Kim Johnson Portrait

Kim Johnson

Labour - Liverpool, Riverside


Department Event
Monday 23rd May 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
23 May 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (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.
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 24th May 2022
09:30
Education Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The Government’s SEND Review
24 May 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Ali Fiddy - Chief Executive at Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)
Imogen Jolley - Head of Public Law at Simpson Millar
Mrunal Sisodia - Co-chair at National Network of Parent Carer Forums
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 25th May 2022
14:00
Women and Equalities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Media reporting of women in parliament: one-off session
25 May 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Katy Searle - Interim Senior Controller, News Programmes and Commissioning at BBC
Caroline Wheeler - Political Editor at Sunday Times
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Department Event
Monday 4th July 2022
09:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
4 Jul 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Education (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
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Tackling Short-term and Long-term Cost of Living Increases
Chronic Tory under-investment in our public services and our communities means that we have barely begun to recover from the …
Written Answers
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Morocco: Trials
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she asked the UK Ambassador to Morocco …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 9th March 2022
Atalian Servest cleaners and the West Coast Mainline
That this House supports cleaners employed by Atalian Servest who are members of the RMT union and taking industrial action …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
8. Miscellaneous
From 11 April 2022, Member of the Liverpool City Region Freeport Board. This is an unpaid role. (Registered 22 April …
EDM signed
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Ivors Week
That this House notes that 16 to 20 May 2022 is Ivors Week, and joins the Ivors Academy in celebrating …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kim Johnson has voted in 419 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Kim Johnson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 124 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
View All Kim Johnson 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(13 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
Home Office
(24 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(22 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kim Johnson's debates

Liverpool, Riverside Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Liverpool, Riverside signature proportion
Petitions with most Liverpool, Riverside signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Reform the GRA to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for a medical diagnosis, to streamline the administrative process, and to allow non-binary identities to be legally recognised.

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

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

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

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

As students are unable to access facilities or continue with their eduction at their university setting in the following semester, we would like to request that the government considers refunding tuition payments for Semester 3.

The quality of online lectures is not equal to face-to-face lectures. Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life. The Government should require UK universities to partially refund tuition fees while online teaching is implemented.

Students across the UK have returned to University to be told our learning will be predominantly online for the foreseeable future. The Government should therefore lower our tuition fees and we should receive a partial refund for the effects this will have on our learning and university experience.

The University and College Union has repeatedly called on its members to strike. However, strikes are ineffective if students, not employees are the main source of revenue. For this to change, government needs to step in and require universities to reimburse tuition fees lost due to strike action.


Latest EDMs signed by Kim Johnson

12th May 2022
Kim Johnson signed this EDM on Wednesday 18th May 2022

Ivors Week

Tabled by: Kevin Brennan (Labour - Cardiff West)
That this House notes that 16 to 20 May 2022 is Ivors Week, and joins the Ivors Academy in celebrating this country's world-leading songwriters and composers, culminating in the Ivor Novello Awards which honour the best in British and Irish songwriting and composing; further notes that the success of the …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 18 May 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
16th May 2022
Kim Johnson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 17th May 2022

Jake Daniels

Tabled by: Clive Betts (Labour - Sheffield South East)
That this House congratulates Jake Daniels on his courageous decision to be open about his sexuality; welcomes the support he has received from Blackpool FC; and calls on the Football Association, the English Football League, and the Professional Footballers’ Association to provide any support Mr Daniels needs and to act …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 18 May 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Conservative: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Kim Johnson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kim Johnson, 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.


Kim Johnson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Kim Johnson

Wednesday 21st July 2021

Kim Johnson has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


183 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
7 Other Department Questions
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect of the proposed Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland on equity of legal protections for trans people in the UK.

It is too early at this stage for the Government to comment on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. We will continue to engage with our counterparts in the Scottish Government as the Bill progresses.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will take steps to de-medicalise the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

The Government held a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 in 2018, which we responded to in 2020. We carefully considered the responses to the consultation and concluded that the balance struck in the legislation is correct. There are proper checks and balances in the system for people who want to change their legal sex and we have no intention of changing what is required to do so.

We are progressing in our commitment, announced at the same time in 2020, to make the gender recognition process more straightforward and accessible. That is why we have already reduced the fee to £5 and are digitising the application process to make it more accessible and easier to navigate.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what funded training the Government is considering to ensure that lay directors of Right to Manage Companies, Residential Management Companies and Commonholds are able to undertake their roles to a suitable standard.

The Government continues to examine what more can be done to protect and support leaseholders to ensure buildings are managed effectively, including increased provision of training for those who become right to manage company directors. In their 2020 report on the Right to Manage, the Law Commission recommended that free online training covering company law and building management should be made available to RTM company directors and prospective directors. We will respond to the Law Commission's recommendation in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, for what reason support services for victims of conversion therapy have not yet been commissioned; and what steps she plans to take to help ensure that survivors get the support they need when contributing to the Government’s consultation on banning conversion therapy.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 50166 on 22 September 2021.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on using the forthcoming spending review to secure funding to expand Housing First provision to other areas in England.

This Government is committed to ending rough sleeping as part of its latest Manifesto Commitment, utilising schemes like Housing First. Announcements regarding the Spending Review are imminent, which will set out how Government will continue to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the impact of her role as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on her ability to deliver her Department's Equalities agenda.

The priorities of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Equality Hub are closely aligned: both are working to promote the safety and empowerment of women and girls; share a commitment to advance LGBT equality through the Global LGBT Conference; are supporting our global leadership on disability rights; and collaborate across many other areas of work as we advance core freedoms and liberties across the world.

Whether it be banning the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy, ending violence against women and girls, or improving equality of opportunity in education here in the UK and internationally, joint working towards common goals strengthens our ability to deliver equality for all.

More broadly, having Ministers based across Government in the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for International Trade, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will support our ambitions to build back fairer from COVID-19 and level up across the country.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on establishing an inquiry into the Government's handling of the covid-19 outbreak; and whether the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group will be included in the membership of the commission of that inquiry.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed the public inquiry into COVID-19 will begin in Spring 2022. The Government recognises that it must engage and consult with bereaved families and others, before the terms of reference are finalised. The terms of reference will set out the purpose and structure of the Covid-19 inquiry, including the exact areas that will be investigated.

The Government is aware of Bereaved Families for Justice’ call to be represented during the COVID-19 Inquiry. Throughout the pandemic senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

We also recognise the need for bereaved families to be represented on the UK Commission on Covid Commemoration. The Commission will carefully consider how communities across the country can remember those who have lost their lives and recognise those involved in the response in a fitting and permanent way. I want to thank the Bereaved Families for Justice group for all their efforts in representing bereaved families throughout the pandemic.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
4th May 2020
What plans the Government has to modify social distancing measures.

Thanks to our collective national resolve, the Social Distancing measures we introduced are continuing to save lives. These measures are kept under constant review, with a formal review point every three weeks.

As the Prime Minister said on Thursday 30 April, he will be setting out a comprehensive plan this week. We have set out five tests which we will need to be satisfied with, before that plan can be put into action.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish his estimates for the amount of (a) lost carbon sequestration and (b) greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of the roots of trees burnt at Drax power station.

The Government does not hold this information.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason only 70 per cent of the wood pellets burnt in UK power stations need to be sustainably sourced in order to qualify for renewable subsidies; and what discussions he had with stakeholders in developing that policy.

The land criteria for woody biomass, which includes the definitions of legal and sustainable sourcing, were transposed into the requirements of support schemes from the Timber Standard for Heat and Electricity (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/timber-standard-for-heat-electricity) at the time of the schemes’ developments. Stakeholders have been consulted repeatedly during the development and enhancement of the UK’s biomass sustainability criteria, and the outcomes of the consultations can be found on gov.uk. This includes the last consultation on adjustments to sustainability and reporting provisions for biomass under https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/biomass-sustainability

The Government is currently reviewing its existing biomass sustainability criteria across the transport, heat and energy sectors and intends to set out recommendations for further enhancements to these in the Biomass Strategy, set to be published in late 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of trees felled in the US in 2021 to provide fuel for UK power stations and (b) the number of trees which were replanted in the same forests.

The Government does not hold this information. In accordance with the government’s strict sustainability criteria, where biomass is sourced from forests, it needs to be sourced from areas managed in a way that is consistent with sustainable forest management practices, irrespective of the sourcing location.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what renewable subsidies for burning wood pellets were paid to Drax in each of the last 10 years under the (a) Renewables Obligation and (b) Contracts for Difference scheme.

Information is not available on the support given specifically for the generation of electricity from the burning of wood pellets.

The figures in the table below give the value of the support under the Renewables Obligation for generation from all the types of biomass used by Drax.

Year

Notional value of support under the Renewables Obligation[1]

2011/12

£50.5m

2012/13

£21.3m

2013/14

£181.3m

2014/15

£399.1m

2015/16

£548.1m

2016/17

£547.9m

2017/18

£399.2m

2018/19

£513.3m

2019/20

£508.9m

2020/21

£508.5m[2]

Drax has received support under the Contracts for Difference scheme since 21 December 2016. Payments to individual projects are published by the Low Carbon Contracts Company on their Data Portal[3].

[1] Support under the Renewables Obligation is through tradeable certificates. The figures give the notional value of the support, based on Ofgem’s certificate report as at 14 January 2022 from their Renewables and CHP Register at: https://www.renewablesandchp.ofgem.gov.uk/Public/ReportViewer.aspx?ReportPath=/DatawarehouseReports/CertificatesExternalPublicDataWarehouse&ReportVisibility=1&ReportCategory=2

[2] Provisional figure as all the certificates for 2020/21 may not have been issued yet.

[3] The Low Carbon Contracts Company’s Data Portal is at: https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/dashboards/cfd/actuals-dashboards/historical-dashboard

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure the retro-fitting of private rented housing to meet net zero carbon targets.

Since April 2020, all privately rented homes in England and Wales are required to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC band E, unless a valid exemption applies. BEIS has consulted on raising the minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented homes in England and Wales to EPC band C. Under the Government’s lead proposed option, landlords would be required to spend up to £10,000 to reach EPC Band C for new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all tenancies by 1 April 2028.

In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government committed to consider an ultimate backstop date to ensure that all homes meet a net zero minimum energy performance standard before 2050, where cost effective, practical, and affordable.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The University of Liverpool is part of a new national research project to study the effects of emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2. Supported by £2.5 million of funding from UKRI, the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium will study how mutations in the virus affect key outcomes. This includes factors such as how transmissible the virus is, the severity of COVID-19 caused, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The Consortium will bring together leading virologists from 10 research institutions, including the University of Liverpool. The university will work alongside the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which plays a world-leading role in virus genome sequencing, as well as Public Health England, to boost the UK's capacity to study newly identified virus variants and rapidly inform the Government’s policy.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to prepare for the UK potentially not associating to Horizon Europe.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance to (a) supermarkets and (b) other large retailers on maintaining appropriate (i) social distancing and (ii) other safeguards under the local covid-19 Tier restrictions.

Our Safer Working guidance was updated on 26 November to reflect the new tiers.

Our shops and branches guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has a timetable for (a) bringing forward legislative proposals in support of the real living wage and (b) allocating resources to provide pay rises for key workers.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced during his Spending Review increases to the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) to come into force from 1 April 2021. These increases mean that a full-time worker earning the NLW will be over £345 better off over the year, and allow the Government to make progress towards its long-term ambition for the NLW to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024. The Government remains committed to supporting low paid workers, including key workers, and so is continuing with an increase to the NLW this year.

In July, the Government delivered a significant real-terms pay increase to 900,000 public sector workers across 9 workforces. For 2021/22, we will target resources where they will have the most benefit. The NHS Pay Review Body and Doctor and Dentist’s Review Body will make their recommendations as usual next year. We will also protect the lowest paid, with 2.1 million public sector workers earning less than £24,000 receiving a minimum £250 increase.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will extend the deadline for the Green Homes scheme to 31 March 2022 to mitigate the effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

We understand that COVID-19 restrictions may affect the availability of installers, along with their ability to install measures in households. We have therefore stated installers must follow government guidance on ‘Construction and other outdoor work’ and any other relevant COVID-19 guidance when undertaking installations. Based on the latest advice from my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister, tradespeople may continue to work as they are unable to do so from home.

The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme is designed to help stimulate economic recovery and to support and create tens of thousands of jobs. The time-limited nature of the Scheme is determined by the nature of the funding available from HM Treasury. Any potential funding allocations for future years will be determined in the next Spending Review.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons the National School Breakfast Programme missed its target of reaching 2,500 schools in the 2021-22 academic year; and if he will make a statement.

The department is investing up to £24 million to continue the national school breakfast programme until the end of the summer term in 2023. This will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the department’s opportunity areas.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we continue to see strong interest from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Throughout the current contract we will be working with our provider, Family Action, to monitor different aspects of the current programme, including data on pupil uptake. We will consider the best opportunities and will share information on the programme in due course.

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, we took the decision to extend our free breakfast provision beyond April 2022, enabling schools to receive free food until the end of July 2022. This means that any school signing up to the programme now can still benefit from up to two terms’ worth of free food. This is followed by a very substantial discount of 75% for the following three terms, making this is an attractive offer to schools.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on monitoring student uptake of free breakfast provision as part of the National School Breakfast Programme in the 2021-22 academic year.

The department is investing up to £24 million to continue the national school breakfast programme until the end of the summer term in 2023. This will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the department’s opportunity areas.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we continue to see strong interest from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Throughout the current contract we will be working with our provider, Family Action, to monitor different aspects of the current programme, including data on pupil uptake. We will consider the best opportunities and will share information on the programme in due course.

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, we took the decision to extend our free breakfast provision beyond April 2022, enabling schools to receive free food until the end of July 2022. This means that any school signing up to the programme now can still benefit from up to two terms’ worth of free food. This is followed by a very substantial discount of 75% for the following three terms, making this is an attractive offer to schools.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reviewing its guidance on excluding children with special educational needs with experts in the SEND sector.

In June 2021, the department launched a call for evidence on managing behaviour, including understanding how the best schools meet their duties in supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be fully part of the school community and engaged with their education. This evidence will be considered and further assessed alongside the results of a forthcoming public consultation on the revised ‘suspension and exclusion guidance and behaviour in schools guidance’. Both sets of guidance will provide practical advice to the education sector to create calm, orderly, safe, and supportive school environments that support their pupils to succeed.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department (a) has issued and (b) plans to issue on helping to ensure that the interests of SEND children are central to decisions on (i) managed moves and (ii) alternative education offsite provision for SEND children.

The department is clear that close working between local partners, including schools, alternative provision (AP) and the local authority, is vital to improving support and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The majority of students in AP have SEND, particularly social, emotional and mental health needs which is why the SEND Review is considering how AP can provide leadership and expertise.

For pupils with SEND, the suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance already makes clear that a managed move must occur with the consent of the parties involved. The department is committed to revising the statutory suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance to make it clearer and more consistent, so that headteachers have the information they need to use disciplinary sanctions properly and proportionately.

In June 2021, the department launched a call for evidence on managing behaviour and the use of isolation rooms in schools, including asking how vulnerable pupils are supported. This evidence will be considered and further assessed alongside the results of a public consultation later this year on the behaviour and discipline in schools guidance. The guidance will provide practical advice to schools about how to encourage good behaviour and respond effectively to incidents of misbehaviour in and out of the classroom.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing a programme for SEND children to embed effective partnership working between local authorities, schools, alternative provision and other partners.

The department is clear that close working between local partners, including schools, alternative provision (AP) and the local authority, is vital to improving support and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The majority of students in AP have SEND, particularly social, emotional and mental health needs which is why the SEND Review is considering how AP can provide leadership and expertise.

For pupils with SEND, the suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance already makes clear that a managed move must occur with the consent of the parties involved. The department is committed to revising the statutory suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance to make it clearer and more consistent, so that headteachers have the information they need to use disciplinary sanctions properly and proportionately.

In June 2021, the department launched a call for evidence on managing behaviour and the use of isolation rooms in schools, including asking how vulnerable pupils are supported. This evidence will be considered and further assessed alongside the results of a public consultation later this year on the behaviour and discipline in schools guidance. The guidance will provide practical advice to schools about how to encourage good behaviour and respond effectively to incidents of misbehaviour in and out of the classroom.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what responsibilities his Department is placing on (a) directors of children's services, (b) school governing bodies, (c) academy trusts and (d) local forums of schools to (i) review information on SEND children who leave schools by exclusion or otherwise and (ii) establish a shared understanding of how the data on the characteristics of those children informs local trends.

The department’s ‘understanding your data: a guide for school governors and academy trustees’ document makes clear that governing boards should carefully consider the level and characteristics of pupils who are leaving the school and deploy maximum challenge to the school and academy trust management teams on any permanent exclusions. This is to ensure it is only used as a last resort. The full guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-your-data-a-guide-for-school-governors-and-academy-trustees/understanding-your-data-a-guide-for-school-governors-and-academy-trustees#pupil-numbersattendance-and-exclusions.

This also includes looking at suspensions, pupils taken off roll, those directed to be educated off-site in alternative provision (AP) and whether there are any patterns to the reasons or timing of such moves. For example, if high numbers of children with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) are moving, the school, academy or trust may wish to consider reviewing its SEN support.

The department is also clear locally that schools, local authorities, and local forums should track and review the information they have on children who leave schools, by exclusion or otherwise. This helps to establish a shared understanding of how the data on the characteristics of such children feeds local trends. Where patterns indicate possible concerns or gaps in provision, we expect headteachers and other local leaders to use this information to ensure they are effectively planning to meet the needs of all children.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on students of removing funding for certain BTEC qualifications.

Employers are facing a skills shortage that we must act to address. It is vital in a fast moving and high-tech economy that we close the gap between what people study and the needs of employers. This is why we are introducing over 20 T Levels and are strengthening the routes to progress into skilled employment or further study with high quality qualifications that are fit for the future. T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers. They include a meaningful nine-week industry placement and will equip more young people with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to access skilled employment or further training.

We set out the qualifications we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3 in July 2021. We are clear that any qualifications that are funded to be taken alongside or instead of A levels or T Levels must be high quality and lead to good outcomes. We will fund level 3 BTECs and/or other Applied General or similar qualifications where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that T Levels and A levels cannot provide. These must meet new quality criteria to be approved for funding.

We have been clear that we expect the changes to be generally positive as students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels. This will put students in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education,what steps he is taking to ensure that students can continue to study BTEC qualifications in the future.

Employers are facing a skills shortage that we must act to address. It is vital in a fast moving and high-tech economy that we close the gap between what people study and the needs of employers. This is why we are introducing over 20 T Levels and are strengthening the routes to progress into skilled employment or further study with high quality qualifications that are fit for the future. T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers. They include a meaningful nine-week industry placement and will equip more young people with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to access skilled employment or further training.

We set out the qualifications we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3 in July 2021. We are clear that any qualifications that are funded to be taken alongside or instead of A levels or T Levels must be high quality and lead to good outcomes. We will fund level 3 BTECs and/or other Applied General or similar qualifications where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that T Levels and A levels cannot provide. These must meet new quality criteria to be approved for funding.

We have been clear that we expect the changes to be generally positive as students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels. This will put students in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to confirm (a) how many schools will be supported by the new National School Breakfast Programme and (b) which schools in Liverpool Riverside constituency will be supported by that programme.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and we are investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme for the next 2 years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn. The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we have seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Schools are currently still able to apply to join the programme. As we are still registering schools for the programme, it is too early to publish a list of participating schools. However, we will of course consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring teacher supply agencies to sign up to the flexible furlough scheme in order for supply teachers to have access to financial support during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer's discretion as it is dependent on a range of factors that the employer is best placed to determine, for example, the amount of work available for the employee.

Employers can flexibly furlough their employees, including supply staff employed via employment agencies, for the hours the employee would usually have worked in that period, whilst also being able to work outside of the hours they are furloughed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#flexible-furlough-agreements. Employees can work for any amount of time and any work pattern, but they cannot do any work for their employer during hours that employers record them as being on furlough.

The Department published additional guidance for schools on how they can support temporary staff and suppliers during the period of restricted pupil attendance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making free school meals vouchers to be exchangeable at community food unions and food pantries to allow greater quantities and quality of food to be available to families in financial difficulties.

Schools are free to decide the best approach for supporting their free school meal pupils while they are learning at home. They can provide lunch parcels, locally arranged vouchers, or they can use the national voucher scheme which re-opened on Monday 18 January 2021.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of the provision of emergency funding to the early years and nursery sector to cover (a) the maintenance of the funding calculation based on pre-covid 2019-20 place numbers and (b) other additional costs incurred due to covid-19 to ensure the viability of the sector post-outbreak.

We recognise childcare attendance has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, we saw attendance rise over the autumn term from 482,000 on 10 September 2020 to 759,000 on 17 December 2020. On 17 December, the government therefore announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis of attendance. Under these arrangements, local authorities should ensure that providers are not penalised for short-term absences of children, for example sickness, arriving late or leaving early, or a family emergency through withdrawing funding, but use their discretion where absence is recurring or for extended periods taking into account the reason for the absence and the impact on the provider.

While early years settings remain open for all children, we know that attendance was lower in the first week of January 2021 than it was before Christmas. We are looking at the attendance data and will continue to keep the funding position under review.

On 17 December, the government announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis of attendance, as measured by the January 2021 census. The Early Years census count will go ahead this week as expected and the census guidance is unchanged. To support local authorities we have issued some technical advice on how that guidance can be applied this year.

In summary, where a child is reasonably expected to attend Early Years provision, and that provision is made available to them by the provider, their expected hours should be recorded in the Early Years Census. This means that children should be counted who, were it not for the impact of coronavirus on either their own personal circumstances or on the operation of their early years setting, would be attending early years provision. This includes children who have previously attended the provision and children who were expected to start attending the provision in January 2021.

Where the provider is temporarily closed due to circumstances such as staff infections or isolation periods, they should return their expected levels of provision for census week. Where the provider chooses not to offer the entitlements – i.e. to close, or only offer a limited provision to children of key workers - then then they should not make a return for a child who is not being offered a place.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.

The private nursery sector could not claim for specific costs incurred due to increased premises costs needed to keep schools open during school holidays, or over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements as a result of confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases in the same way as primary and secondary schools.

The Covid Workforce Fund aims to support schools and colleges to remain open, even when they face significant workforce pressures caused by COVID-19.

The early years sector has benefitted from the continuation of early years entitlement funding during the during the summer and autumn terms in 2020, and as private nurseries typically rely on private income for a significant proportion of their income, they are able to also access support to furlough their staff via the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS). As long as the staff meet the other criteria for the scheme, private nurseries are able to also access support to furlough their staff via the CJRS if they have experienced a drop in either their income from parents or government. Eligible nurseries can also benefit from a business rates holiday and can access the business loans as set out by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the sustainability of nursery and childminder provision of funding places on current occupancy; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reverting to funding on the basis of pre-pandemic occupancy rates to support that sector.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have provided unprecedented support to the early years sector by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements, making grants and loans available, ensuring early years providers can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for their non-government funded income and ensuring that childminders can access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

While we recognise that childcare attendance has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, we saw attendance rise over the autumn term from 482,000 on 10 September 2020 to 792,000 on 10 December 2020. On 17 December 2020, the government therefore announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis on attendance. Under these arrangements, local authorities should ensure that providers are not penalised for short-term absences of children (for example, sickness, arriving late or leaving early, or a family emergency) through withdrawing funding, but use their discretion where absence is recurring or for extended periods, taking into account the reason for the absence and the impact on the provider.

The national lockdown announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 4 January 2021 means that the number of children attending childcare will drop, although early years settings remain open for all.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The next release is due on Tuesday 19 January 2021. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to provide (a) medical grade PPE, (b) frequent testing and (c) priority vaccination to teaching assistants and SEND support staff who work with vulnerable children who find it difficult to maintain social distancing.

During national lockdown restrictions, special schools and special post-16 settings should continue to welcome and encourage pupils to attend full-time (or as per their usual timetable) where parents and carers wishes for their child to be able to attend (or for post-16s, where the young person wishes to attend). This is because we know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education. The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history.

It is important that staff in these schools continue to be supported. The rapid asymptomatic testing programme will include testing staff, vulnerable pupils and students, and children of key workers, including those within special schools and special post-16 settings. Further announcements on the roll out of testing to staff in primary schools will follow in due course, to help support the reopening of education settings.

As outlined in the department’s published guidance, additional use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 related purposes is only needed in a small number of cases, such as if a pupil or student becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained, or when undertaking aerosol generating procedures. If a pupil or student already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, the same PPE should continue to be used. Public Health England have advised that the current guidance on the system of controls, including the use of PPE and face coverings, should continue to be followed.

The PPE portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 PPE. These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are independent experts advising the government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The DfE will input into this cross-governmental exercise.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has taken steps to develop a de-colonised curriculum.

All state-funded schools (including academies) in England are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum from the ages of 5 to 16, which includes English, Mathematics, science, religious education, and relationships, sex and health education: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum#programmes-of-study-by-subject. The reformed National Curriculum, taught from September 2014, has been developed to match or exceed the standards set in the highest performing jurisdictions. Whilst the National Curriculum creates a minimum expectation for maintained schools, it does not represent everything that a school should teach, nor does it set out how curriculum subjects, or topics within the subjects, should be taught. Teachers have freedom over precise details so they can teach lessons that are right for their pupils. The Government does not have plans to make further changes to the National Curriculum.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish its response to the recent consultation on the fur market in the UK.

The recent call for evidence published by Defra on the fur trade in Great Britain was a key step in helping us to meet the commitment set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare to better understand the fur sector in Great Britain and gather evidence from those with an interest in it.

We received around 30,000 responses from businesses, representative bodies and individuals, demonstrating the strong public interest in this area. A summary of responses setting out the results and key findings will be published soon.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of use of reusable menstrual products; and whether his Department has set any waste reduction objectives for menstrual products.

We have not carried out an assessment of the trends in the level of use of reusable menstrual products.

We have recently commissioned work into the environmental impacts of disposable versus reusable absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). The primary focus will be on nappies, but it will also include a broad assessment of other AHPs such as menstrual products. This will help inform future policy interventions on waste prevention. At this time, we have no plans to set specific waste reduction objectives in this area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2021
What recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of her Department’s trade policies on growth for British businesses.

We have set out the potential impacts of Free Trade Agreements in our published Scoping Assessments for the US, Australia, New Zealand and CPTPP. An Impact Assessment has also been published on the recently signed agreement with Japan, which shows that it goes beyond the existing EU deal, providing a long-run boost to the UK economy of around £1.5bn, compared to a situation without the deal. Output in the North West and Wales could increase by £64 million and £34 million respectively.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on a trade agreement with Ghana.

We are working to secure continuity in our trade arrangements with Ghana after the end of the Transition Period, or as soon as possible thereafter, and continue to engage the Government of Ghana to replicate the effects of our existing Agreement. However, if a deal cannot be reached, Ghana will be eligible for the General Framework of the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences from 1st January 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether under the terms of the emergency recover management agreement between First-Trenitalia West Coast and his Department the franchise operator continues to be paid in the event that cleaning is disrupted by industrial action.

Under the terms of the franchise, as amended by the Emergency Measures Recovery Agreement, the operator is paid a fixed fee during its term. Operators can also receive a performance-based fee when performance levels are adequately met or exceeded which is independently evaluated.

The Department requires the operator, where possible, to mitigate the impact of industrial action on passengers. In the event of industrial action operators will develop additional plans in support so it is able to deliver the best possible service for passenger despite any disruption.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish reports from First Trenitalia West Coast, including tables, charts and other data, showing delivery of Station and Train cleans against planned programmes for each Performance Based Fee Assessment Period since September 2020.

The Department does not publish this information. The score for each Performance Based Fee Assessment Period is published on the Gov.uk website.

Customer complaints data is available on the Office of Rail and Road website, these include complaints relating to the cleanliness of stations and trains. Transport Focus also conduct regular passenger satisfaction surveys. The results are available on Transport Focus website.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the terms of the contract between his Department and First-Trenitalia West Coast indemnify Atalian Servest from any financial penalty caused by industrial action.

There is no contractual relationship between Atalian Servet and First Trenitalia West Coast Rail and therefore the terms of the contract between the Department and First Trenitalia West Coast Rail do not indemnify Atalian Servest from any financial penalty caused by industrial action.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the planned programmes of Station and Train cleans required from First-Trenitalia West Coast as a condition of its Emergency Recovery Management Agreement for each Performance Based Fee Assessment Period since September 2020.

The Department requires that all operators put in place plans and processes to deliver effective cleaning on trains and at stations. The Department does not publish their plans, but the delivery of these plans is regularly monitored and independently evaluated.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish correspondence between his Department and the directors of First Trenitalia West Coast, Alstom Transport Ltd or Atalian Servest in respect of the current industrial dispute over cleaners’ pay.

In line with requirements within the Franchise, the Department is made aware of all the ongoing industrial disputes. These disputes are for the operator and as such the Department has not been involved in any correspondence on this dispute with the Directors of these companies or the Directors at First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether First Trenitalia West Coast, Alstom Transport or Atalian Servest are permitted to improve pay arrangements for cleaners employed in Alstom’s traincare depots.

There is no contractual relationship between Atalian Servest and either First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd or the Department. Alalian Servest is responsible for its own employees and will make its own determinations on the pay of its employees.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the directors of First Trenitalia West Coast, Alstom Transport Ltd or Atalian Servest are entitled to any form of free rail travel or rail staff travel facilities.

First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd Directors do have rail travel for work and private purposes as part of their employment benefits.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the national statistics for Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry published on 22 February 2022, if he will make an estimate of the number of (a) UK and (b) non-UK resident seafarers employed on workboats or crew transfer vessels in the offshore renewables sector.

The Department does not hold data on seafarers by country of residence, or for individual vessels or sectors. Some estimates of seafarers by nationality are available in the published statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/seafarers-in-the-uk-shipping-industry-2021/seafarers-in-the-uk-shipping-industry-2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/seafarer-statistics-sfr

Those working on smaller vessels, such as those belonging to the National Workboat Association are unlikely to be covered in the UK seafarer figures and no estimate is available.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the national statistics for Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry published on 22 February 2022, what steps he is taking to increase the number of UK-based ratings employed on (a) domestic and (b) international routes in the UK shipping industry.

Measures such as the amendments to the national minimum wage and the points-based visa system will increase opportunities for UK seafarers in the UK domestic market and set a minimum salary level.

We remain committed to the training of ratings. A range of apprenticeships are available for UK ratings, all have been established over recent years. Apprenticeships policy is devolved so there are different ratings apprenticeships available in England and Scotland.

In England, Able Seafarer (Deck), Maritime Electrical/Mechanical Mechanic and Maritime Caterer are offered. In Scotland, Deck Rating, Engine Room Rating and Hospitality with Maritime Enhancements are available.

Over the last five years the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has introduced a more flexible pathway for UK seafarers to qualify as ratings. By allowing the qualifying seagoing service to take place in categorised waters and on smaller vessels of at least 15 metres, the MCA have allowed those working on workboats, domestic ferries, yachts and other smaller vessel to qualify as an STCW rating.

These measures will improve employment opportunities for UK ratings both domestically and internationally.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference the national statistics for Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry published on 22 February 2022, what the response rate was to the Seafarer Employment Survey conducted by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

Information on the response rate for the Seafarer Employment Survey conducted by the UK Chamber of Shipping can be found in section 3 of the Seafarers in the UK shipping industry statistical release. The survey response rate of companies in the scope of the survey in 2021 was 87%, a similar response rate to 2020.

An adjustment method has been developed and applied to the data collected to account for non-response in the survey. Although the Chamber of Shipping data does not provide a complete coverage of the UK shipping industry, the statistics represent the best current estimate.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been made of the potential impact of proposed (a) Liverpool and (b) Heathrow airport expansions on (i) levels of UK carbon emissions and (ii) the ability of the Government to meet its targets on reducing those emissions.

The Government is supportive of airport expansion where it can be delivered within our environmental obligations. We welcome the efforts of airports across the UK to come forward with ambitious proposals to invest in their infrastructure.

Every development proposal is judged by the relevant planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, including environmental impacts and proposed mitigations.

The aviation sector has a critical role to play in delivering the UK’s net zero commitment. In July 2021, we published the Jet Zero Consultation which set out our vision for the aviation sector to reach net zero by 2050. Our consultation includes scenarios that achieve our net zero target by focussing on new fuels and technology. We are carefully considering consultation responses in the development of our final Jet Zero Strategy which we aim to publish later this year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been carried out on the potential effect of increased pollution, noise and emissions from Liverpool's proposed airport expansion on people's physical and mental health.

The Government is supportive of airport expansion where it can be delivered within our environmental obligations. We welcome the efforts of airports across the UK to come forward with ambitious proposals to invest in their infrastructure.

Every development proposal is judged by the relevant planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, including environmental impacts and proposed mitigations.

The aviation sector has a critical role to play in delivering the UK’s net zero commitment. In July 2021, we published the Jet Zero Consultation which set out our vision for the aviation sector to reach net zero by 2050. Our consultation includes scenarios that achieve our net zero target by focussing on new fuels and technology. We are carefully considering consultation responses in the development of our final Jet Zero Strategy which we aim to publish later this year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on existing (a) road, (b) rail and (c) ports infrastructure.

There have been no Ministerial discussions at this point in time with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on this subject. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and any potential future infrastructure investment/decisions.

My Department recognizes that appropriate links will be vital to ensure the success of the UK’s newly established Freeports. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and future infrastructure investment/decisions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on infrastructure projects affecting Isle of Man Steam Packet services between Liverpool and the Isle of Man; and if he will make a statement.

There have been no Ministerial discussions at this point in time with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on this subject. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and any potential future infrastructure investment/decisions.

My Department recognizes that appropriate links will be vital to ensure the success of the UK’s newly established Freeports. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and future infrastructure investment/decisions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on the employment conditions of seafarers working on Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry services between Liverpool and the Isle of Man.

Employment conditions for seafarers are subject to international and domestic law and the provision of freeports does not change those obligations.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to extend (a) provisional licences and (b) theory test certificates in response to the discontinuation of driving lessons during the covid-19 outbreak.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving a licence is using the online service, which is available as normal. There are no plans to extend provisional driving licences. The law requires drivers who hold a provisional photocard licence to renew it every ten years.

A maximum duration of two years is permitted between passing a theory test and a subsequent practical test. This is provided for in law and is in place for road safety reasons.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that travel companies and airlines comply with legislation and refund passengers whose flights or holiday packages have been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Department has been clear that airlines and travel agents should not deny consumers their legal right to a refund if it is requested, and this should be done in a timely manner. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is routinely reviewing the refund policies and practices of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The CAA has utilised its review to influence airlines to change their processes and practices in order to improve performance in providing refunds. The CAA’s actions have led to an improved quality of service and performance from most airlines. The CAA continues to work with carriers to drive down waiting times, while recognising the challenges businesses are facing.

Furthermore, the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) launched its Covid-19 Taskforce in April to identify, monitor and respond to competition and consumer problems arising from coronavirus and the measures taken to contain it. Where there is evidence that businesses have breached competition or consumer protection law, the CMA will take enforcement action if warranted.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the levels of child poverty in (a) England, and (b) Liverpool, Riverside constituency in the latest period for which figures are available.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Liverpool is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.


The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty in Liverpool, Riverside was 25%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Liverpool, Riverside and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England, and (b) Liverpool, Riverside constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on whether the provision of first infant formula milk to formula fed babies at (a) baby and (b) food banks across the UK complies with relevant regulatory requirements.

Foodbanks are independent, charitable organisations and the Department for Work and Pensions does not have any role in their operation. Decisions about which donations to accept and make available to food bank users are therefore a matter for food bank providers.


Healthy Start vouchers support pregnant women or households with children under four, who are on a low income, with the cost of milk (including infant formula), fruit and vegetables helping to boost children’s long-term health. We are increasing the weekly value of these vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 in April.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential benefits of bringing the pensions of UK citizens residing in primarily Commonwealth countries into line with UK citizens resident in the (a) EEA or (b) Switzerland.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions. Entitlement to the UK State Pension is based on a person’s National Insurance record without regard to nationality. The annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients where there is a legal requirement to do so. For example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for up-rating. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will publish the Government’s Vaccine Strategy.

England’s national all vaccine strategy has been delayed as a result of the Department’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy is being kept under review given the continuously evolving understanding of COVID-19, its vaccines and vaccination programmes and the impact of these developments.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will reconsider the decision that the UKHSA will scale down the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) announced in the Government’s Living with COVID-19 Strategy, published on 21 February 2022.

The Government will continue monitoring the virus through maintaining surveillance studies such as the Office for National Statistics’ COVID-19 Infection Survey and other data sources, including genomic sequencing. The Government will keep all surveillance activities under review to ensure we have the capabilities to monitor waves of COVID-19 and defend against future variants.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support research into intra-nasal covid-19 vaccines.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR and UK Research and Innovation have funded rapid research to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including on nasal administration of vaccines. Approximately £580,000 in funding was awarded to Imperial College London towards a study looking at safety and lower airway immunogenicity of two candidate COVID-19 vaccines administered to the respiratory tract. Additionally, the NIHR is providing infrastructure support to two phase one studies in this area, including the study at Imperial College London. As the largest public funder of health and care research, the NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including intra-nasal COVID-19 vaccines.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will extend the provision of free covid-19 tests to the unpaid carers of clinically vulnerable individuals in the community.

The testing regimes for adult social care after 1 April 2022 are currently under review. Further details will be provided in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to provide financial support to local authorities for the provision of at-home HIV testing in all parts of England.

Local authorities are responsible for the provision of HIV testing. Sexual health testing and prevention services, including HIV testing, are primarily funded by local authorities through the Public Health Grant. The Grant is ringfenced for use on public health activity although decisions on spending are made locally. During time-limited periods of specific national campaigning, such as National HIV Testing Week, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities provides a postal HIV self-sampling service which is available in England.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether daily limits are in place on the number of postal at-home HIV tests available through local authorities.

Local authorities have primary responsibility for the provision of HIV testing. Decisions on how those tests are provided are therefore made locally. While most areas do provide services for at home HIV self-sampling services, there is no central requirement to do so.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of local authority provision of availability of at home HIV testing all year round; and what criteria is used to determine eligibility criteria for that testing.

Local authorities have primary responsibility for the provision of HIV testing. Decisions on how those tests are provided are therefore made locally. While most areas do provide services for at home HIV self-sampling services, there is no central requirement to do so.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the roll out will begin of the primary course of covid-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11, who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed; when parents and caregivers will be able to book their children to get their vaccine; and what steps they will need to take to make that booking.

The COVID-19 vaccine programme for children aged five to 11 years old, who are in a clinical risk group or who are household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed began on 31 January 2022. General practice teams have identified eligible children and parents and guardians will be contacted by local National Health Service teams.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to UKSHA data showing increasing hospitalisations among children with covid-19, if he will urgently publish (a) data on the primary cause of those hospitalisations and (b) the proportion of cases where covid-19 was the primary cause of the hospitalisation.

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) does not collect data on the causes of increasing hospitalisation rates among children with COVID-19, and there are no plans for the publication of data on the primary cause of these hospitalisations.

The UKHSA collects data on the number of cases for which COVID-19 was the reason for hospitalisation in all age groups, including children, through the Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Watch surveillance system. This data is not currently validated, however the UKHSA is considering including this data in future published reports as percentage figures (proportions).

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government will update its covid-19 vaccine delivery plan, published on 13 January 2021.

There are no current plans to update the COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan. We have published different plans subsequently for other aspects of the programme, such as the UK COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan, published 13 February 2021, and the COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021, last updated 14 September 2021, which also covered vaccine deployment.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the covid-19 vaccine booster campaign.

As of 13 November 2021, more than 12.6 million people in the United Kingdom have received their COVID-19 booster vaccine or third dose to ensure the protection from the first two doses of the vaccine is maintained over the winter months. The Government continues to review the effectiveness of the COVID-19 booster campaign to maximise its impact.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to help ensure that there is long-term monitoring of the immune response of people given a covid-19 booster vaccine.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) continuously monitors vaccine effectiveness over time. These analyses will continue as the booster programme deployment progresses, including the duration of protection of booster doses against a range of disease outcomes and will be published in due course.

The UKHSA observed limited waning in vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation and death more than 20 weeks post-vaccination with Vaxzevria (previously AstraZeneca) or Comirnaty (previously Pfizer) with the Delta variant. Early data suggest vaccine effectiveness is lower against the Omicron variant. However, high levels of protection against symptomatic disease were seen shortly after a booster dose. Further evidence is needed to understand the effect of the Omicron variant on duration of protection and vaccine effectiveness against severe disease.

The primary objective of the booster programme is to maintain protection against severe COVID-19 disease, specifically hospitalisation and deaths, over winter 2021/22. This is exceptional advice aimed at maintaining protection in those most vulnerable and to protect the National Health Service.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the rollout of covid-19 vaccines for 12 to 15 year-olds.

As of 7 November more than 823,000 12 to 15 year olds in England have already received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to assess the effectiveness of the programme in order to accelerate the COVID-19 programme in schools. The National Health Service is enhancing the in-school offer to increase the scale and pace of delivery, as well as targeting communications to parents and young people to improve uptake and increase overall confidence in the programme.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support the Government is providing to local authorities to help with recruitment to the adult social care sector.

On 21 October 2021, the Department announced a new £162.5 million workforce recruitment and retention fund to support local authorities working with providers to recruit and retain staff this winter. Our next national recruitment campaign for adult social care will be launched in early November and we are also working alongside Department for Work and Pensions to promote adult social care careers in job centres.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department collects on the take-up of covid-19 vaccines by (a) Black and (b) BAME communities.

NHS England and Improvement collect and publish vaccine uptake data broken down by ethnicity. This is published weekly and shows a breakdown of number of COVID-19 vaccines administered by; ethnicity, ethnicity by region, and Ethnicity by Integrated Care System Sustainability Transformation Partnership. There is also a monthly publication of these statistics, which provides a breakdown of vaccine uptake by ethnicity as a percentage of the population. This can be found via the following link:

https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.england.nhs.uk%2Fstatistics%2Fstatistical-work-areas%2Fcovid-19-vaccinations%2F&data=04%7C01%7CTheo.Atkinson%40dhsc.gov.uk%7Cd4765375c24d4d747a7708d99d570dbb%7C61278c3091a84c318c1fef4de8973a1c%7C1%7C0%7C637713819479904654%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=zMsQ6mAMedEKZXhz5R9R6kc1zLigm0AXCZQsaFk%2FW1c%3D&reserved=0

The UK Health Security Agency publishes data on COVID-19 vaccine uptake by ethnicity at national and regional levels in individuals aged 50 and over in the weekly flu and COVID-19 surveillance report. This data is extracted from the NHS National Immunisation Management Service and can be found via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports-2021-to-2022-season

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what contingency plans his Department has put in the place in the event that Gilead do not agree an interim access arrangement with NHS England following licensing of Trodelvy for metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients through Project Orbis.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have agreed a set of principles to allow potential interim access to medicines ahead of NICE’s guidance and are continuing to work with the manufacturer to explore options for interim access to Trodelvy. Following discussion with the manufacturer of Trodelvy, NICE has accelerated its appraisal and now expects to issue guidance in June 2022, with draft guidance expected in spring 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to add Hong Kong to the list of countries whose Pfizer BioNtech vaccination will be recognised by the Government for incoming travellers.

From 11 October, eligible travellers vaccinated in over 37 new countries and territories including Hong Kong, will be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated United Kingdom residents, if they have not visited a ‘red list’ country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress he has made on negotiations with the EMA to license the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine 4120Z002.

There have been no such negotiations as the European Medicines Agency is the independent regulatory body which determines the vaccines approved for use in the European Union.

No AstraZeneca vaccine doses branded as Covishield have been administered in the United Kingdom. Batch number 4120Z002 was approved by the UK’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and branded as the ’COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’ which is now known commercially as ‘Vaxzevria’. The EU has recently published a list of vaccines it sees as equivalent to those authorised by the EMA, which includes all approved vaccines administered in the UK.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations for improving cervical cancer outcomes made in Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust's report, Computer Says No, published June 2018; and what steps he is taking to improve access to cervical cancer screening and treatment services.

Many of the recommendations made by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have since been taken forward by the Department including those invited for a cervical screening appointment can now book at a range of primary care health settings rather than just at their own general practitioner practice and many providers now offer evening and weekend appointments. The Digital Transformation of Screening Programme has been developed to improve IT systems and accessibility and there are now trials to test the feasibility of self-sampling, initially in London via the NHS YouScreen trial, with plans for further trials nationwide.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what further steps officials in his Department plan to take with officials in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to increase housing-with-care provision for older people.

Housing-with-care has a vital role in enabling older people to live independently, with the necessary care and support available if required. Both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Both Departments are working closely together to improve the diversity of housing options available to older people, including housing-with-care and are engaging with the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to improve housing-based social care provision for older people.

Housing-with-care has a vital role in enabling older people to live independently, with the necessary care and support available if required. Both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Both Departments are working closely together to improve the diversity of housing options available to older people, including housing-with-care and are engaging with the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that people living with ME/CFS can be included in Priority Group 6 for COVID-19 vaccinations in the context of that condition being classified as a neurological disease by NHS England.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has not identified any robust data to indicate that, as a group, persons with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19. Therefore this group is not included as part of the prioritisation for phase one of the programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish an implementation plan in response to Professor Sir Mike Richard's Independent review of adult screening programmes.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England (PHE) are considering the findings of Professor Sir Mike Richards’ report, together with recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office and any outstanding recommendations form the Independent Breast Screening Review, as part of a wider screening improvement programme.

Following the Government’s announcement that PHE will be replaced by the new National Institute for Health Protection, the publication of an implementation plan was paused to ensure that the resulting organisational changes and transfer of functions were reflected in the implementation plan. The Department remains committed to the improvement of screening programmes and will publish in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of women taking up their screening invitation within six months in (a) April 2020, (b) May 2020, (c) June 2020, (d) July 2020, (e) August 2020, (f) September 2020, (g) October 2020, (h) November 2020, (i) December 2020 and (j) January 2021.

The proportion of women taking up their screening invitation from April 2020 to January 2021 is not available in the format requested.

The latest data on national performance for uptake in breast screening is up to 31 March 2020 for Quarter 4.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking in response to the fall below the national minimum standard of 70 percent in the proportion of women taking up their breast screening invitation within six months before the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England (PHE) are committed to the recovery and improvement of screening uptake for all programmes, including breast screening. Breast screening providers are encouraged to work with cancer alliances, primary care networks, NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams and local authorities to promote uptake and take action to ensure as many people as possible can access services. Measures include text messaging to remind women about their breast screening invitation and encourage them to attend and the provision of information such as the PHE-developed ‘Breast Screening: Easy Guide’ so that women can decide whether screening is right for them. The National Health Service ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign has also been run to encourage the public to continue to access cancer services, including routine appointments such as breast screening.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include people with mild to moderate learning difficulties in the covid-19 vaccination priority list.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation of a COVID-19 vaccine at a population level.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors which includes people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and/or have underlying health conditions.

Adults with severe or profound learning difficulties are considered to be ‘at risk’ and adults with Down’s Syndrome are included as priorities the first phase. Prioritisation decisions for next phase delivery are subject to of the surveillance and monitoring data and information from phase one, as well as further input from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the (a) letter of 22 December 2020 from the Chief Dental Officer to Dental Colleagues and (b) recent increases in covid-19 infection rates, if he will review the viability of the increase to the minimum requirement of activity of 45 per cent of contracted units of dental activity.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a 45% dental activity target. This target is based upon clinical advice and modelling from the office of the Chief Dental Officer and has taken into consideration robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance and social distancing requirements. Furthermore, data on the percentages of activity dental practices have achieved to date supports the view that the target can be safely attainable.

National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate and the reinstatement of shielding during the national lockdown. There are currently no plans to review or change the unit of dental activity targets for January to March 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reinstating paid placements for trainee doctors, nurses and, midwives during the second wave of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is not planning any further paid placements for healthcare students during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are working with Health Education England and healthcare providers to make sure students do placements as planned and critically, gain the knowledge and skills they need to learn for their qualification.

Eligible medical, nursing and midwifery students will continue to receive payments from the Student Loans Company. Eligible nursing and midwifery students can also access the Learning Support Fund from the NHS Business Services Authority, which includes a non-repayable grant of at least £5,000 for travel and dual accommodation expenses and parental support. Eligible medical students in England can access the NHS Business Services Authority’s funding in the final year of their degree.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Alzheimer's Society report entitled Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing at least one informal carer per care home resident to be designated a key worker and given access to (a) training, (b) covid-19 testing and vaccinations and (c) personal protective equipment.

We are providing rapid (lateral flow) testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) to all care homes in time for the Christmas period, to enable residents to receive regular visits from loved ones. Visitors will still be expected to follow infection prevention and control procedures and minimise contact as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission. New guidance setting out these visiting opportunities was published on 1 December on GOV.UK.

We are also sending out free PPE to all Care Quality Commission-registered care homes that are also registered on the PPE portal for use by visitors.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) steps he (i) is taking and (ii) plans to take and (b) financial support he (i) is providing and (ii) plans to provide to unpaid carers caring for relatives who are (A) vulnerable, (B) older, (C) disabled and (D) living with a mental or physical illness during (1) the November 2020 and (2) future covid-19 lockdowns.

During the pandemic the Government’s focus has been on supporting unpaid carers to continue to care. We have:

- produced guidance specifically for carers and young carers,

- provided funding to Carers UK’s support phoneline;

- produced a leaflet to help carers self-identify when someone is discharged from hospital;

- ensured carers can continue to provide essential care and are exempt from rules preventing mixing with other households where they are providing care; worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement on guidance and a letter (template) enabling unpaid carers to identify themselves and their needs, so these can be more easily met;

- introduced two important temporary measures to help unpaid carers financially to be able to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets COVID-19 or if either have to isolate because of it;

- and made clear that providing ‘emotional support’ rather than just more traditional forms of care to a person in need of care and support also counts towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.

We have also continued to iterate the regulations on lockdown to ensure that the care and support needs of people and their carers can be met. The regulations for the lockdown that commenced on 5 November allow for someone to come into the home of the person who needs care to provide that care for the purpose of giving the main carer respite. The person receiving care can also go to someone else’s home to receive respite care. These legislative provisions will enable some carers to arrange and access respite and support during this period.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is the Government's policy to provide an equivalent level of support for people shielding during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown as was provided to those people during the covid-19 lockdown announced in March 2020.

During the national November restrictions, the Government has provided advice to those identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. This includes staying at home as much as possible, including not attending a workplace, shops or pharmacies. Alongside this advice, the Government has launched a support package that will run to 2 December, providing over £30 million of funding to local authorities. This includes access to supermarket delivery slots and free medicines delivery. Those unable to work from home may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay and the Government has also extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until March 2021.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people can also continue to access support from local charities, organisations and NHS Volunteer Responders if needed. As well as helping with shopping and medicines delivery, NHS Volunteer Responders can help with a regular, friendly phone call and transport to and from medical appointments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she asked the UK Ambassador to Morocco to send an observer to the trial of two students from Western Sahara, Mohammed Layichi and Hassan Alloud, which commenced on 5 May in Agadir.

Human rights is a UK priority around the world, including in Morocco. We regularly discuss human rights issues with the Moroccan authorities, including individual cases.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the potential (a) proscription of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organisation and (b) humanitarian consequences of that proscription on civilians in Yemen.

It is HMG policy to not comment on whether we are considering a group for proscription. The Home Secretary will consider the national security case, as well as a range of discretionary factors such as the impact on UK communities, the humanitarian impact, and the impact on our ability to assist our allies around the world in the global fight against terrorism when making any decision.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2021 to Question 57453 on Western Sahara: Trade Agreements, whether the Polisario Front was consulted on the inclusion of products from the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara in the UK-Morocco Association Agreement.

The UK is clear that the application of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement is without prejudice to our position on the status of Western Sahara, which we regard as undetermined. The UK supports UN-led efforts to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Products originating in Western Sahara subject to controls by customs authorities of Morocco benefit from the same trade preferences as those granted by the United Kingdom to products covered by the Agreement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to facilitate the immediate release of the protestors arrested by the military junta in Sudan.

I condemned the actions of the Sudanese military in the strongest terms in the House of Commons on 25 October. My call from that day remains: for the transition to be restored fully, for all detainees to be released and for Sudanese people be able to protest without fear of violence. We have delivered this message to the military leadership in Khartoum, in statements the Foreign Secretary and I made, and in international fora such as securing unanimous support for a resolution on Sudan at the UN Human Rights Council on 5 November.

I am pleased that Dr Hamdok has since been reinstated as the Prime Minister of Sudan and that many detainees have been released following the Political Agreement on 21 November. The Agreement is an important first step towards restoring Sudan's transition to democracy, but we will continue to work with our international partners to maintain pressure on the military to deliver their commitments and, through their actions, rebuild trust with the Sudanese public and international community. Most recently we reinforced this at the UN Security Council on 10 December and at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting in Liverpool on 11 December.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to prevent the (a) suppression of democracy in Sudan and (b) killing and oppression of people trying to achieve democracy in that country through peaceful means.

I condemned the actions of the Sudanese military in the strongest terms in the House of Commons on 25 October. My call from that day remains: for the transition to be restored fully, for all detainees to be released and for Sudanese people be able to protest without fear of violence. We have delivered this message to the military leadership in Khartoum, in statements the Foreign Secretary and I made, and in international fora such as securing unanimous support for a resolution on Sudan at the UN Human Rights Council on 5 November.

I am pleased that Dr Hamdok has since been reinstated as the Prime Minister of Sudan and that many detainees have been released following the Political Agreement on 21 November. The Agreement is an important first step towards restoring Sudan's transition to democracy, but we will continue to work with our international partners to maintain pressure on the military to deliver their commitments and, through their actions, rebuild trust with the Sudanese public and international community. Most recently we reinforced this at the UN Security Council on 10 December and at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting in Liverpool on 11 December.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make it her policy to review current restrictions on the export of carpets from countries currently facing such sanctions.

The import of carpets is not sanctioned under any UK sanctions regimes. However, asset freezes in place against designated persons would prohibit the payment for the import of a carpet if it is to, or for the benefit of, a designated person.

We keep all regimes and designations under close review, as required by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when the Government will establish an embassy in Afghanistan.

The British Embassy in Kabul has suspended operations. The UK Mission to Afghanistan based in Doha is leading our diplomatic, security and humanitarian engagement. We intend to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Kabul when the security and political situation in the country allows, and are coordinating this effort with allies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan in winter 2021-22; and if the Government will (a) engage in talks with the Taliban and (b) provide aid to support the Afghan population without food.

We are pressing the Taliban to respect international humanitarian law and principles, and to allow aid agencies to operate freely to meet needs in Afghanistan. The UK will spend £286 million on humanitarian and development needs in Afghanistan this year. On 31 October the Prime Minister announced that £50 million would be allocated to provide over 2.5 million Afghans with life-saving food, emergency health services, shelter and warm clothing to prepare for winter.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she plans to take in response to the concerns of OHCHR on the restrictions imposed by Morocco on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in Western Sahara.

Human rights, including freedom of expression, is a UK priority around the world. We raise human rights issues with Morocco accordingly and continue to monitor cases in Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will raise with her Moroccan counterpart the UN Human Rights Committee's recommendation that Morocco obtain the consent of the people of Western Sahara for the realisation of developmental projects and resource extraction operations.

The UK notes the United Nations legal view from 2002, which stated that commercial activity in Western Sahara (including the exploration for, and exploitation of natural resources) is not inherently illegal but must be for the benefit of people of Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to repatriate British citizens and their families who are in Afghanistan and who have registered their presence and received no further information.

Our highest priority in Afghanistan is to help those British nationals, and those Afghans eligible to come to the UK, to leave Afghanistan. To help achieve this, the UK Government continues to push the Taliban to allow free passage out of the country for foreign passport holders and eligible Afghans who wish to leave. Since the end of the military evacuation, we have facilitated the departure of British nationals and eligible family members on flights organised by the Qatari Government, and their onward journeys to the UK. We have also helped British nationals and eligible Afghans when they have crossed into third countries, from where our diplomatic missions have been able to support their onward travel to the UK. We will continue to work to take advantage of all opportunities to help those eligible to come to the UK to leave Afghanistan.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to secure safe passage out of Afghanistan for the nine former BBC staff and freelance journalists who have been subjected to a growing campaign of threats and violence.

It remains a top priority to help those British nationals and those Afghans eligible to come to the UK, to leave Afghanistan, including journalists. Since the end of the military evacuation, the Government has facilitated the departure of both Afghan and British nationals from Afghanistan. Although travel within Afghanistan remains dangerous, and many border crossings have been closed during this period, we have also helped both British nationals and eligible Afghans when they have crossed into third countries, from where our diplomatic missions have been able to support their onward travel to the UK. We will continue to work to take advantage of all opportunities to help those eligible to come to the UK to leave Afghanistan.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure the safe evacuation of the Afghan Chevening Scholars Alumni group.

Between 15 and 29 August, the UK evacuated over 15,000 people from Afghanistan. Approximately 500 of these are special cases of particularly vulnerable Afghans, which includes Chevening scholars and their dependants. Throughout August and September, the Chevening Secretariat has been in regular contact with all Afghan Chevening scholars and their families in the UK, and has been liaising with universities, local authorities and the Home Office to help scholars access support.

The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) was announced by the Home Office in August and will provide those put at risk by recent events in Afghanistan with a route to safety. The ACRS is one of the most generous schemes in our country's history under which we will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans over the next year and up to a total of 20,000 in the coming years.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 144869 on Western Sahara; Politics and Government, whether it is Government policy to support the UN’s position that the status of Western Sahara is that it is a non-self-governing territory as set out on its website.

As the then Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, (and as referenced in previous answers) the UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined. We note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 139167 on Western Sahara: Trade Agreements, whether the Saharawi people in (a) occupied Western Sahara and (b) the refugee camps were consulted on the inclusion of certain products from the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara being included in the UK-Morocco Association Agreement.

The UK is clear that the application of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement is without prejudice to our position on the status of Western Sahara, which we regard as undetermined. The UK supports UN-led efforts to reach a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many times UK diplomats have visited Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention in 2021.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv has a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation and regularly attend military court hearings. We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to prison conditions and detention practices.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Israeli government on removing the ban on family visits to Palestinian prisoners.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to prison conditions and detention practices, including access to family visits.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to reply to submissions made by hon. Members on behalf of constituents regarding their families in Afghanistan.

As the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa said in the House on 15 September, during the evacuation operation alone the FCDO received over 200,000 emails. Approximately 30,000 of these emails were from MPs. Hundreds of civil servants are being assigned to work through that case load, working in multiple shifts through the day, seven days a week. The FCDO aimed to complete the triage of cases to the Ministry of Defence or the Home Office, and notify Hon. Members by 16 September. It has become increasingly clear, as we work through cases, that both the volume and their complexity mean that we will have to take longer than we had originally hoped.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps are being taken to evacuate the Hazara minority community who face persecution and threats to their safety from the Taliban.

Minister for Human Rights Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August to underscore the UK's commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people. This commitment extends to all ethnic and religious groups, including individuals from the Hazara community. The UK is formally launching a resettlement programme, the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, providing a safe and legal route for up to 20,000 Afghans in the region over the coming years, with 5,000 in the first year. This scheme will include Afghans who face a particular risk from the Taliban, for example because of their role in standing up for democracy and human rights or because of their gender, sexuality or religion.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 May 2021 to Question 517 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, what recent assessment he has made of the potential (a) risks and (b) merits of the UN’s designation of the status of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory; and whether he has plans to review the UK's position that the status of Western Sahara is undetermined.

As the Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, [and as referenced in previous answers] the UK's position remains unchanged.

We note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of food and nutrition insecurity situation in West Africa.

According to Integrated Phase Classification Food Security data, there are over 22.2 million people in West Africa and the Sahel who are experiencing a crisis level of food insecurity or worse. This includes 1.3 million people living at an emergency level of food insecurity, the majority of whom are in North East Nigeria. In November 2020, the UK's Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, visited North East Nigeria where there is a risk of famine in some areas. In April 2021, I visited Nigeria and discussed the situation in the North East with humanitarian agencies and international organisations and partners. The UK Government is providing a substantial package of assistance to the North East, worth £400 million over five years (2017-2022), including food assistance for up to 1.5 million people

This year, the Sahel is facing the greatest number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in a decade. Recent food insecurity projections for the Sahel G5 countries, that is Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, are that between January and May 2021 some 6 million people will be in severe food insecurity. This is likely to increase to 8.7 million between June and August this year. We are spending up to £163 million between 2019-21 to respond to food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs across the Sahel.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to support communities facing acute food insecurity in West Africa.

In September 2020, the Foreign Secretary launched a Call to Action to Prevent Famine. The UK Government has since pledged £180 million to tackle food insecurity and famine risk, providing aid to more than seven million vulnerable people in some of the world's most dangerous places, including in West Africa. As the Integrated Review makes clear, the UK will continue to prioritise humanitarian preparedness and response, especially food security and famine prevention.

The UK Government is providing a substantial package of assistance to North East Nigeria, worth £400 million over five years (2017-2022), including food assistance for up to 1.5 million people. In the Sahel, we are spending up to £163 million between 2019-21 to respond to food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs. This support targets the G5 Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. It includes support to over 640,000 people with food assistance through our support to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the World Food Programme.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 155452 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the United Nation's designation of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory.

e note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara. As the Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, the UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/israel-and-morocco-uk-responds-to-announcement-of-normalisation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) hold discussions with the Moroccan Ambassador and (b) instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities the arrest of the Saharawi activists (i) Khaled Boufraya, (ii) Salek Baber and (iii) Babuizid Muhammed Saaed Labhi; and determine where they are being held.

We are aware of reports concerning Sultana Khaya, as well as the arrests of Khaled Boufraya, Salek Baber and Babuizid Muhammed Saaed Labhi. We are monitoring these cases. Support for human rights and human rights defenders is a UK priority around the world, and we continue to raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) hold discussions with the Moroccan Ambassador and (b) instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities the reported raid and assault of the home of the Saharawi human rights activist Sultana Khaya on 10 May 2021.

We are aware of reports concerning Sultana Khaya, as well as the arrests of Khaled Boufraya, Salek Baber and Babuizid Muhammed Saaed Labhi. We are monitoring these cases. Support for human rights and human rights defenders is a UK priority around the world, and we continue to raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will ask the UN Secretary General (a) how many allegations of human rights abuses have been made to the Moroccan National Human Rights Council in Western Sahara, (b) whether those allegations have been investigated and (c) what the results of those investigations are.

Support for human rights is a priority around the world. We continue to stress the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps and to encourage the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law. UN Security Council Resolution 2548 welcomes the steps and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco's interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Further information about the work of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council is available at www.cndh.org.ma/an/about-cndh/about-us.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 144869, on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, and the Answer of 29 January 2021 to Question 141623, on Western Sahara: Sovereignty, what the status of Morocco is in Western Sahara.

As stated in response to Question 144869, the UN position on the status of Western Sahara is set out on its website at www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara.

The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to Answer of 26 January to Question 139168 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, is Morocco listed by the UN as the Administering Power of Western Sahara.

The UN's position on the status of Western Sahara is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to Answer of 26 January to Question 139167 on Western Sahara: Trade Agreements, were the Saharawi people in (a) occupied Western Sahara and (b) the refugee camps consulted on the UK-Morocco association agreement being applied to products from the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara.

In line with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2016, and following the 2018 EU consultation with a wide spectrum of Western Saharan representatives, stakeholders, civil society and other organisations, the EU Agreement grants preferences to products originating in Western Sahara and subject to control by the customs authorities of Morocco. The UK-Morocco Association Agreement replicates the effects of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement, both the trade related aspects and the broad scope of the political and cooperation provisions. The UK continues to regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Saharawi people in (a) occupied Western Sahara and (b) refugee camps were asked whether they agreed with the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara being included in the UK-Morocco Association Agreement.

Western Sahara is not within the territorial scope of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement, as is clear from the territorial application article of the Agreement. The UK-Morocco Association Agreement applies in the same way as the EU-Morocco agreements. The UK is clear that the application of parts of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement to certain products originating in Western Sahara, in line with European Court of Justice's ruling on that issue, is without prejudice to our position on the status of Western Sahara, which we regard as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will seek clarification from the United Nations on which Government has Administering Power of Western Sahara.

The UK takes note of the UN's definition of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory. We regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined and we fully support the UN's efforts to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the healthcare system in Gaza during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza and the impact of COVID-19 on an already fragile healthcare system. Recognising the severity of the situation, we were one of the first donors to provide funding to support the health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza.

In addition, we are providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians to help alleviate the humanitarian situation. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the OPTs which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the detention of Palestinian man, Maher al-Akhras.

Officials from the British Embassy in Tel Aviv raised this case with the Israeli Ministry of Justice on 28 October and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 3 November. We understand the Israeli High court officially ended Mr Al-Akhras' administrative detention on November 26, and he has now been released. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to maintain the aid budget at 0.7 per cent of national income during the covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the severe impact that the pandemic has had on our economy, which has fallen eleven per cent this year, we are taking the tough decision to spend 0.5 per cent of our national income next year on official development assistance, rather than the usual 0.7 per cent.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities reports of increased harassment by the authorities of Saharawi civilian prisoners in Kenitra prison coinciding with the exchange of fire in Guerguerat.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process. Support for human rights is a priority around the world, and we raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 16027 on Equitable Life Assurance Society, for what reasons the Government does not plan to (a) reopen the Equitable Life Payment Scheme or (b) review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it.

Since 2010, the government has taken more action to resolve this issue than ever was taken previously, including setting up a payment scheme to make payments of up to £1.5bn to eligible policyholders. Since the Scheme closed in 2016, the Government’s position on this issue has been clear, that there will be no further funding in addition to the £1.5bn and this issue is considered closed.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the calculations, including the intermediary steps, used in determining payments made under the Equitable Life Payment Scheme.

Since 2010, the government has taken more action to resolve this issue than ever was taken previously, including setting up a payment scheme to make payments of up to £1.5bn to eligible policyholders. Since the Scheme closed in 2016, the Government’s position on this issue has been clear, that there will be no further funding in addition to the £1.5bn and this issue is considered closed.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take in 2022 to help people affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

Since 2010, the government has taken more action to resolve this issue than ever was taken previously, including setting up a payment scheme to make payments of up to £1.5bn to eligible policyholders. Since the Scheme closed in 2016, the Government’s position on this issue has been clear, that there will be no further funding in addition to the £1.5bn and this issue is considered closed.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the upcoming expiration of his Department’s contract with Capita for the administration of the Equitable Life Payments Scheme, if he will confirm that future awardees of the contract will be subject to the same contractual requirement to hold, in a searchable format, the personal, bank account and payment data for all those non-WPA (With Profits Annuitants) Equitable Life policyholders who have already received a payment from that scheme.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave to PQ UIN67299 on 9th November.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will ensure that, following the upcoming expiration of his Department’s contract with Capita for the administration of the Equitable Life Payments Scheme, that future awardees of the contract will be subject to the same contractual requirement to hold, in a searchable format, the personal, bank account and payment data for all non-With Profits Annuitants Equitable Life policyholders, who have already received a payment from the Scheme.

HM Treasury has extended its contract with Capita for the administration of the Equitable Life Payment Scheme until 15 November 2023. The service requirements will naturally be reviewed when the service is re-procured.

The contract is published on the Contracts Finder website and is available at the following link:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/961dcde2-82d8-4f6b-9ecc-b5c1581b03d9?p=@8=UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT0

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to provide specific financial support for language schools which have not been included in the list of eligible business for covid-19 support to date.

The Government understands the many areas of difficulty for businesses caused by the COVID-19 disruption and has introduced a number of measures to support businesses through this challenging period.

The Government is making sure that people and businesses have access to the support they need as quickly as possible. The Government has supported businesses through the COVID-19 crisis through an unprecedented support package, including grants for smaller businesses, government-backed loans, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs.

An additional £500 million has been made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), announced by the Chancellor on 5 January. This builds on the £1.1 billion already allocated following the second lockdown in November 2020.

This further grant funding is designed to support businesses that are severely impacted by the new Covid-19 restrictions. Local authorities have discretion to use this funding to support businesses in the way they see fit, and to determine which businesses are.

I encourage English Language Schools to make full use of the extensive support available.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on women of not including reusable menstrual underwear in the new zero rate of VAT for sanitary protection products.

A zero rate of VAT has applied to women’s sanitary products since 1 January 2021. This applies to those products which were previously subject to the reduced rate of 5 per cent, for example, tampons and pads, and to reusable menstrual products, such as keepers.

The relief specifically excludes articles of clothing, such as “period pants”. Such exclusions are designed to ensure that the relief is properly targeted, since difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue. Under existing rules “period pants” may already qualify for the zero rate, if they have been specifically designed to be worn by a child, meet the sizing criteria, and are held out for sale specifically for use by girls under the age of 14 years old.

Details are provided in VAT Notice 714: zero-rating young children's clothing and footwear: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear#items-suitable-only-for-young-children.

The new zero rate will ensure that every woman that needs sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will now, for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason the zero-rate of value-added tax for period products is not applied to reusable menstrual underwear that has been specifically designed for period management.

A zero rate of VAT has applied to women’s sanitary products since 1 January 2021. This applies to those products which were previously subject to the reduced rate of 5 per cent, for example, tampons and pads, and to reusable menstrual products, such as keepers.

The relief specifically excludes articles of clothing, such as “period pants”. Such exclusions are designed to ensure that the relief is properly targeted, since difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue. Under existing rules “period pants” may already qualify for the zero rate, if they have been specifically designed to be worn by a child, meet the sizing criteria, and are held out for sale specifically for use by girls under the age of 14 years old.

Details are provided in VAT Notice 714: zero-rating young children's clothing and footwear: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear#items-suitable-only-for-young-children.

The new zero rate will ensure that every woman that needs sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will now, for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will include language schools in the eligible retail and leisure categories for business rates relief to allow those schools to access support from future Government grant schemes.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

Eligibility for the current business grant schemes is not tied to eligibility for business rates relief provided to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Businesses that are legally required to close due to Covid restrictions are eligible for cash grants from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) of up to £3,000 per month. In addition, these businesses will benefit from one-off grants of up to £9,000 as announced on 5 January.

Businesses which are not eligible for these grants for closed businesses may be able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). We recently increased the funding available under this scheme to £1.6 billion across England. It is up to each local authority to determine eligibility for this scheme based on their assessment of local economic need; however, we encourage local authorities to support businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but which are ineligible for the other grant schemes.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take to ensure that the banking sector does not cease to offer business bank accounts to support people who have lost their jobs being able to set up in business or as self-employed.

Decisions about what products are offered to individual businesses remain commercial decisions for banks and building societies. It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in these decisions. But the Government has always been clear that lenders should open to new customers where it is operationally possible for them to do so.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been unprecedented demand for banking services, this accompanied with working restrictions due to social distancing has meant banks have faced significant capacity pressures which has limited their ability to meet demand. Banks are doing all they can to meet this demand in these difficult circumstances.

A number of banks remain open to new business customers, and I would encourage businesses struggling to access banking services to explore the full range of alternative finance providers.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of reintroducing the (a) £10,000 through the Small Business Grant Fund and (b) targeted Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund of up to £25,000 to assist businesses forced to close during the January 2021 lockdown.

The additional support announced on 5 January is worth £4.6 billion and comes on top of the £1.1 billion already provided to local authorities through the Additional Restrictions Grant, as well as the existing Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) which is worth over £1 billion per month under current restrictions. Businesses could receive up to £18,000 over the next three months to the end of March if they are required to close due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

In addition to the grant schemes, we have made available a wider package of support which includes an extension of the furlough scheme until April; an extension of the COVID-19 loan schemes until March; a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure business properties; mortgage holidays; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT cuts and deferrals.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of a German -style scheme where Government pays a certain percentage of revenue lost, for a business effected by covid-19 restrictions.

HM Treasury regularly monitors global economic developments, including the policy response of other economies, and their impact on the UK as part of the normal process of policy development. It is not for the UK Government to comment on other countries policies.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he will implement the Directors Income Support Scheme proposal from FSB, Forgotten Ltd and ACCA UK, which would provide a taxable grant calculated at 80 per cent of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total, to be paid into the company and form part of its taxable profits and mirror the existing framework offered by the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government has recognised that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The Government always welcomes constructive proposals from stakeholders to improve the design of its COVID-19 business support schemes, including the suggestion for a Directors Income Support Scheme (DISS). This proposal aims to provide a new system to provide support for company directors, based on reported profits. The Government is currently scrutinising the proposal.

In addition, company owner managers could be eligible for existing support schemes including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the income taken by company owner managers via PAYE, Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays and other business support grants. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will open the Self Employed Income Support scheme to people in self-employment who were not eligible in the initial March 2020 launch of that scheme and now have two years' trading but are still not eligible for the latest round of support.

In designing and delivering the SEISS, the Government prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible as quickly as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse. The Government recognises that the rules needed to ensure that the SEISS works for the vast majority may mean that some people are not eligible for the grant. However, as the NAO acknowledges, the SEISS has been successful in supporting millions of people and protecting from large scale job losses.

The Government has taken a flexible and responsive approach and will continue to consider the matter carefully and work closely with stakeholders to explore how it can best support different groups.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of the package of support available to self-employed individuals, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the time limit for the repayment of the stamp duty surcharge on second properties where the property sale has been delayed due to (a) cladding and (b) EWS1 issues.

Homeowners who pay the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases of additional property can receive a refund of the higher rate if they sell their old main residence within three years of the purchase. For most people, three years is enough time to sell a property.

However, the Government recognises that there will sometimes be exceptional circumstances not in the control of the buyer or seller which mean that a previous main residence cannot be sold within three years. If someone purchased a new main residence on or after 1 January 2017, they may be eligible to apply for a refund if they were prevented from selling their previous main residence before the expiry of the three-year time limit owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. The previous main residence must be sold before HMRC will consider whether the circumstances are exceptional.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance he plans to issue to banks for companies wanting to apply for an extension to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which need a higher level of finance than they required in March 2020.

The Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to ensure that the smallest businesses could access loans of up to £50,000 in a matter of just days. As of 15 November, the scheme had supported nearly 1.4 million businesses with facilities totaling over £42 billion.

On 2 November, the Government adjusted the BBLS rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. the lower of £50,000 or 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan to this maximum. Businesses will be able to make use of this option once. We understand that some businesses did not anticipate the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long. This change will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended. Those businesses that require finance of over £50,000 should discuss alternative options with their lenders, including the possibility of refinancing into a loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government has also announced the extension of the application deadline for all Covid-19 business loan schemes, including BBLS to 31 January 2021. This extension ensures that businesses have more time to make loan applications, supporting them through the pandemic.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial assistance to (a) freelancers, (b) small company directors, and (c) people who mix self-employment with employment who have been ineligible for financial support since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Question 110191 on 05 November.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the details of the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme will be finalised and the scheme opened.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) is not yet open. However, the first to be resettled through this scheme will be some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk – including women’s rights activists, prosecutors and journalists. Officials are working urgently to stand up the remaining elements of the scheme, amid the complex and changing picture.

The Government will continue to work closely with other government departments, non-governmental organisations, charities, local authorities and other partners and relevant organisations in the development and implementation of the ACRS.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which cities Afghan refugees are being resettled to in the UK.

We continue to work with local authorities to source appropriate accommodation as quickly as possible for Afghan families who were evacuated to the UK. So far, over 300 local authorities across the UK have offered to house Afghan families. There are more than 11,000 individuals accommodated temporarily in bridging hotels across the UK, who were evacuated as part of Operation Pitting.

Children who have recently arrived from Afghanistan are entitled to a full time education and one of our priorities is to ensure they receive it. The duty to provide sufficient education for all school-age children rests with local authorities and the government is working closely with local authorities in whose areas Afghan families are resident to ensure they can access education as soon as possible.

In addition, we are urgently making available additional funds to support local authorities to provide educational support and help Afghan children and young people settle into their local schools and communities.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what additional financial support her Department is making available to (a) Liverpool and (b) other cities that are accommodating asylum seekers to ensure that they can provide adequate (i) health, (ii) schooling, (iii) housing and (iv) other support services.

We recognise the important work Liverpool and Local Authorities across the UK undertake to support asylum seekers.

We have established working groups with Local Authorities to determine best practice, one of which relates to defining potential additional funding requirements.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking in response to the recent increase in reported violent hate crimes towards LGBTQ+ people.

All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable.

Whilst the biggest driver for the increase in recorded crime is general improvements in police recording, along with increased victim willingness to come forward, we cannot be complacent. That is why we have committed to publishing a new Hate Crime Strategy later this year.

The Government has commissioned a Law Commission review of the adequacy of current hate crime legislation. The review will report this year and we will respond to it when it is complete.

Government action to tackle broader discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people includes:

  • A commitment to holding an international conference on LGBT rights; the “Safe To Be Me” conference will be held in 2022.
  • The September 2020 announcement of a further £3.2 million of UK-funded projects to help Commonwealth governments and civil society groups reform outdated laws and end the legacy of discrimination and violence.
  • Bringing forward legislation to ban conversion therapy as soon as Parliamentary time allows and making new funds available to ensure that victims have better access to the support they need.

The Government will continue to work with the police, stakeholders including Galop and others to understand the concerns of LGBTQ+ communities and what more can be done to address those concerns.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will provide a breakdown of the reasons for imposing bail immigration reporting conditions for people reporting to the Capital Building in Liverpool in each of the last three years.

Bail conditions are imposed where individual without valid leave to remain in the UK comes into contact with Immigration Enforcement and are not imminently removable, (for example, where a legal barrier or lack of travel document prevents their return) they are placed on reporting.

This is a form of contact management, whereby individuals are required to attend a Reporting Centre (managed by IE) or a police station on a regular basis (rural areas). UKVI, Asylum, Criminal Casework, Removal Casework and ICE all feed cases into the reporting population.

The frequency at which an offender reports is based on their removability, risk they pose to the public and vulnerability.

There are 14 Reporting Centres throughout the UK and over 100 police stations where individuals are required to report. These are serviced by c210 FTE.

When attending a reporting event, an individual may be interviewed to gather information that allows Immigration Enforcement to apply for a travel document, make a decision on an outstanding application or promote a voluntary return.

When an individual becomes removable they may be detained at a Reporting Centre or a Police station when they next report.

Significant changes have been made to bail conditions, and in particular to reporting requirements, in light of the evolution of the current pandemic. We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, however, based on recent data only a very small percentage of the reporting population are currently required to report in-person as a condition of bail at this time.

Initially, there was a temporary suspension on in-person reporting for those who would otherwise be required to report, which was applied from 17 March 2020. Following the introduction of large-scale testing and a reduction in the rates of transmission, and in light of the scientific advice as to the measures that could be implemented to enhance public safety, reporting centres then re-opened, initially through two pilot schemes commencing on 20 July 2020, and then through other centres. COVID-19 risk assessments and safe systems of working were introduced, together with other safety measures, including, where appropriate, an adjustment of the time slots for reporting.

Following the introduction of further national restrictions in November 2020 and January 2021, the Home Office’s approach was reviewed and revised again, as reflected in the latest COVID-19 interim guidance, “Reporting and offender management – interim guidance” (Version 3.0).

Currently only individuals within four priority cohorts are expected to report in-person at reporting centres, or in some locations Police stations, these groups are categorised as:

  • foreign national offenders (FNOs)/High Harm/Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) or other security cases. Persons who are on Restricted Leave.
  • those who have shown a willingness to return home voluntarily and where reporting will aid the process of return.
  • those who have not returned home and who have not engaged with our Voluntary Return programme – including delivery of a Detention on Reporting (DOR).
  • those identified for removal.

The position is kept under on-going review, having regard to public health considerations as well as the public interest in the maintenance of immigration control.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in Merseyside were subject to immigration bail reporting conditions in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) to date in 2021.

Bail conditions are imposed where individual without valid leave to remain in the UK comes into contact with Immigration Enforcement and are not imminently removable, (for example, where a legal barrier or lack of travel document prevents their return) they are placed on reporting.

This is a form of contact management, whereby individuals are required to attend a Reporting Centre (managed by IE) or a police station on a regular basis (rural areas). UKVI, Asylum, Criminal Casework, Removal Casework and ICE all feed cases into the reporting population.

The frequency at which an offender reports is based on their removability, risk they pose to the public and vulnerability.

There are 14 Reporting Centres throughout the UK and over 100 police stations where individuals are required to report. These are serviced by c210 FTE.

When attending a reporting event, an individual may be interviewed to gather information that allows Immigration Enforcement to apply for a travel document, make a decision on an outstanding application or promote a voluntary return.

When an individual becomes removable they may be detained at a Reporting Centre or a Police station when they next report.

Significant changes have been made to bail conditions, and in particular to reporting requirements, in light of the evolution of the current pandemic. We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, however, based on recent data only a very small percentage of the reporting population are currently required to report in-person as a condition of bail at this time.

Initially, there was a temporary suspension on in-person reporting for those who would otherwise be required to report, which was applied from 17 March 2020. Following the introduction of large-scale testing and a reduction in the rates of transmission, and in light of the scientific advice as to the measures that could be implemented to enhance public safety, reporting centres then re-opened, initially through two pilot schemes commencing on 20 July 2020, and then through other centres. COVID-19 risk assessments and safe systems of working were introduced, together with other safety measures, including, where appropriate, an adjustment of the time slots for reporting.

Following the introduction of further national restrictions in November 2020 and January 2021, the Home Office’s approach was reviewed and revised again, as reflected in the latest COVID-19 interim guidance, “Reporting and offender management – interim guidance” (Version 3.0).

Currently only individuals within four priority cohorts are expected to report in-person at reporting centres, or in some locations Police stations, these groups are categorised as:

  • foreign national offenders (FNOs)/High Harm/Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) or other security cases. Persons who are on Restricted Leave.
  • those who have shown a willingness to return home voluntarily and where reporting will aid the process of return.
  • those who have not returned home and who have not engaged with our Voluntary Return programme – including delivery of a Detention on Reporting (DOR).
  • those identified for removal.

The position is kept under on-going review, having regard to public health considerations as well as the public interest in the maintenance of immigration control.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are on immigration bail covered by the Merseyside Reporting Centre, Capital Building, Liverpool; and how many of those people are subject to immigration bail reporting conditions.

Bail conditions are imposed where individual without valid leave to remain in the UK comes into contact with Immigration Enforcement and are not imminently removable, (for example, where a legal barrier or lack of travel document prevents their return) they are placed on reporting.

This is a form of contact management, whereby individuals are required to attend a Reporting Centre (managed by IE) or a police station on a regular basis (rural areas). UKVI, Asylum, Criminal Casework, Removal Casework and ICE all feed cases into the reporting population.

The frequency at which an offender reports is based on their removability, risk they pose to the public and vulnerability.

There are 14 Reporting Centres throughout the UK and over 100 police stations where individuals are required to report. These are serviced by c210 FTE.

When attending a reporting event, an individual may be interviewed to gather information that allows Immigration Enforcement to apply for a travel document, make a decision on an outstanding application or promote a voluntary return.

When an individual becomes removable they may be detained at a Reporting Centre or a Police station when they next report.

Significant changes have been made to bail conditions, and in particular to reporting requirements, in light of the evolution of the current pandemic. We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, however, based on recent data only a very small percentage of the reporting population are currently required to report in-person as a condition of bail at this time.

Initially, there was a temporary suspension on in-person reporting for those who would otherwise be required to report, which was applied from 17 March 2020. Following the introduction of large-scale testing and a reduction in the rates of transmission, and in light of the scientific advice as to the measures that could be implemented to enhance public safety, reporting centres then re-opened, initially through two pilot schemes commencing on 20 July 2020, and then through other centres. COVID-19 risk assessments and safe systems of working were introduced, together with other safety measures, including, where appropriate, an adjustment of the time slots for reporting.

Following the introduction of further national restrictions in November 2020 and January 2021, the Home Office’s approach was reviewed and revised again, as reflected in the latest COVID-19 interim guidance, “Reporting and offender management – interim guidance” (Version 3.0).

Currently only individuals within four priority cohorts are expected to report in-person at reporting centres, or in some locations Police stations, these groups are categorised as:

  • foreign national offenders (FNOs)/High Harm/Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) or other security cases. Persons who are on Restricted Leave.
  • those who have shown a willingness to return home voluntarily and where reporting will aid the process of return.
  • those who have not returned home and who have not engaged with our Voluntary Return programme – including delivery of a Detention on Reporting (DOR).
  • those identified for removal.

The position is kept under on-going review, having regard to public health considerations as well as the public interest in the maintenance of immigration control.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to compensate people who had no access to asylum support payments during the recent Aspen card transition; and what steps she is taking to ensure people do not temporarily lose access to asylum support payments in the future.

A significant majority of service users have received their new Aspen card and they have successfully activated and started using the card.

Those who have experienced issues have been supported via the provision of emergency cash payments until their issue has been resolved. Due to this, there has always been some form of access to asylum support payments for the user population (even without an ASPEN card).

The provision of emergency cash payment has been in place for some time and will continue to be in place where emergency access to asylum support is required.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a landlord conducting right-to-rent checks after 30 June 2021 will be obliged to refuse to rent a property to an EU citizen in the event that they are unable to demonstrate proof of their status and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 1 July right to rent checks will change and EEA citizens will be required to demonstrate eligibility through evidence of their immigration status, rather than their nationality, now free movement has ended.

We will be updating our guidance and communicating with landlords in the coming weeks to set out the support available and ensure they are clear on the steps they should take at the end of the grace period.

Where an EEA citizen, who was resident here before the end of the transition period, has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to reduce the number of immigration enforcement visits made in error to British citizens.

Immigration Compliance Teams conduct immigration enforcement visits to residential and business premises. Extensive checks are undertaken on all individuals before any action is undertaken.

These checks include searches of all internal Home Office databases and where necessary external checks, such as birth or financial checks. In the immediate aftermath of Windrush, additional processes were put in place to carefully check the status of Commonwealth nationals to minimise the risk of tasking visits involving British nationals or those with the right to remain the United Kingdom.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish a breakdown of immigration enforcement visit statistics for the last 12 months by (a) location, (b) nationality, (c) ethnicity and (d) resultant arrests.

To maintain the highest standard of accuracy, the Home Office prefer to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

We do not routinely publish data regarding breakdowns of immigration enforcement visits statistics by location, nationality, ethnicity and resultant arrests as to do so could only be done at disproportionate cost. All data published by the Home Office is considered in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Our published data is available at the following links:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/summary-of-latest-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish data on immigration enforcement visits on a regular basis by (a) location, (b) nationality and (c) ethnicity.

To maintain the highest standard of accuracy, the Home Office prefer to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

We do not routinely publish data regarding breakdowns of immigration enforcement visits statistics by location, nationality, ethnicity and resultant arrests as to do so could only be done at disproportionate cost. All data published by the Home Office is considered in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Our published data is available at the following links:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/summary-of-latest-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will amend the British Nationality Act 1981 (Remedial) Order to include British-born Windrush descendants whose families gained rights to settle in the UK via the Immigration Act 1971.

Individuals born in the UK prior to 1 January 1983 are British citizens. A person born in the UK since 1983 will be a British citizen automatically if either parent was a British citizen or settled in the UK at the time of the birth. This includes any person whose parent was a member of the Windrush generation with indefinite leave to remain granted by the Immigration Act 1971.

A child born before 1 July 2006 will only acquire citizenship automatically through their father if their parents were married. There is a provision in nationality law for such a person to register as a British citizen if they would have become a British citizen automatically had their parents been married. This provision extends to individuals born in the UK to members of the Windrush generation that were granted indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Act 1971. Those applying under this provision do not have to pay a registration fee.

The British Nationality Act 1981 (Remedial) Order 2019 further provides that such a person may register as a British citizen without needing to meet the good character requirement. The Order specifically amends the British Nationality Act 1981 to address the Supreme Court’s finding that the good character requirement for registration under certain routes was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will suspend the charter flights deporting up to 50 citizens to Jamaica planned for 2nd December until the Equality and Human Rights Commission report, Public Sector Equality Duty assessment of hostile environment policies, published 25 November, has been (a) considered and (b) addressed.

I refer my honourable member to the statement I gave in the House, on 30th November 2020 available from this link https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-11-30/debates/D3928F57-B16F-4BB0-9A50-642E1C47E6C7/ScheduledMassDeportationJamaica

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what financial support he plans to make available to leaseholders in homes with unsafe cladding seeking to take legal action against the developers of their homes.

The Government's proposed changes to the Defective Premises Act 1972 as part of the Building Safety Bill will more than double the time available to seek compensation for substandard building work from six to 15 years. These new measures will provide a legal route to redress that is not currently possible for hundreds of buildings, potentially benefitting thousands of leaseholders.

The Government has been clear that those responsible must pay towards the cost of remediating defective buildings. It is fundamental that the industry that caused this issue contributes to setting things right. Some parts of the industry have done the right thing, funding remediation of serious historic defects, but this is not happening in all cases. In many cases, those who caused the problems are evading responsibility. That is why the Government is taking action, providing a route to redress so that those who caused these problems can be held accountable.

Under the Defective Premises Act, compensation can be claimed by the person who originally commissioned the work, or by any person subsequently acquiring a 'legal or equitable interest' in the dwelling. This includes the freeholder of a block of flats, as well as leaseholders. The Government's position is that it is freeholders who are responsible for ensuring their buildings are safe, and that they should meet the costs of remediation without passing them on to leaseholders wherever possible.

The Building Safety Bill further protects leaseholders by imposing a legal requirement on building owners to explore alternative ways to meet the cost of remediation works before passing these onto leaseholders, along with a requirement (in regulations) to provide evidence to leaseholders. Alternative sources of funding which must be explored before passing costs on include recovering costs from applicable warranty schemes, or from the developers or contractors who were responsible for the defects. Claims under the Defective Premises Act are one additional route that we expect building owners to explore, and our reforms will extend that option to hundreds of blocks where it is not currently possible.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to extend the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass in response to the postponement of the easing of covid-19 restrictions planned for 21 June 2021.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward offering local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by Government.

14th Jun 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on high street businesses of proposals for a new permitted development right to allow more premises to change to residential use.

Our new permitted development rights will boost our high streets and town centres, put vacant buildings back to use, and help to build the homes this country needs. They will create jobs, deliver more housing, and create an easier and more flexible environment for businesses to set up and flourish. Previous permitted development right changes have already delivered over 72,000 new homes over the last 5 years to March 2020. And a survey last year showed three quarters of small and mid-sized property builders expect to make use of the changes to Permitted Development Rights to deliver more housing units.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a local authority assessing the eligibility of an EU citizen for homelessness assistance after 30 June 2021 will be obliged to refuse assistance if that EU citizen is unable to demonstrate any proof of status and has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

EEA citizens who have missed the 30 June 2021 deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and who do not have a different form of UK immigration status will be considered a person subject to immigration control and will not be eligible for an allocation of social housing or homelessness assistance. They will need to resolve their immigration status. The Home Office’s Immigration Rules for the EUSS provide scope for late applications to the EUSS to be accepted where there are reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline, which may include those who are homeless or rough sleeping.

Guidance on eligibility for homelessness assistance can be found in Chapter 7 of the statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance. This is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/homelessness-code-of-guidance-for-local-authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the deadline for applications to the Building Safety Fund beyond 30 June 2021 to ensure all buildings with flammable cladding are considered.

The Government extended the full tender deadline for Building Safety Fund from 30 March 2021 to 30 June 2021; and the deadline to start works on site from 30 June 2021 to 30 September 2021. These deadlines were set based on information available at the time about registrants and their readiness to be able to deliver projects. The announcement on 10 February of an additional £3.5 billion of funding provides assurance for residents that all eligible applications to the Building Safety Fund will be able to proceed

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide an update on the application status of the 53 buildings in Liverpool that have submitted applications to the Building Safety Fund.

The Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund. Application progress is communicated to registrants who we expect will ensure that their residents are kept fully informed.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will guarantee that reforms to leaseholder laws announced in January 2021 will align the Duchy of Cornwall's tenants' rights with other leaseholders in England.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. In January we announced reforms to the valuation process and length of lease extensions, in response to Law Commission recommendations.

The Law Commission’s report on enfranchisement includes recommendations relating to the qualifying criteria for enfranchisement and lease extensions, including the applicability of these to leaseholders of the Crown. We will bring forward a response to these and the other remaining Law Commission recommendations in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the press release of 10 February 2021, Government to bring an end to unsafe cladding with multi-billion pound intervention, whether buildings with flammable cladding of six or seven storeys but lower than 18m will be eligible for that funding.

We will be publishing more details on how the additional funding for the removal of unsafe cladding announced on 10 February will work alongside existing funds.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to include the replacement of wooden balconies in the eligibility criteria for the Building Safety Fund.

The Government is focussing public funding on cladding systems because unsafe cladding acts as an accelerant to fire spread and poses an exceptional fire risk at certain heights. Works which are not directly related to the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding will not be covered by the Building Safety Fund. Balconies are therefore not included unless they are integral to the cladding. Funding for the removal of unsafe cladding will remove the biggest obstacle to remediation proceeding. Our guidance is clear that building safety is the responsibility of building owners and we have given expert advice on a range of safety issues to provide clarity.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that managing agents and building owners have sufficient time to implement an effective stage 1 schedule for Building Safety Fund support.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 115485 answered on 24 November.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to make decisions on the applications to the Building Safety Fund.

The Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund. We published registration statistics on 30 September, which can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics and will be publishing and update.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to ensure that leaseholders do not bear the costs of remedial works when their managing agent or building owner is unsuccessful in their application for Building Safety Fund.

The Government is clear that it is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they did not cause.

It must be recognised that it is the responsibility of building owners – not Government or the tax-payer – to ensure their buildings are safe for leaseholders and other residents. Building owners should consider all routes to meet costs, protecting leaseholders where they can – for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work.

The department is working on proposals to protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs caused by historic building safety defects, on which we will be providing an update.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of community sentences for female offenders as an alternative to short custodial prison sentences.

Sentencing is a matter for the judiciary in individual cases. In line with the Government’s Female Offender Strategy, we want fewer women serving short sentences and more managed effectively in the community successfully. Community sentences offer the opportunity to support women to address the underlying causes of offending behaviour, and to secure and maintain stable accommodation. In addition, disruption to families is significantly less, reducing the risk of intergenerational offending.

To support community provision, in May 2021 we announced £46 million probation funding over three years for services for women coming out of prison or serving community sentences and have invested £9.5m in the women’s community sector since 2018. We also have several initiatives underway that are looking to encourage use of robust community sentences as an alternative to custody for women, including Problem Solving Courts, Community Sentence Treatment Requirements, Electronic Monitoring and a Pre-Sentence Report pilot.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to support prison leavers into permanent safe and secure housing beyond the 12 weeks of accommodation provided by his Department's temporary accommodation service.

Our Prisons White Paper sets out our vision that no-one subject to probation supervision is released from prison homeless. This July we launched our Community Accommodation Service which provides up to twelve weeks temporary housing to prison leavers in five regions, with support to move to settled accommodation from an offender’s probation practitioner and the Community Rehabilitative Services. By 2024-25 we will spend £200 million a year to reduce reoffending, including improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation by expanding the Community Accommodation Service.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced their Accommodation for Ex-Offenders (AfEO) scheme on 28 July 2021. Local authority-led schemes vary and include a mixture of funding deposits, insurance or landlord incentives to help people into their own home, as well as landlord liaison and ongoing tenancy support. The scheme has been developed, together with the Community Accommodation Service, to provide a pathway for prison leavers from prison into their own private rented sector accommodation. Overall, this year, £13 million has been allocated to 87 schemes across 145 local authorities.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of promoting a single definition of suitable accommodation outcome for vulnerable women leaving prison.

Our Prisons White Paper sets out our vision that no-one subject to probation supervision is released from prison homeless. By 2024-25 we will spend £200 million a year to reduce reoffending, including improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation.

Our temporary accommodation service currently provides up to 12 weeks temporary housing in five regions to prison leavers at risk of homelessness who are subject to probation supervision. The service takes account of the needs of women, including those with complex needs, with accommodation provision dedicated to single gender usage as required. Community Probation Practitioners, working together with local partners, are responsible for ensuring that vulnerable female prison leavers receive appropriate support and have access to additional support for women through the Women’s Commissioned Rehabilitation Service (CRS). This provision is a holistic service offer, delivered by expert and experienced women’s services, that covers a broad range of interventions including accommodation support.

Accommodation circumstances for offenders are reported annually as official statistics. Data for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be published in July 2022 in the Community Performance Annual report. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, access to these statistics before their public release is limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance and operational purposes.

HMPPS worked with colleagues in Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) and the Welsh Government to agree a definition of homelessness, and they continue to work with them to ensure consistency and data quality. To ensure consistent and accurate data recording, HMPPS has recently updated the Accommodation Recording Guidance to ensure Probation regions have a clear and consistent understanding of the accommodation status definitions, and how to record accurately. The Guidance defines homelessness as where an individual is rough sleeping, squatting, residing in night shelters, emergency hostels or campsites.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women have used his Department's temporary accommodation service for prison leavers since its implementation in summer 2021; and what steps have been taken in the provision of that service specifically to reflect the accommodation needs of women.

Our Prisons White Paper sets out our vision that no-one subject to probation supervision is released from prison homeless. By 2024-25 we will spend £200 million a year to reduce reoffending, including improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation.

Our temporary accommodation service currently provides up to 12 weeks temporary housing in five regions to prison leavers at risk of homelessness who are subject to probation supervision. The service takes account of the needs of women, including those with complex needs, with accommodation provision dedicated to single gender usage as required. Community Probation Practitioners, working together with local partners, are responsible for ensuring that vulnerable female prison leavers receive appropriate support and have access to additional support for women through the Women’s Commissioned Rehabilitation Service (CRS). This provision is a holistic service offer, delivered by expert and experienced women’s services, that covers a broad range of interventions including accommodation support.

Accommodation circumstances for offenders are reported annually as official statistics. Data for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be published in July 2022 in the Community Performance Annual report. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, access to these statistics before their public release is limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance and operational purposes.

HMPPS worked with colleagues in Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) and the Welsh Government to agree a definition of homelessness, and they continue to work with them to ensure consistency and data quality. To ensure consistent and accurate data recording, HMPPS has recently updated the Accommodation Recording Guidance to ensure Probation regions have a clear and consistent understanding of the accommodation status definitions, and how to record accurately. The Guidance defines homelessness as where an individual is rough sleeping, squatting, residing in night shelters, emergency hostels or campsites.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of funding for Law Centres.

Charities in the advice sector play a crucial role in helping people resolve their legal problems across England and Wales, which has been vital throughout Covid-19.

That is why MoJ has provided £5.4m in funding for not-for-profit providers of specialist legal advice. £3m of this was distributed to Law Centres.

We continue to work closely with our stakeholders, including the Law Centres Network, to ensure the advice sector can continue to provide support to the communities they serve.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
2nd Sep 2020
What discussions he has had with groups supporting victims of domestic violence in Northern Ireland during the covid-19 outbreak.

Sadly during this pandemic, there has been a rise in domestic abuse incidents. I’m pleased to see there has been a focus across the whole of the UK to support victims of domestic violence.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice and Department of Health have taken a range of steps, including introducing the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill. An action plan for the domestic and sexual abuse strategy has also been published and the domestic violence and abuse campaign ‘see the signs’ has been relaunched.

I was pleased to see that on 3 July, the NI Justice Minister and NI Health Minister published a plan for year five of the seven year domestic and sexual abuse strategy and a progress report for 2019/20, taking forward commitments that had been made by the Executive in 2016.

Although this is a devolved area, the UK Government has made available £2 million to support domestic abuse charities to use technology to provide support in a more covert way to help victims trapped with their abuser.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)