John Nicolson Portrait

John Nicolson

Scottish National Party - Ochil and South Perthshire

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

(since January 2020)
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


Department Event
Thursday 22nd September 2022
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
22 Sep 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
Q14. As the Prime Minister limps off into the history books, his name up there in the pantheon of greats …
Written Answers
Tuesday 31st May 2022
Queen's Guards: Uniforms
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish his Department's independent analysis of ECOPEL faux fur …
Early Day Motions
Monday 4th July 2022
25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong
That this House recognises today as the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China; laments that Hong …
Bills
Wednesday 29th June 2016
Sexual Offences (Pardons Etc.) Bill 2016-17
A Bill to make provision for the pardoning, or otherwise setting aside, of cautions and convictions for specified sexual offences …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Global Media & Entertainment Ltd
Address of donor: 30 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LA
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Monday 18th July 2022
John Stevenson of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Service
That this House congratulates John Stevenson after a remarkable 41 years of service with Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team; recognises the …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Social Media Platforms (Identity Verification) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require social media platforms to offer a user identity verification process to all users; to require such …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, John Nicolson has voted in 351 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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
Eleanor Laing (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
Oliver Dowden (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Bill 2021-22
(3,691 words contributed)
Dormant Assets Act 2022
(1,044 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

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

12th July 2022
John Nicolson signed this EDM on Monday 18th July 2022

Political violence and presidential election in Brazil

Tabled by: Richard Burgon (Labour - Leeds East)
This House expresses its deep concerns about reports of political violence against representatives of the Workers’ Party in Brazil ahead of this October’s Presidential election; notes that the far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his cabinet ministers, nearly half of whom are military generals, have made repeated threats against the …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Scottish National Party: 8
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
14th July 2022
John Nicolson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 18th July 2022

East Kilbride YM Football Club

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House congratulates the East Kilbride YM FC on their 100th anniversary; notes the incredible work they have done to promote football in the East Kilbride community; commends their unprecedented success over their 100-year history; and recognises the recent treble victory of the EKYM’s Greater Glasgow Premier side in …
8 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 6
Independent: 1
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.


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

65 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 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.

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.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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 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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

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.

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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

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.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle imports of real fur for commercial sale.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ban imports of real fur for commercial sale.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she has taken to help end tariffs applied to Scotch Whisky exports to the US.

The Government continues to lobby the US and the EU for the settlement of the Airbus/Boeing disputes and the removal of tariffs. The UK has held multiple meetings and calls with the highest levels of the US administration, including with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer; US Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin; US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross; and US Ambassador Woody Johnson. In early August, Liz Truss visited the United States and successfully argued against any additional tariffs disproportionately impacting the UK. The UK is pushing both the EU and the US to settle these disputes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations she has made to the US Administration on tariffs on beer exports to the United States.

On 10th July,?my Rt Hon. Friend?the Secretary of State?for International Trade?engaged the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, on how the potential tariffs could affect Britain’s brewers.

HM Government?takes?the negative impact of?US?tariffs very seriously. These tariffs are unnecessary, unhelpful and harm industry on both sides of the Atlantic.

We continue to raise the issue of tariffs with the highest levels of the US administration at every opportunity. Instead of escalating existing tariffs, we need to work together towards a negotiated settlement.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many fines were issued on toll roads that (a) operate toll plazas and (b) require the driver to pay (i) in advance and (ii) after travelling in 2021-22.

All current tolled roads, bridges and tunnels in England are locally or privately operated, and the Department does not hold data on fines issued by those undertakings. The only road operated by National Highways where a road user charge is applied is the A282 Dartford Crossing; drivers must pay this charge beforehand or by midnight the day after crossing. In 2021-22, 2,154,092 penalty charge notices were issued for non-payment of the Dart Charge.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the DVLA on the (a) disruption caused to their services and (b) steps being taken to resume services following the covid-19 outbreak.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has remained open throughout the pandemic and its online services have operated as normal. There has been no disruption to online services and there are no delays for applications made online.

Paper applications must by their nature be dealt with onsite and the DVLA has reconfigured its office space to accommodate more operational staff within the two metre social distancing requirements in Wales.

The DVLA has also accelerated the development of new online services to further reduce paper applications and has launched a publicity campaign to further encourage the use of online services. Ministers are regularly briefed on the latest position as it relates to the DVLA’s services.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of not uprating benefits in line with inflation on levels of child poverty in Ochil and South Perthshire.

No such assessment has been made. The Government is up-rating benefits in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.

The latest statistics on the number and proportion of children who are in low income families by local area, covering the six years, 2014/15 to 2019/20, can be found in the annual publication: Children in low income families: local area statistics 2014 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).

This Government is committed to reducing poverty and supporting low-income families, and believes work is the best route out of poverty. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment – particularly where it is full-time – in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department took to ensure that people who were not able to claim their deferred pension as a one-off lump sum, those who reached pension age after 6th April 2016, were aware of this change.

The Department for Work and Pensions carried out a comprehensive communications campaign on State Pension reforms, beginning in 2014 for the reforms which were introduced in April 2016. The campaign included advertisements in newspapers, online and on radio stations across the country as well as working through stakeholders to raise public awareness of the changes.

The awareness-raising campaign directed people to a significant package of online information about the State Pension at www.gov.uk. Specific information about deferral rules can be found at www.gov.uk/deferring-state-pension/

Letters inviting people to claim their State Pension also provided details of the changes to the deferral rules.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to provide hon. Members with a dedicated universal credit helpline.

There is no dedicated MP Hotline for Universal Credit. Prior to the roll-out of Universal Credit Full Service in their constituency, we wrote to each Hon. Member in March 2019. The letter explained the implicit consent arrangements for MPs and also provided the telephone number and email address of the Service Leader in the constituency, so that MPs can contact Service Leaders if there are urgent constituent cases that need attention. This is the best route to raise issues on behalf of constituents and works well because MPs’ offices can establish local relationships.

The Department regularly provides updated contact information to the W4MP.org website indicating the best and most efficient ways to contact it.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to measure the effectiveness of the 12-week awareness campaign on Pension Credit take-up that started on 12 February 2020.

The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. There are already around 1.6 million people claiming some £5.4 billion in Pension Credit but some people may be missing out. That is why on the 10th February we launched a 12 week nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit and encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. The campaign includes a short, animated video that is being shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It is also being shown to Facebook users and supported by messaging on social media.

As part of the campaign we are asking a sample of callers to the Pension Credit claim line whether they are calling as result of having seen the campaign materials and where they heard about Pension Credit. We are monitoring the Facebook activity using digital metrics which will give us insight on the performance of the adverts and how long people are watching the videos for. We are also monitoring the number of visits to the Pension Credit pages on www.gov.uk and use of the Pension Credit Toolkit (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit). At the end of the campaign, we will carry out a full evaluation based on these results in order to measure the effectiveness and impact of the campaign.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Pension Credit toolkit in increasing uptake of Pension Credit.

It is important to highlight that in 2017/18 there were around 1.7 million Pension Credit claimants, receiving around £5.1 billion of Pension Credit payments.

The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. That is why on the 10 February we launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit. The aim of the campaign is to encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. We want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit; as well as explaining that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax reduction schemes and heating costs.

The campaign includes a short, animated video that is being shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It is also being shown to Facebook users over State Pension age and supported by other messaging on social media. We have also made the video and campaign materials available for stakeholders to use, as we know they are often one of the first places people turn to for information about Pension Credit.

An important part of our overall strategy to promote take-up is engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or Attendance Allowance or report a change in their circumstances which may mean that they could be eligible for Pension Credit.

Working with our stakeholders is an important part of our ongoing strategy to improve take-up of Pension Credit because we know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted organisations working in the community. We have therefore updated the Pension Credit toolkit to include the new campaign materials, supplementing the resources it already contains to assist agencies and welfare rights organisations to encourage Pension Credit take-up and support pensioners applying for Pension Credit. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit

The most recent information available on the number of times the Pension Credit toolkit was accessed this year is in the table below. For comparative purposes it includes data on the number of viewings of the Pension Credit overview page on GOV.UK, which is considered the most likely initial starting point for the public obtaining on line information about Pension Credit.

WEBPAGE VIEWINGS (2020)

Page

1-7 Jan

8-14 Jan

15-21 Jan

22-28 Jan

29 Jan – 4 Feb

5-11 Feb

12-18 Feb

19-25 Feb

26 Feb – 3 Mar

Pension Credit toolkit: landing page

14

16

12

41

73

323

268

268

101

Pension Credit toolkit: advice and guidance for stakeholders

39

59

72

66

87

350

240

205

142

Pension Credit guidance for customers overview page

10,166

11,045

12,120

13,599

14,577

28,790

17,907

15,952

16,110

Notes:

1. Data refers to the following webpages:

2. Data shows the number of times these webpages were accessed.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what meetings he or his ministers have had with pro-democracy activists in Bahrain.

During my visit to Bahrain, I met with a number of Bahrainis, both governmental and non-governmental, with a range of opinions. The FCDO considers a range of information in making our assessment of the Human Rights picture in Bahrain, including meeting individuals or groups when we deem appropriate.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his planned timetable is for passing on the remaining £31 million allocated to the Scottish Government as a consequential of the £300 million Culture Recovery Fund uplift in the Budget of March 2021.

The Barnett formula applies to changes in departmental DEL budgets, not when departments make spending or policy announcements.

The UK government has provided the Scottish Government with an additional £6.5 billion of Barnett-based funding this year. It is for the Scottish Government to decide how to allocate this funding across its devolved responsibilities, including how to provide support to the culture sector.

If the Treasury provides additional funding to departments in areas that are devolved in Scotland then the Scottish Government will receive additional funding through the Barnett formula. Final funding allocations will be confirmed at Supplementary Estimates.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much tax is reclaimed annually through gift aid.

In 2019-20, the latest year for which estimates are available, £1.4 billion in Gift Aid was paid to charities, and £0.5 billion was paid to individuals who were higher and additional rate Income Tax payers. Information about the cost of Gift Aid and other tax reliefs on charitable donations is published in “UK charity tax relief statistics” on GOV.UK at the link below:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/charitable-donations-and-tax-reliefs-statistics

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what further steps he plans to take to help people affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

I would refer the honourable Member for Ochil and South Perthshire to the answer I gave on 4 May 2020 (UIN 40483).

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to provide bespoke (a) grants or (b) loans to self-employed seasonal workers in the (i) creative, (ii) hospitality and (iii) tourism sectors that are ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme as a result of the 50 per cent income threshold.

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat COVID-19 are having on businesses and sectors like tourism, hospitality and creative industries. The Treasury is working closely with employers, delivery partners, industry groups and other government departments to understand the long-term effects of social distancing across all key areas of the economy.

The Chancellor has already announced unprecedented support for individuals and businesses, to protect against the current economic emergency. These include a package of welfare measures; grant schemes such as the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and the Discretionary Grant Fund; a range of Government-backed and guaranteed loan schemes; the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The SEISS is intended to support individuals who rely primarily on their trading profits from self-employment and have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The Government is keeping the exit strategy of all schemes under review as it responds to the pandemic and considers the longer-term economic recovery.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure free access to cash for people in rural communities.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK.

The Government has launched the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group – bringing together the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority, and Bank of England – to ensure comprehensive oversight of the overall cash infrastructure.

Industry has a key role to play. LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, has committed to protect remote free-to-use ATMs one kilometre or further from the next nearest free-to-use ATM or Post Office counter. LINK has also provided funding to allow local communities to request new free-to-use ATMs. The Payment Systems Regulator has used its powers to hold LINK to account over its commitments to preserve the broad geographic spread of ATMs.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help prevent fraudulent phone calls from overseas being routed through UK exchanges.

The UK Government has taken a range of actions to reduce the number of these scam calls, including those originating from overseas. It has supported the National Trading Standards Scams Team to roll out call blocking devices to vulnerable people. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also provided over £1 million in the last 3 years to National Trading Standards for distribution of call blocking devices to vulnerable people. This funding has helped to protect some of the most vulnerable in society from nuisance calls and scams.

The UK Government recognises nuisance calls and cold calling can be a gateway to scams, with opportunistic criminals targeting potential victims in the UK. The UK Government has therefore banned cold calls from personal injury firms and pensions providers unless the consumer has explicitly agreed to be contacted. We have also introduced director liability for nuisance calls.

The City of London Police, the lead force for Economic Crime, has partnered with Law Enforcement and Industry to combat call centre fraud from overseas jurisdictions.

The UK Government recognises there is more to do and is working closely with communications providers, law enforcement, regulators and consumer groups to consider further legislative and non-legislative solutions.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many places she plans to offer to refugees, per annum, under the new UK Resettlement Scheme.

The UK is committed to resettling refugees to the UK and we continue to work closely with partners to assess capacity for resettlement activity, as we recover from the pandemic.

Resettlement will continue to play a primary role, alongside a reformed asylum system, which will see us continue to offer safe and legal routes to the UK for vulnerable people in need of protection in the months and years to come.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish his Department's independent analysis of ECOPEL faux fur that found that it did not meet necessary requirements to replace bear fur for use in Queen's Guards caps.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not conducted analysis of Ecopel faux fur. A man-made fabric manufactured by Ecopel was passed to an independent testing house by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and those results were shared with the MOD. The analysis showed that the material does not meet the necessary requirements. For further detail on the test analysis, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 May 2022 to Question 4694 to the hon. Member for Newport West (Ruth Jones).

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether any officials in his Department have (a) been offered and (b) accepted membership to Soho House from January 2021 to date.

The Department has policies in place for the declaration of conflicts of interests and gifts in line with the Civil Service Management Code. It is the responsibility of officials to declare potential conflicts of interest, offers of gifts and hospitality, and do so using the Department’s systems. No offers or acceptance of Soho House membership have been recorded in these systems during the period in question.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2021
What recent discussions he has had with (a) devolved Administrations and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government has been clear we intend to continue to work in partnership with the devolved administrations and local communities. We have demonstrated this commitment by confirming that devolved administrations will have a place within the governance structures for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Ministers regularly speak to Cabinet colleagues on the UKSPF and my officials routinely engage with their devolved administration counterparts on their priorities. To date, we have conducted 25 engagement events across the UK, many of which were attended by the devolved administrations. We will continue this engagement as we develop the UKSPF investment framework and in advance of its publication.

22nd Sep 2020
What recent progress has been made on the Independent Review of Administrative Law.

The independent and expert panel has begun its work, issuing a call for evidence which closes in October.

The panel will then move to consider this evidence and make their report.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what progress he has made on the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.

I am delighted to be able to confirm that we are making excellent progress and I, along with other partners, hope to sign the Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Region Full Deal on 26 February.

This will herald a programme of transformation for the Stirling & Clackmannanshire region, part of the £1.4 billion commitment that the UK Government has made to Deals across Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland