Julian Lewis Portrait

Julian Lewis

Conservative - New Forest East

First elected: 1st May 1997


Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
13th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Sub-Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Committee
12th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Committee
18th Jun 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Sub-Committee
8th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Liaison Committee (Commons)
10th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Committee
3rd Nov 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
3rd Nov 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls
3rd Nov 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
13th Sep 2010 - 16th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Defence)
10th May 2005 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
1st Jul 2004 - 10th May 2005
Shadow Minister (Defence)
1st Jul 2002 - 1st Jul 2004
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jul 2001 - 1st Jul 2002
Defence Committee
3rd Feb 2000 - 29th Oct 2001
Welsh Affairs Committee
22nd Jun 1998 - 11th May 2001


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Julian Lewis has voted in 755 divisions, and 25 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
20 Jan 2021 - National Security and Investment Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 350 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 269 Noes - 351
20 Jan 2021 - National Security and Investment Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 356 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 265 Noes - 355
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
26 Apr 2021 - National Security and Investment Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 357 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 260
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
28 Apr 2021 - National Security and Investment Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 357 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 269
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 269 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 246
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
7 Mar 2022 - Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 302 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 303
7 Mar 2022 - Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 296 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 234 Noes - 300
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
3 May 2023 - National Security Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 134
3 May 2023 - National Security Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 252 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 136
26 Jun 2023 - National Security Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 284 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 289 Noes - 199
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
4 Sep 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 206
4 Sep 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 278 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 209
4 Sep 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 285 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 209
4 Sep 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 292 Noes - 206
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Julian Lewis voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Julian Lewis 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
Ben Wallace (Conservative)
(48 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(38 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(31 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(101 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(96 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(78 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Julian Lewis's debates

New Forest East 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 Government to abandon the planned implementation of affordability checks for some people who want to place a bet. We believe such checks – which could include assessing whether people are ‘at risk of harm' based on their postcode or job title – are inappropriate and discriminatory.

We want the Government to amend the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP) to require retailers, without exception, to:

- Buy what they agreed to buy
- Pay what they agreed to pay
- Pay on time

We believe the current GSCP is inadequate and doesn't protect farmers from unfair behaviour.

We want the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with legislation that focuses on early intervention to prevent dog bites and tackle dog-related issues regardless of breed or type, based solely on their behaviour.


I believe that the XL bully is a kind, beautiful natured breed that loves children and people in general, and are very loyal and loving pets.

The Government should create an emergency fund to deal with the massive waiting lists for autism & ADHD assessments for children AND adults. This would provide resources for local health services deal with current waiting lists and new patients.

The Government should commission a review of how Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are managed by the NHS, including through Shared Care Agreements, and increase funding to reduce waiting times.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Julian Lewis

21st March 2024
Julian Lewis signed this EDM on Monday 15th April 2024

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Former RAF Scampton) (Accommodation for Asylum-Seekers etc.) Special Development Order 2024 (S.I., 2024, No. 412), dated 20 March 2024, a copy of which was laid before this House on 21 March 2024, be annulled.
22 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 22
5th February 2024
Julian Lewis signed this EDM on Monday 19th February 2024

Barry John, 1945 to 2024

Tabled by: Jonathan Edwards (Independent - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
That this House mourns the sad passing of the great Welsh rugby union outside half Barry John, born and raised in the Gwendraeth Valley village of Cefneithin in Carmarthenshire; notes that Mr John played his club rugby with Llanelli and Cardiff, was capped for Wales for the first time in …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Julian Lewis's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Julian Lewis, 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.



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
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will publish the (a) dates and (b) changes that have been made to policing arrangements in the vicinity of the parliamentary estate in the last 10 years in relation to (i) demonstrations and (ii) the (A) obstruction, (B) abuse and (C) intimidation of hon. Members at entrances to the Palace of Westminster; and what steps the Commission plans to take with (1) City of Westminster local authority, (2) the Greater London Authority and (3) the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of (x) hon. Members, (y) parliamentary staff and (z) other people entering and exiting the parliamentary estate.

The Parliamentary Security Department (PSD) has a Special Services Agreement for provision of policing on the Parliamentary Estate; external policing is a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The House of Commons Commission cannot therefore provide the requested information pertaining to policing arrangements in the vicinity of the Parliamentary Estate in the last 10 years.

PSD is in frequent communication with the MPS to assess expected protest activity and other events in the surrounding area that may impact access to and/or the safety of Parliament and those working or visiting here. During extended and heightened protest activity, for example around the debates on Brexit, PSD has worked with the MPS and with other parties such as broadcasters to protect Members, staff and the public. PSD also issues advice to Members and other passholders around personal security, including any specific guidance around ongoing events.

PSD and other Parliamentary officials also liaise with Westminster City Council (WCC), the Greater London Authority (GLA), the MPS and others on issues of safety and security in the nearby area. Parliament has supported the Parliament Square Streetscape Project, which is led jointly by the GLA and WCC and with the involvement of the MPS, to consider the feasibility of improvements to the Streetscape around the Palace of Westminster.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 July 2023 to Question 193280 on Earl Mountbatten of Burma: Diaries, how much his Department spent on (a) barristers and (b) other lawyers as part of the (i) litigation related to the First-tier Tribunal and (ii) freedom of information requests made by Dr Andrew Lownie on the Mountbatten diaries and letters.

The Cabinet Office has worked with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive, whilst ensuring sensitive and official information is handled appropriately and in line with the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act. Dr Lownie lost his appeal against the Cabinet Office, but continued to seek costs in a separate application. This application was rejected by the First Tier Tribunal and permission to appeal at the Upper Tribunal was also rejected.

The final legal costs relating to the First Tier Tribunal hearings and associated litigation regarding this archive are £180,454. This relates to 5 appeals EA/2020/0021, EA/2020/0026, EA/2020/0058, EA/2020/0059 and EA/2021/0125 as well as a further 5 related appeals and application to seek costs including UA-2022-001422, 001425, 001427, 001428 and 001429-GIA. These costs include those incurred by the Cabinet Office for external legal counsel and work by the Government Legal Department.

The cost of officials’ time, including Cabinet Office legal advisers’, is not recorded against each Freedom of Information request.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
11th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department spent on (a) barristers and (b) other lawyers as part of the (i) litigation related to the First-tier Tribunal and (ii) freedom of information requests made by Dr Andrew Lownie on the Mountbatten diaries and letters; and if he will make an estimate of the cost of civil service time spent in handling all aspects of this matter.

To provide this information would exceed the threshold and incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office. Civil servants do not record the proportion of time that they spend on individual matters, and cover a range of responsibilities, including Freedom of Information and litigation.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the report by Sir Robert Francis QC on Compensation and Redress for the Victims of Infected Blood - Recommendations for a Framework, published in March 2022, if he will take steps to implement the recommendation in paragraph 9.136 of that report that arrangements should be made immediately through the existing support schemes for an interim lump sum payment of compensation to be made to every living infected person accepted by a support scheme as eligible for annual support payments.

I refer the Rt Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 16932 on 20 June 2022.

16th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 20 April 2022, Official Report, column 161, what steps he is taking to ensure that surviving nuclear test veterans receive recognition for their service.

Those who participated in the Nuclear Test Programme made a significant contribution to the safety and security of the UK by ensuring that we were equipped with an appropriate nuclear capability; it is right that their contribution is recognised.

The Prime Minister and I look forward to meeting with representatives of the Nuclear Test Veteran community shortly.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to secure a copy of the full version of the Sue Gray report and publish that report in unredacted form without delay.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office update from the Second Permanent Secretary which has been published on GOV.UK and placed in the Library of the House.

It would not be appropriate for the Government to comment further while the Metropolitan Police Service’s investigation is ongoing. At the end of the process, the Prime Minister will ask the Second Permanent Secretary to update her findings, which will be published in line with the Terms of Reference.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will introduce a scheme to remove the limit for attendees at weddings held indoors, provided that such attendees can produce verifiable evidence that they (a) have twice been vaccinated in time for the vaccine to have fully taken effect or (b) are not infected with covid-19, demonstrated by means of tests the results of which remain valid for the duration of the wedding celebrations.

From 21 June, there is no longer a maximum number of attendees at weddings set out in law. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

The Government committed to explore whether and how COVID-status certification might be used to reopen our economy, reduce restrictions on social contact and improve safety. As set out in the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021,’ the Government will set out its conclusions on the COVID-status Certification Review in advance of Step 4 of the Roadmap, in order to inform the safe reopening of society and the economy.

An update on the Roadmap Reviews was published on 5 April and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021-reviews-terms-of-reference/roadmap-reviews-update.


The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster further updated via a Written Ministerial Statement on 29 April 2021, which can be found below: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-04-29/hcws947

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer to Question 11456 of 5 June 2021 on the vetting of Lord and Lady Mountbatten's private diaries prior to access being given to historians, what the source is of the statement that, prior to retiring as Chief of Defence Staff in 1965, Lord Mountbatten accepted that such vetting would apply to private diaries; for what reason those diaries were not vetted prior to being (a) purchased with money from the public purse and (b) transferred to Southampton University; what work his Department carried out to support the release of those diaries to the public in the years prior to Dr Andrew Lownie's Tribunal case in 2020; and what categories of information are capable of being deemed too sensitive for publication (i) 42 years and (ii) 62 years after the deaths of Lord and Lady Mountbatten respectively.

As the Rt. Hon. Member will be aware, there are several FOI exemptions that remain in place for historic records. As I said in my previous answer, this case is currently before the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) and it would not be appropriate to make further comment whilst this is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May to Question 2854 on the Mountbatten archive, what the terms were of the undertakings given by Lord Mountbatten in 1969 on the publication of the material in the archive; for what reason private diaries and letters that could have been sold on the open market are deemed to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000; for what reason the full archive has not been made public a decade after its publicly-funded acquisition by Southampton University; what the timeline is for the publication of that part of the archive that remains currently unpublished; and if he will list the criteria according to which any part of the archive can be deemed to be too sensitive for publication.

Before he retired as Chief of Defence Staff in 1965, the first Earl Mountbatten accepted that personal diaries could not be put into the public domain without first being vetted. Earl Mountbatten made clear that ownership of all of these papers would be handed over to the Broadlands Trustees. In 1969, the Broadlands Trustees entered into undertakings not to give general or particular access to these papers without the express permission of the Prime Minister of the day through the Cabinet Secretary. A copy of the Undertakings is available at the National Archives. In line with this agreement, the Cabinet Office is continuing to work with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive whilst ensuring sensitive and official information is handled appropriately and in line with the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act.

This case is currently before the Information Tribunal. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to make further comment whilst this is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason his Department has prevented release of Lord Mountbatten’s diaries.

The Cabinet Office is working with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive whilst ensuring sensitive information, including personal data, is handled appropriately and in line with Freedom of Information Act.

Diaries from 1918 to 1934 have already been released. Further volumes will be released in due course as necessary sensitivity work is completed. This is in line with undertakings given by Earl Mountbatten in 1969 on the publication of the archive.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the weekly totals of covid-19-related deaths in the UK (a) have been and (b) will be published, by (i) age range and (ii) specified serious underlying condition.

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

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2020 to Question 34337, what recent progress the Government has made on the repeal the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011.

The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 led to parliamentary paralysis at a critical time for our country. It is for this reason that the Government made a commitment, in the manifesto and the Queen's Speech, to take forward work to repeal the FTPA. Announcements about the repeal legislation will be made in due course.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will take steps to ensure that all domestic energy customers are offered the facility to pay energy bills by cheque; and if his Department will issue guidance to energy suppliers on enabling customer payment by cheque.

The setting of tariffs, and associated payment methods, are a commercial decision for the energy companies. Regulation of the sector is the responsibility of independent regulator Ofgem.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of (a) moving people onto prepayment meters against their will and (b) cutting off energy supply (i) unilaterally and (ii) remotely on (A) elderly, (B) impoverished and (C) other vulnerable people; what recent discussions he has had with energy companies on the impact of these practices; whether his Department is taking steps to protect people from these practices; and if he will make a statement.

Ofgem has rules in place that restrict the force-fitting of a prepayment meter on customers who are in debt, except as a last resort. Ofgem also has rules to protect consumers from the risk of disconnection, in particular preventing suppliers from directly disconnecting consumers between November and April.

On the impact of suppliers cutting off supply, between Q3 2021 and Q2 2022, suppliers directly disconnected 3 gas accounts and 19 electricity accounts according to Ofgem data. Neither the Government, nor Ofgem hold more detailed data on the recent impact of disconnections, or pre-payment installations and switches, on the groups listed.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to institute financial penalties against firms which fail to answer customers' telephone calls within a specified acceptable period of time; and if he will make a statement.

High quality customer service makes commercial sense and the Government expects all businesses to treat consumers fairly. However, the Government does not seek to intervene in the detail of how businesses conduct their activities, which are essentially commercial matters. For free advice on consumer rights and how to make complaints, consumers may contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.consumeradvice.org.uk/) or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 (www.consumeradvice.scot) for consumers living in Scotland.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February to Question 120606 on Carbon Emissions, what verification arrangements are in place to monitor whether and to what extent the Governments of (a) Russia, (b) China, (c) the US and (d) India are implementing net zero pledges; and whether it is Government policy to pursue net zero for the UK irrespective of progress by countries on net zero actions.

The Paris Agreement require all countries to report to the UNFCCC on progress against emissions reduction commitments by December 31st 2024, and every two years afterwards. This information will be publicly available. The Enhanced Transparency Framework is designed to show that all countries are contributing their fair share to the global effort. At COP26, all countries agreed the Glasgow Climate Pact, which requests countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets, as necessary, to align with the Paris temperature goal by the end of this year, and it signalled the start of the first Global Stocktake to assess the world’s collective progress. The UK Government is committed to delivering its legally-binding net zero target.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential of the UK significantly to reduce global warming if it achieved net zero unilaterally whilst other countries did not; what arrangements are in place to verify whether (a) Russia, (b) China, (c) the US and (d) India are pursuing net zero policies in parallel with the programme currently followed by the UK; what estimate he has made of resources of (i) North Sea (A) oil and (B) gas and (ii) shale gas, potentially available to the UK; under which circumstances the Government would begin to exploit those resources; and whether it is Government policy to pursue net zero for the UK irrespective of what other countries do.

While the UK was the first major economy to commit to net zero, today 90% of global GDP is covered by net zero pledges (which includes Russia, China, the USA and India). We are absolutely committed to delivering on net zero and ensuring the UK is at the forefront of the rapidly growing global green economy.

The North Sea Transition Deal sets out how the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector will help deliver on net zero while continuing to contribute to UK energy security, in the last year two new fields were consented.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate his Department has made of the potential number of smart meters fitted by energy companies since December 2019 which will require (a) upgrading and (b) replacing when the 2G and 3G networks are switched off; what estimate the Government has made of the potential cost of that upgrading and replacement which will be passed on to consumers; what discussions the Government had with energy companies on the potential effect of 2G and 3G switch off (i) before and (ii) during marketing campaigns for new replacement 5G smart meters; what plans the Government has to switch off 2G and 3G networks before all smart meters dependent on those networks have been upgraded or replaced; and what the Government's policy is on whether 5G smart meters will be mandatory for energy consumers.

Smart meters will not need to be replaced or upgraded as a result of sunsetting 2G and 3G networks. Smart meters can work with a range of communications technologies and the system has been designed to accommodate the inevitable evolution of communication services over time. Communications hubs, which are installed alongside smart meters and connect them to the national smart metering network, can be replaced independently of the meter.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the level of (a) economic and ( b) political vulnerabilities caused to the UK by (i) direct and (ii) indirect dependence on supplies from (A) Russia and (B) continental European countries; and if he will publish a breakdown of the proportion of UK energy supplies sourced from overseas.

Energy security is an absolute priority for this Government. We meet around half of our annual gas supply through domestic production and the vast majority of imports come from reliable suppliers such as Norway. Less than 3% of our gas was sourced from Russia in 2020.The UK is not dependant on Russian oil or gas.

The UK’s exposure to volatile global gas prices underscores the importance of our plan to build a robust domestic renewable energy sector to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

The Government has published a full breakdown of where UK energy comes from at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to take steps in respect of the reported attempt by China to take over Bacanora Lithium.

Mergers and takeovers are primarily commercial matters for the parties involved. The Government has powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to intervene in transactions which raise national security concerns. The Government has recently strengthened those powers through the National Security and Investment Act 2021.

The Government is aware of this proposed transaction and is monitoring developments closely.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 168810, on Parliamentary scrutiny of the proposed Investment Security Unit, on how many occasions since 2016 the BEIS Select Committee has been given access to material protectively marked as Top Secret; and whether any Top Secret material was disclosed to that Committee during its scrutiny of the (a) civil nuclear programme and (b) other matters referred to in the Answer to that Question and described as sensitive.

Details of the frequency and subject matter of what sensitive or highly classified information is transmitted outside Government can itself be sensitive, and its disclosure may give rise to national security risks. I therefore cannot publish the information in the detail my Rt. Hon. Friend has requested.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164331 on parliamentary scrutiny of the new Investment Security Unit, under what provisions the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee could have oversight of that part of the work of the Unit which will involve (a) interaction with the Intelligence and Security Agencies and (b) consideration of highly classified material not normally made available to parliamentary Select Committees; and what the Government's policy is on effective parliamentary scrutiny of activities of the Unit involving material classified at the level of Top Secret.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee is well-placed to have oversight of the Investment Security Unit. The Committee already provides scrutiny on a number of sensitive areas, such as the civil nuclear programme, and it is well placed to consider how effectively and efficiently the Investment Security Unit is interacting with the business community and investors in delivering the National Security and Investment regime.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the consistency with which different local authorities award Additional Restrictions Grants to similar companies; and if he will make it his policy to issue guidance to local authorities to give comparable levels of such support to food and drink wholesalers facing comparable financial pressures during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) allows Local Authorities to put in place discretionary business support. Local Authorities are free to provide support that suits their local area, including to support those businesses not required to close but which have had their trade severely affected by the restrictions, and those businesses that fall outside the business rates system such as market traders. At the Budget on 3rd March, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an additional £425 million will be made available via the ARG, meaning that more than £2 billion has been made available to Local Authorities since November 2020. The further top-up of 3rd March is conditional on Local Authorities spending their existing allocations. Officials continue to engage with Local Authorities to ensure compliance to both the scheme rules and wider reporting requirements.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, by what means Parliamentary scrutiny will be carried out of the classified aspects of the work of his Department’s proposed Investment Security Unit.

The Government intends to follow the appropriate procedures for reporting to Parliament on the work of the Investment Security Unit (ISU), by having the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee oversee the Investment Security Unit’s work. The Committee already provides scrutiny on a number of sensitive areas, such as the civil nuclear programme, and it is well placed to consider how effectively and efficiently the Investment Security Unit is interacting with the business community and investors in delivering the National Security and Investment regime.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care's oral contribution of 19 October 2020, Official Report, column 785 on vaccine production schedules, what the respective (a) starting dates were and (b) planned end dates are for the current trials of the (i) AstraZeneca, (ii) Imperial College and (iii) Novavax vaccines; and if he will list any factors, other than adverse reactions by subjects receiving these vaccines on an experimental basis, which may delay the completion of the trials beyond the planned end dates.

The AstraZeneca and University of Oxford vaccine started clinical trials in April 2020 and is currently in phase 2/3. The Imperial College London vaccine started clinical trials in June 2020 and is currently in phase 1/2. The Novavax vaccine clinical trials started in May 2020 and is currently in phase 3. The end date of each trial is dependent on the clinical results and the data.

Government is working closely with vaccine developers to monitor progress of clinical trials.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to bring forward (a) regulations and (b) legislative proposals to ensure that products offered for sale (i) online and (ii) in other markets are adequately labelled with their principal country of origin to enable shoppers to (A) buy British and (B) avoid purchasing from countries of which they disapprove.

Aside from certain specified products (e.g. food), there is no requirement for goods to be labelled with their country of origin. We have no plans to introduce such a requirement. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 bans traders from using misleading statements about the geographical or commercial origin of products.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the risk to business owners' personal assets of banks, that supply loans as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, requiring the owners of the applicant businesses to provide personal guarantees of the 20 per cent of the value of the loan which is not covered by the Government's guarantee on applicants' personal financial circumstances; and if he will make a statement.

We have made no specific assessment.

We would expect a lender to follow its normal credit policy when assessing additional security generally. Personal guarantees of any form cannot be used in respect of any Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) facilities up to £250,000. For facilities of £250,000 and over, claims on personal guarantees applied to the scheme facility cannot exceed 20% of losses on the scheme facility after all other recoveries have been applied. A Principal Private Residence cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy that (a) businesses that have become profitable after recent restructuring should not be precluded from being granted emergency business loans on the basis of unprofitable trading figures prior to their restructuring and (b) those businesses should be assessed on their recent profitability on the same basis as start-up businesses of a similar size.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides support to small businesses which were viable before the Covid-19 outbreak but are experiencing temporary adverse impacts due to Coronavirus.

In order for a business to be eligible for the CBILs, it must be considered “viable” by the lender. The lender must consider that the applicant (or its business group) has a viable business proposition determined by the lender’s underwriting policies. Any concerns over its short-to-medium term business performance due to the uncertainty and impact of COVID-19 cannot be taken into account. The applicant must still satisfy the other eligibility criteria of the CBILS.

For smaller value facilities (e.g. those of £30,000 or below) in determining the eligibility of the applicant, lenders may decide to determine the applicant’s credit worthiness based on its internal credit scoring models.

Corresponding changes have been made to the eligibility criterion which previously required the applicant (or its business group) to have a business proposition that can reasonably be expected to enable it to meet its repayment obligations under a proposed facility.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme cannot be used where an applicant was an “undertaking in difficulty” (UID) as at 31 December 2019. UID is defined to include businesses that have accumulated losses greater than half of their subscribed share capital as at 31 December 2019. In practice this means certain fast growth businesses may not be eligible for the CBILS (unless the business is less than three years old).

The requirement for an UID assessment is a requirement under the European Commission’s Temporary State Aid measures and a direct result of State Aid clearance. The need for UID checks to be carried out for CBILS facilities below £30k has already been removed by the British Business Bank on the basis that loans of this size are considered to involve a de minimis amount of State Aid. For facilities above £30k, lenders are required to gain comfort that an SME is not an UID, but this includes the option for lenders to rely on self-certification for facilities of any size (i.e. up to £5m).

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the cost of phasing out the use of natural gas in domestic dwellings; what the planned timescale is for phasing out the use of natural gas in such dwellings; whether such phasing out will be carried out by the UK (a) only on a multilateral basis or (b) irrespective of what the governments of other countries plan to do; and what funding he plans for implementing that policy.

Meeting our net-zero target by 2050 will require virtually all heat in buildings to be decarbonised, and heat in industry to be reduced to close to zero carbon emissions. It will involve large-scale transformation and wide-ranging change to energy systems and markets. The way heating is supplied to over 28 million homes, businesses and industrial users will need to change. Given the diversity of heat demand in the United Kingdom, no one solution can provide the best option for everyone. We are currently exploring and testing the different approaches to heat decarbonisation, including heat networks, heat pumps, hydrogen and biogas and improving energy efficiency in new buildings. - a mix of technologies and customer options will need to be available to decarbonise heat at scale.

The Department is developing policies to deliver low carbon heating in the 2020s and meet our climate targets. We are planning to publish a Heat and Building Strategy later this year, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings. These include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat and set us on a path to decarbonising all homes and buildings.

Alongside the action we are taking at home, the UK remains committed to demonstrating global leadership in tackling climate change. The UK is already demonstrating practical leadership across all aspects of the fight to tackle climate change. We’ve decarbonised faster than any other G20 nation since 2000, and through our Clean Growth Strategy and annual reports have a comprehensive and publicly available strategy. The UK is among the largest contributors of climate finance, providing at least £5.8 billion between 2016 to 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce deforestation and support cleaner economic growth. At the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will double our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion from 2021 to 2025 to drive clean and resilient growth in developing countries.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the Government's estimate of the cost to the UK economy of achieving the Government's target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050; whether the Government plans to maintain that target as Government policy (a) in the event that major greenhouse gas emitting countries also embark on large-scale carbon emission reductions and (b) irrespective of the steps to reduce carbon emissions other countries take; and what assessment he has made of the effect on climate change as a result of the UK achieving net zero carbon emissions under each of those two scenarios.

The UK has led the world as the first major economy to set a net zero 2050 target in law. Given the need for international action to address climate change, it is imperative that other countries similarly increase their ambition, and we are working to deliver that including through our hosting of COP26 this year. The UK will conduct a further assessment within 5 years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the UK’s lead and ensuring that our industries do not face unfair competition.

As part of our commitment to net zero, and in line with the recommendation of the Committee on Climate Change, HM Treasury is carrying out a review of the costs of net zero. The Government will also publish full impact assessments as we legislate for future carbon budgets.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2022 to Question 110225 on BBC Monitoring and BBC World Service: Finance, for what reason the BBC Monitoring Service (BBCM) was not referred to in that Answer; what changes there have been in the size of the overall budget allocated to BBCM since the closure of Caversham Park; and what undertakings have been sought and received from the BBC by the Government on future levels of funding to be allocated to BBCM.

The BBC is responsible for the funding, staffing and administration of Monitoring, which is provided under a specific “BBC Monitoring Agreement” between the BBC and government. The agreement provides assurances that core services will be funded by the BBC from Licence Fee Revenue.

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent of the government, and is independently responsible for approving the high-level strategy for BBC Monitoring and the budget for the core services.

The Government is satisfied with BBC Monitoring's ability to deliver the service based on agreed performance targets under the current funding model. Additional BBC Monitoring Services are subject to further contractual agreement and require funding directly from the recipient.

The BBC’s Annual Reports and Accounts show it spent £5.8 million on BBC Monitoring in 2015/16 and £4 million on BBC Monitoring on 2020/21.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what safeguards are in place to protect the budgets of BBC (a) World and (b) Monitoring Services in light of the (i) freezing of the Licence Fee and (ii) intensifying military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine; and if she will make a statement.

The BBC will continue to receive billions in public funding every year.

The Government recognises the vital role that the BBC World Service plays across the globe.

The Secretary of State has made it clear to the BBC that it should continue to make a substantive investment from the licence fee into the World Service to ensure that it continues to effectively reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world - in English and through its language services.

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 steps she is taking to encourage community participation in celebrations marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee; and whether she plans to provide advice to organisers of community events on how to achieve live screenings, in community halls, of BBC coverage of the national celebrations without incurring costs required by the BBC for such screenings.

My department is delighted to be working with Buckingham Palace, and a range of partners, to develop UK-wide opportunities to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

DCMS’s Platinum Jubilee website includes guidance on how Local Authorities, communities and individuals can get involved in the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.

TV licensing is a matter for the BBC, though I am aware it has applied dispensation for public community screenings of events of national importance in the past. I am assured the BBC will be looking into arrangements around the Platinum Jubilee in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jun 2021
BBC
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the contribution to public service broadcasting made by the BBC’s Regional Political Unit in (a) scrutinising parliamentary (i) debates and (ii) committees and (b) providing regionally-tailored input to (A) 13 television regions and (B) 39 local radio stations in England; and if he will make representations to the BBC that the proposal to reduce the size of that seven person Unit by more than half of its personnel should not proceed.

The government has been clear that the BBC needs to be closer to, and understand the perspectives of, the whole of the United Kingdom and avoid providing a narrow urban outlook.


However, the BBC is editorially and operationally independent of the government and the government has no say over its decision making, including any proposed changes to its Regional Political Unit.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will (a) review current covid-19 restrictions on the activities of amateur choirs in respect of (i) necessity and (ii) consistency with with those on other groups and (b) issue new guidance accordingly.

Non-professional groups of up to six people can now sing indoors, and can perform or rehearse in groups of up to 30 outdoors. In addition, multiple groups of 30 can now sing outdoors, provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity. This is an important step forward in the return of non-professional performing arts activity from Step 2.

It is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of provision of support for the proprietors of (a) bed and breakfast and (b) other establishments offering overnight accommodation that are deterred from reopening by the potential for residents with covid-19 symptoms being required to self-isolate on their premises as a result of the absence of guidance on who is liable for the costs of the (i) food, (ii) other supplies and (iii) round-the-clock accommodation of those residents.

From 4 July, people will be allowed to travel to holiday accommodation - including bed and breakfasts - for overnight stays in England. Guidance has been published on how to open guest accommodation businesses safely whilst minimising the risks of COVID-19.

If a guest is displaying signs of the COVID-19 virus while staying in overnight accommodation, they should inform the accommodation provider, immediately self-isolate where they are to minimise any risk of transmission, and request a test. If they are confirmed to have COVID-19, they should return home if they reasonably can. If a guest cannot reasonably return home, their circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional and, if necessary, the local authority.

We regularly assess the nature of the tourism sectors’ engagement with the Government’s comprehensive economic support package. Tourism businesses - including those that do not plan to reopen on 4 July - can continue to access schemes such as the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has received representations from representatives of (a) dancing schools, (b) the Royal Shakespeare Company and (c) other stage-based entertainment bodies on how those bodies can reopen and operate in conformity with social distancing rules; whether he has made an assessment of the practicability of those proposals; and what support his Department provides to those bodies to ensure that they will not cease to exist before their reopening is permitted by the Government.

In order to ensure appropriate support and guidance is given to the cultural sector, DCMS has established the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Entertainment and Events working group which include extensive membership from across the artistic and creative industries sectors. The focus of these groups’ work is on ensuring that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phasing ambitions and public health directions, building on the existing guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input. These groups specifically include representatives for dance and stage based entertainment, all of whom are being consulted extensively on how the sector can reopen and operate under social distancing. Full details of the Taskforce can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/culture-secretary-announces-cultural-renewal-taskforce and the Entertainment and Events Working Group can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/cultural-renewal-taskforce-and-supporting-working-groups#entertainment-and-events-members.

The Secretary of State, my fellow Ministers and DCMS officials continue to consult the creative and cultural sectors extensively to ensure they understand fully the potential impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector. DCMS officials and ministers have also held regular calls with representatives from across the arts and cultural sector and these have included representatives from the Royal Shakespeare Company and a number of dance schools and representatives including Sadler’s Wells and Northern Ballet.

The Secretary of State and DCMS are committed to supporting the cultural sector through this pandemic and getting the curtain up at venues across the country as soon as it is safe to do so. In addition to the unprecedented financial measures the Government has announced DCMS has also worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England, made possible by Government funding.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason (a) leisure parks have been provisionally scheduled for reopening only in step 3 of the covid-19 recovery strategy and (b) open-air facilities have been grouped for reopening with (i) cinemas and (ii) other indoor leisure venues; and if he will make it his policy to reallocate leisure parks to an earlier reopening phase of the recovery strategy.

The Government will look at reopening sites such as leisure parks and outdoor recreation facilities no earlier than 4 July, in line with the wider hospitality sector. Any decisions will be subject to further scientific advice and the risk assessment at the time.


As part of the Government’s leisure and recreation taskforce, my Department has set up a Visitor Economy Working Group to specifically focus on the practicalities and guidelines for opening up the sector during the recovery period. We will issue further guidance shortly on our phased reopening approach, including which businesses could be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) Age-concern, (b) other county-based charities and (c) large charities; what assessment he has made of the contribution of such charities to the delivery of front-line services to vulnerable elderly people; and if he will urgently make it his policy to allow larger charities that are continuing to deliver front-line services to benefit from support from the National Lottery Community Fund.

We recognise the huge value that charities like Age-UK are providing to the Covid-19 response as they provide advice and support to over 8.5 million older people who have been told to self-isolate.

My department is continuing to monitor the health of the sector, its contribution to the nation’s Covid-19 response and the financial impacts on charities, including Age-UK and other county-based charities, and is establishing mechanisms to collate robust and ongoing insights. The £750 million VCSE support package is available to support all charities - large or small - at risk of financial hardship that are providing key frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.

Government remains committed to ongoing data collation and in depth engagement with the voluntary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work closely to assess how we can support charities in doing their important work.

We are working at pace to finalise the grant agreement, processes and criteria for the fund this week, with a view to launch as soon as possible.

2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the average number of tuition hours not accessed by university students as a result of strike action by university staff in the last year; whether her Department issues guidance to (a) universities and (b) students on reimbursement of (i) fees and (ii) other costs for tuition hours not accessed by students as a result of (A) strikes and (B) other factors affecting the delivery of academic services by the university; what data her Department holds on the reimbursement of such costs to students by universities in such cases; and if she will make a statement.

Compensating students for disruption is the responsibility of higher education (HE) providers, which are independent from government.

The Office for Students (OfS) has made clear that they expect universities to abide by the conditions of registration, maintain the delivery of HE and minimise disruption to students in the event of any industrial action. The OfS has also highlighted providers’ obligations under consumer protection law in relation to the impact of industrial action.

The OfS have wide-ranging powers to ensure that students’ interests are protected, and they expect providers to do all they can to avoid disruption to students.

The OfS’s powers include the ability to impose one or more specific ongoing conditions of registration, impose a monetary penalty, refuse to renew a provider’s access and participation plan, suspend aspects of a provider’s registration, vary or revoke a provider's authorisation for degree awarding powers, revoke a provider’s authorisation to use ‘university’ in its title, or deregister a provider.

The OfS has advised HE providers that, in the event of disruption caused by industrial action, students may be entitled to repeated learning opportunities or tuition fee refunds. These remedies are determined by the contents of the provider-student contract, as well as relevant consumer protection law.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent representations submitted to his Department by the Association of Colleges on (a) pay differentials between schoolteachers and further education lecturers, (b) changes to workloads relating to potential grade inflation and changes to sixth-form student numbers resulting from exam cancellations and (c) the availability of shared funding for approved capital projects.

Setting pay rates for lecturers in further education (FE) is the responsibility of colleges and the department plays no role in this process. However, we recognise that the department’s funding does affect college finances and, therefore, pay decisions. We will make available an additional £1.6 billion for 16-19 education in the 2024/25 financial year compared with the 2021/22 financial year. This is in addition to the £291 million extra funding for 16-19 education in the 2021/22 financial year, and the £400 million that the department provided in the 2020/21 financial year. We will be investing nearly £52 million in the FE Workforce in the 2022/23 financial year, to continue to support the FE sector with the recruitment, retention, and development of teachers. This includes bursaries worth up to £26,000 each tax-free, which are available to support FE teacher training in priority subject areas for the 2022/23 academic year.

We recognise that arrangements for GCSEs during the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed toa fall in student numbers for some providers and an increase for others. We increased the funding rates to colleges and other providers in the 2022/23 financial year, which will cushion the impact on allocations for institutions with falling student numbers.

We are aware of the challenges facing capital projects across different types of education providers. Many colleges who have approved bids for capital funding will also be contributing match funding towards their projects, and it is for colleges to manage their projects within the budget available. We will monitor progress across all college projects.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on the acceptance of large donations by University colleges from foreign billionaires closely linked with regimes with poor human rights records; how that policy would apply to the proposed acceptance by Linacre College, Oxford of £155 million from a billionaire based in Vietnam, with close links to the Vietnamese government; and what recommendation his Department will make to the Privy Council on whether Linacre College should be permitted to rename itself after the Chairwoman of the company making the donation as a condition of receiving the money.

The security guidelines, commissioned at my request and published by Universities UK in October 2020, entitled ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security-related issues’, advise universities on engaging in secure international collaborations. This includes a recommendation that due diligence should be conducted on all international partnerships, including donations. Universities due diligence processes should consider reputational, ethical and security risks. As autonomous institutions, universities will have their own fundraising and gift acceptance policies in place.

In line with the offer that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office extends to all organisations and businesses looking to work with Vietnamese entities, Linacre College and the University of Oxford have received background information, at their request, on working with Vietnamese entities.

If the Privy Council asks the department for advice, we will consider the case based on the facts before us.

As my right hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has recently stated, we intend to further explore the issues raised in the proposed Report Stage amendment to the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, seeking to introduce transparency and public reporting of foreign donations to universities.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to review the criteria applied by the Family Court system according to which an infant, fathered by a UK care-home employee on a woman admitted as an inpatient under section, will be sent to live in Africa, with the father's parents, while Police investigations continue into whether the care-home employee has committed a serious criminal offence in impregnating the mother in his care; whether she will examine the legal process according to which the relocation of an infant to a developing country, under such circumstances, is deemed to be preferable to directing that the child be brought up by (a) members of the mother's family or (b) adoptive parents in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education is responding given its responsibility for the policy and guidelines around local authority care proceedings. The department is unable to comment on any criminal matters.

Whilst the Department for Education cannot intervene in individual cases, this government wants every child to be in a stable, loving home that is right for them. The paramount consideration of the family court when making any decision is the child’s welfare.

On the points regarding the criteria applied by the family court system and the legal process in place, in all cases, a court will independently assess and carefully scrutinise all the evidence before any decision is made. Separate scrutiny by the child’s court appointed guardian will also be applied to ensure that the child’s interests and views are properly represented. Where local authorities are considering removing a child from their birth parents, it will consider all options available that are in the child’s best interest, including placing the child with other family members in England or abroad.

This government believes the best place for a child to thrive is with their family. However, after all options are explored and it is concluded that this is not in the child’s best interest, adoption can be considered. The court will consider all of the evidence before it, and where further information is needed to make a judgment about a child’s placement, they will instruct the local authority to explore this. The court will only make a judgment when it is satisfied that its decision is in the child’s best interest.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy that (a) the prohibition in schools of the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject set out in s.406(1)(b) of the Education Act 1996 continues to apply to (i) local education authorities, (ii) school governors and (iii) headteachers and (b) that prohibition includes attempts to introduce critical race theory into schools; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of enforcement of education legislation, by authority; and if he will take steps to ensure that schools in Brighton and Hove comply with statutory bans on the political indoctrination of schoolchildren.

Schools are free to include a full range of issues, ideas and appropriate materials in their teaching, even where they are challenging and controversial. They can teach about contested views on race in a factual manner, acknowledging different opinions, just as pupils are often taught about a range of opposing and contested views on other topics. They should not, however, teach contested theories or opinions as fact.

Political impartiality in our education system is an incredibly important principle to uphold. We are working with the sector to develop guidance which will help schools understand and meet their duties in this area. This guidance will support schools to teach about complex political issues, in line with their legal duties on political impartiality.

Legal requirements on political impartiality in schools fall specifically on local authorities, governing bodies, academy trust leadership (including senior managers and academy trustees) and, in the case of maintained schools and academies, headteachers.

Where there are concerns about what is being taught, we expect that, in most instances, these can be addressed through dialogue and agreement, and simple steps can be taken to resolve any issues.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will list (a) any powers he has to prevent investment in UK universities by hostile states and (b) the legal basis for each of those powers.

We are recognised across the world for our higher education system and we encourage the sector to collaborate with international partners. However, to be open, we must also be secure, and we will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security.

On the 29 April 2021, the National Security and Investment (NSI) Act was passed. The NSI Act enables the UK Government to protect all sectors, including research and Higher Education Institutions from hostile foreign interference through mandating notification and requiring approval of investments and other acquisitions in key areas. It also extends the UK Government’s screening powers to include acquisitions of control over assets such as intellectual and tangible property. Universities and other research organisations should have regard to the NSI Act when collaborating with other parties to acquire, sell or develop entities and assets.

In addition, I commissioned Universities UK to produce comprehensive security guidelines to advise universities on engaging in secure international collaborations published in October 2020, ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security-related issues’. Among the recommendations in the guidelines were that due diligence be conducted on all international partnerships.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
6th Sep 2021
If he will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to assist Afghan scholars who have been validated by the Council for At-Risk Academics to take up their sponsored posts offered by universities in the UK.

The government is committed to providing protection for vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan, including Afghan students and scholars. In its first year, the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK, who have been forced to flee the country, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term. Further details will be announced in due course.