Lloyd Russell-Moyle Portrait

Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Labour (Co-op) - Brighton, Kemptown

First elected: 8th June 2017


International Trade Committee
28th Sep 2020 - 26th Apr 2023
Committees on Arms Export Controls
3rd Feb 2021 - 26th Apr 2023
Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill
15th Mar 2023 - 23rd Mar 2023
Procurement Bill [HL]
25th Jan 2023 - 21st Feb 2023
Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill
7th Sep 2022 - 18th Oct 2022
Charities Bill [HL]
19th Jan 2022 - 25th Jan 2022
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
7th Sep 2021 - 22nd Sep 2021
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Apr 2020 - 16th Jul 2020
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
13th Jan 2020 - 9th Apr 2020
Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill (Joint)
19th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
13th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
11:30
Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
Oral questions - Main Chamber
27 Feb 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Energy Security and Net Zero (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.
Oral Question
Thursday 29th February 2024
09:30
Cabinet Office
Oral Question No. 1
What progress he has made on considering the recommendations of the Second Interim report of the Infected Blood Inquiry.
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Scheduled Event
Friday 1st March 2024
09:30
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
1 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Conversion Practices (Prohibition) Bill: Second Reading
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Department Event
Tuesday 16th April 2024
11:30
Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
Oral questions - Main Chamber
16 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Energy Security and Net Zero (including Topical Questions)
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View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
Because if we sign more licences while we are still part of the energy charter treaty, the Minister is binding …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Liraglutide
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Provision of council homes at social and living rents
That this House notes that providing grants to enable councils to deliver much-needed homes at social and living rents would …
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Conversion Practices (Prohibition) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to prohibit practices whose predetermined purpose is to change a person’s sexual orientation or to change a person …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th October 2023
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Challoch Energy Ltd
Address of donor: 9 Court Road, Bridgend CF31 1BE
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Friday 23rd February 2024
Cost of applying for indefinite leave under the bereaved partner concession
That this House supports the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London’s call for a fee waiver to be …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 16th November 2022
Teenagers (Safety and Wellbeing) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to place a duty on the Secretary of State to promote the safety and wellbeing of teenagers; to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lloyd Russell-Moyle has voted in 798 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

31 Jan 2023 - Procurement Bill [ Lords ] (Second sitting) - View Vote Context
Lloyd Russell-Moyle voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 3 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 4 Noes - 11
View All Lloyd Russell-Moyle 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
Jacob Young (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(58 debate interactions)
Michelle Donelan (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
(34 debate interactions)
Matthew Pennycook (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(30 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(206 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(65 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(49 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Renters (Reform) Bill 2022-23
(35,383 words contributed)
Procurement Act 2023
(2,891 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lloyd Russell-Moyle's debates

Brighton, Kemptown 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 Brighton, Kemptown signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must exercise its power under s.23 of the Gender Recognition Act to modify the operation of the Equality Act 2010 by specifying the terms sex, male, female, man & woman, in the operation of that law, mean biological sex and not "sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate"

It has been reported that the Government may amend the Equality Act to "make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender." The Government has previously committed to not remove legal protections for trans people, an already marginalised group, but this change would do so.

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.


Latest EDMs signed by Lloyd Russell-Moyle

22nd November 2023
Lloyd Russell-Moyle signed this EDM on Friday 23rd February 2024

Cost of applying for indefinite leave under the bereaved partner concession

Tabled by: Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
That this House supports the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London’s call for a fee waiver to be introduced for grieving widows applying for indefinite leave to remain under the bereaved partner concession; notes that the death of a loved one brings multiple emotional, practical and financial costs; …
54 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 21
Labour: 20
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
Independent: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Green Party: 1
9th February 2024
Lloyd Russell-Moyle signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Achieving clean air

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House notes that 15 February marks the anniversary of the death of Ella Roberta Adoo-Kissi Debrah who became the first person to have air pollution listed on her death certificate, and extends its deepest sympathies to her family; notes that air pollution is associated with conditions like asthma, …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 11
Scottish National Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 3
Independent: 3
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Lloyd Russell-Moyle's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 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.


Lloyd Russell-Moyle has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Lloyd Russell-Moyle

3 Bills introduced by Lloyd Russell-Moyle


A Bill to prohibit practices whose predetermined purpose is to change a person’s sexual orientation or to change a person to or from being transgender; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 1st March 2024
Order Paper number: 1
(Certain to be Debated)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish a single custodial tenancy deposit scheme; to provide for that scheme to invest deposits; to require interest on such investments to be used for the provision of tenant advocacy, tenant support and arbitration services; to establish a mandatory arbitration service for the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 13th March 2019
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to promote and secure youth services and provision of a requisite standard; to impose a duty on local authorities to provide youth services and establish local youth service partnerships with youth participation; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th June 2018
(Read Debate)

590 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
14 Other Department Questions
8th Nov 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how many (a) public and (b) private meetings the Committee has held in the last four years.

The Committee last met on 8 November 2023. The Committee publishes minutes of all its meetings on its website. These record which meeting agenda items were taken in public and in private. Between November 2019 and 15 November 2023, 15 meetings were held of which 11 were wholly in private and four had public sessions.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, by what proportion the staffing budget for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has changed in each of the last ten years.

In the past ten years, the IPSA staffing budget has been increased in each financial yearc, including a mid-year uplift to budget in 2020-21 in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

Financial year

Budget envelope (non-London)

Budget envelope (London)

2013-14

£137,200

£144,000

2014-15

£138,600 (1% increase)

£145,500 (1% increase from the previous year)

2015-16

£140,000 (1% increase)

£147,000 (1% increase)

2016-17

£141,400 (1% increase)

£148,500 (1% increase)

2017-18

£150,900 (6.7% increase)

£161,550 (8.8% increase)

2018-19

£153,620 (1.8% increase)

£164,460 (1.8% increase)

2019-20

£155,930 (1.5% increase)

£166,930 (1.5% increase)

2020-21

£177,550 plus mid-year £16,480 covid uplift (£194,030 or 24.4% if including covid increase)

£188,860 plus mid-year £18,270 covid uplift (£207,130 or 24.1% if including covid increase)

2021-22

£179,330 plus £24,970 covid uplift (£204,300 or 5.3% if including covid increase)

£190,750 plus £27,680 covid uplift (£218,430 or 5.5% if including covid increase)

2022-23

£221,750 (8.5% if incorporating covid uplift for 2021-22)

£237,430 (8.7% if incorporating covid uplift for 2021-22)

2023-24

£236,170 (6.5% increase)

£252,870 (6.5% increase)

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, when staffing budget proposals for 2023-24 were presented to the board.

The IPSA Board considered market benchmarking, data, and MP and staff representations at it meetings of 19 October 2022, 7 December 2022 and 14 December 2022.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if the Authority will publish the findings of the March 2020 Hays recruitment report on comparable job roles and salaries.

IPSA conducts an external benchmarking exercise on MPs’ staff salaries every three years. In September 2019, Hays conducted a pay and job description review, which IPSA published in March 2020.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how many meetings the Authority had with staff representative bodies before the announcement of staffing budgets.

Whilst IPSA cannot enter into formal negotiations that would have any binding effect on the individual decisions of MPs as employers, IPSA is happy to work in any effective way that it can with staff representatives to ensure that their voice is heard, and seen to be heard.

IPSA does not set MPs’ staff pay as MPs are the individual employers of their staff as a matter of law. IPSA has, however, proactively sought meetings and discussions with staff representatives and has significantly increased engagement with MPs’ staff over recent years. This has included regular meetings with its MP Staff User Group, joining the House of Commons’ Office Manager group, and through inviting staff representatives, such as Unite, the Members and Peers’ Staff Association (MAPSA), and Wellness Working Group, to IPSA Board meetings to share their insight and views. IPSA has also liaised in recent years with the GMB trade union.

IPSA is very grateful for the high volume of valuable feedback it has received through these series of feedback channels. This has enabled IPSA to survey MP staff on casework workload, budgets, and wellbeing, and check in at each House Office Manager meeting, with such engagement valuable to IPSA in proposing a staffing uplift during the covid-19 pandemic and in establishing an exceptional funding process for the pressures created during the Afghan withdrawal in August 2021.

In addition to the channels above, direct representations from staff groups were considered as part of the proposals which IPSA made on MPs’ staffing budgets. Specific examples for 2023/24 budgets include meetings with Unite and MAPSA on 26 May, 14 June, and 21 November 2022, and with the GMB union on 16 December.

31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on banning sexual orientation and transgender conversion practices.

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

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

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations made by the Ending Conversion Practices Expert Advisory Group in Scotland on 4 October 2022.

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

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

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with her counterparts and legislators in (a) Malta, (b) France, (c) Canada, (d) New Zealand, (e) Greece and the relevant regional or state governments of the (i) US, (ii) Spain and (iii) Australia on their legislation on banning conversion practices and their protection of transgender people.

The Government has engaged with a wide range of international counterparts including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Malta, to understand the approaches they have taken to ban conversion therapy. We will continue to engage with counterparts around the world that are committed to protecting everyone from conversion practices to share insight and develop our approach.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, which accredited medical, counselling or psychological organisations support the Government’s plan to exclude transgender people from a ban on conversion practices.

The Equality Hub Ministers and officials have met with healthcare professionals in developing the policy approach to protecting all individuals from conversion practices. Many such organisations responded to the public consultation that closed in February 2022.

We will continue to meet with healthcare professionals to inform our approach and will respond to the consultation in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether her Department has consulted (a) NHS England, (b) NHS Wales, (c) the Royal College of GPs, (d) the Royal College of Psychiatrists, (e) the British Psychological Society and (f) the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy as part of its work to explore the issue of transgender conversion practices further.

The Equality Hub Ministers and officials have met with healthcare professionals in developing the policy approach to protecting all individuals from conversion practices. Many such organisations responded to the public consultation that closed in February 2022.

We will continue to meet with healthcare professionals to inform our approach and will respond to the consultation in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what work has been undertaken by her Department on transgender conversion practices since the Government set out its plans on this topic in its background briefing to the Queen’s Speech in May 2022.

Since May 2022, the Government has launched a support service open to all victims or those at risk of conversion practices regardless of their background or circumstances. The Government has committed up to £360,000 over three years to this service. The service includes a helpline, instant messaging service, and website to enable people to get the support they need.

More widely, the Government remains committed to protecting everyone from these practices. We are carefully considering the responses to the public consultation which closed earlier this year and will respond in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the National LGBT Action Plan 2018, which of the recommendations she has instructed her Department to implement.

The 2018 LGBT Action Plan was introduced by the previous administration. We have set out our plan for LGBT advancement for this Government and our priorities are banning Conversion Therapy and hosting the Global LGBT Conference. The objective was, and continues to be, to defend, extend and promote the rights and freedoms of LGBT people here and abroad.

We have achieved a great deal for LGBT people since 2018, including appointing the UK’s first National LGBT Health Adviser, more than doubling the number of places available on the PrEP Impact Trial, running a world-leading anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme in schools and working with the Home Office to update the Hate Crime Action Plan.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she has taken to ensure her Department’s consultation on banning so-called conversion therapy prioritises the voices of survivors of that practice.

Any ban we bring forward must work for those who need it most, especially victims and survivors. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences. We have committed to launching a consultation in September and this will be vital for ensuring the action we take is informed, effective and proportionate. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of conversion therapy to respond to our consultation when it launches in September.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what franchise EU citizens with (a) pre-settled and (b) settled immigration status will have after 31 December 2020.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 66206 on 6 July 2020.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what new border infrastructure is being planned for Newhaven.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the guidance entitled Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do after 4 July updated on 24 June 2020, what the limited set of circumstances when groups of more than 30 people may gather are.

As stated in the guidance published at the link below, the limited set of circumstances under which gatherings in groups of larger than 30 people will be permitted will be set out in law before 4 July.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, of 29 May 2020 to Question 48589 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus and of 11 May to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, what communication he has had with the Cabinet Secretary on the non-publication of that document since the 2019 general election.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 3030 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, the Answer of 2 May 2020 to Question 48583 the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, on Business Statement, for what reason he has not published the directory of ministerial contacts.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 and of 29 May to Question 48589 and of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibilities, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, for what reason that document has not been published despite (a) six months having elapsed since the general election and (b) more than one month having elapsed since the first written question in relation to republishing that document.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 2 May 2020 to Question 48583 and of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, on Business Statement, what the date is for the publication of Government Ministers and responsibilities.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020.

18th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583 on Business Statement, on what date he plans to update the list of ministerial responsibilities published on GOV.UK, last updated in October 2019 and before the last ministerial reshuffle.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020.

5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish an update of the document entitled, Government ministers and responsibilities; and if he will make it his policy to publish that document in (a) CSV and (b) PDF formats.

Details of ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK. The List of Ministerial Responsibilities document was last updated in October 2019 and was made available in PDF and CSV formats. An update will be published in due course.

19th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an estimate of how much oil from Russia which has been refined in India has been imported as jet fuel since February 2022.

In line with WTO rules of origin, Russian oil which has been substantially processed (refined) in a third country is no longer considered to be of Russian origin.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps his Department is taking to tackle companies that provide misleading and fraudulent Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

The Financial Conduct Authority recently took action to ban providers of debt advice from receiving payments in exchange for referring debtors to Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) providers. In addition, the Insolvency Service introduced new regulatory guidance to the insolvency profession in relation to the take up of new IVAs.

The Government has announced that it will further strengthen the regulatory regime by introducing new legislation to regulate firms providing insolvency services, in addition to individual insolvency practitioners, which will include companies providing IVA solutions.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to end the use of daylight saving time.

The Government has no plans to change the daylight saving arrangements. The Government believes that the current daylight saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK.

While there is the potential for some benefits from a change in the current arrangements, there is also a real risk of negative impacts. A change to permanent summertime or double summertime may also have significant impacts on certain sectors and businesses.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that legislation protecting plumbers, builders and carpenters affected by delayed payments from customers is adequate.

The Government believes that clients who commission work from small firms or individual tradespeople, should pay invoices as swiftly as possible. This ensures that they have the cash flow to enable them to continue to operate. Firms and tradespeople have recourse to the Small Claims Court, in cases where clients persistently refuse to pay. On 2 October, the Government announced new measures to back small businesses and tackle late payments as part of the Prompt Payment and Cash Flow Review, including extending and improving the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017. The full review will be published shortly.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will set an implementation date prior to 2025 of the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill.

We are committed to introducing Neonatal Care Leave and Pay as quickly as possible. Work is ongoing across Government to deliver these new entitlements.

Delivery requires updates to HMRC IT systems and parliamentary consideration of a significant amount of secondary legislation, which will take approximately 18 months.

It is also necessary to align the ‘go live’ date with the start of a tax year. This means April 2025 is the earliest date for the introduction of Neonatal Care Leave and Pay.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make a comparative assessment of (a) the current number of employees and (b) the projected job growth by 2030,within the (i) oil and gas industry and (ii) renewable energy industry in the North Sea.

The oil and gas sector currently supports around 200,000 jobs. Research by Robert Gordon University predicts that the workforce may decline by 2030 as production from the North Sea declines, the scale of which depends on future commercial decisions.

The Offshore Wind Industry Council estimates that the total UK offshore wind workforce was 32,257 in 2022, and forecasts that the UK offshore wind industry could support over 100,000 jobs by 2030.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2024 to Question 9353 on Energy Charter Treaty, with which civil society stakeholders she has consulted as part of that review.

The UK is considering views from a range of stakeholders to inform its position on the Energy Charter Treaty, including civil society stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations, campaign groups, academia and thinktanks in the environment and development sectors.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent progress her Department has made on reviewing the UK's membership of the Energy Charter Treaty.

On 1 September 2023, the UK announced it would review its membership of the Energy Charter Treaty if the modernised Treaty was not adopted by November 2023. The Government is considering the views of stakeholders in business, civil society, and Parliament as part of this review.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to the press release entitled New opportunities for North Sea oil and gas, published by the Prime Minister's Office on 5 November 2023, if she will publish a breakdown of the more than 200,000 jobs supported by the combined oil and gas industry.

The Department does not have the breakdowns for workforce groups in the combined oil and gas sector. I refer the hon Member to the 2022 OEUK Workforce Insights Report which includes breakdowns of the workforce including by region and job description.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department expects the proportion of heavy crude oil to increase as a proportion of the UK's North Sea oil production up to 2035.

The Department expects that the proportion of total UK oil production from heavy oil fields is likely to be broadly the same in 2035 as it is now.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether the Climate Change Committee was asked to comment on the risk tables created to support the delivery of the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan.

The Climate Change Committee was not asked to comment on the risk tables.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the potential impact of the changes announced in the Prime Minister's speech on Net Zero on 20 September 2023 on carbon emissions in (a) 2030, (b) 2040 and (c) 2050.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State keeps under review the UK's progress towards net zero and its interim carbon budgets and will take further action, if needed, to ensure that there are sufficient proposals and policies in place to meet her legal duties.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will publish the risk tables which set out the estimated level of risk for each policy and proposal in the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan laid before Parliament on 29 March 2023.

The Department does not intend to publish the risk tables, which were internal documents created to support the development of the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, published in March this year.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent discussions he has had with the National Grid on the NeuConnect project for an electricity interconnector between the UK and Germany.

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero closely engages with developers and relevant stakeholders to help facilitate the delivery of interconnection projects as part of the Government’s energy security and net zero strategy.

In June, officials from the Department held a meeting with the National Grid Electricity System Operator and NeuConnect developers to discuss the progression of the project. Once completed, the interconnector would be the first direct link between the UK and Germany’s electricity grids.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on potential impact of the delivery of the NeuConnect electricity interconnector between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven, Germany on supply chain job creation in the next five years.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with Cabinet colleagues to discuss major updates and developments in the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, including progress made towards our electricity interconnection and energy security ambitions.

A cost-benefit analysis of the NeuConnect electricity interconnector shows that the project is set to create over £1.7bn in UK consumer benefits over 25 years and support up to 500 jobs across the UK and Germany during construction, including in the supply chain sector. Developers of the project have also committed to employing local contractors whenever possible.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of the licensing agreement between the Crown Estate and the developers of the NeuConnect electricity interconnector.

The final licencing decision, including determining the terms of the licence, sits with The Crown Estate. The Secretary of State does not assess the adequacy of the licensing agreement.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what funding (a) his Department and (b) predecessor departments have provided to the NeuConnect project for an electricity interconnector between the UK and Germany.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero does not provide direct funding for interconnectors. Electricity interconnectors can be supported by a cap and floor regime regulated by Ofgem which provides developers with a minimum return and a limit on potential earnings.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an estimate of the number of hours staff in (a) his Department and (b) predecessor departments have spent working on contracts associated with the NeuConnect electricity interconnector between the UK and Germany.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero does not work directly on contracts for developing interconnectors. Ofgem is responsible for operating the cap and floor regime and licensing arrangements. Due to changes in staff over the length of this engagement, it is not possible to quantify the time my ministry and its predecessor has spent overseeing the work on NeuConnect.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of replacing Government and EU-funded low-carbon innovation projects to support small businesses which wish to transition to low-carbon practices.

Government support is needed both for net zero innovation and for small businesses to adopt low carbon measures.

Research and innovation is a key enabler for net zero, driving down the costs of key technologies and processes and creating economic opportunities for innovative UK businesses, including SMEs. This is underpinned by £4.2 billion of government support for net zero research and innovation for 2022-2025.

For supporting businesses to adopt low carbon measures, the Government has launched a campaign aimed at increasing the energy efficiency in businesses, charities and public sector bodies. It is also supporting UK businesses to meet their net zero commitments via the UK Business Climate Hub. SMEs are also encouraged to join the UN’s ‘Race to Zero’ initiative and over 4,200 UK small businesses have joined so far.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will bring forward proposals to decouple the pricing of the standing charge from energy prices.

The setting of energy tariffs, including the standing charge is a commercial matter for individual energy suppliers. The standing charge is decoupled from energy unit price. It is a flat daily rate that reflects the costs energy suppliers incur to provide a live gas or electricity supply, regardless of a consumer’s usage, and includes, amongst other things, transmission and distribution costs. Under the Energy Price Guarantee, average standing charges for customers on default tariffs remain capped in line with the levels set by Ofgem.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential options for providing support to people on low incomes who are excluded from the Warm Homes Discount due to their accommodation not meeting the required energy cost score.

I refer the Hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 17th January 2023 to Question 120076.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, of the potential merits of providing increased support to people on low incomes who are not eligible for the Warm Homes Discount as a result of their property or accommodation not meeting the required energy cost score.

The Government has expanded the Warm Home Discount scheme this year, providing the £150 rebate to over 3 million households, an increase of 800,000.

Energy suppliers can also provide additional support to households through the Industry Initiatives portion of the scheme, through measures such as financial assistance, debt write-off, benefit entitlement checks, energy advice and energy efficiency. This support can be provided to households, irrespective of whether they are eligible for a rebate.

The scheme comes on top of additional support the Government is providing this winter and next winter, including through the Energy Price Guarantee and Cost of Living Payments.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2022 to Question 17919 on Energy Bills Rebate, what steps his Department will take to support park home residents; and when his Department plans to make this support available.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for St Albans on 20th June 2022 to Question 18990.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that domestic consumers are prioritised in the distribution of domestically produced gas.

Energy security is a top priority for this Government. Great Britain benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of gas supply and a diverse electricity mix, which ensures that households, businesses, and heavy industry get the energy they need. The Government remains confident that Great Britain's energy security will be maintained.

In the event of a gas supply emergency, National Grid Gas, as the system operator, has long-standing response plans that prioritise domestic customers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the membership of the Energy Skills Alliance is.

The North Sea Transition Deal underpins the Government’s partnership with the offshore oil and gas sector, to achieve a managed energy transition which leaves no-one behind. The sector, through its skills body OPITO, is developing an integrated People and Skills Plan to support mutual recognition of workforce skills and competencies across energy sectors, which is due to be published in the coming months.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal also includes actions to develop an Offshore Energy Passport to accredit offshore workers and facilitate job-mobility between offshore renewable and extractive industries; the Offshore Wind Industry Council produces a quarterly People and Skills Bulletin to provide an update on activities.

Specific training requirements fall within the remit of skills standards and training certifying bodies.

The Energy Skills Alliance (ESA) is chaired by OPITO, with information on the ESA and its membership published on the OPITO website.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the North Sea Transition Deal, published on 24 March 2021, what progress the Energy Skills Alliance has made in developing training and standards for all offshore energy industries.

The North Sea Transition Deal underpins the Government’s partnership with the offshore oil and gas sector, to achieve a managed energy transition which leaves no-one behind. The sector, through its skills body OPITO, is developing an integrated People and Skills Plan to support mutual recognition of workforce skills and competencies across energy sectors, which is due to be published in the coming months.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal also includes actions to develop an Offshore Energy Passport to accredit offshore workers and facilitate job-mobility between offshore renewable and extractive industries; the Offshore Wind Industry Council produces a quarterly People and Skills Bulletin to provide an update on activities.

Specific training requirements fall within the remit of skills standards and training certifying bodies.

The Energy Skills Alliance (ESA) is chaired by OPITO, with information on the ESA and its membership published on the OPITO website.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of training times required to achieve basic certification to work in the offshore (a) oil and gas and (b) wind sector of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The North Sea Transition Deal underpins the Government’s partnership with the offshore oil and gas sector, to achieve a managed energy transition which leaves no-one behind. The sector, through its skills body OPITO, is developing an integrated People and Skills Plan to support mutual recognition of workforce skills and competencies across energy sectors, which is due to be published in the coming months.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal also includes actions to develop an Offshore Energy Passport to accredit offshore workers and facilitate job-mobility between offshore renewable and extractive industries; the Offshore Wind Industry Council produces a quarterly People and Skills Bulletin to provide an update on activities.

Specific training requirements fall within the remit of skills standards and training certifying bodies.

The Energy Skills Alliance (ESA) is chaired by OPITO, with information on the ESA and its membership published on the OPITO website.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) amount of CO2 that needs to be captured by Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and (b) volume of wood pellets required for the UK to reach net zero by 2050.

Analysis for the Net Zero Strategy’s illustrative 2050 scenarios conducted using the UK TIMES model includes 52 to 58 Mt of CO2 per year of engineered removals delivered by Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage in 2050. This analysis also includes the annual consumption of 70 to 180 TWh of pellets made from wood, crops and agricultural waste by 2050. The range comes from the three illustrative scenarios detailed in the government’s Net Zero Strategy report, which also contains more information about the model.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation that the vast majority of the biomass burnt in UK power stations should be UK grown; and whether any of the wood pellets burnt in UK power stations in 2021 were from trees grown in the UK.

The Government will consider the use of domestically grown biomass feedstocks as part of the Biomass Strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will list each of the countries (a) from which wood pellets burnt in UK power stations are sourced and (b) in which officials in his Department have conducted site visits to affected forests.

This data is publicly available from Ofgem’s Renewables Obligation Annual Report 2019-20.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the volume of wood pellets that will be burnt to produce electricity in each of the next five years.

Projections of generation from renewable sources, which includes wood pellets, are available in Annex L of BEIS Energy and Emissions projections at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2019

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will bring forward plans to extend the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Business Loan Scheme repayment holiday.

We have always been clear that businesses are responsible for repaying any finance they take out. However, we recognise that some borrowers will benefit from additional flexibility with regards to their repayments. That is why we announced the Pay As You Grow measures last year.

Pay As You Grow is designed to provide Bounce Back Loan borrowers more time and flexibility over their repayments by giving them the option to:

  • Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten.
  • Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan.
  • Take up a six-month repayment holiday. This option is available once during the term of their loan.

Businesses will be able to use these options either individually or in combination with each other.

While the Government covers the interest due on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities for the first twelve months, repayments of capital are required during this period unless the lender chooses to grant additional forbearance measures.

CBILS lenders are able to extend the repayment period for CBILS facilities where this is needed, to a maximum of 10 years. CBILS term extensions are offered at the discretion of lenders, and for forbearance purposes only.

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing cashflow and a list of independent advice services. Details can be found at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/dealing-with-debt/.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164585 on Chemicals: Exports, if he will convene a similar meeting with environmental and public health NGOs to discuss the proposals put forward by industry stakeholders at the meeting of 15 February 2021 on reducing requirements for chemical safety data in UK REACH.

The Chemicals EU Exit & Trade Group (CEEG) is a sector panel for discussion on EU Exit and future trade issues. Discussions on industry’s UK REACH proposal were therefore part of this broader agenda.

UK REACH policy is led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). As such, Defra has been engaging with all interested parties, including NGOs on the issues which industry has raised about the impacts of the new regulatory requirements associated with the implementation of UK REACH.

As previously stated, in discussing the issues which industry has raised, the Government will take account of the benefits and risks of making any changes to the arrangements that are in place now, including the impact it would have on the Government’s commitment to maintaining high standards of protection for public health and the environment, as well as any impact on our international obligations.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) minutes and (b) list of attendees of the Chemicals EU Exit Trade Group on 15 February 2021; and what steps his Department is taking in response to the issues raised by stakeholders at that meeting.

Minutes from the Chemicals EU Exit (and Trade) Group (CEEG) are not routinely published.

The attendees at the last CEEG held on the 15th February 2021 were:

Ministerial

  • Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for BEIS
  • Lord Callanan, Lords Parliamentary Under Secretary, BEIS [Co-Chair]
  • Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defra
  • Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, DWP

Industry

  • Calum MacLean – CEO & Group Director, Synthomer [Industry Co-Chair]
  • Steve Elliott – CEO, Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
  • Tom Bowtell – CEO, British Coatings Federation (BCF)
  • Adrian Hanrahan – Managing Director, Robinson Brothers
  • Jane Toogood – Sector Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey (JM)

Officials

  • Neil Johnson, BEIS, Director, Infrastructure and Materials
  • Chris Hobley, BEIS, Director, Trade and Investment Negotiations
  • Jo Bray, BEIS, Deputy Director, Chemicals, Bioeconomy & Plastics
  • Sally Randall, DEFRA, Director, Environmental Quality
  • Gabrielle Edwards, DEFRA, Deputy Director, Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste
  • Dr Richard Daniels, HSE, Divisional Director Chemicals Regulation Division
  • Harjinder Kang, DIT, Director, Healthcare, Life Sciences & Bioeconomy
  • Supporting officials from BEIS, DEFRA, HSE and DIT

BEIS continues to work closely with industry to understand how it is adapting to the terms of the UK/EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement, and to understand its priorities for new trade deals. Government is also engaging closely with all interested parties on the issues which industry has raised about the impacts of the new regulatory requirements associated with the implementation of UK REACH. In doing so we will take account of the benefits and risks of making any changes to the arrangements that are in place now, including the impact it would have in our commitment to maintaining high standards of protection for public health and the environment. We will also consider the impact on our international obligations.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost to the public purse has been in loans via the (a) British Business Bank and (b) other lenders to (i) developers and (ii) contractors in the renewable energy industry in response to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on (A) revenue streams, (B) capital investment and (C) employment costs.

The three Coronavirus Business Interruption loan schemes are administered by the British Business Bank and delivered by accredited lenders.

The cost to Government of the schemes will not be known until the end of the life of the loan schemes. The total cost will also depend on a range of economic factors over the life of the schemes.

The British Business Bank publishes lending figures under the BBBLs and CBILS schemes, including by sector[1] as follows.

BBLS by Sector

Number of BBLS facilities

Volume of Finance under BBLS (£)

% of BBLS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

7,866

251,165,017

1%

0.6%

CBILS by Sector

Number of CBILS facilities

Volume of Finance under CBILS (£)

% of CBILS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

476

139,820,670

1%

0.6%

[1] https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/coronavirus-loan-schemes-benefiting-businesses-in-all-corners-of-uk-reveals-new-analysis-from-british-business-bank/

29th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that domestic energy consumption does not contribute to global deforestation.

The UK only supports biomass for electricity generation which complies with strict sustainability criteria, and generating stations utilising biomass only receive subsidies in respect of compliant biomass. These criteria take into account of social, economic and environmental issues including protecting biodiversity, land use rights, sustainable harvesting and regeneration rates. They ensure that the carbon stock of the forest from which the pellets are derived is not decreased by requiring that biomass fuels are derived from forest waste wood and residues and that the forest owner adheres to relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment.

10th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an estimate of the number of youth practitioners with youth work training that are required to ensure adequate provision of youth services by local authorities under Section 507B of the Education Act 1996.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficient provision of educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people. The appropriate number of trained youth practitioners required for local authorities to meet this duty will depend on the area and the needs of the young people in that area. It is for each local authority to decide what is sufficient provision.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the impact of the 3 pm football blackout on disabled people who lack the mobility to watch games live.

The Government does not have a role in the application of the broadcast blackout at 3pm on Saturday for football in England, and this rule arises from Article 48 of the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) statutes.

The Government expects all sports and all clubs to take the necessary action to fulfil their legal obligation under the Equality Act of 2010, including making reasonable adjustments so that disabled people are not placed at a substantial disadvantage when accessing sports venues. With the support of Level Playing Field, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) developed the Accessible Stadia document and Accessible Stadia Supplementary Guidance as a benchmark of good practice for new and existing sports grounds. It offers practical, clear solutions that will help deliver high-quality grounds with facilities and services that are accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps her Department has taken to help support public libraries.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works closely with organisations across the sector to support and champion public libraries in England. Through the first round of the Libraries Improvement Fund, we are investing £5 million in 25 library services to upgrade their buildings and technology, equipping them to meet the changing needs of local communities. Decisions regarding the second round of the Fund – which will offer another £5 million of investment – will be made shortly.

Additionally, in September 2022 the Government appointed Baroness Sanderson of Welton as chairman of a new advisory panel to help develop a new strategy to make sure public libraries are providing the best possible service for their communities. More detail can be found here. To date she has had numerous meetings with organisations with an interest in public libraries’ work, and has led two roundtable sessions. The first on 13 January in Nottinghamshire focused on the contribution public libraries make to cultural and creative enrichment and the second on 27 January in Ipswich discussed their contribution to health and wellbeing. A further seven roundtables will be held between February and May, in libraries across England, each focusing on a specific theme, based on the seven Strategic Outcomes in the Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 to 2021, plus sessions on governance and innovation.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will publish minimum standards for youth provision and services.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23/05/22 to Question 4615.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle online (a) homophobia, (b) biphobia and (c) transphobia.

The government is committed to tackling misogyny, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, including the spread of such content online. On 12 May 2021, we published the draft Online Safety Bill, which sets out new expectations on companies to keep their users safe online. Under a new legal duty of care, in-scope companies, including social media, will need to tackle misogynistic, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic content and activity that is illegal, if it is on their services.

In addition, companies with the largest audiences and with high-risk features will need to assess the risk to adults of legal but harmful content on their services. They must also set clear terms and conditions stating what legal but harmful material they accept (and do not accept) on their service. Companies will have to do this for both priority harms which the government will set out in secondary legislation and for any emerging harms they identify in their risk assessments.

These duties will apply to misogynistic, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate speech, which do not meet the threshold of a criminal offence. Companies will need to enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently, and could face enforcement action if they do not. All companies in scope will be required to have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms.

19th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department collects data on students who self-report (a) depression, (b) bad nerves and (c) anxiety.

The mental health of children and young people is an absolute priority for this government. The department wants to ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive, no matter their background or the challenges they may face.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA, now part of the Joint Information Systems Committee) is responsible for collecting and publishing data about UK higher education. HESA collects data on the number of students declaring a disability, including mental health conditions. This is not disaggregated further to categories such as depression, bad nerves and anxiety.

Statistics covering the academic years 2014/2015 to 2021/2022 are available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-15.

From 2022/2023, students with multiple disabilities will disclose each of their disabilities instead of falling under a catch-all "multiple disabilities" category. However, depression, bad nerves, schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are still included in one mental health category.

The department collects data on various aspects of children and young people’s wellbeing and mental health. Key sources of this data, both from the department and other stakeholders, are collated into the annual State of the Nation report on Children and Young People’s Wellbeing. The report brings together a range of published information from government, academic, voluntary, and private sector organisations to provide a clear narrative for all those interested in the wellbeing of children and young people in England. The most recent report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-of-the-nation-2022-children-and-young-peoples-wellbeing.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of how resources can best be allocated to provide comprehensive sexual health education in schools.

Schools are free to determine how they use their funding in support of subjects, including RSHE training for teachers.

The department expects schools to consult with parents on what they teach. Schools should ensure that, when they engage parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, for example the books they will use in lessons.

In light of concerning reports about the use of inappropriate materials used to teach the RSHE curriculum, the Secretary of State has twice written to schools to make clear that schools should share resources with parents and clarify the position about how copyright law applies when schools share resources with parents. Copies of both letters can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/secretary-of-state-letter-to-schools-about-sharing-curriculum-resources-with-parents.

The department has been reviewing the RSHE guidance and aims to launch a public consultation by the end of this year. The department anticipates that the revised guidance, including content on sexual health education, will be published in 2024.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 66 of the Higher education policy statement & reform consultation Equality analysis published in February 2022, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of that report’s findings on the disparity in percentage increases in loan repayments between female borrowers and male borrowers.

The department has carefully assessed the impact of changes and published a full and comprehensive analysis in the HE Reform and Consultation Document Equality Impact Assessment, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reform-equality-impact-assessment.

The student loan repayment system under Plan 5 is progressive, with repayments being positively correlated with lifetime earnings. The highest earners make the largest individual contributions to the system overall, and the lowest earners are required to contribute the least.

Lower earners, whether male or female, are protected. If a borrower’s income is below the repayment threshold, they will not be required to make any repayments at all. At the end of the loan term, any outstanding loan debt, including interest accrued, will be written off at no detriment to the borrower. No commercial loans offer this level of protection.

The department will continue to keep the student finance system, including repayment terms, under review to ensure that it remains sustainable and delivers value for money for students and the taxpayer.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2023 to Question 181305 on Free School Meals, what guidance her Department has provided to local authorities on ensuring that eligible pupils (a) on school premises and (b) at any other place where education is being provided are in receipt of free school meals.

The Education Act 1996 places a duty on maintained schools and academies to provide nutritious free meals to pupils who meet the eligibility criteria, including being a registered pupil of a state funded school.

Free School Meal (FSM) provision should be made to eligible pupils either on the school premises or at any other place where education is being provided.

The Department has published guidance for schools on FSM provision to eligible pupils who are being taught remotely. The guidance can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1136309/Providing_remote_education_non-statutory_guidance_for_schools.pdf, and: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/handling-strike-action-in-schools, and: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-estates-guidance.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the impact assessment for the Government’s reforms to loan repayments, published in February 2022 and the House of Commons Library briefing entitled The Post-18 Education and Funding Review: Government conclusion, section 4.1, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of disparities in student loan repayments of the (a) average total loan charge and (b) time spent repaying loans between male and female borrowers.

The department has carefully assessed the impact of changes and published a full and comprehensive analysis in the HE Reform and Consultation Document Equality Impact Assessment, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reform-equality-impact-assessment.

The student loan repayment system under Plan 5 is progressive, with repayments being positively correlated with lifetime earnings. The highest earners make the largest individual contributions to the system overall, and the lowest earners are required to contribute the least.

Lower earners, whether male or female, are protected. If a borrower’s income is below the repayment threshold, they will not be required to make any repayments at all. At the end of the loan term, any outstanding loan debt, including interest accrued, will be written off at no detriment to the borrower. No commercial loans offer this level of protection.

The department will continue to keep the student finance system, including repayment terms, under review to ensure that it remains sustainable and delivers value for money for students and the taxpayer.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the provisions of the statutory guidance entitled Cost of school uniforms published in November 2021 are enforced.

The statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms came into force in September 2022, so all schools should now be compliant. The only exception to this would be where this would breach a pre-existing supplier arrangement. The statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-school-uniforms/cost-of-school-uniforms.

If parents are concerned about the cost of their child’s school uniform, they should raise this with the school, including through the school’s published complaints process where necessary.

If a parent is unhappy with the outcome of their complaint, they can raise this with the Department. The Department will consider whether the uniform policy meets the requirements of the guidance. The Department can use its existing statutory and funding agreement levers to make sure schools follow the guidance.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to take steps to support Higher Education institutions with the cost of (a) staffing and (b) course provision to cover potential increases in Teachers' Pension Scheme employer contributions.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is one of the best pension schemes available. It is a defined benefit scheme, which means that members receive an index-linked income in retirement, that it has a large employer contribution element, and that it is underwritten by HM Treasury.

The arrangements for valuing public service pension schemes, like the TPS, recognise that there are a wide number of factors that affect the cost of providing the benefits involved, and those factors are subject to regular change, including longevity, member behaviour and economic performance. Reviewing those factors every four years, which is in line with practice for similar pension schemes, is necessary to ensure that the contribution rate employers pay reflects a reasonably up-to-date view of costs, including for higher education (HE) providers. There would be limited value in seeking to forecast likely costs beyond that because of the potential for the wide range of factors involved to change, and therefore there are no plans to make such forecasts currently.

In recognition of the cost pressure a potential increase to employer contribution rates would bring to existing departmental budgets, on 30 March 2023 the Government announced its commitment to providing funding for employers whose employment costs are centrally funded. HE providers are not covered by this commitment. This is consistent with the decision to not fund a similar TPS cost increase in 2019. The Department expects the 2020 TPS valuation to be completed and revised employers’ contribution rates to be confirmed in September 2023. At this point it will be possible for HE providers to accurately assess how any changes in employers’ contribution rates may affect budgets.

The Department recognises that, while the Office for Students’ annual report on financial sustainability finds that university finances generally remain in good shape, there remains a wide spread of financial performance across the sector. The Department, along with HM Treasury, recognise the importance of this issue, and will continue discussions about the implications for HE providers. The Government will confirm its position on this issue in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the level of Teachers’ Pensions Scheme employer contributions on (a) the budgets of Higher Educational institutions and (b) the number of academic jobs in the higher education sector.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is one of the best pension schemes available. It is a defined benefit scheme, which means that members receive an index-linked income in retirement, that it has a large employer contribution element, and that it is underwritten by HM Treasury.

The arrangements for valuing public service pension schemes, like the TPS, recognise that there are a wide number of factors that affect the cost of providing the benefits involved, and those factors are subject to regular change, including longevity, member behaviour and economic performance. Reviewing those factors every four years, which is in line with practice for similar pension schemes, is necessary to ensure that the contribution rate employers pay reflects a reasonably up-to-date view of costs, including for higher education (HE) providers. There would be limited value in seeking to forecast likely costs beyond that because of the potential for the wide range of factors involved to change, and therefore there are no plans to make such forecasts currently.

In recognition of the cost pressure a potential increase to employer contribution rates would bring to existing departmental budgets, on 30 March 2023 the Government announced its commitment to providing funding for employers whose employment costs are centrally funded. HE providers are not covered by this commitment. This is consistent with the decision to not fund a similar TPS cost increase in 2019. The Department expects the 2020 TPS valuation to be completed and revised employers’ contribution rates to be confirmed in September 2023. At this point it will be possible for HE providers to accurately assess how any changes in employers’ contribution rates may affect budgets.

The Department recognises that, while the Office for Students’ annual report on financial sustainability finds that university finances generally remain in good shape, there remains a wide spread of financial performance across the sector. The Department, along with HM Treasury, recognise the importance of this issue, and will continue discussions about the implications for HE providers. The Government will confirm its position on this issue in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of creating a long-term forecast of scheduled increases to Teachers' Pension Scheme employer contributions on Higher Education institutions.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is one of the best pension schemes available. It is a defined benefit scheme, which means that members receive an index-linked income in retirement, that it has a large employer contribution element, and that it is underwritten by HM Treasury.

The arrangements for valuing public service pension schemes, like the TPS, recognise that there are a wide number of factors that affect the cost of providing the benefits involved, and those factors are subject to regular change, including longevity, member behaviour and economic performance. Reviewing those factors every four years, which is in line with practice for similar pension schemes, is necessary to ensure that the contribution rate employers pay reflects a reasonably up-to-date view of costs, including for higher education (HE) providers. There would be limited value in seeking to forecast likely costs beyond that because of the potential for the wide range of factors involved to change, and therefore there are no plans to make such forecasts currently.

In recognition of the cost pressure a potential increase to employer contribution rates would bring to existing departmental budgets, on 30 March 2023 the Government announced its commitment to providing funding for employers whose employment costs are centrally funded. HE providers are not covered by this commitment. This is consistent with the decision to not fund a similar TPS cost increase in 2019. The Department expects the 2020 TPS valuation to be completed and revised employers’ contribution rates to be confirmed in September 2023. At this point it will be possible for HE providers to accurately assess how any changes in employers’ contribution rates may affect budgets.

The Department recognises that, while the Office for Students’ annual report on financial sustainability finds that university finances generally remain in good shape, there remains a wide spread of financial performance across the sector. The Department, along with HM Treasury, recognise the importance of this issue, and will continue discussions about the implications for HE providers. The Government will confirm its position on this issue in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of expanding the scope of Teachers' Pension Employer Contribution Grants to include Higher Education institutions in the context of increases in Teachers’ Pensions Scheme employer contributions.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is one of the best pension schemes available. It is a defined benefit scheme, which means that members receive an index-linked income in retirement, that it has a large employer contribution element, and that it is underwritten by HM Treasury.

The arrangements for valuing public service pension schemes, like the TPS, recognise that there are a wide number of factors that affect the cost of providing the benefits involved, and those factors are subject to regular change, including longevity, member behaviour and economic performance. Reviewing those factors every four years, which is in line with practice for similar pension schemes, is necessary to ensure that the contribution rate employers pay reflects a reasonably up-to-date view of costs, including for higher education (HE) providers. There would be limited value in seeking to forecast likely costs beyond that because of the potential for the wide range of factors involved to change, and therefore there are no plans to make such forecasts currently.

In recognition of the cost pressure a potential increase to employer contribution rates would bring to existing departmental budgets, on 30 March 2023 the Government announced its commitment to providing funding for employers whose employment costs are centrally funded. HE providers are not covered by this commitment. This is consistent with the decision to not fund a similar TPS cost increase in 2019. The Department expects the 2020 TPS valuation to be completed and revised employers’ contribution rates to be confirmed in September 2023. At this point it will be possible for HE providers to accurately assess how any changes in employers’ contribution rates may affect budgets.

The Department recognises that, while the Office for Students’ annual report on financial sustainability finds that university finances generally remain in good shape, there remains a wide spread of financial performance across the sector. The Department, along with HM Treasury, recognise the importance of this issue, and will continue discussions about the implications for HE providers. The Government will confirm its position on this issue in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing Higher Education institutions with transitional relief subsidies to help cover the cost of rises in Teachers' Pensions Scheme employer contributions.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is one of the best pension schemes available. It is a defined benefit scheme, which means that members receive an index-linked income in retirement, that it has a large employer contribution element, and that it is underwritten by HM Treasury.

The arrangements for valuing public service pension schemes, like the TPS, recognise that there are a wide number of factors that affect the cost of providing the benefits involved, and those factors are subject to regular change, including longevity, member behaviour and economic performance. Reviewing those factors every four years, which is in line with practice for similar pension schemes, is necessary to ensure that the contribution rate employers pay reflects a reasonably up-to-date view of costs, including for higher education (HE) providers. There would be limited value in seeking to forecast likely costs beyond that because of the potential for the wide range of factors involved to change, and therefore there are no plans to make such forecasts currently.

In recognition of the cost pressure a potential increase to employer contribution rates would bring to existing departmental budgets, on 30 March 2023 the Government announced its commitment to providing funding for employers whose employment costs are centrally funded. HE providers are not covered by this commitment. This is consistent with the decision to not fund a similar TPS cost increase in 2019. The Department expects the 2020 TPS valuation to be completed and revised employers’ contribution rates to be confirmed in September 2023. At this point it will be possible for HE providers to accurately assess how any changes in employers’ contribution rates may affect budgets.

The Department recognises that, while the Office for Students’ annual report on financial sustainability finds that university finances generally remain in good shape, there remains a wide spread of financial performance across the sector. The Department, along with HM Treasury, recognise the importance of this issue, and will continue discussions about the implications for HE providers. The Government will confirm its position on this issue in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will bring forward plans to provide immediate financial support to help families meet childcare costs.

In the Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government expects to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping families with pre-school children with their childcare costs.

This is the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever and so it is right that we make sure the workforce and the sector are ready for the changes that are coming. The department anticipates rolling out the expansion to entitlements as follows: 15 hours for eligible working parents of 2-year-olds from April 2024, 15 hours for eligible working parents of children aged 9 months to 24 months from September 2024, and a full 30 hours for eligible working parents of children aged 9 months to two years from September 2025. The department is phasing implementation in this way to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity. Full details can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-unveils-a-budget-for-growth.

In July 2022, the department announced measures to increase take-up of childcare support to ensure that families can access government support to save them money on their childcare bills. This included our £1.2 million Childcare Choices communications campaign to ensure every parent knows about the government funded support they are eligible for.

This department has doubled the entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds to 30 hours and introduced 15 free hours a week for disadvantaged 2-year-olds. On top of this, working parents on Universal Credit may be eligible for help with up to 85% of their childcare costs every month.

Parents who sign up to Tax Free Childcare can get a government contribution of £2 for every £8 they deposit into an online childcare account. This is worth up to £2,000 off the cost of their childcare every year, or up to £4,000 if their child is disabled.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help reduce the gap in educational attainment between (a) deaf and (b) other children.

In the Schools White Paper, published March 2022, the department set clear ambitions for 90% of all children to leave primary school having achieved the expected standard in Key Stage 2 reading, writing and mathematics, and that in secondary schools, the national GCSE average grade in both English language and in mathematics will increase from 4.5 in 2019 to 5 by 2030.

The department is confident that the policies set out in the White Paper will have a significant impact on improving literacy and numeracy at both KS2 and GCSE. The White Paper marked the start of a journey towards these targets.

The department knows that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are disproportionately represented in those cohorts not meeting expected standards. If we are going to achieve our 90% and grade 5 targets by 2030 it is vital that we ensure pupils of all characteristics and backgrounds are making progress.

On 29 March 2022, we published the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper, which set out our plans to improve the experience and outcomes for children and young people with SEND, including those with Sensory Impairment, within a fairer and financially sustainable system. We are now carefully considering the feedback we received through the thousands of responses to the consultation and in the many events that took place during the 16-week consultation period. We will publish a full response in an Improvement Plan imminently.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of trends in the number of teachers for the deaf.

On 29 March 2022, the department published the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Green Paper, which set out our plans to improve the experience and outcomes for children and young people with SEND, including those with Sensory Impairment.

The department carefully considered all the feedback received through the thousands of responses to the consultation and in the many events that took place during the 16-week consultation period. A full response was published on 2 March 2023, in the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D in Brighton Kemptown constituency when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received and (ii) expect to receive in the next two years funding from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

Of the 400 so far selected, none are in Birkenhead or Brighton Kemptown constituencies.

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a comparative assessment of the equity of labour laws for children (a) working in the film industry and (b) who are influencers making money from online posts.

A child performance licence is required for any live broadcast, including internet streaming, or a performance recorded with a view to broadcast or public exhibition. It does not matter whether or not the child is being paid for that performance or whether it is a professional or amateur. It is also required for any performance for which a charge is made, either for admission or otherwise. This does not extend to user generated content e.g. where a child or their family record themselves and share it on a website or social media.

If a child influencer was live streaming, then they should have a performance licence. Equally, if a child film star or their parents recorded them on set and shared it on their social media (even promotionally) then they would not. Both industries are subject to the same legislation in the same way. It is likely that child influencers are more likely to fall into the category of self/ family generated recorded content. This may not always be the case, particularly where the content is being sponsored by a third party, so each situation would need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the ratio is of desks to staff in his Department.

I refer the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown to the answer I gave on 17 May 2022 to Question 434.

The department’s staff are spending plenty of time in the office working together, building professional connections and promoting innovation, but we are also giving flexibility where that helps people work more effectively.

That’s why on 27 April 2022, the department asked its staff to start by looking at spending 80% of their working time in the office – including visits to schools, colleges or other sites – alongside the flexibility for managers to adjust that to between 60% and 80%, if that works better for them and the work the department does. These arrangements can include even more flexibility to support caring responsibilities or health concerns. This approach also recognises that there are a wide range of reasons, beyond flexible working, why not all our staff need desks at any given time, this includes annual leave and reasonable adjustments that allow people to work remotely where necessary

This is an approach that fits with the amount of desk space that the department has, gives the department full and vibrant offices, but also retains flexibility to work in different ways when needed. This is positive for our business and staff, and positive for the children and learners we serve every day.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help educate school children on access to sexual health services.

The department made relationships education (for primary school pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary school pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory subjects from September 2020.

The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance is intended to help teachers deliver these subjects consistently to a high quality and with confidence, and is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education. Pupils should learn about how all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, for example physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing. The statutory content is explicit about reproductive health, including fertility and sexually transmitted infections. It is clear that pupils should know how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment.

We have also produced RSHE teacher training modules to support teachers to deliver these topics safely, available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. The topic of ‘intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health’ includes content on sexually transmitted infections and sexual health advice which emphasises that everyone, regardless of age, has the right to free, confidential sexual health advice and services.

1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department provides to train teachers and schools to help ensure they can deliver consistent, high quality sexual health education within relationship and sex education lessons.

The department wants to support all young people to lead happy, healthy and safe lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. That is why we made the Relationships Education (RE) (for primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) (for secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory subjects from September 2020.

In primary schools, age-appropriate RE includes supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. This is intended to provide a foundation for RSE at secondary school.

In secondary schools, RE broadens to become age-appropriate RSE and will include factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships. The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance advises schools to be alive to issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and to take positive action to tackle these issues. It should cover contraception, sexually transmitted infections, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex. We expect young people to learn what a positive, healthy relationship can look like, about consent and how to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

The statutory guidance is intended to help teachers deliver these subjects consistently to a high quality and with confidence. Pupils should learn about how all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, such as physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.

The ‘Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health’ topic specifies that by the end of secondary school pupils should know how the different sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex and the importance of and facts about testing. Pupils are also taught about HIV/AIDS at key stages 3 and 4 of the science curriculum.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence we have produced RSHE teacher training modules, available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. At the beginning of each module the school is encouraged to name the appropriate lead for the topic in school, any relevant policies, specialist support available locally and additional information.

The department also funded the delivery of a train the trainer and peer support programme to schools from April 2020 to July 2021. The programme reached 4,800 schools.

Schools are free to determine how they use the core funding allocated to them, including investing in RSHE training for teachers. To support schools specifically with the implementation of the RSHE curriculum, we invested over £3 million in an additional package of support for RSHE over three years (financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22) after consultation with teachers over their support needs.

1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure consistent and high-quality teaching on HIV in schools across England.

The department wants to support all young people to lead happy, healthy and safe lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. That is why we made the Relationships Education (RE) (for primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) (for secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory subjects from September 2020.

In primary schools, age-appropriate RE includes supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. This is intended to provide a foundation for RSE at secondary school.

In secondary schools, RE broadens to become age-appropriate RSE and will include factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships. The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance advises schools to be alive to issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and to take positive action to tackle these issues. It should cover contraception, sexually transmitted infections, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex. We expect young people to learn what a positive, healthy relationship can look like, about consent and how to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

The statutory guidance is intended to help teachers deliver these subjects consistently to a high quality and with confidence. Pupils should learn about how all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, such as physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.

The ‘Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health’ topic specifies that by the end of secondary school pupils should know how the different sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex and the importance of and facts about testing. Pupils are also taught about HIV/AIDS at key stages 3 and 4 of the science curriculum.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence we have produced RSHE teacher training modules, available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. At the beginning of each module the school is encouraged to name the appropriate lead for the topic in school, any relevant policies, specialist support available locally and additional information.

The department also funded the delivery of a train the trainer and peer support programme to schools from April 2020 to July 2021. The programme reached 4,800 schools.

Schools are free to determine how they use the core funding allocated to them, including investing in RSHE training for teachers. To support schools specifically with the implementation of the RSHE curriculum, we invested over £3 million in an additional package of support for RSHE over three years (financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22) after consultation with teachers over their support needs.

1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure consistent and high-quality teaching on sexual health in schools across England.

The department wants to support all young people to lead happy, healthy and safe lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. That is why we made the Relationships Education (RE) (for primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) (for secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory subjects from September 2020.

In primary schools, age-appropriate RE includes supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. This is intended to provide a foundation for RSE at secondary school.

In secondary schools, RE broadens to become age-appropriate RSE and will include factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships. The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance advises schools to be alive to issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and to take positive action to tackle these issues. It should cover contraception, sexually transmitted infections, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex. We expect young people to learn what a positive, healthy relationship can look like, about consent and how to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations. The guidance is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

The statutory guidance is intended to help teachers deliver these subjects consistently to a high quality and with confidence. Pupils should learn about how all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, such as physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.

The ‘Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health’ topic specifies that by the end of secondary school pupils should know how the different sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex and the importance of and facts about testing. Pupils are also taught about HIV/AIDS at key stages 3 and 4 of the science curriculum.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence we have produced RSHE teacher training modules, available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. At the beginning of each module the school is encouraged to name the appropriate lead for the topic in school, any relevant policies, specialist support available locally and additional information.

The department also funded the delivery of a train the trainer and peer support programme to schools from April 2020 to July 2021. The programme reached 4,800 schools.

Schools are free to determine how they use the core funding allocated to them, including investing in RSHE training for teachers. To support schools specifically with the implementation of the RSHE curriculum, we invested over £3 million in an additional package of support for RSHE over three years (financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22) after consultation with teachers over their support needs.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of waiting times for places in SEN schools on families.

The department does not collect information on waiting times for places in special schools.

Where a local authority identifies that a pupil requires a special school place (through the statutory education, health and care assessment process), they are statutorily required to secure the placement under the Children and Families Act 2014. Local authorities have a duty to arrange suitable education for any pupil of compulsory school age who, because of illness, permanent exclusion or other reasons, would not get a suitable education without such provision. Local authorities are required to keep the sufficiency of special educational provision in their area under review.

On 27 October 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that an additional £2.6 billion has been made available over the next three years to deliver new places and improve existing provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities or who require alternative provision. The government continues to invest in the Free Schools programme, through which 74 special and 50 alternative provision free schools have opened across the country since 2010, with 70 similar projects in the pipeline.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish the average wait times for SEN school places as at 17 November 2021.

The department does not collect information on waiting times for places in special schools.

Where a local authority identifies that a pupil requires a special school place (through the statutory education, health and care assessment process), they are statutorily required to secure the placement under the Children and Families Act 2014. Local authorities have a duty to arrange suitable education for any pupil of compulsory school age who, because of illness, permanent exclusion or other reasons, would not get a suitable education without such provision. Local authorities are required to keep the sufficiency of special educational provision in their area under review.

On 27 October 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that an additional £2.6 billion has been made available over the next three years to deliver new places and improve existing provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities or who require alternative provision. The government continues to invest in the Free Schools programme, through which 74 special and 50 alternative provision free schools have opened across the country since 2010, with 70 similar projects in the pipeline.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle (a) homophobic, (b) biphobic and (c) transphobic bullying in schools, colleges, and universities.

The government has sent a clear message that bullying should never be tolerated, and we are committed to supporting schools to tackle it. Any form of harassment or violence is abhorrent and unacceptable anywhere in society, including in our universities which should be safe and inclusive environments. Since 2016, we have provided over £3.5 million of funding through our anti-bullying programme to support schools in their effort to tackle bullying. Following the success of these programmes we are currently running a procurement exercise to fund activity in financial year 2021-22, to make sure that schools have the right support in place to prevent bullying of all pupils, including those with protected characteristics.

All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying and have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment. The department provides advice for schools, which outlines schools’ responsibilities. The advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional and mental health needs. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

We have published a research report which details common strategies that specific schools have found to be effective for combating bullying, including case studies with examples about actions schools have taken to improve preventative practices and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils. It is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/approaches-to-preventing-and-tackling-bullying. We have also published ‘Respectful School Communities’, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline. This can combat bullying, harassment and prejudice of any kind, including hate-based bullying and can be found here: https://educateagainsthate.com/school-leaders/?filter=guidance-and-training-school-leaders.

We are also making sure that all children in England will learn about respectful relationships, in person and online, as part of new mandatory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). These subjects are designed to give pupils the knowledge they need to lead happy, safe, and healthy lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. Through these subjects, children will be taught about the importance of respectful relationships and the different types of loving and healthy relationships that exist. The statutory guidance states that all pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools are strongly encouraged and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same sex parents.

Further and higher education providers have clear responsibilities, including under the Equality Act 2010, and should have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate and swiftly address reports of harassment. Ofsted's inspection framework for further education providers looks at whether there is ‘an environment in which learners feel safe because staff and learners do not accept bullying, harassment or discrimination. Staff deal with any issues quickly, consistently and effectively’.

The Office for Students (OfS) statement of expectations on harassment and sexual misconduct was published on 19 April and is a useful tool for providers to ensure their policies and processes reflect the expectations set out within the statement. As part of its next steps on harassment and hate crime, the OfS will then be considering options for connecting the statement of expectations to its conditions of registration.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of his decision to appoint the Pioneer Academies Trust as sponsor to Moulsecoomb Primary school following the alleged safeguarding incident outside the school involving a visit from the Trust on 10 May.

The Department is aware of the alleged safeguarding incident. We understand the allegation is unfounded and that the police are taking no further action having reviewed the situation.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the academisation order of Moulsecoomb Primary school, what assessment his Department has made of any potential conflict of interest of appointing, Pioneer Academy Trust as the sponsor when Director Timothy Rome was one of the Ofsted inspectors who rated the school inadequate.

Ofsted has confirmed there was no conflict of interest, given that Timothy Rome was not employed by the Pioneer Academy at the time of the inspection. His previous employment as an Ofsted inspector who has visited the school in the past does not preclude the Pioneer Academy from sponsoring the school in the present day.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 407 on Pioneer Academy: Complaints, how many individual complaints have been made to his Department about schools run by the Pioneer Academy.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are responsible for investigating complaints about academies. Over the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21, one complaint has been submitted to the ESFA about a school in the Pioneer Academy Trust.

The ESFA was satisfied that the academy was compliant with statutory policies and procedures and therefore the complaint was not upheld.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 404 on Pioneer Academy: Finance, what additional financial assistance has been offered to Pioneer Academy in the event that they become the sponsor of Moulsecoomb Primary.

The Pioneer Academy has been offered ‘full sponsorship’ funding, which means it is eligible to receive up to £110,000 in pre-opening costs before Moulsecoomb opens as an academy.

The Pioneer Academy has not yet been offered any additional financial assistance. Further support is sometimes provided to fund additional costs, such as necessary capital works.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rowe as regional director of the Pioneer Academy.

The Department has not received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rome as regional director of The Pioneer Academy.

Trusts are not required or expected to provide the Department with this information.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any complaints about the Pioneer Academy.

The Department has not received any complaints about The Pioneer Academy trust. We occasionally receive complaints about individual schools within trusts which are investigated and/or shared with the appropriate bodies.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much total funding his Department has awarded to the Pioneer Academy.

The Pioneer Academy has previously received capacity funding to support it to grow. The academy trust received £75,000 in financial year 2014-15 and £70,000 in financial year 2016-17 from the Regional Academy Growth Fund, and £85,400 from the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund in financial year 2018-19.

The academy trust has also received funding for the schools it has sponsored. This is in line with the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsored-academies-funding-guidance-for-sponsors.

Academies within trusts are funded via general annual grant payments made by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Information on the trust’s income and expenditure, as well as individual schools, is available on the Department’s ‘school financial benchmarking’ website here: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Trust?companyNo=7691324.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial assistance his Department has provided to the Pioneer Academy following that academy's agreement to sponsor Moulsecoomb Primary School.

The Pioneer Academy has not yet received any financial assistance following their agreement to sponsor Moulsecoomb Primary School.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial assistance his Department has provided to the Pioneer Academy following that academy's agreement to sponsor Moulsecoomb Primary School.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rowe as regional director of the Pioneer Academy.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much total funding his Department awarded to the Pioneer Academy.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.



21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any complaints of any form about the Pioneer Academy.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending fines for non-attendance of enrolled students in schools where parents or students have medical reasons such as clinically vulnerable or for anxiety reasons until at least 29 March 2021.

School attendance will be mandatory from 8 March 2021 and all the usual rules apply. It is important that children attend school for their education, well-being and long term development. We have asked schools to implement a range of protective measures to ensure they are as safe as possible.

We know from growing evidence that many children identified at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak as clinically extremely vulnerable are not at increased risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19 and children are gradually being removed from the shielding patient list as appropriate, following review with a clinician. Pupils who have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while shielding advice applies nationally.

Where parents have concerns about their child’s attendance at school, we ask that they discuss their concerns with the school and the protective measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk.

Where pupils are not able to attend school, as they are following clinical or public health advice related to COVID-19, the absence will not be penalised.

10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on equality of opportunity for pupils of the cancellation of GCSE exams and not iGCSEs due to the covid-19 outbreak in the 2020-21 academic year.

International GCSEs are not regulated by Ofqual and it is therefore a matter for the two exam boards that run them – Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson – whether exams go ahead this summer, so long as they are not prevented from doing so by public health requirements. The Department understands that both exam boards have decided that exams for their international GCSEs will not go ahead in the UK in summer 2021 due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, and pupils will be awarded grades based on teacher assessment instead. They will decide themselves exactly how this is carried out for their qualifications. Further information is available on the relevant websites: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/news/news-details/view/update-for-cambridge-schools-on-the-2021-exam-series-20210219/ and https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/campaigns/pearson-covid-19.html.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he has provided instructions to the Leader of the House to amend the Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.

I refer the hon Member to the answer my Rt Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary gave to the hon Member for North East Fife on 18 June, Official Report, Col 947.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether free school meal vouchers will continue to be offered throughout the (a) May half-term and (b) summer holidays.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks.?This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time. We currently have no plans to extend the scheme into future holiday periods.

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

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the provision of laptops to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people during the covid-19 outbreak to university students.

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

Higher Education (HE) Providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. When making changes to the delivery of their courses, providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Where students do not have access to the internet, a computer at home, or cannot afford to purchase it, the expectation is that HE Providers will provide support through their own hardship funds.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to rebate students on their university fees for the period of the covid-19 lockdown.

The government continues to work with the higher education (HE) sector to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies to the best of their abilities.

Universities offering high-quality tuition online will continue to charge fees. Fee loans are paid directly to higher education providers at the start of the third term. We are working closely with sector representative bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 and the immediate financial implications for students and providers.

We only expect full tuition fees to be charged if online courses are of good quality, fit for purpose and help students progress towards their qualification. If universities want to charge full fees, they will have to ensure that the quality is there. The government has made it clear that, if providers are unable to deliver adequate online teaching, then it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms, which would effectively mean that they were being charged twice.

The government is also working with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, professional bodies and the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, to ensure that students continue to leave university with qualifications of value. The OfS has published guidance for registered providers about how it will approach the regulation of quality and standards during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is clear that standards must be maintained (further details are available at the following link): https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/guidance-for-providers-about-quality-and-standards-during-coronavirus-pandemic/. Actions that providers are taking now may continue to be required in the 2020-21 academic year if there is prolonged disruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is important that students receive a good standard of education. Whether an individual student is entitled to a reduction of their fees will depend on specific contractual arrangements between the HE providers and the student.

If a student is concerned about their education, or about the steps that their provider has taken to respond to the situation, they should speak to their HE provider in the first instance. The government expects student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly, and sympathetically by institutions to resolve any concerns. Students who are not satisfied with their provider’s final response can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint if their institution is based in England or Wales.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to ensure that students receive all key stages of learning they may have missed during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Department is doing everything it can to ensure that schools have the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all students.

The Department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. We recognise that many schools and colleges have already shared resources for children who are at home, and we are grateful for this.

The Department has issued guidance for schools which signposts to an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The Department has also issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who are learning from home at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Leading state schools have worked together to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize. Further information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department is also considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged, to make up for time spent out of school.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will (a) ensure that the implementation guidance on Relationships and Sex Education is clear that the inclusiveness of such education is essential to its high quality and (b) support schools to develop inclusive practice.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether all plans are in place for schools to teach high-quality Relationships and Sex Education from September 2020.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools have adequate resources to teach Relationships and Sex Education from September 2020.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an estimate of the number of people who have trained their dog with an e-collar since his Department first announced a ban on those collars.

The Government assessed the number of people who have reported using a remotely activated electronic training device in 2018. Based on peer reviewed evidence, we estimate that 3% of owners use such devices. As our proposed ban will only prohibit those collars which deliver an electric shock controlled by hand-held devices, and not those which deliver stimuli such as vibration or sound, the number of affected users will be significantly lower.

The proposed ban on the use of electric shock collars controlled by hand-held devices was developed after considering a broad range of factors, including the impact of banning them. When considered alongside the academic research, the public consultation responses, and direct engagement with the sector, the Government concluded that these collars present a risk to the welfare of dogs and cats and that their use should be prohibited. The same conclusion was reached by other nations that have already banned the use of collars which deliver a shock, including Wales, Austria and Germany.

We appreciate that the right approach for pet owners to take in managing and controlling their dog’s behaviour differs from both person to person and from pet to pet. Defra would advise all owners who are concerned about controlling their dog’s behaviour, for whatever reason, to take advice from their vet or a suitably qualified dog behaviourist or trainer. Such specialists would be best positioned to advise on the best approach for their specific case. The Animal Behaviour and Training Council maintains national registers of appropriately qualified trainers and behaviourists which can be found at the link below: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners/.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason the Government's extended ban on the commercial import of dogs also includes the ban of rescue dogs from countries such as Romania.

The UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments have temporarily suspended the commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets into Great Britain if they originate from or have been dispatched from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine, until 9 July 2022.

We appreciate the impact that the temporary suspension will have on rescue organisations that operate in these countries. However, this measure is important to protect our biosecurity and the health of pets in this country.

This decision has been taken because of the serious health risk to humans and animals in Great Britain from commercial cats, dogs and ferrets from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine that do not comply with UK health and documentation requirements.

We understand the fluid situation at present due to the crisis and are aware that Romania, Belarus and Poland are currently experiencing high volumes of animal movements from Ukraine. Movements from these countries into Great Britain therefore present a higher risk at the current time due to the flow of animals from Ukraine.

In particular, there is evidence to suggest that commercial consignments of pet animals from Ukraine are being moved into Poland, Romania and Belarus, including strays, rescue and abandoned animals.

Unlike non-commercial pets accompanying Ukrainian refugees, these animals often have unknown history and disease status which increases the risk of disease spread.

Our standards of biosecurity are among the highest in the world. The Government takes the importation of pets seriously and is committed to preserving our high standards of biosecurity. The movement of commercial pets from Belarus, Poland, Romania and Ukraine represents a clear and serious enough biosecurity risk at the current time that we therefore consider the suspension of these movements necessary to protect the health of people and pets in Great Britain.

This risk has been exacerbated further by serious cases of non-compliance. There is a history of non-compliant movements of rescue animals into Great Britain from this region, which further increases the biosecurity risk.

The Government appreciates the work of genuine rescue and rehoming organisations who work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals are given the opportunity to find a forever home while importantly complying with our animal health and welfare legislation. It is important to note that this is a temporary measure which will be reviewed in due course. We would encourage organisations which are temporarily unable to import rescue dogs, cats, and ferrets into Great Britain to provide help and assistance to animals in situ.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March 2020 to Question 24232 on Dogs: Electronic Training Aids, what the merits for animal welfare are of (a) not banning electronic collars used to stop dogs barking of (b) banning electronic collars used to stop dogs chasing livestock.

Following a consultation in 2018, and as set out in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare, the Government decided to ban electric shock collars controlled by hand-held devices in England, under new legislation which should be introduced this year, given their scope to harm cats and dogs.

We have listened carefully to a range of views from pet owners and respondents, as well as consulting key stakeholders including animal welfare charities, e-collar manufacturers, and trainers who use e-collars.

The proposed ban on the use of electric shock collars controlled by hand-held devices was developed after considering a broad range of factors, including the impact of a ban. When considered alongside the academic research, the public consultation responses, and direct engagement with the sector, the Government concluded that these types of electric shock collars present an unacceptable risk to the welfare of dogs and cats and that their use should not be permitted.

The research revealed that many e-collar users were not using them properly and in compliance with the manufacturers’ instructions. As well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm, there is also concern that e-collars can redirect aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets, making underlying behavioural and health problems worse.

We appreciate that the right approach for pet owners to take in managing and controlling their dog’s behaviour differs from both person to person and from pet to pet. Defra would advise all owners who are concerned about controlling their dog’s behaviour, for whatever reason, to take advice from their vet or a suitably qualified dog behaviourist or trainer. Such specialists would be best positioned to advise on the best approach for their specific case. The Animal Behaviour and Training Council maintains national registers of appropriately qualified trainers and behaviourists.

The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs includes guidance and reminders for owners about their responsibilities to provide for the welfare needs of their animal, but also to keep their dogs safe and under control.

The Code of Practice applies to handling dogs in the vicinity of livestock and taking action to prevent dogs from escaping to reduce the occurrence of attacks or chasing. The best proven method of preventing a dog from attacking livestock is to keep the dog on a lead when exercising around other animals, as advised by farmers and other keepers of livestock.

Natural England has also published a refreshed version of the Countryside Code, which makes specific reference to keeping dogs in sight and under control to make sure they stay away from livestock, wildlife, horses and other people unless invited. Moreover, the Countryside Code helpfully sets out certain legal requirements, encouraging visitors to always check local signs as there are locations where you must keep your dog on a lead around livestock for all or part of the year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding he will allocate through the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway to support poultry farmers to transition to cage–free systems.

The UK Government is delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. We are actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including the use of cages for laying hens. In coming to an assessment of the potential merits of banning cages for laying hens we will wish to consult all interested organisations.

Animal welfare is a devolved issue and we continue to work closely with our devolved counterparts when considering future policy.

The EU Commission announced its intention to bring forward legislative proposals by 2023 to prohibit the use of cages for all farmed livestock, including colony cages for laying hens. The Commission’s stated aim is to introduce legislation in 2027, but under pressure from some Member States we anticipate the phase in period for banning enriched cages may be several years. The EU’s programme of work will address many issues which we are already looking at, for example, cages for farmed animals and long journeys.

The UK Government has made a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. We will need to consider trade aspects of any ban to avoid the risk of exporting production of eggs for catering/processing to third countries which continue to allow enriched cages.

We are establishing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway as an all-encompassing approach to the health and welfare of farmed animals in England. Establishing a new partnership between Government and farmers, the Pathway maps out how farmers and Government will work together to continually improve the health and welfare of farmed animals now and in the future. Farmers will be able to choose whether to take part in Pathway and may take flexible routes through the schemes available depending on what is most relevant to them and their system. As set out in the 22 nd February publication on the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, one of the Pathway's priorities will be to support a transition away from enriched cages for laying hens. At this stage, there has been no decision on allocation of funding.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the EU’s decision to ban the use of cages for farm animals in the EU by 2027.

The UK Government is delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. We are actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including the use of cages for laying hens. In coming to an assessment of the potential merits of banning cages for laying hens we will wish to consult all interested organisations.

Animal welfare is a devolved issue and we continue to work closely with our devolved counterparts when considering future policy.

The EU Commission announced its intention to bring forward legislative proposals by 2023 to prohibit the use of cages for all farmed livestock, including colony cages for laying hens. The Commission’s stated aim is to introduce legislation in 2027, but under pressure from some Member States we anticipate the phase in period for banning enriched cages may be several years. The EU’s programme of work will address many issues which we are already looking at, for example, cages for farmed animals and long journeys.

The UK Government has made a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. We will need to consider trade aspects of any ban to avoid the risk of exporting production of eggs for catering/processing to third countries which continue to allow enriched cages.

We are establishing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway as an all-encompassing approach to the health and welfare of farmed animals in England. Establishing a new partnership between Government and farmers, the Pathway maps out how farmers and Government will work together to continually improve the health and welfare of farmed animals now and in the future. Farmers will be able to choose whether to take part in Pathway and may take flexible routes through the schemes available depending on what is most relevant to them and their system. As set out in the 22 nd February publication on the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, one of the Pathway's priorities will be to support a transition away from enriched cages for laying hens. At this stage, there has been no decision on allocation of funding.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Rural and Food Affairs, with reference to his Department's Action Plan for Animal Welfare published on 12 May 2021, what his timescale is for examining the use of cages for laying hens.

The UK Government is delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. We are actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including the use of cages for laying hens. In coming to an assessment of the potential merits of banning cages for laying hens we will wish to consult all interested organisations.

Animal welfare is a devolved issue and we continue to work closely with our devolved counterparts when considering future policy.

The EU Commission announced its intention to bring forward legislative proposals by 2023 to prohibit the use of cages for all farmed livestock, including colony cages for laying hens. The Commission’s stated aim is to introduce legislation in 2027, but under pressure from some Member States we anticipate the phase in period for banning enriched cages may be several years. The EU’s programme of work will address many issues which we are already looking at, for example, cages for farmed animals and long journeys.

The UK Government has made a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. We will need to consider trade aspects of any ban to avoid the risk of exporting production of eggs for catering/processing to third countries which continue to allow enriched cages.

We are establishing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway as an all-encompassing approach to the health and welfare of farmed animals in England. Establishing a new partnership between Government and farmers, the Pathway maps out how farmers and Government will work together to continually improve the health and welfare of farmed animals now and in the future. Farmers will be able to choose whether to take part in Pathway and may take flexible routes through the schemes available depending on what is most relevant to them and their system. As set out in the 22 nd February publication on the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, one of the Pathway's priorities will be to support a transition away from enriched cages for laying hens. At this stage, there has been no decision on allocation of funding.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure it has the capacity to (a) implement legally enforceable (i) restrictions on and (ii) authorisations for chemicals after the transition period and (b) access chemicals regulation information in the period before a replacement for the European Chemicals Agency database is created.

At the end of the transition period, EU REACH will be transposed into UK law. Defra has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency and the Devolved Administrations to develop the processes for restriction and authorisation and we are confident that the processes will be operational when the domestic regime comes into force.

Under the domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make a decision on a restriction on the basis of a proposal dossier and an opinion prepared by the HSE. To give this restriction legal effect, the Secretary of State will make and lay a statutory instrument to amend annex XVII of the domestic regime. If the restriction relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision.

A company must apply for and be granted an authorisation if it wishes to place on the market or use any substance that is on the authorisation list. Under domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether an authorisation will be granted. Again, if the authorisation relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision. This decision and the reasons for it will be sent to the applicant and the HSE and the decision will be published. The Secretary of State’s decision will be made on the basis of the HSE’s opinion on the application for authorisation.

Our REACH legislation also provides transitional provisions for UK-based companies that hold (EU) REACH authorisations or are registered downstream users of authorisations at the end of the transition period or where the authorisation application has reached the stage where the European Chemicals Agency has adopted an opinion, but the Commission has not yet granted a decision.

The aim of the transitional provisions we have put in place is to strike a balance which provides for a database to underpin robust, evidence-based regulation while placing achievable duties on business. Existing UK registrations and the duties on registrants will remain unbroken from Day 1. These duties include the duty to identify, transmit and apply appropriate risk management measures for chemicals, and the duty to hold all information relevant to their registration and to provide it to the UK regulator.

Our transitional provisions provide grace periods within which registrants must submit the data required to underpin their registration to the regulator. We have listened to concerns raised by stakeholders about the current timelines to supply that data and as a result, we intend to extend the existing registration deadlines set in legislation (subject to parliamentary and devolved administration scrutiny). This will allow industry more time to reach agreement with commercial partners to access the chemical substance registration data that they need and therefore reduce the risks of disruption to supply chains.

UK companies that have already registered a chemical with ECHA will be “grandfathered” into the UK system with no break in their legal access to the market. Those registrants would then have 120 days from UK REACH coming into force to provide UK authorities with some initial information on their substance.

The initial notification stage for UK downstream users of EU based registrations has been extended from 180 to 300 days from 1 January 2021. This is to allow UK downstream users the opportunity to assess how existing UK based registrants meet the 120-day deadline before starting their own 180-day process. We have also extended the deadline for completing a full registration supported by full data packages to 2, 4 and 6 years from the end of the initial 300-day period. The deadline for final submission of data underpinning the full registration is dependent on tonnage bands and hazard profile, with the highest tonnage and most hazardous chemicals first.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18441 on Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances and with reference to the delay in publishing the Government’s Chemicals Strategy, if he will take steps to introduce a restriction on those chemicals as a group in line with the EU REACH restriction proposal ahead of that strategy.

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of chemicals that are widely used in consumer and industrial products.

A number of PFAS are already banned or highly restricted. There are existing restrictions on the use of certain PFAS under the Stockholm Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, and under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

At the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own independent chemicals regulatory framework, UK REACH. Existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law and therefore will continue to apply in the UK. Our commitments as a signatory to the Stockholm Convention will also continue to apply.

Future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.

Defra continues to work with regulators to improve the understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure it is able to (a) implement legally enforceable (i) restrictions on and (ii) authorisations for chemicals after the transition period and (b) access chemicals regulation information in the period before a replacement for the European Chemicals Agency database is created.

At the end of the transition period, EU REACH will be transposed into UK law. Defra has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency and the Devolved Administrations to develop the processes for restriction and authorisation and we are confident that the processes will be operational when the domestic regime comes into force.

Under the domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make a decision on a restriction on the basis of a proposal dossier and an opinion prepared by the HSE. To give this restriction legal effect, the Secretary of State will make and lay a statutory instrument to amend annex XVII of the domestic regime. If the restriction relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision.

A company must apply for and be granted an authorisation if it wishes to place on the market or use any substance that is on the authorisation list. Under domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether an authorisation will be granted. Again, if the authorisation relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision. This decision and the reasons for it will be sent to the applicant and the HSE and the decision will be published. The Secretary of State’s decision will be made on the basis of the HSE’s opinion on the application for authorisation.

Our REACH legislation also provides transitional provisions for UK-based companies that hold (EU) REACH authorisations or are registered downstream users of authorisations at the end of the transition period or where the authorisation application has reached the stage where the European Chemicals Agency has adopted an opinion, but the Commission has not yet granted a decision.

The aim of the transitional provisions we have put in place in that legislation is to strike a balance which provides for a database to underpin robust, evidence-based regulation while placing achievable duties on business. Existing UK registrations and the duties on registrants will remain unbroken from Day 1. These duties include the duty to identify, transmit and apply appropriate risk management measures for chemicals, and the duty to hold all information relevant to their registration and to provide it to the regulator on request.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will undertake a consultation on the terms of reference for the delegation of powers from the European Chemicals Agency to the Health and Safety Executive and the environment agencies in regard to (a) public participation, stakeholder engagement and transparency, (b) collaboration with other agencies and (c) whether it will include a role for the UK’s public health bodies.

The REACH (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 establish a UK regulatory framework and build domestic capacity to deliver the functions currently performed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). It is this Statutory Instrument (SI) that sets the terms of reference for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to take on ECHA's role.

As well as parliamentary scrutiny of the SI, we engaged with a range of stakeholders both before and after the Regulations were passed by Parliament. In addition, the SI itself contains a range of provisions to ensure that the UK Agency (HSE) consults publicly on its processes, decisions and opinions; develops appropriate contacts with stakeholders; acts transparently; and works collaboratively with other public bodies.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff the Government plans to recruit to (a) the Environment Agency and (b) the Health & Safety Executive to deliver the proposed post-transition Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); and (i) what positions that recruitment will fill and (ii) what the timescale for that recruitment is.

The continued effective and safe management of chemicals to safeguard human health and the environment is our overarching objective now that we have left the EU. The preparations we made for the possibility of a no deal exit mean that we are well placed to be ready with our own independent regulatory regime for 1 January 2021. This includes ensuring that both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA) have the necessary capability and capacity to carry out their responsibilities. Once we have staffed up to full operating capability we expect to spend about £13 million per year on the UK’s new REACH regulatory system. This figure covers the following costs:

Operation and maintenance of the REACH IT system; and staff resourcing in Defra, HSE and EA to ensure:

  • the necessary levels of technical specialist input into risk and socio-economic assessment of chemicals for the UK (for example, authorising the use of and restricting chemicals as appropriate);
  • high quality policy advice can be provided; and
  • we can increase UK and international stakeholder engagement.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a policy of aiming for (a) World Health Organization guideline levels on particulate matter pollution by 2030 and (b) other stricter than existing environmental targets on the environmental sustainability of (i) general Government policy and (ii) business investment.

In July 2019, we published a report assessing the progress that will be made towards World Health Organization (WHO) PM2.5 air quality guidelines with actions outlined in the Clean Air Strategy by 2030. This report showed that significant progress would be made towards achieving WHO guideline levels through the actions outlined in the Strategy, but that additional action would be needed to reach WHO guideline levels in specific locations (i.e. central London). The Government is committed to evidence-based policy making and will consider independent expert advice alongside evidence and analysis on a diversity of factors in setting air quality targets outlined in the Environment Bill. This will include the health benefits, the practical feasibility and economic viability of taking different actions to ensure that the targets are based on realistic pathways, robust science and full economic analysis such that they are ambitious, achievable and deliver the greatest public health benefits.

The Government plans to bring forward at least one target in each of the four priority areas by the Environment Bill’s 31 October 2022 deadline. Legally binding targets are an important tool. They will drive action by successive governments to protect and enhance our natural world. They allow for robust, objective scrutiny and accountability of government’s progress and they provide much-needed long-term certainty to businesses and society, to support planning, innovation and investment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to publish a further consultation on the design of the deposit return scheme.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to introduce (a) a deposit return scheme and (b) extended producer responsibility.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for consumers to switch from aluminium cans in multi-packs to large plastic bottles as an unintended consequence of a deposit return scheme.

The Government is keen to avoid any unintended consequences. An Impact Assessment will be published alongside the second consultation which assesses the costs and benefits of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), the costs to business, and covers the wider environmental impacts of implementing a DRS. We are continuing to consult with stakeholders to advise us of any unintended consequences which could arise.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Final recommendations report of the Global Resource Initiative.

The Global Resource Initiative taskforce published its final recommendations report on 30 March. This report comes at a time of an unprecedented global challenge, and the priority of the UK Government must remain focused on supporting the response to COVID-19. The Government is committed, however, to addressing the major challenges identified in the report and providing global leadership on these issues which are also important in supporting a recovery that is based on solid foundations including a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and issue our formal response later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to support and protect the world’s forests, support sustainable agriculture and work towards zero-deforestation supply chains.

The UK is part of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership that aims to eliminate deforestation from agricultural commodity chains and supports a 100% sustainable palm oil supply chain in Europe.

Through International Climate Finance, Defra contributes to a joint pledge between the UK, Germany, and Norway to provide $5 billion to encourage ambitious action from developing countries to protect their forests and promote more sustainable patterns of land use.

The Government has established an independent taskforce, the Global Resource Initiative, to provide us with recommendations as to how we could support the efforts of producer countries to improve the sustainability of products and reduce deforestation. The taskforce recently published its final report that sets out an ambitious and strategic package of measures the Government could take to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint, with a focus on forest risk commodities. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and we will issue our formal response later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure the maintenance of labour (a) supply and (b) standards in the farming industry during covid-19 outbreak.

(Part A)

The ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak have meant that there will be a shortfall in the numbers of workers who usually travel to the UK from Europe to work during the harvest season, with the demand for workers peaking from late May through the summer.

Farming leaders have already kick-started a recruitment drive for work on farms, with thousands of British people already expressing an interest in picking up seasonal agricultural work over the coming weeks and months. With many British workers furloughed from their jobs, and students having to put their summer plans on hold, the Government is supporting industry efforts to help farmers bring in this year’s harvest, working to build on these numbers.

The majority of roles for the early part of the harvest season have already been filled. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will shortly be launching a public- facing campaign to highlight the roles available from late May onwards and to encourage people to apply. The Government has confirmed that those who have been furloughed from their jobs due to coronavirus, and who are contractually allowed to work for another employer, can take on this seasonal work.

A new government-industry digital hub for seasonal work information and job opportunities has been launched to provide guidance on getting into farm work and links to the available jobs and recruiters. The website can be found at pickforbritain.org.uk and will be updated regularly over the coming weeks to help match jobs to workers as the demand grows.

(Part B)

The UK is proud of its world-leading standards of food safety, environmental protection and animal health and welfare. We will not compromise our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk whatever the circumstances.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the merger of his Department and the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both Secretaries of State ahead of his announcement in the House.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to support improved (a) healthcare and (b) delivery of healthcare services to indigenous women in Brazil.

The UK Prosperity Fund’s Global Better Health Programme aims to strengthen the health system in Brazil through technical collaboration. In particular, the programme focuses on addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and driving improvements in quality of care to reduce infection, injury or premature death. This will directly benefit women and poorer groups who are often particularly affected as a result of these health challenges. The programme in Brazil is currently in the inception stage, as part of which we will consider with our country partners the likely impact of the programme on different demographic groups such as indigenous women.

21st Oct 2021
, To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what accountability standards and reporting mechanisms for civilian harm the UK requires of Saudi Arabia for the exports of arms and military equipment; and what the evidence basis is for those requirements.

Licence applications for the export of arms and military equipment are rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’).

A key test for licensing in these circumstances is Criterion 2c of the Consolidated Criteria, which considers whether there is a clear risk that the items to be exported might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law. These assessments take into account all relevant sources of information, and the then Secretary of State for International Trade’s written statement of 7th July 2020 (HCWS339) set out the methodology that is applied to credible incidents of concern in detail.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to her Department's press release, Creation of four major new Trade and Investment Hubs across the UK, published on 23 March 2021, if she will expand the remit of those hubs to widen outreach by engaging customers on trade across the UK.

The new Trade and Investment Hubs will be home to teams of export and investment specialists. These teams can provide businesses with expert support and advice to help them maximise their export potential. They will also help businesses boost their trade in new markets overseas, gain better access to major trade markets like Japan, the US and India, and feed directly into the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) free trade agreements programme.

The new Hubs build on the nationwide support already offered by DIT. This support includes the UK Export Finance offer, the £38m Internationalisation Fund, the Export Academy programme, our network of around 300 International Trade Advisors across England, and over 400 Regional Export Champions.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to his Department's press release, Creation of four major new Trade and Investment Hubs across the UK, published on 23 March 2021, what steps her Department is taking to work with (a) consumers and (b) other interest groups via specific outreach in those areas and other parts of the UK.

The new Trade and Investment Hubs will be home to teams of export and investment specialists. These teams can provide businesses with expert support and advice to help them maximise their export potential. They will also help businesses boost their trade in new markets overseas, gain better access to major trade markets like Japan, the US and India, and feed directly into the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) free trade agreements programme.

The new Hubs build on the nationwide support already offered by DIT. This support includes the UK Export Finance offer, the £38m Internationalisation Fund, the Export Academy programme, our network of around 300 International Trade Advisors across England, and over 400 Regional Export Champions.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 17 September 2020 to Question 89802, whether the next board of trade meeting will be advertised prior to it taking place.

The next Board of Trade meeting forms part of my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade’s itinerary. On security grounds, details of the next Board of Trade meeting will not be advertised prior to the meeting.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September 2020 to Question 86738, when the date and location of the next board of trade meeting will be advertised.

I refer the Hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown to the answer given to him by my Hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade on 11 September 2020, UIN: 86738.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Undersecretary of State for her Department from 17 July 2016 to 9 January 2018 signed arms export licences to (a) Saudi Arabia or (b) its coalition partners.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which Minister in her Department was responsible for the approval of any arms export licences for (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) its coalition partners from 17 July 2016 to 9 January 2018.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade is ultimately responsible for decisions on all strategic export licences.

Her predecessor, my Rt Hon. Friend for North Somerset, held the post during the dates referred to.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on environmental protection and human rights of maintaining (a) free trade and (b) open supply chains during the covid-19 outbreak.

Free trade has a vital role in addressing the immediate impact and resolving the longer-term effects of this pandemic. It is imperative that we keep our markets open to maintain the flow of essential goods and services, including medical products, which will protect lives and livelihoods.

HM Government intends to support Britain’s economy to become stronger, cleaner, and more resilient after this crisis. This will boost exports and create employment in the low-carbon industries of the future, while ensuring we address challenges including climate change and continue to protect the environment.

The United Kingdom has a strong history of promoting our values globally and we will continue to do so.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which sites used by holders of general export licences for military goods have not been inspected by her Department under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 in each of the last 36 months apart from the BAE site at Warton.

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences. The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences.

The scope of the general licences includes only items and destinations that are consistent with the Consolidated Criteria. Those published by the Department for International Trade have all been pre-assessed for risk and agreed by all relevant departments that they can be published. Our compliance checks are focused where higher risks of non-compliance lie.

An answer detailing the sites that have not been inspected in the past 36 months can only be provided at disproportionate cost, as my Department would have to manually review every existing and surrendered open licence registration.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake inspections of (a) the Raytheon sites at (i) Glenrothes and (ii) Harlow, (b) the MBDA sites at (i) Stevenage, (ii) Lostock and (iii) Henlow, (c) the BAE site at Samlesbury and (d) the Rolls Royce factory at Bristol; and what the outcome was of each of those inspections.

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

The obligation is for a business to inform us of the address where records relating to exports made under general licences are kept. As such we are not able to ascertain where records may be held for specific sites and there is no requirement under the legislation that businesses provide that information.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of the licences they use. Whilst the outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive, the Hon. Gentleman may still find it helpful to know that the following inspections took place:

(a) Raytheon
(i) Glenrothes – 23 November 2016
(ii) Harlow – 5 November 2015

(b) MBDA
(i) Stevenage – 31 August 2017
(ii) Lostock – 19 October 2017
(iii) Henlow – no records held at this site

(c) BAE at Samlesbury – 5 April 2017

(d) Rolls Royce at Bristol – 18 September 2017

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake an ad hoc inspection of BAE System’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia; and what the outcome was of that inspection.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences, rather than specific events such as regular freighter flights.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences. The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5th and 6th April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has issued arms export licences for finished bombs to Raytheon UK in the last five years.

No licences have been granted to Raytheon UK for finished bombs in the last five years.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 1036 on Raytheon: USA, how many licences have been issued by her Department since 20 June 2019; what item codes those licences refer to; and whether they are open or standard licences.

Seven Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been granted to Raytheon UK, between 20 June 2019 and 30 September 2019 for export to the USA. The licences are valid for two years and cover the following ratings: ML4, ML11 and ML22.

Licensing data is provided based on information published as Official Statistics up to September 2019. Licences granted from 1 October 2019 onwards have not yet been published as official statistics on GOV.UK and therefore information about those licences cannot be disclosed.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to extant licences for the export of controlled goods from Raytheon UK to Saudi Arabia, if she will set out (a) the type of those licences, (b) their start and end dates, (c) their item codes in the Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation and (d) the quantity of goods exported under those respective licences.

Providing the detailed information requested would disclose commercially sensitive information, however we can advise there is one extant Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) granted to Raytheon UK for export to Saudi Arabia. The licence was issued in the first quarter of 2018, with a two year validity and covers the item rating ML4.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will list the current extant arms export licences for Paveway bombs issued to Raytheon UK, including the (a) end-user nations, (b) expiry date and (c) licence type.

There are no extant licences issued to Raytheon UK for Paveway bombs.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department plans to publish the court-ordered independent review of the compliance of past licences issued to Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies.

The Court of Appeal has not ordered an independent review of the compliance of past licences issued to Saudi Arabia and its Coalition allies.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 1036 on Raytheon: USA, whether any of those arms export licences were for munition components.

Export licences issued to Raytheon since 20 June 2019 included munition components to the USA.

The Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences on GOV.UK and the latest available data was published on 14 January 2020 covering the period 1 July – 30 September 2019.

These reports contain detailed information on export licences issued, refused or revoked, by destination, including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. These can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to extant licences for the export of controlled goods from Raytheon UK to the US, if she will set out (a) the type of those licences, (b) their start and end dates, (c) their item codes in the Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation and (d) the quantity of goods exported under those respective licences.

Providing the detailed information requested would disclose commercially sensitive information, however we can advise there are 39 extant Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) granted to Raytheon UK, between January 2018 and September 2019 for export to the USA. The licences are valid for two years and cover the following ratings: ML4, ML10, ML11 and ML22.

Licensing data is provided based on information published as Official Statistics up to September 2019. Licences granted from 1 October 2019 onwards have not, as yet, been published as official statistics on GOV.UK and therefore information about those licences cannot be disclosed.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has issued arms export licences for the export of items on the UK strategic export control list from Raytheon UK to the US since 20 June 2019.

Export licences have been issued to Raytheon since 20 June 2019, permitting the export of controlled items to the US.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the granting of licences by her Department to UK companies to export items to third countries for re-export within finished weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen does not violate the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019.

Licence applicants are required to tell us the final destination of the item to be exported, including where that item is incorporated into a higher-level product.

Government takes that final destination and the nature of the higher-level product into account when making decisions against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and in the case of export to Saudi Arabia when ensuring compliance with the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on meeting its target of installing 300,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2030.

The number of public charging devices is rapidly increasing. 16,622 chargepoints were installed in 2023, bringing the total number of public chargepoints to 53,677 on 1 January 2024 – an increase of 45% since 1 January 2023. This puts us on a growth rate consistent with over 300,000 public charging devices in the UK by 2030.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 8 February 2023 to Question 139277 on Public Transport: Tickets, whether he plans to reintroduce the PlusBus (a) day and (b) season ticket on (i) the Key Card and (ii) other forms of electronic ticketing.

PlusBus is a multimodal ticket offer provided by the Rail Delivery Group, and train operating companies, in conjunction with Traveline Information Ltd and bus operators. I would certainly encourage all parties involved to look at ways they might further develop, and enhance, the offer to passengers, coupled with more options for how and where such PlusBus tickets are retailed.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Home Department on the (a) maritime registration, (b) crewing levels and (c) maritime safety standards on the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge.

The Secretary of State for Transport has not had any recent discussions with the Home Office on this matter, as DfT is not responsible for oversight of the Bibby Stockholm.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to introduce a minimum age limit for jet ski use.

The Department for Transport (DfT) does not have any current plans to introduce a minimum age limit for jet skis or other personal watercraft (PWC).

However, in January 2023, the Government introduced statutory controls to the use of PWCs with the Merchant Shipping (Watercraft) Order 2023, so that any individual using a PWC in a dangerous manner is essentially held to the same laws as ships and fishing vessels.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of public consultation on his Department's policy on ticket office closures.

Train operators proposing any changes to the opening hours, or the closure of ticket offices, must follow the process set out in the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, which is available to view on the Rail Delivery Group’s website. This is an industry process and consultations are led by each train operator.

Train operators are required to put notices at stations advising passengers of any proposals and what changes could mean for them. If passengers have any objections these can be raised via the passenger bodies (Transport Focus and London TravelWatch) for consideration within 21 days of the notice being posted.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of potential job losses resulting from ticket office closures.

This is an industry-led process. The outcomes of the consultations will not be known until the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement process has been concluded.

Train operating companies will discuss employment matters with the trade unions as part of their own collective bargaining processes.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps is his Department taking to ensure that the current level of passenger assistance for disabled people will be maintained following the closure of railway ticket offices.

When proposing major changes to ticket office opening hours, including closures, operators are required to take into account the adequacy of the proposed alternatives in relation to the needs of passengers who are disabled, and to include this in the notice of the proposal sent to other operators and passenger groups. We would also expect operators to consider other equality related needs and make this clear in their consultation.

Together with the industry, we want to improve and modernise the passenger experience by moving staff out from ticket offices to provide more help and advice in customer focused roles. No currently staffed station will be unstaffed as a result of industry changes, and train operators will ensure staff are well located to meet passenger needs in future.

Station staff will still provide face-to-face services on the railways, which assists those who need additional support, and cannot or do not want to use contactless or mobile tickets. All staff in customer facing roles or with management responsibilities are already required to undertake enhanced disability awareness training.

The Department recently hosted roundtable discussions with industry and accessibility and transport groups to discuss this matter and ensure their views are understood. We have been engaging with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee throughout the process.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of closures of railway ticket offices on levels of passenger numbers on trains.

Industry is getting on with modernising our railway and bringing it more in tune with modern consumer expectations. Together with industry, we want to improve and modernise the experience for passengers by moving staff out from behind the ticket office screens to provide more help and advice in customer focused roles and additional support to those who need it. We have been clear that no currently staffed station will be unstaffed as a result of this reform.

When proposing major changes to ticket office opening hours, including closures, operators are required to take into account the adequacy of the proposed alternatives in relation to the needs of all passengers; and to include this in the notice of the proposal sent to other operators and passenger groups.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will introduce a requirement for minimum levels of staffed ticket office provision in future railway franchise contracts.

Ticket Offices are regulated in line with the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement. As per the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, train operators are required to make it clear to passengers when ticket offices will be staffed. This will continue to be the case where ticket offices remain open.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the number of rail tickets sold through ticket offices in the last 12 months.

In 2022/23, around 1 in 10 transactions occurred at a ticket office; this is down from around 1 in 3 a decade earlier and equates to 13 per cent of total current revenue.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made with Cabinet colleagues of the prevalence of lorry drivers live streaming while operating their vehicles; and if he will take steps to prevent drivers from using platforms such as Tiktok whilst on the roads.

We keep offences and penalties under review.

If a driver is using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, this is an offence which attracts a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200. If the case goes to the magistrates court, the maximum fine for lorry drivers is £2,500.

The Highway Code reminds drivers of their obligation to concentrate and avoid distractions and drivers can incur enforcement action for engaging in irresponsible activities whilst driving. For example, wider road traffic law governs what drivers can view on a screen; and it obliges drivers to be in proper control of the vehicle and to drive with due care and attention. The police are responsible for enforcement.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to reintroduce the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) is now closed and has been replaced by the Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Grant.

7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has been made of the potential merits of standardising free travel arrangements for people over 60 across England.

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme is a scheme that provides free off-peak bus travel for those of pensionable age (currently 66) in England. Expenditure on the scheme was around £896m in 2021/22. Local Authorities are already able to provide free travel for the over 60s at their own discretion, funded by local resources. We receive a number of requests to expand the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme and need to carefully consider the financial impact of expanding the scheme on the public purse.

In the 2021 National Bus Strategy we committed to a review of a number of aspects of concessionary travel, including the appeals process, reimbursement guidance and the reimbursement calculator and we plan to undertake this work in 2023.

For rail travel, the Senior Railcard is available for the over 60s, offering one third off a wide range of tickets.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) tourism in Brighton and (b) travel via Gatwick Airport of levels of reliability of the Gatwick Express from London Victoria to Brighton.

I recognise the impact reliability has on commuters and leisure travellers. From a tourism perspective, we have seen a strong recovery on the Brighton route, and at Gatwick Airport. Performance in recent weeks has unfortunately been impacted by a number of incidents including flooding, infrastructure issues and trespass incidents, as well as industrial action. Improving performance is a key area of focus for Govia Thameslink Railway, Network Rail and the Department.

3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had recent discussions with (a) train and (b) bus operators on restoring the acceptance of (i) the Key Card and (ii) other forms of electronic ticketing.

Following the publication of the National Bus Strategy, my Department continues to work with representatives from the bus industry and local authorities to ensure they have the right technical, commercial, marketing and governance arrangements to design and deliver smart, multi-operator bus ticketing.

Schemes may make use of existing smartcard and smartphone ticketing. However, the Strategy recognises many users will wish to use their contactless bank cards, with fare capping in place.

My Department also works with and encourages the wider rail industry to further roll out advances in ticketing and retailing to make travel more convenient.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department produces a list of the most dangerous roundabouts in England.

The Department does not produce a list of the most dangerous roundabouts in England.

19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2021 to Question 23300 on Road Traffic Offences, when he plans to bring into effect (a) the provisions of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act allowing local authorities in England to introduce School Streets and other measures and (b) accompanying statutory guidance; whether he has issued guidance to local authorities on the exercise of those powers; and what estimate he has made of when local authorities will be able to exercise those new powers.

The regulations giving effect to the moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 are scheduled to be laid on 27 January, and planned to come into force on 1 June. Local authorities wanting to undertake civil enforcement of moving traffic contraventions, including prescribed traffic signs for use at school street schemes, will need to apply to the Secretary of State for an Order to be made designating the council as the enforcement authority in their area.

To assist local authorities in preparing their applications in the meantime, the Department wrote to local authorities in August 2021 with an Advice Note and sent out supplementary advice in September 2021, including a list of traffic signs subject to moving traffic enforcement. Subject to Parliamentary approval of the regulations, we plan to publish statutory guidance in late March 2022.

Depending on initial uptake, it may be necessary to deliver Designation Orders in tranches. We plan to lay the first Designation Order as soon as practicable after the regulations mentioned above come into force to enable enforcement to commence in practice.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to bring forward an independent review on the (a) economic, (b) safety, (c) privacy and (d) environmental impacts of the proposed expansion in domestic drone use for (i) civil, (ii) military, (iii) commercial and (iv) other purposes.

The Department is currently considering recommendations from two separate independent reports from the Regulatory Horizons Council (RHC) in November 2021 and the Taskforce on Innovation Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) in May 2021. These independent reports reviewed domestic drone use.

In addition, the Department is currently consulting on the future of flight that includes domestic drone use. This builds on the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021 that included provisions to ensure safe drone use. The future of flight consultation will close on 22 November 2021 and will give consideration of the responses, alongside the recommendations of the reports, to develop a legislative and regulatory framework to allow for wider market and public use of new aviation technology (including drones) in a safe, secure and sustainable way.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) financial and (b) other resource support the Government has provided to the drone industry to assist integrating drones operating beyond visual line of sight into UK airspace; and what plans he has for the future of drone use in the UK.

Government is working with and supporting industry to develop the drone industry. A key programme is the Future Flight Challenge that is a joint government and industry investment of £300m to develop greener ways to fly, such as all-electric aircraft and deliveries by drone, by advancing electric and autonomous flight technologies.

In addition, government supports specific focused projects such as the £1.2m Drone Pathfinder Catalyst Programme that looks to support integrating drones into UK airspace by bringing together drone providers and end users to demonstrate innovative drone use cases, helping to inform regulatory development; and the Civil Aviation Authority’s Innovation Hub sandbox supports the testing and trialling of innovative unmanned aircraft operations and flights beyond visual line of sight to take place in a safe environment and in collaboration with the regulator.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the civil enforcement of moving traffic offences by traffic authorities outside London on the prevention of lorries getting stuck on narrow roads or junctions, or causing damage to pavements and bridges by enforcing height, width and length restrictions.

We plan to introduce the regulations to commence Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 in December. Once the powers are commenced, local authorities wanting to undertake civil enforcement of moving traffic contraventions, will need to apply to the Secretary of State for an Order to be made, designating the council as the enforcement authority in their area.

Work is underway on drafting statutory guidance, which we plan to publish in tandem with the regulations coming into force. In addition, we will issue advice to local authorities shortly, to enable them to prepare their applications in the meantime, ready for when the powers come into force.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 specifies those traffic signs to which moving traffic enforcement will apply. This includes the sign indicating prohibition of goods vehicles for environmental reasons; such as narrow roads unsuitable for large vehicles, or to protect residents from the nuisance caused by lorries in residential streets. The sign still applies to such vehicles when driven unladen, or when only the cab section of an articulated vehicle is being driven, whether or not its weight is then below that shown on the sign. There are no plans to expand the list of applicable traffic signs to include structural weight limits, or vehicle height, width, length limits, which will remain enforceable by the police.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will issue guidance to local authorities on the civil enforcement powers set out in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004.

We plan to introduce the regulations to commence Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 in December. Once the powers are commenced, local authorities wanting to undertake civil enforcement of moving traffic contraventions, will need to apply to the Secretary of State for an Order to be made, designating the council as the enforcement authority in their area.

Work is underway on drafting statutory guidance, which we plan to publish in tandem with the regulations coming into force. In addition, we will issue advice to local authorities shortly, to enable them to prepare their applications in the meantime, ready for when the powers come into force.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 specifies those traffic signs to which moving traffic enforcement will apply. This includes the sign indicating prohibition of goods vehicles for environmental reasons; such as narrow roads unsuitable for large vehicles, or to protect residents from the nuisance caused by lorries in residential streets. The sign still applies to such vehicles when driven unladen, or when only the cab section of an articulated vehicle is being driven, whether or not its weight is then below that shown on the sign. There are no plans to expand the list of applicable traffic signs to include structural weight limits, or vehicle height, width, length limits, which will remain enforceable by the police.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for implementing Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to enable traffic authorities outside London to carry out civil enforcement of moving traffic offences including those needed for school streets schemes.

We plan to introduce the regulations to commence Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 in December. Once the powers are commenced, local authorities wanting to undertake civil enforcement of moving traffic contraventions, will need to apply to the Secretary of State for an Order to be made, designating the council as the enforcement authority in their area.

Work is underway on drafting statutory guidance, which we plan to publish in tandem with the regulations coming into force. In addition, we will issue advice to local authorities shortly, to enable them to prepare their applications in the meantime, ready for when the powers come into force.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 specifies those traffic signs to which moving traffic enforcement will apply. This includes the sign indicating prohibition of goods vehicles for environmental reasons; such as narrow roads unsuitable for large vehicles, or to protect residents from the nuisance caused by lorries in residential streets. The sign still applies to such vehicles when driven unladen, or when only the cab section of an articulated vehicle is being driven, whether or not its weight is then below that shown on the sign. There are no plans to expand the list of applicable traffic signs to include structural weight limits, or vehicle height, width, length limits, which will remain enforceable by the police.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what equality impact assessment his Department has undertaken on the effect on people whose two-year deadline for Compulsory Basic Training has expired during the covid-19 outbreak.

No assessment has been made. The two-year validity period of a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificate, which is set out in legislation, is in place to ensure learner moped and motorcycle riders can ride safely on their own, with L-plates, while they practise for a full moped or motorcycle test.

Mobile emergency workers who hold a valid CBT certificate are able to take a motorcycle test during the current restrictions if put forward by their employer.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 91850, on School Streets Initiative, when he plans to enact Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to enable local authorities outside London to enforce school streets schemes.

Further to the previous answer, work is underway on drafting the regulations needed to bring the Part 6 powers into force, which will take several months to complete. It is not possible at this stage to say exactly when in 2021 the powers will be available to local authorities.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 91850, when he plans to bring into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, so that local authorities outside London can enforce school streets schemes.

The moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 require a set of statutory instruments to be made covering enforcement, level of penalties, financial provisions, approved devices, adjudication and representations and appeals. This will take several months to bring into force, after which those local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers can apply for a designation order for moving traffic enforcement.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he would publish the (a) names and (b) organisations of the members of his Department’s Net Zero Transport Board.

The Net Zero Transport Board comprises a wide variety of stakeholders including transport experts, behavioural insight specialists, technology, academia and environmental NGOs. Details of the membership, alongside minutes of the first meeting, which focused on a green recovery from coronavirus, will be published shortly.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) terms of reference, (b) minutes of its first meeting and (c) dates of future meetings of his Department’s Net Zero Transport Board.

The Net Zero Transport Board is an external advisory board, brought together to advise on the Government’s approach to transport decarbonisation. The minutes of its first meeting on a green recovery from coronavirus, alongside the terms of reference and details of the membership, will be published online shortly. Dates of future meetings will not be published in advance, but minutes of each meeting will be published on a recurring basis.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which rail franchises have temporary non-compliance status from Network Rail and run rolling stock that dumps human waste and effluent on railway tracks in England and Wales.

The following franchised train operators have applied for, and been granted, temporary non-compliance status: Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales.

Other operators, such as charter and heritage, for which the Department is not responsible for have also been issued with non-compliance status by Network Rail.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which railway routes on the England and Wales rail network have temporary non-compliance status from Network Rail and allow the practice of dumping human waste and effluent on railway tracks.

Non-compliance status is granted to operators and not routes.

The following franchised train operators have applied for, and been granted, temporary non-compliance status: Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales.

Other operators, such as charter and heritage, for which the Department is not responsible for have also been issued with non-compliance status by Network Rail.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what risk assessment his Department has made of the effect on railway workers from human waste and effluent on tracks in England and Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been clear that our priority remains the safety of staff and passengers.

We have issued comprehensive guidance to employers on the steps they should take to make their workplaces Covid-secure, which outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England.

Operators have been instructed to undertake Covid-19 staff-safety risk assessments to determine how best to maintain the health of staff through safe distancing and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate. All guidance documents are available on the government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the planned timescale is for bringing into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 enabling local authorities outside London to enforce school streets schemes.

The commencement of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 is a longstanding and complex issue which we are looking at carefully, including the role that moving traffic enforcement powers could play in helping councils to deliver their transport recovery plans. No decisions have yet been taken.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what powers local authorities have been granted to close roads to create more cycling and pedestrian space during the covid-19 outbreak; and for how road closures can be in place for.

Local traffic authorities already have powers to close roads and to make changes to their use, including making space for cyclists and pedestrians, through the use of Traffic Orders. My Department has recently published guidance for authorities on how to deal with some practical difficulties with publicising and making orders during current restrictions, for example, publication in local newspapers when these may have either closed or moved online and posting site notices. This guidance has been circulated to local authorities already and will be kept under review. It is temporary and will be withdrawn when circumstances allow. It is available on our website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-orders-advertising-during-coranavirus-covid-19

We will continue to consider other assistance and support that we can offer to authorities as part of our response to coronavirus and plans for restart and recovery.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking in response to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that the National Rail Passenger Survey does not reflect passengers' experience of rail travel in the UK.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons some train operating companies are provided with the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey three weeks in advance.

As set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics, a small number of individuals can be given access to official statistics before their public release; these are limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance purposes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department has not implemented the proposal by Transport Focus for continuous rail passenger interviewing.

Whilst Transport Focus provided the Department with a proposal for a move to continuous National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) fieldwork in 2017, the costs of the options provided were prohibitive at that time.

The rail industry does not rely solely on the NRPS and since 2017, the Department has been working with industry to develop a wider range of evidence to understand and improve rail performance, including more continuous measurement of passenger views and experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Office for Statistics Regulation’s conclusion that Transport Focus should extend engagement on National Passenger Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) to a broader range of users to ensure that different user perspectives are fed into the future development of the NRPS statistics.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey collects data on passenger support for the presence of on-train and station staff.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey includes questions on the accessibility of railways for disabled people that (a) travel by rail and (b) do not currently travel by rail.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that there is a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse of the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) by using a journey-based approach, what steps his Department plans to take to review how the results of the NRPS are used in the (a) award and (b) review processes for rail franchising.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The previous Secretary of State met with DUP MP’s to discuss the proposals. Subsequently, officials provided advice to both the previous and current Secretary of State on the options available to facilitate a feasibility study.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the timing of a decision on the continuation of the Household Support Fund on the operation of local authority support services.

The current Household Support Fund runs from April 2023 until the end of March 2024, and the Government continues to keep all its existing programmes under review in the usual way.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he has taken to reduce waiting times for PIP assessments.

We are committed to ensuring people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner.  Reducing customer journey times for PIP claimants is a priority for the department and we are working constantly to make improvements to our service.

We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to review all available evidence, including that from the claimant.

We have seen a decrease in PIP clearance times, with the latest statistics showing that the average end-to-end journey has reduced from 26 weeks in August 2021 to 15 weeks at the end of July 2023. This is because we’re:

  • using a blend of phone, video and face-to-face assessments to support customers and deliver a more efficient and user-centred service;
  • increasing case manager and assessment provider health professional resource; and
  • prioritising new claims, while ensuring that claimants awaiting award reviews do not fall out of payment through no fault of their own.

In addition, the Health Transformation Programme (HTP) is modernising health and disability benefit services to create a more efficient service, to reduce processing times and improving trust in our services and decisions. As part of this, from July 2023, a limited number of claimants have been able to begin their claim for PIP entirely online, which we aim to roll out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the end of 2024.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, whether he plans to accept the invitation from Garden Court Chambers to attend mediation talks with Joanne Welch from CEDAWinLAW on an alternative dispute resolution for women born in the 1950s who were affected by changes in the State Pension age.

In the legal challenge on changes to State Pension age, both the High Court and Court of Appeal have found no fault in the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, finding Government acted entirely lawfully and did not discriminate on any grounds.

Additionally, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has not completed his investigation into communication of changes to women’s state pension. It would be inappropriate to enter into Alternative Dispute Resolution with third parties or comment while the PHSO investigation is ongoing. Section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether employees of the Pension Regulator will receive the government-wide 4.5% pay increase deal.

DWP does not play a role in determining the awards TPR will pay to their workforce, beyond reviewing proposals to ensure that they comply with the parameters set by the Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance and securing Secretary of State approval to proceed into negotiations. This year, the remit guidance allowed a maximum average increase of 4.5%, and an additional 0.5% could be used to target lower grades.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to guarantee that the Household Support Fund will continue to be provided to county councils and unitary authorities in England after March 2024.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given to PQ196466.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to exempt people who were diagnosed with lifelong conditions at birth from personal independence payment reassessments.

PIP awards are not condition-based as individuals can be impacted by their health condition(s) in different ways and those impacts can vary over time. However, we recognise that assessments and reviews are not always suitable for our claimants, including those with lifelong or long-term conditions and disabilities.

We announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability White Paper that we will test a new Severe Disability Group in PIP to reduce unnecessary applications and assessments.

The first light-touch reviews at the 10 year point for those with ongoing awards, started in August. These are primarily for those with long-term conditions on the highest level of support or whose conditions are stable. The design draws on discussions with charities and other organisations and involves a short form to check whether anything has changed, adjust the award if needed, and confirm we hold up-to-date information.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment reassessments due to take place in 2022 were outstanding on 1 September 2023.

Data on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Award Reviews cleared or outstanding after April 2023 cannot be released as PIP data after this point is intended for publication at a future date.     

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government plans to renew the Household Support Fund in the next financial year.

There are currently no plans to extend the Household Support Fund which runs to the end of March 2024. As with all policies, this is kept under continuous review and has included recent discussion with Local Authorities including Brighton and Hove City Council.

We are proud that, the Household Support Fund has been used to support many households in need in England with the cost of essentials. For example, over 10 million awards were made between 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.

The government continues to focus on the Prime Minister’s priority to halve inflation by the end of the year. Through the ambitious package announced at the Spring budget we are also delivering measures that are designed to support people to enter work and increase their earnings.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department is taking steps to improve how it communicates changes to the eligibility criteria for benefits.

The government’s benefit eligibility checker details the support available to individuals in a user friendly and clear way and can be found here. The benefits checker tool is a primary call to action for the Help for Households campaign which has been marketed extensively since July 2022 in order to promote the 40 schemes available to support with the cost of living.

Since the tool launched in June 2022, it has been used over 2.4 million times.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to extend Guaranteed Minimum Pension protections to pensions accrued before 1988.

For people reaching State Pension age before 6 April 2016, in some circumstances, the additional State Pension can have the effect of price protection on Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) accrued between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1988.

The additional State Pension, and with it in-effect indexation, was replaced by the new State Pension for people reaching State Pension age from 6 April 2016. The transitional rules of new State Pension can be beneficial to people who have been contracted out and further information about this can be found here [[link]] Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) and the effect of the new State Pension - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There are no plans to change these arrangements.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many PIP reassessments from 2022 are outstanding.

On 30th April 2023, there were 220,000 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Award Reviews registered in 2022 that were awaiting a decision.

Claimants awaiting an assessment to review their PIP will continue to be paid until the review is complete. Should a claimant have a change in their circumstances, they are advised to notify the department and their award will be prioritised for review.

We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, considering the need to review all available evidence, including that from the claimant. Where possible, we are making decisions without referral to the assessment providers and maintaining awards for those undergoing a review.

Source: PIP Atomic Data Store (ADS)

Notes:

  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision;
  • Figures refer to planned PIP Award Reviews, where a claimant has reached their scheduled review date and the department has sent an AR1 form;
  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand; and
  • Figures are for England and Wales only.
Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 May 2023 to Question 183797 on Universal Credit, for what reason have the capital limits for Universal Credit not been adjusted to account for inflation.

There are no plans to change Universal Credit capital limits.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the impact of inflation on capital limits for savings of Universal Credit claimants.

No such assessment has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit the same as for Housing Benefit.

There are no plans to amend the Universal Credit eligibility criteria at this time.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department plans to take steps to (a) expedite and (b) simplify the pension claiming process for people diagnosed with terminal illnesses.

For those at the end of their life, the Government’s priority is providing financial support quickly and compassionately. The main way that the Department does this is through special benefit rules, sometimes referred to as “the Special Rules”. These enable people who are nearing the end of their lives to get faster, easier access to certain benefits, without needing to attend a medical assessment, serve waiting periods and in most cases, receive the highest rate of benefit. For many years, the Special Rules have applied to people who have 6 months or less to live and now they are being changed so they apply to people who have 12 months or less to live.

There are no plans to change how the State Pension claiming process operates.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current practice of including industrial injuries disablement benefit when considering a claimant's total income to calculate awards for additional means-tested benefits.

Means-tested benefit calculations consider most forms of income, including other benefits provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. Exemptions are only implemented where exceptional circumstances apply.

There are no plans to disregard income from Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) when making assessments for other means-tested benefits. However, any increase in IIDB payments for Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance is fully exempt from assessment for means-tested benefits.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason eligible pensioners who have experienced delays in receiving their State Pension invitation do not have the option to apply for their pension via an online form or via a form that can be downloaded and printed from the Government website.

If a customer’s State Pension age is pre 6th April 2016 they can download a BR1 claim form from Gov.uk.

For customers whose State Pension Age is after 6th April 2016 they can use the online ‘Get Your State Pension’ (GySP) digital service to complete their claim. Customers who do not receive an invitation to claim their State Pension can use the online service to request a claim invitation to be sent to them. A claim invitation code can be used for up to 15 months from being issued.

If a customer does not wish to use the online service and requires a clerical claim form to complete, this can be obtained by contacting the new claims telephony line. Additionally, claims can be made by telephone where the claim may be gathered and processed while the customer is on the phone. If the customer requires an accessible version of the form that can also be provided on request.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to provide support for pensioners who experience fuel poverty in autumn 2022 in the context of rising energy costs.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living. These are global challenges. The government is providing over £15 billion in further support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. This package is in addition to the over £22 billion announced previously, with Government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37 billion this year.

This includes a £650 cost of living payment (paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324) which has been designed to target support at more than 8 million low-income households on means-tested benefits including Pension Credit. In addition, pensioner households will receive a one-off payment of £300 through and as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment from November and 6 million eligible disabled people will receive a one-off disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 from 20 September

Most customers with a domestic electricity meter will benefit from the £400 support being provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which will help around 29 million households across Great Britain. This support is in addition to the £150 Council Tax rebate for households in England in Council Tax bands A-D, which was announced in February, and which millions of households have already received.

Cold Weather Payments are also available to help vulnerable people in receipt of certain income-related benefits in England and Wales to meet additional heating costs, during periods of unseasonably cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. This includes older people in receipt of Pension Credit. Those eligible will continue to automatically receive £25 when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days.

In winter 2022/23, the Warm Home Discount Scheme has been extended to provide a £150 rebate on energy bills to around 3 million households. Around one million households on Pension Credit guarantee credit will receive a rebate each winter, and the majority will receive their rebate automatically, without the need to claim.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that entitlements derived from National Insurance contributions are consistent for the spouses of members of the armed forces who serve overseas.

The new State Pension is usually based on an individual’s own National insurance record. A spouse or civil partner who accompanies a member of the Armed Forces on a posting overseas is able to apply for National Insurance credits for that period, which can protect their State Pension entitlement. More information on the credits available and how to apply is available on gov.uk (National Insurance credits: Eligibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jun 2022
To ask to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps is she taking to ensure divorced parents are equally considered when a child is entitled to disability allowance.

The current legislation allows for payments of Disability Living Allowance for children to be split, but only where there are exceptional circumstances and where it is in the child’s interests. Situations where the child shares residency between parents do not normally constitute exceptional circumstances.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 139101, what estimate her Department has made of the (a) number of applications in the backlog awaiting issuance of National Insurance numbers to people that cannot use the visa route and (b) time it will take her Department to clear that backlog.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the Department are not conducting face-to-face National Insurance Number (NINo) interviews at present. Applicants who have verified their ID via a Visa application are able to apply for a NINo using a postal route. As of 17 January 2021, there are 16,245 NINo applications awaiting a decision. Of the total outstanding applications, 1,588 have applied via the Visa Postal route, and 14,657 have applied via an alternative Postal route.

In a business as usual position our benchmark is 15 days. However, people who do not have a visa, are part of the digital trial so this may take longer.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many national insurance numbers have been issued to EU citizens in each of the last five years.

The Department publishes quarterly statistics on National Insurance Number (NINo) allocations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK. All of this information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-insurance-number-allocations-to-adult-overseas-nationals-entering-the-uk

The available information on the number of NINos issued in the last 5 years to EU Nationals can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the extent of the backlog of National Insurance the covid-19 outbreak.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the Department are not conducting Face to Face National Insurance Number (NINo) interviews at present. Applicants who have verified their identity via a Visa application are able to apply for a NINo using a postal route.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what equality impact assessment her Department has made in relation to its policy not to issue national insurance numbers to applicants without a visa during the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to allocate a National Insurance number, the Department must validate each applicant’s identity. This was predominantly done through a face to face identity check. As part of the Department’s assessment to meet government guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, all non-essential face to face activity was suspended.

For those customer groups, where a face to face identity check is required, we are developing and testing alternative identity verification solutions.

We recently included EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who have been granted settled or pre-settled status as part of their EU Settlement Scheme, into the test, as their identity will have been verified, through this process, by the Home Office.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on (a) tax and (b) national insurance payments of her Department not issuing national insurance numbers to many applicants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department and HMRC have assessed the effects on customers paying tax and National Insurance Contributions without a National Insurance Number (NINo).

The collection of tax and National Insurance is a matter for HMRC. HMRCs employer checklist provides advice to employers on what information is required when submitting payroll returns for those employees who do not have a NINo.

HMRC have measures in place to ensure customers pay the right amount of tax and National Insurance contributions at the right time.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department has not been able to use pre-settled status and settled status as the required evidence in issuing new national insurance numbers to UK arrivals since March 2020.

As part of DWPs digital programme to improve access to National Insurance services, particularly through the Covid-19 pandemic, the department has explored how it can use the data provided by EU/EEA citizens as part of their Settled/Pre-settled status applications to remove the need for a face to face identity check. This process is currently in the testing phase.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much in discretionary housing payments was allocated between March and July (a) 2020 and (b) 2019.

Since 2013 the Department has requested that Local Authorities provide details of their use of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funds. This monitoring information is collected twice yearly; in the middle and at the end of the financial year.

The returns are published on-line, and the information to the end of March 2020 is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-financial-year-2019-to-2020/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-analysis-of-end-of-year-returns-from-local-authorities-april-2019-to-march-2020

DHPs for Scotland were devolved from 1 April 2017, information and statistics on the use of DHPs in Scotland are available here: DHPs in Scotland

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much in 2020-21 discretionary housing payments had been distributed nationally as of August 2020.

We have provided £180m in Discretionary Housing Payment (DHPs) funding to Local Authorities (LAs) to support vulnerable claimants with housing costs in the private and social rented sector in England and Wales for 2020/21. This includes an extra £40m as announced last year at the spending round.

Each year the Department publishes the annual LA allocations; the current year allocations are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-benefit-subsidy-circulars-2020/s22020-2020-21-discretionary-housing-payments-government-contribution-for-english-and-welsh-local-authorities

Since 2017 DHPs have been fully devolved in Scotland; the Scottish Government is responsible for informing Scottish LAs of their individual allocations.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding has been allocated to the Health & Safety Executive for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period and (b) establishing a new building safety regulator following the Grenfell Tower disaster; and whether these funding allocations are in addition to the £14 million announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 12 May 2020 for making workplaces safe during the covid-19 outbreak.

The total funding allocated to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period for 2020/21 is £3.46m. This funding is provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Allocations for future years will be decided as part of the Spending Review process for 2020.

HSE has not yet been allocated any funding in respect of (b) the new Building Safety Regulator. Costs to the organisation are currently being met by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). HSE and MHCLG are currently discussing future funding arrangements for this work.

The additional HSE funding of up to £14m is additional funding and is ring-fenced for dealing with additional work arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the under-occupancy charge during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) policy has helped to contain growing housing support expenditure, encourage mobility within the social rented sector, strengthen work-incentives and make better use of available social housing. There are currently no plans to change this policy. It would not be practical to make such temporary adjustments to the size criteria, which require regulatory changes, to reflect self-isolation or shielding when the household, property and rental costs have not changed.

Previously, Housing Benefit claimants who live in the social rented sector generally had their rents met in full and their entitlement was not affected by whether or not they under occupied their homes. However, this was no longer considered sustainable and from April 2013 Housing Benefit for working-age tenants in the social rented sector has been restricted. These restrictions apply where people live in a property that is too large for their needs.

As with all spending decisions difficult choices have to be made about priorities and where to focus additional resources. Those unable to meet a shortfall in their rent can seek assistance via the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHPs) scheme. DHPs can be paid to those in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit who face a shortfall in meeting their rental housing costs.

In addition, we have just announced an extra £40 million for DHPs in 2020/21 in England and Wales.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the £16,000 savings threshold for eligibility for universal credit.

A key principle of UC is that it supports people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. While it is important to protect the incentive to save for claimants on low earnings, people with substantial capital can take responsibility for their own support. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to citizens who need it and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

If capital exceeds £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC, unless the capital can be disregarded, for example personal injury compensation payments. Capital above £6,000 will reduce the amount of UC paid by £4.35 per month for every £250 of capital or part thereof.

If someone has money in their account that is to be used for business purposes, for example for paying tax, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for business purposes. People should make clear in their application the savings that are business assets, and note it in their online journal.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what protocols her Department has in place on the dispensing of medication to prisoners who are HIV positive.

HIV medication is initiated by a specialist in specialist services, and prison healthcare and pharmacy teams liaise with them to ensure continuity of care. A shared care agreement would be put in place to ensure continuity of care and appropriate monitoring. Any medication listed under the National Health Service high cost commissioning list is accessed via specialist commissioning routes, and delivered directly to the healthcare team at the prison. Any medication not listed as high cost will be dispensed in the usual way, via the healthcare dispensing services.

Healthcare teams within prisons ensure the appropriate monitoring is in place, and that there is ongoing continuity in medication throughout the patient’s stay at the prison. Protocols are in place to ensure that medications will transfer with the patient either on release or when being transferred to another prison establishment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of off-label prescriptions of Victoza, Luraglutide, for the purpose of weight loss from private healthcare providers on the level of supply of that drug for type 2 diabetes.

While the position has improved, there continues to be a global supply issue with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), including Victoza (liraglutide). We have issued updated guidance to healthcare professionals in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert on 3 January 2024, on how to manage patients requiring these medicines.

Our guidance is clear that GLP-1 RAs that are solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss. The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines.

We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, and the Department will continue to help ensure that these critical medicines reach diabetes patients. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will publish the (a) dates and (b) draft agendas of meetings of committees of NHS England and NHS Improvement scheduled for 2024.

NHS England is required under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 to publish the agenda for its board meetings in advance, and to hold board meetings in public.

NHS England’s board has delegated some of its duties and responsibilities to Board Committees which provide regular assurance and, by exception, escalate issues that merit full board discussion and decision. A list of Board Committees is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/nhs-england-board/board-governance/

Committee activity is also summarised in the Accountability Report section of NHS England’s Annual Reports and Accounts.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which NHS bodies have a role in the consideration of Abiraterone for inclusion in the drug repurposing programme for the treatment of locally advanced high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer; and what the remit of each body is in that process.

The national, multi-agency Medicines Repurposing Programme is hosted and funded by NHS England and is overseen by a steering group, including decision-making members from the Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the National Institute for Health and Care Research, and NHS England. Each of the national agencies brings a different contribution to the programme, in line with their respective regulatory and statutory responsibilities.

The programme steering group has not discussed adopting abiraterone for high-risk, non-metastatic hormone sensitive prostate cancer into the repurposing programme. This is because an off-label clinical commissioning policy covering the off-label use of abiraterone in this indication is being developed by NHS England and, in this case, NHS England considers this to be the most appropriate route to support a decision on routine patient access in the National Health Service. The policy is being considered through the established process in line with the current methods, which are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Methods-National-clinical-policies-updated-July-2020-v2.pdf

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the clinical lead proposal form relating to abiraterone acetate as a treatment for advanced high risk non-metastatic prostate cancer was (a) completed and (b) sent to the Clinical Effectiveness Team (NHS England) under section A1.4 of Methods: National clinical policies.

The application form for a clinical policy relating to this treatment was initially received by NHS England on 29 March 2022. The policy proposition continues to be developed in line with NHS England’s document, Methods: national clinical policies.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the extent to which the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust is fulfilling its duties under the NHS Constitution for England; and whether NHS Trusts are required to ensure the provision of out of hours pharmacy services.

The Department does not assess foundation trusts in fulfilling their duty to have regard to the NHS Constitution. NHS foundation trusts do not have responsibility for community pharmacy service provisions, as integrated care boards are responsible for commissioning community pharmacy.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2023 to Question 4318 on Prostate Cancer: Drugs, when does she expect NHS England to complete their consideration of a clinical policy proposal for abiraterone as a treatment option for patients newly diagnosed with high risk, non-metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.

There are no plans for a comparative assessment to be made. Health is a devolved matter and decisions on access to medicines in Scotland and Wales are a matter for the devolved administrations.

NHS England sent a policy proposition to stakeholders on 29 November 2023 regarding abiraterone acetate and prednisolone for high-risk, hormone sensitive, non-metastatic prostate cancer, and has invited feedback by 14 December 2023. The completion of NHS England’s consideration will depend on the feedback received from stakeholders which will help inform the final draft of the proposition, and the outcome of the impact assessment which will inform the timing of decision making.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2023 to Question 4318 on Prostate Cancer: Drugs, if he will make a comparative assessment of the (a) decision-making criteria for and (b) process to approve the use of abiraterone acetate to treat locally advanced high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer in (i) NHS England and NHS Wales and (ii) NHS Scotland.

There are no plans for a comparative assessment to be made. Health is a devolved matter and decisions on access to medicines in Scotland and Wales are a matter for the devolved administrations.

NHS England sent a policy proposition to stakeholders on 29 November 2023 regarding abiraterone acetate and prednisolone for high-risk, hormone sensitive, non-metastatic prostate cancer, and has invited feedback by 14 December 2023. The completion of NHS England’s consideration will depend on the feedback received from stakeholders which will help inform the final draft of the proposition, and the outcome of the impact assessment which will inform the timing of decision making.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to prioritise bipolar disorder within the implementation of his Department's suicide prevention strategy; and if he will set out the measures his Department will put in place to safeguard the lives of people affected by bipolar disorder.

The new suicide prevention strategy for England is a five-year strategy which sets out the Government’s ambition for suicide prevention. It is a multi-sector and cross-Government suicide strategy, with actions from a wide range of organisations that will be delivered over the next few years.

The Department has established a £10 million Suicide Prevention Grant Fund to run from 2023 to March 2025 to support voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations, including those who support people with bipolar, to deliver suicide prevention activity.

The Department, alongside NHS England, intends to explore opportunities to improve the quality of care for patients with mental health diagnoses and ensure compliance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. This includes patients diagnosed with affective disorders, including depression and bipolar, who accounted for 42% of all patient suicides in England between 2010 and 2020.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NICE plans to amend its guidance on the treatment of locally advanced high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer to recommend the use of abiraterone acetate in England.

Abiraterone is not licensed for the treatment of non-metastatic prostate cancer and has therefore not been appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for such use. NHS England is currently considering a clinical policy proposal for abiraterone as a treatment option for patients newly diagnosed with high risk, non-metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, or in whom prostate cancer has relapsed after at least 12 months without treatment.

NICE will consider the impact of NHS England’s work on its guideline on the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to increase access to NHS dental services in (a) Brighton, Kemptown constituency, (b) the City of Brighton and Hove and (c) Lewes District.

In July 2022 we announced a package of reforms to improve access to National Health Service dentistry across England, which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care in England. The changes that have been implemented include improvements to ensure dentists are remunerated more fairly for more complex work and the introduction of a minimum Units of Dental Activity value. NHS dental activity as measured by Courses of Treatments delivered has increased by 23% nationally between 2021/22 and 2022/23.

From 1 April 2023, responsibility for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet the needs of the local population has been delegated to all integrated care boards (ICBs) across England. ICBs are responsible for having local processes in place to identify areas of need and determine the priorities for investment and have access to regular data which will support them in their plans to improve access to NHS dentistry in their area.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published on 30 June 2023, sets out the steps the National Health Service and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. These include a 40% increase to dentistry undergraduate training places by 2031/32.

But we know we need to do more, and that there are some areas where access is particularly problematic. We are working on our Dentistry Recovery Plan which will address how we continue to improve access, particularly for new patients; and how we make NHS work more attractive to ensure NHS dentists are incentivised to deliver more NHS care.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to increase accessibility to pre-exposure prophylaxis.

The HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group (ISG) is developing a roadmap to help guide our efforts to improve equitable access, uptake and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to meet the needs of key populations at significant risk of HIV. This forms part of the group’s work to monitor and drive forward the implementation of the HIV Action Plan.

HIV PrEP is currently only prescribed at specialist sexual health services, but as we work towards our 2030 ambitions, we will explore opportunities for making it available in a variety of settings. The roadmap is expected to be made available by the ISG by the end of the year.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to raise awareness of advice on HIV (a) prevention and (b) testing.

HIV testing and prevention is provided to local authorities in England through the public health grant, funded at £3.5 billion in 2023-2024. Through this grant, they are mandated to commission comprehensive open access to most sexual health services, including free and confidential HIV testing, and the provision of the HIV prevention drug PrEP. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need and to commission the service lines that best suit their population.

This is further supported by national initiatives under the Government’s HIV Action Plan. As part of the Plan, NHS England is investing £20 million over three years to implement opt-out HIV testing in EDs (emergency departments) in local areas with extremely high HIV prevalence. Provisional data from NHS England indicates that the opt-out testing programme has helped to find more than 550 cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV and more than 1,900 cases of undiagnosed or untreated hepatitis during its first year. We will be assessing all of this evidence, alongside the data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions and AIDS- and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030, to decide whether we further expand the programme.

The Department is also investing over £3.5million from 2021-2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme. This is a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential for legislative changes to help remove stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach in England to drive forward progress and achieve our goal to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. It includes a key objective to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and addressing stigma. In December, UK Health Security Agency will publish a monitoring and evaluation report of the HIV Action Plan for England as well as the results of the Positive Voices 2022 survey which provide granular data and findings on HIV-related stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Government announced on 24 October its intention to change the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 to allow people who are HIV positive, but with an undetectable viral load, to donate their gametes as part of fertility treatment and will continue considering potential changes which can support people living with HIV and improve their quality of life.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help patients with ADHD access necessary medication.

We are aware of supply issues affecting medicines used for the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We have issued communications, in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert, to the National Health Service to advise healthcare professionals on management of patients during this time. We continue to work closely with manufacturers to resolve the issues as soon as possible and to ensure patients have continuous access to ADHD medicines in the United Kingdom. We anticipate that the supply disruption will resolve at various dates between October and December 2023.

18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to offer both flu and covid-19 vaccines to people aged 50 to 64 in winter 2023.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guides the approach to the immunisation programmes in England. For both the COVID-19 and flu vaccination programmes, the JCVI have advised a targeted approach to protect the most vulnerable from severe disease (hospitalisation and death) including older individuals and individuals with specified existing clinical conditions and the Government accepted that advice. The current COVID-19 and flu vaccination programmes started in England on 11 September 2023.

Following advice from the JCVI, the following groups are eligible for vaccination in the 2023/24 flu vaccination programme:

- those aged 65 years old and over;

- those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups;

- pregnant women;

- all children aged two or three years old on 31 August 2023;

- eligible school aged children (Reception to Year 11);

- those in long-stay residential care homes;

- carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person;

- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals; and

- frontline health and social care workers.

On 8 August 2023, the Government accepted advice from the JCVI on who should be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in the autumn 2023 booster programme. The eligible groups are:

- residents and staff in a care home for older adults;

- all adults aged 65 years and over;

- persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group;

- frontline health and social care workers;

- persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression; and

- persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers.

Currently therefore, those aged 50 to 64 years old are not, based on age alone, eligible for COVID-19 vaccination or free flu vaccination in the current vaccination programmes. However, if individuals meet any of the eligibility criteria for flu and/or COVID-19 vaccination set out above, they will be able to receive vaccination(s). The JCVI will continue to review evidence and will provide further advice regarding future vaccination programmes in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that off-label prescriptions of Ozempic Semaglutide for weight-loss from private healthcare providers do not create supply shortages for those prescribed Ozempic for diabetes.

We have issued guidance in the form of Medicine Supply Notifications and, on 18 July, issued a National Patient Safety Alert which made it clear that Ozempic, which is solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes, should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss.

All prescribers, whether employed privately or by the National Health Service, are expected to take account of appropriate national guidance. It is for the responsible clinician to work with their patient and decide on the course of treatment, with the provision of the most clinically appropriate care for the individual always being the primary consideration.

We have engaged with relevant regulators, and the General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards.

We are continuing to work closely with manufacturers and others working in the supply chain to help ensure the continued supply of these medicines for United Kingdom patients, for example by asking suppliers to expedite deliveries. We have provided advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine while there are shortages and are keeping this under review as the situation evolves. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to help reduce waiting times for fertility treatments.

Funding decisions for local health services in England are made by integrated care boards, based on the clinical needs of their populations. The Government expects these organisations to commission fertility services in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, ensuring equal access to fertility treatment across England.

Diagnostic checks are a key part of fertility treatment pathways. Our national ambition is that 95% of all patients needing a diagnostic check receive it within six weeks by March 2025.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2023 to Question 188964, what his timeframe is for the piece of work with the profession and NHS England; whether the work includes (a) aims and (b) targets for increasing the availability of minor eye care services.

We are currently at the scoping stage of the development of standard service specifications for enhanced services and have not yet set out a firm timetable for their completion. The aim of this work is to collate best practice to support commissioning by integrated care boards (ICBs), should they identify a need for such services in their areas and wish to commission them from primary eyecare providers.

ICBs remain responsible for eyecare service design and commissioning in their area.

4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure an (a) adequate and (b) equitable supply of Sativex for people with multiple sclerosis to integrated care boards.

There are currently no reported supply issues concerning the licensed cannabis-based medicine Sativex. The Department has well-established processes to manage and mitigate medicine supply issues, working closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England, Devolved Governments and others operating in the supply chain, to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised when they do arise.

The decision on whether to prescribe Sativex must be taken by a specialist clinician on a case-by-case basis and funding of this medicine is subject to local National Health Service decisions.

On 6 September 2021, NHS England issued a reminder to NHS trusts and commissioners (now integrated care boards) of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance relating to Sativex and their responsibilities. Data from the NHS Business Services Authority indicates that dispensing of this drug in the community has almost doubled between September 21 (205 items) to March 2023 (402 items), according to the latest available data.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide an assessment of progress against each of the individual UNAIDS targets (a) by age, (b) by ethnicity and (c) for (i) gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, (ii) heterosexual women, (iii) heterosexual men, (iv) people who acquired HIV through injecting drug use and (v) people who acquired HIV through vertical transmission.

UK Health Security Agency undertakes the monitoring of progress against the UNAIDS targets and publishes these as part of the HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework. Information is not currently presented with breakdowns by demographic characteristics or probable route of HIV exposure. Some of this data will be available and published in future reports for the HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he expects the Retention and Engagement in Care Task-and-Finish Group to report; and who the members of that Group are.

As part of the Government’s HIV Action Plan, a retention and re-engagement in care task and finish group was established in 2023. This group will provide advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective medical care. They will present their recommendations to the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group in due course, who will agree how the advice will be taken forward.

Members of the group includes UK Health Security Agency, NHS England, Local Government Association, HIV Clinical Reference Group, British HIV Association, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, English HIV and Sexual Health Commissioners Group, Association of Directors of Public Health, BHA for Equality, National AIDS Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure equitable access to NHS Minor Eye Care Services across all Integrated Care Boards in England.

In England, integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the planning and commissioning of services to meet local needs. This includes decisions on whether to commission locally enhanced services from primary eye care providers, such as minor eye conditions services.

To support ICBs we are currently planning a piece of work with the profession and NHS England to develop a standard set of service specifications for enhanced services, which will support ICB commissioning, should they identify a need for such services in their area.

9th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the level of access to Dara-CyBorD in (a) England and (b) Scotland for people diagnosed with AL amyloidosis.

No specific assessment has been made. The availability of medicines on the National Health Service in Scotland is a matter for the devolved administration. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing guidance for the NHS in England on the use of daratumumab plus bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (Dara-CyBorD) for the treatment of newly diagnosed systemic amyloid light-chain amyloidosis in adults. NICE’s draft recommendations published in December 2022 did not recommend use of Dara-CyBorD and are currently subject to an appeal lodged by the company and Myeloma UK.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for a cross-Government delivery plan on myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The Department plans to publish a draft delivery plan on ME/CFS shortly. We intend to seek views on the draft plan before publishing a final delivery plan at a later date.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis to treat sexually transmitted infections.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) published a joint position statement on the use of doxycycline as prophylaxis (doxyPEP) for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 2021. Given the need for additional data on the effectiveness of doxyPEP to control STIs and potential harms due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, it is not currently endorsed by the UKHSA. However, UKHSA continually reviews emerging scientific evidence of the effectiveness of doxyPEP to inform any future guidance on its use to control STIs.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to data on gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses, published by the UK Health and Security Agency on 6 June 2023, what steps his Department is taking to reduce gonorrhoea and syphilis infections.

Sexual health services play a key public health role in diagnosis, early treatment and management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including syphilis and gonorrhoea. We are providing more than £3.5 billion to local authorities through the Public Health Grant to fund public health services, including sexual health services, in this financial year. Individual local authorities are responsible for and well placed to make funding and commissioning decisions about the sexual health services that best meet the needs of their local populations, ensuring patients can be adequately diagnosed and treated to avoid further transmission and long-term health problems.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, we are investing over £3.5 million from 2021 to 2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme for England, including HIV Testing Week and other campaigns to improve information and testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other STIs.

The UK Health Security Agency supports local areas to improve sexual health service delivery through data monitoring and reporting. It has also published a Syphilis Action Plan to address the increase in syphilis diagnosis in England, focusing on key interventions such as targeted testing, partner notification and awareness raising.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people have adequate access to sexual health services.

Sexual health services play a key public health role in diagnosis, early treatment and management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including syphilis and gonorrhoea. We are providing more than £3.5 billion to local authorities through the Public Health Grant to fund public health services, including sexual health services, in this financial year. Individual local authorities are responsible for and well placed to make funding and commissioning decisions about the sexual health services that best meet the needs of their local populations, ensuring patients can be adequately diagnosed and treated to avoid further transmission and long-term health problems.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, we are investing over £3.5 million from 2021 to 2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme for England, including HIV Testing Week and other campaigns to improve information and testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other STIs.

The UK Health Security Agency supports local areas to improve sexual health service delivery through data monitoring and reporting. It has also published a Syphilis Action Plan to address the increase in syphilis diagnosis in England, focusing on key interventions such as targeted testing, partner notification and awareness raising.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) fund and (b) procure a vaccine to treat gonorrhoea.

Currently there are no vaccines in the United Kingdom licensed for protection against gonorrhoea. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are aware of ongoing studies evaluating the potential protection against gonorrhoea from meningococcal B vaccination and plan to consider evidence on other vaccines which could be used to protect against gonorrhoea. Once the JCVI has concluded its review and provided advice, the Government will consider options for implementing a programme.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to launch a publicity campaign to educate people on self-managing illnesses and on when to access health services.

As part of its ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, NHS England has run several campaign phases including marketing activity to increase use of the NHS 111 online service for urgent but non-life-threatening medical needs, and to encourage use of pharmacy for minor conditions including coughs, colds, itchy eyes and earache. Further ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign phases are being considered.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) fund and (b) develop IT systems to help GP practices implement telemedicine and online consultations.

NHS England’s GP IT Operating Model, Digital Care Services catalogue and GP IT Futures framework ensures digital systems are modern, integrated, secure and user-friendly. The GP IT Futures framework ensures general practice IT evolves with minimal disruption to care and supports ongoing improvements to procurement, greater choice of nationally accredited suppliers, and products that meet core requirements, standards, and capabilities.

NHS England’s Digital First Primary Care programme is supporting practices to optimise the use of digital tools, including by providing transformation funding to help practices implement video and online consultation systems. The Digital First Online Consultation and Video Consultation framework improves the procurement process for Primary Care Networks of such solutions, and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/gp/digital-first-primary-care/procurement/

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to increase (a) funding and (b) support for general practice to respond to increases in demand for their services.

In the Autumn Statement we committed to publish a full recovery plan for primary care systems. This plan will set out detailed ambitions for recovery to deliver improved access to general practice, so that everyone who needs an appointment with their general practitioner practice can get one within two weeks, and those who need an urgent appointment can get one on the same day.

Our primary care recovery plan is being drafted and will be published in the coming weeks.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the retention of GPs; and whether his Department is providing additional funding to support schemes with that objective.

The 2020 updated GP Contract Framework announced a number of new retention schemes alongside continued support for existing schemes for the general practice workforce. This includes the GP Retention Scheme, the GP Retention Fund, the National GP Induction and Refresher, the Locum Support Scheme, and the Supporting Mentors Scheme. We are investing at least £1.5 billion to deliver more appointments by 2024 which includes additional funding for these schemes.

17th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to expand the eligibility criteria for Seasonal Covid-19 Boosters to include those who suffer with long term effects of Covid-19.

Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination is based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). JCVI advice, including advice on eligibility for future planned programmes, is set out in published JCVI statements and reflected in national guidance. The guiding principle behind JCVI advice to date is the prevention of severe disease and mortality.

JCVI have indicated in interim advice that there should be a vaccination programme in autumn 2023. The final advice, including evidence in determining eligibility for an autumn 2023 COVID-19 booster vaccination, is currently being reviewed by the JCVI and will be published in due course. No advice has been published on COVID-19 programmes beyond autumn 2023.

At this time, based on JCVI advice, the green book does not indicate that ‘those who suffer with long term effects of COVID-19’ are a clinical risk group. JCVI will keep its advice under review, and advice will be based on evidence regarding the risk from COVID-19 and the potential benefits of vaccination.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans to assess the long-term health implications of the mixture of Dicyclomine and Doxylamine in the previous pregnancy drug Debendox.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not plan to assess the long-term health implications of the mixture of Dicyclomine and Doxylamine in the previous pregnancy drug Debendox. This medicine was withdrawn for commercial reasons from the market in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s.

MHRA remains alert to emerging evidence concerning the safety and efficacy of all medicines, taking action to protect the public when necessary. We encourage anyone to report side effect or adverse reactions to medicines they may have taken, however long ago, via the Yellow Card scheme.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to establish a network of relevant stakeholders to advise him on planning for (a) future outbreaks and (b) Mpox.

On behalf of the Secretary of State, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is responsible for protecting the nation from the impact of key health threats, including, but not limited to, future outbreaks of infectious diseases. As part of its work to prepare for, prevent and respond to emerging health threats UKHSA regularly engages with a wide network of relevant stakeholders. This includes key delivery partners, such as the National Health Service, Local Authorities and the life sciences industry, academia, civil society organisations and international partners.

In relation to mpox specifically, UKHSA convenes a cross-agency mpox oversight group to consult on key issues relating to the mpox response in the United Kingdom. This group comprises key stakeholders from across UKHSA, the Department, NHS England, local Government, clinical professional bodies and civil society. UKHSA continues to monitor the epidemiology of the mpox outbreak and stands ready to scale up its response as required.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide additional (a) funding and (b) guidance to sexual health clinics for preparing for future outbreaks.

Sexual health services (SHS) are funded through the public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties.

The UK Health Security Agency has published guidance designed to help healthcare providers, including sexual health clinics, to manage sexually transmitted infection (STI) outbreaks. This guidance provides advice on how to detect, investigate and control outbreaks of STIs, and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-managing-outbreaks

In March 2023 the Department published an integrated SHS service specification for use by local authorities, which describes the role of sexual health services in managing outbreaks and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-health-services-non-mandatory-contracts-and-guidance-published

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to conduct equality, diversity, and inclusion assessments of (a) vaccine delivery programmes and (b) their impact on health inequalities.

The Department undertakes equality analyses of all policy decisions to assess the impact of these on protected characteristics under the Public Sector Equality Duty and is committed to delivering vaccines to everyone who is eligible.

This includes targeted campaigns for communities known to have lower vaccine uptake as well as providing clear and accurate information about vaccine benefits and eligibility, including in braille and multiple languages. General practices (GPs) and provider incentives are also in place to find local solutions and diversification mechanisms are being developed to make getting vaccinated easier for all. The UK Health Security Agency also publish reviews of disparities in vaccine uptake and its relation to other health disparities as part of their Immunisations Inequalities Strategy.

It is vitally important that everyone takes up the vaccinations to which they are entitled, for themselves, their families, and wider society. Anyone unsure about their eligibility or vaccination status should contact their GP for advice.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that learning from (a) the Mpox and (b) other outbreaks is used to inform long-term healthcare (i) policy and (ii) practices.

The UK Health Security Agency is assessing both the successes and issues arising from the response to mpox. We are also working with partners in Government, academia and industry to understand the findings from evaluation of COVID-19 policies and exercises and identify lessons that can be learned for future incidents.

We will build these lessons into the design and implementation of future policy and practice, and the Centre for Pandemic Preparedness is tracking them to ensure that improvement actions are taken.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle chlamydia in the UK.

The aim of England’s National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) is to reduce the health harms caused by untreated chlamydia infection in women by ensuring all eligible women under the age of 25 years old are offered a chlamydia test.

UK Health Security Agency works with providers and commissioners of sexual and reproductive health services to implement the NCSP, monitor levels of chlamydia testing and diagnoses through our national surveillance systems and evaluate the impact of chlamydia screening on health outcomes.

6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle gonorrhoea in the UK.

Local authorities are mandated to provide confidential, open access sexual health services. These services include testing and treatment for gonorrhoea. It is recommended that all those attending services with needs relating to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are tested for gonorrhoea, syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus, and chlamydia, even if asymptomatic.

UK Health Security Agency undertakes surveillance of testing and diagnoses of STIs at commissioned sexual health services, including online testing to monitor testing and diagnoses, and provide information on local and national trends in gonorrhoea.

6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle multi-drug non-susceptible strains of gonorrhoea.

The effectiveness of treatment for gonorrhoea continues to be threatened by the development of resistance to the last-line treatment, ceftriaxone. The UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme (GRASP) includes a suite of testing and surveillance systems to detect and monitor antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and potential treatment failures. GRASP reports annually on drug resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae in England and Wales and has directly influenced changes in treatment guidelines on three occasions.

Additionally, all primary diagnostic laboratories test gonococcal isolates for susceptibility to ceftriaxone and refer suspected resistant isolates to the UKHSA national reference laboratory for confirmatory testing and follow-up in real-time. UKHSA has published guidance on managing cases of ceftriaxone-resistant gonorrhoea and performs a risk assessment for each case. If there is a risk of transmission within England, UKHSA instigates an Incident Response to contain spread.

6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to develop a national campaign to prevent anti-HIV stigma.

Improving quality of life for people living with human immunodeficiency virus and addressing stigma is a key objective in our HIV Action Plan, published in December 2021.

As part of the plan, the Department is investing over £3.5 million from 2021 to 2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme. This includes the National HIV Testing Week which seeks to normalise and reduce barriers to testing, such as stigma.

We are also working to improve workforce training in the National Health Service to increase HIV awareness and in collaboration with the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) continue to monitor the levels of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV within the health and social care system as well as within community settings. Results from the HIV patient survey Positive Voices carried out by UKHSA and academic partners will be published in 2023 and include more granular data to help us understand people’s experiences with HIV stigma.

21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has taken recent steps to provide (a) additional funding for sexual health services and (b) sexual health risk reduction (i) advice and (ii) interventions that are available (A) face-to-face and (B) online.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 January to Question 120079.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to address the impact of Long Covid on NHS and social care workers.

NHS England has invested £314 million to date to provide care for people, with post-COVID-19 syndrome, with 90 adult and 14 paediatric specialist services operating in England and available to the National Health Service and social care staff. These assess people with post-COVID-19 syndrome and direct them into care pathways which provide appropriate support and treatment.

A range of support is available for NHS staff who are experiencing symptoms of post-COVID-19 syndrome, which includes training and guidance for staff as well as access to Occupational Health and Wellbeing services and local Employee Assistance Programmes.

The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers who determine their pay and terms and conditions of employment. The Department expects all care providers to follow good health and safety practices.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence the England Infected Blood Support Scheme accept to establish when an infection occurred, where records have been destroyed in line with NHS code of practice, where an infection may have occurred over 50 years ago.

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) will consider all available evidence against the balance of probabilities to decide whether someone is eligible for payments under the scheme. EIBSS provides details of the types of information that can be provided in support of an application, which is not exhaustive, available at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/who-can-join-scheme-and-how-apply/people-infected-hepatitis-c-stage-1-payment

11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for patient care of (a) levels of communication and (b) information sharing facilities between the NHS in England and health services in the devolved nations.

At an operational level, there are arrangements in place to support the sharing of information across borders. Organisations share information where appropriate to inform good decision-making, support healthcare and minimise risk to patients.

Legal routes are available to allow the sharing of health data in the United Kingdom to support individual care and to improve health outcomes. We are working with the devolved administrations to ensure that health and care data can be accessed safely and effectively. We have established an agreed processes to manage cross-border healthcare with Wales for patients who live on the English and Welsh border.

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has taken recent steps to provide additional funding for (a) sexual health services and (b) sexual health risk reduction (i) advice and (ii) interventions available (A) face-to-face and (B) online.

In 2022/23, we have allocated more than £3.4 billion to local authorities in England to fund public health services, including sexual health services, through the Public Health Grant. We will announce the 2023/24 Public Health Grant allocations to local authorities in due course.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning comprehensive, open access sexual health services to meet local demand and these include online and face to face provision of advice and interventions. Individual local authorities decide on spending priorities based on an assessment of local need for sexual health services and the blend of service access that best suits their population.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the specific healthcare needs of (a) trans and (b) non-binary people are included in the Women’s Health Strategy for England 2022.

The Women’s Health Strategy’s aim is to improve the health of all women and girls. We recognise that some transgender and non-binary people may also experience some of the same issues covered, for example cervical screening or menopause care.

We also recognise that people who are transgender or non-binary have specific health needs, and work is ongoing across government to address these.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2022 to Question 18974 on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, what progress his Department has made on the Cross-Government Delivery Plan on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

We are engaging with stakeholders to develop a cross-Government delivery plan on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. We have established a governance structure including a task and finish group and three working groups.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the practice of limiting the access of patients’ health records between the National Health Services of the devolved Administrations.

‘Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data’ sets out the importance of a United Kingdom-wide data focus to ensure the public have confidence in the health and care system. Legal routes are available to allow the sharing of health data in the UK to support individual care and to improve health outcomes. We are working with the devolved administrations to ensure that health and care data can be accessed safely and effectively.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 28 September 2022 to Questions 49751 and 49752 on HIV Infection, whether (a) her Department and (b) the UK Health Security Agency plans to carry out a formal assessment.

The UK Health Security Agency will publish a HIV monitoring and evaluation framework on the key indicators needed to achieve zero HIV transmissions. This is due to be published in March 2023 and will include an assessment of the number of people with missing viral load information for at least two consecutive years.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she has taken to ensure that HIV peer support is included in the new specification for HIV services in England.

The specification for Specialised HIV Services for adults is in the process of being updated. Any revisions to the specification will be made according to the process set out in ‘Methods: National Service Specifications’, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/methods-national-service-specifications/

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department is taking steps to help reduce the number of people living with HIV who have missing evidence of viral suppression in England.

Automated validation of data received by the HIV and AIDS reporting system is undertaken annually at the point of submission from HIV outpatient clinics and data of poor quality is returned to the relevant clinic for correction. In addition, records relating to patients with missing information are returned to clinics for completion to improve viral load completeness and other information during data cleaning exercises for the annual clinical outcome dashboard.

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an estimate of the number of people who were living with HIV and attending NHS care who had missing evidence of viral suppression in each (a) hospital trust and (b) NHS region in each of the last ten years.

No formal assessment has been made.

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an estimate of the number of people living with HIV and receiving NHS care who had missing evidence of viral suppression by (a) age, (b) gender, (c) HIV exposure, (d) ethnicity and (e) region in each of the last ten years.

No formal assessment has been made.

8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the policy paper entitled Towards zero - an action plan towards ending HIV transmission, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England - 2022 to 2025, published on 21 December 2021, for what reasons there were 4,600 people living with HIV who were attending NHS care but had missing evidence of viral suppression in 2019.

Data from the 2019 archive shows there were 98,552 people living with diagnosed HIV infection. Of these, 98% were virally suppressed or undetectable. These individuals cannot pass on HIV through sex even if not using condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

The 4,600 people for whom viral load was not reported to the HIV and AIDS Reporting System (HARS) for at least two consecutive years represents 4.7% of patients. One such reason why viral load is not reported is that in some outpatient services, the flow of laboratory data, such as viral load results, is not automated. Although this can be updated at the time of submission to the HARS, this does not always occur. While a patient may also have attended a clinic appointment, a blood sample may not have been taken.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional streams of support for people who are newly diagnosed with HIV.

We have committed to achieving zero new HIV infections and AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England by 2030. In December 2021 we published an HIV Action Plan, which sets out how we will achieve the interim ambition of an 80% reduction in new infections by 2025.The Plan’s objectives include rapid and adequate access to diagnosis, treatment and support for those living with HIV, including addressing stigma to improve health outcomes and reduce onward transmission of infection. We will improve workforce training in the National Health Service to improve HIV awareness and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and academic partners will monitor levels of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV.

In February, we delivered a campaign through National HIV Testing Week to increase awareness and the acceptability of HIV testing and reduce barriers, such as stigma. A summer campaign has commenced in July through the National HIV Prevention Programme. For those living with HIV, including those newly diagnosed, we will develop an audit tool to enable local areas to understand provision of availability and accessibility of HIV mental health, psycho-social and peer support services available. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the UKHSA will share emerging evidence on the effectiveness of voluntary sector-led peer support networks for local commissioners to develop similar models. We have also established the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group which will meet on a quarterly basis to monitor the delivery of the Plan and we will update Parliament annually on progress.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle stigma related to HIV.

We have committed to achieving zero new HIV infections and AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England by 2030. In December 2021 we published an HIV Action Plan, which sets out how we will achieve the interim ambition of an 80% reduction in new infections by 2025.The Plan’s objectives include rapid and adequate access to diagnosis, treatment and support for those living with HIV, including addressing stigma to improve health outcomes and reduce onward transmission of infection. We will improve workforce training in the National Health Service to improve HIV awareness and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and academic partners will monitor levels of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV.

In February, we delivered a campaign through National HIV Testing Week to increase awareness and the acceptability of HIV testing and reduce barriers, such as stigma. A summer campaign has commenced in July through the National HIV Prevention Programme. For those living with HIV, including those newly diagnosed, we will develop an audit tool to enable local areas to understand provision of availability and accessibility of HIV mental health, psycho-social and peer support services available. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the UKHSA will share emerging evidence on the effectiveness of voluntary sector-led peer support networks for local commissioners to develop similar models. We have also established the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group which will meet on a quarterly basis to monitor the delivery of the Plan and we will update Parliament annually on progress.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to extend opt-out HIV testing to (a) Luton, (b) Leicester, (c) Coventry, (d) Birmingham (e) Bristol and (d) Milton Keynes, in the context of the prevalence of HIV in those areas.

NHS England and NHS Improvement is investing £20 million over the next three years to expand opt-out testing in emergency departments in the highest prevalence local areas to identify new cases of HIV. High prevalence is defined as those areas with five or more cases per 1,000 residents in line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. However, as Luton, Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol and Milton Keynes have lower HIV prevalence levels, there are no specific plans to extend such testing.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure both parents are equally consulted when a disabled child's care is considered.

The NHS Constitution states that NHS services must reflect and should be co-ordinated for and tailored to the needs and preferences of patients, their families and carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment. The ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years: Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities’, states that local authorities must ensure that children and their parents and young people are involved in discussions and decisions on individual support and about local provision. We are also proposing to introduce consistent standards, produced with children, young people and their families, to ensure engagement in the decision-making process on the support received.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his written ministerial statement of 12 May 2022 on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, if he will take steps to ensure that representatives of the British Association of Clinicians in ME/CFS are consulted on policy proposals in the context of its expertise in assessing and managing patients; and if he will make a statement.

Officials are working with a range of stakeholders, including the British Association of Clinicians in ME/CFS, to develop a cross-Government delivery plan on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2022 to Question 6877 on Monkeypox: Vaccination, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of offering a monkeypox vaccine to at risk groups during a routine sexual health check-up.

The UK Health Security Agency regularly reviews vaccine eligibility. The Imvanex vaccine is currently offered pre-exposure to healthcare workers who are at high-risk of coming into contact with the virus. This includes individuals working in sexual health services and high consequence infectious disease units. The vaccine is also offered post-exposure to higher categories of close contacts of confirmed cases, ideally within four days of exposure. This can be extended to 14 days for those in high-risk groups, including gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2022 to Question 6877 on Monkeypox: Vaccination, how many doses of (a) Imvanex and (b) other vaccines for monkeypox does the Government have as of 15 June 2022.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has procured over 20,000 doses of smallpox vaccine Imvanex. As of 15 June, Imvanex is the only vaccine for monkeypox which has been procured.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to secure supplies of Jynneos, also known as Imvanex and Imvamune, or other vaccines used for monkeypox.

Although it is not specifically licensed for the prevention of monkeypox in Europe, the smallpox vaccine Imvanex has been used in the United Kingdom in response to previous incidents. This vaccine has demonstrated that it is highly effective at preventing infection when administered within four days of exposure and reducing severe illness between four and 14 days of exposure. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recommended the use of the vaccination for named close contacts of cases and eligibility is kept under review. The UKHSA is working with suppliers, including Bavarian Nordic, which manufactures Imvanex, to ensure a consistent supply.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which organisations his Department plans to consult on the drafting of the monitoring and evaluation framework for the national HIV Action Plan.

The monitoring and evaluation framework for the HIV Action Plan in England will be published later in 2022. The UK Health Security Agency will work with the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and collaborate with academics, commissioners, clinicians and community partners in the development of the monitoring and evaluation framework.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the monitoring and evaluation framework for the national HIV Action Plan.

The monitoring and evaluation framework for the HIV Action Plan in England will be published later in 2022. The UK Health Security Agency will work with the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and collaborate with academics, commissioners, clinicians and community partners in the development of the monitoring and evaluation framework.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mechanism his Department plans to use to monitor progress on the implementation of the national HIV Action Plan.

The UK Health Security Agency will publish a monitoring and evaluation framework this year. The framework will set out the key indicators which will be used to monitor implementation of the HIV Action Plan. A national HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group is being established to oversee the delivery of the HIV Action Plan.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making (a) psychotherapist, (b) counsellor and (c) therapist protected titles.

Statutory regulation and the protection of professional titles should only be used when the risks to the public cannot be managed in other ways. We keep the professions subject to statutory regulation under review and on 6 January 2022, we published a public consultation on the criteria for determining when statutory regulation of a healthcare profession is appropriate. We will consider the findings of this consultation which closes on 31 March 2022. However, we have no current plans to regulate psychotherapists, counsellors or other therapist roles.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of (a) the availability of the HIV prevention drug PrEP, (b) levels of uptake across the UK and (c) equity of access amongst different groups.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has not made an assessment on the availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Local authorities are responsible for the supply of PrEP through specialist sexual health services in their area.

The UKHSA is analysing data on the uptake of PrEP among different population groups. The GUMCAD STI Surveillance System collects data on PrEP eligibility, offer and use and the number of tablets prescribed. Data on PrEP need and use will be published in routine sexually transmitted infections and human immunodeficiency virus surveillance outputs beginning in 2022.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government’s planned HIV Action Plan will ensure that equitable progress is made in reducing and ending HIV transmissions amongst all population groups and ensure that current health disparities are tackled.

The HIV Action Plan is planned for publication on 1 December 2021. The Government’s policy on issues related to HIV, such as equitable access to testing and treatment and tackling HIV-related stigma and health disparities, will be addressed in the Action Plan.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support those living with HIV who are not engaged in care to access successful HIV treatment.

The HIV Action Plan is planned for publication on 1 December 2021. The Government’s policy on issues related to HIV, such as equitable access to testing and treatment and tackling HIV-related stigma and health disparities, will be addressed in the Action Plan.

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that trans men and non-binary people with a cervix are invited for routine cervical screening.

All individuals are invited for cervical screening based on their registered gender in their general practitioner (GP) records. Only those who are registered as female will be invited for cervical screening according to the normal intervals. As such, if a transgender man or non-binary person is registered with their GP as a man, they will not receive these invitations.

However, GPs can, if requested, update records to ensure individuals are invited for the screening to which they are entitled. We encourage all trans men and non-binary people to contact their GP to ensure that they are invited for screening appointments.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of uptake of the HIV prevention drug, PrEP, among different population groups, including women and black African communities.

Public Health England (PHE) is analysing the data on uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV among different population groups, including women and black African communities. The GUMCAD STI Surveillance System collects data on PrEP eligibility, offer and use and prescriptions. GUMCAD data are submitted to PHE on a quarterly basis, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gumcad-clinical-guidelines

PHE is currently reviewing and analysing data reported for January to March 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a person who receives the first dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine in England and the second dose in the United States will be regarded as fully vaccinated for the purpose of entry requirements in the UK.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 states a traveller who has received one vaccine in England and another in the United States of America will not be regarded as fully vaccinated for the purpose of entry into the United Kingdom having passed through or transited through an amber country in the last 10 days.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect of a negative covid-19 lateral flow test result on individual behaviour.

Public Health England is currently assessing the potential effects of a negative COVID-19 lateral flow test result on individual behaviour. A protocol for this study is available on the Open Science Framework at the following link:

https://osf.io/mcfyd

The results of this research will be published in the autumn.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Pride Month, what steps he is taking to improve mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Advancing mental health equalities is a priority outlined in the Mental Health Implementation Plan. All local health systems are expected to set out how they will specifically reduce health inequalities by 2023-24. We recognise that inequalities exist in access, experience and outcomes of mental health care for LGBTQ+ people. The National Health Service recently published its Advancing Mental Health Equalities Strategy to support local health systems to better address inequalities in mental health services. Implementation of the strategy will be overseen by the Advancing Mental Health Equalities Taskforce.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that trans and non-binary individuals have equitable access to healthcare.

The National Health Service has included a new gender and trans status question in the GP Patient Survey to improve evidence around the experiences of trans and non-binary people. The results of the survey will be published in late summer 2021. NHS England continues to work across a range of projects to address inequalities experienced by trans and non-binary people.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the rate of false negatives produced by lateral flow covid tests.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local health commissioners are allocating funding to public health (a) information on and (b) services for the provision of the HIV prevention drug PrEP that are accessible to the trans and non-binary community in 2021-22.

The Public Health Grant in 2021/22 includes £23.4million to cover local authority costs of the routine commissioning of HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The Department and Public Health England (PHE) will continue to work closely with local authorities across England to support the routine commissioning of PrEP in 2021/22.

PHE is currently developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the routine commissioning of PrEP, which will use established surveillance systems and include measures of PrEP need and use among key population groups to inform equitable delivery and access. We will also consider issues relating to equitable access to PrEP as part of the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is take to consult trans and non-binary communities in the development of the Government's Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan.

As part of the development of the Government’s Sexual and Reproductive Strategy and the HIV Action Plan, we will be engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including organisations that represent trans and non-binary communities.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle potential health inequalities experienced by trans people after they have been diagnosed HIV positive.

The Government is committed to achieving zero new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, as well as tackling stigma and health inequalities that exist around HIV. Issues related to health inequalities and stigma experienced by trans and non-binary communities will be considered as we develop our Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the stigma experienced by the trans and non-binary communities in accessing HIV (a) prevention, (b) testing and (c) care.

The Government is committed to achieving zero new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, as well as tackling stigma and health inequalities that exist around HIV. Issues related to health inequalities and stigma experienced by trans and non-binary communities will be considered as we develop our Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the (a) quality and (b) quantity of HIV research on trans men.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the largest public funder of health research in the United Kingdom. The NIHR funds a wide range of research on HIV. Transgender men are named as potential study participants and beneficiaries of the results of the research of several NIHR funded research projects across programmes including the Public Health Research Programme and Research for Patient Benefit Programme, with a combined value of just under £8.5 million. The NIHR continues to welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on HIV in transgender men.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advise British Nationals who are living in the EU that they are required to obtain UK Global Health Insurance Cards (GHICs) and European Health Insurance Card (EHICs) or private health care insurance to ensure that they can access their HIV medication while living in the EU.

The Department for Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has been providing United Kingdom nationals with detailed information about how to access healthcare as a resident in the European Union via the ongoing UK nationals in the EU transition campaign. The Department is currently working with officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to assist several individuals with access to their HIV medication while living in the EU. We recommend, as per our ongoing campaign messaging, UK nationals register correctly for healthcare in the country where they live in order to access their HIV treatment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advise British Nationals who are living with HIV and residing in the EU and receiving medication from HIV clinics in the UK that they are required to complete the appropriate paperwork and pay the appropriate fee before customs release that medication.

The Department for Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has been providing United Kingdom nationals with detailed information on how to access healthcare as a resident in the European Union via the ongoing UK Nationals in the EU transition campaign, which has been led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Department of Health and Social Care is currently working with officials in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office colleagues to assist several individuals with access to their HIV medication while living in the EU. We recommend, as per our ongoing campaign messaging, UK nationals register correctly for healthcare in the country where they live in order to access their HIV treatment.

The Department cannot comment on customs regulations for EU countries. UK nationals who live in or are visiting the EU are advised to check with the relevant Embassy in the UK if they wish to import medication or have an outstanding issue with medications being held at the border. They will be able to advise individuals of the correct process for having their medication cleared at customs. Those individuals living in the EU will want to confirm their access to these local healthcare services through their local healthcare provider.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is permissible to travel aboard for cosmetic dental surgery whilst abiding by the quarantine and testing rules during the period of covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced in January 2021.

It is currently illegal to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason to do so, which includes attending medical appointments. Anyone choosing to travel should consider the public health advice and travel restrictions in the country they are visiting.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has signed with security firms for the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

Three security providers have been secured through an existing Crown Commercial Service Framework.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has signed with catering firms for the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

We have procured a central travel agency, Corporate Travel Management, to oversee the individual contracts with hospitality companies.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether military personnel will be used as part of the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

We have no plans to use military personnel for managed quarantine facilities.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to make guidance available on visiting rights during the covid-19 outbreak for people detained under the Mental Health Act.

Guidance on ‘Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID pandemic: principles’ was published on 13 October 2020, and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0751-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-principles-131020_.pdf


The guidance focuses on ensuring infection control and making sure that patients can access the therapeutic support and visits they need during the pandemic, including for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. This guidance also advises on the number of visitors permitted under social distancing rules.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to promote (a) knowledge and (b) take-up of PrEP among communities affected by HIV in addition to gay and bisexual men.

The Public Health England (PHE) commissioned HIV Prevention England (HPE) programme is currently running a campaign that aims to raise awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among black African communities. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.startswithme.org.uk/

PHE’s Innovation Fund, has funded seven projects between 2017 and 2019 that tested and evaluated new approaches to raising awareness of PrEP in communities including, trans people, Latin Americans, black African men and women and women of colour. More information is available at the following links:

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/public-health-england-hiv-prevention-innovation-fund-cohort-2-evaluation-report

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/public-health-england-hiv-prevention-innovation-fund-cohort-3-evaluation-report

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to collect data on equitable access to PrEP throughout England; what steps he is taking to ensure that all population groups benefit from PrEP; and when he plans to publish such data.

Public Health England, in collaboration with stakeholders, is currently developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the routine commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This will use established surveillance systems and include measures of PrEP need and use among key population groups to inform equitable delivery and access. These data will be published in routine sexually transmitted infection and HIV surveillance outputs in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to make PrEP available in (a) primary care, (b) maternity care, (c) pharmacies and (d) other healthcare settings in addition to sexual health clinics.

The settings in which Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis should be made available outside of sexual health services will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make the £16 million of funding initially announced for the PrEP roll-out in 2020-21 available in 2021-22 and subsequent years; and whether he plans to ring-fence that funding for the provision of access to PrEP.

Decisions on the future funding for pre-exposure prophylaxis will be a matter for the Spending Review and will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the roll-out of PrEP since funding was made available to local areas on the 2 October 2020.

Good progress is being made and routine commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis is already in place in some areas and many others will be ready to go live shortly. This is particularly welcome given the demands placed on both local government and sexual health services in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department and Public Health England continue to work closely with local authorities and other stakeholders to support the roll-out of routine commissioning. This includes a package of information and resources shared with local authorities in July.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether access to the PrEP drug is capped; and whether additional funds will be made available if demand for PrEP appointments exceeds the current ringfenced funding of sexual health clinics.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will supply pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to sexual health services commissioned by local authorities. The Department has provided just over £11 million funding to local authorities to cover the costs of routine commissioning of PrEP for this year. We have also provided a package of materials to support local commissioning. There are no plans to allocate additional funding for PrEP in this financial year.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2020 to Question 91129, whether he plans to maintain free on-street car parking for hospital workers after the covid-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 parking pass entitles on-duty National Health Service staff members, health or social care workers, or NHS Volunteer Responders, to free parking in local authority-owned off-street car parks and on-street bays in England.

We are grateful to councils for continuing with this offer and have no plans to remove the guidance.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people with no recourse to public funds will be eligible for the Government's recently announced covid-19 self-isolation payment.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme came into effect on 28 September and will run until 31 January 2021. To be eligible for the Support Payment an individual must be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

For individuals that do not qualify for the Test and Trace Support Payment but require corresponding financial support to self-isolate, there will be a discretionary fund in place. Further guidance on this will be shared with local authorities shortly.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timescale is for ending free parking for NHS workers.

As the Prime Minister said in his oral contribution of 8 July (Official Report, column 966), hospital car parks are free for National Health Service staff for this pandemic – they are free now – and we are going to get on with our commitment to make them free for patients who need them as well. This remains the Government’s position.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) value and (b) cost is of the contracts to run the Lighthouse Laboratories; and what the planned duration is of those contracts.

Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these contracts, the Department is unable to provide specific details.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the covid-19 test sensitivity rate is for each of the Lighthouse Laboratories under pillar 2; and what standard sensitivity rate has been agreed with his Department.

The information is not held in the format requested. All tests have been assessed as performing to manufacturers’ specifications before being used.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of tests from drive through centres are (a) self-administered and (b) administered by a member of staff.

Of the 79 drive-through centres, or regional test sites, currently in operation, the information requested is as follows:

- Assisted – two;

- Self-administered – 19; and

- Hybrid – 58.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 tests at drive through centres are (a) self administered and (b) swab-administered by a member of staff.

Of the 79 drive-through centres, or regional test sites, currently in operation, the information requested is as follows:

- Assisted – two;

- Self-administered – 19; and

- Hybrid – 58.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the void rate is for covid-19 tests in Lighthouse Laboratories under pillar 2 as at 16 September 2020; and what the void rate was at those laboratories in each month since April 2020.

Positive, negative and void results are shared on Public Health England’s dashboard with local authorities and Directors of Public Health.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much additional funding he has allocated to NHS labs for Pillar 1 covid-19 testing.

This year’s Budget announced a £12 billion plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses, whose finances are affected by COVID-19. This includes funding to ensure the National Health Service and other public services receive the funding they need to respond to the outbreak as the situation develops and recover and return to normal afterwards.

The breakdown of the expenditure for the 2020/2021 financial year will be published as part of the Department’s 2020-21 Annual Report and Accounts, expected in July 2021. The Department is unable to circulate this information prior to publication. The data will be fully verified and audited as part of the exercise.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who the prime contractors with direct contracts are with his Department to run the Lighthouse Laboratories.

The Department cannot comment on individual contracts due to commercial sensitivity, but public notices of the contracts awarded have been published as normal at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) void rate and (b) number of void tests was for Lighthouse Laboratories under Pillar 2 for the last month.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy; and if he will make a statement.

Preliminary work on developing the national sexual and reproductive health strategy began in autumn 2019. This work was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.

Work on developing the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly. Information on the timescale for developing the strategy and plans for publication will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.

Work on developing the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly. Information on the timescale for developing the strategy and plans for publication will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it is policy on HIV to set out a plan to (a) reduce inequalities in HIV services, (b) tackle stigma and discrimination associated with living with HIV, (c) increase testing of HIV and (d) improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.

The Government has committed to eliminating new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. In October 2019, as part of the Government response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on sexual health, the Department also committed to the development of an updated sexual and reproductive health strategy. We will consider issues around inequalities, tackling stigma and discrimination and other relevant issues as part of the strategy development. We are proud that the United Kingdom is one of the first countries in the world to meet the UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets and the NHS continues to provide world class treatment and care for people with HIV. In England, a range of approaches to HIV prevention are already in place; including the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis, encouraging condom use, needle exchange programmes, self-sampling and promoting expanded HIV testing and diagnosis.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure homeless people diagnosed with HIV and HCV during the covid-19 outbreak are retained in clinical care.

NHS England are working across the National Health Service, public health and social care, local government and voluntary sector to ensure that people who are homeless, in particular those who are rough sleeping and have been provided with temporary accommodation to keep them safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, have a holistic health and care assessment as part of the planning for their longer term accommodation options.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued operational guidance to support local areas on oversight and implementation of the health response for the rough sleeping population. They have also published a Clinical Homeless Sector Plan, which sets out clinical advice and guidance on delivering a health-led, multi-agency approach to reducing the risk of infection and severe illness among the homeless population.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase access to home-based and community testing for HIV during the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) supports HIV testing initiatives across England through its national programmes where appropriate.

During the COVID-19 outbreak PHE has committed to supporting the 56 Dean Street Breaking the Chain campaign via HIV Prevention England, the national HIV Prevention Programme and the national HIV self-sampling service. From 5 June 2020, residents of all local authorities in England can order a free self-sampling kit through the national HIV self-sampling service. PHE has committed to paying for 7,000 HIV tests, including syphilis opt-out testing, throughout the promotional period.

PHE is in the process of tendering a new Sexual and Reproductive Health Framework that will enable local authorities to provide a range of online and postal sexual and reproductive health services including HIV and sexually transmitted infections self-sampling, chlamydia treatment, emergency contraception and oral contraception.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with (a) local authorities and (b) the Greater London Authority on HIV and HCV testing for homeless people during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to work with those bodies on that testing in the future.

No discussions have been had with local authorities or the Greater London Authority on HIV and HCV testing for homeless people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities and the Greater London Authority are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning services for homeless people.

PHE also provides a range of data to local authorities which monitors national and local hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus testing and treatment activity and can inform local commissioning of services during the COVID-19 outbreak and into recovery, including for homeless people.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test swabs have been sent for analysis overseas since the start of the outbreak of that disease.

The vast majority of our tests are processed through the Lighthouse Laboratories and associated laboratories domestically, and only a small proportion of tests have been sent abroad for processing.

In May 2020, 66,648 tests were sent to the United States of America as demand exceeded laboratory network capacity. We have, and continue to, work hard to expand capacity.

Between late August 2020 - 3 October, 271,716 tests were sent to Italy and 126,338 to Germany.

The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) national surveillance study currently sends around 150,000 tests per month to Germany for processing as part their agreement with the testing provider.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the protection of personal data within the coronavirus tracing app.

The app does not collect identifiable data from users. We have published a Data Protection Impact Assessment and Privacy Notice for the first phase of the app and will provide updates to these to keep app users fully informed if changes of the use of and access to data need to be made to continue to support the fight against COVID-19.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has (a) forwarded to the British Society for Immunology and (b) received evidence that people who have recovered from covid-19 have long-term immunity to it.

There is a general medical consensus, based on scientific knowledge of other coronavirus infections, that after recovery from COVID-19 infection, people will have effective immunity. However, until more people have had the virus and recovered, and until we have performed studies of the long-term antibody response, it is currently unclear for how long this immunity will last. We will continue to monitor the science and evidence closely.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to re-open the 40 PrEP impact trial sites that are not currently recruiting gay and bisexual men.

Participation in the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept.

As at the end of 2019, thousands of places remain available on the trial at over 100 clinic sites. It is the goal of this research to make full use of up to 26,000 places. Clinics that are able to do so, will be able to request additional places should they become available and continue recruitment of eligible gay and bisexual men. As participation in this research trial is on a voluntary basis, a small number of closed clinics sites may not reopen.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local authorities do not have a PrEP impact trial site.

Participation in the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept.

As at the end of 2019, thousands of places remain available on the trial at over 100 clinic sites. It is the goal of this research to make full use of up to 26,000 places. Clinics that are able to do so, will be able to request additional places should they become available and continue recruitment of eligible gay and bisexual men. As participation in this research trial is on a voluntary basis, a small number of closed clinics sites may not reopen.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the use of Western Sahara's natural resources by the occupying power on the indigenous Saharawi people.

We do not consider commercial activity to be illegal in Western Sahara, providing it respects the interests of the Sahrawi people. The UK continues to support the UN-led efforts and the work of Staffan de Mistura as Personal Envoy of the UN-Secretary-Genera to Western Sahara and we continue to encourage constructive engagement with the political process and monitor progress.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the potential impact on development in the Maghreb of the breakdown of the ceasefire in Western Sahara.

Officials regularly discuss and consult on Western Sahara and the impact on the region with international partners, MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara), the UN, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), up to and including at Ambassadorial level. We strongly support the work of Staffan de Mistura, Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, and will continue to encourage constructive engagement with the political process and monitor progress.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has had recent discussions with UNITAID on funding for that organisation.

The UK has been a strong supporter and partner of Unitaid for over 17 years. We highly value Unitaid's work to drive access to life-saving new health technologies for those who need them most.

The UK has a 20-year donor arrangement with Unitaid from 2007-2026 and has contributed £588 million to date. We continue to collaborate closely with Unitaid as a trusted partner. Allocations for 2025-26 and beyond will form part of the next Spending Review process, and the UK will work closely with multilateral partners through this process.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will provide funding for Unitaid.

The UK has been a strong supporter and partner of Unitaid for over 17 years. We continue to highly value Unitaid's work to drive access to life-saving new health technologies for those who need them most.

The UK has a 20-year donor arrangement with Unitaid from 2007-2026 and has contributed £588 million to date. Allocations for 2025-26 and beyond will form part of the next Spending Review process.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the outcome of the United Nations General Assembly assessment of progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

With only 15 per cent of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets on track to be delivered by 2030, and 37 per cent stalled or in reverse, there is a clear need to go faster and further to accelerate progress. The Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK's strong commitment to the SDG and the actions needed to deliver them at the SDG Summit during UNGA High Level Week. By listening to the concerns of our partners, particularly in the developing world, we saw important progress made to accelerate delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK's forthcoming International Development White Paper will set out our vision for global development that delivers on the Sustainable Development Goals, poverty reduction, economic growth and tackling climate change through to 2030. It will build on commitments outlined in the International Development Strategy and Integrated Review Refresh.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that those at high risk of HIV in the global south can access PrEP.

The UK's investments help to ensure that people at high risk of HIV in the global south can access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and other HIV prevention services, to reduce their risk of infection. The UK has pledged £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria's seventh replenishment (2023-2025), which will help save over 1 million lives and avert over 28 million new infections across the three diseases.

Our funding to the World Health Organisation also helps to support access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. For example, WHO has published guidance on offering the long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) for HIV prevention and will help partners and countries to include CAB-LA safely and effectively in HIV prevention programmes.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in countries that have policies that discriminate against those who live with HIV to encourage them to cease this practice.

Addressing stigma and discrimination and ensuring equality of access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services is critical to the global HIV response. The UK is a champion for human rights. We support the strategy of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria with its focus on addressing inequities and structural drivers of HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths including barriers to services due to stigma, discrimination and criminalisation. Our funding to the Robert Carr Fund and to UNAIDS helps to combat stigma and discrimination and to improve access to HIV services for those most at risk.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in countries that criminalise those who live with HIV to encourage them to cease this practice.

Addressing stigma and discrimination and ensuring equality of access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services is critical to the global HIV response. The UK is a champion for human rights. We support the strategy of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria with its focus on addressing inequities and structural drivers of HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths including barriers to services due to stigma, discrimination and criminalisation. Our funding to the Robert Carr Fund and to UNAIDS helps to combat stigma and discrimination and to improve access to HIV services for those most at risk.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Middle East on how the UK can help tackle changes in the rate of HIV transmission in the region.

The UK funds organisations that tackle the HIV epidemic globally including the Global Fund, UNAIDS and the Robert Carr Foundation. The Global Fund is a high performing organisation that has saved 50 million lives to date. The UK is the organisation's third largest donor historically, investing over £4.5 billion since 2002. The Global Fund Middle East Response Initiative was designed to provide essential HIV, TB and malaria services to key and vulnerable populations including refugees, internally displaced people, women, children and other populations in Iraq, OPTs, Syria and Yemen, as well as to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The UK continues to encourage close regional cooperation to tackle the rate of HIV transmission in the Middle East.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with LGBT activists and organisations from the (a) Cayman Islands and (b) Bermuda where the right to marriage for same-sex couples is refused by their respective Governments.

The inhabited British Overseas Territories are separate, largely self-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically elected representatives. The relationship with the Overseas Territories is based on partnership. Policy on marriage law is an area of devolved responsibility.

The majority of Overseas Territories have legal recognition and protection for same sex relationships, either through marriage or through civil partnerships as is the case in Bermuda. In 2020 the Governor of the Cayman Islands enacted civil partnership legislation to recognise same-sex partnerships in order to comply with the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. The UK Government continues to engage with and encourage remaining Territories that have not put in place arrangements to recognise and protect same sex relationships, to do so.

The UK Government remains open to further engagement with LGBT+ activists and organisations across the Overseas Territories to support increased recognition and protections for same-sex relationships in the Overseas Territories.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to help tackle discriminatory laws faced by LGBT+ people in the Global South.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the Global Fund’s investment case for the seventh replenishment, including (a) return on investment, (b) how this will support the (i) UK's trading relationships and (ii) economic development of low and middle income countries and (c) value for money.

The UK is the Global Fund's third largest donor historically, investing £4.1 billion since 2002. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's investment case for the 7th replenishment against the priorities of the International Development Strategy. Modellers have estimated that each £1 invested in the Global Fund's 7th replenishment will deliver £31 of benefits in health gains and economic returns in the low- and middle-income countries where the Global Fund invests. The Global Fund offers good value for money, delivering health best buys such as market shaping, prevention, and ensuring that interventions reach the most vulnerable. Moreover, investment in the Global Fund complements the UK's trade offer to developing countries, where our aim is to give these countries the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) Global Fund’s contribution to pandemic preparedness and (b) the level of additional UK aid that would support that contribution at the seventh replenishment conference.

The UK Government is shaping its investments to improve how the world prevents, prepares for, and responds to future disease outbreaks of pandemic potential. The UK has not yet determined our pledge to the Global Fund's 7th replenishment. As an active member of the Board the UK will continue to support the Global Fund to define its evolving role in Pandemic Preparedness and Response within its new 2023-2028 strategy.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions has she had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment and maintaining the UK Government's commitment to that fund.

The Global Fund is a high performing organisation that, with partners, has saved 44 million lives to date. The UK is proud to be the organisations third largest donor historically, investing over £4.1 billion since 2002. Through participation in the cross-Whitehall Global Health Oversight Group, senior officials in HM Treasury (HMT) have been briefed on the strategic importance of the UK's investment in the Global Fund. The UK has not yet determined our pledge to the Global Fund's 7th replenishment. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's 7th replenishment investment case in line with delivering the International Development Strategy and HMT Ministers will be consulted on the final UK replenishment contribution. The Global Fund remains a key partner to the UK in the shared fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Colombian counterpart on human rights in that country.

Colombia is an FCDO Human Rights Priority Country and UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government.

Most recently, Lord Ahmad discussed human rights and the security situation in Colombia in his meeting with President Duque on 12 April.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support is being offered to UK nationals who have the majority of their funds in Russian bank accounts in the context of the recently passed Russian law which prohibits the transfer of funds from Russian to UK accounts.

Where Russian legislation impacts on individuals, we advise them to liaise directly with their banks or service providers and seek legal advice.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment has she made of the impact of UK sanctions on Russia on UK nationals living in the UK who receive pensions via Russian bank accounts.

The Government seeks to ensure sanctions measures are carefully targeted and avoid unintended consequences. Measures have been designed for the maximum impact on the Russian economy whilst protecting the financial stability and interests of the UK and its allies.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
4th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make and what assessment of the welfare of Tamil refugees in Diego Garcia.

We are supporting the 89 people escorted to The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) for their safety when their vessel was damaged last year. Their welfare is our top priority. We are working with the group and international partners on options and next steps.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) impact and (b) value for money of the Government's investments into the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The impact and value for money of the Government's investments in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are assessed annually. More information of the UK's investment in the Global Fund can be accessed on the government Development Tracker. In 2021 the Global Fund scored 'A' met expectations.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking with her international counterparts in jurisdictions that criminalise people who live with HIV to encourage reform of relevant legislation.

The UK Government recognises that we are not going to achieve an AIDS-free generation and ensure 'no-one is left behind' unless we tackle the wider issues such as criminalisation, stigma, violence against women and girls, and harmful gender norms that drive infection, particularly among adolescents, women and girls and inadequately served groups such as men who have sex with men, transgender, injecting drug users, sex workers and prisoners. That is why the UK was proud to play a strong role with our international partners in shaping both the progressive new Global AIDS Strategy "Ending Inequalities" 2021-26 and ambitious UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS in June, to help encourage reform of relevant legislation that criminalise people living with and affected by HIV so the world has the best chance of meeting the 2030 goal to end AIDS.

The UK continues to support the global AIDS response with major investments which are saving lives around the world, such as to the WHO and the Global Fund. We are also supporting civil society through the Robert Carr Fund which helps marginalised groups to build strong networks that amplify people's voices, helping them to address harmful policies, challenge human rights abuses, shape HIV services and advocate for their rights.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking with her international counterparts to help repeal laws on HIV criminalisation throughout the world.

The UK Government recognises that we are not going to achieve an AIDS-free generation and ensure 'no-one is left behind' unless we tackle the wider issues such as criminalisation, stigma, violence against women and girls, and harmful gender norms that drive infection, particularly among adolescents, women and girls and inadequately served groups such as men who have sex with men, transgender, injecting drug users, sex workers and prisoners. That is why the UK was proud to play a strong role with our international partners in shaping both the progressive new Global AIDS Strategy "Ending Inequalities" 2021-26 and ambitious UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS in June, to help encourage reform of relevant legislation that criminalise people living with and affected by HIV so the world has the best chance of meeting the 2030 goal to end AIDS.

The UK continues to support the global AIDS response with major investments which are saving lives around the world, such as to the WHO and the Global Fund. We are also supporting civil society through the Robert Carr Fund which helps marginalised groups to build strong networks that amplify people's voices, helping them to address harmful policies, challenge human rights abuses, shape HIV services and advocate for their rights.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to help tackle inequitable access to HIV testing and treatment faced by some demographics and remove socio-economic, racial and structural barriers and ensure care reaches marginalised people throughout the world.

The UK Government recognises that we are not going to achieve an AIDS-free generation and ensure 'no-one is left behind' unless we tackle the wider issues such as criminalisation, stigma, violence against women and girls, and harmful gender norms that drive infection, particularly among adolescents, women and girls and inadequately served groups such as men who have sex with men, transgender, injecting drug users, sex workers and prisoners. That is why the UK was proud to play a strong role with our international partners in shaping both the progressive new Global AIDS Strategy "Ending Inequalities" 2021-26 and ambitious UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS in June, to help encourage reform of relevant legislation that criminalise people living with and affected by HIV so the world has the best chance of meeting the 2030 goal to end AIDS.

The UK continues to support the global AIDS response with major investments which are saving lives around the world, such as to the WHO and the Global Fund. We are also supporting civil society through the Robert Carr Fund which helps marginalised groups to build strong networks that amplify people's voices, helping them to address harmful policies, challenge human rights abuses, shape HIV services and advocate for their rights.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) Argentinian Government and (b) other members of the Equal Rights Coalition on their country's self-ID legislation for trans individuals; and if the Government will take steps to implement international best practice on LGBTQ+ rights.

The UK is committed to working with our international partners to promote and protect the rights of LGBT+ people.

In our role as co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) the UK and Argentina led a consultative process to develop the ERC's first Strategy and Five-Year Implementation Plan to guide and shape the ERC's work to advance LGBTI+ equality. The UK works closely with ERC member states, including Argentina, to share best practice on LGBTI+ rights and plan to launch the Five Year Strategy at an ERC conference on 6 and 7 July. The Implementation Plan is based on International best practice and urges ERC member states to "provide legal gender recognition through an accessible, quick, and transparent administrative process and without abusive requirements (including sterilization, divorce, treatment or diagnostic) as a minimum standard."

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on ending violence against trans people around the world; and what steps he is taking to tackle discrimination against trans and non-binary in national and international sporting events.

The UK Government is clear that all crimes directed towards LGBT+ people are completely unacceptable, and have no place in society.

On the participation of transgender and non-binary players in sport, the Government's overriding sporting objective remains the guarantee of fair and safe competition. It is therefore right that sports bodies have their own rules on trans issues, and can determine the right position for their own sport.

20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports from the United Nations Human Rights Office of excessive force being used by the Colombian National Police against protesters.

The UK Government remains concerned about reports of human rights violations in Colombia. The fundamental human right to peaceful assembly and association must be guaranteed. Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country' and we have raised our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia since protests began. Most recently, I spoke with acting Foreign Minister Adriana Mejía on 14 May to express our concerns, and welcome Colombia's commitment to transparent investigations into allegations of abuse.

We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any excessive use of force, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints thoroughly investigated. We will continue to work closely with the UN Verification Mission, and the UN Office of the High Representative for Human Rights in Colombia, as well as the wider international community, in support of their efforts to reduce tensions, and promote dialogue.

20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has plans to review arms export licences issued for Colombia in response to the reported human rights abuses committed by Colombian police during protests in April and May 2021.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation for Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq in the context of the current Turkish military campaign which began on 24 April 2021.

The UK is closely following the situation in northern Iraq. We welcome recent discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The safety of civilians is paramount and the UK continues to urge dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to protect civilians. We respect Iraqi sovereignty, and acknowledge Turkey's security concerns regarding the PKK whilst ensuring regional security and combatting terrorism.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the reported (a) Turkish military campaign in Iraq and (b) plans to open Turkish military bases in Zap, Metina and Avashin.

The UK is closely following the situation in northern Iraq. We welcome recent discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The safety of civilians is paramount and the UK continues to urge dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to protect civilians. We respect Iraqi sovereignty, and acknowledge Turkey's security concerns regarding the PKK whilst ensuring regional security and combatting terrorism.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's bilateral international investment in the fight against HIV.

The majority of UK investments on efforts to end the AIDS epidemic, are through support to multilateral organisations, particularly our substantial investment in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

In recognition of the critical role that civil society organisations play in the AIDS response to address inequalities and hold governments to account we are also supporting the Robert Carr Fund. The UK is proud to be a founding member of this Fund and has committed £15 million since its start. We will make an announcement on future investments to the Fund later this year.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's financial support for UNAIDS.

The UK is a long-standing, committed supporter of UNAIDS which plays a vital role in tackling HIV/ Aids around the world. In 21/22 the UK will provide £2.5 million to UNAIDS. As with all the FCDO's ODA programmes, we will be working closely with UNAIDS to ensure the UK's funding is used for maximum impact on health outcomes.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's participation in global HIV (a) research and (b) treatment development.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI. Despite this, the UK remains a development superpower, with an ODA budget on track to exceed £10 billion this year. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) ODA will be targeted to addressing seven global challenges facing the world poorest which includes global health security and research and technology.

FCDO will now work through what this means for individual programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's financial support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Foreign Secretary's review of ODA spend for 21/22 confirmed that Global Health remains one of the UK's top ODA priorities. The UK is a committed supporter of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB & Malaria. The UK is the second biggest donor to the Global Fund's 6th replenishment period. As with all the UK's global health partners, we will be working closely with the Global Fund to ensure the UK's funding is used for maximum impact on health outcomes.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Council of Europe's call for access to lawyers in Turkey and recent reports that lawyers have been denied access to Abdullah Öcalan, if his Department will make assurances in respect of the welfare of that person.

We are clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens, including the welfare of detainees such as the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. We continue to encourage the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards, such as access to legal representation and medical care. I raised human rights issues in December 2020 with my Turkish counterpart. Working with our international partners, we will continue to encourage Turkey, including at Ministerial level, to act in line with the conventions of the Council of Europe and to make greater progress on wider human rights reforms. We therefore welcome the Turkish government's recently published human rights action plan and hope it will be swiftly and comprehensively implemented.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which (a) Minister and (b) official has lead responsibility on Sustainability, Transitions and Co-Financing.

Each Minister takes oversight of these issues as they pertain to the geography that they lead on. The Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, is also responsible for Finance and therefore plays an oversight role.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the planned reductions to the UK Official Development Assistance budget, whether FCDO country teams are mandated to produce impact assessments and assess the potential effect of reductions in aid on marginalised communities.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The move to a target of spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7%, is a temporary measure and we will return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. The UK remains a world leader in international development, and based on current GNI forecasts will spend over £10bn of ODA in 2021. Our aid budget will continue to serve the primary aim of reducing poverty in developing countries.

My department is now working through the implications of the overall reduction in spending for individual programmes. No decisions have yet been made on individual budget allocations. Decisions on aid allocations will take into account the impact on marginalised communities.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Working Principles on Transition are informing the planning for the proposed changes in the level of the UK's Official Development Assistance budget.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Working Principles on Transition, developed by DFID in 2019 are being used to inform the (a) planning and (b) operationalisation of the Strategic Framework for Official Development Assistance.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has recommitted to the Working Principles on Transition that were developed under the Department for International Development.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in developing the Strategic Framework for ODA, whether the Government plans to develop a needs-based approach to aid allocation that considers a range of (a) financial indicators and (b) social and political measures.

The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. This will also take into account considerations of need, including levels of poverty, ability of countries to self-finance poverty reduction and the UK's comparative advantage, to ensure that every penny we