John Nicolson Portrait

John Nicolson

Scottish National Party - Ochil and South Perthshire

First elected: 12th December 2019

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

(since January 2020)

Online Safety Bill
18th May 2022 - 28th Jun 2022
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
20th May 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
1st Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, John Nicolson has voted in 643 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All John Nicolson 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
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(17 debate interactions)
Eleanor Laing (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
John Whittingdale (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(9,202 words contributed)
Dormant Assets Act 2022
(1,044 words contributed)
Media Bill 2023-24
(601 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all John Nicolson's debates

Ochil and South Perthshire Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

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

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

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

There is no excuse for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue to effectively fund the slaughter of bears for ceremonial headgear since an indistinguishable alternative has been produced, which is waterproof, and mimics real bear fur in appearance and performance.

In 2019 UK Government finalised a free trade agreement (FTA) with Faroe Islands which allows for £100 million of exports of wild caught and farmed fish to Britain per annum (20% of the Faroe Islands global trade). This FTA should be suspended until all whale & dolphin hunts on Faroe Islands end

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering' (see section 4 of the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4).

Currently, it is not compulsory for primary or secondary school students to be educated on Britain's role in colonisation, or the transatlantic slave trade. We petition the government to make education on topics such as these compulsory, with the ultimate aim of a far more inclusive curriculum.

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy


Latest EDMs signed by John Nicolson

15th April 2024
John Nicolson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Culloden Academy and the Scottish Cup 2024

Tabled by: Drew Hendry (Scottish National Party - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
That this House congratulates Inverness school Culloden Academy on its success in the Scottish Cup, with both the first-year girls' and senior girls' teams winning national basketball championship titles; notes the performance of the first-year girls' team, winning with a score of 59-25, and the senior girls' team, achieving a …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 14
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
15th April 2024
John Nicolson signed this EDM on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Matthew Knapman, Assynt Mountain Rescue

Tabled by: Drew Hendry (Scottish National Party - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
That this House commends 17-year-old Matthew Knapman from Inverness for his commitment to volunteering with Assynt Mountain Rescue Team; recognises that he was inspired to help others through mountain rescue following a mountain bike accident in 2022 where he received vital support; notes that he has assisted on two call-outs …
14 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 13
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All John Nicolson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Nicolson, 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 Nicolson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Nicolson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by John Nicolson


A Bill to make provision for the pardoning, or otherwise setting aside, of cautions and convictions for specified sexual offences that have now been abolished; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 20th January 2017
(Read Debate)

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations made by the Ending Conversion Practices Expert Advisory Group in Scotland on 4 October 2022.

The Government has been liaising with territorial offices and the devolved administrations including the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on this important issue.

Officials will continue to work with their counterparts across the devolved administrations to discuss the UK Government’s approach to protecting everyone in England and Wales from conversion therapy practices.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what dates renovation work on the Number 11 Downing Street flat took place.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer by my noble friend, Lord True (Minister of State at the Cabinet Office), of PQ HL14191, on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to protect consumers from the sale of unsafe goods on online marketplaces and to recognise online marketplaces as actors within the supply chain.

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe products can be sold in the UK. Product safety legislation places obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors and this includes online retailers selling goods via marketplaces who have a duty to act with due care to ensure products they are selling are safe.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local authority Trading Standards to take action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.

The OPSS is taking forward a programme of work to ensure that major online marketplaces are playing their part to protect UK consumers from unsafe goods. This includes developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree further actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online.

Furthermore, OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure that it continues to deliver safety for consumers while supporting businesses to innovate and grow. The review is considering non-traditional business models, including online sales.

In order to inform the review, OPSS instigated a Call for Evidence, which closed on 17th June, and has been carrying out extensive stakeholder engagement to capture the fullest possible range of views. A Government Response to that Call for Evidence will be issued in due course.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of the 900 businesses contacted as part of the IPO’s recent Exhaustion of Intellectual Property rights feasibility study (a) responded and (b) were interviewed; and whether he plans to consult businesses further on the matter.

The IPO commissioned Ernst & Young to assess whether it was possible to measure the scale of parallel trade in the UK. As part of that research, a pilot quantitative survey was conducted. As detailed in the report published in 2019, there were 208 respondents from the 926 initial contacts. Of the 208 respondents, the researchers spoke to 170 respondents about taking part in the survey for this research. Of those, 26 respondents were willing to take part in the survey, but no full interviews were completed due to respondents not passing the initial screening question, respondents being unaware of parallel trade and respondents not engaging in parallel trade.

That being said, the decision on the UK’s future exhaustion regime still needs to be made. The IPO is holding a consultation on this matter in the first part of 2021 and the government will be proactively seeking views from businesses and consumers. We would encourage businesses and consumers to respond to this consultation with their views and any evidence.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with the Intellectual Property Office on the potential role of a national copyright exhaustion regime in supporting the UK’s (a) publishing industry and (b) other creative exports.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is already considering the issues that the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime needs to address. The IPO will soon be publishing a consultation document that will lay out the options for the UK’s exhaustion of IP rights regime and ask for views from all interested parties. The consultation will help government assess the feasibility and potential impact of the different exhaustion of IP rights regimes. This will include consideration of impacts on the publishing industry and cross-border trade of goods in the secondary market, including goods from the creative industries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will request that the Intellectual Property Office publishes an impact assessment of the potential effect of an international copyright exhaustion regime on the UK’s (a) publishing industry and (b) other creative exports.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is already considering the issues that the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime needs to address. The IPO will soon be publishing a consultation document that will lay out the options for the UK’s exhaustion of IP rights regime and ask for views from all interested parties. The consultation will help government assess the feasibility and potential impact of the different exhaustion of IP rights regimes. This will include consideration of impacts on the publishing industry and cross-border trade of goods in the secondary market, including goods from the creative industries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will request that the Intellectual Property Office's consultation into the copyright exhaustion regime considers the feasibility of (a) specific arrangements for the publishing sector, (b) other sector specific arrangements and (b) a national exhaustion or international exhaustion outcome.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is already considering the issues that the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime needs to address. The IPO will soon be publishing a consultation document that will lay out the options for the UK’s exhaustion of IP rights regime and ask for views from all interested parties. The consultation will help government assess the feasibility and potential impact of the different exhaustion of IP rights regimes. This will include consideration of impacts on the publishing industry and cross-border trade of goods in the secondary market, including goods from the creative industries.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses in the (a) transition to homeworking and (b) procurement of remote technology and office supplies to maximise homeworking during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government is clear that, where people can, they should work at home during the current coronavirus outbreak. In order to support this, and homeworking more generally, the ACAS and HSE websites provide extensive advice on employers responsibilities and duties, and guidance on best practice, including on addressing some of the negative impacts which can be associated with homeworking – such as loneliness and mental health. Both websites have been updated to take account of the current circumstances.

The Government is working with the private sector and business representative organisations to explore how to rapidly improve utilisation and increase adoption of existing technologies to help businesses return to work safely and adapt to new ways of operating and doing business. For example, we are supporting Be the Business, the business-led independent charity which launched in 2017 with the aim of helping UK SMEs to improve their productivity. In response to the COVID19 outbreak, Be the Business have published a range of online advice and guidance to help SMEs adapt their business practices, including transitioning to homeworking.

The Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, interest free for the first 12 months. At the discretion of the lender, this can be used to provide working capital for the business, such as investment in new technology.

3rd Mar 2020
What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on increasing fiscal support to businesses in Scotland.

We regularly engage with colleagues across Whitehall including the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how we can support businesses across the UK.

£1.4 billion in city region and growth deals has been invested by UK Government in Scotland, including £150 million for the Tay Cities Deal in the hon Member's constituency.

Since November 2014, the British Business Bank has supported over 6,500 SMEs in Scotland to a value of £1.3 billion, and its Start-up Loans Programme has issued over 4,200 loans worth over £32 million.

8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of SCS2 civil servants on full-time equivalent contracts in her Department are women.

In the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) 33% of SCS2’s in DCMS are women on full-time contracts. This does not capture the total female/male headcount split at SCS2, as DCMS employs a number of male and female staff part-time at that grade.

  • This data has been calculated as at 1st November 2023.

  • The number of female staff at Payband 2 (Director) and working full-time divided by the total number of staff at the department at Payband 2 (where sex is known).

  • This figure includes employees of DCMS and no executive agencies or non-ministerial departments have been included.

8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of civil servants on temporary contracts in her Department are women.

Please refer to the published data here.

In the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) based on the latest published data linked above 66.7% of temporary staff are female (20 out of 30).

  • The number of female staff on temporary contracts divided by the total number of staff on temporary contracts at the department.

  • This includes DCMS employees only, no executive agencies or non-ministerial departments have been included.

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she is taking steps to support (a) Backstage At The Green in Ochil and South Perthshire constituency and (b) other grassroots music venues.

The Government values the strong contribution of grassroots music venues as centres of research and development for the UK’s world leading music industry.

As a devolved policy, the Devolved Administrations receive funding for culture through the Barnett formula. It is for the Scottish Government to decide how to allocate these resources across all its devolved responsibilities.

Support in England is provided for grassroots music venues through Arts Council England (ACE). ACE’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund provides a ring-fenced £1.5m to eligible venues (accepting applications for between £1000 and £40,000) and has been extended until 31 March 2023.

DCMS supported culture (including grassroots music) during Covid-19 through the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). As part of this package, funding was included for the Devolved Administrations through the Barnett formula. In England, the CRF provided immediate assistance to prevent 136 of our most loved and enduring grassroots music venues closing their doors for good.

In addition, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme has provided support to all businesses across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including grassroots music venues, protecting all non-domestic consumers from soaring energy costs, cutting the cost of power bills and providing them with the certainty they needed to plan through the acute crisis this winter.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make representations to Ofcom on the potential impacts of the mis-selling of fibre products on consumers; and if she will make a statement.

In 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK's regulator of advertising, reviewed consumer understanding of the term ‘fibre’ as used in broadband advertising (particularly for part-fibre services such as Fibre to the Cabinet) and any impact the use of this term has on consumers’ transactional decisions. The ASA engaged with stakeholders and received a range of responses from providers of part-fibre and full-fibre broadband services, consumer organisations and other regulators.

The ASA published their findings in November 2017 and concluded by stating the following:“It is not possible to conclude that the word ‘fibre’, as currently used in part-fibre advertising, is likely to mislead and misinform consumers.”

Both the ASA and Ofcom are independent regulators and such matters relating to industry rules on advertising and broadband speed claims are a matter for their discretion.

21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment the potential impact of the mis-selling of fibre broadband products on consumers; and if she will make a statement.

In 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK's regulator of advertising, reviewed consumer understanding of the term ‘fibre’ as used in broadband advertising (particularly for part-fibre services such as Fibre to the Cabinet) and any impact the use of this term has on consumers’ transactional decisions. The ASA engaged with stakeholders and received a range of responses from providers of part-fibre and full-fibre broadband services, consumer organisations and other regulators.

The ASA published their findings in November 2017 and concluded by stating the following:“It is not possible to conclude that the word ‘fibre’, as currently used in part-fibre advertising, is likely to mislead and misinform consumers.”

Both the ASA and Ofcom are independent regulators and such matters relating to industry rules on advertising and broadband speed claims are a matter for their discretion.

10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of amending the definition of news-related material in the Online Safety Bill to ensure that content produced by all IPSO regulated publications, including specialist magazine titles, is exempted from platforms’ new online safety duties.

Online Safety legislation has been designed to safeguard access to journalistic content. News publishers’ content will be exempted from platforms’ new online safety duties. The criteria against which an organisation qualifies as a publisher is set in the draft Online Safety Bill. If an organisation meets these criteria, then its content will be exempt. The criteria is clear that it captures news publishers' whose principal purpose is the publication of news-related material.

The Bill will also impose a duty on the biggest and riskiest companies, Category 1 companies, to safeguard all journalistic content shared on their platform. Through this duty, these platforms will need to have systems in place to ensure they take into account the importance of the free expression of journalistic content when operating their services. These protections will cover specialist publishers such as consumer and business magazines, where they are engaged in journalism.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the recommendation of the Joint Committee scrutinising the Online Safety Bill that the exemption for news publisher content should be amended to cover consumer and business magazines, what steps her Department has taken to engage with industry bodies to create a definition of news-related material that encompasses IPSO-regulated specialist publishers.

Online Safety legislation has been designed to safeguard access to journalistic content. News publishers’ content will be exempted from platforms’ new online safety duties. The criteria against which an organisation qualifies as a publisher is set in the draft Online Safety Bill. If an organisation meets these criteria, then its content will be exempt. The criteria is clear that it captures news publishers' whose principal purpose is the publication of news-related material.

The Bill will also impose a duty on the biggest and riskiest companies, Category 1 companies, to safeguard all journalistic content shared on their platform. Through this duty, these platforms will need to have systems in place to ensure they take into account the importance of the free expression of journalistic content when operating their services. These protections will cover specialist publishers such as consumer and business magazines, where they are engaged in journalism.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to prevent children accessing adult applications on tablets and phones.

The strongest protections within the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. Services which are likely to be accessed by or attract a significant number of children will be required to conduct a child safety risk assessment and provide safety measures for child users. This includes services which are not targeted at children, but which they are accessing.

Ofcom will set out the steps companies can take to protect children from harm on their service. Companies will have to ensure that only users who are old enough are able to access services which have age restrictions or risk causing them harm. We expect companies to use age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing services which pose the highest risk of harm to children, such as online pornography or dating sites.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she will take to evaluate the adequacy of social media companies’ risk assessments of the likelihood of children using their adult services.

The strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. The Bill will require social media companies to assess whether their service is likely to be accessed by or appeal to a significant number of children and, if so, deliver additional protections for them.

Ofcom will be required to produce and publish guidance for services on how to undertake this risk assessment. Companies which assess that they are not likely to be accessed by children will need to provide robust evidence to the regulator and keep this assessment under review. The requirement to undertake, and keep up to date, an accurate assessment with regard to child access is an enforceable requirement. Ofcom may take enforcement action where providers do not carry out an adequate assessment and keep it up to date.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will require Channel 4’s current office and headcount in Glasgow to be maintained in the event that it is privatised.

We value Channel 4’s contribution to the creative sector across the UK and, if we decide to sell Channel 4, we would want to see it demonstrate a continued commitment to its impact outside of London.

Channel 4’s regional footprint is an issue we have specifically consulted on, and we are in the process of examining all of the evidence we have received before any decision is made.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department will take to protect investment in the creative sector in Scotland in the event that Channel 4 is privatised.

We value Channel 4’s contribution to the creative sector across the UK and, if we decide to sell Channel 4, we would want to see it demonstrate a continued commitment to its impact outside of London.

Channel 4’s regional footprint is an issue we have specifically consulted on, and we are in the process of examining all of the evidence we have received before any decision is made.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the evidential basis is for the privatisation of Channel 4 (a) supporting levelling up by boosting business growth for independent producers outside of London, (b) protecting the high value jobs supported by those companies across the UK and (c) sustaining growth in the broader creative economy beyond the M25.

Channel 4’s network of relationships across the whole of the UK, and its strong representation of the entire nation on screen are attributes to be celebrated and maintained into its future, and that is not at odds with private investment. In fact, Channel 4’s access to networks outside of London and its ability to speak to such a diverse range of audiences, are likely to be an attractive asset to nurture and develop for any potential buyer. Whatever decision is made about Channel 4’s ownership, we are clear that any changes will not compromise our commitment to the independent production sector or the wider creative economy, including our creative powerhouses across the UK. The government has stated that, whatever decision is made about Channel 4, we want it to remain a public service broadcaster, with public service obligations.

Channel 4 is one of this country’s greatest assets but we must think long-term about the challenges ahead and make sure it has the capital it needs to continue to contribute to the UK’s success in public service broadcasting for years to come.

We have consulted on the best ownership model to support this aim, and we are in the process of examining all the evidence we have received.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the effect of privatising Channel 4 on (a) businesses and jobs in the UK production sector; (b) the balance in the creative economy between London and the rest of the UK and (c) UK viewers’ access to original and distinctive UK content.

The government has recently consulted on whether an alternative ownership model for Channel 4 (but one where it retains a public service remit) may be better for the broadcaster, and better for the country.

We want Channel 4 to continue to be a public service broadcaster, and we want it to and continue to contribute socially, economically and culturally to life across the UK. But there is a wealth of evidence - including Ofcom’s recent report - on the future challenges facing our traditional linear TV broadcasters. Linear TV viewing is down almost 60% amongst 16-25 year olds since 2010, whilst 16-34 year olds now spend almost twice as much time on YouTube and subscription VoD services than they do with broadcast content. There are now 315 channels, compared to 5 in 1982 when Channel 4 was established. Linear TV advertising revenues - which constituted 74% of Channel 4’s revenue in 2020 - have declined across the sector at a compound annual rate of 2.5% since 2015.

Channel 4 is uniquely constrained in its ability to meet these challenges while it remains under public ownership - particularly because its access to capital and ability to pursue strategic partnership opportunities is limited.

Moving Channel 4 into private ownership could allow it to access new capital, take advantage of international opportunities, and create strategic partnerships only available through the private sector.

Consulting on the broadcaster’s future is therefore about ensuring that Channel 4 can continue to contribute to the UK’s success in public service broadcasting for years to come, and how we ensure its ownership model best supports this aim.

The channel’s wider economic and social contributions, its role in the creative economies of the nations and regions, and its remit are among the issues we have consulted on.

The consultation opened on 6 July, running for 10 weeks, before closing on 14 September. We are currently analysing responses to our consultation, and evidence received through it, to inform our policy-making decisions.Once we have answered the questions set out in the consultation, we will know what specific impacts to assess and will therefore be in a position to carry out an impact assessment.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his participation in the launch of IX Wireless' broadband network in Blackburn in June 2021, whether he was aware at the time of that launch of the (a) financial contributions made by that company to Members of his party, (b) appointment of a Peer from his party as an advisor to that company, and (c) that a Peer from his own party is a director of IX Wireless' parent company.

The Government is committed to levelling up digital connectivity across the country, including by delivering a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable broadband coverage by 2025.

We are proud to work closely with the telecoms sector in achieving this goal and Ministers regularly support relevant industry announcements, such as the launch of IX Wireless’ broadband network in June. Other recent examples include my visit on 7 July to Dorset with Excelerate Technology and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to an Openreach facility in May.

This event was handled by the departmental officials in the usual way.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, the hon. Member for Gosport, has held meetings with stakeholders on the consultation on the Electronic Communications Code 2017, since its publication on 27 January 2021.

The responsibility for the Electronic Communications Code sits with myself as the Minister for Digital Infrastructure. The Minister for Digital and Culture, has not been involved in any of the discussions regarding this issue.

The consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. However, the consultation response will be published in due course. We will engage with stakeholders after the consultation response has been published to provide further information, and will bring forward legislative proposals before this House as soon as parliamentary time allows.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which Minister in his Department is responsible for the consultation of the Electronic Communications Code 2017, published on 27 January 2021.

The responsibility for the Electronic Communications Code sits with myself as the Minister for Digital Infrastructure. The Minister for Digital and Culture, has not been involved in any of the discussions regarding this issue.

The consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. However, the consultation response will be published in due course. We will engage with stakeholders after the consultation response has been published to provide further information, and will bring forward legislative proposals before this House as soon as parliamentary time allows.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department will publish its response to the consultation on the Electronic Communications Code 2017, published on 27 January 2021.

The responsibility for the Electronic Communications Code sits with myself as the Minister for Digital Infrastructure. The Minister for Digital and Culture, has not been involved in any of the discussions regarding this issue.

The consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. However, the consultation response will be published in due course. We will engage with stakeholders after the consultation response has been published to provide further information, and will bring forward legislative proposals before this House as soon as parliamentary time allows.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will undertake an impact assessment on the financial consequences of any reforms to the Electronic Communications Code on affected (a) farmers, (b) churches, (c) businesses and (d) community organisations.

We are currently considering the responses to the consultation which closed in March. We will, of course, carefully consider the impact of our proposals on all stakeholders. We will carry out a full assessment of the impacts, in line with the usual processes. We will publish the response to this consultation shortly and will bring forward legislative proposals before this House as soon parliamentary time allows.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with site owners potentially affected by his Department’s proposed reforms to the Electronic Communications Code.

My Department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

The consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, or for my Department to meet with stakeholders, as responses are being considered, The consultation response will be published in due course.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with local authorities to raise awareness of the benefits of gigabit broadband.

Local authorities play a critical role in the deployment of gigabit broadband and my Department regularly engages with local stakeholders on the benefits that this infrastructure brings.

In addition to an online portal that we have already created to assist local authorities in rolling out gigabit broadband, DCMS is developing a 'Gigabit toolkit' to support local bodies in raising awareness and understanding of the benefits of gigabit connectivity among local residents and businesses. We will work closely with local bodies and other key sector stakeholders to help inform and shape the content.

My Department is also running several specialist programmes with local authorities on key issues, such as land access, planning and the Electronic Communications Code, and we continue to work closely with councils on issues relating to street works, 5G roll out and consumer take-up.

This engagement includes not only individual and combined authorities themselves, but also wider bodies such as the Local Government Association, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Joint Authorities Group.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on regulating the sale of unsafe goods on online marketplaces.

The Government is committed to tackling the sale of unsafe goods online. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is responsible for product safety regulation. OPSS is reviewing the UK Product Safety framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, protects consumers, and enables businesses to innovate and grow.


DCMS Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on a variety of issues, including the regulation of the sale of unsafe goods on online marketplaces.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to place additional obligations on online marketplaces as part of the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to prevent dangerous and insecure products being sold on those platforms.

All connected consumer products sold in the UK will have to comply with the cyber security requirements set out in the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill. Where a product is sold on a third party online marketplace, the seller will be responsible for ensuring that the product is compliant. On the wider issue of product safety, the Office for Product Safety and Standards is currently conducting a review of the product safety framework to ensure it is simple, flexible and fit for the future, delivering safety for consumers and supporting businesses to innovate and grow. The Review will consider the impact on product safety of non-traditional business models, including third-party sales conducted online.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to ensure that consumers that own products which fail the basic requirements set out in the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will be entitled to effective redress.

The government has a strong history of protecting consumer rights. The UK has an existing framework of laws, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which requires goods and services to be of satisfactory, as described and fit for a particular purpose if that purpose was made known to the trader by the consumer. Failure to meet these requirements means a consumer has a right to reject the goods and ask for a refund, repair or replacement. The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will fit within this legal framework and builds on the existing governance model for consumer protection by following this model for product security.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to amend the Electronic Communications Code to ensure that alternative telecoms operators benefit from an existing wayleave agreement when accessing existing ducts or poles on private land in Scotland in order to roll out gigabit capable networks.

The Department has recently consulted regarding changes to the Electronic Communications Code through a public consultation which closed on 24 March 2021. That consultation included questions specifically about operator rights to upgrade and share apparatus. Responses to that consultation are being considered and legislative proposals will be laid before this House in due course.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to amend the Electronic Communications Code to apply paragraph 17 automatic upgrading and sharing rights to Code agreements concluded before 2017.

The Department has recently consulted regarding changes to the Electronic Communications Code through a public consultation which closed on 24 March 2021. That consultation included questions specifically about operator rights to upgrade and share apparatus. Responses to that consultation are being considered and legislative proposals will be laid before this House in due course.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the current Electronic Communications Code enables alternative telecoms operators to use Ofcom’s Duct & Pole Access remedy in Scotland.

The Department has recently consulted regarding changes to the Electronic Communications Code through a public consultation which closed on 24 March 2021. That consultation included questions specifically about operator rights to upgrade and share apparatus. Responses to that consultation are being considered and legislative proposals will be laid before this House in due course.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has plans to assess whether the Charity Commission appropriately complied with the Public Sector Equality Duty in giving the LGB Alliance charitable status.

As an independent regulator, the Charity Commission for England and Wales (“the Commission”) is not subject to Ministerial or Government direction or control; it is accountable to the courts for its legal decisions.

The Commission has set out its decision to register the LGB Alliance in a detailed paper which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgb-alliance/lgb-alliance-full-decision

The Commission concluded that the LGB Alliance is established for exclusively charitable purposes, in accordance with the legal framework and based on the evidence received.

During the registration process, the Commission took account of guidance from the Government Equality Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which informed its consideration of the Public Sector Equality Duty, and equality law issues. The Commission’s published decision addressed allegations that LGB Alliance unlawfully discriminates against transgender people under the Equality Act 2010.

The Commission’s published decision is clear that no charity should undermine the rights of others in promoting the rights of one or more group. If any charity undertakes activity that gives rise to concerns about the denigration of human rights then the Commission will consider taking regulatory action. To the extent that matters considered by the Commission during the course of its registration case or in future constitute matters of regulatory concern, these will be addressed appropriately by the Commission in line with its risk and regulatory framework.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the Charity Commission monitors the LGB Alliance’s revised social media policy to ensure that it meets ethical standards under law.

As an independent regulator, the Charity Commission for England and Wales (“the Commission”) is not subject to Ministerial or Government direction or control; it is accountable to the courts for its legal decisions.

The Commission has set out its decision to register the LGB Alliance in a detailed paper which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgb-alliance/lgb-alliance-full-decision

The Commission concluded that the LGB Alliance is established for exclusively charitable purposes, in accordance with the legal framework and based on the evidence received.

During the registration process, the Commission took account of guidance from the Government Equality Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which informed its consideration of the Public Sector Equality Duty, and equality law issues. The Commission’s published decision addressed allegations that LGB Alliance unlawfully discriminates against transgender people under the Equality Act 2010.

The Commission’s published decision is clear that no charity should undermine the rights of others in promoting the rights of one or more group. If any charity undertakes activity that gives rise to concerns about the denigration of human rights then the Commission will consider taking regulatory action. To the extent that matters considered by the Commission during the course of its registration case or in future constitute matters of regulatory concern, these will be addressed appropriately by the Commission in line with its risk and regulatory framework.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that musicians and artists resident in (a) UK and (b) EU countries are able to tour and perform in (i) EU countries and (ii) the UK respectively without visa requirements following the end of the transition period.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals. We acknowledge that there will be some additional processes for those in creative industries working across the EU now that the transition period has come to an end. However, our agreement with the EU contains Transparency and Procedural Facilitation measures that will help ensure visa processes are as prompt and smooth as possible.

During our negotiations with the EU, the UK proposed measures, reflecting the views of the music industry itself, that would have allowed musicians to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. Specifically, we proposed to capture the work done by musicians, artists and entertainers, and their accompanying staff through the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors.

In practice this would have delivered an outcome that is closer to the UK’s approach to incoming musicians, artists and entertainers from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, who can come to perform in the UK without requiring a visa. Unfortunately, these proposals were repeatedly rejected by the EU.

The EU did not propose and wouldn’t accept a tailored deal for musicians, artists and their support staff to tour across the EU and UK.

Going forward, we will continue our close dialogue with the creative and cultural sectors to ensure that they have the support they need to thrive.The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals, and has engaged extensively with the creative industries and arts sector since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure they are aware of the new requirements.

Oliver Dowden
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will introduce a reciprocal touring artist visa waiver programme with the EU to ensure (a) artists, (b) musicians and (c) performers can tour freely.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals. We acknowledge that there will be some additional processes for those in creative industries working across the EU now that the transition period has come to an end. However, our agreement with the EU contains Transparency and Procedural Facilitation measures that will help ensure visa processes are as prompt and smooth as possible.

During our negotiations with the EU, the UK proposed measures, reflecting the views of the music industry itself, that would have allowed musicians to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. Specifically, we proposed to capture the work done by musicians, artists and entertainers, and their accompanying staff through the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors.

In practice this would have delivered an outcome that is closer to the UK’s approach to incoming musicians, artists and entertainers from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, who can come to perform in the UK without requiring a visa. Unfortunately, these proposals were repeatedly rejected by the EU.

The EU did not propose and wouldn’t accept a tailored deal for musicians, artists and their support staff to tour across the EU and UK.

Going forward, we will continue our close dialogue with the creative and cultural sectors to ensure that they have the support they need to thrive.The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals, and has engaged extensively with the creative industries and arts sector since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure they are aware of the new requirements.

Oliver Dowden
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the Advertising Association's proposals for an advertising tax credit for local radio stations and news publications.

Advertising is a central driver of the UK economy and government is committed to supporting the continued growth of the industry across the whole of the UK. Government is evaluating a range of measures to meet this goal, including an advertising tax credit.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the contribution of the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill towards meeting the Government's target of delivering gigabit-capable connectivity for all by 2025.

The Government remains committed to providing gigabit-capable connections to every home and business in the country as soon as possible.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill contributes to that commitment. It creates a faster, cheaper process than that which currently exists, so as to allow operators to apply to courts for rights under the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”) to install infrastructure and provide a connection. It applies only where a landowner (or otherwise ‘required grantor’) is repeatedly unresponsive to an operator’s attempts to agree to those rights for access.

It is also necessary for those attempts to have been prompted in the first place by a request made to the operator by a tenant, for the operator to provide a service.

The Bill applies to multiple dwelling buildings (e.g. blocks of flats) of which there are an estimated 450,000 in the UK and housing around 10 million people. Information provided by the industry indicates that approximately 40% of operators’ notices to the owners of multiple dwelling buildings attempting to agree permission to install infrastructure receive no response. This leaves residents in those properties unlikely to receive faster, more reliable, more resilient broadband. The Bill addresses this issue by providing for a specific process allowing operators to apply for rights under the Code.

As regards any further changes to the legislation regulating operator rights to build infrastructure on privately owned land, my department is working closely with stakeholders to understand whether the existing statutory framework supports delivery of the 2025 targets. This includes assessing whether Government interventions - including possible further legislative reforms - may be of assistance in achieving the 2025 targets.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the need to revise legislation in respect of the rights of telecoms operators to build infrastructure on privately owned land in order to meet the Government's target of delivering gigabit-capable connectivity for all by 2025; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to providing gigabit-capable connections to every home and business in the country as soon as possible.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill contributes to that commitment. It creates a faster, cheaper process than that which currently exists, so as to allow operators to apply to courts for rights under the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”) to install infrastructure and provide a connection. It applies only where a landowner (or otherwise ‘required grantor’) is repeatedly unresponsive to an operator’s attempts to agree to those rights for access.

It is also necessary for those attempts to have been prompted in the first place by a request made to the operator by a tenant, for the operator to provide a service.

The Bill applies to multiple dwelling buildings (e.g. blocks of flats) of which there are an estimated 450,000 in the UK and housing around 10 million people. Information provided by the industry indicates that approximately 40% of operators’ notices to the owners of multiple dwelling buildings attempting to agree permission to install infrastructure receive no response. This leaves residents in those properties unlikely to receive faster, more reliable, more resilient broadband. The Bill addresses this issue by providing for a specific process allowing operators to apply for rights under the Code.

As regards any further changes to the legislation regulating operator rights to build infrastructure on privately owned land, my department is working closely with stakeholders to understand whether the existing statutory framework supports delivery of the 2025 targets. This includes assessing whether Government interventions - including possible further legislative reforms - may be of assistance in achieving the 2025 targets.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his announcement on 20 May 2020 that £150m released from dormant bank accounts would benefit charitable causes,: whether funds from those bank accounts registered in Scotland contributed to that figure; and whether charities in Scotland benefit from that release of funds.

The dormant assets scheme enables banks and building societies to voluntarily transfer dormant accounts into the scheme from across the UK, and for customers to reclaim their money at any point. Surplus funds unlocked through the scheme are apportioned among England and each of the devolved administrations to be directed to social or environmental causes of each nation’s choosing. Dormant assets funds are apportioned to each nation according to the Distribution of Dormant Account Money (Apportionment) Order 2011, which was based on the Barnett formula.

The £150m announced on 20th May is the English portion of currently available funds, £71m of which is new funding alongside £79m of previously announced funds that have been repurposed to respond to Covid-19. Approximately £25m is currently available to the devolved administrations, of which circa £13m is available for Scotland. We understand The National Lottery Community Fund is working with ministers and officials in Scotland to determine how the Scottish government wishes to direct their portion.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to protect people with epilepsy from being targeted by social media posts designed to trigger a seizure with flashing images; and if he will bring forward amendments to the Online Harms Bill to criminalise that matter.

The government intends to introduce world-leading Online Harms legislation to make the UK the safest place to be online. We intend to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users which will be overseen by an independent regulator. The Government published its Initial Consultation Response to the Online Harms White Paper in February 2020, and this set out our direction of travel on a number of key areas. We are aiming to publish a full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation later this year, and this will include more detailed proposals on online harms regulation.

In addition to this new legislation, it is important to make sure that the criminal law is fit for purpose to deal with online harms. DCMS and the Ministry of Justice have engaged the Law Commission on a second phase of their review of abusive and offensive online communications. The Law Commission will review existing communications offences and make specific recommendations about options for reform, to ensure that criminal law provides consistent and effective protection against such behaviour.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to publish further details on how the Government will achieve its target Gigabit-capable connectivity for all by 2025; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide coverage of gigabit capable broadband as soon as possible and believes that the best way to do this is to promote network competition and commercial investment wherever possible, and to intervene with public subsidy where necessary.

The Government is taking action to remove barriers to commercial deployment including, for example, through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold) Property Bill, which will make it easier to connect tenanted properties with an unresponsive landlord. We are also committed to legislating to mandate gigabit connectivity in new build homes. For harder to reach areas, we have committed to invest a record £5 billion to support gigabit capable broadband deployment. We will be publishing more details in due course.

7th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Department makes an assessment of the working practices of overseas companies from which the Government procures imported telecommunications infrastructure and technology.

The Government conducted a comprehensive, evidence-based review of the Telecoms Supply Chain to ensure the security and resilience of 5G in the UK. The Review was published in July 2019 and the final conclusions of the Review in relation to high risk vendors were announced in January 2020. The Review was informed by expert technical advice from the NCSC, economic analysis and discussions with industry and UK’s international partners.

The conclusions from the Review have outlined the Government’s three priorities for the future of telecommunications: stronger cyber security practices; greater resilience in telecoms network; and diversity in the market.

The Government has also set out its expectations of businesses in the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights and continues to encourage all British businesses to undertake appropriate levels of due diligence before deciding to do business or invest in foreign companies. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights advises UK companies to respect human rights wherever they operate including adopting appropriate due diligence policies to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights risks, and commit to monitoring and evaluating implementation.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students have graduated with a degree in video games in each year since 2010.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on enrolments and qualifications obtained at UK higher education institutions. Latest statistics refer to the 2020/21 academic year.

The tables below show the numbers of first-degree qualifiers in computer games subjects between the 2012/13 and 2020/21 academic years. Counts are on the basis of full-person equivalents and figures have been rounded to the nearest five.

Information on the number of qualifiers in these subjects has been available since the introduction of the third version of the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS3) in 2012/13. Figures cannot be provided for any year prior to that. Information for 2019/20 and 2020/21 is provided in a separate table, due to the introduction of a new subject classification system, the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS). Figures for 2019/20 and 2020/21 are not directly comparable with previous years.

Qualifiers in games subjects (JACS3) include games, computer games programming, computer game design, and computer games graphics. Qualifiers in games subjects (HECoS) include computer games, computer games design, computer games graphics, and computer games programming.

Academic years 2012/13 to 2018/19

Academic Year

Number of qualifiers in computer games subjects (JACS3)

2012/13

595

2013/14

625

2014/15

690

2015/16

900

2016/17

1,290

2017/18

1,265

2018/19

1,380

Academic year 2019/20 to 2020/21

Academic Year

Number of qualifiers in computer games subjects (HECoS)

2019/20

2,510

2020/21

2,460

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many lecturers at UK universities teach courses on video games.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on staff in the higher education (HE) workforce. Cost centres are an accounting concept used as a proxy for academic departments. All HE providers arrange their academic schools, faculties, and departments differently. HESA cost centres are designed to be as comparable as possible between different providers.

Information on the number of academics by cost centre can be accessed at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/staff/table-26. The table shows that in the 2020/21 academic year, there were 8,720 academic staff at UK providers allocated to cost centre 121, named ‘IT, systems sciences & computer software engineering’. Video game academics could be allocated in other cost centres, but the aforementioned 121 is the most likely.

This is the most granular breakdown available and does not specify video games or computer games. As such, lecturers who teach video games comprise some subset of that number. Additionally, not all academic staff are engaged in teaching, therefore the number includes researchers and other staff, in addition to lecturers.