, the Church Commissioners have worked with the Archbishops’ Council to provide £15 million for dioceses, both rural and urban, to help churches struggling to pay energy costs. The fund will help churches to remain as centres of worship and pastoral care and will also make a key difference in helping churches to continue opening their buildings for vital practical support for their communities over the winter through social action, such as food banks and warm hubs.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church of England will provide funding for disability access improvements to churches in the Strangford constituency where there is a lack of parish funding.

As the Strangford constituency is in the Province of Armagh of the Church of Ireland I regret I am unable to assist. The Church of England has recently updated its own guidance, which is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/Equal_Access_to_Church_Buildings.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church of England will consider the potential merits of providing ringfenced funding to support Christians to self sustain overseas if they are denied employment due to their belief.

No one should be denied employment on grounds of their Christian beliefs save in the most limited and legitimate circumstances, such as under a genuine occupational requirement. The Church of England comprises many different charitable bodies, each of which has its own charitable purposes. Each body would need to consider whether the provision of such support furthered its objects and came within its powers. There is a difference between support for Christians generally and the promotion of the work and mission of the Church of England, which is the purpose of the national Church. For this reason, the national Church has no plans to provide such support.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church of England will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing the use of parish halls free of charge for (a) English classes for Ukrainian refugees and (b) community hubs for rurally based Ukrainians to meet.

There are a number of such welcome hub initiatives already taking place in church premises. The decision to waive or reduce fees for use of premises is at the discretion of the Parochial Church Council or relevant management committee.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church of England will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing accommodation on their land for people aged 55 and over with shared values.

The Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme has committed £2m towards the second Social and Sustainable Housing Fund [SASH II] managed by Social and Sustainable Capital. SASH II seeks to enable charities and social sector organisations to acquire and own portfolios of property so that they can provide a combination of high quality housing and targeted support to vulnerable people. More information can be found here: Church of England commits £2m to enable charities to purchase housing to support vulnerable people | The Church of England

The Archbishops’ Housing Commission made recommendations to the Church and Government about building new communities and the future use of land. An example is St Bride’s Church in Trafford, which worked with Trafford Housing Trust (THT) to release land that was used to build a new church and the Limelight Centre: 81 extra-care apartments for over 55 year-olds and a new expanded community centre. The full report from the Commission can be found here: Archbishops Housing Commission

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Sep 2022
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to the Global Forest Finance pledge announced on 2 November 2021 at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, if he will take steps to help establish an oversight body including indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure the money committed in that pledge is delivered to those communities.

The signing of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use by 145 world leaders committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. Alongside this political commitment, an ambitious policy package was announced. Specifically, 12 donor countries pledged to provide $12 billion (£8.75 billion) of public climate finance from 2021 to 2025 to a new Global Forest Finance Pledge (GFFP); the UK convened a $1.7 billion public and private donor pledge to advance Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ (IPLC) forest tenure rights; and 33 financial institutions committed to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.

On point 6, the UK is developing tools to drive transparency in the financial sector, including requirements for UK financial institutions to have a robust transition plan setting out how they will decarbonise as the UK meets its ambitious and legally binding net zero targets. The UK also actively supports the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), including £2.8m of funding for the development of a framework for corporates and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature.

There was a recent call for evidence regarding updating the green finance strategy, which closed in June 2022. This included questions regarding deforestation. We are in the process of analysing the responses to the call for evidence and will reflect on them, alongside other sources of evidence, including the Global Resource Initiative’s (GRI) finance report.

To ensure the money committed in the Pledge is delivered to these communities, a report on the progress of the GFFP will be presented by COP27. The UK is a leading member of the donor coordination group to advance IPLC pledge commitments and report on progress by COP27. The UK will continue to work with donors to ensure pledged funds are delivered to local communities and indigenous peoples.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2022
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to point 6 of the Glasgow Leader's Declaration on Forests and Land Use which committed signatories to facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, what steps the Government plans to take to implement that commitment.

The signing of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use by 145 world leaders committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. Alongside this political commitment, an ambitious policy package was announced. Specifically, 12 donor countries pledged to provide $12 billion (£8.75 billion) of public climate finance from 2021 to 2025 to a new Global Forest Finance Pledge (GFFP); the UK convened a $1.7 billion public and private donor pledge to advance Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ (IPLC) forest tenure rights; and 33 financial institutions committed to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.

On point 6, the UK is developing tools to drive transparency in the financial sector, including requirements for UK financial institutions to have a robust transition plan setting out how they will decarbonise as the UK meets its ambitious and legally binding net zero targets. The UK also actively supports the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), including £2.8m of funding for the development of a framework for corporates and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature.

There was a recent call for evidence regarding updating the green finance strategy, which closed in June 2022. This included questions regarding deforestation. We are in the process of analysing the responses to the call for evidence and will reflect on them, alongside other sources of evidence, including the Global Resource Initiative’s (GRI) finance report.

To ensure the money committed in the Pledge is delivered to these communities, a report on the progress of the GFFP will be presented by COP27. The UK is a leading member of the donor coordination group to advance IPLC pledge commitments and report on progress by COP27. The UK will continue to work with donors to ensure pledged funds are delivered to local communities and indigenous peoples.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the President of COP26, whether he has had discussions with representatives of the devolved Assemblies on sharing expertise on investment in (a) hydrogen and (b) renewable energy.

COP26 Devolved Administrations Ministers Meetings, chaired by the COP President, have formally convened five times. The COP President uses these meetings to consult devolved administration Ministers on a wide range of issues.

Domestic Energy Policy remains the responsibility of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). With support from the devolved administrations, BEIS has established an Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) that covers Net Zero, Energy and Climate Change. This brings together Ministers from the four administrations to discuss emission reduction efforts across the UK.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent assessment her Department has made of the prevalence of religion and belief discrimination in the workplace.

The prevalence of any alleged discrimination by employers because of religion or belief is not routinely monitored by government. However, there are clear provisions set out in the Equality Act 2010 which prevent employers from discriminating against an employee, or a prospective employee, because of religion or belief (including any lack of religion or belief).

The Government sponsors the Equality Advisory & Support Service, which is a free service offering help and advice to anyone who feels that they have suffered discrimination, and the EASS statistics for contacts to the service relating to religion or belief discrimination within employment over the last five years are:

YearNumber of contacts% of all contacts to the service
20181500.83%
20191790.97%
20201100.71%
20211931.17%
2022 (to date)590.84%

The year 2021 saw an increase in contacts, partly due to a number of people claiming that it was their philosophical belief to object to having a vaccination against Covid. Such concerns would be registered by the service under the ‘religion or belief’ protected characteristic category.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2022
To ask the President of COP26, whether he has had recent discussions with (a) the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and (b) Ministers in the devolved institutions on (i) sharing expertise and (ii) increasing investment in (A) hydrogen and (B) renewable energy technologies.

As the chair of the Climate Action Implementation Committee, the COP President meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues and Ministers, as well as with representatives of the Devolved Administrations on an ad hoc basis, to discuss how the UK can accelerate its transition to a low-carbon economy.

The UK Government is committed to achieving a fully decarbonised power system by 2035, and technologies including renewables and hydrogen energy will be critical to delivering on that ambition.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church Commissioners have had with Christians Against Poverty on protecting Christians from persecution.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK-based debt advice charity independent of the Church of England. Staff of the National Church Institutions have held discussions with CAP but these have not been on the protection of Christians from persecution.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on (a) the impact on women of waiting times for the diagnosis of and (b) the potential merits of additional funding for the training of specialists in endometriosis.

Equalities Ministers have regular discussions with other Ministers across government on a range of issues, including women’s health.

We have invested £520 million to improve access to general practitioners (GPs) during the pandemic. This is in addition to £1.5 billion in 2020 to create an additional 50 million GP appointments by 2024, which will improve access for patients with endometriosis. The NHS has also published the Delivery Plan for Tackling the COVID-19 Backlog of Elective Care which sets out a clear vision for how the NHS will recover and expand elective services over the next three years.

On 23 December 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care published ‘Our Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England’, which sets out ambitions to improve the health and wellbeing of women in England and reduce disparities. The Women’s Health Strategy will be published later this year.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
16th Jun 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what steps the Government is taking to play a leading in role in delivering on the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land Use.

The UK Presidency is continuing to lead international collaboration on Forest and Land Use, building on progress made at COP26. We held an international ministerial meeting on 1 June in Stockholm and we are continuing to work with countries that have endorsed the Declaration to gather views on implementation. We are creating a space for countries that are actively engaged in accelerating progress on the GLD to drive momentum and collectively address shared challenges.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on tackling climate change.

I have regular discussions with China’s Special Climate Envoy, Xie Zhenhua. We last spoke on the 16 February about the need for all countries to deliver on the commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to (a) raise awareness of and (b) tackle the matter of sexual harassment of young women in the workplace.

Every woman should be able to live without fear of harassment or violence in the workplace as much as anywhere else. In July 2021, as part of our strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, the Government announced a new package of measures which will strengthen protections for those affected by harassment at work.

We will introduce a new duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as explicit protections against harassment by third parties. We are also supporting the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop a statutory Code of Practice on workplace harassment, as well as preparing our own practical guidance for employers on preventing this issue.

In addition, the Government will be shortly launching a communications campaign to raise awareness and challenge behaviours that constitute violence against women and girls, including workplace harassment.

The steps we are taking will not only raise awareness of the nature and prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, but also motivate employers to prioritise prevention and ultimately improve workplace practices and culture.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to support teachers and education.

The Church of England has invested substantial resource in supporting the development of teachers and education.

At a diocesan level, every diocese has an Education team which provides training and support for the 4,600 Church of England schools across England.

At a national level the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership has invested in peer support leadership networks in which over 1,200 schools participate. These cover a variety of subjects important to education and also offer support for addressing mental health and well-being, grief, trauma and other issues that have been particularly important through the pandemic. The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership also provides excellent leadership development programmes and the Church of England is one of 9 national providers of National Professional Qualifications, offering the suite of NPQs to ensure CPD for staff in Church of England, catholic and community school is prioritised. These NPQs are fully funded for all teachers in all state schools in England and are a brilliant opportunity for teachers and schools to benefit from high quality coaching, support and CPD.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church has made of where persecution of religion and belief is most concerning.

Government restrictions on religion or belief have increased globally in recent years as have societal hostilities. Studies undertaken by the Pew Research Centre indicate that the level of religious restrictions is highest in the Middle East-North Africa region, but that some of the biggest increases in religious restrictions over the past decade have occurred in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, while the levels of social hostilities towards religion or belief norms have increase most in the Americas, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
24th Nov 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what plans he has to make representations to his Chinese counterpart on tackling climate change.

The Glasgow Climate Pact is a historic agreement. We have a roadmap to keep 1.5°C alive but this is based on commitments made and relies on concerted and dedicated delivery by all countries. We will continue to demonstrate strong UK leadership over our Presidency year to make sure promises are kept and delivered to the highest standards, working with parties and civil society partners to advance rapid progress.

Leading up to and at COP26, I held regular discussions with China’s Special Climate Envoy, Xie Zhenhua, and I look forward to continuing to work with China throughout the UK’s COP26 Presidency to implement and build on the pledges China has made this year.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that China is held accountable for the adequacy of its response to climate change.

The Glasgow Climate Pact is a historic agreement. We have a roadmap to keep 1.5°C alive but this is based on commitments made and relies on concerted and dedicated delivery by all countries. We will continue to demonstrate strong UK leadership over our Presidency year to make sure promises are kept and delivered to the highest standards, working with parties and civil society partners to advance rapid progress.

Leading up to and at COP26, I held regular discussions with China’s Special Climate Envoy, Xie Zhenhua, and I look forward to continuing to work with China throughout the UK’s COP26 Presidency to implement and build on the pledges China has made this year.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent estimate the Government has made of the proportion of women in work who are employed in the STEM sector.

It is difficult to give an accurate assessment of the proportion of women who are employed in the STEM sector as not all roles in the sector are STEM occupations. However, we want to ensure that women and girls can make informed choices about their career, including enabling more to work in STEM.

To enable more people into STEM sectors, the Government has introduced free courses through the National Skills Fund to enable adults to upskill and retrain.

In order to improve representation, we are encouraging more girls to take STEM subjects at school, college and university by rolling out several programmes and committing substantial funding to support STEM uptake.

In addition, we are improving careers advice in schools on routes into STEM careers, as well as sector specific action such as supporting the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code, managed by EngineeringUK.

Education and especially STEM is one of the key areas that the independent Gender Equality Advisory Council is looking at as part of our G7 Presidency and continues to be a key area for Government.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners are taking to provide affordable, sustainable and beautiful housing to support community wellbeing on the Church estate.

The Church Commissioners’ land portfolio currently has potential to deliver around 30,000 new homes across England. The aim is to deliver high quality new homes and employment opportunities to support and enhance their local surroundings. New developments provide a mixture of market and affordable homes and can include new primary and secondary schools, community facilities, local retail centres, libraries, sports facilities and new areas of public open space. Through best practice masterplanning and placemaking, the Church Commissioners seek to build new communities, and strengthen existing ones, helping to create and sustain vibrant and vital places.

The Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community, which reported earlier this year, set out a vision for housing centred on five core values: that good housing should be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying. The Church Commissioners support these values as a way of defining what good looks like as an important step in building thriving communities. The full report from the Archbishops’ Commission can be seen here: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/priorities/archbishops-commission-housing-church-and-community

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to tackle age discrimination in the workplace.

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) provides protection for those aged 16 and over against direct and indirect age discrimination in employment. The Act makes it unlawful for an employer to directly discriminate against an employee or a job applicant because of their actual or perceived age or the age of someone they are associated with. Differential treatment because of age is permitted if the employer can show that this is proportionate and in pursuit of a legitimate aim. There are also a number of other limited exceptions to the general prohibition.

It is also unlawful for an employer to indirectly discriminate on age grounds, for example by use of a recruitment policy which unjustifiably disadvantages particular age groups; to harass an employee for reasons related to their age and to victimise an employee for bringing or supporting a complaint under the Act.

A person who believes that they have experienced discrimination because of age, or other unlawful treatment, may take their case to an employment tribunal. Before doing so, we advise people to seek advice and if possible try to solve their issue through conciliation.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church has taken to support the covid-19 vaccination programme.

Support for the vaccine programme has been provided at the local and regional levels by clergy engaging pastorally in their communities, and the use of cathedrals and larger churches as vaccination centres. As part of the NHS-backed #GiveHope campaign, bishops and church leaders joined together in sharing video messages encouraging communities to seek accurate information on vaccines, hold local conversations, and to encourage one another to take up offers of vaccines: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/bishops-and-church-leaders-target-covid-vaccination

The Church has also been supporting VaccinAid, to encourage those who have been vaccinated to donate to enable other people around the world to have access to vaccines: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-releases/church-england-backs-vaccinaid-campaign-give-world-shot-help-defeat

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to (a) prevent and (b) relieve poverty.

Through its parish and diocesan networks, the Church of England is involved in an estimated 35,000 local community projects. A 2020 survey by the National Churches Trust found that 78% of Church of England churches were involved in supporting or operating food banks. The report can be read here: https://www.houseofgood.nationalchurchestrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/House-of-Good-AW-digital-small.pdf

The National Church Institutions are also investing in areas of low economic activity through strategic development funding. By the end of 2020, £56 million had been committed to areas of low economic activity through 77 projects. Of the 93 local authorities categorised by the Government as priority 1 for levelling-up, 48 contain projects receiving such funding. This is across 20 dioceses and focuses on younger generations and deprived communities in urban and rural contexts. Additional funding is also available to support parishes through lowest income communities funding and strategic transformation funding.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church has made of the impact on church attendance of online worship.

Though it is too early to assess the full impact of online worship, thousands of clergy have been provided with training to use new technology to enable them to produce virtual services. The majority of parishes have also offered some form of online worship live-streaming or bespoke recordings of worship and prayers


One specific advantage of online services has been the ability to broadcast weddings and funerals online. This has enabled family and friends to join in from across the world who may have been prevented from travelling.

The decision on whether to continue with some form of online resource alongside in-person worship will be taken at a parish level, taking into account the local community and accessibility needs.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to support regenerative agriculture, plant more trees and be good stewards of hedgerows on its land.

The Church Commissioners work with their tenants to support the good stewardship of their land and are currently undertaking a natural capital assessment of its estate. The majority of our agricultural land is tenanted, and the Commissioners new farm business tenancies strongly encourage good environmental practice such as ensuring watercourses are kept clear, hedgerows are well maintained, and topsoil is preserved.

The Church Commissioners direct landholdings currently total 184,700 acres as of the end of December 2020. 92,000 acres were in our Rural Portfolio, including land allocated for strategic development and 92,700 acres in our Timberland Portfolio. 120,500 acres (65%) of the Commissioners total land holding are in the UK, with the rest held across the globe. More detail can be found in the latest annual report, which is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/Church%20Commissioners%20Annual%20Report%202020.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
26th May 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent steps the Church has taken to support people who have lost loved ones during the covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, the Church of England has operated an online book of remembrance to help families commemorate loved ones lost during this period. In addition, the Church has continued to operate its grief counselling services at a parish level to support those in the community in need. Across the country, parishes have also broadcast funerals virtually, allowing family and friends of the deceased across the globe to participate in the ceremony.

Discussions have now started at St Paul's Cathedral about a permanent memorial. Conversations are at the early stages of exploring a new memorial within the cathedral to create a space to remember all those we have lost to this virus. Other local memorials or commemorations are also being considered where appropriate.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the average length of term agreed on farm business tenancies let by the Church Commissioners, other than in cases where a tenancy is replacing a previous tenancy let under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, was in each of the last five years to 2020.

In the last five years, ending with 2020, the average length of the term granted for new farm business tenancies over 50 acres across the Commissioners’ rural portfolio was:

2016

4.1

20174.9
20183.6
20193.5
20202.3

Such averages do not reflect the size of the holdings which were let during this period or the circumstances and rationale for each new farm letting.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the average level of compensation paid for tenants’ improvements following the expiry of farm tenancies let by the Church Commissioners was in each of the last five years, ending with 2020.

Compensation payments made by the Commissioners to their tenants are of a commercially sensitive nature.
The Church Commissioners discuss land and environmental improvement works with their agricultural tenants on an ongoing basis with a view to supporting enhancements to holdings. End of tenancy payments are made as appropriate to the scale and value of such improvement made.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, other than in cases where a tenancy is replacing a previous tenancy let under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 how many tenancies have been let (a) for an initial fixed term of five years or less (b) for an initial fixed term of five years or more in each of the last five years, ending with 2020.

The Church Commissioners’ and their managing agents review the term of each new farm letting and all tenancy renewals on a case by case basis. In the period 2016 to 2020, the number of holdings let by the Church Commissioners on a Farm Business Tenancy (on an area of more than 50 acres) for a term under five years is 64, with a further 30 new tenancies offered for a term of 5 years or more. Each holding is assessed at the time of letting, and other factors considered when determining term length.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what forums are available for the church to engage with its farm tenants on ideas for farm business development and environmental management of holdings.

The Church Commissioners’ rural portfolio is managed, day to day, by specialist rural agents who regularly engage with farm tenants, including farm visits, inspections and other forms of correspondence. During these discussions, the agents consider the tenants’ farm businesses and, where relevant, the environmental practices on each holding. Our tenants are encouraged to approach our agents at their own discretion to discuss new ideas and strategies which they may seek to implement on the Commissioners’ farms.

The Church Commissioners’ asset managers and managing agents frequently meet (in person when allowed and virtually), at which point any strategic changes to farm businesses and environmental practices are discussed and considered with a view to wider strategic decision making and the objectives of the Commissioners. In addition, the Commissioners’ asset management team typically carries out annual visits to estates and meets with tenants creating the opportunity to discuss any landlord and tenant matters directly.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church takes to engage with the farm tenants on its agricultural estate as part of its policies on ethical investment; and if he will make a statement.

The Church Commissioners’ rural portfolio is managed day to day by specialist rural agents. The agents hold regular meetings with the Commissioners’ farm tenants. The managing agents are aware of the Commissioners’ ethical investment policies and, as and when appropriate, they engage with the Commissioners’ tenants and asset managers regarding any ethical or other concerns.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to lengthen the terms of farm business tenancies on its agricultural estate to encourage (a) farm business resilience and (b) improved environmental management.

The Church Commissioners and their agents always consider the potential length of a farm business tenancy (FBT) on a case-by-case basis, with potential long-term tenancies offered when suitable.

To encourage farm business resilience, the Commissioners pay compensation for improvements where appropriate and encourage good husbandry of the land. Within FBT clauses, obligations on tenants to keep farm books and records and at all times to maintain and establish the maximum entitlements with respect to the holding further provide for sustainable businesses.

To encourage improved environmental management, we prevent the removal of topsoil and stipulate that watercourses must be kept clear from obstruction. In addition, for longer-term tenancies, soil analysis and testing is carried out at the beginning and end of the tenancy to ensure soil health is maintained to a satisfactory standard. We welcome approaches from tenants to discuss environmental schemes and, at such time, consider these proposals within the context of the wider holding.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions ahead of COP26.

The General Synod of the Church of England, at its meeting in February 2020, committed the Church of England to reach carbon net zero' by 2030. This year the Church of England's National Institutions have reviewed their Energy Footprint Tool, which enables parishes and cathedrals to monitor their carbon usage. The tool was launched in 2020, and it has been used by over 5,000 churches so far. More information can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/one-year-church-moves-forward-carbon-reduction-target

The Church of England Pensions Board is a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). This week the investor group has launched the 'Net Zero Investment Framework' following a period of industry-wide consultation. The framework will enable investors to maximise their contribution to the decarbonisation of the global economy and tackle climate change. More information can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/church-england-pensions-board-commits-global-net-zero-investment-framework

The Church Commissioners are committed to reaching a net-zero portfolio in 2050, and the Church of England's National Investing Bodies joined the UN Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance in 2020. More detail about the alliance can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/church-england-national-investing-bodies-join-un-convened-net

The Church Commissioners have instituted further climate-related investment restrictions to capture companies with significant greenhouse gas emissions but are not taking their responsibilities seriously to assist with the transition to a net-zero emissions economy. The Commissioners are also setting our first interim emissions reduction target as members of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, working with our public equities managers to achieve it.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to encourage (a) regenerative agriculture, (b) more treeplanting and (c) good stewardship of hedgerows across its rural estates.

The majority of the Church Commissioners rural estate is tenanted via secure long term agreements. Agreements that were drawn up after 1995 often include a combination of clauses which encourage regenerative agriculture and good stewardship of our landholdings, prohibit the removal of topsoil and the spraying and removal of hedgerows, require watercourses to be kept clear and ensure hedges are maintained.

The Church Commissioners are currently undertaking a natural capital assessment of our assets, and through this, the Commissioners hope to identify land across our estates that might be suitable for tree planting.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church has taken to provide support for the teaching of children at home during the covid-19 lockdown.

Church of England schools remained open during the pandemic for key worker children and also, where possible, for those who are unable to study at home. All teachers and staff in Church schools who are providing teaching and care at this difficult time deserve our deep gratitude.

Church schools moved rapidly to provide online lessons and resources, looking after children of key workers and overseeing the distribution of free school meal vouchers and technology to make online education possible. The Church is also delighted to have partnered with the Oak National Academy to provide assemblies and weekly collective worship for parents who are home-schooling.

Many parishes and cathedrals, such as Wakefield Cathedral, donated laptops and equipment to vulnerable children, which enabled these young people to continue to engage in education from home during the pandemic.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to provide affordable, sustainable and beautiful housing on land it owns.

The Church Commissioners have welcomed the report of the Archbishops' Housing Commission. The report 'Coming Home', about housing provision in the UK, calls for a national plan to tackle the housing crisis, it can be read here: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/priorities/coming-home

The Church Commissioners are producing a framework for the integration of material environmental, social and governance in the management of their Strategic Land, a summary of which can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Strategic%20Land%20ESG%20Integration%20%28ID%20217419%29.pdf

More information about some of the recent property developments on land owned by the Church Commissioners can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Strategic%20Land%20Case%20Studies%20%28ID%20217418%29.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what representations the church is making in countries where people are being persecuted for their faith or belief.

The Church of England has regular meetings with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office about countries where people are persecuted for their faith or belief so that Her Majesty’s Government can raise these vital issues with the Governments of the countries concerned.

The Church also engages with our heads of mission, civil society groups, and where possible, with the foreign Governments in question.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of whether the online broadcasting of services during the covid-19 outbreak has increased the number of people participating in worship.

The Church of England has seen a significant increase in public engagement with its online resources over the pandemic.
The National Church Institutions have produced a weekly online Sunday Service in video form since Mothering Sunday 2020, as well as the Daily Hope telephone line, podcasts and apps. The Sunday services have had more than 3.7 million views on Facebook and YouTube. A further 20,000 local online services and events have been listed on www.AChurchNearYou.com over the last year.

2020 saw an increase of almost 50% in downloads of Church of England apps for prayer and worship, with the apps used around 8 million times during this period. The National Institutions have continued to create resources for the major festivals, accessible on its website and social media. The current campaign #LiveLent is designed to take people on a journey of preparation ahead of Easter Day. This follows on from the #ComfortAndJoy resources, which reached millions during Advent and Christmas.

Most cathedrals and a majority of parishes offer a variety of online services and events: weekly services, morning and evening prayer, children and youth projects and social activities. These have helped grow worshipping communities nationally and internationally. Recent evidence has also shown that attendance at traditional Book of Common Prayer services has grown dramatically. More available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/stories-and-features/book-common-prayer-services-see-huge-numbers-tuning-seeking Digital services have also improved accessibility for those with disabilities.

Digital services are likely to continue for the time being and these will be different in each parish as clergy respond to local needs and circumstances. Training has been provided throughout the pandemic to thousands of clergy and laypeople to improve skills and familiarise themselves with the variety of platforms available.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress the church is making in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions across all its activities.

The National Church Institutions are currently assessing the carbon footprint of all church buildings through an Energy Footprint Tool. This enables parishes to input data from energy bills to create an energy rating. The tool suggests a plan for reducing the footprint of each building


You can read more about the project here: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/policy-and-thinking/our-views/environment-and-climate-change/about-our-environment/energy-footprint-tool

Over 5,000 church buildings have currently received feedback from the Energy Footprint Tool, and we hope many more will engage in the project this year when the scheme reopens. More information about the project one year on can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/one-year-church-moves-forward-carbon-reduction-target

Across the Church Commissioners Agricultural property portfolio, the Commissioners are encouraging our tenants to farm sustainably and join environmental stewardship schemes to plant trees and hedgerows wherever possible. In addition, we are undertaking a natural capital assessment, which will provide a baseline and trajectory of progress towards achieving lower carbon outputs.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners are taking to make sure their investments support a net zero carbon economy.

The Church Commissioners have committed to reaching a net-zero portfolio in 2050 and the Church of England's National Investing Bodies joined the UN Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance in 2020. More detail about the alliance can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/church-england-national-investing-bodies-join-un-convened-net

The Church Commissioners have instituted further climate-related investment restrictions to capture companies that have significant greenhouse gas emissions but are not taking seriously their responsibilities to assist with the transition to a net-zero emissions economy. We are also setting our first interim emissions reduction target as members of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, working with our public equities managers to achieve it.

The Church Commissioners are committed to the decarbonisation of the real economy, through engagement with policymakers and companies. The vision is for a net-zero carbon emissions global economy by 2050.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what role hospital chaplains are playing in supporting (a) patients and (b) the NHS during the covid-19 pandemic.

NHS chaplains have given their all in response to the unprecedented need for pastoral and spiritual support during the pandemic, with patients, in liaison with families unable to visit their loved ones, and with NHS staff under stress. Chaplains are an essential component in the care for the whole person that is central to the NHS’s vocation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has also been supporting patients at St Thomas’s Hospital, London as part of the chaplaincy team there and is regularly making time to speak to patients and support families and staff.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church has had with the Government on the Taylor review on the sustainable upkeep of places of worship.

The Church of England is responsible for around 16,000 church buildings in England, including 42 cathedrals, around three-quarters of which are listed (and more than half Grade I or Grade II*). The Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops' Council is in regular contact with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and is in ongoing conversations with Government about how to ensure the sustainability of these important national assets in the long term.

The staff of the Church Buildings Division also have regular meetings with government officials and Historic England, looking at the most effective way to support churches. This has necessarily changed through the COVID19 crisis and current work is drawing on the government-funded Taylor pilot projects in order to establish the best form of partnership to support recovery.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the church is providing to schools to help children's education during the covid-19 lockdown.

Church of England schools remain open for key worker children and also where possible for those who are unable to study at home. All teachers and staff in Church schools who are providing teaching and care at this difficult time deserve our deep gratitude. Church schools moved rapidly to provide online lessons and resources, looking after children of key workers and overseeing the distribution of free school meal vouchers and technology to make online education possible. The Church is also delighted to have partnered with the Oak National Academy to provide assemblies and weekly collective worship for parents who are home-schooling.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what types of support the church has provided to people in need during the covid-19 lockdown.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the many clergy and volunteers across the country who throughout the pandemic have kept running the approximately 36,000 community projects run or supported by local parish networks. These projects provide a range of services to the community, including food banks, debt advice services and other crisis facilities to ensure that those in greatest need still have access to support. Clergy have also supported vulnerable families, the bereaved and homeless throughout this time to find the help they need.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to support families during covid-19 lockdown.

The three lockdown periods of the last 12 months have seen considerable innovations by clergy and youth workers across the Church.

The Education Office of Church House Westminster has partnered with the Government's online Oak Academy to provide educational resources and materials for parents to use in home-schooling. Clergy have also been developing new resources, including virtual prayer services, school assemblies, study groups, fellowship meetings and craft workshops. That is in addition to online church services, bereavement counselling, marriage preparation and marriage support services.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking prevent the persecution of believers of all faiths.

The Church speaks up on behalf of all those who are unable to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief.

The Church of England is part of an international consortium that has just received £5.6 million from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to equip parliamentarians and religious leaders in eight countries in Africa and Asia to meet these challenges. As part of the new project, the Church of England and other consortium members will be helping parliamentarians and religious leaders with technical assistance and other expertise they need to propose solutions to such terrible human rights abuses in their own countries


The Church of England is continuing to engage with the International Panel for Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion and Belief. More information about that work is available here: https://www.ippforb.com/

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what additional support has been provided to (a) clergy and (b) churches to help people attend church (i) in person or (ii) online during lockdown.

Since the first lockdown, the Church Commissioners’ Cathedrals Sustainability Fund has enabled many cathedrals to improve their digital output, including live streaming of services.

There were nearly 36 million viewings of the Church’s Christmas “Comfort and Joy” series. For those who prefer the telephone, the Daily Hope worship line has received 350,000 free calls.

The National Church Institutions have now offered digital training to over 7,000 people, equipping them with practical skills in streaming services on a variety of different platforms. The national Sunday Service has been watched on 2.5 million individual devices, and many parishes and cathedrals are now live streaming regular daily services to their local communities.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the effectiveness of its communication strategy during the covid-19 outbreak.

The most recent assessment of the effectiveness of the Church of England’s Communications strategy during the covid-19 outbreak was prepared for the General Synod in June 2020. The full document can be read here:

https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/GS%20Misc%201249%20Covid-19%20Response.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to meet the needs of parishioners during the covid-19 outbreak.

At parish, diocesan and national level, the Church of England has been producing resources and delivering support to meet the spiritual and practical needs of those in its parishes throughout the covid-19 outbreak. This has included live and pre-recorded services, both local and national, pastoral support, children and youth work, bereavement care, support for foodbanks and other local charitable activities too numerous to list here, often assisted with resources provided centrally or at a diocesan level. The Daily Hope phoneline has also offered hope and prayerful support to those who are without access to online resources. Church schools have also been involved in supporting pupils and families with home learning during lockdown, as well as continuing to host children of key workers and vulnerable children on site. There is a dedicated coronavirus section of the Church of England website which provides further information: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches , and examples of the work that churches have undertaken during the outbreak can also be seen here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/stories-and-features

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to support children to return to school as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

During the period of lockdown Church of England schools remained open to the children of key workers and to vulnerable children, with teachers working extremely hard to provide support for children at school and those who remained at home.

Church of England schools continue to follow national guidelines on opening and teaching during the current stage of the pandemic.

Parishes have supported local schools and teachers during this difficult time, with examples including donations of equipment for pupils, and parish rooms and halls being made available for use as extra classrooms in cases where social distancing has required it.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the extent of the global persecution of Christians during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Church of England is in regular communication with the Government and the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief on the issue of persecution of Christians worldwide.

The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating the challenges facing Christians who have experienced persecution in some parts of the world as well as Christians and other faith groups in contexts of civil war. The leaders of the Anglican Communion are in close contact with each other to support in practical and prayerful ways.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to support mental health during the covid-19 pandemic.

A central part of the Church's mission is to provide grief counselling and prayer in times of need, as well as assistance to those under pressure through provision of food and other help to the vulnerable and shielding. Healthcare chaplains continue to work alongside community and acute mental health services.

Parishes have been supporting vulnerable individuals to remain in contact with family, friends and their community, digitally and where possible by direct face to face contact. The reopening of church buildings for prayer, worship, weddings, baptisms and funerals has also provided mental and spiritual succour to clergy, laity and community.

The Church remains particularly concerned for children and young people who are young carers or living in homes where domestic abuse and violence is present. The Church continues to remain open as a first point of contact for vulnerable people and to support local charities and refuges.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what representations he has received on the continuation of Sunday services at St Margaret's, Westminster.

I have received correspondence from some of the congregation of St Margaret's and have met with the Dean and Rector along with Mr Speaker to better understand the reasons for the changes that the Abbey wish to initiate at St Margaret's.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, how the Church is using its investment portfolio to encourage (a) ethical business practices and (b) a reduction in dependency on fossil fuels.

The engagement of the Church of England National Investing Bodies ('NIBs'), including the Church Commissioners, is guided by the commitments made by the National Investing bodies in a July 2018 General Synod debate on climate change and investment.

The NIBs reaffirmed their commitment to engage urgently and robustly with companies rated poorly by the Transition Pathway Initiative and, beginning in 2020, to start to disinvest from the ones that are not taking their responsibilities seriously to assist with the transition to a low carbon economy. More information about the Transition Pathway can be found here: https://www.transitionpathwayinitiative.org/tpi/overview

The NIBs have committed to disinvestment by 2023 from fossil fuel companies that they have assessed as not being prepared to align with the goal of the Paris Agreement to restrict the global average temperature rise to well below 2ºC. This assessment will be made drawing on TPI data.

In 2020 the National Investing Bodies joined the UN net-zero asset owner alliance. More information about their engagement can be found at the link: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/church-england-national-investing-bodies-join-un-convened-net-zero-asset

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress the Church of England is making on reopening (a) churches and (b) cathedrals for (i) worship, (ii) weddings and (Iii) other ceremonies.

Worship, weddings, christenings and funerals in COVID-secure church buildings where appropriate social distancing can be achieved, remain permitted and are unaffected by the most recent Government announcement. The Church of England's most up to date guidance on COVID can be seen here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress the Church of England is making on its plans to establish 2,700 churches over the next ten years.

In July 2020 the Church of England announced a Funding package worth £24 million to increase its presence in urban and deprived areas. More information can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/church-england-awards-ps24-million-grants-spread-christian-faith-towns-and

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress the Church of England has been made on increasing the number of ordinands.

550 people began training for ordained ministry in the Church of England last year and 570 deacons were ordained in 2019 to a curacy parish.

The number of stipendiaries, or paid clergy, remained stable at 7,700, between 2018 and 2019, following a period of decline. There were 7,830 Readers or licensed lay ministers compared to just under 10,000 in 2010. Readers and licensed lay ministers are not ordained but can lead worship and preach in churches, among other roles.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to support marriage (a) for couples on low incomes (b) more widely.

Couples who live within a parish or have a qualifying connection to it are able to marry in their parish church according to the rites of the Church of England. Marriage in a church remains a relatively inexpensive option, but an incumbent has the authority to waive some of the fees to help couples who may have particualr financial difficulties or who are on low incomes.

Many parishes attend wedding fayres and work with local businesses, such as florists and events planners, to increase awareness of the options available to couples to be married in their local church.

In response to the Law Commission's announcement of a consultation on reform of wedding law, a Church of England spokesperson said: "Our research shows that being married in a place that has meaning is still important to couples and their families. The moments of waiting to walk down the aisle, standing at the steps, exchanging timeless vows that can only be said in a church, and turning to walk out of the church as a newly married couple, are cherished."

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England plans to take to tackle the theft of lead from churches.

Thefts of metal and monumental stone from churches initially fell folliowing the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, but have begun to rise again. The Church of England submitted evidence to the Government's review of the Act and recommended legislation be updated to reflect new forms of thefts, the organised nature of the crime and smelting techniques. We await progress on that and in the meantime are working closely with the APPG for Metal Theft, Historic England and the Police, to support parishes that are impacted by this form of serious organised crime.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Church of England is providing to the church in South Sudan following the shootings of 32 people and the death of the Dean at the cathedral of Saint Luke's in South Sudan.

The deaths of the Dean and members of the congregation of St Luke's Cathedral South Sudan are both tragic and appalling.

In response to the recent attack the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa has called on "all peace-loving institutions to raise their voice and call for peace negotiations in South Sudan and dialogue to address the inter-communal violence."

The Church of England and the Vatican have been working together closely on initiatives to bring peace to South Sudan. The Church of England will continue to support reconciliation efforts and work with its international partners to end the protracted tribal conflict.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Church of England is providing to the church and people of Lebanon to recover and rebuild following the explosion in the port of Beirut.

Anglican institutions in Beirut were affected by the explosion. All Saints Episcopal Church and the Near Eastern School of Theology were severely damaged, being only a mile from the port. St Luke's school for disabled children thankfully escaped the blast, and the children were away because of the COVID-19 virus.

The Diocese of Jerusalem oversees the Anglican community in Lebanon, and the Church of England is supporting Archbishop Suheil Dawani's appeal to the Anglican Communion for support to repair damaged buildings and affected lives.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
22nd Jul 2020
What assessment the Government has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people.

The Government is committed to supporting disabled people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We continue to monitor and understand the impact of the pandemic on people who are disabled or have a health condition by using both existing and new data sources.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Church of England is receiving from (a) local authorities and (b central government to help reduce their carbon footprint.

The National Church Institutions of the Church of England are not receiving support from central government or local authorities to help reduce their carbon footprint. While there may be instances of local parishes being given one-off small grants, records of these are not held centrally.

The Church of England's General Synod met in February 2020 to discuss reducing the carbon footprint of the Church. The Synod voted to call upon all parts of the Church of England to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. More information about the vote at the Synod can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/general-synod-sets-2030-net-zero-carbon-target

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
10th Feb 2020
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent discussions the Church of England has had with (a) officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and (b) the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Freedom of Religion and Belief on the volume of attacks on the Christian communities throughout the world.

The Mission and Public Affairs Division of the Archbishop’s Council is in regular contact with the Freedom of Religion or Belief Team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has engaged on this issue with relevant embassy staff when travelling overseas. They have also had a series of meetings with the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Freedom of Religion or Belief since his appointment. Senior Church leaders have also had meetings with the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy in recent weeks.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
10th Feb 2020
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to inform and educate its clergy on (a) scientific advances and (b) new technologies.

The Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Division has partnered with the Universities of Durham and York to address gaps in understanding between science and religion. Equipping Christian Leaders in an Age of Science has been running for four years and has just been awarded £3.4m by the Templeton Religion Trust for its next phases. The team has organised 11 conferences enabling bishops and senior church leaders to engage with the latest developments in topics ranging from neuroscience to cosmology.

The Church of England is also a partner in the Centre for Doctoral Training in AI Ethics at the University of Bath, along with numerous other industry partners, gaining understanding which will be shared within the Church. The Bishop of Oxford is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI and is a board member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. The Church also made a submission to the recently-published consultation by the Committee for Standards in Public Life on the impact of AI on public life.

All this work on new technologies will feed into the Equipping Christian Leaders in an Age of Science project and the wider engagement of the Church on public affairs. In March 2020 three new pieces of research will begin. These are designed to deepen understanding of science and to resource and expand the reach of Church engagement. This research will take place at Durham University, York University and within the Mission and Public Affairs Division of the Archbishops' Council.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
10th Feb 2020
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to strengthen and marriage and family life.

At parish level clergy and parishioners often work with couples to prepare them ahead of their wedding for life together, support them afterwards, and through voluntary activities offer groups and facilities for families and children, which help sustain community.

Marriage preparation work will often include church-led marriage enrichment workshops and other courses and support for couples at every stage of their marriage. Through the Life Events programme the Church is working with clergy and other church leaders to enhance the depth of engagement with couples through wedding planning.

The Church, including through the Bishops in the House of Lords, continues to highlight and address the social and economic issues that place strain on married relationships, including the Bishop of St Albans’s work on the impact of gambling and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community. The Church of England also made a submission to the Government’s consultation on no-fault divorce and the Lords Spiritual have engaged with the legislation in Parliament.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions her Department has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the fiscal support available for employers who incur costs by making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees.

The Government is committed to protecting people with disabilities in the workplace. The Equality Act 2010 places obligations on employers in relation to disabled employees, including a duty to provide reasonable adjustments. However, the legislation recognises the need to strike a balance between the needs of disabled people and the interests of service providers. What is ‘reasonable’ will vary from one situation to another. This is because factors like the practicability of making the adjustment, the cost of the adjustment and the resources available to a business, will vary from one situation to another.

The government runs Access to Work, a demand-led discretionary grant scheme that offers up to £59,200 funding per year for in-work support for people whose disability or health condition affects the way they do their job. The scheme is designed to offer support above the level of employers’ statutory obligations under the Equality Act 2010, as well as providing advice to employers on in work support available for their employees which could include reasonable adjustments.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
20th Dec 2019
To ask the hon. Member representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to provide support to (a) Kurdish Christians and (b) other persecuted Christian groups.

(a) The Church of England is working closely to support Christan development and aid agencies to meet the humanitarian need of those who are displaced from the conflict in Syria.

The Church is continuing to encourage the Department for International Development and the wider international community to bolster the capacity of local civil society groups operating in the region. These groups, many of them faith-based, will be on the frontline of the humanitarian response in the months and years to come.

(b) The Church of England welcomes the decision by the Government to accept and implement the recommendations of the Truro Report to strengthen Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians. Church of England officials are providing advice and support to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as it takes forward the implementation of these recommendations. The Church welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment made in his Christmas message to stand in solidarity with Christians everywhere and to defend their right to practice their faith.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Attorney General, how many convictions for paedophilia were referred to her Department under the unduly lenient sentence scheme in 2023.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) receives requests to refer sentences under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal and publishes annual reports on the outcomes of the requests which it refers.

The annual report for 2023 has not yet been published. The latest annual report, for the year 2022, was published on 17 October 2023 (see Unduly lenient sentence annual case outcomes data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

The AGO also releases weekly statistics of requests to refer sentences. Weekly statistics for 2023, including requests to refer sentences for offences involving paedophilia (such as indecent images of a child, rape of a child under 13, and sexual assault of a child under 13) can be found at Outcome of unduly lenient sentence referrals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the impact of the unduly lenient sentencing scheme on levels of paedophile crime.

The Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme in England and Wales permits the Court of Appeal to review a sentence, correct a sentencing error, and give guidance on how to approach some of the most serious and complex sentencing exercises.

The Court of Appeal will only grant permission to refer a sentence in exceptional circumstances: for example, if the judge has passed a sentence that falls outside the range of sentences which a judge, applying their mind to all the relevant factors before them, could properly consider appropriate, or if the judge has made some gross error in law.

The scheme is kept under constant review. In November 2019, 14 new offences were added to the scheme. These included offences relating to indecent images of children.

In 2022, the Law Officers referred 139 cases to the Court of Appeal. The Court granted leave to refer in 105 (75%) cases and the sentence was increased in 95 (68%) cases. Of the 95 cases in which the sentence was increased, 23 (24%) were sentences for child sex offences.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what discussions she has had with the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland on increasing conviction rates for (a) theft and (b) burglary.

The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland (PPSNI) is entirely independent and is not superintended by the Attorney General.

The Attorney General, as Advocate General for Northern Ireland, has limited statutory functions in relation to the PPSNI and the performance of the PPSNI does not fall within this remit.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what steps he is taking to improve the conviction rate for cases relating to violence against women and girls.

Tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) remains one of this government’s top priorities.  The CPS has already undertaken significant work on rape and domestic abuse (DA) designed to improve the investigation and prosecution of these offences. Last month the new national operating model for adult rape was launched, which focuses on building stronger cases at an earlier stage, through joint working with police. Increases in specialist RASSO workforce will further support the prosecution of these crimes. A new VAWG strategy for 2023-2025 is being developed for publication later this year. This will create a framework to address the challenges of these crimes across the criminal justice system. Since our significant investment in improving the handling of rape cases, not least through the Joint National Action Plan (JNAP), the national operating model and the publication of the Rape Review in 2021, more cases are getting to court.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
17th Apr 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what discussions she has had with the Department of Communities NI on preventative steps to tackle benefit fraud in Northern Ireland.

The Attorney General has had no discussions with the Department of Communities NI regarding benefit fraud.

The welfare system in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what recent discussions she has had with her counterparts in the devolved administrations on court delays due to covid-19; and if she will take steps to support those administrations in tackling those delays.

The Attorney General’s Office have had no recent discussions with counterparts in devolved administrations in relation to court delays. In England and Wales, court delays are a matter for the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunal’s Service.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what recent discussions she has had with the Serious Fraud Office on victims of fraud; and what steps she is taking to help ensure that victims of fraud are compensated accordingly.

I meet regularly with the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to discuss casework and corporate matters, including issues connected to victims of crime and compensation.

The SFO always aims to trace and seize money and other assets from criminals in all of its fraud, bribery and corruption cases, so that criminals do not benefit from their offending and victims can be compensated wherever possible.

The SFO continues to perform well in this regard and its proceeds of crime recovery rate was higher than all comparable UK agencies in three of the last four years. Last year, the SFO recovered the fourth highest amount in value out of 180 agencies across England and Wales, after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Metropolitan Police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), all of which are much larger organisations. Its success in recovering the proceeds of crime and the work of its Witness Care Team in supporting victims – sometimes totalling thousands in a single case – and witnesses were also positively recognised in two HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) inspection reports published in the past year.

Internationally, the SFO recently obtained £210,610 in compensation as a result of its investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited. The funds will be transferred by the UK Government to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and will support key infrastructure projects, ensuring that the people of Nigeria benefit directly.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Attorney General, how many people have been charged with attempted murder in each of the last three years by age group.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of people charged with and prosecuted for attempted murder. This information could only be obtained by an examination of CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

While no data is held reporting the number of people prosecuted specifically for attempted murder, the CPS can report the number of defendants where the prosecution was flagged under the ‘homicide’ category at finalisation.

The ‘homicide’ category includes offences of murder, manslaughter, causing death by driving dangerously, carelessly or under the influence of alcohol/drugs. The corresponding inchoate offences, such as conspiracy, solicitation, or criminal attempts, are also assigned to this category. It is not possible to separately report prosecution outcomes by the individual offences allocated to this category.

The table below shows by age group, the number of prosecutions in which defendants were allocated the ’homicide’ category at finalisation during each of the last three years.

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

10-13

0

2

0

14-17

113

103

75

18-24

382

315

306

25-59

753

724

584

60-69

52

55

43

70-79

18

21

30

80+

16

17

14

Not Provided

26

8

12

TOTAL COMPLETED PROSECUTIONS

1,360

1,245

1,064

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Attorney General, what steps he is taking to help increase the number of successful prosecutions for cases involving child abuse.

Child sexual abuse cases are some of the most challenging, complex and sensitive cases. They are dealt with by specially trained prosecutors, working closely with the police to build the strongest possible cases that meet the legal test. In 2020-2021 there were 6,402 prosecutions for cases classified as child abuse. In the same period the conviction rate was 85.6%, an increase of 2.7% on the previous year.

The government has successfully rolled out Section 28 for vulnerable victims and witnesses, including children, in all Crown Courts from November 2020. We know that Section 28 provisions which provide for pre-recorded cross-examination can help to improve the experience of victims by enabling them to give their evidence earlier in the process and outside of the courtroom.

The CPS has comprehensive Legal Guidance for prosecutors on cases involving child abuse. This Guidance supports prosecutors to build strong cases and bring effective prosecutions. It is currently being updated to take account of the latest developments in law and policy.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Education to teach an understanding of the law among young people.

I chair a Public Legal Education Committee, and regularly engage with stakeholders and other government departments to explore how we can increase public understanding of the law.

I work closely with my Ministerial colleagues to improve provision of Public Legal Education, and I recently met with The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Education, to discuss how to ensure young people have a strong understanding of the law.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps the Government is taking to (a) tackle the rise in reported male domestic abuse and (b) improve rates of prosecution for male domestic abuse.

The CPS takes cases of domestic abuse extremely seriously and is determined to provide all victims, irrespective of gender, with the greatest possible protection from offending and reoffending.

The CPS provides comprehensive guidance and training on domestic abuse to prosecutors. This includes specific guidance on how to deal with cases involving male victims. The CPS has also led the implementation of a national Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework in magistrates’ courts across England and Wales. The framework aims to ensure consistent good practice by all criminal justice agencies that deal with cases of domestic abuse.

29th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has had discussions with the Police Service of Northern Ireland on lessons learned from data breaches.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is devolved and has operational independence. It is for the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) to monitor and provide oversight of PSNI performance.

The PSNI and the NIPB commissioned an independent review into the data breach and a report was published on 11 December 2023.

The Government’s focus following the data breaches of August 2023 was on providing specialist support and expertise to the PSNI in its handling of this issue. Officials in the Cabinet Office chaired regular operational meetings - initially daily - bringing together the PSNI, Government Departments and the Security Services, to ensure that their collective skills, including cyber-expertise, were brought to bear in supporting the PSNI.

The Government published on 14 December 2023 technical guidance relating to the approach to be taken by FOI practitioners across central government when a requestor asks for disclosure in a spreadsheet format.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to (a) find and (b) remove Chinese surveillance technology from national security infrastructure.

The UK takes its national security extremely seriously and has taken robust action to secure and protect its national security infrastructure.

Following Royal Assent of the Procurement Act on 26 October 2023 the Government committed to publishing a timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of China from sensitive sites within six months.

To meet this commitment, the Cabinet Office has been working with departments to identify any such equipment on their sensitive sites, and will publish a timeline for when the removal process will be complete, by 26 April 2024.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what data his Department holds on trends in the level of theft in rural areas in the last five years.

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

A response to the Hon gentleman’s Parliamentary Question of 21 November is attached.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has taken recent steps to (a) increase efficiency in Government Departments and (b) reduce the number of civil servants.

The Government is committed to increasing efficiency in Departments. The Cabinet Office and HM Treasury continue to deliver the efficiencies identified through the Efficiency and Savings Review undertaken earlier this year, building on the 5% efficiency challenge set at Spending Review 2021.

This summer the Cabinet Office published £4.4bn of savings generated by the government functions in 2021/22 as part of an ongoing programme. The Government also published the Government Efficiency Framework to drive efficiencies through more accurate reporting and appropriate oversight to track delivery.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a cap to the Civil Service's expansion, putting in place a plan to reduce its numbers to pre-pandemic levels and to increase public sector productivity.

19th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department holds data on the number of sick days taken by Northern Ireland civil service staff in 2022.

The Cabinet Office does not hold this information and I refer the Hon Gentleman to the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

22nd May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help support companies registered in Northern Ireland compete for UK-wide public contracts.

The Procurement Bill, currently being debated by Parliament, will create a simpler and more transparent public procurement regime that will make it easier for suppliers to bid for UK public contracts. Contracting authorities in Northern Ireland are included within the scope of the Bill, so companies registered in Northern Ireland will be able to compete for opportunities from those authorities as well as those on the UK mainland. Companies in Northern Ireland can already access UK public contracting opportunities worth over £12K on Contracts Finder.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
15th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he is taking steps to develop a measure for social vulnerability as an indicator of (a) socio-economic resilience and (b) how risks impact across communities and vulnerable groups.

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

A response to the Hon Gentlemen’s Parliamentary Question of 15 May is attached.

15th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the impartiality rules operate in the same manner in each branch of the civil service across the UK.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants to uphold the Civil Service’s core values, which are integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. Impartiality, and in particular political impartiality, is one of the fundamental values of the Civil Service. Impartiality means all civil servants must serve the Government, whatever its political persuasion, to the best of their ability.

Civil servants working for the Scottish and Welsh Governments, and their agencies, have their own versions of the code. Similar codes apply to the Northern Ireland civil service and the Diplomatic Service.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to encourage veterans to use housing support available through the Veterans’ Gateway.

This Government is committed to ending veteran homelessness this year. That is why the Chancellor allocated an additional £20m for veterans’ housing in the Spring Budget, further to the £8.55m already announced in December to help us achieve our mission.

The Veterans’ Gateway service is the Government funded first point of contact for veterans and their families, providing advice and guidance across a spectrum of welfare areas, such as housing, employment, and health, from a consortium of third sector organisations.

Charities, service providers and Government routinely signpost veterans to the Gateway, and further information on the Op FORTITUDE homelessness referral pathway will be passed to the Gateway in due course, allowing veterans in need to be directed to this vital new service.

We have also recently announced a major review into welfare provision for veterans, including the Veterans’ Gateway, which has been commissioned as a result of changes and advances in veteran care during the last decade. This will examine the effectiveness of welfare services, and its recommendations for improvements will be published following the review’s completion.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to encourage civil service staff to return to office working.

Departments are responsible for making corporate decisions regarding the working arrangements of their staff and a return to greater workplace-working.

The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency wrote to departments, in 2022, to underline the importance of workplace attendance and clear guidance for staff in this regard - progress continues to be closely monitored. Departments will have in place local arrangements in response to this; information is not collected centrally on methods to encourage staff to return to workplaces.

Data on Civil Service headquarters occupancy is published weekly on GOV.UK and split out by individual departments. This data can be accessed at the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-headquarters-occupancy-data

26th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have died of heat stroke in the UK in the last ten years.

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

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 26 January is attached.

11th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on the UK's cyber security strategy since COP27; and if he will make a statement.

The government continues to make progress on a wide range of commitments in the National Cyber Strategy 2022. This includes maintaining our focus on the heightened cyber threat linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and working to raise levels of cyber resilience, particularly across government and our critical national infrastructure. In November the government confirmed that the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations will be strengthened to protect essential and digital services against increasingly sophisticated and frequent cyber attacks both now and in the future.

In line with our ‘whole of society’ approach to implementing the Strategy, we have established the National Cyber Advisory Board. Co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Chief Information Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, Sharon Barber, the Board ensures that senior leaders from the private and third sectors challenge, support and inform the UK’s strategic approach to cyber.

7th Dec 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to tackle Chinese threats to UK security.

Our approach to China is comprehensive and coordinated across government, allowing us to robustly defend our values whilst preserving space for cooperation where our interests align.

Earlier this year, we introduced the National Security Bill to Parliament; this Bill will help us to respond to the evolving threat from hostile activity by any state targeting the UK’s democracy, economy and values by making the UK an even harder target for those who seek to conduct hostile acts against the UK.

The UK has also enhanced our economic security regime and taken robust action to build our domestic resilience. We have:

  • Announced the application of Military End Use Controls to China as part of our revised export control regime, in order to prevent military programmes benefiting from our advanced technology and research by UK firms and institutions.

  • Strengthened visa screening of academics and researchers in sensitive areas of research through the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).

  • Stepped up engagement with and guidance to our higher education and research sectors to alert them to potential risks.

  • Launched the National Security and Investment Act, giving the government new powers to address national security risks arising from investment.

The refresh of the UK’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy will ensure that our approach continues to adapt to meet new challenges.

24th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate of the number of children who were victims of domestic violence in the UK in the last 12 months.

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

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 24 October is attached.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to strengthen the UK's cyber security in the context of the potential increased risk of malicious cyber activity from Russia.

Our new National Cyber and Government Cyber Security Strategies set out our approach to making the UK more resilient to cyber attacks and countering cyber threats. We have undertaken significant outreach within the Government and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sectors, and the UK Devolved Administrations, providing mitigating advice to bolster the UK’s cyber preparedness.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster recently wrote to Cabinet colleagues to seek assurances that their departments and sectors are implementing the necessary resilience measures.

All organisations should follow the NCSC’s guidance on actions to take when the cyber threat is heightened. Individuals should follow the NCSC’s Cyber Aware guidance.

16th May 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions he has had with his (a) French and (b) German counterpart on how to further assist Ukraine.

In the run up to and during this conflict, I have spoken regularly with President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz, reaffirming in each conversation the united condemnation of Putin’s barbaric actions and the importance of our nations continuing to work closely together. I have also discussed support for Ukraine on a call with G7 and European Leaders on 8 May ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Germany next month.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department is co-ordinating discussions with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Department for Health and Social Care on a definition of health and wellbeing as it applies to the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy.

I refer my hon Friend to the reply given by my Rt Hon Friend the Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change (Greg Hands) to Question UIN 128456.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of cot deaths in the UK in each of the last five years.

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

5th Jan 2022
NHS
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has a role in (a) ensuring that the NHS is training enough doctors and nurses and (b) developing policies on the structure, and any potential restructuring, of the NHS.

The Cabinet Office’s role is to support DHSC in delivering the priorities of the Prime Minister and the government, which includes training more doctors and nurses. The NHS has over 5,100 more doctors and over 9,700 more nurses than last year and is on track to train 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament - as per our manifesto commitment. The Cabinet Office is also supporting DHSC with the Health and Care Bill, which delivers on the NHS reform proposals set out in the 2019 Long Term Plan.

9th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that women who leave the armed forces are not subject to (a) abuse or (b) attacks.

The Government takes the issue of women’s safety incredibly seriously and we are determined to tackle crimes which disproportionately affect women and girls.

We are also committed to providing the best support available for veterans and their families as they transition back into civilian life. This includes ensuring they know where to turn to access support if they need it. NHS services and charities provide a wide range of help and advice, such as Forward Assist and their women-veterans-specific projects.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) the Department for Health and Social Care and (b) other government departments in tackling backlogs resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has put the recovery of public services at the heart of its building back better and levelling up agenda. In doing so, we have already laid the foundations for a strong recovery.

To support the Department of Health and Social Care, the Government has committed £5.9 billion of capital for elective recovery, diagnostics, and technology over the next three years. In addition, the Government has also committed almost £500 million to target the backlog in the criminal justice system.

This work continues at pace across Government. The Cabinet Office continues to work closely with departments to support the world class public services that the UK provides.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on the operation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.

President Macron and I speak regularly. As neighbours and historic partners, the UK and France work together on a huge range of issues, including the operation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement


The UK is committed to implementing the Withdrawal Agreement in the best interests of UK nationals in the EU, EU citizens in the UK and businesses across the UK including Northern Ireland. We have been maintaining extensive discussions with the EU and its Member States on all areas of Withdrawal Agreement implementation, including notably on the Northern Ireland Protocol and citizens' rights.


I have raised the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol with President Macron on several occasions, including during our discussion at the G20 Summit last month.

24th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions the Government has had with its EU counterparts on trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Lord Frost met Vice President Šefčovič in Brussels on 15 April. He has been in regular contact with the Vice President since then and his team maintains engagement at all levels with the Commission through the Withdrawal Agreement structures.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have died due to an overdose of paracetamol in each of the last five years.

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

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the birth rate was in each month since January 2020 to date.

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

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to support veterans charities which cannot cover their costs and are unable to undertake normal fundraising during the covid-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 Impact Fund has provided nearly £6m in grants to over 100 Armed Forces charities across the United Kingdom, including a number who are based, or operate, in Northern Ireland to support them through the immediate effects of the pandemic. These charities have ranged from smaller local charities to larger, household names. Many charities have also utilised the Government’s employment and other financial support schemes to help sustain them through the pandemic. In addition the Government has continued to provide £10m to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, some of which has also been made available to help charities respond to the direct impacts of COVID-19. Ministers have continued to hold discussions with the Armed Forces charity sector throughout this period and continue to monitor the financial impact on the sector closely.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Government Minister has responsibility for rural social isolation.

The UK Government’s work on loneliness is coordinated by DCMS and led by Baroness Barron. Lord Gardiner, as Rural Affairs Minister, works closely with her to make sure the needs of those living in isolated rural communities are properly considered and taken into account.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have died as a result of chickenpox in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each of last five years.

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

16th Mar 2020
To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, how the Church of England plans to deliver on the General Synod's decision to make the Church carbon zero by 2030.

The Church of England is committed to reducing its own carbon footprint and is developing several strategies to deliver this, including across its 44,000 properties and schools.

The General Synod at its meeting in February 2020 committed the Church to report back in three years time on whether it could meet the ambitious target set by the Synod of decarbonising the Church by 2030.

One of the first steps has already started and many listed buildings have started exploring installing new renewable technology to improve their energy use. A good example is Gloucester Cathedral, a grade 1 listed building, which has managed to install solar panels on its roof.

The Church is working with A Rocha to recognise achievement by church buildings and dioceses with Eco-Church awards at either bronze, silver or gold standard.

A new initiative the Church has developed is an energy rating tool for church buildings, which calculates the energy consumption of the parish church. It takes into account factors including the type of power the parish uses, whether they are on 'green' tariffs, the size of the building and usage.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she has taken to support the ceramic industry financially since the covid-19 pandemic.

Eligible businesses in the ceramics sector are eligible to apply for the government’s Energy Intensive Industry (EII) Exemption Scheme and have received around £15m from it since 2013.

The sector will also benefit from the related British Industry Supercharger (BIS), with the government committed to rolling out its measures between April 2024 and April 2025.

This is in addition to the broader support with energy bills provided for business through the Energy Bill Relief and Discount schemes and the support provided by the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) to help invest in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will take steps to help encourage more trade between the UK and its neighbours.

This Government continues to support UK firms to export and invest. We have published our Export Strategy which sets out the support we provide to companies and investors through our network of international trade advisers, sector specialists, and the export support service.

Ministers and officials meet European partners to promote trade and investment opportunities, remove barriers to trade and support UK businesses. In addition to our trade agreements with the European Union and the EEA/EFTA, we are negotiating an enhanced FTA with Switzerland and will continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen economic ties with our neighbours.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to encourage SMEs to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains.

The Government is committed to supporting SMEs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the key objectives of the Net Zero Council, co-chaired by Energy Minister Graham Stuart, is identifying the key challenges facing SMEs up and down the country in reducing their carbon footprints and supporting their transition with new guidance and advice.

The Department of Trade and Business continues to support small businesses, providing access to information and guidance on tackling a range of issues and challenges facing SMEs.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that a UK-Switzerland trade deal includes provisions for the (a) digital, (b) data and (c) investment sectors.

The Department for Business and Trade is making good progress in negotiations on an enhanced UK-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement. Both the UK and Switzerland agree this should include outcomes in areas such as digital, data and investment.

For investment, UK negotiators are seeking legally guaranteed preferential access to the Swiss market for UK investors and companies. On digital, the UK aims to enhance trade commitments such as those supporting paperless trading. For data, UK objectives include seeking to prevent unjustified localisation, facilitating the free flow of data, and upholding the UK’s high standard of personal data protection.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what discussions her Department has had with automotive manufacturers on levels of production of electric vehicles in Europe; and what assessment she has made of the potential impact of those levels on uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) provides support for the uptake of plug-in vehicles in the UK.

The UK’s automotive manufacturing sector is the second highest by value in Europe, employing 166,000 people and with an annual turnover of £70 billion. As part of the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, we have announced £2bn of new capital and R&D funding to 2030, boosting the UK’s competitiveness.

Government engages closely with industry and automotive manufacturers to understand the impact of European competition and opportunities, including on consumers.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to enforce attendance at the workplace.

The Government has no plans to make an assessment of bringing forward legislative proposals to enforce attendance at the workplace. The Government has been clear that it is for individual employers, working with their employees, to make arrangements which best suit both parties.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to regulate the use of additional charges (a) on travel booking sites and (b) by (i) airlines and (ii) travel companies.

The Government consulted on options for how additional fees and so-called drip pricing should be regulated.

Following assessment of the consultation responses, the Government announced in the Autumn Statement that it will be introducing new measures to tackle drip pricing. Further details will be provided in the Government's formal response to the consultation.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of re-introducing a 6% import duty on urine drainage bags on (a) patients, (b) supply chain resilience and (c) costs to the NHS.

In 2021 the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023.

Departmental officials have received separate feedback on the suspension on this product and are considering information provided by industry alongside wider Government analysis.

The Government balances various interests when setting tariff policy. These include those of UK producers and consumers, as well as strategic trade objectives such as its FTA agenda and its commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department has had recent discussions with (a) the MedTech Directorate and (b) HMRC on the level of duty applied to the import of drainage bags; and whether she plans to extend the duty suspension expiration period beyond 31 December 2023.

In 2021 the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023.

Departmental officials have received separate feedback on the suspension on this product and are considering information provided by industry alongside wider Government analysis.

The Government balances various interests when setting tariff policy. These include those of UK producers and consumers, as well as strategic trade objectives such as its FTA agenda and its commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department is taking steps to remove import duty on urine drainage bags.

In 2021 the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023.

Departmental officials have received separate feedback on the suspension on this product and are considering information provided by industry alongside wider Government analysis.

The Government balances various interests when setting tariff policy. These include those of UK producers and consumers, as well as strategic trade objectives such as its FTA agenda and its commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has held recent discussions with the lithium battery manufacture industry on support for Cornwall Lithium.

To accelerate the growth of domestic capabilities, government has supported several critical mineral projects. Funding has been targeted towards projects that actively build innovative, resilient value chains in the UK and contribute to our clean energy transition.

Cornish Lithium have received support via the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). Government has also backed British Lithium through the ATF, which on 29 June announced a joint venture with Imerys to mine lithium in Cornwall.

Additionally, UK Infrastructure Bank recently announced an equity investment of approximately £24 million to support Cornish Lithium in the development of the UK’s critical minerals supply chain.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department plans to take steps to review (a) the safety and (b) regulating the sale of e-bike batteries.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has established a safety study to understand data and evidence of risks presented by e-bikes and e-scooters. This includes investigating incidents and taking enforcement action when needed, commissioning research, targeting unsafe products at the border, providing public safety information.

The Government is committed to ensuring consumers are protected from unsafe goods. UK law requires that all consumer products be safe before being placed on the UK market.

Where products are identified that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements, OPSS works with local Trading Standards to quickly remove them from sale.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of changes in the level of the availability of workers.

The recent Budget sought to address the barriers to participation in the Labour Market through a wide-reaching support package.

For the Department for Business and Trade, this included measures on flexible working where we are reforming the statutory framework to provide all employees with the right to request flexible working from their first day of employment. These changes will significantly improve employees’ ability to request flexible working and bring an estimated additional 2.2 million people into scope of the entitlement. Evidence shows flexible working can help people stay in and return to work.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on levels of trade for UK businesses in each of the next five years.

Joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) could boost the UK economy by £1.8 billion each year and increase UK exports to CPTPP by £1.7 billion in the long run according to our published scoping assessment.

When the UK’s accession enters into force, UK businesses will be able to trade with all CPTPP members on preferential terms and the Government will support British businesses in seizing the opportunities created by our membership of CPTPP.

Accession could enhance the already strong trade links between Northern Ireland and CPTPP members, which for Northern Ireland goods exports alone was worth over £900 million in 2022.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of trends in the level of growth of the hospitality sector in the period since the end of covid-19 restrictions.

We are working closely with the Hospitality Sector Council, a collaboration between government and the hospitality sector, to deliver the 2021 Hospitality Strategy, with the aim of building the sector’s long-term resilience. A Delivery Report showing progress made was published in March.

The Council’s business-led working groups are considering ways to improve business resilience following the pandemic, including innovation and sustainable practices, energy efficiency, jobs and skills, local partnerships and improving access to finance.

ONS inflation-adjusted data shows that the aggregate output of the hospitality sector in March 2023 was 0.4% above March 2022 levels, when most COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted. Output in the 12-months to March 2023 was 7.1% above 2019 levels.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to help ensure that all eligible workers are paid holiday pay.

Almost all workers are entitled to statutory paid annual leave. The government has produced guidance for employers and workers on how holiday pay should be calculated. If workers feel that they are being denied their holiday pay, they should speak to their employer or to Acas for free and impartial advice on employment matters. Workers can also make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent steps she is taking to help ensure that small and medium-sized businesses remain viable in the context of the increases in the cost of living .

Businesses will have benefitted from the Government’s reversal of the National Insurance rise, saving SMEs approximately £4,200 on average and raising the Employment Allowance to £5000. In addition, the Spring Budget provides further cost of living support to households by freezing fuel duty and maintaining the 5p cut for a further year.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme has protected SMEs from high energy costs over the winter and eligible businesses will continue to benefit through the Energy Bill Discount Schemes. The Autumn Statement announced £13.6 billion of support for businesses over the next five years, reducing the burden of business rates for SMEs.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to help promote drinks produced by distilleries in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Business & Trade provides bespoke export advice and support available to distilleries in Northern Ireland through dedicated resource in the Northern Ireland team.

The Department has a dedicated workplan of export promotion activities including a strong UK presence at tradeshows such as Prowein in Germany this month, webinars through the UK Export Academy and inward buyer visits.

We work in close partnership with trade associations such as the Irish Whiskey Association to help whiskey exporters capitalise on the global demand for UK food and drink whilst we work to open new markets for their products.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps her Department is taking to support families that are not eligible for universal credit support with their heating bills.

Energy prices have fallen significantly compared to last winter, and the Government is continuing to support those most in need.

Millions of vulnerable households are receiving up to £900 in further Cost of Living Payments, with an extra £150 to those on eligible disability benefits, in addition to established financial support available for low income and vulnerable households through the Winter Fuel Payment and the Warm Home Discount.

The Government has announced an increase to the National Living Wage benefiting around 2.7 million workers, an increase to benefits of 6.7%, and tax cuts which will benefit around 27 million people.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an assessment with Cabinet colleagues of the potential merits of introducing funding to help small businesses implement infrastructure changes to help them cut their emissions.

The Government recognises that small businesses are keen to cut emissions and tackle climate change but require support to do so. Business support for net zero is mostly devolved to the Devolved Administrations and Local Authorities. However, the Government, in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, is currently piloting a Business Energy Advice Service offering small and medium-sized enterprises free advice and funding for energy and emissions savings measures. The Government also recently launched Phase 3 of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) which provides grant funding towards the cost of projects that reduce industrial energy consumption and carbon emissions through investment in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what progress she has made on (a) meeting net zero targets and (b) reducing energy costs.

The UK over-achieved against the first and second carbon budgets, and the latest projections show that it is on track to meet the third. The UK has halved its emissions, ahead of every other major economy.

The transitions set out in the Net Zero Strategy for every sector of the UK economy keep it on track for Carbon Budgets 4, 5 and 6, the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution, and net zero by 2050.

A main driver of energy costs for consumers are movements in international gas prices. Prices have come down continually over the last 12 months, and the Default Tariff Cap is currently £1,928, which is less than half the level of this time last year when it reached £4,279 at the peak of the energy crisis. The Government is developing more home-grown sources of energy supply – including renewables – to reduce exposure to volatile international markets which, along with energy efficiency support for consumers, will help reduce energy costs.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will take steps to provide additional financial support to households in Northern Ireland that have high energy use for medical purposes in winter 2024-25.

Energy policy is devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The UK Government is providing a package of support that will total over £104 billion, or £3,700 per household on average, over 2022-2025, to assist households and individuals with rising costs of living. As part of this package, millions of vulnerable households will receive up to £900 in further Cost of Living Payments. These payments apply to Northern Ireland.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on reducing the cost of diesel.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a number of issues.

The Government is committed to ensuring drivers get a fair deal for fuel and has launched a consultation on the PumpWatch scheme which will require petrol-filling stations to share price information within 30 minutes of a change. This will drive down prices by reigniting competition and empowering drivers to find the best deals. Road fuels prices are down over three consecutive months. Petrol prices are now at a level not seen since mid-October 2021 following our work to bring transparency to the market.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what her policy is on new tidal energy projects.

Tidal stream is eligible for the Contracts for Difference scheme, which is the Government’s main mechanism for supporting low carbon electricity generation. So far through this scheme an unprecedented 93.86MW of tidal stream generation has been secured. The budget and final parameters for the next Allocation Round will be published in March 2024.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of locating a nuclear power project in Northern Ireland.

The Department has no plans to assess the potential merits of locating a nuclear power project in Northern Ireland. Strategic decisions about siting energy projects are taken in Northern Ireland under the devolution settlement. Specifically, consenting decisions on onshore energy projects are generally determined by the relevant local planning authority, except where a planning application has been directed to the NI Department for Infrastructure or Department for Economy.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment she has made of trends in the price of oil in Northern Ireland.

The Department publishes a monthly price index of crude oil and average prices for oil derivatives, in the UK, on GOV.UK here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/oil-and-petroleum-products-monthly-statistics

The associated data is not collected at a level of geographic granularity to determine prices in Northern Ireland specifically.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the cost of energy on disabled people this winter.

The Government recognises the cost-of-living challenges many disabled people are facing.

Last winter, the Government launched a package of support for households and businesses, spending £40 billion and paying around half a typical household’s energy bill last winter.

Since last winter, the Q4 2023 price cap of £1,834 has more than halved compared to the Q1 2023 price cap which stood at a high of £4,279. This is good news for households who have seen their energy bills come down. The Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place as a safety net until the end of March 2024, should energy prices increase significantly during this period.

Additionally, the Government is providing further cost of living support to vulnerable households, including a £900 payment for those on means-tested benefits and an extra £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps she is taking to provide financial support to help disabled people with their energy bills during winter 2023-24.

The Government recognises the cost-of-living challenges many disabled people are facing.

Last winter, the Government launched a package of support for households and businesses, spending £40 billion and paying around half a typical household’s energy bill last winter.

Since last winter, the Q4 2023 price cap of £1,834 has more than halved compared to the Q1 2023 price cap which stood at a high of £4,279. This is good news for households who have seen their energy bills come down. The Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place as a safety net until the end of March 2024, should energy prices increase significantly during this period.

Additionally, the Government is providing further cost of living support to vulnerable households, including a £900 payment for those on means-tested benefits and an extra £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she plans to provide funding through the Energy Bill Support Scheme to people who did not apply before the deadline.

The Government does not currently plan to re-open the scheme. The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding launched on 27 February and closed to new applications on 31 May 2023. The Government used a range of methods to inform as many eligible households as possible that they needed to apply for support. This included press notices to highlight the scheme in national and regional media, roundtables with stakeholders who represented eligible households, and a request for local authorities to write to care homes and park home sites in their area.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what progress his Department has made on incentivising the installation of heat pumps in homes.

By the end of July 2023 over £69m worth of grants have been paid out through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Earlier this year government announced the scheme has been extended to 2028.

We have introduced 0% VAT on heat pump installations and made a commitment on rebalancing of gas and electricity prices, ensuring that stronger incentives for consumers to switch to low-carbon technologies are in place.

From April 2024, we will be introducing the Clean Heat Market Mechanism to provide industry with the confidence and incentive to invest in evolving and expanding the consumer proposition for heat pumps in the UK, finding ways to stimulate demand by making it easier and more attractive to make the decision to install a heat pump.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent discussions she has had with fuel retailers on ensuring that consumer fuel costs reflect falls in wholesale prices.

The former Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero met with fuel retailers in July 2023 to discuss the findings from the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) market study and to strongly encourage their participation in the voluntary scheme the CMA has implemented.

The voluntary scheme enables retailers share their up-to-date fuel prices daily until the government puts the CMA recommended road fuel prices open data scheme and monitoring function on statutory footings. We will consult on these changes this autumn. My officials continue to meet with fuel retailers in developing the consultation and I encourage their full engagement in the process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland on grid infrastructure.

While energy policy is devolved in Northern Ireland, the department for Energy Security and Net Zero regularly meets with the Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland to discuss grid infrastructure and other issues, including through the bi-monthly Net Zero and Climate Change Interministerial Group.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jun 2023
G7
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what progress he has made on meeting the UK's G7 commitments.

Britain is leading the G7 in tackling climate change. Between 1990 and 2021 the UK cut emissions by 48% while growing the economy by 65%, decarbonising faster than any other G7 country. The Government’s plan, as set out in Powering Up Britain, shows how the Government will enhance the country’s energy security, seize the economic opportunities of the clean energy transition and deliver on its net zero commitments, including those made at the G7. The Powering Up Britain publication can be found here.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the progress made towards meeting the UK's net zero target.

The Government has published Powering Up Britain, which contained a Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, setting the UK on course to reach Net Zero by 2050.

The UK over-achieved against the first and second carbon budgets, and the latest projections show that it is on track to meet the third. Taken together, the Net Zero Strategy pathways for every sector of the UK economy keep the UK on track for Carbon Budgets 4, 5 and 6, the UK's 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution, and ultimately for net zero by 2050.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will provide additional for people suffering from fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.

Whilst fuel poverty is devolved, support has been provided through the Northern Ireland Energy Bills Support Scheme and Alternative Fuel Payment. Through this households in Northern Ireland received a non-repayable payment totalling £600 to help with energy bills. In addition, the Energy Price Guarantee in Northern Ireland reduced the typical household’s dual fuel energy bill by £564 for 1 October 2022 – 31 March 2023 (direct debit, inclusive of VAT).

The Autumn Statement set out a commitment to work with consumer groups and industry to consider the best approach to consumer protection from April 2024 as part of wider retail market reforms.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the age of a boiler on the levels of energy bills.

Old non-condensing boilers are less efficient than condensing boilers. As such, replacing a non-condensing boiler with a condensing model can reduce customer bills, sometimes significantly. The bill saving will vary from property to property.

It is important that boilers are installed to the correct standards and with appropriate controls to ensure they work as efficiently as possible. Proposals for new standards to improve gas boiler efficiency were set out in the recent consultation “Improving Boiler Standards and Efficiency.”

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of increasing the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil on his net-zero targets.

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil is one type of biofuel that offers a lower carbon alternative to fossil diesel. As sustainable biomass is a limited resource, the Government will prioritise its use in sectors that offer the greatest opportunity to reduce emissions, and where there are fewest options to decarbonise through alternative low carbon technologies.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent steps he has taken to encourage the use of solar energy in the UK.

The Government is incentivising large-scale solar through the Contracts for Difference scheme, and rooftop solar through various financial and regulatory measures. These include the Smart Export Guarantee, removal of VAT on domestic panels, tax relief and business rate exemptions. The Government is exploring low-cost finance options to support upfront costs for households and businesses and is reviewing permitted development rights to simplify planning for commercial projects.

The Government will publish a solar deployment roadmap in 2024 and has established a taskforce to drive forward further actions needed to achieve the ambition of around a fivefold increase in solar capacity by 2035.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of existing financial support for disabled people who run medical equipment at home.

As we explore possible approaches to consumer protection from April 2024, we are working with disability organisations, considering the costs for disabled people, and assessing the need for specific support for disabled people using medical equipment in the home.

I attended the quarterly meeting of the Disability Charities Consortium on Wednesday 24th May, and I am meeting my Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work on 6th June to discuss consumer protection for people with disabilities.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Energy Price Guarantee.

Between October 2022 and the end of June 2023 the Energy Price Guarantee, together with the Energy Bills Support Scheme, will have covered around half a typical household’s energy bill.

The table below features data for a typical household’s energy usage in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland for the period 1 October 2022 – 31 March 2022.

Dual fuel household, direct debit (£ inc. VAT)

Great Britain (GB) typical household

Northern Ireland (NI) typical household

Bill with no support

£2,583

£1,996

Reduction from EPG

£945

£564

EBSS payment (+ £200 universal Alternative Fuel Payment in NI)

£400

£600

Total Support

£1,345

£1,164

Bill after support

£1,238

£832

Total support / bill with no support (%)

52%

58%

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have switched energy provider in the last six months.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has not yet collected or published switching data for January to May 2023.

For switching data until December 2022, please follow this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/quarterly-domestic-energy-switching-statistics.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether he has had recent discussions with energy providers on treating elderly and vulnerable customers with care.

Energy policy is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, which has a separate regulator and supply market from Great Britain, so the UK Government does not routinely have discussions with suppliers in Northern Ireland.

Ministers and officials meet regularly with suppliers in Great Britain to discuss a range of issues. Independent regulator Ofgem require energy suppliers to support vulnerable customers and the provision of additional services through a Priority Services Register. Ofgem monitors compliance with their rules protecting vulnerable consumers.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whart assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional funding for boiler replacements for people who are unable to afford them.

In response to the energy crisis, the Government provided unprecedented support to consumers and has acted decisively, supporting citizens by paying around half of a typical household’s energy bills.

The Government will deliver upgrades to over half a million low income and most vulnerable homes in the coming years through its Social Housing Decarbonisation, Home Upgrade Grant Schemes and Energy Company Obligation Scheme which can include grants available for boiler replacement.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many and what proportion of farmers have been informed of the level of funding they will receive from the Government to help with energy costs in Northern Ireland; and what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that all eligible farmers receive this funding.

It is not possible to estimate how much energy bill support will be provided to farmers in Northern Ireland under the Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This is because discounts are determined by contract type, tariff and volume of energy consumed and are applied directly to eligible bills by energy suppliers. Suppliers are required to provide customers with certain information regarding the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, including the amount of discount which has been applied to the bill.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps his Department is taking to increase the UK's tidal energy capacity.

Tidal stream companies are eligible to apply for the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, the UK’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon generation.

Tidal stream projects are also eligible for a suite of research funding programmes including the UK Research and Innovation matched Horizon funding.

Tidal stream and tidal range are included in the scope of the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for Energy published in March 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will take steps to launch a scheme to provide funding for people who transfer from coal to gas central heating systems.

The Government ‘Help to Heat’ schemes ensure homes will be warmer and cheaper to heat. The Government will deliver upgrades to over half a million homes in the coming years through our Social Housing Decarbonisation and Home Upgrade Grant Schemes and Energy Company Obligation Scheme.

The £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers £5,000 and £6,000 grants for Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps, respectively.

The Government has also launched a home retrofit tool on GOV.UK, ‘Find ways to save energy in your home’. Users can get tailored recommendations for home improvements that could make their property cheaper to heat and keep warm.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether he plans to take steps to provide further support with energy costs to pensioners who are in receipt of pension credits and who may be unable to afford fuel bills.

More than eight million pensioner households across the UK will receive an additional £300 Cost of Living Payment during winter 2023-24 on top of their Winter Fuel Payments and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment.

The Autumn Statement set out a commitment to work with consumer groups and industry to develop a new approach to consumer protection in the energy markets. Officials are proactively reaching out to and discussing the approach with stakeholders. The Government will set out its position when this assessment is complete, in time to deliver a new approach from April 2024.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make assessment of the potential merits of classifying nuclear energy as sustainable to help support private financing for Sizewell C.

The Government’s investment in Sizewell C represents a major step forward to secure the UK’s energy independence, and project development continues, towards the objective of achieving a Final Investment Decision in this Parliament, subject to relevant approvals.

In the Spring Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer stated the Government’s intention to include nuclear in the UK Green Taxonomy, subject to consultation, incentivising private investment in this important technology alongside renewables. The Government will provide a further update on the taxonomy as part of its publication of the Green Finance Strategy shortly.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of support for energy bills for households that use coal as their main source of energy.

Households that use coal as a fuel source are eligible for the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP).

The AFP was originally announced in September 2022 as a £100 payment. This amount was based on capping the year-on-year price rises that heating oil users faced in 2022, compared to 2021 at 130%. Internal analysis indicates that the price of coal had risen by an amount lower than 130% so the benefit is fair to coal users.

In November 2022, the Government doubled the AFP to £200 in recognition of the cost-of-living pressures caused by these rising fuel costs.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent steps he has taken with Cabinet colleagues to help support disabled people with the cost of energy.

The Autumn Statement set out a commitment to work with consumer groups and industry to consider the best approach to consumer protection from April 2024. As part of this work, the Government is working with disability organisations, assessing the need for specific support for disabled people.

Additionally, for 2023/24, households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments split into three payments of around £300 each. Pensioner households will receive a separate £300 payment on top of their Winter Fuel Payments and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that businesses in Northern Ireland are able to participate in future contracts for difference auctions during the suspension of the Northern Ireland Executive.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is only open to generators in Great Britain (GB) and aligned to the GB market. Consequently, Northern Irish generators are not eligible to participate in the CfD scheme. The Department for the Economy is running a consultation on Design Considerations for its own bespoke Renewables Support Scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether project developers will be able to bid for Contracts for Difference contracts in future auctions given that consent is required from the Northern Ireland Executive.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is currently only open to generators in Great Britain (GB) and aligned to the GB market. In June 2022, Northern Irish and then BEIS Ministers agreed that the CfD scheme would not be extended to Northern Ireland due to system complexities. The Department for the Economy (DfE) is currently running a consultation on Design Considerations for its own bespoke Renewables Support Scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of placing the local net zero forum on a statutory footing.

The Government recognises that local authorities can, and do, play an essential role in driving local climate action, with significant influence in many of the national priorities across energy, housing, and transport, which will be needed to achieve net zero.  The Net Zero Strategy sets out our commitments to enable local areas to deliver net zero.

The Local Net Zero Forum has met three times at official level and held a ministerial level meeting on 9th February. There are no plans to make the Forum a statutory body.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of local and central government frameworks in achieving the Government's net zero targets.

The Government recognises that local authorities can, and do, play a role in driving local climate action, with significant influence in many of the national priorities across energy, housing, and transport, which will be needed to achieve net zero.

Through the Local Net Zero Forum the Government is working with local authority representative organisations to discuss key local net zero policy and delivery issues.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps he is taking to accelerate home insulation measures ahead of winter 2023-24.

The Government is investing £6.6 billion over this parliament on decarbonising heat and energy efficiency measures and intends to launch the ECO+ scheme around spring 2023 running until March 2026 to provide further support for households to reduce their energy bills.

In 2022 a zero-rate of VAT was introduced on energy efficiency measures, and the Government launched a digitally led service ‘find ways to save energy in your home' (https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency). The site provides guidance helping consumers make their homes greener and cheaper to run, supported by a call centre for assistance.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department has plans to take steps to support disabled people with the cost of energy after 2024.

The Autumn Statement set out a commitment to work with consumer groups and industry to consider the best approach to consumer protection from April 2024, including options such as social tariffs, as part of wider retail market reforms.

Officials are considering the options and proactively discussing these with stakeholders. As part of this work, we are working with disability organisations to assess the need for specific support for disabled people and we will set out our position when this assessment is complete.

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 make a comparative assessment of the competitiveness of the (a) UK and (b) EU energy investment environment.

The Department considers the impact of international policies on UK investment to ensure the Government meets its net zero and economic growth ambitions.

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 make a comparative assessment of the competitiveness of the (a) UK and (b) US energy investment environment.

The Department considers the impact of international policies on UK investment to ensure the Government meets its net zero and economic growth ambitions.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what discussions he has had with energy companies on smart meters manufactured by companies based in China.

The Government engages with energy suppliers on all aspects of their smart metering roll out - including procurement of smart meters and supply chain management - as part of overseeing and tracking progress on delivery. Energy suppliers generally procure metering assets from a range of manufacturers to ensure they have access to a sufficient supply to meet their roll out targets.

The Government has not sought to place geographical restrictions on the manufacture of smart meters but does require each device to require certification under the National Cyber Security Centre’s Commercial Product Assurance Scheme prior to being commissioned for use by energy suppliers, and risk assessment reviews are conducted on a regular basis.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the adequacy of age verification and estimation technology for meeting requirements in the Online Safety Bill.

Age verification technologies are well developed and already in use across a range of sectors, including financial services and the online sales of age restricted goods. Age estimation technologies are developing rapidly and there are a growing number of privacy-preserving tools being developed that will ensure that platforms know the age of their users and can provide a safe and age-appropriate experience for children.

Ofcom will set out in its guidance examples of the kinds of age verification and age estimation measures that can be used to meet the duties set out in the Bill – this includes setting out the kinds of technologies that are highly effective in determining whether a particular user is a child for the purpose of protecting children from pornography and other primary priority content that is harmful to children.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of AI social media usage on people under the age of 18.

The Online Safety Bill has now finished its parliamentary passage and will receive Royal Assent in the coming weeks.

The Bill will ensure that technology companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users, particularly children. It has been designed to be tech-neutral to keep pace with emerging technology. The Bill will tackle harmful AI generated content on user-to-user services when that content is placed on the service by a user, or if an AI bot is itself placed on a service by a user and interacts with other users.

In addition, the forthcoming AI Safety Summit and the work of the Foundation Model Taskforce will focus on risks created or significantly exacerbated by the most powerful AI systems, especially where they pose a threat to the most vulnerable in our society, such as children. It will draw on a range of perspectives both prior to and at the event itself to inform these discussions.

4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has had discussions with representatives of Intel on (a) establishing a semiconductor factory in the UK and (b) investment in the UK semiconductor industry.

The National Semiconductor Strategy, published on 19 May, sets out the government’s approach to growing our domestic semiconductor sector, safeguarding the UK against supply chain disruption and protecting our national security.

Developed in collaboration with industry and academia, this Strategy articulates an ambitious vision that over the next 20 years, the UK will secure areas of world leading strength in the technologies of the future by focusing on our strengths in R&D, design and compound semiconductors. The Government is engaging widely with industry, including Intel, on taking forward the ambitious set out in the Strategy.

Our strategy is rightly differentiated to those other countries are pursuing. While others are investing in large-scale silicon manufacturing, reflecting their strengths, we will double down on our own complementary strengths in R&D, design and compound.

Intel are one of the most significant companies in the global semiconductor industry, their UK activity is largely focused on R&D, which is in line with the UK government’s focus for growing the domestic sector outlined in the strategy. They have also recently launched a UK branch of their startup accelerator programme, Intel Ignite, in recognition of the UK’s thriving tech startup ecosystem.

Industry partners have told us that difficulty accessing the software tools and manufacturing equipment to design, prototype, pilot and produce innovations is a major barrier to the sector’s growth. As set out in the Strategy, we will announce plans by the autumn to further support the competitiveness of the semiconductor manufacturing sector that is critical to the UK tech ecosystem or our national security.

20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has had recent discussions with representatives from Tiktok on enforcing age restrictions on its platform for children under the age of 13.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with social media platforms, such as TikTok, to discuss a range of issues relating to online safety. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website.

Under the Online Safety Bill, services which are likely to be accessed by children, such as TikTok, will be required to provide safety measures for children to protect them from inappropriate and harmful content or activity. Providers which have age restrictions will be required to specify in their terms of service what measures they use to prevent underage access and apply these terms consistently. This will mean providers can be held to account for what they say in their terms of service, and can no longer do nothing to prevent underage access.

Ahead of the Bill, video-sharing platform (VSP) providers currently regulated by the VSP regime, including Tiktok, are required to take ‘appropriate measures’ to protect under-18s from potentially harmful material. Appropriate measures could include, but are not limited to, age assurance, parental controls, and comprehensive terms and conditions.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will make an assessment of the potential effectiveness of the Online Safety Bill in tackling online access to pornography by children.

The Online Safety Bill will ensure that companies protect children from online pornography, wherever it appears online. It will cover all online sites that offer pornography, including commercial pornography sites, social media platforms, video sharing platforms, forums and search engines. These companies will have to prevent children from accessing pornography, using measures such as age verification, or Ofcom will be able to bring enforcement action against them.

27th Apr 2023
What steps her Department is taking to support investment in the life sciences industry.

The Life Sciences Vision set a strategic goal to make the UK the most attractive location in Europe to start and grow a Life Sciences Business.

This Government is driving the largest increase in public R&D in the UK for a generation – from £15bn a year to £20bn a year in the next three years, and to £22bn a year in 2027.

In March DSIT announced £17m of grant funding from the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF), securing £260 million of private investment.

At the Spring Budget the Chancellor announced Capital Allowance reforms which introduced a full expensing 100% first year allowance worth £27 billion over 3 years.

8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry proposals for a new Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Growth, including an investment facility.

The Department carefully considers all evidence in the public domain on matters relating to the growth and competitiveness of the UK Life Science sector, including the recent report by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

The Department for Science Innovation and Technology is in close discussions with Ministers from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Department for Business and Trade about the business environment for life sciences and its impact on investment.

27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent steps she has taken to help ensure full and equal access to superfast broadband, particularly in rural areas.

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Across the UK, 97.5% of premises can access a superfast connection (>=30Mbps).

We have introduced measures in the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022 to specifically assist suppliers providing broadband services, such as an increased ability to upgrade and share the existing duct and pole network, and procedures to deal with non-responsive landowners. This follows the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act 2021, which makes it easier for broadband operators to install in multiple dwelling units where the landlord is repeatedly unresponsive to requests for access.

To support those on low-incomes to stay connected, the Government has worked closely with suppliers to ensure the provision of low-cost, high-quality fixed social tariffs in the market. These offers are available in 99% of the UK, and many provide superfast connections. Social tariffs are available to those claiming Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits, starting from £12pm.

We are also investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to deliver gigabit-capable (1000Mbps) broadband to hard-to-reach areas of the UK. Gigabit-capable coverage currently stands at 74.2% and over £1 billion of public subsidy has already been made available to broadband suppliers to extend gigabit-capable broadband further, to some of the hardest to reach parts of the country.

Support is also available for homes and businesses in rural areas through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. The voucher scheme provides a subsidy of up to £4,500 for residents and businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband via local community broadband projects.

27th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will include businesses delivering animal health and welfare standards in livestock production.

All non-domestic energy consumers using electricity or gas from the grid will be eligible for support under the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £600 payment to Northern Ireland households for energy costs (a) can be split between gas, oil and electric bills or (b) must be used for a single form of energy.

The £600 payment is going to Northern Ireland households with a domestic contract with an electricity supplier. The payment comprises the Energy Bills Support Scheme (£400) and the Alternative Fuel Payment (£200), recognising the widespread use of other fuels for heating in Northern Ireland. The £600 payment can be used for any fuel; direct debit customers receive the payment direct to their bank account. Credit or keypad prepayment meter customers are receiving vouchers which can be redeemed at a Post Office and paid into a bank account. If necessary, the sum can be taken as cash.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of strikes in the healthcare sector on the timing of the £600 payment to households in Northern Ireland.

The Government is monitoring the situation closely and does not anticipate the strikes will have an impact on the timing of the scheme. Payments started on 16 January and are made up of £400 under the Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI) and £200 under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme. This will go to all households in Northern Ireland irrespective of how they heat their home.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the allocated percentage of ECO+ funding was targeted at the low-income eligibility group; and if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of targeting all ECO+ funding at low-income households on the Government's ability to meet its fuel poverty targets by 2030.

The Government published a consultation on the design of ECO+, which proposed a requirement for a minimum of 20% of the obligation to be delivered to low-income households. The Government has not restricted the amount of low-income households that can be supported through the scheme. The remaining obligation is available to both low-income households and a wider customer base who are not eligible for any support through other government energy efficiency schemes.

The Government is analysing responses to the consultation and will publish a response in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policies to extend the energy price cap relief scheme for (a) the Scouts and (b) other charities.

The Government will introduce the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme from April 2023. All eligible businesses, charities and the public sector will receive a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024. The scheme will provide a discount on high energy costs to give businesses certainty while limiting taxpayers’ exposure to volatile energy markets.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of deep sea drilling in the ocean.

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) grants licences that confer exclusive rights to ‘search and bore for and get petroleum’ on the UK Continental Shelf. Oil and gas fields, after being licensed, require a number of consents issued by regulators before they can begin production.

Licensees require a consent before a well foundation or other equipment is installed in advance of drilling operations and a well is spudded, side-tracked or drilling recommences.

Guidance on requirements and the considerations that the NSTA take into account for each type of well operation can be found here.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to ensure that tenants in Northern Ireland receive the £600 energy rebate from landlords.

The Government has introduced regulations to ensure that intermediaries, including landlords, pass on the Energy Bill Support Scheme and Alternative Fuel Payment Northern Ireland benefit to end users in a just and reasonable way.

These regulations came into force on 12 January 2023. The regulations are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2023/10/contents/made.

The Government has also issued guidance available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-provided-to-intermediaries/guidance-on-the-pass-through-requirements-for-energy-price-support-in-great-britain-provided-to-intermediaries.

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 assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report by UK100 on Local Net Zero Delivery Progress Report: Local Powers.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government's commitments to enable local areas to deliver net zero as it recognises that local authorities can, and do, play an essential role in driving local climate action.

UK100’s Local Net Zero Delivery Progress Report forms part of a growing body of evidence and views on Local Net Zero.

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, when the first meeting of the Local Net Zero Forum will take place.

The first meeting of the Local Net Zero Forum was held on 20 June 2022. The Forum has met twice and will meet again early this year.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to further develop a market for investment in green industry.

Driving investment into UK green energy and industries is a priority for this Government.

Since March 2021, the Government has committed £30 billion of domestic green investment. The Government is establishing the regulatory frameworks that will spur investment into green projects – such as through the Energy Bill. The Government is also working closely with DIT to communicate its plans more effectively to private investors. Over the course of this year, the Government has published net zero roadmaps tailored to the investment community for example on Hydrogen and carbon capture as well as hosting the UK’s inaugural Green Trade and Investment Expo.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made on the adequacy of (a) national policy and (b) regulatory frameworks on enabling (i) local, (ii) regional, (iii) national and (iv) devolved governments to work more effectively in partnership towards Net Zero and adapting to climate change.

The Government’s net zero target covers the whole UK, and all four parts of the UK have an integral role to play in delivering the Government’s carbon budgets.

The UK Government is working closely with local government and partners in the devolved administrations to achieve its carbon emission reduction ambitions and net zero targets.

The Domestic and Economic Affairs (Energy, Climate and Net Zero) Cabinet Committee leads on bringing together departments to consider matters relating to energy, and to ensure the effective delivery of the United Kingdom’s domestic and international climate strategy leading up to the net zero 2050 target.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with oil and gas companies on the potential impact of proposed developments in the North Sea on the UK's climate targets.

The Government has regular wide-ranging discussions with the oil and gas industry.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of UK100's Skills for Local Net Zero Delivery insight briefing, published 11 November 2022.

The Government welcomes UK100’s report and will consider its recommendations. The Government recognises that local areas, as well as national government, have a key role to play in ensuring we have the skills needed for the transition to Net Zero.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Energy Efficiency Taskforce takes into account local government voices.

The Autumn Statement announced a new national ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030, against 2021 levels.

To support the delivery of this target, a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce will be established. More details on the scope and membership of the Taskforce will be announced in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether local government representatives will form part of the Energy Efficiency Taskforce.

The Autumn Statement announced a new national ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030, against 2021 levels.

To support the delivery of this target, a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce will be established. More details on the scope and membership of the Taskforce will be announced in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report by UK100 entitled End the wait, Insulate: Social housing energy efficiency and the energy crisis, published on 16 November 2022.

In the Autumn Statement the Government announced £6 billion of new Government funding that will be made available from 2025 to 2028 for energy efficiency. The design of future waves of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will consider all relevant evidence to ensure effective delivery.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of progressing nuclear energy for Northern Ireland.

As outlined in the British Energy Security Strategy, the Government’s long-term ambition is to increase Its plans for the deployment of civil nuclear power by 2050. To facilitate this, the Government has committed to a number of nuclear ambitions, including developing an overall siting strategy for the long term.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to negotiate greater protections for the environmental rights of vulnerable minorities at COP27.

COP26 saw strengthened language on Indigenous Peoples, urging Parties to actively involve Indigenous Peoples in designing and implementing climate action and engage with the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) three year work plan.

Throughout our Presidency year we have continued to work closely with vulnerable minorities including Indigenous Peoples. At COP27, the UK not only engaged with the activities under the LCIPP work plan, but also funded seven Indigenous young people to attend COP27 to ensure their voices and expertise were heard in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with his Northern Irish counterpart on Northern Ireland's Net Zero target to deliver energy savings of 25 per cent from buildings and industry by 2030.

The Net Zero, Energy and Climate Change Inter-ministerial Group (IMG) brings together Ministers from the four administrations to discuss emission reduction efforts across the UK. At the most recent IMG on 26 October, Minister Poots shared an update on progress towards net zero with others in attendance.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues and the Northern Ireland Executive to help ensure that the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources is reflected in the energy prices charged to energy consumers in Northern Ireland; and what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the level of renewable energy generation.

The Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation is the principal renewable energy scheme in Northern Ireland, supporting renewable electricity generation. Usually paid for by consumers via their electricity bills, the levy costs are currently further reduced under the UK Government’s energy bill support measures.

The Government continues to work with Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy officials to identify a suitable pathway for a Northern Ireland Contracts for Difference scheme to bring more renewable generation online.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has taken recent steps to help support pubs with the rising costs of alcohol.

We recognise the impact rising prices will have on businesses of all sizes and we regularly engage with hospitality businesses and suppliers to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect businesses. The recently announced Energy Bill Relief Scheme ensures that all businesses and other non-domestic customers are protected from excessively high energy bills over the winter period.

We have also provided temporary business rates relief of 50% in 2022-23 for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses worth almost £1.7 billion.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) representatives of the fishing industry on the potential merits of increasing investment in tidal energy.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not yet had discussions on investments in tidal energy. The British Energy Security Strategy affirms that the Government will explore the potential of tidal power to contribute to a net-zero compliant future.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £20 billion in funding for research and development announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will be allocated to new Tuberculosis treatments and vaccines.

BEIS published its funding allocations for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in May 2022. The total UKRI allocation as published was £25.1 billion for 2022-25, providing UKRI and its constituent councils with the funding needed to deliver world class research and innovation.

UKRI funds a range of research programmes and activities focussed on respiratory diseases. Over a recent 5-year period (2016-17 to 2020-21), UKRI’s Medical Research Council spent over £155.6 million on research relevant to respiratory health and disease. This figure includes over £45 million spent on research specifically relevant to Tuberculosis. Figures do not include spend on research relating to Covid-19.

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to help support proactive and predictive immunology research into second and third generation covid-19 vaccinations.

UKRI will be committing at least £21m in 2023 to support major new research consortia addressing key challenges to underpin development of second and third generation COVID-19 vaccinations. These consortia will provide sustained funding to address key issues in understanding viral evolution, future variant risks, immune responses to infection and vaccination and how to drive sustained, mucosal immune responses. The consortia will be multidisciplinary and cross-institutional, will be supported for 5 years and are encouraged to engage with industry partners.

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Government’s target for investment in research and development to be 2.4 per cent of GDP by the 2026-27 financial year.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with Ministerial colleagues on a number of issues.

Government remains committed to increasing the UK’s R&D intensity; hitting or exceeding the 2.4% target. Increased public research and development (R&D) spending, alongside other measures put forward in the Innovation Strategy, will contribute to growth in private sector investment in R&D by creating the conditions for all businesses to innovate and giving them the confidence to do so. This will support the Government’s aim of raising economic growth by boosting productivity and thus improving living standards across the country.

25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps to mitigate against the reductions in regulations envisaged by the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

The powers included in the Bill will strengthen the Government’s ability to amend, repeal and replace Retained EU Law (REUL) contained in secondary legislation. This is not about reducing protections, but will provide a more efficient and effective route for consolidating, amending and removing unnecessary REUL.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of mucosal covid-19 vaccines.

UKRI has already funded significant research activity in this space, through a broad portfolio of work in underpinning immunology, virology and vaccinology and a rich portfolio of vaccine development programmes. Specific exemplar programmes supported through a variety of mechanisms have been identified as with immediate relevance to the development of next generation SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics and vaccines including mucosal vaccines.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the likelihood of deliberate power cuts over the next six months.

The UK has a secure and diverse energy system. The Government is confident in its plans to protect households and businesses in the full range of scenarios this winter. The Government is ensuring that the UK is prepared for all eventualities and continues to work closely with Ofgem, National Grid and other key industry organisations to monitor the energy supply horizon and prepare for the upcoming winter.

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, when his Department expects the £400 energy grant to start being paid to households.

Electricity suppliers have started delivering the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) discount to households in GB with a domestic electricity meter from this October.

Direct debit and credit customers have had the money credited to their account or paid into their account. Customers with smart prepayment meters have had the discount applied remotely to their meter. Customers with traditional prepayment meters receive a voucher or Special Action Message (SAM) from their supplier from the first week of each month. We are developing schemes to support households in GB who are not eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme, and in Northern Ireland.

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, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a scheme to allow small businesses to receive financial support to part fund improvements to their business that would contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Support is available to businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills through the Government's Climate Change Agreements Scheme and the £289m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.

There are also a number of local advice and support schemes that businesses can apply to here: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it is still his Department's policy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood will lead a rapid review of the Government’s approach to net zero, so that it delivers its target in a way that is pro-business and pro-growth.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has written to the British Geological Survey to discuss the three month review of the evidence relating to fracking across the UK.

The Government is grateful to the British Geological Survey for their recent review of the science related to seismic events induced by hydraulic fracturing for shale gas exploration. The report ‘Recent scientific advances in the understanding of induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing of shales’ has been received and carefully considered, and has also been published at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-geological-science-of-shale-gas-fracturing.

The Government will continue to work with the British Geological Survey on this and other matters.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the trends in new car sales over the last six months and the impact on the UK car manufacturing sector; and if he will make a statement.

The UK automotive market showed a positive start to 2022 with new car registrations in Jan-Feb 2022 above 2021 levels, when lockdown restrictions meant showrooms were shut. However, registrations are still below pre-pandemic levels with semiconductor chip shortages continuing to constrain supply globally.

As part of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, we are allocating a further £350 million for the Automotive Transformation Fund, as part of our £1 billion commitment to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain including gigafactories.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the Red Diesel Replacement competition to the metal recycling sector.

The £40 million Red Diesel Replacement (RDR) innovation programme focusses on construction, mining and quarrying sectors, accounting for 63% of UK red-diesel usage. The technologies developed and lessons learned through this programme will also benefit the metals recycling sector and will be disseminated to wider industry. Due to the financial and temporal constraints of the programme, there are no plans to expand the scope of RDR at present.

Other Government support includes:

  1. Phase-2 Industrial-Fuel-Switching Competition, £55m, opens late 2022: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-fuel-switching-competition.
  2. Phase-4 Industrial-Energy-Efficiency-Accelerator, £8m, closes 19 September 2022: https://programmes.carbontrust.com/ieea/participate-in-ieea/.
  3. Energy-Entrepreneur’s-Fund: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-entrepeneurs-fund
  4. Industrial-Energy-Transformation-Fund and Scottish-IETF, £220m, closes 9 September 2022: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/industrial-energy-transformation-fund.
  5. Capital Allowances: 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies can claim 130% first-year capital allowances on qualifying plant/machinery investments: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/super-deduction.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of introducing statutory paid leave for women receiving IVF in the context of the physical impacts of the treatment.

The Government remains committed to ensuring women, including those undergoing IVF treatment, can participate fairly in the labour market, and that businesses build a supportive workplace environment.

BEIS speaks regularly with a range of Government departments about the best ways of achieving this, including through discussions on the Women’s Health Strategy.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to progress the development of tidal energy generation; and if he will take steps to ensure that representatives of the fishing industry are consulted as part of that work.

The Government has a long and continuing history of supporting the development of tidal power, with over £175m invested in marine energy innovation to date. Last week the Government announced that the UK's 4th Allocation Round of the Contracts for Difference auction scheme has secured 40MW of new tidal power.

All users of the sea have had the opportunity to engage with Government on offshore renewable energy consenting as part of the Government's ongoing work on the Energy National Policy Statements.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that petrol station operators do not illegally benefit from the Government's proposed cuts to fuel duty.

The Government has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct a review of the retail fuel market, to explore whether it has adversely affected consumer interests. The Government has asked for an initial report from the CMA by 7 July. As part of this, the Government has asked for the CMA’s advice on the extent to which competition has resulted in the fuel duty cut announced in the Spring Statement being passed on to consumers. The Government is also ready to support CMA if it uses its powers to act against petrol stations if there is evidence that they are infringing competition or consumer law.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of a potential decision by the owner of Morrisons' to sell its (a) fisheries, (b) warehouses and (c) food manufacturing plants.

The Government cannot comment on commercial decisions made by individual retailers.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure there is sufficient network capacity for the increased demand for (a) electric heating from 2025 and (b) electric vehicle charging from 2023.

As set out in its British Energy Security Strategy, the Government is committed to accelerating the process of building and connecting electricity network infrastructure to accommodate both new clean, affordable generation and demand. This includes working with Ofgem, network companies and the supply chain to dramatically reduce timelines for delivering strategic onshore transmission infrastructure and to speed up connections to the local distribution networks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of heat pumps sold in the UK were (a) manufactured and (b) imported to the UK in the most recent 12 months for which data is available.

The latest data available is from the BEIS commissioned Heat Pump Manufacturing Supply Chain Research Project, which found that approximately 30 per cent of heat pumps sold in the UK in 2019 were manufactured domestically. The report also noted that this is expected to increase over time as the market matures.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of trained heat pump installers in the UK in 2021.

There are currently over 1300 businesses in the UK certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to install heat pumps, estimated to employ approximately 4,000 installers. The total number of trained installers is likely to be greater than this, as not all trained heat pump installers are required to be MCS Certified. MCS Certification is only required for installations receiving Government grant funding. The Government has commissioned further research into the existing heating and cooling installer workforce in England, which will be completed later this year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of a bespoke heat pump installer certification scheme, similar to the gas safe register, to protect consumers who are purchasing heat pumps.

The Government oversees authorisation of a number of competent person schemes, including the Gas Safe Register. This includes schemes which allow heat pump installers to self-certify compliance with Building Regulations in England. Contractors installing heat pumps within UK Government schemes, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, are additionally required to be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). MCS certification provides additional protections to consumers getting a heat pump installed.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the development of tidal power projects; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of developing those projects in Strangford Lough.

The Government announced in November that the fourth Contracts for Difference allocation round will feature a £20m annual ringfenced budget for tidal stream energy. This builds on a long and continuing history of government support for the tidal power sector and opens up possibilities for Britain’s marine energy sector to play a key role in strengthening energy security and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.

Energy policy is a transferred matter to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive so tidal stream deployment in Strangford Lough is principally a matter for Northern Ireland Departments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that small businesses are able to operate in the context of rising energy costs; and if he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on tax reductions for small businesses.

The Government recognises the impact rising energy prices is having on small businesses. Extensive engagement continues across government at both ministerial and official level on this situation to understand, and to help mitigate the impacts of, high global energy prices. The Government’s priority is to ensure costs are managed and energy supplies maintained.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to train new heat pump installers in the UK in preparation for the future homes standard being implemented in 2025.

The Government is working with industry to ensure that sufficient installers are trained to install heat pumps in advance of the Future Homes Standard being implemented in England in 2025. In 2020 and 2021, the Government spent almost £6 million on the BEIS Skills Training Competition which delivered around 7,000 training opportunities for energy efficiency and low carbon heating supply chains in England. This scheme included training for over 2,000 heat pump installers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to launch a public campaign to increase awareness of heat pumps as a low carbon heating technology.

The Government recognises public engagement as a vital element for successful decarbonisation of heat and buildings.


The Simple Energy Advice service has had over 1.7 million users, providing homeowners with personal, tailored advice for improving and decarbonising their homes and links to local, accredited, trusted installers. The Government is currently reviewing this service to identify potential improvements and will shortly publish a new heat pump suitability tool and use case studies to help consumers make informed choices about installing heat pumps.


The Boiler Upgrade Scheme launched recently, with information published across consumer-facing websites to raise awareness of the benefits of the scheme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential contributions to energy security of the Jackdaw Field Development in the North Sea.

Shell’s February 2022 Environmental Statement notes that at its peak, the Jackdaw development is expected to deliver 6.5% of UK Continental Shelf gas production for less than 1% of UK Continental Shelf emissions and produce an amount of energy equivalent to heating over 1.4 million UK homes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking in the response to the campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of button batteries.

The Government takes the dangers associated with button batteries seriously and is leading a range of action to tackle this issue.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) established a working group last year, drawn from a wide range of stakeholders representing consumers, business, medical professionals and enforcing authorities to take forward work to improve safety outcomes related to button batteries.

This includes work with The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, the Child Accident Prevention Trust, and the British and Irish Portable Battery Association to raise awareness amongst parents and carers.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) large fuel firms and (b) other stakeholders on the impact of the rise in the cost of living.

The Government understands that fuel prices are an important component of UK household and business expenditures and is sympathetic to the impact of domestic fuel costs on UK consumers.

BEIS Ministers are in regular contact with the fuel industry at all levels and have made it clear operators should do everything they can to reduce the cost to end users.

The Government has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct an urgent review of the fuel market, as well as a longer-term market study under the Enterprise Act 2002, to explore whether the retail fuel market has adversely affected consumer interests.

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 take steps to help tackle fuel poverty, in the context of the anticipated increase in the number of households who will be in fuel poverty in 2022.

The Government has announced a package of additional measures to provide immediate support, totalling over £37 billion this year, including a £400 grant to households to help with their energy bills when it will be needed most.

Energy efficiency remains the best way to tackle fuel poverty in the long term, reducing the amount of energy required to heat a home and contributing to lower energy bills and carbon emissions. Support is available through schemes including the Energy Company Obligation which will be worth £1 billion pa, the Home Upgrade Grant and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

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, whether he has made an assessment of the impact of the increase in fuel prices on his Department's policies; and if he will hold further discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on financial packages to help support people affected by that increase.

The Government understands that fuel prices are an important component of UK household and business expenditures, and is sympathetic to the impact of road fuel costs on UK consumers.

The Government recently announced a £15 billion package to support households with the cost of living, in addition to over £22 billion that had already been committed.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to (a) identify and (b) allocate sites for new small modular reactors.

The Government recognises that there are areas across the UK with experience hosting nuclear developments and appreciates the potential benefits that these locations could offer to new nuclear projects.

The Government is developing a siting strategy, and a new National Policy Statement for nuclear electricity generation infrastructure deployable after 2025. The Government will consult on the strategy in due course.

The Government remains open to considering development proposals for projects at sites which stakeholders consider suitable, including existing nuclear sites. Any future project would be subject to planning and development consents.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of deploying small modular reactors in Northern Ireland.

As outlined in the British Energy Security Strategy, the Government’s long-term ambition is to increase plans for the deployment of civil nuclear power by 2050. In order to facilitate this, the Government has committed to a number of nuclear ambitions, including developing an overall siting strategy for the long term.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of nuclear power’s contribution to energy security in the UK.

The Government believes that the UK needs a diverse mix of electricity infrastructure to come forward in order to deliver a secure, reliable, affordable, and net zero consistent system in 2050.

The Energy Security Strategy seeks to ensure that the UK is one of the best places in the world to invest in nuclear and sets an ambition for deployment of civil nuclear of up to 24 GW by 2050, around 25% of our projected electricity demand.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to mitigate the effects on consumers of rises in fuel costs.

On 26 May 2022, the Government announced a £15 billion package of cost-of-living support. This is in addition to the over £22 billion announced previously for the cost of living now totalling over £37 billion this year. This means almost eight million most vulnerable households will get £1,200 of one-off support in total this year, with all domestic electricity customers receiving at least £400.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will direct the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to commence discussions with Small Modular Reactor (SMR) vendors on using NDA sites for SMR developments.

The NDA has a clear mission to decommission their sites safely, freeing up land for future uses. The NDA welcomes engagement from all stakeholders with a potential future use of their land and has a history of engagement and land transfer across their portfolio including with SMR vendors. The NDA requires permission from Government prior to any actual disposal/sale of land, but this does not prevent the NDA from discussing the future use of their land with interested parties, including SMR developers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the additional volume of natural gas which would be required to offset the electricity generated by nuclear power in 2022.

Nuclear power generation scenarios are published in the Energy and Emission Projections here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-and-emissions-projections-net-zero-strategy-baseline-partial-interim-update-december-2021.

Fuel usage in the power sector is published in DUKES here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-chapter-5-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes.

Conversion factors between fuels are published by National Grid here: https://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/gas-transmission/document/128886/download.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of nuclear power to the UK's energy security.

The Government believes that the UK needs a diverse mix of electricity infrastructure to come forward in order to deliver a secure, reliable, affordable, and net zero consistent system in 2050.

The Energy Security Strategy seeks to ensure that the UK is one of the best places in the world to invest in nuclear and sets an ambition for deployment of civil nuclear of up to 24 GW by 2050, around 25% of our projected electricity demand.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to assess the efficiency of the process for approving new nuclear power stations.

The British Energy Security Strategy sets out the Government’s aim to ensure the UK is one of the best places in the world to invest in nuclear. The Government will work with the regulators to understand the potential for streamlining, or removing duplication from, the consenting and licensing processes to approve new nuclear power stations, without impacting the robust safety, security and environmental protections offered by UK regulatory regime.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the benefits of building new nuclear power stations concurrently.

The Government assesses each proposed new nuclear project on its own merits, mindful of the value of economies of scale. The Government recently set out the parameters of the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (£120m) to encourage developers to bring to fruition future proposals. The Government will engage with industry on the development of the pipeline of new projects kickstarted by the British Energy Security Strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to provide opportunities for new nuclear developers.

The Government will set up a new flagship body - ‘Great British Nuclear’ - to develop a resilient pipeline of new projects. The Government appointed Simon Bowen, tasked with leading and helping to drive forward government proposals for a new Great British Nuclear vehicle.

The Government intends to take one project to Final Investment Decision (FID) this Parliament and two projects in the next Parliament, subject to value for money, approvals and technology readiness/maturity.

The Government launched the £120m Future Nuclear Enabling Fund on 13th May 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of how the model of collaborative funding for covid-19 research at pace might be used to fund other research areas.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 15 February 2022 to Question 119577.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to support scientific research consortia as a future funding model for domestic R&D.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire on 31 March 2022 to Question 146649.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to support research into cancer immune therapies.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon on 25 March 2022 to Question 142442.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to develop the UK R&D Roadmap into the forthcoming R&D Plan.

The Government continues to implement and deliver the R&D Roadmap and subsequent People and Culture and Innovation Strategies, including through establishment of a Business Innovation Forum to galvanise action from the business community.

Publication of the Levelling Up White Paper has set out how the Government will maximise the contribution of innovation to levelling up by building on existing and emerging strengths across the country.

Progress continues on the Independently led Reviews of Research Bureaucracy and the Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the level of nuclear power generation capacity that will be required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050.

Following publication of the British Energy Security Strategy, the Government has increased its plans for the deployment of civil nuclear power to up to 24GW by 2050, around 25% of projected 2050 electricity demand.

The Government intends to take one project to Final Investment Decision (FID) this Parliament and future projects to FID in the next Parliament, including Small Modular Reactors. As with any Government decision, this will be subject to value for money, relevant approvals and technology readiness/maturity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent progress he has made on the ratification of the UK’s association with the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central to Question UIN 156445.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the contribution of the two-carbon capture/storage sites that will be situated in the North of England to meeting the UK's COP26 commitments by 2030.

HyNet North West and the East Coast Cluster have been named as ‘Track-1’ CCUS clusters, set to come online in the mid-2020s and pioneer carbon capture technologies in the UK. These clusters will form the foundation for the Government’s ambition to capture 20-30 megatons of CO2 annually by 2030, equivalent to the annual emissions of Denmark, making a substantial contribution to carbon budgets and meeting net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of geothermal energy plants to meeting COP26 commitments by 2030.

The Government recognises the potential role of geothermal energy in contributing to the UK’s 2030 COP26 commitments, particularly in the decarbonisation of heat. The potential for geothermal power plants is more limited in the UK than in countries with higher temperature resource.

The recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy acknowledges the potential of geothermal energy and sets out the Government’s commitment to continue to monitor developments in geothermal heat in the UK and assess whether the technology provides a cost-effective option for the future.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) on improving health and wellbeing through the Government's Heat and Buildings Strategy.

In the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Government noted that improving the energy performance of buildings and installing low carbon heating can deliver benefits in both areas, especially for those living in fuel poverty. For health, it was stated this can include avoiding physical illnesses, such as heart and lung conditions and help those experiencing cold-related sickness. For wellbeing, making energy efficiency improvements can improve mental wellbeing, as it reduces energy costs, as well as increasing productivity by making homes warmer and more comfortable.

The Government did not have specific conversations regarding how health and wellbeing is applied within the context of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. The Government is committed to engaging with a range of stakeholders and the wider public to deliver on the Strategy’s ambitions, including health bodies, where appropriate.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to (a) offer the 1.9 million homes who use oil and LPG to heat their properties greater choice and (b) support a range of different technologies to help these properties decarbonise.

Electrification of heat is the only option proven to decarbonise off grid homes at scale. BEIS analysis suggests that it would be feasible to install low temperature heat pumps in around 80% of fossil fuel heated off gas grid homes.

The Government has consulted on proposals to end the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid from 2026, with a ‘heat pump first’ approach to replacement heating systems. Under these proposals, homes that cannot reasonably practicably install a heat pump will have a choice of heating technologies that are consistent with net zero. The Government is considering the responses to the consultation and will respond in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will be taking to introduce an electrification first approach to homes that are off the gas grid.

The Government has consulted on proposals to end the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid from 2026 in England, with a ‘heat pump first’ approach to replacement heating systems. We are currently reviewing responses to the consultation and will respond in due course.

It would be for the Northern Ireland Executive to consider any similar steps for homes off the gas grid in Northern Ireland.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help the private sector to deliver new nuclear energy projects.

This Government has set out multiple measures to support the private sector to deliver new nuclear energy projects. The Government wants UK companies to be ambitious in the new nuclear space and be better able to compete for the higher value opportunities that will help build sustainable capabilities in the UK. To support this the Government wants new nuclear developers to share supply chain information with industry early to ensure that UK companies are positioned and prepared to bid for these opportunities.

For future New Nuclear projects (i.e. projects after Hinkley Point C), developers will be required to produce Supply Chain Plans. Developers will need to show evidence that their projects will consider growth in the UK supply chain through the development of competition, the facilitation of new entrants and by boosting innovation and skills.

In addition, the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill is currently in Parliament. This will introduce a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model to reduce the project costs and encourage a wider range of private investment into new nuclear projects.

The Government is in constructive negotiations over Sizewell C in Suffolk and recently entered into a Combined Option agreement of £100m with EDF, to mature the project further and attract potential investment. The Government has also made up to £1.7billion of funding available to reach a final investment decision on a new large-scale nuclear power plant this Parliament, subject to value for money and relevant approvals; these funds could also involve Government investment at the point of a capital raise, helping to mobilise other private sector capital into a project.

The Government announced a £385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund. From this, £210 million has been awarded to Rolls-Royce SMR to develop their Small Modular Reactor design, matched by private sector funding of over £250 million. The Government announced a £120 million Nuclear Enabling Fund to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry for future nuclear.

A £75 million Nuclear Fuel Fund will also be created to be used alongside private sector co-investment to preserve and develop the UK’s fuel production capability.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the development of small modular reactors.

The Net Zero Strategy makes clear that nuclear is an important part of the Government’s plans to achieve net zero. Up to £210 million in Government grant funding was announced in November 2021 for Rolls-Royce SMR to further develop the design for one of the world’s first Small Modular Reactor designs, potentially capable of deployment in the UK in the early 2030s. In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government also announced up to £120 million for a Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry. This fund will be part of the measures the Government will take to inform investment decisions during the next Parliament on further nuclear projects, alongside a final investment decision from this Parliament on a further Gigawatt-scale project.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to develop new nuclear power stations.

This Government is committed to nuclear power as part of the country’s future diverse energy mix. Hinkley Point C is under construction and, when operational, will supply 3.2GW of secure, low carbon electricity for around 60 years, providing enough power for around 6 million homes. The Government is committed to approving at least one new large-scale nuclear project this Parliament, subject to value for money and all relevant approvals. The Government announced up to £1.7 billion of funding in the last Spending Review to support this objective and have been in constructive negotiations on the Sizewell C project since January 2021. On 27th January, the Government entered into a Combined Option agreement with EDF, providing £100 million of funding to further mature the project, attract investors, and advance to the next phase in the negotiations.

The Government has also announced a £385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund. From this, £210 million has been committed in grant funding to Rolls-Royce SMR to develop their small modular reactor design and their continued advanced modular reactor development. The Government also announced a new £120 million Nuclear Enabling Fund to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry for future nuclear. Further details on the fund will be announced in due course.

Later this year, the Government will publish a nuclear roadmap setting out the Government’s strategy in more detail. The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill is currently in Parliament. This will introduce a Regulated Asset Base model for nuclear projects and reduce the obstacles to financing new nuclear projects.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK has sufficient reliable low carbon electricity to achieve net zero.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government’s plan for decarbonizing the power sector consistent with its net zero commitments, while ensuring a secure, resilient and affordable supply of electricity. This includes ambitious plans to support the deployment of low carbon and renewable technologies such as offshore wind, nuclear and power CCUS.

Energy policy is primarily a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and decisions surrounding the design of, or amendment to, policies that are likely to have an impact on its electricity markets are therefore led by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Further details are set out in the Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure the UK’s energy security.

Energy security is an absolute priority for the Government. Great Britain benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of gas supply and a diverse electricity mix, which ensures that households, businesses and industry get the energy they need. In Northern Ireland, electricity is devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive, and Northern Ireland’s electricity network is part of the island of Ireland’s Single Electricity Market.

The Capacity Market is the Government's main security of electricity supply mechanism. Through a competitive auction process, it has already secured the majority of Great Britain's electricity capacity needs out to 2025/26.

The Government continues to work closely with key international and industry partners to monitor gas supply and demand, and remains confident that Great Britain’s energy security will be maintained.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had discussions with relevant stakeholders on the potential merits of removing the renewables tariff from gas prices in response to rising energy costs.

The Government has been monitoring the situation and engaging closely with industry and consumer groups since the start of the crisis, to understand the impacts and assess options to help households through this challenging period.

Despite the biggest ever renewable auction in November, support via the Contracts for Difference scheme is now expected to only add 22p per annum on the average bill, showing the increasing competitiveness of UK offshore wind. Since the Government has invested in renewables and energy efficiency, UK demand for natural gas has fallen by 26% since 2010. This has helped reduce the country’s exposure to global price volatility.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the cost of closing nuclear power plants in the UK.

In June 2021, the Government and EDF agreed revised arrangements to deliver efficient decommissioning of EDF’s fleet of seven Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor stations once they stop generating power. Under the revised arrangements, each station will transfer to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which will manage the long-term decommissioning programme, once EDF has undertaken the defueling stage of decommissioning. EDF will be incentivised towards achieving good defueling performance and to support the transfer of the stations. The new arrangements provide significant potential cost savings for the taxpayer, with the potential to achieve upward of £1billion of savings without compromising on safety and security.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of fuel poverty in rural areas on the decarbonisation of off gas grid properties.

Fuel poverty is a devolved matter; in England, 18.2% of homes off the gas grid are in fuel poverty, compared to 12.7% on the gas grid (as of 2019). The next fuel poverty statistics are due to be published later this month. The report will include data for 2020 on the number of households living in fuel poverty in England and analysis of the composition of fuel poor households, as well as projections of the number of households in fuel poverty in 2021 and 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the scientific research consortia as a future funding model.

Research consortia foster research collaboration between diverse partners within countries and across international boundaries. Evidence shows that collaboration leads to better performance.

Collaboration and excellence reinforce each other:

  • Within a single organisation or university, collaboration achieves 27% higher scholarly impact than no collaboration, however across organisations or in consortia within a country, collaborations achieve 45% higher impact, and international collaborations double the impact of scholarly output (99% higher), compared to no collaboration.
  • The UK has received 21 of the 55 Nobel Prizes awarded between 2010 and 2020 and all of these (except for one in Literature) were shared with scientists from other nations

International R&D consortia lead to better economic outcomes:

Existing international funding vehicles such as the Newton and Global Challenges Research Fund build international consortia (bilateral consortia with Newton and multilateral through the Global Challenges Research Fund) to progress research on shared challenges.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken on the delivery of the Life Sciences Vision including enabling cancer immune therapies.

The Government, NHS and Life Science Sector have already taken significant steps in delivering the Life Science Vision. Activity since publication includes the establishment and delivery of the Life Science Scale Up Taskforce, the launch of the £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme, work to improve the NHS’s capacity and capability to utilise new technologies, and innovation work by the Vaccine Taskforce and Antivirals Taskforce to secure access to cutting-edge new technologies to address COVID-19.

Following the conclusion of the 2021 Spending Review on 27th October, the government has confirmed specific funds will be provided upfront to directly support the delivery of the Life Sciences Vision. This includes £95m funding to support the uptake of innovative drugs and technologies and address a number of the Healthcare Missions outlined in the Vision, funding to drive new initiatives through Genomics England to deliver life-changing technologies, and £354m to strengthen the UK’s Life Sciences manufacturing base. This builds on significant programmes of investment in Health Research across DHSC and BEIS, and the largest ever increases in the NHS’s operating budget.

The Office for Life Sciences are working with partner organisations to develop the implementation plan, which will deliver on the commitments as set out in the Life Sciences Vision including supporting the development and commercialisation of immuno-oncology and cancer vaccines in the UK. Further details on the implementation plan will be set out in due course.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to develop the Research and Development Roadmap into a Research and Development Plan.

Published in July 2020, the R&D Roadmap set out the Government’s vision and ambition for the next chapter for UK research and development.

BEIS is focusing on implementation and delivery of the Roadmap and of subsequent strategies, such as the Innovation and People and Culture Strategies. The objectives of the Roadmap are also being driven through the independently led Reviews of Research Bureaucracy and the Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape. We have also announced the appointment of Dr Peter Highman as the first Chief Executive of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA).

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of how the model of global collaborative funding for covid-19 research can be used in other research areas.

International collaboration has been a vital part of the response to Covid-19 and the UK has played a leading role globally. BEIS, alongside other Government Departments, funded the creation of the Covid Circle platform that enables researchers to access and understand international funding opportunities specifically related to Covid-19.

More broadly the Integrated Review, R&D Roadmap, and Innovation Strategy all highlight how international collaboration can support a dynamic and innovative UK and support strategic priorities.

This is why we are working with colleagues across HMG to develop an International Science & Technology Partnerships Framework to share cross-government interests in international R&D and the landscape of global opportunities and challenges.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the reduction in global coal use since 2010 to date and (b) progress made in meeting the target of 80 per cent reduction by 2030.

The International Energy Agency estimates that coal use remains modestly above 2010 levels, with continued very low growth to 2024. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from global coal use remains a key Government priority. For example, the UK’s COP26 Energy Transition Campaign helped secure a 190-strong coalition of countries and organisations at COP26, including coal power phase out commitments from Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, Chile and Morocco, building on the Government’s co-leadership of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. The Government has committed to phasing out unabated coal generation in Great Britain by October 2024. Coal power generation in this country has declined from almost 40% of our electricity supply in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of three million houses using solar on the UK's ability to reach net zero.

Solar photovoltaic technology is a key part of the Government’s strategy for decarbonising energy and increasing energy performance of buildings. Generating electricity from rooftop domestic solar can reduce carbon emissions, protect against electricity price fluctuations, and save money on energy bills. Consuming the electricity generated locally also reduces the amount of electricity lost in electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he is having with representatives from the North Sea oil and gas industry on that industry supporting the transition to net zero.

The Government has regular meetings with stakeholders from the North Sea oil and gas industry on a wide range of topics, including the industry supporting the transition to net zero.

The North Sea Transition Deal agreed with the industry in March 2021 will help unlock the UK’s net zero ambition, delivering part of a fair and equitable energy transition by allowing the UK Continental Shelf to transition to a net zero basin as well as supporting the decarbonisation of industries across the UK. This Deal is about harnessing the existing skills of the offshore oil and gas sector’s supply chain to help deliver new low carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, usage and storage, helping the UK to meet its net zero targets.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to incentivise and provide financial support to energy providers with low carbon emissions.

Schemes such as Contracts for Difference are vital to developing domestic sources of renewable electricity in Great Britain, which will reduce exposure to potentially volatile global fossil fuel markets and protect consumers in the long term. The competitive nature of the Contracts for Difference scheme has been hugely successful in driving the deployment of renewable energy while rapidly reducing costs. This year’s Contracts for Difference round is the largest yet, with a total budget of £285 million a year allocated to the round; offshore wind will be supported by £200 million funding a year, with £24 million initially allocated for floating offshore wind and £20 million on tidal stream projects.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he (a) has had and (b) will have discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on further support for the hospitality industry whilst any covid-19 restrictions and guidance are in place which will adversely affect those businesses.

In order to support all businesses across the UK economy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £400 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. This includes a total of over £26 billion in business grants.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 21 December that additional support will be available for businesses in recognition of the impact that that the spread of Omicron variant had on hospitality over the Christmas period. The Government is providing one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses. Around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants which will be administered by Local Authorities. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund is open until March 2022.

The Department continues to speak regularly with the hospitality sector to understand their needs and represent these across Government.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the increases in electricity and gas prices on consumers; and what steps he is taking to help protect consumers potentially at financial risk due to energy price increases.

The Government is monitoring the significant increases in wholesale energy prices closely, and meeting regularly with Ofgem, suppliers and consumer groups to understand the future impact on consumers as well as to discuss potential mitigations.

The Government is committed to protecting energy customers, especially the most vulnerable. The Energy Price Cap will continue to protect consumers, ensuring they pay a fair price for their energy this winter. Low income and fuel poor households will continue to be supported with their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount, which provides eligible households with a £140 discount. Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will ensure that the most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes through the winter. Additionally, the Government announced an additional £500 million for local authorities through the new Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households meet daily needs such as utility bills.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to provide additional support for energy bills to fuel poor and vulnerable households in winter 2022.

The Government already supports low-income and fuel poor households with their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount which provides eligible households with a £140 rebate on their winter energy bills. Additionally, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments help to ensure the most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months. The Government has also provided an extra £500 million for local authorities through the new Household Support Fund to provide help to millions of the most in need and engages constantly with energy companies and consumer groups on further steps to take.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent unreasonable cost mark-ups on second hand cars.

In a competitive market such as for new and used cars, it is for businesses to decide the market worth of their products and to price accordingly. It is Government policy not to intervene when markets function normally, and people considering the purchase of a used vehicle should visit various vehicle selling sites, including auction sites, to get the best price possible.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help manufacturing companies manage rising costs of (a) raw materials and (b) energy.

Most of the shortages of products and raw materials impacting the market have been driven by global and domestic supply and demand factors. Industry experts believe that the current situation is temporary, although projections indicate that strong demand will continue over the next six months.

The Government recognises that this is a worrying time for businesses facing pressures due to increases in global gas prices. The Department is engaging regularly with manufacturers to monitor the impact of rising energy and raw material prices on them and consider possible mitigations.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to secure annual covid-19 vaccinations beyond 2021.

The Government has supply agreements to buy 453.5 million doses of vaccines with six separate vaccine developers. The Government recently announced the procurement of a further 54m doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and 60m doses of the Moderna vaccine which will provide supply for 2022 and 2023. This is in addition to the 35m doses of Pfizer/BioNTech already secured for 2022. We are in constant contact with suppliers and remain confident in our prospective vaccine supplies beyond this Winter. As part of these supply agreements, the government will be procuring vaccines for Devolved Administrations and Crown Dependencies up to and including Winter 2024.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the sustainability of gas suppliers in the UK.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have held a series of bilateral and roundtable events with a range of energy suppliers. We are continuing to engage with these stakeholders regularly to hear about the challenges they currently face and discuss the way forward.

It is the responsibility of Ofgem, as the independent regulator, to engage with suppliers considering exiting the market.

In a competitive market, it is normal from time to time for energy suppliers who cannot finance their activities to exit the retail energy market. We have, however, seen large and unprecedented gas price spikes which has resulted in acute financial pressure on suppliers recently, driving a higher number of market exits.

We are working with the energy industry to put them on a more stable footing in the longer-term. That includes continuing to build a robust domestic renewable energy sector so that we are less exposed to global trends in natural gas supply and demand.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Northern Ireland will be included in the distribution of employment in the creation of two million green jobs under the Green Jobs Task Force.

The Government’s Net Zero Strategy is a strategy for the whole of the UK.

The Government is supporting up to 440,000 jobs across net zero industries in 2030, contributing towards a pivot to a greener economy which could support 2 million jobs in green sectors or by greening existing sectors. The Government is working with business to grow green industries and supply chains and support green skills in the UK, whilst also ensuring our resilience to international changes in supply chains.

The map on page 331 of the Net Zero Strategy highlights the potential locations of these opportunities, including in Northern Ireland.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will allocate additional funding to help identify drugs to help improve heart function in people with diabetes who have had heart attacks.

One of the Healthcare Missions set out in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Life Sciences Vision is the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and its major risk factors, including obesity. Government has announced that £95m will be provided to support the deployment and use of innovative treatments to deliver these Healthcare Missions. Work will now commence with a wide range of partners to develop and deliver this mission.

Alongside this, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research and focusses their work on early translational research, clinical research and applied health and social care research.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including diabetes and related heart conditions; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. 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.

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the estimated timescale is for increasing to national living wage.

As announced at the Autumn Budget, on 1 April 2022 the Government will increase the National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 23 years and over by 6.6% to £9.50. This keeps the Government on track to achieve its manifesto commitment for the NLW to equal two-thirds of median earnings by 2024.

The Government will lay a Statutory Instrument to amend the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 in due course. BEIS will publish a full impact assessment next year alongside laying the regulations.

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with oil companies on establishing a review of oil and gas prices.

Despite the rise in prices, the UK continues to have some of the lowest pre-tax prices in Europe for diesel and petrol. The UK’s economic analysis of the relationship between changes in the global crude oil and UK petrol and diesel prices suggests that the UK road fuels sector is competitive and ensures that consumers get good value for money.

Due to multiple factors, in 2021 gas prices have been higher globally, these include: rebounding demand as COVID-19 lockdowns ease; greater liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand in Asia; upstream maintenance affecting summer supply capacity; and unusually low wind periods. Supply and demand are balanced in the market through adjusting the prices at which energy trades take place. The Government has no reason to anticipate that this will not continue. The Government continues to engage with international and industry stakeholders to monitor the situation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the UK.

The Government’s landmark Net Zero Strategy, published on October 19, will drive forward our ambition to reach net zero and level up the UK by supporting up to 190,000 jobs in the middle of the 2020s and up to 440,000 jobs in 2030. Building on my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, £26 billion of government capital investment has been mobilised for the green industrial revolution. The Strategy provides an ambitious package of policies sets out how we meet Carbon Budgets 4, 5, and our NDC, and puts us on the path for Carbon Budget 6 – and ultimately on course for net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the role of blue hydrogen in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Net Zero Strategy confirms the government’s ‘twin-track’ approach to supporting both electrolytic ‘green’ and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS)-enabled ‘blue’ hydrogen production alongside multiple other production routes.

Support for blue hydrogen is part of the government’s wider programme of long-term decarbonisation through CCUS. Expanding this infrastructure opens up the opportunity to benefit from negative emissions technology in the future, including hydrogen from biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help tackle labour shortages.

The Government recently announced a package of measures to ease temporary supply chain pressures in food haulage industries, brought on by the pandemic and the global economy rebounding around the world. Up to 4,000 people will soon be able to take advantage of training courses to become HGV drivers. 5,000 HGV drivers will be able to come to the UK for 3 months in the run-up to Christmas, providing short-term relief for the haulage industry. A further 5,500 visas for poultry workers will also be made available for the same short period, to avoid any potential further pressures on the food industry during this exceptional period. Ministers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are working very closely across Government to monitor labour supply chains, identify pinch points and consider any further necessary government action.

BEIS is also working closely with other Government Departments and industry to address sector-specific challenges, which are being faced by countries around the world. For example, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently announced the implementation of the Downstream Oil Protocol. This measure will provide a temporary exemption of companies operating in the oil industry from the Competition Act 1998 for the purpose of sharing information and optimising fuel supply in the event of a disruption.

The Government is keen to see employers make long term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad, and businesses should be looking at how to make employment more attractive, including through wage increases and offering training. Progress is already being made in testing and hiring, and a big push towards improving pay, working conditions and diversity.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to announce any carbon capture and storage projects in Northern Ireland.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution committed to establishing two industrial Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) clusters by the mid 2020s, with the aim of four of these sites by 2030, capturing 10Mt of carbon dioxide per year. As part of the CCUS deployment process, we have announced the clusters eligible for Track-1 and expect to announce the selected Track-1 clusters from 25 October 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to ensure that all under-18 workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

The National Minimum Wage is the legal minimum hourly rate of pay for workers over the compulsory school age, generally 16 years of age. Individuals cannot work full-time until they have reached school leaving age. Children are also thoroughly protected by other relevant regulations concerning child employment. We therefore have no plans to change eligibility for the National Minimum Wage.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to support small businesses to contribute to the Government's net zero target.

Ahead of the UN climate change conference (COP26), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched the Together for Our Planet (TFOP) Business Climate Leaders campaign, aimed at encouraging as many UK small businesses as possible to join the ‘Race to Zero’ – a global effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we all generate to zero by 2050.

Small businesses join the Race to Zero via the SME Climate Commitment. Upon making the SME Climate Commitment, UK small businesses gain access to a Together For Our Planet digital toolkit so they can display to customers they are taking action as part of a UN- and Government-backed campaign.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of solar farms in the UK.

The Government publishes figures on all solar photovoltaic capacity in the United Kingdom, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment. The figures show that there are currently 1,340 operational ground mount and stand-alone solar projects.[1]

[1] This comprises ground mount and stand- alone solar PV projects supported under the Renewables Obligation, Feed in Tariff and Contract for Difference schemes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of Royal Mail on the Royal Mail's new parcel plan for deliveries.

The Department has regular discussions with Royal Mail on a range of issues.

The Government has no role in Royal Mail’s operational or business decisions which are a matter for the company’s management.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that teeth whitening products that could have the potential to contain harmful products are carefully regulated.

Cosmetic products such as teeth whitening kits sold in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety requirements in the world and may only be placed on the market if they meet those strict safety requirements.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards works with colleagues in local enforcement authorities to take effective enforcement action where products are identified that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects retailers, including online platforms, to act quickly to remove them from sale.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to support building contract companies to secure sufficient building supplies in the context of the UK having left the EU.

The Government is aware that a range of building materials are in short supply nationally. This is driven by demand and increased global competition to secure supplies.

In light of this, and in view of more local disruptions in the supply of some products, the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force has established a Product Availability Working Group, comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force continues to monitor the supply and demand of products, and identify those in short supply.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking with trade unions to protect workers employed by large businesses against unfair treatment while working from home during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the practice of recruitment agencies asking for incentives to recommend contractors to an umbrella company.

Commercial and loyalty incentive schemes may be a legitimate business-to-business interaction, between the employment agency and an umbrella company. They are therefore outside the scope of the agency regulations enforced by the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate, which regulate the relationship between the agency and work-seeker.

The Government will continue to work with the recruitment sector to seek compliance with existing regulations. Government will also continue to ensure current regulations remain fit for purpose, drawing on the expertise of trade bodies and businesses in the sector. Proposed regulatory changes would be announced in the usual way.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will reconsider his decision to end the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme.

Following a review, the Green Homes Grant Vouchers scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021. The voucher scheme will not reopen.

We will refocus efforts and funding on alternative approaches which will maximise delivery of home retrofits for consumers who are most in need.

The Government will be expanding its funding commitment for both the Local Authority Delivery element of the Green Homes Grant scheme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund with £300 million of new funding.