John Hayes Portrait

John Hayes

Conservative - South Holland and The Deepings

Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2016 - 9th Jan 2018
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
8th May 2015 - 15th Jul 2016
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2014 - 8th May 2015
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Mar 2013 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)
6th Sep 2012 - 27th Mar 2013
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
18th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning) (also in the Department for Education)
12th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Minister (Education)
19th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships)
8th Dec 2005 - 19th Jan 2009
Shadow Minister (Transport)
10th May 2005 - 8th Dec 2005
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning)
1st Jun 2003 - 1st Apr 2005
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2002 - 1st Jun 2003
Administration Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 2nd Dec 2002
Committee of Selection
17th Oct 2001 - 21st Nov 2002
Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)
1st Jun 2001 - 1st Jun 2002
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
1st Jun 2000 - 1st Jun 2001
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
1st Jul 1999 - 1st Jul 2000
Education & Employment
7th Dec 1998 - 8th May 2000
Education Sub-committee
8th Dec 1998 - 1st Feb 2000
Agriculture
14th Jul 1997 - 5th Jul 1999


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 296 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 299
Speeches
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Food and Drink: UK Economy

I congratulate my hon. Friend, as has already been said. I know he is a great champion of the British …

Written Answers
Thursday 2nd December 2021
Burial and Cremation
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential effect of …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 18th July 2019
Electricity
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Smart Export Guarantee Order 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 29th November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payment of £350 expected for an article written on 5 November 2021. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 16 November 2021)
EDM signed
Monday 12th July 2021
England and Euro 2020
This House congratulates the England Football Team, manager Gareth Southgate, the players and all the back room staff for the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, John Hayes has voted in 345 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
8 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 9 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 15 Noes - 2
8 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 16
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
26 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 7 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 13 Noes - 3
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
John Hayes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All John Hayes 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
Matt Western (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
(26 debate interactions)
James Cartlidge (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
(24 debate interactions)
Anne McLaughlin (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(77 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(48 debate contributions)
Home Office
(41 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(26 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all John Hayes's debates

South Holland and The Deepings 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).

Petitions with highest South Holland and The Deepings signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

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.

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.


Latest EDMs signed by John Hayes

12th July 2021
John Hayes signed this EDM on Monday 12th July 2021

England and Euro 2020

Tabled by: Clive Betts (Labour - Sheffield South East)
This House congratulates the England Football Team, manager Gareth Southgate, the players and all the back room staff for the way they have represented the country with dignity and commitment; particularly commends them for the clear and demonstrable opposition to racism and discrimination which they have shown before every game …
38 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 30
Conservative: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
12th October 2020
John Hayes signed this EDM on Thursday 15th October 2020

Service Medal for British nuclear test veterans

Tabled by: Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North West)
That this House honours the UK service personnel who participated in the British nuclear testing programme in Australia and the South Pacific from 1952 to 1967; notes that over 20,000 British personnel were present during the atomic tests and were exposed to ionising radiation with little or no personal protective …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 11 Jan 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 10
Conservative: 3
Labour: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All John Hayes's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Hayes, 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.


John Hayes has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Hayes has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

John Hayes has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

John Hayes has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


419 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
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment he has made of the (a) reasons for the reduction in rape prosecutions and (b) effect of that reduction on the reporting of rape.

The CPS is determined to drive up the number of rape and serious sexual offence (‘RASSO’) cases going to court. Too few victims are seeing justice and reversing that is an absolute priority. The reasons for the decline in prosecutions are complex, with the Government rape review finding no single factor is to blame.

The CPS is working tirelessly in making improvements to the handling of these sensitive cases through its RASSO 2025 Strategy and the Joint National RASSO Action Plan with the police. This includes targeted work supporting victims in order to increase confidence in reporting. Following the impact of Covid-19 on prosecution volumes, it is encouraging to see increased volumes quarter on quarter – however, it is recognised that there is still work to be done.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the extension to the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

The unduly lenient sentence scheme allows for sentences passed for the most serious criminal offences to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal, if referred by the Law Officers. The extension of the scheme added further serious offences to the list of those which can be referred.

In the course of this year, under the extended scheme, I have successfully referred sentences for offences of controlling and coercive behaviour, distributing indecent images of children and, most recently, stalking involving serious alarm or distress, one in which the sentence of the offender was more than doubled.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what recent sentences she has extended through the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

The Court of Appeal has recently increased the sentences upon a reference by the Law Officers in the following cases. In the first, the offender Habte stabbed a lone female who was a stranger to him: his sentence was increased to reflect a finding of dangerousness, to one of five years’ detention with a three year licence extension. In a case of manslaughter, the offender Taiwo’s sentence was increased to seven years’ two months imprisonment, building on another case the Law Officers referred which emphasises the seriousness of “one-punch” attacks, Coyle. Most recently, the sentence of a Manchester man who raped his 15 year old girlfriend when he was 19 was referred to the Court and increased to three years’ imprisonment.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will include an analysis of Government strategy and messaging on people coming forward for cancer diagnosis and treatment during the covid-19 outbreak as part of the upcoming covid-19 inquiry.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022. Further details - including in respect of the inquiry’s terms of reference - will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will include an analysis of the median age and rate of cancer mortality compared to covid-19 mortality in the upcoming covid-19 inquiry.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022. Further details - including in respect of the inquiry’s terms of reference - will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on cancer treatment and diagnosis will be included in upcoming covid-19 inquiry.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022. Further details - including in respect of the inquiry’s terms of reference - will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the terms of reference of the inquiry into the Government's handling of the covid-19 pandemic will be published.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a cross-Departmental lead group to assess the issues affecting the funeral and death care sector.

The pan-UK and cross-departmental C19 Death Management programme provides strategic and operational support to those looking after the deceased and supporting the bereaved. This programme is led by the Cabinet Office working closely with the relevant sector, local responders and government departments to ensure the deceased are treated with dignity and respect.

The Government is considering, as part of its response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s ‘Funeral Markets Investigation’ into the operation of the funeral sector, the enduring requirement for such structures once the immediate pressures from the pandemic have eased. The Government response is being led by the Ministry of Justice.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress he has made on relocating civil servants from London to other parts of the UK.

The Government has committed to ensuring that the administration of Government is less London-centric. Further announcements will be made in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure civil servants support Government policies irrespective of their own personal and political perspectives.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. These are based on the core values which are set out in legislation.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people under the age of 60 without pre-existing health conditions have died from covid-19 in the UK.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the covid-19 mortality rate is for people under the age of 60 with no underlying health conditions; and how that mortality rate compares to that of seasonal flu.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average age of covid-19 mortality is; and what life expectancy in the UK is.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help protect the UK from emerging cyber security threats.

The National Cyber Security Strategy (2016 to 2021) sets out the government’s plan to make Britain secure and resilient in cyberspace. We also published a progress report: “National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 - Progress Report”, this includes details of the steps being taken to help protect business from cyber threats.

The Cabinet Office is leading work across Government to develop the UK’s strategic direction and funding for cyber security beyond 2021 and will set out the approach next year, building on the Government’s Integrated Review. This will respond to the evolving cyber threat and ensure the UK remains a leader on cyber security into the next decade.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the average age of covid-19 deaths compared to average UK life expectancy.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress his Department is making on its review of what future diversity and inclusion learning should be provided as part of a cross-Civil Service learning offer; and what the (a) scope and (b) timetable of that review is.

The Civil Service is committed to being an inclusive workplace where talented individuals can thrive, no matter their background.

The Civil Service is committed to an evidence-based approach to building more inclusive workplaces. We are currently reviewing our training on Diversity & Inclusion to ensure it is based on the best available evidence. Updates will be made in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has spent on funding unconscious bias training in the last five years.

The Civil Service is committed to being an inclusive workplace where talented individuals can thrive, no matter their background.

The Civil Service is committed to an evidence-based approach to building more inclusive workplaces. We are currently reviewing our training on Diversity & Inclusion to ensure it is based on the best available evidence. Updates will be made in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy and effectiveness of unconscious bias training funded by the Government.

The Civil Service is committed to being an inclusive workplace where talented individuals can thrive, no matter their background.

The Civil Service is committed to an evidence-based approach to building more inclusive workplaces. We are currently reviewing our training on Diversity & Inclusion to ensure it is based on the best available evidence. Updates will be made in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and which historic claims for a medal the Advisory Military Sub Committee (a) has assessed since its establishment in 2019 and (b) is currently assessing.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC). Details of cases will be published in due course but for now must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. Campaigners should be assured their case is under review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to develop a UK hallmark.

The UK already has four unique and internationally-recognised hallmarks representing the four UK Assay Offices: London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Sheffield.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to enable construction work to continue during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Construction workers play a crucial role in supporting our public services and providing and maintaining safe, decent homes for people to live in.

The Government has been clear that construction activity can continue during the lockdown, where it can take place safely. The Government has worked with construction firms and other stakeholders to develop guidance on safer working on construction sites, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The industry has also developed Site and Branch Operating Procedures for firms and merchants, as well as guidance for small firms and mineral products suppliers. These products provide advice as to how construction firms can apply the Government’s guidance on safer working.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the number of loans provided through the Bounce Back Loan scheme.

As of 18 October 2020, 1,336,320 applications have been approved for Bounce Back Loans, at a value of £40.20 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to support manufacturing in Lincolnshire.

Manufacturing is a critical part of our national economy, including in Lincolnshire and South Holland. The Department?works closely with industry to support?manufacturers. For example, we have made £2 billion available in Government-backed finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £2.3 billion via the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and £4.78 billion through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

We continue to support manufacturing growth through investments in projects such as Made Smarter, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult network, and innovation programmes such as the Automotive Transformation Fund. Across Greater Lincolnshire, the Government is investing?£155.45 million of?Local Growth Funding and £25.8 million from the Getting Building Fund.

In South Holland, £9.4 million has supported the Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone development, £2.4 million towards the Agri-Food Centre, and £1.9 million to upgrade the Holbeach Peppermint Junction. Just last month, the Department for International Trade announced that Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone will be one of nineteen UK High Potential Opportunities marketed to global investors to exploit the area’s expertise in agri-food manufacturing, automation, and robotics. This will help to develop Holbeach as the manufacturing hub of the UK’s Food Valley.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that invoices from small and medium businesses are paid on time by (a) Government and (b) non-governmental businesses.

The Government’s manifesto commits to making sure that businesses are paid on time.

At the end of Q3 2019/20 (the most recent complete set of data):

o 7 of the 16 largest departments were meeting the target of 90% payment within 5 days.

o 13 of the 16 departments were paying at least 95% of their invoices within the 30 day target, with 5 departments achieving 99% or more.

The Government is also taking action to simplify the application process for small businesses wanting to supply to the Government and to increase visibility of subcontracting opportunities. Our ambition is that all departments pay 90% of valid and undisputed invoices from SMEs within 5 days and 100% of valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days.

The Government acknowledges that late payment remains a significant problem for small businesses, who are least able to cover financial shortfalls and find temporary finance more difficult and more expensive to obtain.

We have made it a legal requirement for the UK’s largest businesses to publish information on their payment practises, including the average amount of time taken to pay their suppliers.

Additionally, we will be consulting on strengthening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to support small businesses that are exploited by their larger partners.

Since launching in December 2017, the Small Business Commissioner has recovered £7.4 million owed to small businesses, as well as naming eight large businesses who had paid their small business suppliers late following the Commissioner’s investigation of a complaint.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help prevent multinational corporations creating private monopolies during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is responsible for investigating competition issues in the UK. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers to investigate and act if it finds that companies are behaving anti-competitively in a market.

The CMA has created a dedicated taskforce to monitor and respond to competition and consumer problems arising from the pandemic. It has also published guidance on its approach to essential business cooperation and merger assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Government laid secondary legislation on 22 June to amend the Enterprise Act 2002 to strengthen the Government’s powers to intervene in certain mergers and takeovers. The Government can now intervene on public interest grounds in order to maintain UK capability to combat or mitigate the effects of public health emergencies. Further, subject to Parliament’s approval of a draft statutory instrument, the Government will be shortly be able to intervene in smaller mergers in three of the most national security sensitive sectors: artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication and advanced materials.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the manufacturing sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy. The Department is committed to ongoing engagement with industry to ensure that our manufacturers and their workforce have the support they need, including guidance on how to maintain production safely, where possible. Many companies across the aerospace, chemical, automotive, steel, aluminium, pharmaceutical, and packaging sectors, including those providing essential services and materials, have answered the Government’s call to action. Industry is playing a direct role in our national effort by producing the material we need to fight the spread of the virus.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to help businesses, which includes providing manufacturers with the support they need to help them get back up and running. Measures include:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to help small and medium-sized businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million to access vital financial support.
  • Our new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to allow larger firms with an annual turnover of over £45 million to benefit from Government-backed support during this difficult time.
  • Deferring VAT payments for firms to the next quarter until the end of June 2020, representing a £30 billon injection into the economy.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, for which small and large employers are eligible to apply for a Government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries, up to £2,500 a month. Wages will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and the scheme is available until the end of June 2020.

The Department has also issued sector-specific advice for manufacturers regarding social distancing in the workplace, which is helping employees to continue working safely during the crisis. This advice is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#manufacturing-and-processing-businesses.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people’s energy needs are met during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has introduced a range of measures to address the Covid-19 outbreak, recognising the pressures facing many UK households.

In addition, and specifically for energy, on 19 March the Government secrured an industry-wide voluntary agreement with all domestic energy suppliers to a set of principles for assisting consumers, including those with pre-payment meters, through the difficulties caused by Covid-19.

This agreement requires all energy suppliers to identify and prioritise consumers at risk, support consumers who are impacted financially as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19, support pre-payment meter customers directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19 to stay on supply, and to provide information to their consumers.

Details can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/873960/Supplier_Agreement_19.3.2020.pdf

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support SMEs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. In particular, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £13 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period.

This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF):

All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF):

Businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:

  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) small retailers, (b) businesses in the agricultural and horticulture sector and (c) other eligible businesses are able to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is open to eligible businesses operating in most sectors, including small retailers and businesses in agriculture and horticulture. Agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and lender-levied fee payment paid by government.

In order to be eligible for the CBILS, businesses must:

  • be UK-based in their activity, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year;
  • have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender; and
  • self-certify that they have been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

For more information on the scheme, businesses should visit the British Business Bank website: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/clbils/

The Government has responded to feedback to ensure that companies feel the full benefits of available support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) by:

  • Extending the scheme so that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19;
  • Removing previous restrictions on the following groups to enable them to access the CBILS, subject to other eligibility criteria being met: Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisations and trade unions;
  • Removing the ability for lenders to ask for personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and reducing the personal guarantee for loans over £250,000 to 20% of the outstanding balance after recoveries;
  • Introducing technical changes to ensure that applications will be processed faster;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test; and
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap.

The Government will continue to see if there are other areas for improvement across the scheme as a whole.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the resilience and competitiveness of international energy markets.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented falls in demand in global energy markets and increased market volatility. Ensuring reliability, stability and security of energy supply during this global emergency is vital. The UK remains a strong supporter of free, transparent, and competitive energy markets and we are working closely with actors right across the sector to ensure that global energy systems remain secure and reliable

I attended an extraordinary meeting of G20 Energy Ministers held on 10 April to discuss the impact of the Covid 19 on global energy markets. At that meeting Ministers agreed that ensuring energy market stability and affordable and secure energy are key in addressing the health, well-being and resilience of all countries throughout the crisis response and recovery phases.

G20 Ministers also committed to work together to develop collaborative policy responses to ensure market stability across all energy sources, the security of our energy systems, and the uninterrupted flow of energy.

We continue to monitor market developments and remain in regular contact with G20 and other international partners.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) vaccine manufacturing and (b) UK life sciences.

The UK is home to one of the strongest, most productive health and life sciences industries globally, and the support of the sector is critical to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Government is working closely with the sector, including on the UK’s capacity to manufacture new vaccines at scale, where efforts are being overseen by the newly established Vaccines Taskforce. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a host of measures to help businesses, including in the life sciences sector, to manage increased costs and disrupted cashflow as a result of the outbreak, with £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support SMEs to design new ways of working in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government is already supporting Be the Business, the business-led independent charity which launched in 2017: its key intention is to help every UK SME to improve their productivity and is backed by some of Britain’s most high-profile businesses.In response to the COVID19 outbreak, Be the Business have augmented their original offer of support by publishing a range of online advice and guidance to help SMEs adapt their business practices. This includes case studies, ‘how to guides’, podcasts and video interviews sharing the experiences of business owners and entrepreneurs who have already made changes to adapt their business to survive in the new business environment. Be the Business are also adapting their existing support programmes to help SMEs prepare for recovery and build resilience, including via one-to-one virtual surgeries, peer-to-peer learning networks and a 12-week rapid response mentoring programme.

The £9 million Business Basics Programme, launched in June 2018, is already testing innovative ways of encouraging SMEs to take-up proven technology (such as accountancy or customer relationship management software) and business practices that can boost productivity.

Our regular contact with major UK Business Representative Organisations (BROs) – including with the Federation for Small Businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce and MAKE UK, the Manufacturers Organisation and UK Finance – has been increased considerably, to understand where support is needed most for SMEs. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have held weekly calls with the BROs to gain feedback on government support measures; and we have initiated additional calls to announce additions and developments to the suite of COVID19 business finance, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.

Government departments are also hosting a series of free webinars - via Teams, Twitter and Facebook - week commencing 4 May to help businesses understand the support available during the COVID outbreak.

This is in addition to the business support already launched in March to help businesses in COVID19: this includes

? A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to March 1 and available for at least three months, with first grants to be paid within weeks.

? Deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June - representing a £30bn injection into the economy.

? £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses.

? A Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000 to benefit small businesses with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

? A Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that insolvency measures do not inhibit otherwise viable businesses from trading during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government announced on 28th March, plans to amend insolvency law to give companies a breathing space to help keep trading whilst exploring options for rescue as a going concern. In addition, the Government announced a temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions to support company directors to continue trading through the Covid-19 pandemic without the threat of personal liability. The Government has also announced a temporary suspension of the use of statutory demands made between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 and a restriction on winding up petitions presented from 27 April to 30 June, where a company cannot pay its bills due to the coronavirus emergency. This is to further support companies experiencing trading difficulties at this time and to help ensure that viable businesses are able to continue as a going concern.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help the UK space industry use its skills to support the UK response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK Space Agency, working with NHS England and the European Space Agency, has made £2.6 million available through a new, fast, contracting process enabling robust scrutiny, but swift development for ‘close to market’ ideas to manage pandemics.

The UK Space Agency feeds information and data about the current state of the space sector into the wider Cabinet Office contingency planning strategy. In order to facilitate this, the UK Space Agency distributes regular surveys to space operators to understand their resilience.

The UK Space Agency is also working with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to accelerate drone applications within healthcare to support logistics, such as the safe delivery of personal protective equipment and test samples between sites.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK is not dependent on the supply of (a) foodstuffs, (b) medicines and (c) other essential goods from other countries after the resolution of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working around the clock to support UK manufacturers to continue producing essential goods and products. Industry has risen to the challenge, working with UK suppliers to produce ventilators and other vital equipment.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to help with business continuity and to give manufacturers and their suppliers the support they need to ensure they can get back up and running after the Covid-19 crisis. These measures include:

- £330 billion of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support UK businesses.

- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses to access vital financial support.

- Our new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to allow more firms to benefit from Government-backed support during this difficult time.

- Deferring VAT payments for firms until the end of June 2020, which represents a £30 billion injection into the economy.

- Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a Government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month, backdated to 1 March 2020 and available for at least three months.

Our high degree of food security is built on access to a range of sources, including our strong domestic production and imports from a range of stable sources around the world. It is important that we have access to a diverse range of supply through international trade for consumer choice. It is also vital that we supplement domestic production and ensure that any disruption from adverse weather or disease does not affect our overall security of supply.

There are over 14,000 medicines currently licensed for use and marketed in the UK. Whilst some of these are manufactured in the UK, most are manufactured abroad. Where medicines are manufactured here, the active ingredients and excipients for those medicines may be manufactured abroad. It is not possible to manufacture every medicine and the active ingredients and excipients needed for these medicines here in the UK


The production of medicines is complex and highly regulated, and materials and processes must meet rigorous safety and quality standards. However, the Department of Health and Social Care has established robust procedures to deal with any medicine shortages and there is a team within that Department which helps prevent shortages.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of counterfeit goods are sold (a) online and (b) offline.

In 2017 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published ‘Fake Goods, Real Losses – Trade in Counterfeit Products and the UK Economy’. This report available at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/trade-in-counterfeit-products-and-the-uk-economy_9789264279063-en was updated in 2019. The most recent report estimates that the value of imports of counterfeit and pirated goods to the UK accounted for as much as GBP 13.6 billion in 2016.

The report also provides information on the value of counterfeit goods sold in the UK and their originating countries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of counterfeit goods on UK businesses.

In 2017 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published ‘Fake Goods, Real Losses – Trade in Counterfeit Products and the UK Economy’. This report available at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/trade-in-counterfeit-products-and-the-uk-economy_9789264279063-en was updated in 2019. The most recent report estimates that the value of imports of counterfeit and pirated goods to the UK accounted for as much as GBP 13.6 billion in 2016.

The report also provides information on the value of counterfeit goods sold in the UK and their originating countries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of value of counterfeit goods sold in the UK that have been imported from overseas, by country, in each of the last three years.

In 2017 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published ‘Fake Goods, Real Losses – Trade in Counterfeit Products and the UK Economy’. This report available at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/trade-in-counterfeit-products-and-the-uk-economy_9789264279063-en was updated in 2019. The most recent report estimates that the value of imports of counterfeit and pirated goods to the UK accounted for as much as GBP 13.6 billion in 2016.

The report also provides information on the value of counterfeit goods sold in the UK and their originating countries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to tackle the sale of counterfeit cigarettes in Lincolnshire.

Trading Standards are the lead organisation for enforcement of IP at the point of sale, tackling counterfeits and piracy. Local enforcement will be a local matter, in this instance for Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to tackle the effect of counterfeit goods on UK businesses.

The UK Government takes the issue of Intellectual Property (IP) infringement seriously and is working with industry and enforcement agencies on a number of initiatives to tackle this issue. This includes the Intellectual Property Office’s work with the IP Crime Group to coordinate the UK response to tackling counterfeiting and piracy. The IPO funds and works closely with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) based in the City of London Police which is dedicated to tackling serious and organised online piracy and counterfeiting to protect legitimate UK businesses.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support he is providing to the cultural and arts sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Last year the government announced the unprecedented £1.57 billion support package for the culture sector, of which over £1 billion has now been allocated to almost 3,800 arts and culture organisations across the country and a further £500 million to enable the film and TV sector to restart production. This funding is supporting the arts and culture sector to survive the pandemic and continue operating. On 4 March, the Chancellor announced over £400 million in additional funding for arts, culture and heritage industries, including £300 million additional funding for the Culture Recovery Fund, to continue to support key cultural organisations as audiences begin to return.

The £300 million additional funding for the Culture Recovery Fund will continue to support key cultural organisations; bridge the sector as audiences begin to return; and continue to ensure a vibrant future for the culture sector as the nation recovers from the pandemic. The Fund covers charitable and private organisations of all sizes in the arts, museums, heritage sectors as well as music venues, festivals and independent cinemas.

The Government’s other unprecedented packages of support includes bespoke support schemes for those who are self employed. SEISS has so far helped c.2.7 million self employed. Details on future SEISS support were announced by the Chancellor in his Budget Statement with an extension of the scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time. The Government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) for hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 31 March to 30 September 2021. In addition, to help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to support heritage crafts.

The Government fully recognises the contribution that the UK’s heritage crafts make to the country’s cultural fabric and international reputation. We welcome programmes of support to help artisans and communities continue to practice those traditions which are important to them. For example, organisations such as Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund provide grants for community organisations to support traditional craft skills.

The Heritage Stimulus Fund stream of the Culture Recovery Fund, co-ordinated by Historic England, provided £53m of funding to support construction and conservation projects at heritage sites across England. This included funding over 1000 projects directly, and also providing over £11m of funds through umbrella organisations including the Historic Houses Association and Church of England. These construction and conservation projects have sustained a pipeline of work for skilled craftspeople. I also recognise the contribution of philanthropy to this vital element of our shared heritage.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what funding the Government plans to make available to support the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s forthcoming platinum Jubilee.

The UK Government expects funding for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to come from a range of sources and every effort will be made to ensure that any activities and programmes for the Jubilee do not impose an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to block websites which (a) promote misinformation on and (b) encourage suicide.

In December 2020, we published the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, which sets out new expectations on companies to keep their users safe online.

Under a new legal duty of care, in-scope companies will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content and protect children from harmful content and activity online. This includes illegal content on websites which encourages or incites suicide online, with all companies expected to take swift and effective action against such content. Companies will also be required to tackle illegal disinformation, for example, where this contains direct incitement to violence, such as encouraging burning down phone masts on the false premise they spread coronavirus.

We also recognise that some users, including young adults, may be exposed to harmful content that relates to self-harm or suicide which does not breach a criminal threshold. The major companies will also have a duty to tackle legal but harmful content, including material which relates to self-harm or suicide, which can have a serious psychological and emotional impact. These companies will also need to set out what content, including misinformation and disinformation, is acceptable in their terms and conditions. If what is appearing on their services does not match up with the promises made to users, Ofcom will be able to take enforcement action.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many libraries have closed in the last five years.

The Libraries Taskforce published the 'Public libraries in England: extended dataset' on 11 January 2018 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-libraries-in-england-basic-dataset#history) provides details of static libraries (statutory and non-statutory) in England as at 1 April 2010 and 1 July 2016, and includes information on permanent library closures, as well as new libraries opening.

Details relating to static libraries as at 31 December 2019 has been collected by Arts Council England and will be published shortly.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to measure Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Government fully recognises the contribution that the UK’s oral traditions, social practices and festive events make to the country’s cultural fabric. While it is not possible to measure all intangible heritage, as it is constantly evolving, there are many programmes to help communities continue to practice those traditions which are important to them. For example, organisations such as Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund provide grants for community organisations to support such intangible customs as traditional craft skills, languages and artistic expressions.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department is providing to spectator sports during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been working closely with sport governing bodies and clubs across the country to fully assess what support is needed, as a result of the restrictions many sports have faced around the return of fans.

As a result of this work, on 19 November 2020 we announced a £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package to protect their immediate futures over the winter period.

These interventions were on top of the multi-billion pound package of business support from the Treasury that has enabled many sports clubs and leisure businesses to survive, including the furlough scheme and business interruption loan scheme. Sports have accessed many hundreds of millions of pounds of support through this.

We have also now enabled the return of fans to sports events in tiers one and two, which will provide a vital boost to the sector on the road to recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made on delivering support for the culture and heritage sector through the Culture Recovery Fund.

We have now reached a critical milestone - £1 billion worth of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund has been allocated across all four nations of the UK. That includes:

  • Direct support to national institutions and the Devolved Administrations, who have received £188 million through the Barnett formula;

  • Over £500million in recovery grants to over 3000 arts and heritage organisations in England;

  • Over £100million in capital grants to arts and heritage organisations;

  • And over £160million in generous repayable finance to some of our most iconic national institutions

The £1 billion already committed has supported over 3000 organisations to weather this storm, supporting more than 75,000 jobs, with many more freelancers and jobs in vital supply chain industries also benefitting.

An additional £400m of grants and loan funding was announced on 11 December, which will support significant cultural organisations who now face financial distress as a result of closure, as well as helping them transition back to fuller opening in the spring.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the papers of composer Sir Malcolm Arnold are preserved in the National Archives.

The National Archives and the Ministry of Justice are currently liaising regarding records of the Office of the Public Guardian and the Chancery Division of the High Court which pertain to Sir Malcolm Arnold. Whilst discussions are ongoing the records are secure within the custody of the Ministry of Justice and are not at imminent risk of destruction.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the heritage and craft sector.

The Cultural Recovery Fund of £1.57bn is awarding lifeline grants that will preserve culturally significant sites and organisations. It will help ensure access to arts, culture and heritage in local communities are protected in the months ahead. In collaboration with the newly extended Furlough Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme , it will help protect jobs within the heritage and creative industries.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to protect the integrity of (a) contested heritage and (b) other aspects of the historic environment.

Government is committed to upholding the integrity of the historic environment, including through the statutory heritage protection and planning systems, and through the stewardship of its historic estate.

It does not propose to remove contested public statues or other similar objects on its property and does not support the removal of those owned by others. It believes that it is always legitimate to examine and debate Britain’s history, but removing contested elements of the historic environment is not the right approach.

Government has been clear that rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain’s complex past, both good and bad.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to the British Library in the last 10 years.

The British Library received just over £1 billion in exchequer funding for the 10 year period 2010/11 – 2019/20. This is a combination of annual grant-in-aid from DCMS, together with funding received from a number of other government departments and grants from government funded organisations.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to protect and promote monuments in the United Kingdom.

Responsibility for public statues and memorials rests with their owners, with those deemed to be of special architectural or historic interest potentially subject to statutory protection as, or as part of, Listed Buildings. The National Heritage List for England highlights the significance of historically important listed statues and memorials, and is a resource for educating people about all aspects of our complex past, good and bad. In England, Historic England is looking to proactively support such conversations with guidance, research and advice to owners, local authorities and communities.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to require (a) Twitter, Facebook and Google and (b) other technology companies to protect freedom of speech.

The UK supports freedom of expression as both a fundamental right in itself and as an essential element of a full range of human rights. It is vital that we maintain a thriving democracy and society where pluralism and freedom of expression are protected. It is important that people are able to enjoy their right to freedom of expression and participate in online discussions.

The government’s world-leading proposals for a new regulatory framework for online harms will include robust safeguards to protect freedom of expression online. The proposed approach will improve transparency for users about what is and is not acceptable on different platforms, and will enhance users’ ability to challenge removal of content where this occurs.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure a sustainable future for local radio.

While radio stations across the UK are reporting increasing numbers of listeners tuning in to their broadcasts, many of these stations are operating against the backdrop of a rapid fall in advertising and other revenues due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commercial radio stations have been able to take advantage of some of the unprecedented support measures that have been introduced across the wider economy, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. However, we acknowledge that commercial radio also faces some sector-specific pressures.

We are pleased that an agreement has now been reached with Arqiva that will result in a significant reduction in annual transmission costs for local commercial stations that use Arqiva’s services, and have worked with industry during this crisis to support efforts to reduce other costs. We note in particular the help secured by Radiocentre in the form of reduced music licensing payments to reflect the fall in stations’ revenues, and Ofcom’s announcement relaxing its enforcement of licensees’ programming and production requirements, which has been extended to December.

We have also worked with Ofcom to release emergency funding, through the Community Radio Fund, to help community radio stations continue to provide programming and outreach projects for the communities they serve. Ofcom announced details of 81 awards on 4 June.

We note that Ofcom plan to begin advertising small-scale multiplex licences later this year, which will provide a lower-cost digital transmission option for smaller stations, and we will shortly be publishing our response to our consultation on analogue commercial radio licences.

We will continue to liaise with stakeholders across the industry regarding ways in which the Government can reduce regulatory burdens further to support radio through Covid-19 and beyond.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to ensure that (a) local communities and (b) grassroots football benefit from the return of (i) Premier League and (ii) Championship football.

The Government has been liaising closely with the football authorities as their plans to restart the season have developed. In all discussions with them, Ministers have strongly encouraged them to ensure that finances from the game's resumption support the wider football family, and avoid the net loss of significant sums of money.

The Premier League, alongside the Government and the FA, routinely invest significantly in grassroots sport through the Football Foundation. This three-way partnership sees a combined £70m go to new community facilities each year.

We will continue to press the football authorities to ensure the whole football pyramid is looked after.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to work with the voluntary sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Volunteers and the voluntary sector are playing a vital role in tackling the challenges of COVID-19.

Our pledge of £750 million, including my Department’s £200 million Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, is providing essential funds to enable voluntary and community organisations to deliver services at the local and national level.

My Department is working closely with the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership to match the country’s strong base of willing volunteers with priority needs and to target support to areas of greatest need. We are also working with the voluntary sector to ensure that government guidance is effective and that volunteer mobilisation schemes are consistently rewarding, effective and safe.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure a sustainable future for local newspapers.

This government is clear that local newspapers are vital to a healthy democracy, They are uniquely placed to undertake investigative journalism and scrutiny of public institutions, including local councils and courts.

As the independent Cairncross Review into the future of journalism identified, society is increasingly moving online and news publishers are facing significant challenges in transitioning to sustainable digital business models. The government supports the majority of the nine recommendations the Cairncross Review made for government, regulators and industry to help future-proof the sector, and is already taking some forward. We have worked with Nesta to develop a £2million pilot innovation fund, launched in October 2019, which seeks to invest in new technological prototypes, start-ups and innovative business models to explore new ways of sustaining the industry. The government will consider options for the full fund ahead of the next Spending Review.

Covid-19 has exacerbated and accelerated the already challenging financial situation for local papers. The government recognises their vital role in ensuring the provision of reliable, high-quality information throughout the current pandemic, and has therefore clarified that journalists and other ancillary staff are ‘key workers’ for the purposes of access to childcare and educational places. We have also issued guidance to local authorities on the importance of newspaper delivery, to support the continued dissemination of printed public interest news. Additionally, the government has sought to maximise publishers’ advertising opportunities through a public information campaign. The current partnership brings together over 600 titles across the UK, with the vast majority of titles being local papers.

Local publishers are also able to benefit from several measures included in our unprecedented business support package, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Job Retention Scheme, Bounce Back Loans, VAT deferrals, and coverage of statutory sick pay costs.

The government will continue to consider all possible options in the interests of promoting and sustaining high-quality news journalism. We are committed to getting this work right, so future generations can be inspired and engaged by a free and vibrant press.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that a daily act of worship is taking place in every maintained school.

Every maintained school, academy and free school is required to ensure that collective worship takes place each day.

If the Department is informed that a school may be in breach of this requirement, it will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of apprenticeships across a range of traditional craft skills broken down by craft.

We have introduced new high-quality apprenticeship standards which are developed and designed by employers to meet the skills needs of their sectors. There are currently 600 high-quality standards available to employers and apprentices, at a range of levels and across a broad range of industries.

Groups of employers can propose apprenticeship standards for development to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute), which will fall into one of 15 occupational routes for technical education, based on the Sainsbury Panel recommendations. We do not hold a definitive list of craft occupations but within the Creative and Design route, where occupations considered to be traditional crafts are likely to feature, apprenticeship standards include Bookbinder and Leather Craftsperson at level 2 and Bespoke Furniture at level 3. We continue to work closely with the Institute to ensure there are sufficient standards to meet employer demand. A full list of available standards can be found here: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/.

To help employers in all sectors offer new apprenticeships, they will be able to claim a higher payment of £3,000 for every new apprentice they hire between 1 April and 30 September 2021 as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. The increased payment makes it a great time for employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities and to take advantage of existing flexibilities to train apprentices in a way that suits their needs.

We are committed to supporting employers of all sizes to offer apprenticeships. In the 2021-22 financial year, we are making available £2.5 billion to support apprenticeships in all employers, irrespective of their size.

From 1 April 2021, all small to medium-sized enterprises arranging new apprenticeship starts will do so through the apprenticeship service, as levy payers do now. This will give them more control over their apprenticeship choices and the ability to reserve funds before choosing the provider that best meets their needs. We continue to work with smaller employers to give them the confidence and support to take on new apprentices.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that schools commemorate and celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s forthcoming Platinum Jubilee.

The Department is currently considering ways in which it, and schools, can commemorate and celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Details of this will be available once decisions have been made and plans are in place.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the curriculum for all school pupils includes (a) the work of William Shakespeare and (b) the full canon of English Literature.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. It encourages pupils to read a range of books, poems, and plays to encourage the development of a life-long love of literature. Pupils should be taught to maintain positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions.

The English National Curriculum applies to all state-maintained schools, but not academies or free schools. Academies must teach a broad and balanced curriculum, including English. It is a statutory requirement that maintained schools follow the English Programmes of Study. Whilst these Programmes of Study do not set out specific reading lists at secondary level, they set out the following categories from which schools should choose texts.

At Key Stage 3, all pupils in maintained schools must study: English Literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama; Shakespeare (two plays); and seminal world literature. We have also strengthened the Key Stage 4 English Programmes of Study to ensure all pupils read a wide range of high-quality, challenging, classic English Literature. There is a renewed focus on the reading of whole texts. At Key Stage 4, all pupils in maintained schools must study: at least one play by Shakespeare; works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; and poetry since 1789, including Romantic poetry.

Exam boards will set out a range of choices within the following categories from which schools can select texts. Those taking a GCSE in English Literature, which is the majority of Key Stage 4 pupils, must study: at least one play by Shakespeare; at least one nineteenth-century novel; a selection of poetry since 1789, including representative Romantic poetry; and fiction or drama from the British Isles from 1914 onwards.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase the number of apprenticeships offered in the funeral and death care sector.

Apprenticeships are jobs with high-quality training, created by employers, and we encourage businesses in all sectors, including the funeral and death care sector, to use apprenticeships to recruit the right people and develop the skills they need.

There are two high-quality, employer-designed, apprenticeship standards in the funeral and death care sector available for employers to use; the level 3 funeral director standard and the level 2 funeral team member standard. In 2019-20 academic year, there were 50 starts on the funeral director standard and 140 starts on the funeral team member standard. A level 3 mortuary technician standard and a level 5 embalmer standard are currently in development.

To help employers in all sectors offer new apprenticeships, they are now able to claim £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, and £1,500 for new apprentices aged 25 and over. These incentive payments were announced as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs in July 2020 and the extension of the scheme (to the end of March 2021) was announced in the November Spending Review.

We are committed to supporting employers of all sizes to offer apprenticeships. In the 2021-22 financial year, we are making available £2.5 billion to support apprenticeships in all employers, irrespective of their size.

We continue to work with smaller employers to give them the confidence and support to take on new apprentices. We are reforming the system so that unspent levy funds can be used more easily not just in big companies, but in the small and medium enterprises too.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made in (a) reducing the number of young people going to university, (b) increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships and (c) redirecting funding from Russel Group universities to providers of technical education.

Higher and further education are different routes on the same journey to skilled employment and both should be valued. It is vital that a fair and open post-16 education system offers genuine opportunity and levelling up, with equity of technical and academic routes.

We will therefore be establishing a high-quality system of higher technical education where learners and employers can have confidence in high-quality courses that provide the skills they need to succeed, whether they are taught in a further education college, a university, or an independent training provider.

We have also introduced employer-designed T Levels, which will boost access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people so they can progress to the next level, whether that is getting a job, going on to further study or an apprenticeship. The first three T Levels are now being taught in 44 providers across the country, with further courses being introduced in more providers over the next three years.

Apprenticeships are a high-quality path to a skilled career, and we have been making reforms to drive up the quality of apprenticeships. The transition to employer-designed apprenticeship standards is driving up quality and delivering the skills that employers need. There are now over 590 employer-designed standards across a broad range of industries and levels, including 138 standards at degree-level, providing people of all backgrounds with a choice of high-value technical training alongside traditional academic routes. Starts at higher levels (4 and above) increased by nearly 10% to 82,500 in 2019/20, compared to 75,100 in 2018/19. To encourage employers to take on new apprentices following the COVID-19 outbreak we have introduced new financial incentives for employers - an extra £2,000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1,500 for apprentices over 25.

We have been increasing investment in technical education including up to £500 million a year once fully rolled out for T Levels and, starting this year, £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) in the National Skills Fund to deliver new opportunities to generations of adults who may have been previously left behind.

We are also investing £1.5 billion to upgrade the further education estate so that it has the buildings and facilities needed to deliver high quality technical education and we are planning to invest up to £290 million of capital funding to establish 20 Institutes of Technology. Every region in England will have access to one of these Institutes of Technology, which will be unique collaborations between further education colleges, universities and businesses offering higher technical education and training in key sectors such as digital, construction, advanced manufacturing, and engineering.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the imposition of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on disadvantaged pupils.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. To address the impacts of COVID-19 disruption, we have launched a £650 million universal catch-up premium, and a £350 million National Tutoring Programme (NTP) for disadvantaged pupils. The NTP went live on 2 November 2020, and schools are now able to access tuition to support disadvantaged pupils that needed the most help to catch up.

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 disruption on attainment and progress is a key research priority for the government, and we have commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to consider catch up needs and monitor progress over the course of this academic year.

We know that access to mental health support has been more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. To ensure that staff were equipped to support wellbeing as children and young people returned to schools and colleges, we have made it a central part of our guidance on the return to school. We have supported this with a range of training and materials, including webinars, which have been accessed by thousands of education staff and accelerating training on how to teach about mental health as part of the new Relationships, Sex and Health curriculum, so that all pupils can benefit from this long-term requirement.

To provide further support during the autumn and spring terms, the Department for Education has worked with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England, Public Health England, and key voluntary sector organisations, to launch Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, will train local experts to provide additional training, advice and resources to schools and colleges, to help support pupil and student wellbeing, resilience, and recovery. It will give staff the confidence to support pupils and students, their parents, carers, and their own colleagues, and know how and where to access appropriate specialist support where needed.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support and encourage diversity of thought amongst academics in UK universities.

This government has been clear in its commitment to strengthen academic freedom and ensure that our universities are places where free speech can thrive. Without action to counter attempts to discourage or even silence unpopular views, intellectual life on campus for both staff and students may be unfairly narrowed and diminished. That is why there is a commitment in the 2019 manifesto to strengthen academic freedom and free speech at universities.

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle in the English higher education sector, as recognised in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and other legislation, allowing academic staff to question and test received wisdom and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges.

Free speech is protected in universities by law. Under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, universities have a duty to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers”.

Higher education providers registered with the Office for Students must also comply with the ongoing registration condition to meet Public Interest Governance Principles. Principles I and VII relate to academic freedom and free speech.

There have been some examples of attempts to restrict free speech under the banner of no-platforming or safe spaces, and it is important that this does not become commonplace. The government does not support blanket no-platforming of individuals or organisations.

Individual providers have the autonomy to take their own decisions about which individuals are invited to speak on campus. However, in all circumstances, higher education providers must ensure they are complying with their freedom of speech duty obligations.

To further strengthen academic freedom and free speech, a range of legislative and non-legislative options are being considered, and ministers will be looking at these carefully, working closely with regulatory bodies to assess next steps.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure UK universities protect free speech.

This government has been clear in its commitment to strengthen academic freedom and ensure that our universities are places where free speech can thrive. Without action to counter attempts to discourage or even silence unpopular views, intellectual life on campus for both staff and students may be unfairly narrowed and diminished. That is why there is a commitment in the 2019 manifesto to strengthen academic freedom and free speech at universities.

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle in the English higher education sector, as recognised in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and other legislation, allowing academic staff to question and test received wisdom and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges.

Free speech is protected in universities by law. Under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, universities have a duty to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers”.

Higher education providers registered with the Office for Students must also comply with the ongoing registration condition to meet Public Interest Governance Principles. Principles I and VII relate to academic freedom and free speech.

There have been some examples of attempts to restrict free speech under the banner of no-platforming or safe spaces, and it is important that this does not become commonplace. The government does not support blanket no-platforming of individuals or organisations.

Individual providers have the autonomy to take their own decisions about which individuals are invited to speak on campus. However, in all circumstances, higher education providers must ensure they are complying with their freedom of speech duty obligations.

To further strengthen academic freedom and free speech, a range of legislative and non-legislative options are being considered, and ministers will be looking at these carefully, working closely with regulatory bodies to assess next steps.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he is taking steps to prohibit no platform policies in universities; and if he will make a statement.

This government has been clear in its commitment to strengthen academic freedom and ensure that our universities are places where free speech can thrive. Without action to counter attempts to discourage or even silence unpopular views, intellectual life on campus for both staff and students may be unfairly narrowed and diminished. That is why there is a commitment in the 2019 manifesto to strengthen academic freedom and free speech at universities.

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle in the English higher education sector, as recognised in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and other legislation, allowing academic staff to question and test received wisdom and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges.

Free speech is protected in universities by law. Under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, universities have a duty to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers”.

Higher education providers registered with the Office for Students must also comply with the ongoing registration condition to meet Public Interest Governance Principles. Principles I and VII relate to academic freedom and free speech.

There have been some examples of attempts to restrict free speech under the banner of no-platforming or safe spaces, and it is important that this does not become commonplace. The government does not support blanket no-platforming of individuals or organisations.

Individual providers have the autonomy to take their own decisions about which individuals are invited to speak on campus. However, in all circumstances, higher education providers must ensure they are complying with their freedom of speech duty obligations.

To further strengthen academic freedom and free speech, a range of legislative and non-legislative options are being considered, and ministers will be looking at these carefully, working closely with regulatory bodies to assess next steps.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to work with the (a) oil and gas industry and (b) other parts of the private sector to support the technical and vocational skills training required to meet the commitments in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

The oil and gas sector has a key role to play as we move to a net zero economy, and this Government has committed to supporting this energy transition with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition to anchor the supply chain across the UK. This also includes a focus on skills, supporting high-quality jobs in new energy technologies that will help to decarbonise our economy.

Private sector engagement through employers is also key to our work in helping shape future policies and programmes. The new Green Jobs Taskforce, launched on 12 November 2020, has been set up to help the UK build back greener and deliver the skilled workforce needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is a joint initiative between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for Education.

Working with employers and relevant stakeholders, such as the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the Taskforce will develop an action plan to support 2 million good quality, green jobs and the skills needed by 2030. This will support the UK in transitioning to a net zero economy and deliver a green recovery.

One key aim of the Taskforce is to identify the support needed for workers transitioning from high carbon industries such as oil and gas and how to best mobilise their skills for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Taskforce members will represent views of businesses, employees, and the skills sector. Involvement in this work will not be limited only to Taskforce members, and there will be opportunities for a wider set of stakeholders, including the private sector, to contribute.

Further details on the Taskforce, including a full list members, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-launches-taskforce-to-support-drive-for-2-million-green-jobs-by-2030.

The ECITB grant also supports a wide range of training in the oil and gas sector, from craft, apprenticeships, and technical training to project management. The ECITB’s recently announced COVID-19 support package is directly focused on the oil and gas sector. This includes the ‘Train to Retain’ initiative, which will support the retention and development of graduates and apprentices, ensuring that vital engineering skills are secured in the industry.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of changes in the level of pupils' reading ability in the last ten years in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.

It is a statutory requirement in the national curriculum that pupils in state-maintained schools should be taught to apply phonic knowledge and skills for word reading.

The phonics screening check (PSC) was introduced in 2012 to confirm whether each child has learnt phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. Reading is also assessed in the national curriculum assessments at Key Stage 1 and 2. The 2016 Key Stage 2 assessments were the first which assess the new, more challenging national curriculum which was introduced in 2014. Because of the changes to the curriculum, figures for 2016 are not comparable to those for earlier years.

The most recent data for both the PSC and KS2 assessments is 2019, as the 2020 assessments were cancelled due to COVID-19.

In 2012 68% of pupils in state-funded schools in the Lincolnshire Local Authority met the required standard of phonics decoding, by 2019 this had increased to 81%.[1] In 2016, 63% of pupils in state-funded schools in the Lincolnshire Local Authority met the expected standard of reading at KS2,[2] by 2019, this figure has risen to 68%.[3]

In 2012 58% of pupils in state-funded schools in England met the required standard of phonics decoding. By 2019, this had risen to 82% of pupils in state-funded schools England. In 2016, 66% of pupils in state-funded schools in England met the expected standard of reading at KS2, by 2019 this had risen to 73%.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/phonics-screening-check-and-key-stage-1-assessments-england-2019

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2016-provisional

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2019-provisional

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the role played by LGBT+ advocacy groups in the delivery of sex education in primary schools.

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe and to equip them for adult life. That is why Relationships Education has been made compulsory for primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) has been made compulsory for secondary school pupils, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools.

The statutory duty to implement the new subjects from September 2020 has come into force. However, considering the current circumstances faced by schools, the Department is reassuring schools that they have flexibility over when they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The content on Relationships Education for primary school pupils focuses on supporting children to have healthy relationships with their family and healthy friendships. It does not include content on sex education. If a primary school chooses to teach sex education, they will be required to publish a policy on this. Head teachers will automatically grant a request to withdraw a pupil from any sex education delivered in primary schools, other than as part of the science curriculum.

All pupils should receive teaching on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) content during their school years. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools can, when teaching about different types of families, include families with same-sex parents.

The statutory guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education sets out clear advice on choosing resources. The guidance states that schools should assess each resource they intend to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils and sensitive to their needs. Schools should also ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use. Schools should also ensure that teaching delivered by external agencies or visitors fits with their planned programme and their published policy. It is important that schools discuss the detail of how the visitor will deliver their sessions and ensure that the content is age-appropriate and accessible for the pupils. Schools should ask to see the materials that external agencies or visitors will use as well as a lesson plan in advance, so that they can ensure it meets the full range of pupils’ needs (for example, special educational needs). The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

In covering the content of the new subjects, the guidance also sets out schools’ duty to comply with relevant requirements of the Equality Act (2010), including the Public Sector Equality Duty. Schools should also be aware of their duties regarding impartiality and balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom to ensure content is handled in an appropriate way.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to reduce disparities in funding levels for pupils in London schools and pupils in schools outside of London.

We are giving schools the largest cash boost in a decade, which will give every school more money for every child. Core schools funding will increase by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion by 2021-22, and £7.1 billion by 2022-23, in comparison to 2019-20. We have continued to distribute this funding through the National Funding Formula, which ensures that funding is based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics, and not on accidents of geography or history.

The National Funding Formula ensures that every school will receive more money for every pupil next year. On average, schools are attracting 4.2% more per pupil in 2020-21 compared to in 2019-20. We are delivering the greatest gains to areas which have been historically underfunded, removing the previous cap on gains so that increases in funding now flow through in full. We are also levelling up the lowest funded schools to ensure they have the right investment to deliver an outstanding education. Every secondary school is receiving at least £5,000 per pupil, and every primary school at least £3,750 next year – putting primary schools on the path to receiving at least £4,000 per pupil from next year.

The formula also ensures that every school is receiving an increase to their pupil-led per pupil funding of at least 1.84% next year compared to their previous year’s allocation.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of social distancing on levels of loneliness among students in primary and secondary schools.

The department has been working closely with partners to provide resources and update guidance to support and promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes signposting to resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, the government announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities – including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK. This is in addition to the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, administered by Mind, for mental health charities to help them adapt, expand and reach those who are most vulnerable.

The return to school is a key part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. To support this, we have encouraged schools to focus on mental wellbeing as pupils return. Children in Reception, year 1 and year 6 are now able to return to primary, and year 10 and year 12 pupils are able to receive face-to-face support at secondary. Primaries with capacity can bring back additional groups, in line with existing protective measures, and we have given schools the flexibility to have face-to-face ‘check-ups’ with all pupils during the summer term, which will ensure more children and young people are able to achieve this benefit. Our intention is for all children to return to school from September and guidance will be published soon.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs.

Public Health England and Health Education England have also published advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

The department has also published statutory guidance which states that, as part of the new relationships and sex education and health education curriculum, primary and secondary school children should be taught about loneliness. This will include issues like building positive friendships and mental wellbeing. The department is developing a programme of support and resources to help schools teach the new requirements.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide further support for students who have fallen behind in their studies during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

This package of measures includes:

  • A universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time.
  • A new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils.

The ‘Covid-19 Recovery Guide for Schools’,[1] published by the Education Endowment Foundation, provides evidence-based approaches that will support schools to make the best use of the premium.

The premium will be paid as a grant to all state-funded schools in England over the 2020/21 academic year, in addition to schools’ core budgets for 2020-21. We will confirm the timetable for publishing institution-level allocations in due course.

[1] https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that white working class children do not fall further behind in educational outcomes as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

As plans continue for a full return to education from September, we have announced a £1 billion COVID-19 ‘catch-up’ package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020-21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of their income or background.

This package will make sure that every pupil, no matter their age or where they live, gets the education, opportunities and outcomes they deserve. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions.

On 19 June, the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this universal funding to best support their pupils, which is available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf.

In addition, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people. This will help accelerate their academic progress and prevent the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening.

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion three-year funding settlement announced last year, recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that working class children have adequate access to the arts in schools and colleges.

The Government believes all pupils should have access to an excellent well-rounded education and the arts are central to this. A high-quality arts education should not be the preserve of the elite but the entitlement of every child. That is why music, art and design, drama and dance are included in the national curriculum and compulsory in all maintained schools from the age of 5 to 14. Post-14, all pupils in maintained schools must be offered the opportunity to study at least one subject in the arts.

Ofsted’s inspection arrangements place a focus on schools ensuring all pupils receive a broad, balanced, and ambitious curriculum, including the arts and as exemplified by the national curriculum.

In addition, between 2016-20 the Department provided almost £500 million of funding for a range of creative and performance arts education programmes including Music Education Hubs, the Music and Dance Scheme, the Dance and Drama Awards, and a set of diverse cultural education programmes. In early January 2020, we announced funding of £85 million for music and arts in 2020-21; £80 million for music hubs coupled with further investment in film, dance, theatre, and design. Across these programmes there is a focus on inclusion of disadvantaged pupils as part of their provision.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that future generations of schoolchildren in addition to online content have adequate access to books and written material (a) in and (b) outside of the classroom.

We believe all children deserve to be taught a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts, both physical and digital, in and out of school. The English programmes of study emphasise the importance of listening to, discussing and reading for themselves a wide range of books, poems, plays and information books. We will continue to encourage the development of a life-long love of literature for future generations.

The Department recently published initial findings on complete curriculum programmes for specific subjects in key stages, showing the benefits of high quality curriculum resources on the quality of education and reducing unnecessary teacher workload. The initial findings can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-curriculum-programme-pilot-early-findings. A final report will be published in due course.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people have the skills they need for future roles; and what steps he is taking to re-skill people who do not have skills to meet the economic requirements of the UK.

We are delivering a long-term programme to reform the post-16 skills system to address national and local productivity challenges, ensuring that businesses and individuals have the skills they need to meet the needs of the new economy. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has also announced that we are working on a White Paper that will deliver ambitious reform in our vital further education sector.

These reforms include involving employers in the design of new apprenticeship standards to ensure they are more responsive to their needs. 74% of new starts in 2019/20 so far are on standards (rather than frameworks) and the switch-off of frameworks is going ahead on the 31 July.

We are also Introducing T-Levels from this September. Designed by employers, with longer teaching hours and meaningful industry placements, T-Levels will be excellent preparation for skilled work or further training. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, we are continuing with introduction in September as planned. Additionally, the Adult Education Budget will fully fund or co-fund skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3 (including traineeships), to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning. Over the course of this Parliament, we are providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for a new National Skills Fund to help people learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to help increase the number of vulnerable children attending school during the covid-19 lockdown.

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

Our latest guidance on vulnerable children is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Attending school is a strong protective factor for many vulnerable children and young people. This is why education settings remain open for these children. We are closely monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children and encouraging attendance where that would be in their best interests. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has written to leaders of all education settings and directors of children‘s services in England to encourage attendance for these children.

Around 58,000 vulnerable children were attending an educational setting in the week ending 1 May, compared to about 50,000 the previous week.

A key focus for the start of this new term was to increase the attendance of vulnerable children and young people. In many schools (multi-academy trusts and local authority areas) there are great examples of work being done to encourage children to attend schools. Our new Regional Education and Children’s Teams are sharing that practice through their regional approach.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and support services throughout this period. Officials in the department, and re-deployed Ofsted Inspection teams, are working with local authorities directly to ensure that their systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England and to share good practice. We have issued detailed guidance explaining how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not attending nursery, school or further education settings, we have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure that every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them and that systems are in place to keep in touch with those children who are unable to attend.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the revised national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides will recognise pollinator sustainability as a core principle.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to assess the risk posed by non-native pollinator species to native species, regarding (a) pest, (b) disease and (c) displacement.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what weighting is given to pollinator population health in the pesticide approval and use process.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the risk of pesticides to pollinator species population; and what methodology was used for that assessment.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to further pollinator-friendly policies in urban spaces.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the health of the habitats of UK pollinator species.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an impact assessment of the associated risks posed by a significant decline in UK pollinator species.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the geographic distribution of honey bee populations in the UK.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the species diversity and sustainability of the UK’s current wild bee population.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) maintain and (b) increase the understanding within his Department of pollinator species' (i) health and (ii) needs.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department made of the size of the UK’s pollinator species populations.

Defra's indicator of the status of UK pollinating insects shows that overall distribution has declined since 1980, but with little change over the short term. Although not yet definitive, there are encouraging signs; for example the average distribution of wild bees has shown some stability over recent years. While indicators of the abundance of UK butterflies show long term declines since 1976, there has also been no significant change since 2015.

Of the 148 species of bee and 229 species of hoverfly in our pollinating insects indicator, over the long term, 19% of species became more widespread (7% showed a strong increase), and 49% became less widespread (24% showed a strong decrease). By contrast, over the short term, a greater proportion of species were increasing (46%, with 34% exhibiting a strong increase) than decreasing (43%, with 36% exhibiting a strong decrease).

The size of the honey bee population is dependent to a large extent on the numbers of beekeepers. Defra has performed an annual hive count since 2015 and the latest count, at the end of the 2020 season, indicated a total UK population of approximately 260,000 honey bee colonies. As the calculations rely on several assumptions, the hive count figure is termed an experimental statistic. Distribution of hives is determined by where beekeepers arrange to locate their apiaries. The National Bee Unit collates information on apiary location by county, for example, but no formal assessment of geographic distribution has been made.

In 2019, alongside academic partners, we published evidence statements on what is known about the status, values, drivers of change, and responses to management of UK insect pollinators. This concluded that the service of pollination, provided by wild and managed insects, is dependent on insect numbers, and can be improved by diverse pollinator communities, therefore it is possible that pollination services to crops and wild plants have declined in the long term.

The review also highlighted the biggest risk factors to UK pollinator species, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and risks from pesticide use. We continue to act on these issues while keeping other threats under review alongside our partners on the National Pollinator Strategy. For managed honey bees, current major risks are from endemic pests and disease, on which we act alongside our partners on the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.

Our 2019 review showed that historical declines in nectar resources across Great Britain have slowed since the 1970s. While they remain below 1930 levels, total potential nectar resources increased by 25% between 1998 to 2007. Our annual indicator of the extent and condition of priority habitats, many of which are crucial for supporting pollinators, shows that in 2021, almost 1.23 million hectares, or 65.6% of all priority habitats, were in a favourable or unfavourable recovering condition. We are taking a range of actions to improve this position and to restore and create further pollinator habitat.

For example, between 2014 and 2019, Natural England estimates that the area of farmland covered by agri-environment scheme options delivering food and fuel for pollinators increased by 30,000 hectares, largely driven by Countryside Stewardship's Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package, while pollinators also benefited from managing existing habitat such as protected sites or hedgerows.

We are also working with landowners, farmers and growers alongside conservation bodies, to facilitate pollinator-friendly environments outside agri-environment schemes, for example through Natural England's 'Back from the Brink' species recovery programme and most recently, our Green Recovery Challenge Fund, including Butterfly Conservation's project to restore habitats at 18 woodland sites in the Morecambe Bay area to promote the recovery of threatened butterfly species.

We are building on these measures and projects in the design of our new environmental land management schemes, which will enable many more farmers and land managers to take positive action for pollinators.

In urban spaces, managing public land such as parks or roadside verges for pollinators will be one way that authorities can discharge their biodiversity duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a duty which the Environment Act 2021 strengthens. We are working across Government on ways to support them, such as by providing guidance. Local planning authorities and other designated public authorities will also be required to produce regular Biodiversity Reports setting out the action they have taken, and these reports will provide a valuable source of good practice.

Research also shows that urban gardens are a significant source of nectar provision and can support substantial pollinator populations. We established and coordinate 'Bees' Needs Week', an annual event working alongside our many partners to raise awareness of the steps that everyone can take to protect pollinators in gardens, allotments, window boxes or other community spaces. We work with our partners to provide year-round guidance and to celebrate examples of best practice in schools, community groups and local authorities through our 'Bees' Needs Champions Awards'.

Pesticides are strictly regulated and only authorised pesticides can be used. Authorisation is only given if, among other requirements, there are expected to be no unacceptable effects on non-target species.

Linking pesticide usage directly to changes in wild bees and other pollinators remains challenging because of the range of pressures which affect pollinators, in addition to the complexities of assessing and attributing pesticide usage and risk to impacts.

We have funded research into the exposure of honeybees to pesticides through analysing pesticide residues in honey samples from across the country and using metabarcoding to understand how honeybees are exposed to these pesticides. We are also currently funding research looking at how we could develop our monitoring to better understand the effects of pesticides on pollinators, as well as routes of exposure.

The draft 'National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides' (NAP) sets out the key ambition to support the development and greater uptake of Integrated Pest Management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and the natural environment. It also set out the intention to improve indicators of pesticide usage, risk and impacts and to ensure those who use pesticides do so safely and sustainably. This includes working in line with the National Pollinator Strategy. The draft NAP was the subject of a public consultation.

The key risk posed by non-native pollinator species is from the non-native pest Asian hornet, whose diet includes honey bees and other pollinating insects. A pest risk assessment and contingency plan were developed as the spread of the species in parts of Europe became clear. Since 2016 there have been small numbers of confirmed UK sightings, and the National Bee Unit has delivered a successful response in each of these cases. There is no evidence to suggest that Asian hornet has become established in the UK.

There are also risks to managed honey bees from other non-native species such as Small hive beetle. Imports of honey bees into the UK are only accepted from approved countries and are subject to rules relating to notification and health certification to ensure that imports are free of key pests and diseases. Post-import checks, including follow-up inspections, are also carried out.

We continue to work within Defra and across Government to maintain and increase the understanding of pollinator species' health and needs through our collaborative work under the National Pollinator Strategy and the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, to integrate action for wild pollinators and managed honey bees across Government policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress the Government has made on its policy to rewild areas of the countryside; and if he will make a statement.

Re-wilding generally refers to actions that restore natural processes to create and sustain rich ecosystems, sometimes with a species recovery component where appropriate. The Government is supporting a number of initiatives to create wilder landscapes across England, as part of a broader approach to nature recovery.

For example, the Knepp Wildland project in West Sussex shows what can be achieved with re-wilding approaches, where the creation of extensive grassland and scrub habitats has significantly benefited declining bird species like the nightingale or the turtle dove.

Over the past three years, we have allocated £10 million to deliver approximately 6,000 hectares of peatland restoration for projects in England. In March 2020, the Chancellor announced England’s biggest ever investment in peat and tree planting through the £640 million Nature for Climate Fund. We are using a proportion of this to restore 35,000 hectares of peatland over the next five years.

We will also initiate ten Landscape Recovery projects between 2022 and 2024 to help restore wilder landscapes. The focus will be on large-scale sites where there are opportunities significantly to enhance the landscape to deliver a wide range of environmental outcomes.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) protect and (b) promote (i) hedgehogs, (ii) red squirrels, (iii) water voles, (iv) dormice and other native species in the UK.

The Government is committed to taking action to recover our threatened native species, such as hedgehogs, red squirrels, water voles and dormice. Our Environment Bill includes measures that will help improve the status of threatened species, including setting at least one biodiversity target in law. The Bill will also strengthen the biodiversity duty on public authorities to take action to conserve and enhance biodiversity.

Additionally, through our net gain provisions in the Bill, we are supporting the role of new development in helping protect and create the habitat that our native species need to thrive.

We continue to work with stakeholders to determine the specific actions that will be paid for by our new schemes that will reward environmental land management. The Agricultural Transition Plan sets out examples of the types of actions that we envisage paying for under the schemes, including creating, managing and restoring habitats such as woodland, heathland and species-rich grassland, which could all benefit native species.

Furthermore, Defra and Natural England are bringing together partners, legislation and funding to create the Nature Recovery Network. Through this work, by 2042 we will create or restore 500,000 hectares of additional wildlife-rich habitat which will benefit our native species.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the increasing the maximum penalties for the illegal importation of dogs into the UK.

The Government takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importations of pets very seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to animals and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk.

Now the transition period has ended, we have the opportunity to manage our own pet travel and commercial importation rules. We are actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders, such as the RSCPA, the British Veterinary Association and Dogs Trust, and recent Parliamentary work from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, as we consider a range of recommendations in this area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on increasing the maximum penalties for the illegal importation of dogs into the UK.

The Government takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importations of pets very seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to animals and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk.

Now the transition period has ended, we have the opportunity to manage our own pet travel and commercial importation rules. We are actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders, such as the RSCPA, the British Veterinary Association and Dogs Trust, and recent Parliamentary work from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, as we consider a range of recommendations in this area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of proposals of the Dogs Trust to increase the minimum age at which puppies can be imported into the UK from 15 weeks to six months in order to make them less desirable for purchase and make the illegal puppy trade less lucrative for criminals.

The end of the transition period has opened up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel and commercial importation rules. We are actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders and the Government is considering options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling and prevent the low-welfare importation and movement of these animals including looking at the minimum age of dogs entering Great Britain (GB).

These options will take into consideration the results from our latest disease risk assessments for GB, recommendations of stakeholders such as the British Veterinary Association and Dogs Trust, and recent Parliamentary work from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of monitored marine fish stocks were overfished in UK waters in each of the last five years.

The UK Marine Strategy undertakes an assessment of the percentage of marine fish stocks with set quotas of UK interest that have been harvested sustainably. This assessment is undertaken every six years, with the latest assessment published in 2019. This includes data from 1990 to 2018.

This assessment found that the percentage of fish stocks fished at or below levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield, and therefore not considered overfished, has increased from 9% in 1990 to 46% in 2015 and 51% in 2018.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on marine life of sea scraping by industrial trawlers.

The impacts of all fishing activities are taken into account when we assess the status of UK seas and set targets to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) under the UK Marine Strategy. Our last assessment, carried out in 2019 under Part One of the Strategy, showed that commercial fishing is one of the predominant pressures preventing GES of UK seas, in particular some seabed habitats, from being achieved. To help address this we committed to assessing the feasibility of setting up a partnership working group with key stakeholders to identify solutions for potential fishing impacts on seabed integrity.

Work is also currently underway to update Part Three of the Strategy, which sets out the programmes and measures we are taking in our waters to help us move towards or maintain GES. Included as part of these measures will be the new Fisheries Act which now allows UK Authorities to manage fishing activity in our waters and will help to achieve the UK's vision of a clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse ocean and seas. In addition, the Act will allow fisheries management measures in our offshore Marine Protected Areas to be taken forward.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of creating protected spaces in UK waters in which fishing is prohibited.

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

Last year the Government commissioned an independent review (the Benyon Review) of whether Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) should be introduced into Secretary of State waters. The Government welcomes the report and recognises the potential role of HPMAs in securing our vision to leave the environment in a better state than which we found it. On 20th July 2020 the Secretary of State gave a speech on environmental recovery and stated his intention to pilot HPMAs. The Government will soon be publishing its response to the Review.

Whilst the Government is considering HPMAs, we have an existing network of Marine Protected Areas already in place covering 40% of English waters. We are focused on ensuring that these sites are protected properly from fishing activity, with over 90 inshore sites protected from bottom towed fishing gear. Whilst our ability to manage fishing within our offshore sites was restricted under the Common Fisheries Policy, we aim to make rapid progress this year using a new byelaw power in the Fisheries Act 2020. The Marine Management Organisation will soon be consulting on byelaws to manage fishing within four offshore Marine Protected Areas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of fish caught in UK waters were caught by supertrawlers in each of the last five years.

Information on the landings for the 11 non-UK registered vessels over 100 metres in overall length, that have fished in UK waters in the last 5 years, is held by their flag State. We cannot provide the information in relation to the UK’s only registered vessel that is over 100 metres in overall length as this would breach data protection legislation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons his officials commissioned research on dog electronic collars from an academic who had previously urged his Department to ban such collars.

The Government is satisfied that the processes for tendering and consideration of bids, relating to the research on electronic dog collars in 2007, were conducted in accordance with the rules on government procurement exercises. The Government is also satisfied that the resultant peer-reviewed Defra-commissioned research carried out between 2007 and 2010 (AW1402 and AW1402a) was robust and showed that the devices compromise the welfare of some dogs. Data from the research was published separately in two different reputable scientific journals, which required additional independent peer review exercises involving scrutiny from experts in the same field prior to publication. This gives the Government further confidence that the results can be considered robust.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the reliability of the academic analysis his Department commissioned on electronic dog collars.

The Government is satisfied that the processes for tendering and consideration of bids, relating to the research on electronic dog collars in 2007, were conducted in accordance with the rules on government procurement exercises. The Government is also satisfied that the resultant peer-reviewed Defra-commissioned research carried out between 2007 and 2010 (AW1402 and AW1402a) was robust and showed that the devices compromise the welfare of some dogs. Data from the research was published separately in two different reputable scientific journals, which required additional independent peer review exercises involving scrutiny from experts in the same field prior to publication. This gives the Government further confidence that the results can be considered robust.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of reducing the number of controlled winter burns on moorlands on levels of summer wildfires.

The Government is acutely aware of the wildfire risk presented by dry conditions on moorland. Natural England has published a wildfire evidence review into the causes, severity and management practices to mitigate wildfire risk. Officials are considering this along with evidence collected through stakeholder engagement to inform policy development in this area. Some of the clearest evidence points to improving the resilience of our peatlands to wildfire by ensuring they are wet and in a natural state. Managed burning results in an increase in vegetation types, such as heather, which have a higher fuel load compared with natural blanket bog vegetation.

We recognise that there will sometimes be exceptional circumstances where controlled burning may be the only practicable technique available to mitigate the risk of wildfire, as part of efforts to protect and restore peatland.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hen harrier nests there were on (a) RSPB and (b) non-RSPB reserves in each of the last eight years; how many of those nests failed to have any chicks fledge; and what the causes of each of those nest failures were.

Over the last eight years there have been four hen harrier nests on RSPB reserves (all Geltsdale).

Based on information held by Natural England, the nest in 2015 may have failed due to the disappearance of the breeding male. In 2016 there was one successful nest, and in 2020 two nesting attempts failed, likely due to the disappearance of the breeding male.

On non-RSPB reserves, based on information held by Natural England, there were:

  • Two nesting attempts in 2013, one likely failed due to female disappearance or desertion and the other was found to have abnormal eggs.
  • Four successful nests in 2014.
  • Six successful nests in 2015 and five failed nesting attempts. There were a number of reasons for the failed nests. One was thought to be predated, three may have failed due to the disappearance of the breeding males, and one unknown.
  • Two successful nests in 2016.
  • Three successful nests in 2017 and four failed nesting attempts. Three nests were thought to be predated, and one likely failed due to poor weather conditions.
  • Nine successful nests in 2018 and five failed nesting attempts. Three were thought to be predated, and two were deserted.
  • Twelve successful nests in 2019, and three failed nesting attempts. These nests likely failed due to poor weather conditions.
  • Nineteen successful nests in 2020, and three failed nesting attempts. Two of these nests were abandoned and one likely failed due to predation.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the end of the transition period on the ornamental horticultural industry’s ability to contribute to the Government's green growth economic recovery strategy.

From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is introducing a phased import regime for EU goods to maintain biosecurity and keep trade as frictionless as possible. The phased EU import regime will allow time for trade to adapt to the new import requirements for EU goods.

GB plant health authorities are undertaking significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors to service the demand for import and export checks and certification. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade. GB plant health services are currently reviewing their operating hours to make sure that biosecurity standards will continue to be met and strengthened in ways that support trade and the smooth the flow of goods while minimising the burden on businesses.

We have maintained regular engagement with the horticultural industry on post-transition period planning, both with individual operators and through key stakeholder groups. This includes fora such as the Plant Health Advisory Forum, the Tree Health Policy Group and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, as well as frequent bilateral engagement with key stakeholders such as the Horticultural Trade Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, the National Farmers Union and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. Most recently we have undertaken a series of end-to-end feasibility sessions with more than 300 participants, and equivalent export sessions. Alongside these feasibility sessions Defra is hosting a series of webinars open to all, on the new plant health requirements for imports, exports, and internal movement.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed to provide assurance for imports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recovers the cost of delivering these services from the businesses that use them. APHA regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees therefore need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the implementation of proposed import and export processes and procedures for plants and plant products after the end of the transition period on the British ornamental horticulture industry.

From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is introducing a phased import regime for EU goods to maintain biosecurity and keep trade as frictionless as possible. The phased EU import regime will allow time for trade to adapt to the new import requirements for EU goods.

GB plant health authorities are undertaking significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors to service the demand for import and export checks and certification. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade. GB plant health services are currently reviewing their operating hours to make sure that biosecurity standards will continue to be met and strengthened in ways that support trade and the smooth the flow of goods while minimising the burden on businesses.

We have maintained regular engagement with the horticultural industry on post-transition period planning, both with individual operators and through key stakeholder groups. This includes fora such as the Plant Health Advisory Forum, the Tree Health Policy Group and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, as well as frequent bilateral engagement with key stakeholders such as the Horticultural Trade Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, the National Farmers Union and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. Most recently we have undertaken a series of end-to-end feasibility sessions with more than 300 participants, and equivalent export sessions. Alongside these feasibility sessions Defra is hosting a series of webinars open to all, on the new plant health requirements for imports, exports, and internal movement.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed to provide assurance for imports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recovers the cost of delivering these services from the businesses that use them. APHA regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees therefore need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support the Government plans to provide to the ornamental horticulture industry from the 1 January 2021 to 1 July 2021 on implementing the proposed import and export processes for plants and plant products after the end of the transition period.

From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is introducing a phased import regime for EU goods to maintain biosecurity and keep trade as frictionless as possible. The phased EU import regime will allow time for trade to adapt to the new import requirements for EU goods.

GB plant health authorities are undertaking significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors to service the demand for import and export checks and certification. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade. GB plant health services are currently reviewing their operating hours to make sure that biosecurity standards will continue to be met and strengthened in ways that support trade and the smooth the flow of goods while minimising the burden on businesses.

We have maintained regular engagement with the horticultural industry on post-transition period planning, both with individual operators and through key stakeholder groups. This includes fora such as the Plant Health Advisory Forum, the Tree Health Policy Group and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, as well as frequent bilateral engagement with key stakeholders such as the Horticultural Trade Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, the National Farmers Union and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. Most recently we have undertaken a series of end-to-end feasibility sessions with more than 300 participants, and equivalent export sessions. Alongside these feasibility sessions Defra is hosting a series of webinars open to all, on the new plant health requirements for imports, exports, and internal movement.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed to provide assurance for imports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recovers the cost of delivering these services from the businesses that use them. APHA regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees therefore need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation his Department has undertaken with ornamental horticultural industry representatives on the potential effects on plant health of the proposed import and export processes for plants and plant products after the end of the transition period.

From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is introducing a phased import regime for EU goods to maintain biosecurity and keep trade as frictionless as possible. The phased EU import regime will allow time for trade to adapt to the new import requirements for EU goods.

GB plant health authorities are undertaking significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors to service the demand for import and export checks and certification. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade. GB plant health services are currently reviewing their operating hours to make sure that biosecurity standards will continue to be met and strengthened in ways that support trade and the smooth the flow of goods while minimising the burden on businesses.

We have maintained regular engagement with the horticultural industry on post-transition period planning, both with individual operators and through key stakeholder groups. This includes fora such as the Plant Health Advisory Forum, the Tree Health Policy Group and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, as well as frequent bilateral engagement with key stakeholders such as the Horticultural Trade Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, the National Farmers Union and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. Most recently we have undertaken a series of end-to-end feasibility sessions with more than 300 participants, and equivalent export sessions. Alongside these feasibility sessions Defra is hosting a series of webinars open to all, on the new plant health requirements for imports, exports, and internal movement.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed to provide assurance for imports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recovers the cost of delivering these services from the businesses that use them. APHA regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees therefore need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the financial costs after the end of the transition period of import fees for plants applicable until the 1 July 2021 on the British ornamental horticultural industry.

From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is introducing a phased import regime for EU goods to maintain biosecurity and keep trade as frictionless as possible. The phased EU import regime will allow time for trade to adapt to the new import requirements for EU goods.

GB plant health authorities are undertaking significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors to service the demand for import and export checks and certification. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade. GB plant health services are currently reviewing their operating hours to make sure that biosecurity standards will continue to be met and strengthened in ways that support trade and the smooth the flow of goods while minimising the burden on businesses.

We have maintained regular engagement with the horticultural industry on post-transition period planning, both with individual operators and through key stakeholder groups. This includes fora such as the Plant Health Advisory Forum, the Tree Health Policy Group and the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, as well as frequent bilateral engagement with key stakeholders such as the Horticultural Trade Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, the National Farmers Union and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. Most recently we have undertaken a series of end-to-end feasibility sessions with more than 300 participants, and equivalent export sessions. Alongside these feasibility sessions Defra is hosting a series of webinars open to all, on the new plant health requirements for imports, exports, and internal movement.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed to provide assurance for imports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recovers the cost of delivering these services from the businesses that use them. APHA regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees therefore need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) agriculture and (b) horticulture in Lincolnshire.

We recognise the importance of agriculture and horticulture to Lincolnshire, and the contribution of Lincolnshire producers to UK food production.

This week, the Agriculture Act 2020 received royal assent. This has been welcomed by stakeholders, and will allow us to transform the way that we support farmers. Funds released as a result of the phasing out of the legacy subsidies will fulfil our manifesto pledge to be re-invested in a rollout of our future farming policy, which will be centred around support aimed at incentivising sustainable farming practices, creating habitats for nature recovery and supporting the establishment of new woodland and other ecosystem services to help tackle challenges like climate change. We will support farmers to produce high quality food in a more sustainable way and improve transparency in the supply chain to help food producers strengthen their position at the farm gate and seek a fairer return from the marketplace.

The Defra-led Food is GREAT campaign continues to raise the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK, including Lincolnshire. Defra and the Department for International Trade (DIT) are also working together to offer immediate support to help agri-food businesses grow their trade activity overseas. We jointly announced in June 2020 a package of measures including: GREAT DIT Food and Drink Exporting Masterclasses; a Food and Drink SME E-Commerce Accelerator Pilot; fifty Food and Drink Export Champions to encourage aspiring exporters alongside our International Trade Advisor networks; our first Defra Agri Counsellor based in Dubai and serving the wider Gulf region; a programme of physical and virtual events, using innovative, interactive software to?connect buyers, promote the UK and reach international markets; and support from UK Export Finance to identify and respond to the needs of the sector and raise awareness of how UKEF and Trade Finance can help the businesses win and fulfil export contracts.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government has provided support to businesses operating in agriculture and horticulture. The COVID-19 Business Interruption Loans Scheme is available to the sector. The Government has been in priority discussions with the banking sector to clarify the position for agricultural and horticultural businesses, with clear guidance issued to the banks. In addition, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, ensures that the smallest businesses, including those operating in agriculture and horticulture, can access up to £50,000 loans. The Government is providing lenders of this latter scheme with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to provide them with the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country. The Government will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. We have also launched specific funds to help businesses with particular difficulties, such as our Dairy Response Fund.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the total cost is of the unconscious bias training commissioned by the House of Commons.

The total cost will be £9,750.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory requirement that all procurement by his Department be sourced from small and medium sized British businesses.

Defra adheres to the requirements set out in the Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015, which look to set out and ensure that a fair and inclusive supply base exists where all have an equal opportunity to bid. The PCR enable buyers to run procurements faster, with less red tape and with a greater focus on getting the right supplier and best tender in accordance with sound commercial practice. These principles apply to above threshold requirements but equally apply to below threshold ensuring sound commercial practice is maintained:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-new-thresholds-2020.

Defra adheres to and supports the initiatives set out in Procurement Policy Note 03/15, which sets out the need to make public procurements more accessible to small and medium enterprises (SMEs): www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0315-reforms-to-make-public-procurement-more-accessible-to-smes.

Defra already recognises the important role of SMEs in delivering UK economic growth and prosperity. The Government has remained committed to supporting the SME agenda and Defra supports this. We encourage SMEs to bid for departmental business and we monitor the level of business SMEs receive from us directly (by winning contracts) or indirectly (by winning contracts with prime contractors or further down supply chains). In support of this commitment, Defra has published its Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Commercial Plan:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/817258/sme-commercial-plan-2018-2022.pdf.

We regularly review our approach and if a barrier is identified we look to remove it.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the adequacy of Government biosecurity and plant health strategies from a contraction in the size and output of the domestic ornamental horticulture sector as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 represents a significant challenge to daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain to assess the short-term and long-term impacts on the sector.

We have robust policies and strategies in place to protect the UK’s plant biosecurity and we continually review any wider impacts that our plant biosecurity approach may have on industry sectors and other stakeholder groups, including as a result of COVID-19. Defra officials meet frequently with relevant organisations to discuss such developments through the UK Plant Health Advisory Forum.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the financial challenges facing ornamental horticulture commercial growers.

Coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. A vibrant and successful ornamental horticulture sector brings significant benefits. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain including the Horticultural Trades Association to understand the short-term and long-term impacts on the UK sector.

Defra has already been in close discussion with banks to ensure the ornamental horticulture sector has access to financial support. This will ease cashflow problems during this period, including through the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was announced on 27 April and is the latest step in a package of support measures announced by the Chancellor. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support small businesses. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms' turnover, and the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. Almost all UK businesses will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

On 13 May, the Government announced that all garden centres in England which are able to adhere to social distancing measures were legally able to reopen. This measure has been widely welcomed by growers, garden centre owners, and consumers.

While the Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to ornamental horticulture businesses to support them through this difficult period, we continue to keep the situation under review. Legal powers were included in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to provide a specific stock grant aid fund for commercial ornamental horticulture growers.

Coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. A vibrant and successful ornamental horticulture sector brings significant benefits. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain including the Horticultural Trades Association to understand the short-term and long-term impacts on the UK sector.

Defra has already been in close discussion with banks to ensure the ornamental horticulture sector has access to financial support. This will ease cashflow problems during this period, including through the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was announced on 27 April and is the latest step in a package of support measures announced by the Chancellor. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support small businesses. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms' turnover, and the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. Almost all UK businesses will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

On 13 May, the Government announced that all garden centres in England which are able to adhere to social distancing measures were legally able to reopen. This measure has been widely welcomed by growers, garden centre owners, and consumers.

While the Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to ornamental horticulture businesses to support them through this difficult period, we continue to keep the situation under review. Legal powers were included in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a scheme similar to the ornamental horticulture grant aid scheme provided for growers in the Netherlands by the Dutch Government.

Coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. A vibrant and successful ornamental horticulture sector brings significant benefits. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain including the Horticultural Trades Association to understand the short-term and long-term impacts on the UK sector.

Defra has already been in close discussion with banks to ensure the ornamental horticulture sector has access to financial support. This will ease cashflow problems during this period, including through the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was announced on 27 April and is the latest step in a package of support measures announced by the Chancellor. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support small businesses. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms' turnover, and the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. Almost all UK businesses will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

On 13 May, the Government announced that all garden centres in England which are able to adhere to social distancing measures were legally able to reopen. This measure has been widely welcomed by growers, garden centre owners, and consumers.

While the Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to ornamental horticulture businesses to support them through this difficult period, we continue to keep the situation under review. Legal powers were included in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to maintain supply chains for independent, small food retailers during the covid-19 outbreak.

We welcome the actions that the convenience sector is taking, including increasing home deliveries, supporting vulnerable customers by offering more flexible payment options, and adjusting product ranges to manage changes in consumer buying habits. Small retailers play a vital role in ensuring people have access to the food they need, particularly in isolated and rural communities.

The UK food sector has adapted quickly to unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure people have the food and products they need. We are confident in the resilience of the UK food supply chain.

To help industry, the Government introduced several regulatory easements to keep food supply flowing. These include asking local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have intensified our discussions with the food industry, bringing together stakeholders from across the supply chain. We are monitoring the ongoing challenges of in-store stock with the Association of Convenience Stores. We are also monitoring the service levels from manufacturers to wholesalers supplying the small retail sector and supermarkets which show an improving picture.

We will continue to work closely with the industry.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that produce delivered to clinically extremely vulnerable people is healthy and nutritious.

Shielding packages contain a basic selection of food and other essential items. They are a standardised package designed to be suitable for the majority of people and deliver the nutritional requirements for one person for one week, as reviewed by nutritionists and key industry groups.

Because the packages are standardised, some of the products they contain may not be suitable for everyone. In such instances, we are encouraging people to contact their local authority or to supplement their food package with the necessary items by using the offer of priority access to online supermarket delivery slots for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce food waste.

In December 2018, the Government launched its Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out a new approach to address food waste from farm to fork.

We support the Waste Resources Action Programme and the Courtauld 2025 Commitment which aims to reduce UK food waste by 20% per capita by 2025 from a 2015 baseline. This will be achieved through cross-sector programmes including consumer campaigns, such as Love Food Hate Waste, and by working closely with business signatories on whole supply chain resource efficiency approaches. The most recent milestone report for Courtauld 2025 in January 2020 showed a reduction of 480,000 tonnes of food waste 2015-18, equating to a 7% reduction per person.

In 2018, a £15 million food waste fund was announced to do more to tackle food waste and make sure surplus food goes to those who have a need. Grants have been awarded to food redistribution organisations such as FareShare and the Felix Project to redistribute more food through providing infrastructure such as fridges and vehicles.

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, £5.1 million has been specifically made available to help redistribute surplus food to vulnerable people including £1.8 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport fund in support of charities.

This effort is now aided by Defra's Food Surplus and Waste Champion, Ben Elliott, who works with key businesses and individuals who have pledged to take action on food waste.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support farmers during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely alongside the agricultural industry to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts to the industry.

Defra has been in close discussion with banks to ensure the farming sector has access to financial support to ease cashflow problems during this period, including through the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was announced on 27 April and is the latest step in a package of support measures announced by the Chancellor. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support small businesses. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms’ turnover, and the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. Almost all UK businesses will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

In March, Defra worked with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to introduce new measures to support businesses in the food sector to keep food supply flowing on to shelves and into homes. These included a temporary relaxation of competition rules to allow supermarkets to work together. The legislation to bring in this change was introduced on 27 March and has a retrospective effect from 1 March.

In April, we temporarily relaxed further elements of competition law to support the dairy sector during this period. Legislation was laid before Parliament on 1 May to enable collaboration between dairy farmers and producers, supporting them to adapt to changes in the supply chain including decreased demand from the hospitality sector. The legislation will apply retrospectively from 1 April 2020.

On 6 May, Defra announced a new fund to support English dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand because of the loss of the food service sector. Dairy farmers access this funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available. Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May because of coronavirus disruptions will be eligible for funding of up to £10,000 each, to cover around 70% of their lost income during the qualifying months to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare. The Welsh Government announced the opening of a similar scheme on 12 May.

The availability of this funding followed the launch on 5 May of a joint Government and Devolved Administrations backed £1 million campaign aiming to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock. This 12-week campaign is being led by Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Dairy UK. This follows a similar ongoing campaign led by AHDB and retailers to promote the consumption of beef products.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to the (a) Maltese and (b) Italian authorities to help deter and prevent boats carrying illegal migrants from reaching Europe.

The UK and Italy have a regular dialogue on migration and last met in February 2020. The UK and Malta signed a bilateral MoU on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in December 2018, and a UK-Malta Migration dialogue took place on 27 July led by the UK's Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy.

The UK Government has a comprehensive whole-of-route approach to global migration, working in countries of origin and transit to address the drivers of migration, reduce the need of migrants to leave their home country or to enable migrants to stay in a safe third country where possible. This whole of route approach is the only way to achieve long-term and sustainable reductions in irregular migration.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will take steps to promote protectionism to reduce the UK's dependence on international trade for supplies of (a) medicines and (b) food.

As set out in my previous answer to my Hon. Friend for South Holland and The Deepings on 21st May, UIN:46540, free trade has a vital role in addressing the immediate impact – and resolving the longer-term effects – of this pandemic. It is imperative that we keep our markets open to maintain the flow of essential goods and services, including medical products. Free trade is the best way to both back Britain’s businesses and make sure we have the supplies we need.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the relationship between (a) free trade, (b) porous borders and (c) the spread of highly contagious pandemics.

Free trade has a vital role in addressing the immediate impact – and resolving the longer term effects – of this pandemic. This Department is working with our international partners to co-ordinate international strategy that will help protect and manage global supply of essential goods and services, including medical products.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many merchant seamen from the UK have been (a) trained and (b) employed as merchant seamen in each of the last five years.

The Department for Transport openly publishes statistics on seafarers in the UK shipping industry annually which are available on the maritime and shipping statistics pages of the .gov website. The Department does not collect data on maritime apprenticeships.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make a comparative assessment of the Government's per capita transport spending in (a) the East Midlands and (b) Lincolnshire in relation to other UK regions and counties in the most recent period for which that information is available.

When comparing expenditure across regions several factors should be considered. The benefits from spend on transport interventions will often accrue to passengers far beyond the residents of the immediate local area or region. This is particularly the case for spending on the railways which connect cities and regions across the country and deliver broader benefits beyond the region concerned.

During 2019-20 there was £289 of public expenditure on transport per head in the East Midlands, this compares to an average of £497 per head for the UK.

As we look to level up our country, we are committed to further investment across the country. That is why this Government recently announced the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund to provide the opportunity for local areas to bid for their priority investment projects.

A further breakdown of spend in 2019-20 is given in this table, which shows identifiable public expenditure (in £s) on all modes of transport per head of population, by region.

Region

2019-20

North East

315

North West

438

Yorkshire & the Humber

309

East Midlands

289

West Midlands

492

East of England

470

London

882

South East

521

South West

329

UK

497

We do not make comparative assessments between UK counties but some recent examples of Government transport investment in Lincolnshire include:

  • £54m in 2020/21 for routine road maintenance and small transport projects.
  • £50m of Large Local Major funding towards the recently-opened Lincoln Eastern Bypass.
  • A further £110m from the Large Local Major fund towards the North Hykeham Relief Road, which is currently in the detailed design and planning phase, prior to construction starting in the coming years.
  • £13m of Local Growth Fund for the Lincoln Transport Hub – a new bus station and multi-storey car park opened in 2018.
  • £3.6m from the Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund towards the current reconstruction of the A52 Roman Bank in Skegness.
  • £900,000 from the Active Travel Fund in 2020/21 to improve cycling and walking facilities.
Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) graffiti and (b) fly tipping are adequately tackled on railway (i) mainlines and (ii) branch lines.

Graffiti and fly-tipping on the railway are serious issues. The department is working with Network Rail and the British Transport Police to ensure that they are adequately tackled across the railway, on both main lines and branch lines.

Both Network Rail and the British Transport Police are tackling graffiti on the railway and working to ensure the railway is as safe, clean and welcoming as it can be. There are a number of national working groups which meet regularly, including with Train Operating Companies, to share best practice on tackling graffiti. Focus areas for both organisations include the prevention, reduction, removal and policing of graffiti. New potentially beneficial technologies are being used and considered to help tackle graffiti.

Nationally Network Rail has a number of standards and processes in place setting out guidance for Train Operating Companies and Network Rail regions on dealing with waste fly-tipped on Network Rail land. This includes guidance on ensuring all waste is removed as quickly and safely as possible, and on how to deal with areas of frequent incidents, such as installing automatic lighting and CCTV, and increasing fence heights.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress his Department has made on (a) opening new train stations and (b) restoring previously closed railway lines.

Under the New Stations Fund, my Department has opened 8 new stations and a further 5 new stations will be open by 2024.

A third round of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund closed on 5 March, which will develop more early-stage ideas for reopening rail lines and stations. This will add to the 25 ideas funded in previous rounds and funding for a feasibility study to reinstate the Fleetwood-Poulton line.

£34 million has been pledged to rapidly progress plans to reopen the Northumberland line, which closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts and on 19 March, my Department announced the reopening of the Dartmoor line between Exeter and Okehampton, with services planned to begin this year.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to protect Green Belt land during the development of the High Speed Two rail network.

In designing the HS2 project, we have sought to protect green belt land as much as practicable, and changes to the design have already been made to mitigate this.

A range of protection measures are also contained within the HS2 Environmental Minimum Requirements and these have been produced for each phase of the project.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimation his Department has made of the greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil diesel in the construction of HS2 Phase One.

Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, which accounts for the climate impact of all greenhouse gases, is referred to as ‘Carbon’ in our assessments. The construction carbon impact of HS2 Phase One is reported in the relevant Environmental Statement*. This assessment presents a reasonable worst-case scenario assuming fossil-based diesel for heavy plant and related transport. It does not reflect HS2 Ltd’s target to cut construction carbon emissions by 50% against industry baselines. The Environmental Statement was produced to accompany the then High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill, and in the 4 years since publication, technological improvements and adoption of best working practices, including the adoption of plant and facilities that do not use fossil-based diesel, will have superseded many of the findings therein.

* https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hs2-phase-one-environmental-statement-documents

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what transport infrastructure projects his Department is planning in the (a) north of England and (b) Midlands to help deliver the Government's levelling up agenda.

The Government is delivering major investment in transport infrastructure in the North and Midlands to help unite and level up the UK.

Last year’s Spending Review and National Infrastructure Strategy underlined the government’s ambition to deliver on key transport infrastructure projects and programmes in the North and Midlands. We are committed to increasing the share of investment in the North and Midlands, and enhancing critical rail and road networks in those regions. Investments we have set out have included:

Boosting towns and cities in these regionsbuilding on the Transforming Cities Fund which has committed over £500 million investment in public and sustainable transport in some of the Midlands’ largest city regions, with additional funding for five-year intra-city transport settlements for eight English city regions, of which six are in the North. We have also announced a £4 billion Levelling Up fund which will invest in local infrastructure including transport – e.g. bypasses and other local road schemes, bus lanes, and railway station upgrades.

The National Bus Strategy, published this month, also sets out a bold vision for bus services in England outside London. Backed by £3 billion, the strategy will deliver better bus services for passengers, strengthening communities and sustaining town centres across the country.

Delivering on major rail and road projectsthis spring the Government intends to publish the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) for the North and Midlands, setting out how we will deliver HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and other major rail programmes in the North and Midlands. We are also working on restoring lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts.

Alongside this, a number of strategic roads projects in the North and Midlands will benefit from the £27 billion Roads Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) funding package, while significant investment will contribute to local roads improvements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to assess the effect of Highway England’s report, The road to good design: Highways England’s design vision and principles, published on 11 January 2018 on the design of (a) roads, (b) architecture related to roads and (c) roadside aesthetics.

Following the publication of The Road to Good Design: Highways England's design vision and principles, Highways England continues to meet quarterly with stakeholders through its Strategic Design Panel, which supports it in ensuring the Strategic Road Network (SRN) displays design quality that is both safe and sensitive to the environment. An update is due for publication in April 2021, which will set out progress.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of classifying biodiesel that is 100 per cent derived from waste biomass separately from biodiesel made from non-waste biomass.

The Department recognises the benefits that fuels produced from waste can have in reducing carbon emissions. It is anticipated the merits of any new classification for biodiesel proposed would relate to better informing the public or incentivising the uptake of waste derived biodiesel.

The industry standard for diesel and UK regulations make no requirement in respect of the labelling by feedstock type of biodiesel blended into diesel and placed on sale in UK forecourts. There is little merit in introducing such a requirement and given the complexity of fuel supply chains it is likely this information will not always be known at the point of sale.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) was changed in 2011 so that waste derived biodiesel is eligible for twice the number of tradeable certificates than would be rewarded for biodiesel produced from non-wastes. One benefit of the change in approach is that the RTFO scheme also sets mandatory sustainability criteria which must be met in order for renewable fuels to benefit from any support. Thereby ensuing we reward fuels that deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The RTFO has been highly successful in supporting a market for waste derived biofuels. In 2019 over two-thirds (69%) of renewable fuels reported under the RTFO were made from wastes and around four fifths (79%) of biodiesel reported was made from used cooking oil, a waste.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on launching a design competition for electric car charging points.

Government is currently consulting on measures to improve the consumer experience of public charging. This includes design factors such as accessibility, weatherproofing and lighting. We want to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that driving test centres are based in town centres.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency keeps its estate under review to ensure site locations are fit for purpose and provide customers with a value for money service.

Practical test centres are, ideally, located away from congested city centres in suburban and business estates, with access to a meaningful network of roads used for test routes, and are not reliant on accessibility of public transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to fast track construction on transport projects while fewer passengers are using the transport system as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has actively sought to accelerate works on the road and rail network where possible while minimising the usual disruption this would cause to the travelling public. During lockdown and subsequent Covid-19 restrictions, the Department accelerated more than £190m of works across its roads and rail projects portfolio.

A particular success has been the opening of the £1.5bn upgraded A14 ahead of schedule and within budget.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the frequency of rail services during the covid-19 outbreak.

As we are extending our plan to lift the remaining national restrictive measures, we have asked the rail industry to increase the number of services they run. Rail operators continue to assess local demand regularly and take the necessary steps to deliver the services passengers need. From 7 September, the railway will operate approximately 92% of its pre-pandemic levels of service, providing a more frequent train service for passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to connect more towns to the railway network.

The Government plans to modernise the network, improve services and reconnect towns that no longer have a station or link. The Government has pledged £500million to start reopening lines and stations, reconnecting smaller communities, regenerating local economies and improving access to jobs, homes and education.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to ensure that bus services continue to operate during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government announced on 3 April 2020 a funding package totalling £397 million that will keep England’s buses serving those who rely on them.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Transport for London on increasing the number of underground trains in order to prevent the overcrowding of key workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Transport hold regular discussions with Transport for London and the Mayor of London’s office on a range of issues relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department will continue to work closely with TfL on the provision of transport services in London.

As of 20 April, travel on the Underground was down 94% compared with a year ago and the majority of services currently running are with very light loadings.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what checks are being conducted to establish the health of incoming travellers at UK airports during the covid-19 pandemic.

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is working to a scientifically-led, step-by-step action plan, focusing on taking the right measures at the right time.

Targeted screening measures were carried out at UK airports for inbound passengers during the containment phase of the pandemic when the aim was to prevent the virus coming in to the UK.

Whilst there is community transmission within the UK, the role played by imported cases is less significant and so our focus in the current delay phase has not been on screening measures at the border. Additionally, it is vital that flights are still able to land in the UK in order to allow Britons who have been stranded abroad as a result of the pandemic to return home, and to allow key supplies to continue moving into and around the UK.

Airlines and airports have already implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

As you would expect our approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps her Department has taken to ensure that new universal credit claimants are paid on time.

Processing Universal Credit claims and ensuring people are paid quickly is a key priority for the Department; our latest data shows over 90% of new claimants have received their payments on time and in full.

There have been over 3 million Universal Credit claims made since mid-March and there are currently 5.6 million people on Universal Credit. Universal Credit has clearly stood up to the challenges associated with the surge in claims following the outbreak of COVID-19, demonstrating scalability and resilience are part of its design. Millions more are able to access welfare which is fairer and more generous than the legacy benefit system.

The Department will continue to closely monitor its services across the country as we double the number of work coaches in Jobcentres before the end of the financial year, to strengthen our employment support offer through our ‘Plan for Jobs’.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to encourage pension scheme investment in (a) infrastructure and (b) energy provision.

The Government is taking action to encourage pension scheme investment in infrastructure and energy provision and support this approach.

We are committed to enabling more diverse investments for pensions schemes that will improve returns to savers and support important sectors of the UK economy as such as infrastructure and energy, as we build back better.

On the 11th September we published a consultation Improving outcomes for members of defined contribution pension schemes which includes measures to enable defined contribution pension schemes to more easily invest in long-term assets like green technology, venture capital, and infrastructure by allowing longer-term calculation methods for performance fees.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-outcomes-for-members-of-defined-contribution-pension-schemes

We also want pension scheme members to benefit from well-run pension schemes that have sufficient scale to invest in assets such as energy and infrastructure, and that provide good value for money. Therefore, the consultation also includes proposals on a more comprehensive value for members’ assessment to encourage accelerated consolidation within the market, This will enable trustees to take a longer-term approach to delivering for savers by expanding the range of investments and strategies they can utilise to achieve this.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support people of all ages back into work as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

I refer the Rt. Hon. member to my response to question 43982.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on the disability green paper.

The Department will be bringing forward a Green Paper on health and disability support, focusing on how the welfare system can better meet the needs of claimants with disabilities and health conditions. The Green Paper will be strongly influenced by the views of disabled people and representatives from disability organisations, drawing on the significant engagement we have conducted and which will continue, albeit through different channels, over the Autumn.

Given the necessary focus on the departmental response to COVID-19, we are working to a longer timescale than previously anticipated but we remain committed to publishing in the coming months.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to help disabled people (a) find and (b) remain in employment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has put in place a range of provision to help disabled people find and stay in work across the country. Our programmes include Access to Work, Disability Confident, specialised employment support including the Work and Health Programme and the Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme, and local trials in partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care. During the Covid-19 outbreak, we have provided this support remotely and made the Work and Health and Intensive Personalised Employment Support programmes easier to access by allowing self-referrals as well as referrals through work coaches.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has a workforce strategy to tackle cardiovascular care in the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Cardiac Pathway Improvement Programme was launched this year and includes a workstream for workforce optimisation and innovation. The objectives for this workstream include ensuring education and training packages are in place, promoting the use of digital passporting for staff to enable working in trusts across health care systems and e-rostering and e-job planning across trusts and networks.

There are currently 3,469 hospital and community health service doctors working in cardiology in the National Health Service. This is an increase of 397 or 12.9% since July 2019. This includes 1,493 consultants, or an increase of 8.6% since July 2019.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to increase access to cardiac rehabilitation.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to improve care and outcomes for people with cardiovascular disease. To increase access to cardiac rehabilitation, NHS England and NHS Improvement are accelerating lessons learned from the pandemic, such as the enhanced use of digital technology and a greater application of remote consultations. This includes additional targeted funding for local National Health Service teams to enhance existing cardiac rehabilitation services.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also partnered with University of Exeter to fund nationwide training of 60 cardiac healthcare professionals, to facilitate home based cardiac rehabilitation programmes, offering a choice of setting for heart failure patients.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of the Elective Recovery Fund on NHS treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

We have made no formal assessment of the potential effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the diagnosis and treatment for heart and circulatory diseases. We continue to engage with NHS England and NHS Improvement to build capacity and to reduce the NHS backlog in elective care.

Data on the number of people waiting for elective services is not yet available for 12 November. The latest data as of September 2021, shows that there were 264,315 patients waiting for treatment in the cardiology speciality with 3,037 of those patients waiting 52 weeks or more for treatment. The number of total completed pathways per working day in the cardiology speciality was 2,542 in September 2021 or 105% of the activity levels in March 2020.

In September, we announced a total of £2 billion this year for the Elective Recovery Fund. This will be used to reduce waiting times and increase activity for elective services, including treatments for cardiovascular diseases. No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the Elective Recovery Fund on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but the intention is for the fund to improve all elective care services. An additional £8 billion has been made available across the next three years to reduce waiting times and transform elective services, including cardiovascular care. This could deliver the equivalent of around nine million more checks, scans and procedures.

At the Spending Review, the Government announced an extra £5.9 billion to support elective recovery, diagnostics, and technology over the next three years. This includes £2.3 billion to increase the volume of diagnostic activity and establish a total of at least 100 community diagnostic centres for clinical tests, including diagnosis of heart and circulatory diseases. This will allow the NHS to carry out 4.5 million additional scans by 2024/25, enhancing capacity and enabling earlier diagnosis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people on the waiting list for heart-related surgery as of 12 November 2021; and what steps his Department plans to take to reduce that number.

We have made no formal assessment of the potential effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the diagnosis and treatment for heart and circulatory diseases. We continue to engage with NHS England and NHS Improvement to build capacity and to reduce the NHS backlog in elective care.

Data on the number of people waiting for elective services is not yet available for 12 November. The latest data as of September 2021, shows that there were 264,315 patients waiting for treatment in the cardiology speciality with 3,037 of those patients waiting 52 weeks or more for treatment. The number of total completed pathways per working day in the cardiology speciality was 2,542 in September 2021 or 105% of the activity levels in March 2020.

In September, we announced a total of £2 billion this year for the Elective Recovery Fund. This will be used to reduce waiting times and increase activity for elective services, including treatments for cardiovascular diseases. No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the Elective Recovery Fund on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but the intention is for the fund to improve all elective care services. An additional £8 billion has been made available across the next three years to reduce waiting times and transform elective services, including cardiovascular care. This could deliver the equivalent of around nine million more checks, scans and procedures.

At the Spending Review, the Government announced an extra £5.9 billion to support elective recovery, diagnostics, and technology over the next three years. This includes £2.3 billion to increase the volume of diagnostic activity and establish a total of at least 100 community diagnostic centres for clinical tests, including diagnosis of heart and circulatory diseases. This will allow the NHS to carry out 4.5 million additional scans by 2024/25, enhancing capacity and enabling earlier diagnosis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on treatment for heart and circulatory diseases.

We have made no formal assessment of the potential effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the diagnosis and treatment for heart and circulatory diseases. We continue to engage with NHS England and NHS Improvement to build capacity and to reduce the NHS backlog in elective care.

Data on the number of people waiting for elective services is not yet available for 12 November. The latest data as of September 2021, shows that there were 264,315 patients waiting for treatment in the cardiology speciality with 3,037 of those patients waiting 52 weeks or more for treatment. The number of total completed pathways per working day in the cardiology speciality was 2,542 in September 2021 or 105% of the activity levels in March 2020.

In September, we announced a total of £2 billion this year for the Elective Recovery Fund. This will be used to reduce waiting times and increase activity for elective services, including treatments for cardiovascular diseases. No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the Elective Recovery Fund on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but the intention is for the fund to improve all elective care services. An additional £8 billion has been made available across the next three years to reduce waiting times and transform elective services, including cardiovascular care. This could deliver the equivalent of around nine million more checks, scans and procedures.

At the Spending Review, the Government announced an extra £5.9 billion to support elective recovery, diagnostics, and technology over the next three years. This includes £2.3 billion to increase the volume of diagnostic activity and establish a total of at least 100 community diagnostic centres for clinical tests, including diagnosis of heart and circulatory diseases. This will allow the NHS to carry out 4.5 million additional scans by 2024/25, enhancing capacity and enabling earlier diagnosis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of potential changes needed for the NHS to meet its cardiovascular disease ambitions as outlined in the Long Term Plan, following the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service promoted restoration of services as a priority, including diagnostic and treatment services for patients with heart disease, as soon as the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic began to decline. The NHS Operational Planning Guidance for 2021/2022 set out the requirement that all people with cardiovascular disease risk factors are to be reviewed and managed before winter 2021.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the British Heart Foundation’s modelling which predicts that the number of people waiting for heart care and diagnosis could peak at around 550,385 in January 2024 unless the NHS in England receives long-term investment to clear the growing backlog.

No formal assessment has been made. However, the NHS Long Term Plan commits to improve the care and outcomes for those patients with cardiovascular disease. This includes enhanced diagnostic support in the community, better personalised planning and increasing access to cardiac rehabilitation.

The Department is providing an additional £1 billion this year, with the existing £1 billion Elective Recovery Fund, to tackle the backlog. We also plan to spend more than £8 billion in the following three years from 2022 to 2025. This could deliver the equivalent of approximately nine million more checks, scans and procedures, reducing waiting lists for cardiac services the equivalent of 30% more elective activity by 2024-25.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to encourage people to present for cancer diagnosis and treatment who may have avoided coming forward during the covid-19 outbreak.

In October 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England launched the ‘Help us help you’ campaign, to encourage people to come forward with symptoms. The latest phase of the campaign launched on 16 August 2021 and raises awareness of abdominal and urological symptoms, and lung cancer symptoms, urging people to see their general practitioner if they have such symptoms. This is the fourth phase of the campaign. The first phase which raised awareness of generic cancer symptoms, ran in autumn 2020, followed by abdominal symptoms in November and December 2020, then lung cancer symptoms between February and May 2021.

Cancer referrals have been at record high numbers since March 2021, with the third highest number of patients referred in June 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to tackle the backlog in cancer treatments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The 2021/22 Priorities and Operational Planning Guidance sets out the priorities for the National Health Service, including the recovery aims for cancer: to find, diagnose and treat all those who have not started treatment during the pandemic; and reduce return the number of people waiting longer than 62 days to February 2020 levels.

Diagnostic capacity is being increased, particularly in endoscopy, computerised tomography and targeted lung health checks. Rapid diagnostic centres are opening across the country to bring together diagnostic equipment and expertise and support diagnostic capacity. The NHS is continuing to make the most of innovative treatments adopted during the pandemic, including new radiotherapy methods to deliver targeted treatment in fewer hospital visits.

We have made an additional £1 billion Elective Recovery Fund (ERF) for 2021/22 available to allow systems to increase activity levels above set thresholds, including in cancer treatment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether specific forms of cancer have been particularly impacted by the covid-19 outbreak.

The diagnosis of all cancers was impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the long-term impact of the covid-19 outbreak on cancer survival rates as the result of cancelled treatment and reduction in diagnoses.

The National Health Service has closely monitored cancer activity including referrals, treatments and waiting times, to understand the impact of the pandemic on cancer services and patients. However, it is too soon to assess the long-term impact of the pandemic on survival rates.

The majority of cancer services have been maintained throughout the pandemic, with 381,500 people starting cancer treatment between March 2020 and June 2021 - 95% of whom started treatment within 31 days. In June, the third highest number of patients were referred in a single month.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation entitled Home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation and the statement in that consultation that for terminations in 2019 where the second early medical abortion pill was administered at home, complications may be less likely to be recorded on the abortion notification form, whether (a) those complications are reported by other means and (b) his Department has plans to review the process for reporting abortion complications to ensure that data is collected for complications not reported on the abortion notification form.

There is currently no process in place for additional complications to be recorded on HSA4 forms after submission of the form. The Department is undertaking a project to review the system of recording abortion complications data and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion including timing of reporting.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the procedure is for updating abortion notification HSA4 forms in the event of additional complications occurring either after the initial submission of the form or after the 14-day timeframe for returning them.

There is currently no process in place for additional complications to be recorded on HSA4 forms after submission of the form. The Department is undertaking a project to review the system of recording abortion complications data and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion including timing of reporting.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the response from Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust to freedom of information request RFI-003971 stating that there had been seven admissions with complications following a medical abortion from 31 March to 1 September 2020 and his Department's data, which showed there has been only one reported complication for medical abortions at home in from January to June 2020, what assessment he has made of the reliability of the process of reporting complications from medical abortions at home given differences in the data referred to.

The Department is examining, with partner organisations, how well data collection systems are working in relation to recording complications arising from abortions and what improvements are needed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides to families affected by suicide.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we plan to invest £57 million to support local suicide prevention plans and establish suicide bereavement support services in all areas of England by 2023/24. We have committed that all local systems will have suicide bereavement support services providing timely and appropriate support to families and staff by 2023/24 and have provided funding to 40% of local systems in 2020/21 for them to establish and deliver such services. This is in line with the planning and delivery expectations set out in the Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20-2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what publicly funded counselling services are available to people experiencing mental health problems.

There is a range of support available for people experiencing mental health problems and they can be referred by their general practitioner based on clinical need. People can also self-refer to most services for treatment. This includes the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme which provides counselling and therapy services. We continue to expand access to talking and psychological therapies through the IAPT programme. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring that an additional 380,000 adults will be able to access IAPT services by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether covid-19 restrictions on funeral services will be eased before workers operating within that sector have been offered a covid-19 vaccine.

Funeral staff are eligible for prioritisation if they carry out functions requiring contact with multiple vulnerable patients in a healthcare setting and are at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19. Such funeral operatives were being offered vaccinations by 15 February.

The COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 published on 22 February provides a roadmap, with four steps, to ease out of the current lockdown in England. Rules around funerals will not change; these can proceed with 30 attendees during the first three steps, with the aim to remove all restrictions by step four. The roadmap is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the timetable for publication of the conclusions of the UK National Screening Committee’s review of screening for genetic haemochromatosis in adults.

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) will be reviewing the evidence alongside comments received from the public consultation on screening for hereditary hemochromatosis at its meeting on 5 March 2021. The UK NSC’s recommendation will then be shared with the Department for consideration.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the UK National Screening Committee’s review of screening for genetic haemochromatosis in adults including an evaluation of recent medical research published since the committee last considered the matter in 2015.

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) will be reviewing the evidence alongside comments received from the public consultation on screening for hereditary hemochromatosis at its meeting on 5 March 2021. The UK NSC’s recommendation will then be shared with the Department for consideration.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to incorporate blood tests for serum ferritin and transferrin saturation into the NHS Health Check, as a cost-effective means of identifying people at risk of iron overload from genetic haemochromatosis earlier in life.

Public Health England has no current plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of categorising crematorium and cemetery staff as frontline healthcare staff for the purposes of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI identified that the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers should be a priority for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, as they are at high risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection and also transmitting that infection to those vulnerable to COVID-19 and other staff.

Crematorium operations may involve handling the deceased and therefore present a risk of exposure to COVID-19. However, these functions do not necessitate entering or accessing a healthcare setting and therefore presents a low risk of transmitting infection to vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department uses methods other than HSA4 forms for collecting data on abortions involving the home use of both sets of abortion pills beyond 10 weeks' gestation.

The Department uses no other method than HSA4 forms for collecting this data.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost was of constructing the Nightingale hospitals.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the process of reviewing all spending incurred for each individual site. Until that work has concluded, estimates previously provided to the Department indicate that the set-up cost for the Nightingale hospitals would be approximately £220 million.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have been treated in each of the Nightingale hospitals, by location of hospital.

This information is not held in the format requested. NHS England and NHS Improvement are collating some data relating to patient activity in the Nightingale hospitals, but this information has not been centrally validated.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cancer patients have had to attend a test, a scan or treatment alone against their wishes since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested is not collected.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what effect covid-19 lockdowns have had on the life expectancy of people diagnosed with cancer.

The full impact of the pandemic on NHS services will not be known for some time. Cancer services remain an absolute priority for the National Health Service, and cancer services have been maintained throughout the pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the premature loss of life that will result from missed diagnosis and treatment of non-Covid-related conditions over the next 50 years.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies published a paper ‘Direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on excess deaths and morbidity’ in July 2020. The paper was updated in September 2020 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dhsconsgadho-direct-and-indirect-impacts-of-covid-19-on-excess-deaths-and-morbidity-15-july-2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made in reducing the bureaucracy on allowing retired doctors to re-enter the NHS workforce.

The General Medical Council has put in place an emergency temporary Medical Register. Doctors who left the main Medical Register over the six years preceding April 2020 were re-instated, as long as they had been in good standing when they left. Requirements for appraisal and revalidation were suspended for this group.

To accelerate the process to allow doctors to return to the National Health Service workforce and help support the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Resolution and the Home Office have collaborated on reducing the non-statutory and mandatory training requirements for former doctors.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have experienced disruption to their (a) diagnosis, (b) referral for treatment and (c) treatment of cancer in the last 12 months as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not collect the information requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to enable retired doctors to re-enter the NHS workforce to provide treatment and care for patients with covid-19.

The General Medical Council has put in place an emergency temporary Medical Register. Doctors who left the main Medical Register over the six years preceding April 2020 were re-instated, as long as they had been in good standing when they left. Requirements for appraisal and revalidation were suspended for this group.

To accelerate the process to allow doctors to return to the National Health Service workforce and help support the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Resolution and the Home Office have collaborated on reducing the non-statutory and mandatory training requirements for former doctors.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cancer patients have had (a) a test, (b) a scan and (c) treatment delayed or rescheduled since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not collect the information requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of safeguarding provisions in care homes during the covid-19 outbreak.

At the start of the pandemic the Care Quality Commission (CQC) paused routine inspections. They have continued to inspect services in response to risk, including where whistleblowing or safeguarding information has been received.

In addition to continuing to undertake inspection activity where there is a clear risk to safety, the CQC is undertaking infection, prevention and control inspections, inspecting services where there is an ability to award a new rating, supporting local authorities to commission care where needed and continuing to monitor and assess services where there is a risk of a closed cultures developing.

Safeguarding adults with care and support needs from abuse and neglect remains a statutory duty of local authorities under the Care Act 2014. Statutory guidance makes clear that safeguarding is everyone’s business. Local authorities, social care providers, the health and voluntary sector and our communities must continue work to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to people with care and support needs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that adequate safeguarding measures are in place to protect care home residents whilst (a) Care Quality Commission inspections are suspended and (b) relatives are prohibited from visiting those residents during the covid-19 outbreak.

At the start of the pandemic the Care Quality Commission (CQC) paused routine inspections. They have continued to inspect services in response to risk, including where whistleblowing or safeguarding information has been received.

In addition to continuing to undertake inspection activity where there is a clear risk to safety, the CQC is undertaking infection, prevention and control inspections, inspecting services where there is an ability to award a new rating, supporting local authorities to commission care where needed and continuing to monitor and assess services where there is a risk of a closed cultures developing.

Safeguarding adults with care and support needs from abuse and neglect remains a statutory duty of local authorities under the Care Act 2014. Statutory guidance makes clear that safeguarding is everyone’s business. Local authorities, social care providers, the health and voluntary sector and our communities must continue work to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to people with care and support needs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help facilitate visits to care homes during the covid-19 outbreak.

As set out in the national lockdown guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently advised. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a comprehensive and holistic assessment of the threat posed to the health of people under sixty years of age who have not received non-covid-19 related (a) treatments and (b) diagnoses as a result of the covid-19 lockdowns compared with the threat posed by the covid-19 virus.

The Department has no plans to make such an assessment.

Social distancing requirements introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have not restricted access to NHS services. The regulations provide an explicit exemption from requirement to stay at home and gathering limits for seeking medical assistance.The NHS has continued its public information campaign to encourage people to access NHS services when they need to.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people under the age of 60 have died by suicide in the last 12 months.

The Department does not hold the requested data.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on increasing (a) recruitment and (b) retention of (i) doctors and (ii) nurses.

‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all’ sets out actions to expand and develop our workforce by retaining staff for longer and building on the renewed interest in National Health Service careers. The next phase of the NHS People Plan will focus on workforce growth and ensuring it has the right skills mix in place for a flexible and modern NHS.

Through its ‘looking after our people - retention programme’, which launched in the summer of 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting employers and managers to value, support and retain their staff, both clinical and non-clinical. This is achieved through a new employer portal of guidance, best practice and direct support for systems and organisations across each of the domains of the people promise. Flexible working and the health and wellbeing of staff remain a key focus of the retention initiatives.

Over the year to September 2020 the number of nurses has increased by 13,313 and the number of NHS Hospital and Community Health Service doctors by 6,030 NHS Digital published leaver rates and since September 2019 the leaver rate has fallen from 10.9% to 9.6% for nurses and 6.7% to 6.1% for doctors, excluding junior doctors.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) daily and (b) weekly updates on the (i) number and (ii) target number of covid-19 vaccine doses administered.

The Department, the National Health Service and Public Health England are committed to providing accurate and timely data in order to improve the transparency of the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Since 24 December 2020, we have published weekly data on the total number of vaccinations among those aged under 80 years old and over in England. From 11 January, daily data for the United Kingdom has been published showing the total number vaccinated to date, including first and second doses.

More detailed data of vaccinations by age group and region in England was published on 14 January. This will now be a weekly publication. As the programme develops it is hoped more reliable data will be able to be extracted and published.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what fiscal steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of funding for the NHS over winter 2020-21.

The Government announced £3 billion of additional funding in July to support the National Health Service this winter. This includes ensuring Nightingale hospital surge capacity is available during winter, that the NHS has ongoing access to additional independent sector capacity and funding to support the safe discharge of patients from NHS hospitals.

A further £2.7 billion will go directly to Integrated Care Systems and sustainability and transformation partnerships through the rest of the financial year to help manage ongoing COVID-19 pressures and resume routine activity.

To upgrade accident and emergency departments ahead of winter, the Government has also committed £450 million to expand waiting areas, create more treatment cubicles and improve infection control.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have had treatment for non-covid-related conditions delayed in the last 12 months.

This information is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 vaccines have been administered in (a) in South Holland and The Deepings constituency, (b) Lincolnshire, (c) East Midlands and (d) in the UK to date.

NHS England publish weekly data for vaccinations and include a breakdown by Parliamentary Constituency, Lower Tier Local Authority, Clinical Commissioning Group and region at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department is using to assess the effectiveness of the NHS's roll out of the covid-19 vaccine.

Through Public Health England’s (PHE) surveillance strategy, we are monitoring how effective the vaccines are at protecting against a range of outcomes including: infection; symptomatic disease; hospitalisations; mortality; and onwards transmission.

PHE is implementing this surveillance strategy in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and academic partners. Initial results from this strategy were published on 1 March 2021 and show that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing COVID-19 infections among people aged 70 years old and over.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase transparency and accountability on covid-19 vaccine rollout targets.

To increase transparency and accountability on vaccine targets, comprehensive data is published daily and weekly to track progress with the vaccination roll out. This data is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

On 20 February we set new targets for the acceleration of the vaccination programme to offer all adults over 50 years old a first dose by mid-April, covering priority cohorts one to nine and the rest of the adult population by the end of July. We are on track to meet those targets.

There is no specific daily United Kingdom wide daily target for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The UK COVID 19 Delivery Plan includes an estimate of the population numbers who need to be vaccinated by mid-April and the end of July and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-covid-19-vaccines-delivery-plan/uk-covid-19-vaccines-delivery-plan

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the UK-wide daily target is for the administration of covid-19 vaccines.

To increase transparency and accountability on vaccine targets, comprehensive data is published daily and weekly to track progress with the vaccination roll out. This data is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

On 20 February we set new targets for the acceleration of the vaccination programme to offer all adults over 50 years old a first dose by mid-April, covering priority cohorts one to nine and the rest of the adult population by the end of July. We are on track to meet those targets.

There is no specific daily United Kingdom wide daily target for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The UK COVID 19 Delivery Plan includes an estimate of the population numbers who need to be vaccinated by mid-April and the end of July and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-covid-19-vaccines-delivery-plan/uk-covid-19-vaccines-delivery-plan

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure veterans have swift and comprehensive access to mental health treatment.

Veteran’s mental health needs are very often no different to those of the general population. Data in England has shown that most patients suffer from common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and readily make use of the mainstream mental health services.

For veterans who do need specialist support this government is fully committed to providing high quality evidence-based services. The National Health Service in England has set up two dedicated veterans mental health services, the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service and the Complex Treatment Service. The recently launched Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service provides crisis care and therapeutic inpatient support for those who need urgent and emergency care. Together, these three services provide a complete mental health care pathway for veterans.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the research entitled Reconsidering fetal pain, published in the Journal for Medical Ethics in January 2020.

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guideline on Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, published in March 2010.

The Department has brought the article to the attention of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It is for the Royal College to consider whether to revise the guidelines, having looked at the available evidence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve early diagnosis for those suffering from haemochromatosis.

Steps to improve diagnosis of rare conditions, including genetic haemochromatosis, are being taken through the implementation of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rare-diseases-strategy

In October 2019, the national conversation on rare diseases survey was launched to identify the major challenges faced by those living and working with rare diseases. We received almost 6,300 responses which, alongside the lessons learned from the experiences of rare disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be used to shape the post-2020 UK Rare Diseases Framework which will replace the Strategy.

The Genomic Medicine Service is supported by the National Genomic Test Directory which specifies the genomic tests that are commissioned by the National Health Service in England. Genetic haemochromatosis is included in the Test Directory.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure each NHS Trust is equipped with the (a) expertise and (b) resources needed to treat haemochromotosis.

Services for the care and treatment of patients with hemochromatosis are commissioned by clinical commissioning groups which determine the National Health Service trust level element of expertise and resources to treat this condition.

Genetic testing services or other specialised services may however be involved in the diagnosis of this condition. This would be as a result of a specific referral for genetic testing. The Genomic Medicine Service is supported by the National Genomic Test Directory which specifies the genomic tests that are commissioned by the NHS in England. Genetic haemochromatosis is included in the Test Directory.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women have been admitted to hospital for complications after being prescribed medical abortion pills, since 1 April 2020.

The Department does not hold this data.

We are aware of a small number of incidents of concern which we are looking into alongside with the Care Quality Commission and other partners. We continue to closely monitor the impact of the temporary approval for women’s homes to be classed as a place where both sets of medication for early medical abortion can be taken up to 10 weeks gestation.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many individuals have requested to detransition following gender transition in the most recent period for which data is available.

The National Health Service does not, nor does it plan to, routinely collect data on the number of people who sought medical intervention to reverse or undo a previous medical intervention for the alleviation of gender dysphoria.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of closing the Gender-identity Development Service at the Tavistock Centre.

The Government has no plans to change the current health care treatment available to people under 18 displaying gender dysphoria. This includes the services provided by Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make and assessment of the potential merits of removing the compulsory requirement to wear face coverings on public transport.

The Government has thoroughly assessed the merits of wearing face coverings on public transport. We continue to follow scientific advice and recommend this in order to protect the public against COVID-19.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advised that using cloth masks as a precautionary measure could be at least partially effective in enclosed spaces like public transport where social distancing is not possible consistently, creating a risk of close social contact with multiple parties the person does not usually meet.

This advice does not replace or change existing advice on other measures – such as hand washing, social distancing and self-isolation – which remain more important (because of stronger evidence and larger effects).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the recommended social distance from two meters to 0.5 meters.

The Government has commissioned a review into the two metre (six feet) social distancing rule and we are working as quickly as possible to carry it out, taking advice from a range of experts, including the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Advisor, behavioural scientists and economists and ensuring it is comprehensive in examining how the two metre rule works in practice, the evidence around transmission of the virus in different environments, incidence rates, and international comparisons. The review is expected to be completed within the coming weeks.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure close cooperation with EU nations on licensing new medicines after the transition period.

The United Kingdom published its approach to the Future Relationship with the European Union in February 2020. The approach set outs the UK’s commitments to facilitating trade in medicinal products and supporting high levels of patient safety.

After the transition period, our aim is to make sure patients in the UK are not disadvantaged and continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines. We want patients to be reassured that their safety will be protected through the strongest regulatory framework.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure (a) maintenance and (b) expansion of international cooperation on clinical cancer research trials.

The Government is committed to a world-leading regulatory system for clinical trials that allows us to collaborate effectively globally, ensuring the United Kingdom remains one of the best places in the world for science and innovation and as such we will ensure that we are at the forefront of clinical trials internationally and that the UK maintains a competitive clinical trials environment in which to conduct clinical trials.

The newly introduced Medicines and Medical Devices Bill provides the UK the means to remain a world-leading regulator and supports the delivery of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to make the UK a leading global hub for life sciences. More information on the Bill can be found at the following link:

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2019-20/medicinesandmedicaldevices.html

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that funding for cancer research is maintained after the transition period.

The Government is committed to ensuring the United Kingdom becomes a global science superpower and continues to collaborate with Europe on scientific research, including cancer research.

The Prime Minister has made clear that the UK is ready to consider a relationship in line with non-European Union Member State participation in Horizon Europe, provided this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation. This should include fair treatment of participants, a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both parties, and appropriate governance and consultation.

As a responsible Government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. This includes options to address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to ensure that children cannot take irreversible decisions about their gender before they are sufficiently mature to make such decisions.

The issue of informed consent by people under the age of 16 is currently the subject of legal proceedings and therefore the Department is unable to comment pending judicial ruling.

Meanwhile, NHS England is reviewing its commissioning position on the administration of hormone treatments to children and young people on the gender dysphoria pathway, including the evidence-base on the administration of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

Further to this £1.3 million has been awarded to fund a Longitudinal Outcomes of Gender Identity in Children (LOGIC) study looking into the development of gender identity in children and young people. The study began in 2019 and is following patients over a two-year period.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that staff working in children’s (a) social care services and (b) charities have adequate access to (i) personal protective equipment and (ii) testing for covid-19.

Everybody working on the front line deserves to have the equipment they need to do their job safely and the entire Government is working day and night to make that happen.

To 9 August, we have authorised the release of over 157 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) to help them respond to urgent local spikes in need.

These multi-agency LRF partnerships are made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services, local authorities, the National Health Service, the Environment Agency and others. This PPE is intended to help LRFs respond to urgent local spikes in need across the adult social care system and other front-line services, where providers are unable to access PPE through their usual routes. This includes children’s homes, secure children’s homes, residential special schools and children’s social care services in local authorities.

We have brought together the NHS, industry and the armed forces to create a PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it. Since the publication of the Government’s Testing Strategy in April 2020, we have continued to scale its capacity to support testing for COVID-19 and as at 17 August 2020, testing capacity was 326,086 across all pillars of the testing programme.

Following these further increases in testing capacity, testing is now available to all symptomatic people across the whole of the United Kingdom and anyone experiencing symptoms should get a test as soon as possible. This includes those working to provide essential public services, including children’s social care and charities delivering critical frontline services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that adult social care service providers are (a) identifying and (b) referring vulnerable young carers for support during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published guidance for both schools and local authorities on how best to support to families and protect vulnerable children during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is available on GOV. UK. Local authority duties to assess the needs of young carers, under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, are unchanged.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, adult social care providers and services should still be maintaining their responsibilities under the Act to ensure young carers are identified and referred to appropriate support if needed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to provide NHS volunteers to help support vulnerable families during the covid-19 outbreak.

607,074 NHS Volunteer Responders have completed the necessary identity checks to begin helping those most vulnerable, and as of 1 May, volunteers have completed 82,385 tasks.

NHS Volunteer Responders can provide a range of support, including collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone close to their home, providing telephone support to individuals at risk of loneliness as a consequence of isolation, and patient transport support.

The programme is now accepting self-referrals and hon. Members are also able to refer vulnerable people to the programme to receive support from the NHS Volunteer Responders. This can be done by completing an online referral form via the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) website or by calling the RVS call centre.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that there is adequate critical care capacity in hospitals during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has been clear that the National Health Service will get whatever funding it needs to provide the best possible care for those who need it throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included more than £6 billion in funding to bolster the resilience and capacity of our health services in recent weeks.

On 17 March it was announced that non-urgent elective operations were to be postponed to free up approximately 30,000 hospital beds nationally as a key part of the COVID-19 response. This measure was implemented to free-up the maximum possible critical care capacity to allow staff to prepare for, and respond to, the anticipated large numbers of COVID-19 patients needing respiratory support. It was stressed that emergency admissions, cancer treatment and other clinically urgent care continue unaffected. 8,000 beds were also placed at the NHS’s disposal following an unprecedented deal with the independent sector.

Further to this, we have been greatly strengthened by over 10,000 returning health professionals; 27,000 student nurses, doctors and other health professionals starting their NHS careers early; and 607,000 NHS volunteers.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on increasing staffing levels within the NHS in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England has published a suite of documents to support National Health Service organisations with the management of their workforce. All of the documents can be found on NHS England’s website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/workforce/

The NHS has also run a campaign asking for recently retired doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to return to practice. Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/returning-clinicians/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure an adequate supply of personal protective equipment to (a) the NHS and (b) social care facilities.

We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider National Health Service the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.

The Government published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) plan’ on 10 April. It incorporates guidance on who needs PPE and when they need it, routes to ensure those who need it can get it at the right time and sets out actions to secure enough PPE to last through the crisis.

Sourcing sufficient supplies of PPE is a challenge that many countries are facing. We are working to expand supply from overseas, improve domestic manufacturing capability and expand and improve the logistics network for delivering to the front line.

The full weight of the Government is behind this effort and we are working closely with industry, social care providers, the NHS, and the army to ensure the right equipment continues to be delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support hospices during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department regularly assesses the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the hospice sector, and through NHS England and NHS Improvement, are engaged in regular discussions with key stakeholders in the hospice sector regarding the challenges they face. A range of steps have been taken to support them.

On 8 April 2020, the Chancellor announced funding of up to £200 million for hospices over the next three months as part of the £750 funding package for the voluntary and charitable sector. This funding will support them to increase capacity of NHS services and provide stability as we manage our response to COVID-19.

In addition, to ensure that hospices continue to benefit from fundraising activities while social distancing measures remain in place, they are eligible for a range of measures which apply to charities such as having the option to defer their VAT bills to the end of June, paying no business rates for their shops next year and applying for a Business Interruption Loan. Many charity shops are already eligible for 80% charitable rate relief and will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100%.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that all (a) NHS and (b) social care staff are able to access covid-19 tests.

All National Health Service and social care staff are now able to register for COVID-19 tests, whether or not they are symptomatic. The Government has sufficient capacity to provide COVID-19 tests to all NHS and social care staff that need one. NHS and social care staff can book a test through the Government’s online self-referral portal, which allows them to register for a home test kit or to book a drive-through test at a regional test centre. Testing is also available through mobile and satellite test centres that are placed where need is greatest, including to NHS hospitals or care homes. Testing within an NHS facility, such as a hospital, is available for NHS workers.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the production of ventilators.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 mechanical ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom. Today, we have around 11,900 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients. As of 6 May, 344 of these have been provided by new UK suppliers responding to the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge and 118 by established UK suppliers.

This figure will continue to rise as we procure further equipment and more products from the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge become available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how personal protective equipment has been distributed to hospitals in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers. We have provided PPE equipment to over 26,000 care homes including home care and hospices across the country. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, over 48 million PPE items have been delivered.

We are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We have brought together the NHS, industry and the Armed Forces to create a new nationwide PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it.

We have a 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline for those experiencing supply disruption with business as usual ordering channels. Where there may be any shortages, we act on this immediately. Local Resilience Forums are also supporting care homes, hospices, home care and primary care in getting hold of PPE equipment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that healthcare providers in rural areas have adequate (a) trained and (b) equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers. We have provided PPE equipment to over 26,000 care homes including home care and hospices across the country. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, over 48 million PPE items have been delivered.

We are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We have brought together the NHS, industry and the Armed Forces to create a new nationwide PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it.

We have a 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline for those experiencing supply disruption with business as usual ordering channels. Where there may be any shortages, we act on this immediately. Local Resilience Forums are also supporting care homes, hospices, home care and primary care in getting hold of PPE equipment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ventilators have been purchased by the NHS since the start of the covid-10 outbreak.

At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 ventilators in hospitals across the UK. Today, we have over 10,800 mechanical ventilators available to NHS patients. There are another 2,000 mechanical ventilators on order that are expected to be available shortly, comprising 1,500 sourced from existing providers and 500 from new UK suppliers responding to the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge.

This figure will continue to rise as we procure further equipment and more products from the PM’s ventilator challenge become available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the criteria are for removing the social distancing restrictions that the Government has put in place in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 23 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced several social distancing measures in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. The guidance for these measures can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

The social distancing measures will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

At all times the Government has been guided by the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, this advice will be a key factor in the relaxation of social distancing measures. SAGE’s advice is regularly published and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish guidance on how social distancing measures implemented by the Government in response to the covid-19 outbreak can help (a) slow the spread of covid-19 and (b) reduce pressure on the NHS.

Following expert advice, the Government has issued social distancing measures. These measures will limit the spread of COVID-19 by helping to stop non-essential contact and lessen the demand on the National Health Service. Businesses have been asked to close except for supermarkets or retailers that supply fuel, medicines and other vital goods.

Under the restrictions, people must stay at home and only leave for the following reasons; to exercise once a day - either alone, or with members of their household; shopping for basic necessities, although this should be done as little as possible; medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person; travel to or from work but only where this is absolutely necessary.

Several guidance documents have been published, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of women have suffered an infected womb following an abortion in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold information on how many and what proportion of women have suffered an infected womb following an abortion.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to require local authorities to record when someone they are providing services for has a neurological condition, to ensure that those needs are being met.

There are no current plans to collect this information within social care data returns from local authorities. However, local authorities can currently record this for their own internal use when providing services for individuals, in order to capture experiences and outcomes and identify whether their needs are being met.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve mortality rates for people with neurological conditions; and what recent assessment he has made of progress in meeting that objective.

As seen in a report from Public Health England in 2018, there has been an increase in deaths associated with neurological conditions. The report highlights two major factors that are likely to be contributing to the increase in associated deaths; the success of the National Health Service in improving survival rates from other conditions such as heart disease and cancer, and better diagnosis and recognition of neurological conditions, a range of which are progressive and cannot be cured.

The report provides important data in supporting commissioners and services planners to better understand the burden of disease, and services that are needed to our changing population. NHS England and NHS Improvement work to provide tailored national support which enables local commissioners and providers to drive improvement and ensure services best reflect the needs of individual communities.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will provide (a) clear commissioning guidance to clinical commissioning groups so that they are able to commission effectively for people with neurological conditions and (b) clarity on organisational responsibility for the provision of services for people with those conditions.

As seen in a report from Public Health England in 2018, there has been an increase in deaths associated with neurological conditions. The report highlights two major factors that are likely to be contributing to the increase in associated deaths; the success of the National Health Service in improving survival rates from other conditions such as heart disease and cancer, and better diagnosis and recognition of neurological conditions, a range of which are progressive and cannot be cured.

The report provides important data in supporting commissioners and services planners to better understand the burden of disease, and services that are needed to our changing population. NHS England and NHS Improvement work to provide tailored national support which enables local commissioners and providers to drive improvement and ensure services best reflect the needs of individual communities.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people living with acquired brain injury receive neuro-rehabilitation; and what plans his Department has to increase that proportion.

This information is not collected. However, the majority of patients with acquired brain injury can access the services they need routinely through secondary care and community services which are commissioned locally.

In 2015, NHS England published ‘The Principles and Expectations for Good Adult Rehabilitation’ to support commissioners on delivering rehabilitation care locally. Building on this, in 2016, NHS England published further rehabilitation guidance, setting out a commissioning model and the evidence base for delivering high quality rehabilitation services. The guidance can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf

For those with the most serious brain injuries and rehabilitation needs, NHS England commissions specialised rehabilitation services at a national level to an agreed service specification.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people living with a neurological condition have access to community rehabilitation for that condition; and what plans his Department has to increase that proportion.

No specific assessment has been made on the cost-effectiveness of community rehabilitation. As the majority of rehabilitation services are provided locally, to support commissioners in the delivery of high-quality rehabilitation care, NHS England has provided guidance. In 2015, NHS England published ‘The Principles and Expectations for Good Adult Rehabilitation’ to support commissioners deliver suitable rehabilitation care locally. In 2016, NHS England published further rehabilitation guidance, setting out a commissioning model and the evidence base for delivering high quality, cost-effective rehabilitation services. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf
www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/clinical-commissioning-community/documents/principles-and-expectations

For patients with complex rehabilitation needs, NHS England commissions specialised rehabilitation services at a national level to an agreed service specification. These provide intensive treatment and expert support.

To access the adequacy of rehabilitation access, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, on behalf of NHS England, commissioned The National Clinical Audit of Specialist Rehabilitation for Patients with Complex Needs Following Major Injury. NHS England published three reports between June 2016 and April 2019, exploring service performance and outcomes for those receiving specialised rehabilitation care. The reports highlight a range of positive performance results as well as areas for improvement.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to end the practice of placing people with neurological conditions in (a) nursing homes that do not meet their needs and (b) in non-neighbouring local authorities away from their family and support networks.

The commissioning of social care services is a matter for local authorities who are best placed to the understand the needs of local people and communities, and how to meet them.

The Care Act 2014 placed a new duty on councils to offer a meaningful choice of services, so that people have a range of high quality, appropriate care options to choose from and that they get the services that best meet their needs.

The Care Act 2014 guidance is clear that local authorities should ensure that where they arrange services, the assessed needs of a person with eligible care and support needs is translated into effective, appropriate commissioned services that are adequately resourced and meet the wellbeing principle of the Act. This includes people with neurological conditions.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of access to post traumatic care and rehabilitation for people with a neurological condition in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.

No specific assessment has been made on the cost-effectiveness of community rehabilitation. As the majority of rehabilitation services are provided locally, to support commissioners in the delivery of high-quality rehabilitation care, NHS England has provided guidance. In 2015, NHS England published ‘The Principles and Expectations for Good Adult Rehabilitation’ to support commissioners deliver suitable rehabilitation care locally. In 2016, NHS England published further rehabilitation guidance, setting out a commissioning model and the evidence base for delivering high quality, cost-effective rehabilitation services. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf
www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/clinical-commissioning-community/documents/principles-and-expectations

For patients with complex rehabilitation needs, NHS England commissions specialised rehabilitation services at a national level to an agreed service specification. These provide intensive treatment and expert support.

To access the adequacy of rehabilitation access, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, on behalf of NHS England, commissioned The National Clinical Audit of Specialist Rehabilitation for Patients with Complex Needs Following Major Injury. NHS England published three reports between June 2016 and April 2019, exploring service performance and outcomes for those receiving specialised rehabilitation care. The reports highlight a range of positive performance results as well as areas for improvement.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the cost-effectiveness of community rehabilitation and the associated reduction in hospital admissions and reliance on social care for people with neurological conditions.

No specific assessment has been made on the cost-effectiveness of community rehabilitation. As the majority of rehabilitation services are provided locally, to support commissioners in the delivery of high-quality rehabilitation care, NHS England has provided guidance. In 2015, NHS England published ‘The Principles and Expectations for Good Adult Rehabilitation’ to support commissioners deliver suitable rehabilitation care locally. In 2016, NHS England published further rehabilitation guidance, setting out a commissioning model and the evidence base for delivering high quality, cost-effective rehabilitation services. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf
www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/clinical-commissioning-community/documents/principles-and-expectations

For patients with complex rehabilitation needs, NHS England commissions specialised rehabilitation services at a national level to an agreed service specification. These provide intensive treatment and expert support.

To access the adequacy of rehabilitation access, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, on behalf of NHS England, commissioned The National Clinical Audit of Specialist Rehabilitation for Patients with Complex Needs Following Major Injury. NHS England published three reports between June 2016 and April 2019, exploring service performance and outcomes for those receiving specialised rehabilitation care. The reports highlight a range of positive performance results as well as areas for improvement.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many British citizens have been taken hostage by terrorist organisations in each of the last 10 years.

The FCDO does not share information on individual hostage cases. The safety of British nationals overseas is a priority for the Government.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to secure religious freedom for Arab Christians in (a) Israel and (b) the West Bank.

Freedom of Religion or Belief is a human rights priority for the UK Government. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate General in Jerusalem raise issues of religious freedom with the Israeli Government and Palestinian Authority. The UK recognises that Jerusalem holds particular significance for many groups, especially the three Abrahamic faiths.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) support and (b) promote the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

We are committed to the objective of an independent, sovereign and prosperous Palestinian state, living side by side with a safe and secure Israel. That is why we put such emphasis on strengthening Palestinian institutions and fostering sustainable economic growth. Economic progress can never be a substitute for a political settlement, but it is vital in the interim that Palestinians see tangible improvements in their daily lives. The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. Without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue. We consistently call for an immediate end to all actions that undermine the viability of the two-state solution and are encouraging both sides to maintain calm and avoid taking actions which make peace more difficult to achieve.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help protect Palestinian Christians from aggression.

Every Palestinian and Israeli has the right to live in peace and security. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem raise issues of religious freedom with the Israeli and Palestinian Governments. I also met with representatives of the Holy Land Coordination Group, Bishop Declan Lang and Bishop Christopher Chessun, on 22 June to discuss the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and their work with the Christian community there.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that Israel enables Christians from all nations to (a) visit and (b) have access to Holy sites in Jerusalem.

The holy sites of Jerusalem hold particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The UK is committed to working with all parties to maintain calm, avoid provocation and uphold the Status Quo in order to ensure the safety and security of the holy sites and all who worship and visit there, including Christians from all nations. We continue to urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to avoid actions that make it more difficult to achieve a negotiated solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that all NHS trained staff who wish to return from overseas to assist with the covid-19 outbreak in the UK are supported to do so.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 9 April, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

The Foreign Secretary announced on 30 March an important new partnership between the Government and airlines to fly home more stranded British travelers, where commercial routes do not exist. The Government will provide up to £75 million financial support to enable special charter flights to priority countries, operated by airlines including Virgin, Easyjet, Jet 2 and Titan. This service has already begun, with flights earlier this week from Ghana and Tunisia.

Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. We are aware that there are key workers, including NHS trained staff, who are stuck abroad; this highlights the imperative of getting people back.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of whether information was suppressed by the Chinese Government after the initial outbreak of covid-19 in Wuhan Province.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 7 April, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We have been in regular contact with the Chinese authorities at all levels since the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, including on 23 March when the Prime Minister spoke to President Xi Jinping. We have continued to underline the importance of full and open data sharing to advance our understanding of the virus and the global response. We have raised this through our Ambassador in Beijing and in meetings with the Chinese Embassy in London.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on closing all markets selling wild animals for consumption in (a) China and (b) throughout the world.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 2 April, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

Pandemics arise as a combination of events and are a global concern. The origin of the Covid-19 virus is not yet clear, although it has been linked to viruses occurring in animals. The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to regulate global trade in wild animals and my officials regularly raise our concerns with other governments, including China, and with international authorities. The World Animal Health Organisation, of which the UK is a member, will be addressing wildlife trade at the next general session in May 2020. On 24 February 2020 China's National People's Congress passed a law banning the wildlife trade and the consumption of wild animals.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish his timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals on pre-paid funeral plans.

Following comprehensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, in January 2021 secondary legislation was made to bring pre-paid funeral plan firms within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This change will protect consumers by ensuring that, for the first time, all firms that sell and administer pre-paid funeral plans are subject to compulsory and robust regulation.

The new regulatory framework will come fully into force in July 2022, following an 18-month transition period. The FCA’s consultation on rules for the sector closed on 13 April 2021, and the Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure that the implementation of the new regulatory framework goes well.

The legislation allows intermediaries such as funeral directors to become “appointed representatives” of the funeral plan providers whose plans they sell or intermediate. The provider, known as the “principal” firm, would be responsible for ensuring their appointed representatives comply with the relevant rules for selling plans. This results in a proportionate approach, whereby smaller firms that operate as intermediaries will be required to follow the rules that protect consumers, without necessarily needing to undergo full FCA authorisation. To support these small firms during the transition period the FCA will reach out to the industry to explain their regulatory standards and expectations regarding the authorisation gateway.

The FCA is examining feedback concerning competition and smaller plan providers, among other things, as part of its consideration of responses to its consultation. The FCA will consider this feedback in the context of its operational objectives - which include ensuring an appropriate degree of protection for consumers and promoting effective competition in consumers’ interests - as part of its decisions on the regime.

The FCA’s consultation proposed that funeral plans should be brought within the scope of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The Government is currently considering whether further legislation is required to ensure the Compensation Scheme would operate effectively for consumers, if it covered this sector.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will work with the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) death care sector on a solution for pre-paid funeral plans that takes account of (i) consumers and (ii) businesses.

Following comprehensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, in January 2021 secondary legislation was made to bring pre-paid funeral plan firms within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This change will protect consumers by ensuring that, for the first time, all firms that sell and administer pre-paid funeral plans are subject to compulsory and robust regulation.

The new regulatory framework will come fully into force in July 2022, following an 18-month transition period. The FCA’s consultation on rules for the sector closed on 13 April 2021, and the Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure that the implementation of the new regulatory framework goes well.

The legislation allows intermediaries such as funeral directors to become “appointed representatives” of the funeral plan providers whose plans they sell or intermediate. The provider, known as the “principal” firm, would be responsible for ensuring their appointed representatives comply with the relevant rules for selling plans. This results in a proportionate approach, whereby smaller firms that operate as intermediaries will be required to follow the rules that protect consumers, without necessarily needing to undergo full FCA authorisation. To support these small firms during the transition period the FCA will reach out to the industry to explain their regulatory standards and expectations regarding the authorisation gateway.

The FCA is examining feedback concerning competition and smaller plan providers, among other things, as part of its consideration of responses to its consultation. The FCA will consider this feedback in the context of its operational objectives - which include ensuring an appropriate degree of protection for consumers and promoting effective competition in consumers’ interests - as part of its decisions on the regime.

The FCA’s consultation proposed that funeral plans should be brought within the scope of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The Government is currently considering whether further legislation is required to ensure the Compensation Scheme would operate effectively for consumers, if it covered this sector.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of changes to the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans on smaller providers within that sector.

Following comprehensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, in January 2021 secondary legislation was made to bring pre-paid funeral plan firms within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This change will protect consumers by ensuring that, for the first time, all firms that sell and administer pre-paid funeral plans are subject to compulsory and robust regulation.

The new regulatory framework will come fully into force in July 2022, following an 18-month transition period. The FCA’s consultation on rules for the sector closed on 13 April 2021, and the Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure that the implementation of the new regulatory framework goes well.

The legislation allows intermediaries such as funeral directors to become “appointed representatives” of the funeral plan providers whose plans they sell or intermediate. The provider, known as the “principal” firm, would be responsible for ensuring their appointed representatives comply with the relevant rules for selling plans. This results in a proportionate approach, whereby smaller firms that operate as intermediaries will be required to follow the rules that protect consumers, without necessarily needing to undergo full FCA authorisation. To support these small firms during the transition period the FCA will reach out to the industry to explain their regulatory standards and expectations regarding the authorisation gateway.

The FCA is examining feedback concerning competition and smaller plan providers, among other things, as part of its consideration of responses to its consultation. The FCA will consider this feedback in the context of its operational objectives - which include ensuring an appropriate degree of protection for consumers and promoting effective competition in consumers’ interests - as part of its decisions on the regime.

The FCA’s consultation proposed that funeral plans should be brought within the scope of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The Government is currently considering whether further legislation is required to ensure the Compensation Scheme would operate effectively for consumers, if it covered this sector.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a lower excise duty bracket for biodiesel that is 100 per cent derived from waste biomass.

The Government supports renewable fuels under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), rather than through duty relief. One benefit of this is that the RTFO scheme sets mandatory sustainability criteria which must be met in order for renewable fuels to benefit from the receipt of Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs). In this way we can ensure that renewable fuels supplied and rewarded in the UK deliver genuine reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.

Where a renewable fuel is produced from waste it is eligible to receive twice the reward in certificates under the RTFO scheme than biofuels produced from non-wastes.

The RTFO has been highly successful in supporting a market for renewable fuel since its introduction in 2008. In 2019, the use of renewable fuels supplied under the RTFO scheme, as a replacement for fossil fuels such as regular petrol or diesel, saved almost 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is the equivalent of taking 2.5 million combustion engine-powered cars off the road. Renewable fuel supplied under the RTFO currently contributes around a third of the savings required for the UK’s transport carbon budget and around two thirds of biofuels reported under the RTFO are made from wastes.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to invest in UK infrastructure.

The UK has historically underinvested in infrastructure and this government is committed to addressing that. Spending Review 2020 committed £100 billion of capital investment in 2021-22, a £30 billion cash increase compared to 2019-20. It also set out long-term settlements for key infrastructure programmes, with record levels of investment in strategic roads, broadband and flood defences.

At Budget, the government announced further details of the UK Infrastructure Bank. The Bank, which will partner with the private sector and local authorities to increase infrastructure investment, will begin operating later in the spring. It will have an initial £12 billion of debt and equity capital and be able to deploy £10bn of government guarantees.  We expect it to use this to crowd in private investment to support more than £40bn of infrastructure investment overall.

Further details of the government’s infrastructure investment plans can be found under the infrastructure chapter of the Plan for Growth and in the National Infrastructure Strategy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that local tax offices are based in town centres.

HMRC are committed to their strategy, announced in 2015, of moving to 13 regional centres, all within Government hubs, in city centre locations where the majority of their staff are already based. This is key to HMRC’s and wider Government’s transformation and is aligned with the Places for Growth Programme.

Customer services will not be reduced by the closure of offices. HMRC had already closed their enquiry centres in 2014. Currently almost all business customers deal with the department online and, in 2020, 94 per cent of Self-Assessment returns were filed digitally. In addition to dealing with enquiries by telephone, HMRC have set up an Extra Support Team, providing assistance to taxpayers who need extra help. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, HMRC are unable to offer face to face appointments at this time, but they continue to serve taxpayers through other communication channels. Evidence from customer satisfaction survey results confirms that taxpayers, particularly those who would have satisfied the criteria for a face to face appointment, are happy with these alternative services.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reinstating the VAT exemption on personal protective equipment for funeral sector workers for the duration of the covid-19 lockdown.

The temporary zero rate was an extraordinary measure introduced to help affected sectors (such as hospitals and care homes) during the initial acute period of the COVID-19 crisis, when global supply of PPE did not meet demand and PPE was procured directly from the open market.

The funeral sector source their own PPE through their normal supply routes. In extreme circumstances, there is provision for them to approach their Local Resilience Forum (LRF) or local authority, where the LRF has stood down, to discuss access to an emergency supply. Given this, there are no plans to review the VAT treatment of PPE.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what comparative assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Government fiscal support for (a) job retention and (b) self-employed people during the covid-19 pandemic in the UK and internationally.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) continues to be one of the most generous schemes in the world.

Given the schemes’ economic and fiscal significance, HM Treasury and HMRC are undertaking evaluations of the CJRS and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The CJRS Evaluation Plan, which was published on GOV.UK on 17 December 2020, sets out the evaluation approach.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps democratically elected representatives are able to take to hold the financial ombudsmen to account.

The freedom of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to operate is strictly governed by the framework of duties set out in legislation by Parliament. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 required the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to establish the FOS as an independent body which can resolve disputes quickly and with minimum formality. The FOS must make determinations on complaints by reference to what is (in the opinion of the ombudsman) fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case. The FOS and the FCA maintain arrangements for the investigation of complaints, and their decisions can also be subject to judicial review.

The Government believes that it is vitally important that the FOS should be accountable for its performance and the quality of its work. The FCA’s appointment of the Chair of the FOS is subject to approval by the Treasury, on behalf of the Government. The FOS is also required to send a copy of its annual accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General, whose report must then be laid before Parliament by the Treasury.

To ensure transparency, the FOS must also publish reports of determinations (unless, in the ombudsman’s opinion it would be inappropriate). This ensures that the public, including Parliament, have a full and balanced picture of the decisions the FOS reaches.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department takes to ensure that appointed financial ombudsmen operate with (a) fairness, (b) due diligence and (c) impartiality.

The freedom of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to operate is strictly governed by the framework of duties set out in legislation by Parliament. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 required the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to establish the FOS as an independent body which can resolve disputes quickly and with minimum formality. The FOS must make determinations on complaints by reference to what is (in the opinion of the ombudsman) fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case. The FOS and the FCA maintain arrangements for the investigation of complaints, and their decisions can also be subject to judicial review.

The Government believes that it is vitally important that the FOS should be accountable for its performance and the quality of its work. The FCA’s appointment of the Chair of the FOS is subject to approval by the Treasury, on behalf of the Government. The FOS is also required to send a copy of its annual accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General, whose report must then be laid before Parliament by the Treasury.

To ensure transparency, the FOS must also publish reports of determinations (unless, in the ombudsman’s opinion it would be inappropriate). This ensures that the public, including Parliament, have a full and balanced picture of the decisions the FOS reaches.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to reduce levels of tax avoidance by multi-national corporations.

The UK has a comprehensive range of measures in place to tackle tax avoidance and tax planning arrangements entered into by multinational corporations.

For example, the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) was introduced in 2015, and aims to change the behaviour of companies using contrived arrangements to avoid UK tax, by charging tax on these arrangements at a higher rate. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the profits taxed in the UK fully reflect the economic activity carried on in the UK.

Similarly, the Offshore Receipts from Intangibles Property (ORIP) regime, introduced in 2019, is designed to deal with arrangements where the UK sales of multinational groups generate significant offshore income in low or no tax jurisdictions, in circumstances where normal royalty withholding tax rules would not apply. This measure is expected to generate about £1bn of additional tax revenue over a five year period.

The UK continues to take a leading role in international efforts to tackle tax avoidance by multinationals. Following on from the OECD BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) project, the UK is fully engaged in continuing work at the OECD in relation to the challenges of taxing the digital economy. The UK has been at the forefront of these discussions within the OECD, and will be continuing to meet virtually with the OECD Working Parties in the coming weeks and months.

With regard to the taxation of the digital economy, the UK has been clear that it favours an international agreement on this issue. In advance of an agreed outcome, the UK has introduced its own Digital Services Tax (DST) which came into force in April 2020 and is expected to generate over £2bn of additional tax revenue in the next 5 years.

The DST will be an important tool for addressing the limitations of the existing international tax framework, ensuring that businesses pay tax in the UK that reflects the value they generate from user interaction. The Government has been clear that it will remove the DST once an appropriate global solution is in place.

13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the (a) loan schemes and (b) other fiscal support available for businesses (i) of different sizes and (b) in different sectors during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. On 12 May the Government published new statistics that show businesses have benefitted from over £14 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis. This includes:

· 268,000 Bounce Back Loans (BBL) for small businesses, worth £8.3 billion

· 36,000 loans worth over £6 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for SMEs

· £359 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) for large firms

Figures from the Bank of England show that over £18.7 billion has been distributed to large firms through the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). Together, these schemes ensure almost all viable UK businesses can apply for a government backed loan.

In addition, the Government has implemented a range of further measures which are providing support to millions of businesses of all sizes and across sectors, including:

· The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – now extended until October

· A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England

· Grant funding for small businesses, and retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

· VAT deferral for up to 12 months

· The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs

· Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30 2020

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support independent businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. We have made significant changes to the operation of statutory sick pay, universal credit, and employment and support allowance to ensure that people have quicker and more generous access to a support system. We have taken further steps to give businesses access to cash to pay rent, salaries or suppliers, alongside a commitment to pay 80% of the regular monthly wages, up to £2,500, of furloughed workers for three months, via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and help for the self-employed with the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Our economic response is one of the most generous and comprehensive globally and we are working urgently to deliver these schemes as quickly as possible.

Businesses are now able to access much of this support already. There is a Business Support website that helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of trends in the level of pet theft since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the distress pet theft causes and are committed to doing more to prevent these cruel crimes. The Government has been assembling evidence on pet theft as part of the work of the Pet Theft Taskforce, launched 8 May, and this will be published in due course.

The Taskforce is considering the issue from end to end, including causes, prevention, reporting, enforcement and prosecution.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many protests have been prevented or restricted under existing legislative powers in the last 12 months.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests, conducted by each police force in England and Wales, on an annual basis.

Data are held at the offence group level (for example ‘Violence against the person’ and ‘Public order’ offences) and Police Force Area level only.

Information on the number of arrests made at Extinction Rebellion protests are not held centrally.

Also linked question PQW/21-22/2021/02713

How many protests have been prevented or restricted under existing legislative powers in the last 12 months?

The Home Office does not record the numbers of protests that take place, have been prevented or restricted. We do not hold information to answer the question.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many arrests have been made during Extinction Rebellion protests since 2019.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests, conducted by each police force in England and Wales, on an annual basis.

Data are held at the offence group level (for example ‘Violence against the person’ and ‘Public order’ offences) and Police Force Area level only.

Information on the number of arrests made at Extinction Rebellion protests are not held centrally.

Also linked question PQW/21-22/2021/02713

How many protests have been prevented or restricted under existing legislative powers in the last 12 months?

The Home Office does not record the numbers of protests that take place, have been prevented or restricted. We do not hold information to answer the question.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of replacing the common law offence of public nuisance with a statutory offence of intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance.

When drafting the measure on Public Nuisance for Part 3 of the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Government considered the Law Commission’s recommendation to restate the common law offence of public nuisance in statue provided in their report "Simplification of Criminal Law: Public Nuisance and Outraging Public Decency" .

The Law Commission held a public consultation which informed the recommendations of their report and argued that this restatement will provide clarity to the police and potential offenders, in comparison to the common law offence. We also consulted HMICFRS, who also agreed with this recommendation. Having considered these, the Government decided to introduce the statutory offence of public nuisance and replace the existing common law offence.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to reduce (a) rural crime rates and (b) incidences of hare coursing; and what the timeframe is for implementing those plans.

We remain committed in our ambition to reduce levels of rural crime; including those offences related to hare coursing. That is why, we are supporting the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on its legislative proposals set out in the Action Plan on Animal Welfare, which was published on 12 May 2021.

This department is also assisting with police’s operational and strategic efforts to reduce levels of rural crime, through the ongoing recruitment of 20,000 additional police officers, and continued funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has considered commissioning a new review into the activities of (a) the Muslim Brotherhood and (b) extremist Islamist organisations in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The Government keeps under review the activities of those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK in accordance with the five commitments included in the former Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament.

The Government continues to assess the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities when appropriate, this is to ensure our position is based on the latest information available. We will consider action against the review’s commitments if and where legal thresholds are met.

We will not tolerate any individuals or groups who spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities or who deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many British citizens have left the UK to join a proscribed Islamic terrorist organisation in each of the last five years.

We do not publish figures on the number of individuals who have left the UK to join proscribed terrorist groups for reasons of national security. Membership and support for a proscribed terrorist organisation is an offence under sections 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Everyone who returns to the UK after engaging in terrorism-related activity overseas must expect to be investigated by the police and, where there is evidence that a crime has been committed, prosecuted.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to help tackle the threat of the Islamic State group internationally.

As outlined in the Government’s 2018 CONTEST (CT Strategy), We continue to use the full range of our diplomatic, development, economic, defence and intelligence networks to the address upstream threat and terrorist risk posed by Daesh to the UK homeland and our interests overseas.

I also refer the Rt Hon gentleman to the update provided to the House by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on Thursday 4 March 2021 which outlines Her Majesty’s Government’s response to the threat posed by Daesh. Counter-Daesh Update - Thursday 4 March 2021 - Hansard - UK Parliament

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to work with French authorities to identify and prosecute people traffickers operating across the English Channel.

We will do everything we can to stop these crossings and make this route unviable.

The danger to life from Channel crossings and the criminality behind it are simply unacceptable.

These journeys are often illegally-facilitated and are totally unnecessary; France and other EU countries are safe with fully functioning asylum systems.

The UK and France jointly investigate criminal groups engaged in these crossings, sharing intelligence and prosecuting cases on both sides of the Channel. The Joint Intelligence Cell, founded in July 2020 and resourced by both UK and French staff, is central to those efforts, enabling the sharing of information between UK and French law enforcement

In 2020, we arrested 113 individuals and secured 56 convictions for facilitation related to small boats resulted in sentencing of over 29 years. A further 35 disruptions were recorded against gangs and individuals engaged in organised immigration crime related to small boats

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of foreign national offenders in the UK; and what steps she is taking to identify and deport those offenders.

The Government is clear foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence is considered for deportation at the earliest opportunity.

For non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, deportation will be pursued where it is conducive to the public good including where a person receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, commits an offence that caused serious harm or is a persistent offender. European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are deported in accordance with European Union (EU) law on the grounds of public policy or public security where relevant conduct occurred before 1 January 2021 and under the same deportation thresholds that apply to non-EEA nationals for relevant conduct after 31 December 2020.

No guarantee can ever be given that every foreign criminal will have their deportation enforced – for example, sometimes the UK’s current obligations under international law such as the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights ultimately prohibit us from returning certain individuals despite their criminality. Legal or re-documentation barriers can frustrate immediate deportation. However, we never give up trying to deport these individuals to make our communities safer and since January 2019 we have removed 7,240 foreign national offenders.

The Home Office publishes data on individuals detained in the Home Office detention estate and HM Prisons solely under Immigration Act powers and Returns of people who do not have any legal right to stay in the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ and Transparency release - Immigration Enforcement data.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the capabilities of terrorist organisations.

We continue to monitor the potential emergence of new security vulnerabilities as a result of the changed COVID-19 landscape. It would not be appropriate to comment further on operational matters which relate to counter terrorism work.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether covid-19 regulations pertaining to funeral services will be eased before 21 June 2021.

The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown. The approach focuses on data, not dates. Each step has a “no earlier than” date, five weeks later than the previous step, to allow time to assess the impact of the previous step and provide a week’s notice before changes occur.

Funerals can continue to take place with up to 30 mourners in attendance. Anyone working is not included. People should socially distance themselves from others outside their household or support bubble (if eligible). Religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to a person’s death, such as stone setting ceremonies, the scattering of ashes or a wake, can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.

At Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April), wakes will be permitted for up to 15 people.

From Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May), 30 people can attend a wake in line with all life events at this stage.

Ahead of Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June), the Government will launch the Events Research Programme, to consider how and when restrictions can be lifted from large events including funerals and wakes. Subject to the outcomes of the review, we hope to be able to lift restrictions.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what notice period will be given to the funeral and death care sector for guidance on the relaxation of rules limiting the number of attendees at funeral services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s guidance for those managing funerals is available through the Deceased Management Advisory Group website. This guidance details the actions funeral directors and others managing funerals should take to ensure funerals take place in a COVID-19 safe and secure way. This includes ensuring a COVID-19 risk assessment is in place and that all reasonable steps are taken to limit the risk of transmission, taking into account the risk assessment and relevant legislation including around attendance.

Ahead of Step 4 of the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ roadmap (no earlier than 21 June), the Government will launch the Events Research Programme, to consider how and when restrictions can be lifted from large events including funerals and wakes. Subject to the outcomes of the review at each stage, the forward plan will be included in the Roadmap for when limits on funeral attendance might be lifted and the relevant guidance will be updated accordingly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support funeral (a) directors and (b) venue owners will receive in the event that mourners break (i) the 30-person limit and (ii) other covid-19 regulations.

It is the responsibility of the funeral director or venue owner to take all reasonable steps to ensure a funeral is Covid secure, and takes place in a way that complies with all relevant legislation, including around attendance.


A funeral director or venue owner can seek support from the police if they reasonably believe that the numbers attending are likely to breach the legal limits despite their best efforts to prevent this, or the numbers in attendance have unexpectedly exceeded the legal limits. The police can then decide the most appropriate action to take, which may include issuing a fixed penalty notice.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to obtain accurate data on the ethnicity of people convicted of group-based child sexual exploitation.

The paper ‘Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation: Characteristics of Offending’, published in December 2020, set out the available evidence on the demographics of group-based child sexual exploitation offenders.

The limitations of the available data are disappointing, particularly as understanding the contexts in which offending occurs is pertinent to identifying, preventing and tackling offending.

Child sexual exploitation often involves a number of different sexual and non-sexual offences, and there is no discrete set of offences that are exclusive to group-based child sexual exploitation. Data on characteristics such as ethnicity are not routinely collected and are subject to inaccuracies in recording. Importantly, the data that is collected is limited to the cases that are identified, and we know that most child sexual abuse goes unreported. All of these factors limit our understanding of the characteristics of offending.

As set out in the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy, published in January 2021, we are committed to addressing these issues as a priority. We have invested in analysts in each of the policing regions who will produce quarterly data on child sexual abuse cases undertaken by police forces, as well as maintaining a Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Operations Database which will capture details of victims and offender numbers, characteristics (including ethnicity), and modus operandi.

Building on this, we will engage with criminal justice agencies, charities, safeguarding partners, academics and think tanks to understand better the barriers to collecting accurate data on ethnicity and other characteristics, and to address these barriers so that local and national agencies have a robust picture of the characteristics of offenders.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many foreign nationals convicted as a result of investigations into grooming gangs have (a) been deported from and (b) remain in the UK.

The information is not available to the level of detail requested. The Home Office publishes data on Returns of foreign nationals in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of Returns of FNOS from the UK are published in table Ret_02 of the Returns ‘summary tables’.

Child Sexual Exploitation is an abhorrent crime and has no place in our society. This Government is absolutely determined to do all it can to tackle it.

The new national Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy sets out our response to all forms of child sexual abuse, including how we will work across government, law enforcement, safeguarding partners and industry to root out offending, and protect and help victims and survivors to recover and rebuild their lives.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe and we are clear that foreign criminals should be deported from the UK wherever it is legal and practical to do so.

Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence is considered for deportation at the earliest opportunity. Since January 2019 we have removed 6,450 foreign national offenders.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many foreign criminals have been deported in each of the last ten years; and whether it is her policy to increase the number of deportations.

The Home Office publishes data on Returns in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) returned from the UK are published in tables Ret_02 and Ret_02q of the Returns ‘summary tables’. The latest data on returns relates to the year ending June 2020.

Deportation is used, where appropriate, against foreign national criminals and those whose deportation is otherwise considered to be conducive to the public good. Our priority will always be to keep the British public safe and the Government is clear that foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence is considered for deportation at the earliest opportunity.

Every week we remove foreign criminals who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

Deportations of foreign national offenders have been negatively impacted by Covid, and we intend to resume historic levels as quickly as possible. It is our intention to deport all foreign criminals as required to by the 2007 Borders Act where we lawfully can, which would imply a further substantial increase in numbers.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ban foreign criminals who have served more than one year in jail from entering the UK.

New Immigration Rules which came into force on 1 December 2020 provide for the mandatory refusal or cancellation of entry clearance or permission to enter or stay in the UK where a person has been convicted of a criminal offence, in the UK or overseas, for which they have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the asylum and immigration system.

The Home Secretary has set out the Government’s ambition to overhaul our approach to asylum and illegal migration, delivering a firm but fair system, including bringing forward new legislation this year.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to protect emergency service workers.

Our brave workers across the emergency services do an extraordinary job in the most difficult situations, keeping us safe, day in and day out. It is absolutely right that we should ensure that they are supported and protected. We have accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, which will be enshrined in law, and ensure our police get the support and protection they need.

The Covenant will focus on health and wellbeing, physical protection and support for families. It will be put on a statutory footing as part of an ambitious package of measures to strengthen protection for the police and the public through the policing legislation, announced in the Queen’s Speech and to be introduced later this session. The legislation will also include other measures to support the police, for example, ensuring special constables are able to join the Police Federation and increasing the legal protection for police drivers involved in accidents while doing their jobs.

This Government has also been clear that any assault on an emergency worker is completely unacceptable in any circumstances. We want to send a clear message that these kinds of attacks will not be tolerated. Which is why we recently announced our intention to legislate to double the maximum penalty for assaults on emergency workers, from 12 months to two years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of net migration to the UK from (a) EU member states and (b) the rest of the world in each of the first three years following the introduction of points based system for immigration.

The Home Office does not forecast future levels of net migration due to the considerable uncertainties involved. Quarterly historical net migration figures are published by the Office for National Statistics.

The department has published an Impact Assessment for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill which included an assessment of the potential number of skilled workers who may be eligible under the new points-based immigration system. This included illustrative scenarios for inflows of both EU and non-EU nationals over the next three years. Estimates were provided for all skilled workers and not split by new entrant and experienced workers.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreport/august2020#development-of-migration-statistics

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report on Asylum accommodation and support published by the National Audit Office in July 2020, what estimate her Department has made of the potential number of asylum applications up to April 2022.

The Home Office project a range of possible asylum applications for operational and financial planning which take into account past variance and upcoming system changes.

These are subject to high levels of uncertainty due to the complex and unpredictable drivers of migration and the emerging impacts of Covid on migration patterns.

The Department have estimated that asylum applications for the period from April 2020 to March 2021 could total between 26000 and 30000, and from April 2021 to March 2022 could total between 30000 and 38000, though actual numbers of applications could fall outside these ranges.

The Home Office are taking steps to reform the asylum system by developing an asylum transformation programme that seeks to simplify, streamline and digitise processes as part of the plans to speed up asylum decision making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) people and (b) dependents of people who have had an application for asylum rejected are (i) housed and (ii) receive payments under Section 95 and Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Figures outlining the number of people supported are published as part of the Home Office transparency data https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

These figures are not broken down into those that have had their asylum claim rejected or the number of people in each household. This information is not readily accessible and would require a manual search.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the annual cost to the public purse is for (a) housing of and (b) weekly payments to people who have had their asylum application rejected and their dependents under Section 95 and Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, in the most recent period for which data is available.

Data is published on a quarterly basis with the latest information covering until 31st June 2020. The next quarterly figures are due to be released in November 2020

Accommodation costs are considered to be commercially confidential so we do not provide this information, however, total asylum spends are published as part of transparency data https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

These figures are not broken down into those that have had their asylum claim rejected. This information is not readily accessible and would require a manual search.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 on the rate of illegal crossings of the English Channel.

Section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 sets out the defences available to a refugee if charged with certain offences connected to entering the UK, and is in accordance with the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

The Home Secretary has been clear that she will explore all options to review the UK immigration system in order to deter people from making dangerous journeys such as crossing the Channel, and promptly return those who have no right to be in the UK.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the repeal of section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, as provided for by the Immigration Act 2016, has not yet taken effect.

Implementation of the changes made by the Immigration Act 2016 to asylum support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and to local authority support for migrants without immigration status requires engagement with local authorities, the devolved administrations and other partners on the preparation of the required regulations. The timing of this work is currently under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to remove foreign national offenders from the UK during the covid-19 pandemic.

We remain committed to removing foreign national offenders during the pandemic. We continue to remove where there are available routes and by charter flight operations.

On all removal flights public health guidance is adhered to, those on flights are seen by a healthcare professional before they are returned and anyone who is exhibiting symptoms would be removed from the flight and placed into medical isolation.

Foreign national offenders (FNOs) should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them and since 2010, we have removed more than 53,000.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to dismantle the operations of county lines drug gangs.

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities.

That is why we are investing £25m in our county lines programme to boost law enforcement efforts to tackle these ruthless gangs. Our overall package launched in October last year and includes: expanding the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre, increased disruption on the rail networks by the British Transport Police’s County Lines Taskforce, operational activity against high harm lines in the three major exporting force areas (the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, West Midlands), investment in new technology, and increased support for victims.

Our investment is already delivering results; between November 2019 and March 2020, the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, West Midlands and the British Transport Police made over 650 arrests, closed nearly 140 deal lines, seized cash and drugs with a total value of over £3 million, made over 100 weapons seizures, and safeguarded a number of individuals, including 140 children.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to maintain public order during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office has been working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council throughout the Covid-19 crisis, to ensure they have sufficient resourcing and capabilities to manage public order, are able to provide required support for frontline police officers and to back the police when it comes to law enforcement.

Significant work has also been undertaken by National Policing Leads to prepare for public disorder whilst Covid-19 restrictions remain in place. We fully back the police in taking a firm stance against those who significantly disrupt the lives of others with unlawful behaviour and the Home Office will continue to work closely with them on this.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking is taking to prevent crimes against churches.

The Government is committed to cutting crime, and is investing in prevention to ensure that every opportunity is taken to stop unnecessary crimes from happening. The Government is committed to protecting churches from hate crime through the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme. The 2020-21 round launched on 16 June with an uplift to £3.2 million- double the amount awarded last year. Over the last four years we have awarded 183 grants worth approximately 3 million to places of worship across England and Wales - with 76 churches receiving funding.

The Government has an established programme that provides those responsible for crowded places including churches with high quality advice and guidance to ensure appropriate measures may be taken to reduce their vulnerability. Free advice from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) for crowded places includes specific advice for places of worship.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration offenders, excluding failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders, have been removed in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many of those first arrived in the UK on a student visa.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of returns from the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the number of Returns (of which deportations are a subset) are published in table Ret_D01 of the Returns detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets).

The term 'deportations' refers to a legally-defined subset of returns which are enforced either following a criminal conviction or when it is judged that a person’s removal from the UK is conducive to the public good. Information on those deported is not separately available and therefore the published statistics refer to all enforced returns.

Please note that only some of those returned will have previously entered the UK illegally; others may have entered legally, for example those who enter on a visa and overstay their period of valid leave and are therefore not separately identifiable in the data.

Information on the number of individuals returned who first arrived in the UK on a student visa would require a manual check of individual records which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with which countries the UK has deportation agreements for the return of nationals found illegally in the UK.

To support the facilitation of removing those individuals with no right to remain in the UK, the UK has formal returns or readmission agreements with the following countries:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

There are also formal returns arrangements for third-country nationals to other European countries through the Dublin Regulations.

To all other countries to which returns are enforced, the Home Office utilises informal bilateral processes.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the size of the reporting population under her Department's Reporting and Offender Management process was in the latest quarter for which figures are available; and how many people in that population were declared to have absconded.

The Home Office does not hold the information you have requested in a reportable format. Reporting as a condition of bail was paused on 23 March 2020 in line with PHE advice. Since closing to the public, we have embarked on a programme of contact with those required to report using telephone, SMS and email. The size of the reporting population is not regularly published under national statistics because it tends to continually fluctuate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants have claimed asylum after entering the UK illegally in the last 10 years; how long on average after entry each such applicant claimed asylum; how many of those applicants were granted asylum; and how many unsuccessful applicants left the UK either voluntarily or by enforced removal.

The Home Office are unable to state how many applicants have claimed asylum after entering the UK illegally in the last 10 years or how long on average after each entry each such applicant claimed asylum. The Home Office do not monitor cases on method of entry.

The Home Office can state how many applicants have been granted asylum in each of the last 10 years. This data can be found at Asy_02a (initial decisions on asylum applications, by outcome), of the published Immigration Statistics March 2020:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on how many unsuccessful applicants left the UK either voluntarily or by enforced removal. This data can be found at Ret_04 (Returns from the UK, by nationality and type of return and asylum/non-asylum), of the published Immigration Statistics March 2020:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of people who have entered the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats in the last five years.

Information regarding the number of migrants who have crossed the Channel via small boat, can be found using the following links:

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/home-affairs/Correspondence-17-19/19-03-05-Letter-from-Sir-Philip-Rutnam-KCB-Permanent-Secretary-Home-Office-Migrant-boats-in-the-channel.pdf

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home -affairs-committee/the-work-of-the-home-secretary/oral/103955.htm

In April a parliamentary question was tabled by Tracey Crouch MP asking the UK government how many people have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK in January to March of 2020. The answer to this question can be found on the parliament website at the following link:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-04-20/37575/

The Home Office also provides information on topical subjects via a blog posted on gov.uk:

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/05/media-factsheet-small-boats/

The Government is working flat out to put a complete stop to these crossings, and all attempts to reach the UK clandestinely and action is being taken on a daily basis.

The National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force and the UK Police are working closely with French authorities to crack down on the criminals who facilitate the crossings.

This law enforcement response is delivering results. French law enforcement prevented over 1000 people from crossing by small boats in April and May 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who entered the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats in 2019 are now housed under the seven regional Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts.

The Home Office publishes quarterly figures on the number of asylum seekers housed in dispersed accommodation, by local authority, in the Immigration Statistics release, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

Breakdowns of asylum claims by method of arrival or type of claim are not routinely published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number non-detained Foreign National Offenders who have gone on to re-offend in each of the last 10 years.

Providing the information on the number of non-detained Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) who have gone on to re-offend in the each of the last 10 years would require a manual check of individual records which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

The Home Office publishes the total number of FNOs living in the community. This information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-may-2020

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people found to have participated in sham marriages were removed from the UK in each of the last five years.

To maintain the highest standards of accuracy, the Home Office prefers to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

Information about those removed from the UK who have participated in sham marriages is not available in our published data.

Our published data on returns is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/how-many-people-are-detained-or-returned

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of visitors who were allowed to visit the UK without a visa for up to six months and who were not recorded as leaving on time in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018 and (d) 2019.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, and we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally entered the UK on a study visa were part of the post 2008 migration refusal pool in the third quarter of 2019.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally entered the UK on a work visa were part of the post 2008 migration refusal pool in the third quarter of 2019.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally entered the UK on a family-related visa were part of the post 2008 migration refusal pool in the third quarter of 2019.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally entered the UK as dependants of people coming to the UK on non-visitor visas were part of the post 2008 migration refusal pool in the third quarter of 2019.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Dublin III agreement will be repealed with respect to UK law on 31 December 2020.

The Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 revokes the Dublin Regulation. This legislation takes effect at the end of the Transition Period.

The Regulations contain a “savings provision” where a Dublin family reunion request made before 1 January 2021 can still be processed after that date.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons there was a reduction in the net budget for immigration enforcement between 2015-16 and 2019-20; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect on immigration enforcement of the change in the level of that budget.

In accordance with all other government departments, the Home Office continually looks for ways to reduce costs, so as to improve efficiency and deliver better value for money for taxpayers.

Immigration Enforcement has been able to significantly reduce costs whilst not adversely impacting upon our core ability to tackle illegal migration by implementing a long-term rationalisation of the immigration detention estate and introducing new, more efficient, technology.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons her Department has not published an estimate of the total number of people without leave to remain in the UK since 2005.

By its very nature, it is not possible to know the exact size of the illegal population (including those without leave to remain in the UK) and so we do not seek to make any official estimates of the illegal population. The Government is focused on making it harder for people to enter and live in the UK illegally whilst ensuring those who have the right to reside in the UK can do so. Exit checks introduced in April 2015 will, over time provide more detailed insights into the behaviour of migrants and how they comply with the restrictions placed upon their length of stay in the UK, but the data obtained does not provide the total number of illegal migrants currently in the UK. In June 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a note on ‘measuring illegal migration’ (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/articles/measuringillegalmigrationourcurrentview/2019-06-21).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will publish an estimate of the total number of people without leave to remain in the UK.

By its very nature, it is not possible to know the exact size of the illegal population (including those without leave to remain in the UK) and so we do not seek to make any official estimates of the illegal population. The Government is focused on making it harder for people to enter and live in the UK illegally whilst ensuring those who have the right to reside in the UK can do so. Exit checks introduced in April 2015 will, over time provide more detailed insights into the behaviour of migrants and how they comply with the restrictions placed upon their length of stay in the UK, but the data obtained does not provide the total number of illegal migrants currently in the UK. In June 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a note on ‘measuring illegal migration’ (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/articles/measuringillegalmigrationourcurrentview/2019-06-21).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of people with no right to remain in the UK who had their status regularised in each of the last five years.

The Home Office has no published data to answer this question. The information is not readily available nor held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many migrants who arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats in 2019 were returned to EU states under (a) Article 13(1) and (b) Article 13(2) of the Dublin rules.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets). Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin Regulation

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’ (attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Full guidance on Dublin III Regulation was published on 30/04/2020 and can be found via the link below: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882400/Dublin-III-regulation-v3.0ext.pdf

Information regarding how many inadmissible decisions (Article 13.1 and Article 13.2) based on the concept of safe third country, first country of asylum and which designated safe third country those decisions relate to is not recorded or held in a reportable format.

Full guidance on which asylum claims must be treated as inadmissible was published in October 2019 and can be found via the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/835342/Inadmissibility-guidance-v4.0ext.pdf

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of detected attempts of people trying to enter the UK by clandestine in 2019 (a) in the back of lorries or in lorry containers, (b) in small boats via the English Channel and (c) entering via the Common Travel Area.

Border Force does not routinely publish this level of data on clandestine entry or attempts to enter the UK.

Border Force continues to work closely with partners in the UK and overseas to strike people smuggling at the source – identifying and dismantling the organised crime groups that facilitate illegal immigration. They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco.

Additionally, the UK works abroad to reduce factors that may push or force people to attempt such journeys - through creating jobs, tackling modern slavery, providing education and delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance in response to conflicts and natural disasters.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of detected attempts of people trying to enter the UK by clandestine in 2019 from (a) France and (b) Belgium.

Border Force does not routinely publish this level of data on clandestine entry or attempts to enter the UK.

Border Force continues to work closely with partners in the UK and overseas to strike people smuggling at the source – identifying and dismantling the organised crime groups that facilitate illegal immigration. They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco.

Additionally, the UK works abroad to reduce factors that may push or force people to attempt such journeys - through creating jobs, tackling modern slavery, providing education and delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance in response to conflicts and natural disasters.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration offenders excluding failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders have been removed from the UK in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many of those so removed first arrived in the UK on a student visa.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of returns from the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the number of Returns (of which deportations are a subset) are published in table Ret_D01 of the Returns detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets).

The term 'deportations' refers to a legally-defined subset of returns which are enforced either following a criminal conviction or when it is judged that a person’s removal from the UK is conducive to the public good. Information on those deported is not separately available and therefore the published statistics refer to all enforced returns.

Please note that only some of those returned will have previously entered the UK illegally; others may have entered legally, for example those who enter on a visa and overstay their period of valid leave and are therefore not separately identifiable in the data.

Information on the number of individuals returned who first arrived in the UK on a student visa would require a manual check of individual records which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many reports of suspected sham marriages were received from superintendent registrars in each of the last five years.

Reports of suspected sham marriage were reported to the Home Office by Superintendent Registers, on 2,791 occasions in financial year 2015/16, 2,960 in 2016/17, 2,677 in 2017/18, 3,246 in 2018/19 and 2,918 in 2019/20.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review the proposal to abolish the Resident Labour Market Test in response to the covid-19 outbreak and resulting increase in unemployment.

We set out our proposals for the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System in a Policy Statement published on 19 February: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-policy-statement.

On the recommendation of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test. In its September 2018 report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK, the MAC advised a robust approach to salary thresholds and the Immigration Skills Charge are better ways to protect UK workers against the dangers of employers using migrant workers to under-cut resident workers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally came to the UK on a study visa were granted (a) limited leave to remain and (b) settlement after applying under the 10-year long-term residency rule in each of the last five years.

The Home Office publishes data on grants of settlement, by initial visa category, in the annual ‘Migrant Journey’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report) release.

Data on grants of settlement in 2019 for those who originally entered the UK on a study visa are published in table MJ_D02 of the Migrant Journey detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report). The latest data relate to the year 2019.

The Home Office also publishes data on grants of settlement and grants of limited leave to remain (extensions) in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of settlement under the long-term residency rules are published in table se_03 of the settlement data tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). The latest data relate to the year 2018. It is not possible to identify the original route of entry from these data.

Data on grants of limited leave to remain are published in the Extensions detailed dataset (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). It is not possible to identify the original route of entry, or whether applications were made under the long-term residency rule, from these data.

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people granted settlement in 2019 originally entered the UK on a study visa.

The Home Office publishes data on grants of settlement, by initial visa category, in the annual ‘Migrant Journey’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report) release.

Data on grants of settlement in 2019 for those who originally entered the UK on a study visa are published in table MJ_D02 of the Migrant Journey detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report). The latest data relate to the year 2019.

The Home Office also publishes data on grants of settlement and grants of limited leave to remain (extensions) in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of settlement under the long-term residency rules are published in table se_03 of the settlement data tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). The latest data relate to the year 2018. It is not possible to identify the original route of entry from these data.

Data on grants of limited leave to remain are published in the Extensions detailed dataset (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). It is not possible to identify the original route of entry, or whether applications were made under the long-term residency rule, from these data.

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many grants of leave to remain in the UK were made based on the principles set out in the 2008 Metock judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union in each of the last five years.

We do not hold data on the number of grants of leave to remain based on the principles of the Metock judgment.

At the end of the transition period, on 31 December 2020, free movement law will be repealed by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and the UK will no longer be bound by the Metock and Surinder Singh judgments.

On 19 February, the Government published its policy statement on the UK’s global points-based immigration system and this new system will apply to EEA citizens and their family members coming to the UK from January 2021.

The Government has confirmed family members of British citizens lawfully resident in the UK under the ‘Surinder Singh’ route by the end of the transition period are eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period based on the principles of the Metock judgment are also eligible to apply for status under the scheme.

In addition, British citizens who are living in the EU by 31 December 2020 may return to the UK with their close family members under the current arrangements until 29 March 2022, where the family relationship existed before the UK left the EU.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the status will be of the 2008 Metock judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union with respect to its application in the UK after 31 December 2020.

We do not hold data on the number of grants of leave to remain based on the principles of the Metock judgment.

At the end of the transition period, on 31 December 2020, free movement law will be repealed by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and the UK will no longer be bound by the Metock and Surinder Singh judgments.

On 19 February, the Government published its policy statement on the UK’s global points-based immigration system and this new system will apply to EEA citizens and their family members coming to the UK from January 2021.

The Government has confirmed family members of British citizens lawfully resident in the UK under the ‘Surinder Singh’ route by the end of the transition period are eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period based on the principles of the Metock judgment are also eligible to apply for status under the scheme.

In addition, British citizens who are living in the EU by 31 December 2020 may return to the UK with their close family members under the current arrangements until 29 March 2022, where the family relationship existed before the UK left the EU.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the status of the Surinder Singh judgement will be with respect to its application in the UK after 31 December 2020.

We do not hold data on the number of grants of leave to remain based on the principles of the Metock judgment.

At the end of the transition period, on 31 December 2020, free movement law will be repealed by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and the UK will no longer be bound by the Metock and Surinder Singh judgments.

On 19 February, the Government published its policy statement on the UK’s global points-based immigration system and this new system will apply to EEA citizens and their family members coming to the UK from January 2021.

The Government has confirmed family members of British citizens lawfully resident in the UK under the ‘Surinder Singh’ route by the end of the transition period are eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period based on the principles of the Metock judgment are also eligible to apply for status under the scheme.

In addition, British citizens who are living in the EU by 31 December 2020 may return to the UK with their close family members under the current arrangements until 29 March 2022, where the family relationship existed before the UK left the EU.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to issue EEA family permits after 31 December 2020.

Subject to Parliament’s agreement to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, free movement will end on 31 December 2020. In general, the Home Office will stop accepting applications for documents confirming free movement rights under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 after that date.

However, in line with our obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement and equivalent agreements with the EEA EFTA states and Switzerland, the Home Office will continue to issue EEA family permits after 31 December 2020 in order to enable EEA and Swiss nationals who are exercising Treaty rights in the UK before the end of the transition period to bring their family members to the UK during the grace period between 1 January and 30 June 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have had their refugee status revoked on the grounds that they committed a serious crime or posed a threat to national security in each of the last five years.

Providing the information on the number of people that have had their refugee status revoked on the grounds of serious crime and are a danger to the community or because they are a danger to national security would require a manual check of individual records that can only be done at disproportionate costs.

Those who have committed a particularly serious crime and are a danger to the community or are a danger to national security are not granted refugee status in the UK. If a person has been recognised as a refugee and they subsequently commit a particularly serious crime and are assessed to be a danger to the community or are assessed as a danger to national security, their refugee status will be revoked as part of the deportation process.

Where we cannot remove such an individual from the UK, due to obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, revocation of leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain will still take place so that such individuals can no longer enjoy the benefits of such status.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the proportion of migrants entering the UK under the Tier 2 (General) route in the planned new points-based immigration system that will be new entrants rather than skilled workers.

The Impact Assessment for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill included an assessment of the potential number of skilled workers that may be eligible under the new points-based immigration system. This included two illustrative scenarios for a potential increase in non-EU nationals eligible under a lower skill and salary threshold over the next five years. Estimates were provided for all skilled workers and not split by new entrant and experienced workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa; what the top 10 countries of nationality are for those people; and what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of that information.

The Home Office is unable to provide information on how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa, on a family-related visa, a work visa, as visitors and those as dependents of people coming to the UK on other types of visas or what the top 10 countries of nationality are of those people, as this information does not form part of any routinely published data.

However, The Home Office do publish data on the number of asylum applications lodged, by main applicants, broken down by nationality and can be found at Asy_01_c of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on the number of entry clearance visas, broken down by visa type and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a family-related visa; what the top 10 countries of nationality are for those people; and what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of that information.

The Home Office is unable to provide information on how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa, on a family-related visa, a work visa, as visitors and those as dependents of people coming to the UK on other types of visas or what the top 10 countries of nationality are of those people, as this information does not form part of any routinely published data.

However, The Home Office do publish data on the number of asylum applications lodged, by main applicants, broken down by nationality and can be found at Asy_01_c of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on the number of entry clearance visas, broken down by visa type and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a work visa; what the top 10 countries of nationality are for those people; and what assessment she has made of the implications her policies of that information.

The Home Office is unable to provide information on how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa, on a family-related visa, a work visa, as visitors and those as dependents of people coming to the UK on other types of visas or what the top 10 countries of nationality are of those people, as this information does not form part of any routinely published data.

However, The Home Office do publish data on the number of asylum applications lodged, by main applicants, broken down by nationality and can be found at Asy_01_c of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on the number of entry clearance visas, broken down by visa type and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who entered the UK as visitors claimed asylum in each of the last five years.

The Home Office is unable to provide information on how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa, on a family-related visa, a work visa, as visitors and those as dependents of people coming to the UK on other types of visas or what the top 10 countries of nationality are of those people, as this information does not form part of any routinely published data.

However, The Home Office do publish data on the number of asylum applications lodged, by main applicants, broken down by nationality and can be found at Asy_01_c of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on the number of entry clearance visas, broken down by visa type and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been made by people who entered the UK as dependants of people coming to the UK on other types of visas in each of the last five years.

The Home Office is unable to provide information on how many asylum applications have been made in each of the last five years by people who entered the UK on a student visa, on a family-related visa, a work visa, as visitors and those as dependents of people coming to the UK on other types of visas or what the top 10 countries of nationality are of those people, as this information does not form part of any routinely published data.

However, The Home Office do publish data on the number of asylum applications lodged, by main applicants, broken down by nationality and can be found at Asy_01_c of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

The Home Office also publishes data on the number of entry clearance visas, broken down by visa type and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the potential effect of the proposed new points-based immigration system on the level of non-EU immigration in each of the next five years compared to the level in 2019.

The Impact Assessment for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill included an assessment of the potential number of skilled workers that may be eligible under the new points-based immigration system. This included two illustrative scenarios for a potential increase in non-EU nationals eligible under a lower skill and salary threshold over the next five years. Estimates were provided for all skilled workers and not split by new entrant and experienced workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people in non-EU countries who would be eligible for Tier 2 (General) visas under the proposals for a lower skills threshold under the new points-based immigration system.

The Impact Assessment for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill included an assessment of the potential number of skilled workers that may be eligible under the new points-based immigration system. This included two illustrative scenarios for a potential increase in non-EU nationals eligible under a lower skill and salary threshold over the next five years. Estimates were provided for all skilled workers and not split by new entrant and experienced workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel illegally.

Keeping our border secure is the Government’s highest priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to stop these dangerous Channel crossings which are putting vulnerable lives at risk.

The Home Office liaises directly with the French Interior Ministry on addressing the issue of illegal migration, engaging at an official, diplomatic level and supported at an operational level through regular UK-French Migration Committees.

Through joint-working with France, the UK has funded the continued deployment of French law enforcement along the coast of northern France, who are patrolling constantly in order to detect attempted crossings by migrants. Funding has been allocated, among other projects, for further security improvements at ports in northern France and on the ground, which includes drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop small boats leaving European shores.

Intelligence flows are also key to dismantling the organised crime groups behind crossings. We have restructured and repurposed our approach to support to better inform and direct how and where law enforcement is deployed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of designating Antifa a terrorist organisation.

The Government does not routinely comment on intelligence matters, including whether an organisation is or is not under consideration for proscription.

The Government keeps the list of proscribed organisations under review.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to remove foreign national offenders during the covid-19 outbreak.

Removals of foreign national offenders and those who have no lawful basis to stay in the UK are still taking place where routes are available, and Immigration Enforcement are following the latest guidance from Public Health England.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of firearms owned illegally in the UK.

The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and wider law enforcement regularly assess the volume of illegal firearms used in crime in the UK. NABIS produce quarterly reports on the threat, but their assessment is continuous and key information is shared amongst law enforcement on a real time basis. This information is operationally sensitive and not published.

We are continuing to deliver our commitment to choke off the supply and availability of illegal firearms to prevent their use by criminal or terrorist groups in the UK. This includes ensuring we have the right intelligence, detection and enforcement capabilities and policies, internationally, at the UK border, and within the UK.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of police officers.

The Government has committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 over the next three years.

We are giving police forces £700 million this year to help with the recruitment of the first 6,000 additional officers by the end of March 2021.

Police recruitment remains a priority during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure forces remain resilient during and following this national crisis. New online police assessment centres are being rolled out by the College of Policing and we have refreshed and relaunched our national recruitment campaign to ensure the door remains open for anyone who wants to join the police and make a difference in their community.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that people may use the police 101 non-emergency call number free of charge.

From 1st April 2020 no member of the public should have to pay for 101 non-emergency calls to the police.

Home Office has engaged with Vodafone, as the current supplier of the 101 service, since May 2019, following its decision to make calls to 101 free of charge.

The vast majority of people will be able to use the service free of charge. However, from 1 April to 1 July there remains a chance that users of small operators may be charged for using the 101 service. The Home Office has urged those providers to refund their customers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to introduce a cap on the number of migrants permitted to enter the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our approach to tackling COVID-19 has been driven by the latest scientific and medical advice, with flows of passengers reduced significantly by travel restrictions in the UK and overseas.

Any decisions in relation to the UK border and Covid-19 will be taken on the basis of scientific and medical advice. We need to keep our approach at the border, and all our measures, under active review but we will not hesitate to impose whatever restrictions in our power as are necessary.

On 17 March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all non-essential international travel, and the Government also introduced unprecedented measures to manage and contain the spread of the virus. These measures include social distancing and self-isolation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to prevent incoming travellers entering the UK from other countries experiencing covid-19 outbreaks.

Our approach to tackling COVID-19 has been driven by the latest scientific and medical advice, with flows of passengers reduced significantly by travel restrictions in the UK and overseas.

Any decisions in relation to the UK border and Covid-19 will be taken on the basis of scientific and medical advice. We need to keep our approach at the border, and all our measures, under active review but we will not hesitate to impose whatever restrictions in our power as are necessary.

On 17 March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all non-essential international travel, and the Government also introduced unprecedented measures to manage and contain the spread of the virus. These measures include social distancing and self-isolation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, quarterly updates, Table P.05, how many offenders convicted under terrorism and terrorism related offences, excluding anyone serving a sentence of less than one year, were released before serving the full custodial term of their sentence in each year since 2013.

The Home Office collects data from Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service and the Scottish Prisons Service on the number of terrorist prisoners released from prison custody, by length of sentence. However, data is not collected on whether the prisoner was released before serving the full custodial term of their sentence.

The requested information is held in individual prisoner records, is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Last month, following the attack in Streatham, the Government took decisive action by introducing emergency legislation to prevent terrorist offenders being released early automatically, and ensure that the release of any such offender before the end of their sentence will be dependent on a thorough risk assessment by the Parole Board. On 26 February, the legislation received Royal Assent and the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act 2020 came into force.

National security is the first priority of this Government and we are determined to ensure that dangerous terrorists are not free to spread their hateful ideologies or harm the public.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to have the new Royal Yacht manned by the Royal Navy.

The National Flagship is not a direct replacement for HMY Britannia and therefore, will not be a Royal Yacht. The National Flagship will be crewed by the Royal Navy and is expected to be in service for around 30 years.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department will take to prioritise design as a criterion in the tender process for the construction of the new Royal Yacht.

The National Flagship is not a direct replacement for HMY Britannia and will not therefore be a Royal Yacht. The design criteria against which bids will be assessed will be communicated to bidders in due course as part of the Design competition tender documentation. A wide pool of designers are being taken forward to this next stage of the competition. It would be inappropriate to place this information in the public domain ahead of its disclosure as part of the commercial process. As the National Flagship, the design of the ship must encompass innovative proposals which incorporate the most up to date and sustainable technology, reflecting the UK’s status as an independent trading nation and showcasing the best of what Britain has to offer.

It is the intention of the Government that the National Flagship will be built in the UK to help contribute to the renaissance in the British shipbuilding industry.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the construction of the new Royal Yacht will be completed at a British shipyard by a British firm.

The National Flagship is not a direct replacement for HMY Britannia and will not therefore be a Royal Yacht. The design criteria against which bids will be assessed will be communicated to bidders in due course as part of the Design competition tender documentation. A wide pool of designers are being taken forward to this next stage of the competition. It would be inappropriate to place this information in the public domain ahead of its disclosure as part of the commercial process. As the National Flagship, the design of the ship must encompass innovative proposals which incorporate the most up to date and sustainable technology, reflecting the UK’s status as an independent trading nation and showcasing the best of what Britain has to offer.

It is the intention of the Government that the National Flagship will be built in the UK to help contribute to the renaissance in the British shipbuilding industry.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the vessel design of the new Royal Yacht will be required to reflect Britannia’s style and appointment.

The National Flagship is not a direct replacement for HMY Britannia and will not therefore be a Royal Yacht. The design criteria against which bids will be assessed will be communicated to bidders in due course as part of the Design competition tender documentation. A wide pool of designers are being taken forward to this next stage of the competition. It would be inappropriate to place this information in the public domain ahead of its disclosure as part of the commercial process. As the National Flagship, the de