Lyn Brown

Labour - West Ham

Shadow Minister (Justice)

(since April 2020)
Shadow Minister (Treasury)
12th Jan 2018 - 10th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)
14th Oct 2016 - 12th Jan 2018
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
18th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
7th Oct 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Opposition Whip (Commons)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2013
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
10th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Crossrail Bill
14th Nov 2007 - 18th Nov 2007
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
27th Jun 2006 - 15th Jan 2007
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee
5th Dec 2005 - 27th Jun 2006


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 18th May 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

The Minister must surely recognise that there are consequences to 86,000 years of staff experience being lost since 2010, because …

Written Answers
Thursday 16th September 2021
Styal Prison: Fire Prevention
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
One quarter share in a rental property in Ambleside, Cumbria: (i) and (ii). (Updated 26 July 2016)
EDM signed
Thursday 10th June 2021
Racism in football
That this House applauds England football manager Gareth Southgate and his players for their principled opposition to racism; stands in …
Supported Legislation
House of Lords (Exclusion of Hereditary Peers) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lyn Brown has voted in 260 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lyn Brown 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
Lucy Frazer (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(10 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
(6 debate interactions)
Jake Berry (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(16 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(10 debate contributions)
Home Office
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lyn Brown's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Lyn Brown

9th June 2021
Lyn Brown signed this EDM on Thursday 10th June 2021

Racism in football

Tabled by: Clive Lewis (Labour - Norwich South)
That this House applauds England football manager Gareth Southgate and his players for their principled opposition to racism; stands in solidarity with all football players and supporters who have been subjected to racism, while participating in the sport they love or in other areas of their life; recognises that those …
31 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
30th December 2020
Lyn Brown signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th January 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered; commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust; further notes that the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 …
97 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 31
Conservative: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Lyn Brown's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lyn Brown, 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.


Lyn Brown has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lyn Brown has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lyn Brown has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


905 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
5 Other Department Questions
7th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to encourage effective discussion on the role of grasslands in biodiversity protection and climate heating mitigation and adaptation at the upcoming COP26 summit.

Through our COP26 Nature Campaign, we are advancing work in four core areas; tackling the drivers of deforestation, promoting sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture, mobilising increased and more targeted finance for nature, and driving political ambition on nature.

On Nature Day at COP26, we are creating several opportunities to drive international action on all areas of biodiversity, including grasslands. The UK’s top priority is to agree on a strong post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. We will be pushing countries to make ambitious commitments to curb the dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change. This will put us on a path to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and mitigate the climate crisis.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what representations she has received from LGBT+ civil service employees on the effect of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme on their employment experience.

This Government supports inclusive workplaces and believes that all LGBT people should be able to be themselves at work, so that they can do their best and achieve their full potential.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what information her Department holds on employee satisfaction with the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme within Government departments that participate in that programme.

This Government supports inclusive workplaces and believes that all LGBT people should be able to be themselves at work, so that they can do their best and achieve their full potential.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect of withdrawing Government departments from the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme on the Government's (a) reputation as an institution that upholds equality and diversity for LGBT+ employees, (b) international reputation for LGBT+ equality, (c) work to promote LGBT+ equality internationally and (d) adherence to equality law.

This Government supports inclusive workplaces and believes that all LGBT people should be able to be themselves at work, so that they can do their best and achieve their full potential.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme on (a) recruitment and retention of LGBT+ employees, (b) well-being and productivity of LGBT+ employees, (c) positive work environments and (d) adherence to equality law of Government departments that have participated in that programme.

This Government supports inclusive workplaces and believes that all LGBT people should be able to be themselves at work, so that they can do their best and achieve their full potential.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend section 2(1)(c) of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

The entitlement of resident Commonwealth and Irish citizens to vote reflects our close historical ties with Commonwealth countries and the reciprocal arrangements UK has with Ireland. The Government has no plans to alter these rights.

In relation to relevant citizens of the Union, I refer the Hon member to the answer which I gave to PQ 1802 on 29 January 2020.

The Scottish Parliament is responsible for the franchise for local elections in Scotland. The Welsh Assembly is responsible for the franchise for local elections in Wales.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the proposed restrictions on public bodies using their resources to support boycotts, divestment or sanctions against foreign countries or those who trade with them would prevent support of campaigns against UK trade involving companies linked to the military of Myanmar.

I refer the Hon. Member to the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech (p.133-134) published on 19 December 2019, which outline the Government's proposals:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-december-2019-background-briefing-notes

Oliver Dowden
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the proposed restrictions on public institutions using their resources to support boycotts, divestment or sanctions against foreign countries or those who trade with them would prevent support of campaigns against UK trade involving firms linked with the persecution of the Uighur people in Xinjiang province, China.

I refer the Hon. Member to the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech (p.133-134) published on 19 December 2019, which outline the Government's proposals:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-december-2019-background-briefing-notes

Oliver Dowden
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the proposed restrictions on public institutions using their resources to support boycotts, divestment or sanctions against foreign countries or those who trade with them would prevent support of campaigns against UK trade involving companies connected with deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

I refer the Hon. Member to the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech (p.133-134) published on 19 December 2019, which outline the Government's proposals:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-december-2019-background-briefing-notes

Oliver Dowden
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the proposed restrictions on public institutions using their resources to support boycotts, divestment or sanctions against foreign countries or those who trade with them would prevent support of campaigns against UK trade involving companies linked with police or security services that have been alleged to have committed human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

I refer the Hon. Member to the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech (p.133-134) published on 19 December 2019, which outline the Government's proposals:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-december-2019-background-briefing-notes

Oliver Dowden
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 23 April 2021 to Question 181214, in circumstances where the Valuation Office Agency failed to add a business to the Local Rating List in advance of 11 March 2020, as the result of an admitted administrative error on the part of the Agency, whether local authorities should (a) treat affected business applicants as if such errors had been rectified at the time a Business Support Grant was due to be issued and (b) be compensated for the additional cost of those applications.

As the question does not specify which grant scheme it relates to, I am responding under the assumption that it refers to the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF), and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) which were affected by the 11 March 2020 date.

Local Authorities were responsible for delivering grants to eligible businesses through these schemes, and they closed for applications on 28 August 2020. As stated in the Grant Funding Schemes guidance, businesses that were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as of 11 March 2020 were in scope of the SBGF. Businesses in scope of the RHLGF were those that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March 2020, with properties that have a rateable value of under £51,000.

The guidance is clear that Local Authorities were not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the ratings list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 11 March 2020. However, Local Authorities had the discretion to depart from this if they knew that the record was incorrect - for example where it was factually clear to the Local Authority that the rating list was inaccurate on 11 March; but they were not obliged to do so.

We asked Local Authorities to close the SBGF and RHLGF schemes by 28 August 2020 and to ensure that, where any payments were still in process, they were completed by 30 September 2020. The only exceptions were those relating to a VOA / Ombudsman query, in which case payments could be made until 30 October. The 30 October date was negotiated to allow VOA queries to be resolved, but any that were not paid out by then are outside the scope of the schemes.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in circumstances where the Valuation Office Agency has made an error in valuation classifications for business rates purposes, whether local authorities should (a) treat affected business applicants as if such errors had been rectified at the time a covid-19 related grant was due to be issued and (b) be compensated for the additional cost of those applications.

As the question does not specify which grant scheme it relates to, I am responding under the assumption that it refers to Restart Grants which are the current primary business grant mechanism managed by local authorities.

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after 1 April 2021 should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 1 April 2021. In cases where it was factually clear to the Local Authority on 1 April 2021 that the rating list was inaccurate on that date, Local Authorities may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many employers have had enforcement action taken against them for retaliating against (a) employees and (b) other contracted workers for actions those workers have taken to self-isolate due to the covid-19 outbreak.

It is critically important that the following people stay at home and self-isolate immediately: anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19, anyone who has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or their local authority, and anyone who has returned from abroad and is required to quarantine.

The Government has developed guidance on employment rights and self-isolation so that workers and employers are clear about their rights and obligations. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/if-you-need-to-self-isolate-or-cannot-attend-work-due-to-coronavirus.

In addition, anyone who is due to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (normally their home) must inform their employer that they are required to self-isolate. An individual can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50 for not doing so.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If an employer is reasonably believed to be in breach of this requirement, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, ranging from £1,000 to £10,000.

Local Authorities provide written and verbal advice to businesses to enable them to comply with their obligations. Enforcement action is taken against employers who do not follow this advice and who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that their workers who must be self-isolating are not working from outside their home.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide security for workers that they will not be retaliated against by (a) employers and (b) providers of work on a non-employment basis as a result of actions to self-isolate due to the covid-19 outbreak.

It is critically important that the following people stay at home and self-isolate immediately: anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19, anyone who has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or their local authority, and anyone who has returned from abroad and is required to quarantine.

The Government has developed guidance on employment rights and self-isolation so that workers and employers are clear about their rights and obligations. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/if-you-need-to-self-isolate-or-cannot-attend-work-due-to-coronavirus.

In addition, anyone who is due to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (normally their home) must inform their employer that they are required to self-isolate. An individual can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50 for not doing so.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If an employer is reasonably believed to be in breach of this requirement, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, ranging from £1,000 to £10,000.

Local Authorities provide written and verbal advice to businesses to enable them to comply with their obligations. Enforcement action is taken against employers who do not follow this advice and who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that their workers who must be self-isolating are not working from outside their home.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to (a) continue and (b) extend the scope of the Warm Home Discount scheme, after the current scheme finishes at the end of March 2021.

We will consult on a one-year extension of the current Warm Home Discount scheme later this year. We will also consider reform to improve the fuel poverty targeting of the scheme beyond 2022, and will consult on this in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support social enterprises affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the important social and economic contribution that social enterprises are making across the country.

Social enterprises continue to benefit from the unprecedented package of support made available by the government, including Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Many will also have benefited from government grants where they have been required to close non-essential retail.

In addition to cross economy measures the Government made available a £750 million package of funding, specifically for charities, social enterprises, along with unlocking an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts. This funding has helped over 13,000 organisations continue to deliver vital services for those most affected by the pandemic.

We continue to monitor sector health closely. The government is committed to working with social enterprise representatives to support a strong and resilient sector.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to provide additional funding through the School Games Organiser scheme for additional work with schools in 2021-22 to improve levels of pupil physical activity following the covid-19 outbreak.

Physical education (PE) and school sport plays an important role in supporting children and young people to be physically active, particularly during the current COVID-19 restrictions. The Department is working with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on how to support better PE, sport and physical activity provision for all children and young people. This is part of our continuing work to deliver our joint school sport and activity action plan, published in 2019.

I can confirm that the School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of making an announcement on School Games Organiser funding with a short period remaining before the previous funding round will end on (a) the efficacy of programmes for pupil health and wellbeing, (b) additional costs for participant schools and (c) staff job security.

Physical education (PE) and school sport plays an important role in supporting children and young people to be physically active, particularly during the current COVID-19 restrictions. The Department is working with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on how to support better PE, sport and physical activity provision for all children and young people. This is part of our continuing work to deliver our joint school sport and activity action plan, published in 2019.

I can confirm that the School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to announce School Games Organiser funding from October 2021.

Physical education (PE) and school sport plays an important role in supporting children and young people to be physically active, particularly during the current COVID-19 restrictions. The Department is working with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on how to support better PE, sport and physical activity provision for all children and young people. This is part of our continuing work to deliver our joint school sport and activity action plan, published in 2019.

I can confirm that the School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of existing regulations to tackle the use of automated bots to bulk purchase gaming consoles and computer components upon release, circumventing retailer policies against bulk purchasing and enabling immediate resale at prices higher than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price.

We know that bulk purchasing for the purpose of reselling at profit through automated bots is a concern for some members of the games industry and their customers. Officials have discussed reports of games console scalping with the trade association for the video games industry, Ukie, who have been considering for example whether there is any additional advice games companies could provide to consumers.

The UK has an extensive framework of consumer protection law to ensure people get a fair deal when buying goods and services. For example, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 protect consumers when they make online purchases of goods, services or digital content from business traders. This includes rights of redress should there be a problem with a product, rules around clear labelling and pre-contractual information, and protection from unfair contractual terms.

However, these rules do not generally extend to guaranteeing the price for the product, nor its availability. Traders are generally able to set their own prices, so long as the price is clear and not misleading and the firm is not abusing a dominant position.

More broadly, as a government we want the UK to be a society in which technology works to the benefit of all citizens. For this to be the case, we must ensure we have the right rules in place to unlock these benefits while also protecting people from harm. That’s why we will pursue a pro-tech approach to regulating digital technologies, which will promote competition and innovation and build public trust through greater safety and security for users of digital tech.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 25 of the report, Higher Education awarding gaps and ethnicity in London: Going beyond BAME, published by AccessHE on 16 July 2021, what steps his Department is taking to tackle differences in higher education attainment by ethnic background.

It is vital that all young people entering higher education (HE) in the UK do so with the same opportunities as their peers to fully benefit from their chosen course of study.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the Office for Students (OfS) has a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity for disadvantaged and traditionally under-represented groups. This includes non-continuation and attainment levels of students from those backgrounds.

The OfS has set itself and the HE sector targets to address longstanding inequalities, including to eliminate the gap in degree outcomes between white and black students.

On 11 March 2021 the OfS published the access and participation data dashboard, which is used to identify gaps in access, continuation, attainment, and progression, at English providers delivering undergraduate provision by different student characteristics. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/access-and-participation-data-dashboard/.

In our latest strategic guidance to the OfS we asked them to urge providers to do more to ensure that all students, particularly those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, are recruited onto courses that will deliver good outcomes. We have also asked that the OfS encourage universities to work with schools to meaningfully raise attainment in schools, as this is one of the strongest predictors of future participation in HE.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report, Higher Education awarding gaps and ethnicity in London: Going beyond BAME published by AccessHE on 16 July 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing the recommendations made in that report.

It is vital that all young people entering higher education (HE) in the UK do so with the same opportunities as their peers to fully benefit from their chosen course of study.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the Office for Students (OfS) has a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity for disadvantaged and traditionally under-represented groups. This includes non-continuation and attainment levels of students from those backgrounds.

The OfS has set itself and the HE sector targets to address longstanding inequalities, including to eliminate the gap in degree outcomes between white and black students. In 2019-20, there was a difference of 18.3% between the proportion of white and black students getting a 1st or 2:1. The OfS has plans to eliminate the unexplained gap in degree outcomes (1sts or 2:1s) between white students and black students by 2024-25, and to eliminate the absolute gap by 2030-31.

On 11 March 2021 the OfS published the access and participation data dashboard, which is used to identify gaps in access, continuation, attainment, and progression at English providers delivering undergraduate provision by different student characteristics. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/access-and-participation-data-dashboard/.

In our latest strategic guidance to the OfS we asked them to urge providers to do more to ensure that all students, particularly those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, are recruited on to courses that will deliver good outcomes. We have also asked that the OfS encourage universities to work with schools to meaningfully raise the attainment in schools, because we know this is one of the strongest predictors of future participation in HE.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) financial and (b) academic effect on Higher Education students of the covid-19 outbreak in the 2020-21 academic year.

The government’s expectations are, and have been, very clear: Universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the resources to study remotely.

The Office for Student (OfS), the higher education (HE) regulatory body, is taking the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on teaching and learning very seriously. It is actively monitoring providers to ensure that they maintain the quality of their provision, that students are supported and achieve good quality outcomes, that tuition is accessible to all and that HE providers have been clear in their communications with students about how arrangements for teaching and learning may change throughout the year.

The OfS is also following up directly with providers where they receive notifications from students, parents or others that raise concerns about the quality of teaching on offer and requiring providers to report to them when they are not able to deliver a course or award a qualification. If the OfS has any concerns, it will investigate further.

This government recognises that this academic year has been incredibly difficult for students. As a result of these exceptional circumstances, some students are facing financial hardship, with some incurring additional costs at their alternative address. Officials are working hard with the sector to continue to monitor the situation and explore potential approaches to supporting students, particularly from disadvantaged groups.

We have made an additional £85 million of student hardship funding available to HE providers in the 2020/21 academic year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to their students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. Support can include help for students, including international students and postgraduates, facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location or assistance to help students access teaching remotely.

This is in addition to the £256 million of government-funded student premium funding already available to HE providers to draw on for this academic year, 2020/21. We know that not all students will face financial hardship. The current measures aim to target support for students in greatest need. The government continues to monitor the situation to look at what impact this funding is having.

The OfS required HE providers to return information on disbursement of hardship funding as part of the monitoring of its use. I have been liaising with the OfS on the analysis of those returns.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to announce the PE and sport premium funding for 2021-22.

The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding. We will confirm arrangements for the Primary physical education and sport premium for the 2021/22 academic year as soon as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of making an announcement on PE and sport premium funding with a short period remaining before the start of the 2021-22 school year on (a) the efficacy of programmes for pupil health and wellbeing, (b) additional costs for participant schools and (c) staff job security.

The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding. We will confirm arrangements for the Primary physical education and sport premium for the 2021/22 academic year as soon as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential that the statement on the effectiveness and safety of transparent face coverings in the guidance for schools on mask wearing during the covid-19 outbreak may discourage some teaching staff from using such masks.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department is continuing to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, in order to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the effect of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. This guidance explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

From 8 March, the Department recommends that in schools and colleges where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained. The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a for a time limited period until Easter.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Individuals working with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate are exempt from wearing a face covering in environments where they are normally required.

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. There is currently very limited evidence regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings, but they may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

As with all measures, they will be under review and guidance will be updated as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the merits of including reasonable adjustments for (a) deaf pupils and (b) other pupils who rely on lipreading or facial expressions within the guidance for schools on mask wearing during the covid-19 outbreak alongside the guidance on exemptions.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department is continuing to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, in order to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the effect of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. This guidance explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

From 8 March, the Department recommends that in schools and colleges where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained. The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a for a time limited period until Easter.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Individuals working with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate are exempt from wearing a face covering in environments where they are normally required.

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. There is currently very limited evidence regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings, but they may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

As with all measures, they will be under review and guidance will be updated as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that school staff are familiar with the guidelines concerning exemptions to mask wearing during the covid-19 outbreak for (a) deaf pupils and (b) other pupils who rely on lipreading or facial expressions for communication.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department is continuing to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, in order to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the effect of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. This guidance explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

From 8 March, the Department recommends that in schools and colleges where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained. The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a for a time limited period until Easter.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Individuals working with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate are exempt from wearing a face covering in environments where they are normally required.

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. There is currently very limited evidence regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings, but they may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

As with all measures, they will be under review and guidance will be updated as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the effect of new guidance on mask wearing in schools during the covid-19 outbreak on (a) pupils who are deaf and (b) other pupils who rely on lipreading or facial expressions for communication.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department is continuing to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, in order to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the effect of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. This guidance explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

From 8 March, the Department recommends that in schools and colleges where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained. The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a for a time limited period until Easter.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Individuals working with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate are exempt from wearing a face covering in environments where they are normally required.

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. There is currently very limited evidence regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings, but they may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

As with all measures, they will be under review and guidance will be updated as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support is available for families that are paying for student accommodation that is unoccupied due to the covid-19 outbreak.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we welcome the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need to stay away from their term-time address. The government urges universities and private landlords to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, clear and have the interests of students at heart.

The government has been clear in published guidance that tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do so. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.

This guidance is available to view at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml

We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that providers are able to use existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support. We have also made an additional £70 million of student hardship funding available to higher education providers this financial year.

Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. Support might include help for students facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location. I also made clear in my 2 February 2021 guidance to the OfS that the funding should be available to help students that have already applied for hardship funding previously but now need additional support. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates (whether taught or research) and international students. We will continue to monitor the situation to look at what impact this funding is having.

Students will normally qualify for Child Benefit if they are responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). Full-time students with children can also apply for Childcare Grant and Parents' Learning Allowance. Full-time students who are single parents or student couples, one or both of whom are responsible for a child, and part-time students responsible for a child can apply for Universal Credit.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the payment of fees for university accommodation that is unoccupied during the covid-19 outbreak on (a) families on low incomes and (b) single parent families.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we welcome the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need to stay away from their term-time address. The government urges universities and private landlords to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, clear and have the interests of students at heart.

The government has been clear in published guidance that tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do so. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.

This guidance is available to view at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml

We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that providers are able to use existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support. We have also made an additional £70 million of student hardship funding available to higher education providers this financial year.

Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. Support might include help for students facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location. I also made clear in my 2 February 2021 guidance to the OfS that the funding should be available to help students that have already applied for hardship funding previously but now need additional support. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates (whether taught or research) and international students. We will continue to monitor the situation to look at what impact this funding is having.

Students will normally qualify for Child Benefit if they are responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). Full-time students with children can also apply for Childcare Grant and Parents' Learning Allowance. Full-time students who are single parents or student couples, one or both of whom are responsible for a child, and part-time students responsible for a child can apply for Universal Credit.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of paying for student accommodation that is unoccupied during the covid-19 outbreak on the finances of deprived families.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we welcome the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need to stay away from their term-time address. The government urges universities and private landlords to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, clear and have the interests of students at heart.

The government has been clear in published guidance that tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do so. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.

This guidance is available to view at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml

We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that providers are able to use existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support. We have also made an additional £70 million of student hardship funding available to higher education providers this financial year.

Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. Support might include help for students facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location. I also made clear in my 2 February 2021 guidance to the OfS that the funding should be available to help students that have already applied for hardship funding previously but now need additional support. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates (whether taught or research) and international students. We will continue to monitor the situation to look at what impact this funding is having.

Students will normally qualify for Child Benefit if they are responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). Full-time students with children can also apply for Childcare Grant and Parents' Learning Allowance. Full-time students who are single parents or student couples, one or both of whom are responsible for a child, and part-time students responsible for a child can apply for Universal Credit.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the number of international students that are falling into rent arrears as a result of financial difficulties associated with the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has put in place many measures to support individuals impacted by financial hardship, including international students. These measures include protection for renters from eviction, safety net support from local authorities regardless of immigration status, as well as a series of bespoke visa concessions for international students to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19. The government keeps these concessions under review and will not hesitate to act where further support is needed. £3.2 billion has been allocated to local authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak to support vulnerable groups, irrespective of their immigration status.

The department has also made available an additional £70 million of hardship funding for higher education students in England for this financial year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. This is available for providers to distribute to a wide range of students, including international. This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education (HE) providers are able to draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds and mental health support.

I have been clear that student welfare remains one of my top priorities and the department has worked closely with the HE sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to increase communications and messaging around hardship for students; I recently discussed this with a number of sector representatives at a taskforce meeting.

I would encourage all students, wherever they are learning, who need assistance to reach out to their HE provider’s student support and welfare teams as soon as possible, as these services are likely to be an important source of support. Many HE providers have bolstered their existing student welfare and mental health services and have adapted delivery mechanisms including reaching out to students who may be more vulnerable. For example, over £9 million has been provided by the government to leading mental health charities to help them to expand, and international students can also utilise Student Space – a mental health and wellbeing platform that aims to bridge any gaps in support for students arising during the COVID-19 outbreak – which has been funded by up to £3 million by the Office for Students.

The department does not hold data on the number of international students in rent arrears. We believe that some international students in need of support may not be contacting their universities to ask for assistance if they find themselves experiencing hardship. I have written to international students directly, providing information regarding the support available for mental health, wellbeing, and hardship at this time, and have asked the sector to further raise awareness and encourage international students to seek assistance as necessary.

The UK was one of the first countries to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by introducing comprehensive immigration flexibility for international students, and the government has implemented several concessions to support visa holders. If an international student needs to request access to hardship funds through their provider due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, they can be confident that they can express these concerns to their provider without any impact on their immigration status.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the number of international students who have used food banks as a result of financial difficulties associated with the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has put in place many measures to support individuals impacted by financial hardship, including international students. These measures include protection for renters from eviction, safety net support from local authorities regardless of immigration status, as well as a series of bespoke visa concessions for international students to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19. The government keeps these concessions under review and will not hesitate to act where further support is needed. £3.2 billion has been allocated to local authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak to support vulnerable groups, irrespective of their immigration status.

The department has also made available an additional £70 million of hardship funding for higher education students in England for this financial year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. This is available for providers to distribute to a wide range of students, including international. This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education (HE) providers are able to draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds and mental health support.

I have been clear that student welfare remains one of my top priorities and the department has worked closely with the HE sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to increase communications and messaging around hardship for students; I recently discussed this with a number of sector representatives at a taskforce meeting.

I would encourage all students, wherever they are learning, who need assistance to reach out to their HE provider’s student support and welfare teams as soon as possible, as these services are likely to be an important source of support. Many HE providers have bolstered their existing student welfare and mental health services and have adapted delivery mechanisms including reaching out to students who may be more vulnerable. For example, over £9 million has been provided by the government to leading mental health charities to help them to expand, and international students can also utilise Student Space – a mental health and wellbeing platform that aims to bridge any gaps in support for students arising during the COVID-19 outbreak – which has been funded by up to £3 million by the Office for Students.

The department does not hold data on the number of international students in rent arrears. We believe that some international students in need of support may not be contacting their universities to ask for assistance if they find themselves experiencing hardship. I have written to international students directly, providing information regarding the support available for mental health, wellbeing, and hardship at this time, and have asked the sector to further raise awareness and encourage international students to seek assistance as necessary.

The UK was one of the first countries to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by introducing comprehensive immigration flexibility for international students, and the government has implemented several concessions to support visa holders. If an international student needs to request access to hardship funds through their provider due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, they can be confident that they can express these concerns to their provider without any impact on their immigration status.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Migrants’ Rights Network report of 10 August 2020, entitled The Effects of Covid-19 on Tier 4 International Students, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the hardship experienced by many international students on the UK’s international reputation for education.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has put in place many measures to support individuals impacted by financial hardship, including international students. These measures include protection for renters from eviction, safety net support from local authorities regardless of immigration status, as well as a series of bespoke visa concessions for international students to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19. The government keeps these concessions under review and will not hesitate to act where further support is needed. £3.2 billion has been allocated to local authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak to support vulnerable groups, irrespective of their immigration status.

The department has also made available an additional £70 million of hardship funding for higher education students in England for this financial year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. This is available for providers to distribute to a wide range of students, including international. This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education (HE) providers are able to draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds and mental health support.

I have been clear that student welfare remains one of my top priorities and the department has worked closely with the HE sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to increase communications and messaging around hardship for students; I recently discussed this with a number of sector representatives at a taskforce meeting.

I would encourage all students, wherever they are learning, who need assistance to reach out to their HE provider’s student support and welfare teams as soon as possible, as these services are likely to be an important source of support. Many HE providers have bolstered their existing student welfare and mental health services and have adapted delivery mechanisms including reaching out to students who may be more vulnerable. For example, over £9 million has been provided by the government to leading mental health charities to help them to expand, and international students can also utilise Student Space – a mental health and wellbeing platform that aims to bridge any gaps in support for students arising during the COVID-19 outbreak – which has been funded by up to £3 million by the Office for Students.

The department does not hold data on the number of international students in rent arrears. We believe that some international students in need of support may not be contacting their universities to ask for assistance if they find themselves experiencing hardship. I have written to international students directly, providing information regarding the support available for mental health, wellbeing, and hardship at this time, and have asked the sector to further raise awareness and encourage international students to seek assistance as necessary.

The UK was one of the first countries to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by introducing comprehensive immigration flexibility for international students, and the government has implemented several concessions to support visa holders. If an international student needs to request access to hardship funds through their provider due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, they can be confident that they can express these concerns to their provider without any impact on their immigration status.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Migrants’ Rights Network report of the 10 August 2020, entitled The Effects of Covid-19 on Tier 4 International Students, what support tier 4 international students are eligible for.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has put in place many measures to support individuals impacted by financial hardship, including international students. These measures include protection for renters from eviction, safety net support from local authorities regardless of immigration status, as well as a series of bespoke visa concessions for international students to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19. The government keeps these concessions under review and will not hesitate to act where further support is needed. £3.2 billion has been allocated to local authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak to support vulnerable groups, irrespective of their immigration status.

The department has also made available an additional £70 million of hardship funding for higher education students in England for this financial year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. This is available for providers to distribute to a wide range of students, including international. This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education (HE) providers are able to draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds and mental health support.

I have been clear that student welfare remains one of my top priorities and the department has worked closely with the HE sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to increase communications and messaging around hardship for students; I recently discussed this with a number of sector representatives at a taskforce meeting.

I would encourage all students, wherever they are learning, who need assistance to reach out to their HE provider’s student support and welfare teams as soon as possible, as these services are likely to be an important source of support. Many HE providers have bolstered their existing student welfare and mental health services and have adapted delivery mechanisms including reaching out to students who may be more vulnerable. For example, over £9 million has been provided by the government to leading mental health charities to help them to expand, and international students can also utilise Student Space – a mental health and wellbeing platform that aims to bridge any gaps in support for students arising during the COVID-19 outbreak – which has been funded by up to £3 million by the Office for Students.

The department does not hold data on the number of international students in rent arrears. We believe that some international students in need of support may not be contacting their universities to ask for assistance if they find themselves experiencing hardship. I have written to international students directly, providing information regarding the support available for mental health, wellbeing, and hardship at this time, and have asked the sector to further raise awareness and encourage international students to seek assistance as necessary.

The UK was one of the first countries to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by introducing comprehensive immigration flexibility for international students, and the government has implemented several concessions to support visa holders. If an international student needs to request access to hardship funds through their provider due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, they can be confident that they can express these concerns to their provider without any impact on their immigration status.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions has he had with universities on (a) levels of financial support for students (b) communication of available support to students, (c) the support available to those tier 4 international students not eligible for Government assistance, (d) mental health services and (e) rent relief on student accommodation.

This is a difficult and uncertain time for students, but we are working with the higher education (HE) sector to make sure all reasonable efforts are being made to ensure that students are given appropriate support. I routinely engage the sector on our plans and have drawn on the expertise of the HE Taskforce of various sector representatives to challenge and inform our decision making.

On 22 February, I wrote to students outlining what my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on return to educational settings meant for HE. The letter is available at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/d0d32f33-6efd-42f9-b75d-6b2204ac81dc/letter-to-students_minister-donelan_22022021.pdf. As stated in the letter, we made available an additional £70 million of funding for student hardship. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. This funding is available for HE providers to distribute to a wide range of students, including international students. Support might include help for students who are unable to work due to COVID-19 and to help students access teaching remotely. This is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding providers are able to draw on this academic year towards student hardship and mental health support.

Whilst the government plays no role in the provision of student residential accommodation, HE providers can draw on hardship funds to support students facing financial difficulties due to accommodation fees. The government encourages all accommodation providers to be as flexible as possible. Universities and private accommodation providers are autonomous and are responsible for setting their own rent agreements. We encourage universities and private landlords to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, clear and have the interests of students at heart. Where students remain in their university accommodation, HE providers should continue to make sure they are well looked after and supported. Universities UK have published a checklist for providers to support students who are required to self-isolate, which can be accessed here: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2020/uuk-checklist-support-self-isolating-students.pdf.

It is vitally important that universities continue to make sure that students feel as supported as possible and I encourage providers to regularly communicate with students about the support available to them. Providers should pay particular regard to the specific needs of certain groups during this period, including international students, who will require access to welfare and mental health support and essential services. I wrote to international students in December 2020 regarding tier 4 restrictions, and the letter is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/01c8a0f7-6799-43e8-aa95-d60552fb6d44/minister-donelan-letter-clarifying-student-travel-in-light-of-tier-4.pdf.

We have informed students via a range of communication channels, including student-facing media, such as: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/949100/Minister_Donelan_Letter_to_Students_on_January_Returns.pdf and: https://twitter.com/michelledonelan/status/1363972520077049857/photo/1.

We recognise that many students are facing additional mental health challenges during this time, and many providers have bolstered their existing mental health services. We have worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS), providing up to £3 million to fund the mental health platform Student Space. We have also asked the OfS to allocate an additional £15 million towards student mental health, through proposed reforms to strategic priorities grant funding.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department’s property company LocatED’s plans to develop 259 Plaistow Road in Newham, London, how many and what proportion of the homes proposed to be built will be for (a) social rent, (b) 80 per cent of market rent, (c) market rent, (d) shared ownership, (e) leasehold sale and (f) other forms of sale or rent.

The Department and LocatED are consulting with the London Borough of Newham and the Local Planning Authority on the delivery of School 21 Plaistow, a secondary free school project. The number of new homes and housing mix is currently under review and will be finalised during the planning determination period.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish guidance instructing schools not to include specific brands or types of face covering in their uniform policies for non-medical reasons.

On 26 August 2020, the Department revised its guidance on face coverings in schools and colleges following a new statement by the World Health Organisation on 21 August. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, from 1 September, in areas of national government intervention, in schools where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils when moving around indoors, for example in corridors and communal areas, where social distancing cannot be safely managed. Nationwide, all schools have the discretion to require staff, visitors and pupils (in year 7 and above) to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances. Based on current evidence and the measures that schools are already putting in place, as well as the negative impact on communication and teaching, face coverings are not necessary in the classroom.

The guidance points to Department for Health and Social Care advice on face coverings but does not specify a type or style of face covering. It sets out that it is reasonable to assume that staff and young people will have access to face coverings due to their increasing use in wider society, and notes that Public Health England has made available resources on how to make a simple face covering.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of homicides of people aged 16-24 have been followed by (a) a serious case review, (b) a child safeguarding practice review, (c) an independent investigation report and (d) a safeguarding adult review in each of the last four years.

The information requested is not held by the Department for Education.

Local authorities are statutorily obliged to inform the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel of all incidents of serious harm or death of a child under 18 years old where abuse and neglect is known or suspected. The National Panel shares this data with the Department for Education.

Information collected and held by the department does not distinguish ‘homicide’ as a reporting category.

The attached table sets out over the last 4 years: the number of child deaths notified as serious incidents, the number of Serious Case Reviews that local areas have stated will be initiated and the number of local child Safeguarding Practice Reviews that local areas have stated will be initiated.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, further to the Answer of 19 July to Question 30326, if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of the 30% recycled plastic content criterion in the plastic packaging tax with the Government's commitment to all plastic packaging on the market being recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

The world-leading Plastic Packaging Tax that is set to be introduced in April 2022 will increase demand for recycled plastic by encouraging the use of recycled plastic content in the manufacture of plastic packaging, addressing concerns raised by stakeholders that a lack of market demand for recycled plastics has held back recycling.

Our proposed collection and packaging reforms that will help us work towards our milestone of all plastic packaging placed on the UK market being recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025 are complementary to the tax. These include a Deposit Return Scheme for beverage containers, a requirement for a core set of materials to be collected from households and businesses for recycling and extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging. Packaging EPR will incentivise producers to make better design choices and to use plastic packaging that can be recycled or re-used. Collectively, these proposals will increase the supply of good-quality material for recycling, including for plastic packaging with recycled content. We have recently closed consultations on each and are analysing the responses and evidence submitted by consultees.

Our work towards achieving our plastic packaging commitment and the Plastics Packaging Tax are complementary measures and hence further assessment of the compatibility of the 30% recycled plastic content criterion and the commitment is not needed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect and restore grasslands in the UK.

Species-rich grasslands are vital for biodiversity and their retention and management can play an important part in safeguarding carbon stores. Domestic biodiversity policy is devolved in the UK and so this response relates to England only.

Our 25 Year Environment Plan marked a step change in ambition for nature, and we are already putting in place new legislation and new investment to meet this ambition. Our Environment Bill requires a new, historic legally binding target to be set to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030. A domestic 2030 species target will not only benefit our species but the actions necessary to deliver it will also help to drive wider environmental improvements.

The Bill also introduces Local Nature Recovery Strategies which will identify priorities and opportunities for nature recovery and help drive investment and action to expand, improve and connect habitats, including grasslands, and establish a Nature Recovery Network.

We are committed to protecting 30% of our land for biodiversity. Our Sites of Special Scientific Interest protect our most important grasslands, and provide a wide range of other benefits including flood control, water purification, and carbon storage.

We are introducing three new environmental land management schemes which will support farmers and land managers to deliver a range of environmental benefits. These schemes will reward sustainable farming practices, reducing carbon emissions, creating and preserving habitat, including grasslands, and making landscape-scale environmental changes.

We have also invested in nature restoration to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change and to safeguard green jobs, for example through our £80m Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Plantlife’s ‘Meadow Makers’ project, which was awarded over £700,000 in the first round, is restoring 500 hectares of species-rich grassland at 100+ sites across seven landscapes.

The Government will publish a Green Paper before the end of the year which will set out our approach to driving nature recovery in England and provide the primary vehicle for developing and engaging on our future plans and proposals.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of unregulated horse breeding in the UK; and whether he plans to bring forward (a) legislative or (b) regulatory proposals on tackling equine overbreeding.

To promote responsible ownership, there is clear guidance available to educate and remind horse owners of their responsibilities to provide for the welfare needs of their animal. The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids makes clear that you should consider buying or rehoming a youngster before taking the decision to breed. The foal’s individual future must also be considered before breeding from your equine, and the code highlights the UK’s overpopulation problem at the time of publication. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

Further information on responsible breeding is available to the public, including World Horse Welfare’s “Need to Breed” initiative which can be found here: https://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/advice/management/do-you-need-to-breed.

The Government considers that the key issue at stake here is how well equines are cared for after they have been born, and existing protections address this. We continue to engage closely with key stakeholders in the equine sector about these issues. The Government currently has no plans to introduce additional legislation or regulation specifically relating to breeding levels themselves.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the proposed annual reduction of plastic waste that may result from the introduction of a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles.

An impact assessment was published alongside our second consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our research in the assessment suggested that for an All-in DRS (which includes all sizes of drinks containers up to 3l) with an 85% return rate of in-scope containers, there would be an annual reduction of 34,493 tonnes of plastic waste in 2024 increasing to 58,007 tonnes by 2033.

Our recent consultation set out options for the scope of DRS including size of drinks containers that could be included. The amount of reduction in plastic waste will of course vary depending on the precise scope of a DRS and potential return rates, which will be reflected in our government response and final impact assessment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Trashed: How the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world, published by Greenpeace on the 17 May 2021, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the UK’s plastic footprint.

We acknowledge the concerns raised by Greenpeace in its report and agree that there is a need to take action on plastic pollution. The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042. In December 2018, we published the Resources and Waste Strategy, which sets out how we want to achieve this and move towards a circular economy and keep resources in the system for as long as possible. We know more needs to be done, and for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - which is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging on the market being recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

The UK Government also has a manifesto commitment to ban exports of plastic waste to non-OECD countries. Defra has commissioned research to have a better understanding of plastic waste recycling capacity in the UK and OECD member countries, and this research will be key to the development of policy options to implement the manifesto commitment. We currently plan to consult before the end of 2022 on options to deliver the proposed ban.

On 24 March 2021, we launched a second consultation regarding our specific proposals to reform the current packaging producer responsibility scheme and on introducing Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging. We want producers to take greater responsibility for the packaging they place on the market. To do this we will make them pay the full net costs of collecting and managing packaging when it is no longer used and becomes waste. This will encourage businesses to think carefully about how much packaging they use and design. It will also encourage businesses to use packaging that is easily recyclable and encourage greater use of reusable and refillable packaging. Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging will see producers’ fees varied (‘modulated’) to account for certain criteria, including recyclability. Producers who use easily-recyclable packaging will pay less than those who use hard-to-recycle, or unrecyclable, packaging. Producer fees will also be used to cover the costs of national consumer information campaigns on recycling packaging waste.

On 24 March 2021, we launched a consultation on our proposals for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The introduction of a deposit return scheme is aimed at increasing the recycling and reprocessing of materials and reducing the incidence of littering. A deposit return scheme for drinks containers will see a refundable deposit added to the price of a drink, which people can reclaim when they return their empty drinks containers to a specified return point. We know that well-run deposit return schemes in other countries can collect over 90% of the drinks containers placed on the market, which can be then sent for recycling.

On 7 May 2021, we launched a consultation on our proposals for consistency in household and business recycling in England. We want to make recycling easier and ensure that there is a comprehensive, consistent service across England. This will help to reduce confusion with recycling, ensure that there is more recycled material in the products we buy, and that the UK recycling industry grows.

These consultations have now closed and we are currently analysing the responses.

We have made significant progress on reducing other single-use plastic products. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. The single-use carrier bag charge, which has led to a 95% reduction in the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarkets, has been increased to 10p and extended to all retailers to encourage customers to bring their own bags to carry shopping and reduce the volumes of single-use plastic being used. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products, including problematic packaging materials. However, we must think carefully about introducing bans and other policy solutions to avoid unintended consequences. Impact assessments for future bans on single-use plastics will continue to assess the potential for substitution to single-use items made of other materials, to ensure that any ban really is a sustainable approach.

The Government has put together a package of over £100 million for research and innovation to tackle the issues that arise from plastic waste. £38 million was set aside through the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund, the last funding competition of which opened in June 2020.  The Resource Action Fund included £10 million specifically to pioneer innovative approaches to boosting recycling and reducing litter. The Government has also announced £60 million of funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, alongside a £150 million investment from industry, towards the development of smart, sustainable plastic packaging (SSPP), which will aim to make the UK a world leader in sustainable packaging for consumer products. Two SSPP funding opportunities have been open for bids in 2021: the SSPP Demonstrator Round 2 and the SSPP business-led research and development competition.

To note, waste and environmental policy is a devolved area and therefore devolved administrations are taking their own approach.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take in response to (a) air pollution, (b) resident objections, (c) physical health impacts and (d) mental health impacts linked to gasworks redevelopment sites.

Local Planning Authorities are responsible for issuing planning consents for the redevelopment of brownfield land. The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that development sites should be suitable for its proposed use taking account of ground conditions and any risks arising from land contamination. This includes risks arising from former activities such as gasworks. The Framework is also clear that new development should be appropriate for its location taking into account the likely effects of pollution on health, living conditions and the natural environment.

Certain remediation activities on former gasworks sites (such as treatment of contaminated soils and groundwater) require a mobile treatment permit under the Environmental Permitting Regime. These permits are issued by the Environment Agency (EA), which regulates emissions from the treatment activities (e.g. air pollution, odour, noise).

Before treatment commences, the operator must submit an application to the EA to deploy the mobile plant to site. This application must include site specific information to show how the operator will:

  • control pollution from the treatment process and
  • control and manage emissions to avoid pollution to the environment and harm to human health.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the General License for Bird Gatherings will be reinstated by his Department.

From 21 April 2021, certain bird gatherings can take place in Great Britain provided the organisers notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency at least seven days before the event and that they meet the requirements of the General Licence. This includes markets, shows, sales, exhibitions of pigeons, budgerigars, canaries, parrots, cockatiels and birds of prey. Some low risk pigeon racing is also permitted. Gatherings of ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys or game birds whether kept commercially as poultry, as pets or for other purposes remain banned. Poultry gatherings will be kept under review.

For a full list of what is permitted see the guidance for bird gatherings on gov.uk. Definitive requirements are set out in the published General Licence for the relevant administration (England, Wales and Scotland).

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has made to his EU counterparts on the effect of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692 on cross-Channel pigeon racing.

Changes to EU law from 21 April 2021 affect the movements of certain live animals. As a consequence of this change, racing pigeons are considered to be in scope of the definition of ‘captive birds’ and the requirements for imports into the EU would apply. These include export certification and a period of quarantine prior to export to the EU.

Defra has sought technical clarification from the European Commission on the new rules as they apply to movements of racing pigeons, including how an EU derogation for racing pigeons might be granted, and we are actively seeking a response.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on cross-Channel pigeon racing.

Changes to EU law from 21 April 2021 affect the movements of certain live animals. As a consequence of this change, racing pigeons are considered to be in scope of the definition of ‘captive birds’ and the requirements for imports into the EU would apply. These include export certification and a period of quarantine prior to export to the EU.

Defra has sought technical clarification from the European Commission on the new rules as they apply to movements of racing pigeons, including how an EU derogation for racing pigeons might be granted, and we are actively seeking a response.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of food waste of the guidance on serving alcohol only with a substantial meal.

Defra has not made an assessment of the impact of food waste levels as a result of this policy. However, we continue to support the hospitality sector to make sure good food is not wasted.

Since 2018 we have supported the surplus redistribution sector with over £11 million of grants to make sure they have the infrastructure to get good food, including from the hospitality sector, to those who have a need. We are also supporting WRAP and its brokerage work bringing businesses together with suitable food redistributors.

We are also directly helping hospitality businesses to waste less. The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is open to the hospitality sector and sets out a series of milestones to Target, Measure and Act on their waste including the provision of sector specific tools to measure their waste. This programme is supported by the Guardians of Grub campaign which aims at empowering employees to waste less in its provision of advice, guidance and support.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing policies to ensure that food served as a substantial meal with alcohol is not wasted.

Defra has not made an assessment of the impact of food waste levels as a result of this policy. However, we continue to support the hospitality sector to make sure good food is not wasted.

Since 2018 we have supported the surplus redistribution sector with over £11 million of grants to make sure they have the infrastructure to get good food, including from the hospitality sector, to those who have a need. We are also supporting WRAP and its brokerage work bringing businesses together with suitable food redistributors.

We are also directly helping hospitality businesses to waste less. The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is open to the hospitality sector and sets out a series of milestones to Target, Measure and Act on their waste including the provision of sector specific tools to measure their waste. This programme is supported by the Guardians of Grub campaign which aims at empowering employees to waste less in its provision of advice, guidance and support.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse is of each badger cull zone; and what estimate she has made of the economic cost-benefit of each of those areas to date; and if she will make a statement.

Bovine TB is one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK and the disease costs the public over £100 million a year, with the cost to the farming industry around £50 million a year.

The Government badger cull costs are published annually on the GOV.UK website and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tb-government-badger-control-costs.

The 2019 costs are still being calculated and will be published later this year. Costs are not broken down by cull zone.

The most recent badger control policy value for money analysis, carried out in 2019, estimates the Net Present Value i.e. the monetised benefits of Badger Control over 11 years at £1.08 million per area.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tb-badger-control-policy-value-for-money-analysis.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department plans to continue expanding the boundary of the minimum infected area in Cumbria in the event that the Animal and Plant Health Agency continues finding badgers outside that area which are infected with TB; and if she will make a statement.

In Area 32-Cumbria the cull area is made up of two parts, the minimum infected area and the outer cull area. The minimum infected area is based on:

  1. the location of the infected badgers, associated farms and contiguous breakdown areas, plus a radius of the estimated average social group territory based on main sett distribution; and

  1. the location of another farm with a TB breakdown very strongly suspected on epidemiological grounds to be badger related.

Therefore the boundary could be expanded if evidence shows that infected badgers are found outside the boundary, as it was in 2019.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons the original planning for the minimum infected area (MIA) in Cumbria did not include barriers to prevent badgers from passing to and from the MIA; and if she will make a statement.

Natural barriers to badger movement were used, as far as practical, for the outer boundary of Area 32 to minimise the risk of possible perturbation effects. Area 32 is made up of two parts, the minimum infected area and the outer cull area. The outer cull area acts as a buffer between the minimum infected area, where the majority of infection is located, and those outside of the cull area.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of a buffer zone around the minimum infected area in Cumbria for the vaccination of badgers, and if she will make a statement.

A ‘buffer zone’ currently operates around the minimum infected area in Area 32-Cumbria; this is referred to as the outer cull area (OCA). Both the minimum infected area and the outer cull area together make up the intervention area.

The OCA is based on estimated average badger social group territory size surrounding the minimum infected area, to take into account the possibility that infection may have already spread in the badger population. The boundary was adjusted to adhere to natural barriers to badger movement as far as practical to minimise the risk of possible perturbation effects.

The results of testing of badgers from the 2019 cull are still being analysed. When completed they will inform decisions as to what type of badger control method should be applied in 2020.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Animal and Plant Health Agency assurance checks are conducted in each badger cull zone to determine the numbers of active setts in those areas (a) before and (b) after annual culls take place; and if she will make a statement.

All cull companies are instructed to carry out a thorough sett survey programme in the spring before each cull in their area. Animal and Plant Health Agency surveyors then carry out a Quality Assurance check on at least 5% of the land parcels at random in areas between their first and second cull.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many deer are shot in England and Wales each year; how many of those deer are shot cleanly the first time; and how many need to be dispatched with a second or further shot; and if she will make a statement.

Defra does not hold this data regarding the culling of deer. The Deer Act 1991 provides a robust framework for the protection of deer, including the welfare of shot deer.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent evidence her Department has of the effect of invasive non-native species since the publication the 2010 technical report entitled The Economic Cost of Invasive Non-Native Species on Great Britain by Frances Williams et al.

The evidence that invasive species are having an ever greater impact on biodiversity, globally and domestically, is undeniable. The 2019 Environmental Audit Committe report, developed using a wide range of evidence sources, highlighted the risks these species pose to native biodiversity. It also called for greater levels of prevention, management, control and public awareness regarding invasive species and their negative effects on the environment.

Defra is also in receipt of the 2019 UN global assessment report on biodiversity which concluded that “the numbers of invasive species per country have risen by around 70 per cent since 1970” and that “invasive non-native species have contributed to 40 per cent of the animal extinctions that have happened in the last 400 years and are the biggest threat to biodiversity on islands”. Defra is aware that the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services found that invasive species were one of the top five direct drivers for changes to nature and were included in a list with climate change and pollution.

Reports such as “The Economic Cost of Invasive Non-Native Species on Great Britain” remain highly relevant, as the impact of invasive non-native species (INNS) has not decreased since the report was published. Defra recently however commissioned a scoping study aimed at documenting the current evidence in relation to the ecosystem service impacts of INNS in the UK. This study[1] sought to determine the feasibility of expanding on the 2010 report by estimating natural capital costs incurred by INNS, alongside the direct economic costs which the 2010 report focused upon.

[1] Scoping study: ecosystem services and natural capital costs of invasive non-native species in the UK - BE0162 http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=1&ProjectID=20315

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultations her Department has undertaken on the implementation of the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019.

Defra has undertaken two formal consultations relating to the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019. They were: “Invasive Non-native Species: Tackling Invasive Non-native Species – A new enforcement regime” and “Management measures for widely spread Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in England and Wales”. These consultations ran from from 9 January 2018 to 3 April 2018 and 18 July 2019 to 12 September 2019 respectively.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will amend the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 to permit the licensing of vet practices and wildlife hospitals to release grey squirrels in areas where they pose no risk to native squirrel populations.

Releasing grey squirrels back into the environment, even in areas away from red squirrels, would encourage a wide range of further negative impacts associated with this species towards other native species, forestry assets and national parks.

The release of grey squirrels can only be allowed as a management measure under the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 if it contributes to the population control, eradication or containment of the species. The Government will, therefore, not be updating this Order to permit the release of grey squirrels by veterinary practices or wildlife hospitals. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not allow grey squirrels to be kept or released. The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order, which came into effect on 1 December 2019, thus brought England in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Any grey squirrel that requires medical attention can be taken to a licensed facility where it can remain for the rest of its natural life.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department's press release entitled, UK will step up efforts to end preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children in the developing world by 2030, published in October 2019, whether preventable (a) HIV acquisitions and (b) AIDS related deaths will be included in those priorities.

Ending new HIV infections and preventing AIDS-related deaths is a critical part of the UK government’s renewed focus on ending preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns, and children by 2030.

The UK is a world leader in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic. Last year the UK made a £1.4 billion pledge to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for the 6th replenishment covering 2020 to 2022. This supports the commitment to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. In 2018 alone, the Global Fund provided 18.9 million people with treatment in 2018 and protected nearly 700,000 babies from being infected by their mothers.

We are working to expand access to treatment, while reducing new infections, particularly among adolescent girls, women, and other marginalised populations, who face stigma and discrimination.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department categorises all deaths following HIV infection as preventable; and how those deaths are recognised in her Department's policies on ending preventable deaths.

Ending new HIV infections and preventing AIDS-related deaths is a critical part of the UK government’s renewed focus on ending preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns, and children by 2030.

The UK is a world leader in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic. Last year the UK made a £1.4 billion pledge to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for the 6th replenishment covering 2020 to 2022. This supports the commitment to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. In 2018 alone, the Global Fund provided 18.9 million people with treatment in 2018 and protected nearly 700,000 babies from being infected by their mothers.

We are working to expand access to treatment, while reducing new infections, particularly among adolescent girls, women, and other marginalised populations, who face stigma and discrimination.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps his Department has taken to help tackle the (a) humanitarian crisis, (b) effects of aerial bombardment, (c) mass internal displacement during winter conditions and (d) destruction of medical and educational facilities in Idlib, Northern Syria.

We are gravely concerned about escalating Syrian Regime and Russian military action and its humanitarian impact in Idlib. As of 6 February, the UN reports that 586,000 people have been displaced since 1 December 2019 and many more are at risk of imminent further displacement.

This financial year DFID has already allocated £103 million to organisations delivering aid cross-border from Turkey primarily into North West Syria, including Idlib. This has helped to provide hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with food, clean water, shelter, and healthcare including psychosocial support.

Given the rapidly deteriorating conditions in North West Syria, we have put options in place to increase our funding further to address the pressing needs of those displaced by the conflict. We have provided funding to response partners including the UN to preposition essential supplies to support innocent families and civilians displaced by conflict and are supporting all our partners to respond to this humanitarian crisis.

I visited Turkey on 5-6 February and discussed the crisis in North West Syria with UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs, as well as with Turkish authorities. DFID partners on the ground are working tirelessly to provide aid to those affected by the military offensive. We continue to provide education assistance and support healthcare facilities affected by the recent violence.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the (a) the blind and partially sighted and (b) deaf and hard of hearing community on trials of e-scooters.

The Department has in place a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme for the trials. This evaluation includes a range of data sources and approaches including data sharing arrangements with operators, surveys, interviews and focus groups with users and non-users and interviews with key local and national stakeholders. A final report will be published in spring 2022. Any future rules for e-scooters may not be exactly the same as the rules in trials, but they will be based on the evidence gathered.

I have met with the Inclusive Transport Stakeholder Group last year, to discuss e-scooters and our local trials. Membership of this group includes representatives from: Age UK, Scope, Alzheimer’s Society, National Autistic Society, Disability Rights UK, DPTAC, Guide Dogs and Leonard Cheshire. Since then I have hosted four e-scooter roundtable discussions - the most recent on 7 June - attended by several groups that represent the interests of disabled people and older people to update them on the progress of the trials and listen to their concerns.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of e-scooter trials on (a) blind and partially sighted and (b) deaf and hard of hearing pedestrians.

The Department has in place a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme for the trials. This evaluation includes a range of data sources and approaches including data sharing arrangements with operators, surveys, interviews and focus groups with users and non-users and interviews with key local and national stakeholders. A final report will be published in spring 2022. Any future rules for e-scooters may not be exactly the same as the rules in trials, but they will be based on the evidence gathered.

I have met with the Inclusive Transport Stakeholder Group last year, to discuss e-scooters and our local trials. Membership of this group includes representatives from: Age UK, Scope, Alzheimer’s Society, National Autistic Society, Disability Rights UK, DPTAC, Guide Dogs and Leonard Cheshire. Since then I have hosted four e-scooter roundtable discussions - the most recent on 7 June - attended by several groups that represent the interests of disabled people and older people to update them on the progress of the trials and listen to their concerns.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of skills shortages in the transport sector on the effectiveness of the Transpennine Rail upgrade.

On TRU, Network Rail has developed an operating model which utilises two separate alliances on the east and west of the Transpennine route. These aim to tap into the best capability from rail and construction to mitigate the risks of skill shortages.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he has made an assessment of the potential merits of taking steps to improve the hygiene and social distancing capacity of the Transpennine Rail upgrade in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The business case for the Transpennine Rail Upgrade is being developed. Steps to improve hygiene and social distancing will be fully considered as part of the delivery of the programme. In the interim the rail industry will continue to actively encourage passengers to socially distance, manage passenger flows and increase cleaning regimes.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that there are effective links between (a) the High Speed Rail One network, (b) the planned High Speed Rail Two network and (c) Stratford International station.

The Secretary of State commissioned the HS1 Connectivity Study Report in 2015 which considered a wide range of high speed rail and conventional rail options to link High Speed 2 (HS2) with High Speed 1 (HS1) at St Pancras International and Stratford International stations. No suitable option could be identified that delivered value for money for the tax payer due to the complexity in construction, excessive costs and the level of disruption it would cause.

The Department for Transport is working with HS2 Ltd, Camden Council, Transport for London and other local stakeholders to enhance non-rail connectivity between the HS2 station at Euston and the HS1 station at St Pancras as part of the planned wider redevelopment of the Euston area.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the feasibility of the proposed 2031 opening date for High Speed Rail Two.

We have recently published the second HS2 Parliamentary report with an update provided on potential Covid-related impacts on Phase One. HS2 Ltd is currently re-planning its schedule for Phase One to mitigate slower than planned progress on construction, including verified impacts from Covid-19. However, this will not impact the projected Delivery into Service date range of 2029-2033.

The full impact of Covid-19 on cost and schedule continues to be assessed, including work to disaggregate Covid-19 impacts from other cost and schedule impacts on the programme.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of skills shortages in the transport sector on the effectiveness of High Speed Rail Two.

The Department commissioned the National Skills Academy for Rail in January 2021 to provide data on skills shortages across transport modes. Skills shortages were identified in infrastructure construction, rail, freight and logistics. The Department is now working, in collaboration with industry partners, stakeholders, other Government departments and public bodies (including HS2 Ltd), to identify mitigations and ensure it addresses the challenges facing both the transport industry and the wider economy.

HS2 Ltd has also developed a Skills, Employment and Education strategy, that focuses on securing the skills and labour required to build HS2, and leave a legacy of a highly-skilled and diverse workforce. Underlying this strategy are labour and skills forecasting data and analysis which provide an assessment of potential mismatches between HS2 labour and skills requirements and their availability. Reforecast data is expected to be published later this year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of High Speed Rail 2 on congestion at central London stations.

The impacts on central London stations (and all London stations including Stratford International) were reviewed as part of the AP3 Euston scheme for the Bill in September 2015. The Transport assessment to this set out the cross-London rail impacts for the design year of 2041 in section 3.5*. It should be noted that Stratford International was not identified as having any substantial change in use at that time.

As neither HS2 Ltd nor the Department believe the impact of HS2 will cause a material change to the underlying long-term usage of the London rail network, the analysis does not currently need updating.

*https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/460749/SES2___AP3_ES_Volume_5_Transport_Assessment__TR-001-000__Part_2.pdf

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of High Speed Rail Two on traffic volumes at Stratford International station.

The impacts on central London stations (and all London stations including Stratford International) were reviewed as part of the AP3 Euston scheme for the Bill in September 2015. The Transport assessment to this set out the cross-London rail impacts for the design year of 2041 in section 3.5*. It should be noted that Stratford International was not identified as having any substantial change in use at that time.

As neither HS2 Ltd nor the Department believe the impact of HS2 will cause a material change to the underlying long-term usage of the London rail network, the analysis does not currently need updating.

*https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/460749/SES2___AP3_ES_Volume_5_Transport_Assessment__TR-001-000__Part_2.pdf

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the environmental impact of the Transpennine Rail upgrade.

As with all rail upgrades, our evaluation of the options made through the business case process will consider the long-term benefit of the scheme in terms of its contribution to the Government’s commitment to decarbonize the economy by 2050. Environmental Impact Assessments for the construction itself will be undertaken in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the value for money of the Transpennine Rail upgrade.

We are currently evaluating a range of different options for the TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU) which will be selected later this year, informed by the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands. The value for money of each option varies and it is therefore not possible to be specific at this stage.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the completion date of the Transpennine Rail upgrade.

We are currently evaluating a range of different options for the TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU) which will be selected later this year, informed by the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands. These options range in their delivery date dependent on the option which is eventually chosen.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to make a new assessment of the value for money of the Transpennine Rail upgrade in response to potential estimated revisions to the take-up of public transport as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are undertaking analysis in support of the next business case for the TransPennine Route Upgrade which we expect to complete later this year. This will consider different post-COVID-19 demand scenarios.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of newly qualified forklift operators.

The Government does not record the numbers of newly qualified forklift operators.

The training for materials handling equipment, including forklift trucks, is an option within the Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship but is not required to complete the apprenticeship. There have been 5,093 Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship starts in the last five years.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends level of the pass rate for LGV driver practical tests.

Prior to the pandemic more than 40,000 drivers passed their LGV test each year over the last four years. The restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic has affected the ability for new drivers to take their LGV driving test.

LGV driver training and testing is due to re-start on 12 April as the current restrictions are lifted. When tests resume DVSA plan to conduct 2,800 to 3,000 LGV tests per week.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of people newly passing an LGV driver practical test.

Prior to the pandemic more than 40,000 drivers passed their LGV test each year over the last four years. The restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic has affected the ability for new drivers to take their LGV driving test.

LGV driver training and testing is due to re-start on 12 April as the current restrictions are lifted. When tests resume DVSA plan to conduct 2,800 to 3,000 LGV tests per week.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number and proportion of EU nationals who are qualified LGV drivers.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency does not collect data on the nationality of those taking an LGV driving test.

Logistics UK estimate that there were around 25,000 EU nationals working as LGV drivers in the UK in 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number and proportion of EU nationals newly qualifying as LGV drivers.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency does not collect data on the nationality of those taking an LGV driving test.

Logistics UK estimate that there were around 25,000 EU nationals working as LGV drivers in the UK in 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the UK having left the EU on (a) freedom of movement and (b) interoperability of transport skills qualifications in the transport sector.

Free movement between the UK and the European Union ended on 31 December 2020 and on 1 January 2021, and the UK implemented a points-based immigration system that prioritises skills and talent over where a person comes from.

The UK and the EU have agreed a framework for the recognition of professional qualifications between the Parties which is based on the EU’s recent free trade agreements. It makes improvements on those agreements, which are designed to make the system more flexible and easier for regulatory authorities to use. EU driving licence holders residing in the UK will be able to exchange their licence without the need for a re-test. They can use their EU licence as long as it is valid, subject to UK licence renewal requirements. Certificates of professional competence for drivers and transport managers issued by EU Member States remain valid for use in the UK.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of qualified LGV drivers claiming jobseeker’s allowance.

The number of LGV drivers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in February 2021 was 80, down 11 per cent from a year ago. The number of qualified LGV drivers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has historically been low, reflecting the ongoing LGV driver shortages in the logistics industry.

Departmental officials are working with colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to ensure that qualified LGV drivers are able to move back into work as soon as possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have newly passed an LGV driver practical test in each of the last five years.

The number of LGV driver practical test passes in each of the last five years are:

2015/16

39,000

2016/17

44,346

2017/18

40,808

2018/19

43,065

2019/20

41,434

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency publishes the statistics for all driving tests on Gov.uk

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the proportion of people holding driving qualifications who are (a) women and (b) from each Census 2021 ethnicity group.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency does not hold this data.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have newly qualified as forklift operators in each of the last five years.

The Government does not record the numbers of newly qualified forklift operators.

The training for materials handling equipment, including forklift trucks, is an option within the Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship but is not required to complete the apprenticeship. There have been 5,093 Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship starts in the last five years.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have newly qualified as LGV drivers in each of the last five years.

Prior to the pandemic more than 40,000 drivers passed their LGV test each year over the last four years. The restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic has affected the ability for new drivers to take their LGV driving test.

LGV driver training and testing is due re-start on 12 April as the current restrictions are lifted. When tests resume DVSA plan to conduct 2,800 to 3,000 tests per week.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of people newly qualifying as LGV drivers.

Prior to the pandemic more than 40,000 drivers passed their LGV test each year over the last four years. The restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic has affected the ability for new drivers to take their LGV driving test.

LGV driver training and testing is due re-start on 12 April as the current restrictions are lifted. When tests resume DVSA plan to conduct 2,800 to 3,000 tests per week.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have (a) applied for a Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeship, (b) started a Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeship and (c) successfully completed a Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeship in each of the last five years.

There have been 4,889 starts for the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard in the five years to October 2020.

We are working with the industry to develop a suite of apprenticeships which will enable the logistics sector to make the most of the Apprenticeship Levy funding available.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in (a) the number of applications for Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeships, (b) the number of starts for Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeships and (c) the number of successful completions of Driving Goods Vehicles apprenticeships.

There have been 4,889 starts for the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard in the five years to October 2020.

We are working with the industry to develop a suite of apprenticeships which will enable the logistics sector to make the most of the Apprenticeship Levy funding available.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of skills shortages in the logistics sector in the occupations of (a) transport management, (b) mechanics, (c) technicians, (d) LGV drivers, (e) storage management, (f) elementary storage occupations, (g) importers and exporters.

The labour shortages in the sector are longstanding. There has been no recent systematic assessment by the department of the extent of the skills shortage. Assessments have been made by Logistics UK.

We are working with the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to ensure that jobseekers can find employment or training in the industry as quickly as possible.

We are also working with the Department for Education in supporting the logistics sector make the most of the opportunities provided through the apprenticeship levy.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received from (a) members of the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce and (b) other sector stakeholders on the effect of the UK leaving the EU on transport sector skills shortages.

In 2016, the Government set ambitions through the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy (TISS) to increase apprenticeships in road and rail client bodies to help address skills shortages in the transport sector, ensuring that the transport sector has the capacity and capability to deliver planned investment and to increase diversity.

Over the past four years, the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) has worked to identify skills shortages across the transport sector. To understand the likely impact of changes to migration policy post-Brexit, STAT responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Call for Evidence on Salary Thresholds (2019) and the Shortage Occupation List (2017 and (2020). This included employer led evidence of the potential impacts of Brexit on the transport industry.

The Department has received representations from sector stakeholders including Logistics UK which publishes an annual Skills and Employment Report and a monthly Logistics Performance Tracker. The Road Haulage Association also continue to make representations to government.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what conclusions were reached on the causes of ethnic disparities in maternal mortality, following the roundtable of 2 September 2020.

At the roundtable on 2 September, leading experts in the field clarified that underlying health conditions and comorbidities largely explain ethnic disparities in maternal mortality rates.

Maternity experts also linked this to a reluctance by some women from minority backgrounds to attend routine appointments and check-ups where many of these conditions are typically identified.

The government continues to work with maternal health practitioners and ethnic minority women to drive positive actions and interventions in this area so that our actions can benefit more women. This includes the recently launched NHS campaign ‘Help us Help You’, informing pregnant women about the importance of attending check-ups, and providing reassurance that the NHS is there to see them safely.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the covid-19 social distancing measures implemented by Great Western Rail.

The Department issues guidance to transport organisations in England to help them understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers. It outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Department published updated guidance on 5 November:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators

The guidance makes clear that it does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and that it is important that businesses and employers continue to comply with their existing obligations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what penalties are applicable to train companies in the event that they fail to facilitate adequate covid-19 social distancing measures.

We have issued comprehensive guidance on the steps transport operators should take to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England. While we strongly advise passengers to practice social distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19, we acknowledge that this might not always be possible. We have been working closely with operators to ensure appropriate procedures are in place and that they are clearly communicated to passengers. Some stations have natural ‘pinch-points’, which makes maintaining social distancing difficult. Passengers are urged to use the whole length of the train to board, avoid travelling at busy times and follow government guidance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of existing legal obligations for train operators to ensure that customers are able to socially distance on their services during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have issued comprehensive guidance on the steps transport operators should take to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England. While we strongly advise passengers to practice social distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19, we acknowledge that this might not always be possible. We have been working closely with operators to ensure appropriate procedures are in place and that they are clearly communicated to passengers. Some stations have natural ‘pinch-points’, which makes maintaining social distancing difficult. Passengers are urged to use the whole length of the train to board, avoid travelling at busy times and follow government guidance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits for (a) reducing the risk of covid-19 transmission and (b) consumer welfare of mandating that airlines seat groups of people who are travelling together are seated closely together during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has published guidance specifically for both aviation operators and for air passengers on safer travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. This operator guidance maps out the measures airlines can take to protect passengers and staff on board aircraft, and includes advice on hygiene measures, face coverings, and social distancing in the aircraft setting. On the specific issue of seating passengers travelling in a group together, the guidance states ‘where possible and where mass and balance allow, enable social distancing among passengers of different households or support bubbles, where relevant.’

The Government expects all airlines to manage the risks of coronavirus as far as possible in order to provide safer workplaces and services for workers and passengers. For further information, the operator guidance is available to view at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-aviation-guidance-for-operators

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make a comparative assessment of the terms of support offered to similar SME leaseholders by (a) Network Rail, (b) Transport for London and (c) the Arch Company to protect those SMEs during the covid-19 outbreak.

Network Rail has offered SME commercial estate tenants a three-month zero-rent period between April and June 2020.

In deciding on this course of action, Network Rail worked to understand the offers of support proposed by those in similar situations, including the Arch Company and Transport for London.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of ceasing food services on trains while ensuring that all food service staff are retained on full pay during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our priority is to ensure the safety of both employees and passengers, as well as the ongoing provision of passenger and freight services. Operators and their suppliers, including those to whom catering is subcontracted, are working to resource trains appropriately, protect staff wellbeing and provide essential services for those who must travel, such as key workers who may have accessibility requirements. On-board catering services should cease, unless it is possible to serve pre-packed food that requires minimal contact. Catering staff can and have been deployed to do other tasks on our railways.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Child Action Poverty Group report, Universal Credit: What Needs to Change published in July 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing the recommendations in that report.

We are aware of the report, and we constantly keep our policies and systems under review.

Universal Credit is a modern, flexible benefit responding effectively to economic conditions, providing a safety net for millions in the wake of the pandemic. In 2021/22 we will spend over £111bn on working age welfare, equivalent to 4.9% of GDP (GB).

The temporary uplift was part of a support package that has lasted beyond the end of restrictions. Our focus now is on our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the report, Falling Through the Net, by the Child Poverty Action Group, published on 22 June 2021.

The Department is committed to providing the best possible support for all Universal Credit (UC) claimants to meet their individual circumstances. Jobcentre and Service Centre staff undergo a comprehensive learning journey designed to equip them with the tools, skills and behaviours required to provide a high quality service to all claimants. Staff receive on-going learning in their roles and have access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals.

Every care is taken to prevent incorrect payments being made and to ensure that benefits are paid to the correct recipient; we are focused on paying people their correct entitlement from the outset of a claim. The vast majority of benefit expenditure is paid correctly, with front line staff working hard to prevent overpayments from occurring. We are constantly improving our processes and continue to invest in the use of data and analytics to identify fraud and error.

Following the introduction of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act, all overpayments of UC and new style benefits paid in excess of entitlement are recoverable. The Department seeks to recover benefit overpayments without creating undue financial hardship, and any person who does experience such hardship is encouraged to contact the Department’s Debt Management unit. Where a person cannot afford the proposed rate of repayment it may be possible to negotiate a lower repayment rate.

It is Government policy that individuals granted pre-settled status have the same access to benefits as they did prior to the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). They will satisfy the right to reside element of the Habitual Residence Test and can access benefits if they are exercising a qualifying right to reside, such as a worker or self-employed person, and are habitually resident in the UK. As the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is appealing the case mentioned in the report, it would be inappropriate to comment any further

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the time between a British passport holder (a) applying for and (b) receiving a National Insurance number.

The Department has recently developed a digital service which enables employment inspired National Insurance Number (NINo) applications to be made on-line, removing the need for the majority of applicants to attend a face to face appointment.

Due to the suspension last year of the employment inspired NINo service, because of Covid 19 restrictions, demand for the NINo service is extremely high. The average time taken to process applications, including British Passport holders, is around 10/12 weeks. The Department is currently recruiting and training additional staff to reduce these waiting times.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to continue support for vulnerable children and families provided by the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.

The Government is committed to helping people with the cost of living and providing a safety net for those that need it and has injected billions into the welfare system for those most in need. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme was introduced to provide Local Authorities in England with funding to support vulnerable households with the costs of food, heating and water bills, in response to the pandemic. The funding was intended to provide additional support throughout the challenging winter period to those most in need. This will now be extended until the 16 April 2021 to support families as restrictions are gradually lifted.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what targets the Crime and Justice Task Force has set for her Department.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) breaches of current standards and guidelines on electroconvulsive therapy the Care Quality Commission has identified in each of the last 10 years and (b) practitioners of electroconvulsive therapy have had their license to practice (i) restricted or (ii) removed in each of the last 10 years.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) do not hold data centrally on the number of breaches related to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The CQC’s records also do not separately identify records of breaches or other regulatory action related to ECT specifically. The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom (UK). Its role is to set and enforce the standards all doctors must adhere to and it is responsible for ensuring that medical practitioners have the necessary skills and knowledge to join the UK medical register.

The GMC does not have data readily available on practitioners of ECT who have had their licence to practise restricted or removed.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Electroconvulsive Therapy Accreditation Service (ECTAS) requires member (a) practitioners and (b) clinics to meet its accreditation standards in order to continue operating as members; and what role ECTAS has in providing information to the Care Quality Commission on adherence to standards and guidelines on electroconvulsive therapy.

The Electroconvulsive Therapy Accreditation Service (ECTAS) is an organisation of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and arrangements for participation are a matter for the College. The Care Quality Commission may consider ECTAS accreditation as part of the evidence used in its regulation. However, it does not receive details of the accreditation process or of members within the scheme.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many adult prisoners in England and Wales had received a (a) first and (b) second covid vaccination as at 19 July 2021.

As of 19 July 2021, 90% of prisons in England offered a first dose to their adult population. 99% of prisons had also offered both doses to those in Phase One priority cohorts 1-9.

Unvaccinated prisoners awaiting a first dose offer by this date were those newly admitted to sites, however many of them would have already been offered the vaccine in the community or in a previous prison.

NHS England and NHS Improvement collate weekly data showing the number of vaccinated adult prisoners there are in the prisons in England. As per the data from Friday 23 July (which included those who received their first or second dose on Monday 19 July), 43,276 had received a first dose and 23,819 had received a second dose.

As of 28 July 2021, all eligible adult prisoners in England were offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

As health is a devolved matter, any data specific to Wales would be a matter for their respective devolved administration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all adult prisoners in England and Wales had been offered a first covid-19 vaccination as at 19 July 2021.

As of 19 July 2021, 90% of prisons in England offered a first dose to their adult population. 99% of prisons had also offered both doses to those in Phase One priority cohorts 1-9.

Unvaccinated prisoners awaiting a first dose offer by this date were those newly admitted to sites, however many of them would have already been offered the vaccine in the community or in a previous prison.

NHS England and NHS Improvement collate weekly data showing the number of vaccinated adult prisoners there are in the prisons in England. As per the data from Friday 23 July (which included those who received their first or second dose on Monday 19 July), 43,276 had received a first dose and 23,819 had received a second dose.

As of 28 July 2021, all eligible adult prisoners in England were offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

As health is a devolved matter, any data specific to Wales would be a matter for their respective devolved administration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to (a) Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression: A Review of the Quality of ECT versus Sham ECT Trials and Meta-Analyses, published by Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry on 2 April 2020, and (b) A second independent audit of electroconvulsive therapy in England, 2019: Usage, demographics, consent, and adherence to guidelines and legislation, published by Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice on 16 March 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing the use of electroconvulsive therapy in cases of depression.

We have no plans to do so. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for assessing the safety and efficacy of treatments. NICE provides guidelines on when doctors should consider using electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) based on the available clinical evidence. Its guidance ‘Depression in adults: recognition and management’, includes recommendations on when ECT could be considered a treatment option for complex and severe depression. The Department expects commissioners and providers of services to pay due regard to these guidelines, which are kept under regular review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help improve employee satisfaction in the social care sector.

The Department is working with the social care sector to improve employee satisfaction through supporting wellbeing and increasing recognition for staff. To support the wellbeing of social care workers, we have worked alongside the National Health Service and other organisations to provide a package of emotional, psychological and practical resources for the workforce. This includes support helplines, guidance, bereavement resources and a bespoke package of support for registered managers.

We have also identified carers, paid and unpaid, as essential workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to give them much-needed acknowledgment of their critical role in keeping people safe and supported.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help improve the affordability of social care.

We are committed to reforming the adult social care system, including the provision of affordable personalised care and will bring forward proposals in 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled The future of prison mental health care in England, published by Centre for Mental Health on 25 June 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing recommendations (a) three, (b) four, (c) five, (d) six, and (e) seven of that report.

There are no plans to carry out any formal assessment. However, the report made a number of recommendations which are being taken into account as appropriate though existing aligned programmes of work being undertaken by the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled The future of prison mental health care in England, published by Centre for Mental Health on 25 June 2021, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of that report.

There are no plans to carry out any formal assessment. However, the report made a number of recommendations which are being taken into account as appropriate though existing aligned programmes of work being undertaken by the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Carpenters Practice Inspection report, published by the Care Quality Commission on 26 June 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on access to quality NHS primary care of any disruption resulting from the sale of GP practices to for profit providers.

Regardless of whether the contract holder is an individual, a partnership, or an organisation, all contract holders and providers of National Health Service core primary medical services are subject to the same requirements, regulation and standards. We have no plans to make a further assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Carpenters Practice inspection report, published by the Care Quality Commission on 26 June 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on (a) patient safety, (b) effective leadership, (c) good governance and (d) high quality sustainable care of sale of GP practices to for profit providers.

Regardless of whether the contract holder is an individual, a partnership, or an organisation, all contract holders and providers of National Health Service core primary medical services are subject to the same requirements, regulation and standards. We have no plans to make a further assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many sarcoma patients were diagnosed at stage I and II by (a) soft tissue sarcoma excluding GIST, (b) bone sarcoma, (c) Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumours (GIST) in each of the last five years.

Data on the number of patients diagnosed with sarcoma at stage I and II by each of these cancer cell types is not available in the format requested. Statistics on sarcoma are not published by stage at diagnosis because the subdivision of the small numbers of cases leads to unreliable estimates of incidence rates and trends.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to (a) pages 22 to 23 of Public Health England's COVID-19 - SARS-CoV-2 Green Book Chapter 14a, published on 7 May 2021, and (b) the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's Information for Healthcare Professionals on COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, 4.4, published on 15 April 2021, whether he has made an assessment of whether (i) previous experience of thrombosis and (ii) the presence of thrombophilia such as antiphospholipid syndrome should be treated as contraindications for (A) Pfizer/BioNTech, (B) Oxford/AstraZeneca, (C) Moderna and (D) Janssen Covid-19 vaccination in relation to risks of vaccine–induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has undertaken a thorough review into reports of an extremely rare specific type of blood clot in the brain in the United Kingdom, following vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. It is also considering other types of blood clots alongside low platelet levels. No risk factors for this unusual type of clotting disorder have been identified although the MHRA is continuing to monitor the emerging data.

There is no evidence those with a history of common types of thrombosis are more at risk of developing rare blood clots with low platelets after vaccination. Therefore, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in individuals with a history of these conditions is not currently a contraindication. Individuals with past clotting episodes without low platelets and those diagnosed with thrombophilia remain at risk of COVID-19 disease and should be vaccinated with any of the available vaccines. However, as a precautionary measure, administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine in patients with a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or antiphospholipid syndrome should only be considered when the benefit outweighs any potential risks and use is contraindicated in those who have experienced major clots with low platelets after any COVID-19 vaccine or after exposure to heparin.

These rare events have also been reported in other countries with the Janssen vaccine. However, no predisposing risk factors have been identified. The available evidence does not suggest an increased risk of these rare events following administration of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is providing to (a) research, (b) clinical trials and (c) psychological support services to help improve outcomes for patients with covid-19 vaccine–induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR is supporting a relevant study on mechanisms of immunothrombosis in Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT). Findings from this study are available at the following link:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2021.102662

There are currently no clinical trials specifically looking at VITT in the United Kingdom. As the largest public funder of health and care research, the NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including COVID-19 vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis.

We are investing an additional £110 million to expand adult mental health services including psychological and talking therapies and £111 million to increase the mental health workforce support patients with conditions such as COVID-19 VITT.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of developing a diagnostic pathway for patients with respiratory symptoms.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have already invested £2 million to fund the establishment of Respiratory Clinical Networks to support the delivery of the objectives set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and provide clinical leadership to respiratory services in managing the current and on-going demand posed by COVID-19.

A priority area for respiratory services in the Long Term Plan is spirometry and this will be supported through the 13 respiratory clinical networks and the national team. The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2021/22 includes improved respiratory indicators. The QOF will measure patients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on or after 1 April 2021 whose diagnosis has been confirmed by a quality-assured post-bronchodilator spirometry test.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allocate funding to the roll-out of NHS diagnostic hubs for patients with respiratory symptoms.

For 2021/22, £325 million of capital funding has been allocated for diagnostic services. Discussions on how funding will be allocated are ongoing, including the establishment of community diagnostic hubs (CDHs). Diagnostics for respiratory conditions are part of the proposed ‘core’ services to be provided by CDHs. Pending the funding allocation, plans for mobilisation of CDHs from across England are currently under review and we anticipate some early adopter sites to provide services from summer 2021 with further CDHs opening in autumn.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the median time to a first diagnostic a) x-ray, b) CT scan, and c) spirometry test, where a serious lung condition is suspected, for each hospital Trust in England, for each of the last five years.

The data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the median time to a first appointment with a specialist respiratory consultant when a serious lung condition is suspected, for each hospital Trust in England, for each of the last five years.

The data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the median time to a diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis, from first presentation to a GP with respiratory symptoms, for each hospital Trust in England, for each of the last five years.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on prognoses for chronic lung conditions that arise following a covid-19 infection.

It is not yet clear what the physical, psychological and rehabilitation needs will be for those experiencing long-term effects of the virus, including those with chronic lung conditions. The National Health Service and the wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease course of the COVID-19 virus, including symptom severity and duration, long term effects and how best to support recovery.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on waiting times for respiratory diagnostic appointments.

Community Diagnostic Hubs will create additional capacity for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms which will support efforts to reduce waiting times. Elective waiting lists, including for those with respiratory symptoms, are managed at system and trust level with digital solutions available to ensure the most clinically urgent patients are managed first. In addition, £1 billion has been made available to the National Health Service in 2021/22 to support the recovery of elective activity.

While we have made no official assessment, the NHS is taking steps to restore services and improve waiting times as a priority, including services for respiratory patients. In May, the NHS announced a £160 million accelerator initiative to rapidly trial further innovations and interventions to boost activity across all elective services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve waiting times for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms.

Community Diagnostic Hubs will create additional capacity for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms which will support efforts to reduce waiting times. Elective waiting lists, including for those with respiratory symptoms, are managed at system and trust level with digital solutions available to ensure the most clinically urgent patients are managed first. In addition, £1 billion has been made available to the National Health Service in 2021/22 to support the recovery of elective activity.

While we have made no official assessment, the NHS is taking steps to restore services and improve waiting times as a priority, including services for respiratory patients. In May, the NHS announced a £160 million accelerator initiative to rapidly trial further innovations and interventions to boost activity across all elective services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) funding and (b) other support his Department is providing to research into chronic lung conditions caused by covid-19 infection.

The Government recognises that chronic health conditions, including chronic lung conditions, may result from a COVID-19 infection and that there is a need to invest in research to better understand these conditions and how to effectively support affected individuals. The National Institute for Health Research, with UK Research and Innovation, has funded a post-hospitalisation study to understand and improve long-term health outcomes for people hospitalised with COVID-19 and four research studies specifically looking at the long-term effects of COVID-19, in non-hospitalised individuals with funding totalling £18.5 million. In addition, a second £20 million ‘long’ COVID-19 research call is currently underway.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Outcome Evaluation of the National Model for Liaison and Diversion, published by RAND Europe in April 2021, what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations to (a) increase capacity for onward referrals from Liaison and Diversion services and (b) develop approaches to support people who have multiple vulnerabilities but are not currently eligible for referral because no single vulnerability meets a required therapeutic threshold.

The Departmental funded evaluation of Liaison and Diversion services, published by RAND, found that these services are successfully engaging with a range of service users with diverse and often overlapping vulnerabilities. The evaluation has shown that the Liaison and Diversion model is successful in increasing referrals to mental health and drug and alcohol treatment services and diversion from custodial sentences.  The Department will be working across Government to further analyse the report’s findings and identify opportunities to build on this successful model.

We remain focussed on our NHS Long Term Plan commitments including those to expand access to community mental health services for adults with serious mental illness, including those individuals with the most complex needs. This will help maximise the effectiveness of Liaison and Diversion services by increasing capacity for onward referrals and improving support available for individuals with multiple vulnerabilities.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Outcome Evaluation of the National Model for Liaison and Diversion, published by RAND Europe in April 2021, what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations to (a) increase capacity for onward referrals from Liaison and Diversion services and (b) develop approaches to support people who have multiple vulnerabilities but are not currently eligible for referral because no single vulnerability meets a required therapeutic threshold.

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

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on mental health of restrictions on (a) pigeon racing gatherings and (b) cross-Channel pigeon races.

No such assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of women in police custody who have been screened by Liaison and Diversion services.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of women in police custody screened by Liaison and Diversion services were found to have mental ill-health in the most recent period for which data is available.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 10 of the Liaison and Diversion Standard Service Specification 2019, published on 20th November 2019, what steps he is taking to monitor adherence with the commitments for all services to (a) develop a gender specific female pathway to holistically address the specific needs of women in the criminal justice system, (b) nominate a dedicated female practitioner and (c) offer all females who come into custody a choice of gender for their practitioner or support time recovery worker who will provide a gender sensitive approach to screening and support effective onward referrals to gender specific services.

Dedicated female practitioner leads were nominated for each Liaison and Diversion Service in 2018. In 2019 self-report questionnaires were issued to all Liaison and Diversion Female Pathway Leads to assess progress made against developing effective female pathways. Having analysed the returns, bespoke advice was offered to providers.

In November 2020 NHS England delivered a virtual Maternal and Perinatal Pathway Workshop to commissioners and providers of Liaison and Diversion services. NHS England regional Health and Justice commissioning teams monitor Liaison and Diversion providers performance against the service specification requirements to ensure that they are delivering a gender specific approach within Liaison and Diversion Services and that they have effective pathways in place for onward referrals to gender specific community based services.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 March 2021 to Question 138422 and the Answer of 16 March 2021 to Question 154909, if he will publish recent data on the vaccination rates for (a) directly employed prison staff, (b) non-directly employed people who work within prisons, (c) probation staff who have direct contact with service users and (d) prisoners.

We do not currently centrally hold data on the vaccination rates for directly employed prison staff, non-directly employed people who work within prisons or probation staff.

As of 19 April 2021 we have administered 23,281 first doses to prisoners eligible for vaccination during phase one. This represents an estimated 85% of eligible prisoners. In addition, 780 prisoners have received second doses which is 3.4% of the first dose total and includes some prisoners having a second dose in prison after a first dose in the community.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report by Empowering People Inspiring Change, The impact of lockdown to physical health, published in March 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of (a) communications with patients and (b) access to healthcare is maintained in prisons and youth custody facilities in England and Wales.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of communication programmes were initiated across the English secure and detained estate, including prisons and youth offender institutions, with the support of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service including using prison television broadcasts to address COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care. Prison radio continues to feature programmes providing general medical information for patients in prisons delivered by clinical providers and a number of articles have been written for the prison magazine, Inside Times, as well as general notifications, such as leaflets translated into a number of languages posted across individual sites.

General practitioner and nurse-led services have continued to be present within all prisons in England. In response to COVID-19, telemedicine has been deployed at speed across the estate, enabling video calling for primary care, secondary care and mental health appointments within dedicated healthcare facilities. The provision of health services to those in public sector prisons in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to HM Chief Inspector of Prisons report on a scrutiny visit to HMP Long Lartin, published on 16 March 2021, what steps he will take to prevent waits to see a GP of (a) more than 12 months and (b) other long periods.

Following the HM Inspector of Prisons’ report, we understand that a number of changes have been made to processes to ensure patients in the prison are able to see a general practitioner in a timely way, including clinical triage of patients placed on waiting lists based on need and a single point of administrative contact who will report when any patient has exceeded an appropriate wait time. Patients will also be able to refer themselves to healthcare services appropriately, in a timely manner and with any necessary support to enable them to communicate their needs. Officers will receive an introduction to the healthcare service as part of their induction and patients will receive this as part of their reception/transfer in.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Questions 138422 and 154909 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, for what reasons third sector organisations have already received that information; and when he plans to respond to those Questions, tabled by the hon. Member for West Ham.

The information requested is not collected centrally. If third sector organisations have received this information, this may have been provided locally.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Written Questions 138422 and 154909.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether pharmacy staff are required to wear a face covering while serving customers.

The Face Covering Regulations require that workers in retail, hospitality and leisure venues wear a face covering where they come or are likely to come into contact with members of the public. Pharmacies are included in these requirements so both staff and members of the public must wear a face covering.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of (a) directly employed prison staff, (b) non-directly employed people who work within prisons, (c) probation staff who have direct contact with service users, (d) prisoners over the age of 80, (e) prisoners over the age of 75, (f) prisoners over the age of 70 and (g) clinically extremely vulnerable prisoners have received a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine as at 19 February 2021.

The information is not currently centrally held in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what targets the Crime and Justice Task Force has set for his Department.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees and how often they have met is not normally shared publicly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect of no regular social security income for people who have no recourse to public funds on the likelihood of those people (a) requesting a covid-19 test as per Government advice and (b) self-isolating due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We introduced the Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) scheme to support those where financial concerns can make it difficult to self-isolate.

We continue to work closely with the 314 local authorities in England to monitor the efficacy and payments made under the TTSP scheme. The discretionary element of TTSP is specifically designed to address the needs of people on low incomes, including those with no recourse to public funds, who need financial support for self-isolation and to encourage greater uptake of testing and to undertake self-isolation. We have provided an additional £20 million a month to extend the current scheme beyond 31 March into the summer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS England A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions 2020-21 data for January 2021, what assessment he has made of geographical disparities in the number of patients waiting longer than 12 hours in A&Es after a decision has been made to admit them; and what estimate he has made of the number of patients waiting longer than 12 hours in A&Es after a decision has been made to admit them in Barts Health Trust.

The following table provides data on the number of patients spending more than 12 hours from decision to admit to admission in January 2021, by National Health Service region and Barts Health Trust.

Number of patients spending more than 12 hours from decision to admit to admission

NHS England East of England

246

NHS England London

1,534

NHS England Midlands

405

NHS England North East and Yorkshire

59

NHS England North West

405

NHS England South East

141

NHS England South West

1,019

Barts Health NHS Trust

376

It should be noted that Barts Health NHS Trust data is not comparable with other hospitals as it has three hospitals with major emergency departments within the Trust.

COVID-19 rates in London were higher compared to the rest of the country in January.

The increased number of 12-hour trolley waits seen in January 2021 reflects the extreme demand for beds in the system at this time, with delays reported due to awaiting COVID-19 test results, reduced bed stock due to social distancing and intensive treatment unit capacity expansion and reconfiguration of beds to meet COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 demand.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of ethnic disparities in the rates of (a) application for a covid-19 self-isolation support payment and (b) receipt of such payment.

The Department is currently working with local authorities to gather information on the operation and impact of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, including an assessment of the ethnicity of those applying for and receiving the payments. The results of the assessment and information covering any ethnic disparities will be published in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GP surgeries in Newham are owned by UK subsidiaries of (a) for-profit and (b) other private healthcare companies based in the US.

All general practitioner (GP) practices are private businesses that are paid by the National Health Service to provide a health service to their registered patients. Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) holds details of the type of each GP contract holder in Newham, but not details of the full cooperate structure of the limited companies that hold contracts. Newham CCG does not directly contract with any private healthcare companies based in the United States.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 February 2021 to Question 150736, if he will make an assessment of potential merits of publishing an evaluation of the benefits of wing-based primary care in prisons including (a) an identification of examples of excellence and (b) recommendations relating to the future model of healthcare after covid-19 restrictions are ended.

There are currently no plans to make such an assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the number of people for whom ineligibility for (a) self-isolation support payments and (b) sick pay has been a barrier to self-isolation during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have made no such estimate. The Government continues to work closely with the 314 local authorities in England to monitor the efficacy and payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

The scheme is now being extended to the summer and funding to local authorities to make discretionary payments to people facing hardship is being increased to £20 million a month, to ensure local authorities can continue to make payments and support people on low incomes to stay at home and self-isolate when required to do so.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to statistics on alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020, published on 28 January 2021, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the (a) fall in the proportion of young people in treatment in secure settings reporting problems with NPS since 2015-16 and (b) increase in the proportion of young people in treatment in secure settings reporting problems with opiates since 2015-16.

No such assessment has been made.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for the commissioning of substance misuse services within secure and detained settings. In addition to structured treatment, unstructured treatment is also provided which can include harm reduction advice, brief interventions, mutual aid groups and signposting and information. This is not reported in National Drug Treatment Monitoring System data.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to statistics on alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020, published on 28 January 2021, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the decrease since 2015-16 in the number of adults in secure settings (a) starting substance misuse treatment and (b) in substance misuse treatment.

No such assessment has been made.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for the commissioning of substance misuse services within secure and detained settings. In addition to structured treatment, unstructured treatment is also provided which can include harm reduction advice, brief interventions, mutual aid groups and signposting and information. This is not reported in National Drug Treatment Monitoring System data.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020: report, published on 28 January 2021, what plans he has to reduce regional inequalities in the proportion of adults with a substance misuse treatment need who successfully engage in community-based structured treatment following release from prison.

The Government recently announced an additional £80 million of funding in 2021/22 to enhance drug treatment services, including increasing the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders across England. This will improve access to community treatment for adults and young people following their release from a secure setting.

In addition, the NHS Long Term Plan introduced a new RECONNECT service which works with people before they leave prison and helps them to make the transition to community-based services. Of the new £80 million funding, £2.5 million will be invested in an enhanced RECONNECT service. This will support offenders with complex needs to engage with and get the right treatment from substance misuse and other services, for up to a year after release. The enhanced service will target those aged 18 to 24 years old.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to statistics on alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020, published on 28 January 2021, what plans he has to increase the proportions of (a) adults and (b) young people starting substance misuse treatment in the community following release from a secure setting.

The Government recently announced an additional £80 million of funding in 2021/22 to enhance drug treatment services, including increasing the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders across England. This will improve access to community treatment for adults and young people following their release from a secure setting.

In addition, the NHS Long Term Plan introduced a new RECONNECT service which works with people before they leave prison and helps them to make the transition to community-based services. Of the new £80 million funding, £2.5 million will be invested in an enhanced RECONNECT service. This will support offenders with complex needs to engage with and get the right treatment from substance misuse and other services, for up to a year after release. The enhanced service will target those aged 18 to 24 years old.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to statistics on alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020, published on 28 January 2021, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the (a) decrease in the proportion of young people completing substance misuse treatment in secure settings and( b) increase in the proportion of young people declining substance misuse treatment.

No such assessment has been made.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for the commissioning of substance misuse services within secure and detained settings. In addition to structured treatment, unstructured treatment is also provided which can include harm reduction advice, brief interventions, mutual aid groups and signposting and information. This is not reported in National Drug Treatment Monitoring System data.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of funding the provision of hepatitis C diagnostic testing machines to prisons to (a) reduce the time between testing and treatment, (b) reduce the need for liver transplants, (c) make progress towards the elimination of hepatitis C and (d) related factors.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have offered testing machines extensively to trusts who lead the diagnosis and treatment pathways, including those in prisons. Some prisons have taken up the offer, while others already achieve excellent rates of testing with other methods.

Furthermore, the High Intensity Test and Treat (HITT) programme have been implemented in prisons. HITTs involve partner services working together to offer testing to every person in prison on a short period of time. Those who are found to be positive are fast-tracked onto treatment, with a deadline of less than two weeks. The aim of the HITTs is the test at least 95% of the prison population, leaving prisons in a good place to achieve micro-elimination of Hepatitis C. Whilst these projects were disrupted during lockdown periods, several HITTs were able to take place during 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned prisoner peer support schemes, run by the Hepatitis C Trust. The peers provide information about Hepatitis C to those at risk and work to engage with each individual on their own terms and encouraging and support individuals in testing.

Progress is being made towards the elimination of hepatitis C. Over 57,000 people have benefitted from new drugs which cure hepatitis C being made available on the National Health Service over the last few years. Up to 95% of those with a reported response to the treatment have been cured. Furthermore, death registrations for hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease and cancer fell by 20% between 2015 and 2018, exceeding the 10% reduction by 2020 World Health Organization target. This is a direct result of the investment in hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prisons have machines capable of running diagnostic tests for Hepatitis C on site in England and Wales.

All 112 prisons in England have access to hepatitis C diagnosis. Local authorities decide which method is utilised to achieve diagnosis. This is usually either a ‘point of care’ antibody test, a dry blood spot test or onsite PCR testing machines. Prisons may also have access to other diagnostic kit such as portable fibroscanners, to assess liver cirrhosis.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have offered ‘point of care’ PCR testing machines to every trust leading hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment pathways, including prisons. NHS England and NHS Improvement also offer the option of taking machines into 30 prisons per year as a part of the ‘High Intensity Test & Treat’ programme, to supplement reception screening.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect on the efficacy of prison diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C of (a) short sentence lengths, (b) short periods spent in prison on remand, (c) short recalls to prison and (d) the use of prisons as a place of safety.

Prisons in England use an ‘opt-out’ testing offer to diagnose hepatitis C infection. Testing is offered either at reception into prison or within 72 hours at the more extensive healthcare assessment. Individuals can be diagnosed, referred to a virtual consultation with the specialist treatment team and start treatment within days. Hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment for prisoners on a short sentence and remand will, to an extent, rely upon the prisoner rate of uptake for offered tests.

For those who start but do not complete treatment, medicines can be provided to take out on release and a ‘Follow Me’ facility can be used to ensure patients remain engaged with their treatment. Prisoners on short recalls are unlikely to start treatment within a one to two-week period. However, they will receive the opt-out testing offer and referral processes are in place for those individuals testing positive. If individuals are already diagnosed and/or have started treatment, this can be continued through case management between prison health and the trust specialist treatment team.

Prisons should not be used as a place of safety as alternative provision is available and more suitable for people who need to be kept safe.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of publishing an evaluation of the benefits of wing-based primary care in prisons, including (a) an identification of examples of excellence, and (b) recommendations relating to the future model of healthcare after covid-19 restrictions are ended.

No such assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on estimating the volume of wastage of covid-19 vaccines resulting from restrictions on the re-use of vaccines allocated to prisoners not being permitted to be re-used for prison staff.

Data on wastage of vaccination doses is not currently available. Work is ongoing across the vaccination programme to standardise and increase the information available for management purposes. However, no vaccines should be wasted.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that where vaccine remains unused following an offer of vaccination to those in detained settings, such vaccine could reasonably be offered to prison officers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is national policy that unused covid-19 vaccines within a batch allocated to prisoners in a prison setting may be used to vaccinate prison staff in that prison.

On 11 March 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that any left-over vaccine that cannot be used on detainees should be used for prison officers. This is increasingly unlikely given the numbers of detainees now eligible for the vaccine as the programme continues. However, in cases where vaccine remains unused following an offer of vaccination to those in detained settings, NHS England and NHS Improvement have been asked to consider offering those vaccines to prison officers, in order to minimise wastage in delivery of the programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the proportion of (a) women, (b) young people and (c) men leaving custody that are connected with a GP in their local area.

This information is not held centrally. For those leaving custody, general practitioner registration should be arranged prior to release.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish weekly data on the numbers and proportion of (a) directly employed prison staff, (b) non-directly employed people who work within prisons, (c) probation staff who have direct contact with service users and (d) prisoners within each vaccine priority group when that priority group becomes eligible for vaccination who have received a (i) first dose of a covid-19 vaccine and (ii) full dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

The information requested is not currently held centrally in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) directly employed prison staff, (b) non-directly employed people who work within prisons, (c) probation staff who have direct contact with service users and (d) prisoners over the age of 80 have received a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine as at 15 January 2021.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with local NHS providers on the (a) ending of and (b) process of emergence from the covid-19 lockdown that began on 6 January 2021.

Ministers and officials have regular discussions with National Health Service providers on a wide range of issues relating to the current national restrictions.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to include an assessment of NHS staff capacity in decision-making on the ending of the covid-19 lockdown that began on 6 January 2021.

National Health Service capacity is monitored by NHS England, while Public Health England publishes monitoring data on capacity at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

The Government will take a cautious approach to easing lockdown and will be guided by the data. Of the four tests to facilitate decision-making around the easing of lockdown, two relate to NHS capacity; evidence showing vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; and evidence that infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to (a) monitor the effect of the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown on NHS capacity and (b) include findings from that monitoring in decision-making on the (i) ending of and (ii) process of emergence from the lockdown.

National Health Service capacity is monitored by NHS England, while Public Health England publishes monitoring data on capacity at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

The Government will take a cautious approach to easing lockdown and will be guided by the data. Of the four tests to facilitate decision-making around the easing of lockdown, two relate to NHS capacity; evidence showing vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; and evidence that infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS staff in London have had their leave cancelled during (a) December 2020 and (b) January 2021 to date.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Taking regular annual leave is important to support staff retention, health and wellbeing and patient safety. Employers have a duty of care to staff to ensure staff have reasonable opportunities to take annual leave to rest and recuperate and, whenever possible, leave requests should be approved. However, the National Health Service is continuing to face challenges as it responds to the pandemic, so there is less flexibility as to when leave can be taken. Employers across the NHS are working hard to maximise available workforce capacity, including use of bank staff and returners to maintain quality of care as far as possible and enable staff to take leave. The NHS People Plan published in July 2020 includes a commitment to enhanced occupational and mental health support for NHS staff.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of cancelling leave for NHS staff on (a) their mental and physical health, (b) their well-being, (c) staff retention and (d) patient safety.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Taking regular annual leave is important to support staff retention, health and wellbeing and patient safety. Employers have a duty of care to staff to ensure staff have reasonable opportunities to take annual leave to rest and recuperate and, whenever possible, leave requests should be approved. However, the National Health Service is continuing to face challenges as it responds to the pandemic, so there is less flexibility as to when leave can be taken. Employers across the NHS are working hard to maximise available workforce capacity, including use of bank staff and returners to maintain quality of care as far as possible and enable staff to take leave. The NHS People Plan published in July 2020 includes a commitment to enhanced occupational and mental health support for NHS staff.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what conclusions were reached on further actions that can be taken to tackle ethnic disparities in maternal mortality, following the roundtable of 2 September 2020.

Following the roundtable on 2 September, officials in the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit are supporting the Department of Health and Social Care in driving positive actions through a number of interventions on maternal mortality from an equalities perspective.

For example, NHS England and Improvement are introducing a funded and comprehensive national support offer which will be mobilised later this year. This will require Local Maternity Services to work towards achieving the ambition that 75% of Black and Asian women receive continuity of care by 2024.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the 2020-21 National Tariff Payment System Annex D: Guidance on best practice tariffs, section 15.2, paragraph 196, whether the 2021-22 National Tariff Payment System will include a higher price for outpatient hysteroscopy procedures than for ordinary and day-case elective admissions.

NHS England sets day case and outpatient tariffs for a range of procedures where expert clinical consensus is that this may be appropriate. In the case of hysteroscopy procedures there is a single price.

NHS England recognises that few hysteroscopy cases are reported as outpatient procedures and that most are reported as day cases or inpatient cases. NHS England has raised this issue with the NHS Digital-led Expert Reference Group that covers this clinical area. Expert Reference Groups are led by clinicians nominated by their Royal Colleges to agree currency design changes and provide their views about whether the prices relativities are correct. The Expert Reference Group for this clinical area advises that the same price is set for all forms of diagnostic hysteroscopy procedures under Healthcare Resource Group codes MA31Z-MA34Z.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations he has received about barriers to covid-19 (a) testing and (b) vaccination resulting from (i) requirements to produce photo ID and (ii) language about such requirements in the terms and conditions of booking.

A search of the Department’s Ministerial correspondence database shows that there are approximately 4,817 cases which either contain the term ‘testing’ or ‘vaccination’. In order to determine whether these are representations concerning identification could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a three-year investment programme agreed in 2017 with the London Fire Service to upgrade fire safety in Barts NHS Trust was delayed as a result of limits on capital funding available to the Trust.

The Department has provided emergency funding to Barts NHS Trust, including £6.1 million in 2019-20 for fire safety works. A significant portion has been carried out and work is scheduled to March 2022, with work designed to ensure clinical services can continue during construction work.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, of 24 September 2020, Official Report, column 1243, when the Women’s Health Agenda is next planned to meet; and whether the issue of painful hysteroscopy is on the agenda for that meeting.

The Women’s Health Agenda is not a formal group and there are no meetings of the Women’s Health Agenda planned.

However, we are committed to considering the issue of painful hysteroscopies as part of our ongoing work on women’s health and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is currently reviewing the guideline regarding out-patient hysteroscopy, which has an explicit focus on minimising pain and optimising the woman’s experience.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for the effectiveness of his payment scheme for people in the highest covid-19 risk areas to self-isolate of the ineligibility to those payments of people with no recourse to public funds.

The Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 was introduced on 28 September, to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by National Health Service Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.

The standard eligibility criteria include receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to those who are not in receipt of any of the above benefits but meet the other eligibility criteria and will face financial hardship as a result of having to self-isolate. Depending on their individual circumstances, people who have no recourse to public funds may be eligible for a discretionary payment.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 3 July 2020 to Questions 61685 and 61686 on Prisoners' Transfers: Mentally Disordered Offenders, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on transfer times for prisoners to secure hospitals for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Prisoners eligible for transfer to National Health Service psychiatric units should be moved out of prison as quickly as possible.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have been working to revise the Department’s good practice guidance (2011) ‘Transfer and remission of adult prisoners under the Mental Health Act 1983 good practice guidance 2019’. The aim is to facilitate timely access to appropriate treatment under the Mental Health Act and reduce unnecessary delays based on clinical need.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have undertaken extensive public consultation on revisions to the guidance and had planned to publish the final version by spring 2020. The publication process has been delayed to the COVID-19 pandemic but NHS England and NHS Improvement intend to proceed towards publication as quickly as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 3 July 2020 to Questions 61685 and 61686 on Prisoners' Transfers: Mentally Disordered Offenders, what plans the Government has to improve transfer times for prisoners to secure hospitals for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Prisoners eligible for transfer to National Health Service psychiatric units should be moved out of prison as quickly as possible.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have been working to revise the Department’s good practice guidance (2011) ‘Transfer and remission of adult prisoners under the Mental Health Act 1983 good practice guidance 2019’. The aim is to facilitate timely access to appropriate treatment under the Mental Health Act and reduce unnecessary delays based on clinical need.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have undertaken extensive public consultation on revisions to the guidance and had planned to publish the final version by spring 2020. The publication process has been delayed to the COVID-19 pandemic but NHS England and NHS Improvement intend to proceed towards publication as quickly as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government response to Recommendation 9b of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report on Custody-Community Transitions, published in October 2019, when the RAND Europe evaluation of the impact of Liaison and Diversion services in the criminal justice system including re-offending and levels of diversion from the criminal justice system into treatment will be published.

The report is currently being peer reviewed and will be published in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of women and girls who are new entrants to a custodial facility in England and Wales and who have (a) been offered and (b) have taken up the offer of a pregnancy test.

Every woman who arrives at a prison in England is offered a pregnancy test on reception if they meet the eligibility criteria. Women can refuse to have a pregnancy test but if they do the subject is revisited with them as they settle into prison.

The take up of these tests is not nationally collected. We are unable to tell how many women take up the offer of the test as this information would sit on the patients’ notes.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the paper entitled, Healthcare access for children and families on the move and migrants, published in BMJ Pediatrics Open on 13 April 2020.

As part of its ongoing policy responsibilities, the Department is considering the Charging Regulations in relation to the most vulnerable in society, including children and migrant pregnant women and new mothers. This includes ensuring the evidence base is sufficient and up to date where necessary and consideration of relevant legal duties, such as the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The Department has no plans to suspend the Charging Regulations or to launch an independent review of their impact.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the publication entitled, Patients not passports: migrants’ access to healthcare during the coronavirus crisis, published by Medact, Migrants Organise, and The New Economics Foundation in June 2020.

Regulations came into force on 29 January 2020 to add Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (now known as COVID-19) to Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. This means there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis, or treatment, of COVID-19. Patients that are known to be undergoing testing and treatment for coronavirus only are not subject to Home Office status checks.

This information has been widely communicated to NHS staff and the public, including a message published on Public Health England’s Migrant Health Guide, which has been translated into 40 languages.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Heath and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the capacity of the secure hospital system in England and Wales.

NHS England and NHS Improvement haveconducted a demand and capacity review of adult medium and low secure services to ensure they are in the right geographical location and delivering the right type of service in a timely way. This fed into the commitment to use National Health Service-led provider collaboratives to get appropriate, high quality secure care in place, which is being delivered as part of the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.

For high secure services, NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the early stages of a similar demand and capacity review as part of strategic commissioning work. This has been delayed due to the COVID-19 restrictions but is expected to inform the workplan for the 2021-26 high secure demand and capacity plan.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with stakeholders to explore and model what impact COVID-19 might have on future demand and capacity in the adult secure estate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the paper entitled Secondary care clinicians and staff have a key role in delivering equivalence of care for prisoners: A qualitative study of prisoners’ experiences, published in The Lancet: EClinicalMedicine on 23 June 2020.

Offenders should have access to the same range and quality of healthcare services as people in the community.

Responsibility for the provision of health services in prisons sits with NHS England and NHS Improvement, which will no doubt want to take the findings of this report and any possible implications for the delivery of prison health services into account.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2020 to Question 54055 on Prisoners: Health Services, if he will make those assessments.

No assessment is necessary as secondary care services are not provided by primary care staff in prisons.

Primary care staff facilitate the use of remote/digital services to support consultations carried out by secondary care staff where people in prisons have not travelled to out-patient settings.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of transfers of a prisoner to a secure hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act took longer than the national guideline of 14 days in 2019.

Data on mental health transfers in prisons is only held at an aggregated level and it is not possible to determine median and percentile figures as this would require patient-level information.

Within adult prisons, 285 out of 979 (29.1%) transfers of a prisoner to a secure hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 in 2019 occurred within 14 days.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the (a) median and (b) 90th percentile time taken for a transfer of a prisoner to a secure hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act in 2019.

Data on mental health transfers in prisons is only held at an aggregated level and it is not possible to determine median and percentile figures as this would require patient-level information.

Within adult prisons, 285 out of 979 (29.1%) transfers of a prisoner to a secure hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 in 2019 occurred within 14 days.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the additional extent to which secondary care services for prisoners, including diagnostic fluid tests, are being performed by primary care staff within prisons due to the increasing use of remote outpatient consultations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what assessment he has made of the potential need to transfer resources allocated for these services to providers of healthcare within prisons.

We have made no such assessments. Primary care teams in prisons are working with their counterparts in secondary care to ensure people in prisons are able to access the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including through telemedicine where appropriate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans NHS England has to protect patients with covid-19 from the increased risk in that group of potentially fatal venous thromboembolism.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, there is no high quality evidence to guide clinical management in protecting patients with the disease from the increased risk of thromboembolism. NHS England and NHS Improvement are urging clinicians to support research which may evaluate methods to prevent or reduce harm from thromboembolism in the context of COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are not planning to publish clinical guidance it commissioned in relation to venous thromboembolism in patients with COVID-19. NHS England and NHS Improvement are engaging with other organisations and professional bodies and looking to them to publish the guidance as soon as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when NHS England plans to publish the expert clinical guidance that it commissioned on thrombosis and critical care for patients with covid-19 which was submitted for dissemination on 28 April 2020.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, there is no high quality evidence to guide clinical management in protecting patients with the disease from the increased risk of thromboembolism. NHS England and NHS Improvement are urging clinicians to support research which may evaluate methods to prevent or reduce harm from thromboembolism in the context of COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are not planning to publish clinical guidance it commissioned in relation to venous thromboembolism in patients with COVID-19. NHS England and NHS Improvement are engaging with other organisations and professional bodies and looking to them to publish the guidance as soon as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing Band 5 nurses to fill tracking and tracing roles to tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

Public Health England’s local health protection teams and local authority public health teams are an integral part of the contact tracing system. They will be supported by around 25,000 additional contact tracers, a mix of call handlers and health professionals. Health professional applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role will be considered. The post is not band specific.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many domiciliary care workers in the community were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The Department does not hold this information.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much personal protective equipment his Department delivered to (a) care homes, (b) domiciliary care organisations, (c) district nurses, (d) NHS ambulance trusts and (e) GPs in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

Since 25 February the Government has delivered over 2 billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the health and social care system within England, plus tens of millions more will have been distributed by the devolved administrations. This PPE is for frontline staff at care homes, home care providers and hospices as well as to hospitals, ambulance trusts, general practitioner practices and pharmacists.

Over 143 million items of PPE have been made available to social care providers through wholesalers. In addition to this, to date we have authorised the release of over 139 million items of PPE to local resilience forums.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care home residents were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The information is not available in the format requested. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 125,000 workers in care settings and over 118,000 care home residents have been tested through Departmental and Public Health England testing routes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) district nurses and (b) other community medics were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The Department does not hold this information.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The Department does not hold this information.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many paramedics employed by NHS ambulance trusts were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The Department does not hold this information.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care home employees were tested for covid-19 in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

The data is not held in the format requested. Since the start of the pandemic, over 198,000 workers in care settings and over 177,000 care home residents have been tested through Departmental and Public Health England testing routes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many relatives of care home employees were tested for covid-19 on the basis of being a relative of a care home employee in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

Data on the number of relatives of care home employees that were tested on the basis of being a relative of a care home employee is not currently available or published in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many relatives of care home residents were tested for covid-19 on the basis of being a relative of a care home resident in each week from 2 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

Data on the number of relatives of care home residents that were tested on the basis of being a relative of a care home resident is not currently available or published in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of prisoners who have assessed mental health needs that would normally receive a psychiatric healthcare response received that response during (a) March, (b) April and (c) May 2020 to date; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the required format.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of prisoners who have assessed mental health needs that would normally receive a pharmaceutical prescription received that healthcare in (a) March, (b) April and (c) May 2020 to date; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the required format.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether a (a) men’s prison, (b) women’s prison, or (c) young offender’s institution in England and Wales has failed to provide the level of healthcare staffing set out in the relevant local healthcare delivery plan since the covid-19 Operational Guidance – Exceptional Regime & Service Delivery was promulgated.

Healthcare services for prisons in England are commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

As of 18 May 2020, no sites were reporting staffing issues that would impact on their ability to manage their patients’ care.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the data sharing agreement with Faculty Science Limited in relation to their work on the covid-19 data platform.

NHS England is the data controller for data processed in the NHS Data Store. It has engaged individual analysts from different tech companies under honorary contracts to assist with modelling data from the NHS Data Store, some of which are employees of Faculty.

Palantir Technology UK is engaged by NHS England under contract as a data processor. As a data processor, the organisation does have access to the data but can only process it under instruction from NHS England. As such, a data sharing agreement is not required. The Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHS Data Store is being published by NHS England in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the data sharing agreement with Palantir Technologies UK in relation to their work on the covid-19 data platform.

NHS England is the data controller for data processed in the NHS Data Store. It has engaged individual analysts from different tech companies under honorary contracts to assist with modelling data from the NHS Data Store, some of which are employees of Faculty.

Palantir Technology UK is engaged by NHS England under contract as a data processor. As a data processor, the organisation does have access to the data but can only process it under instruction from NHS England. As such, a data sharing agreement is not required. The Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHS Data Store is being published by NHS England in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the data protection impact assessment in respect of the work of Faculty Science Limited on the covid-19 data platform.

NHS England is the data controller for data processed in the NHS Data Store. It has engaged individual analysts from different tech companies under honorary contracts to assist with modelling data from the NHS Data Store, some of which are employees of Faculty.

Palantir Technology UK is engaged by NHS England under contract as a data processor. As a data processor, the organisation does have access to the data but can only process it under instruction from NHS England. As such, a data sharing agreement is not required. The Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHS Data Store is being published by NHS England in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the data protection impact assessment in respect of the work of Palantir Technologies UK on the covid-19 data platform.

NHS England is the data controller for data processed in the NHS Data Store. It has engaged individual analysts from different tech companies under honorary contracts to assist with modelling data from the NHS Data Store, some of which are employees of Faculty.

Palantir Technology UK is engaged by NHS England under contract as a data processor. As a data processor, the organisation does have access to the data but can only process it under instruction from NHS England. As such, a data sharing agreement is not required. The Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHS Data Store is being published by NHS England in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that covid-19 tests undertaken at home are not counted for statistical purposes both when they are sent out and when they are returned and processed.

The Government receives a daily report on the number of COVID-19 home kits dispatched. This single, reliable figure is the only one used for external statistical processes. Home kits returned to the laboratories are uniquely identifiable and therefore not counted in the daily statistics for the number of COVID-19 tests processed.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has received reports of (a) NHS Trusts and (b) other NHS bodies putting in place new restrictions on their staff speaking in public or to journalists about their concerns on the situation within their workplace since the outbreak of covid-19; and if he will make a statement

The Government supports the right of staff working in the National Health Service to speak up and raise concerns. Speaking up is vital for ensuring patient safety and improving the quality of services and should be a routine part of business in the NHS.

The Government has proactively encouraged NHS staff to raise concerns over recent years, and provided support by establishing an independent National Guardian to help drive positive cultural change across the NHS so that speaking up becomes business as usual.

NHS staff remain free to speak in a personal capacity about their work.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect on (a) NHS staff safety, (b) patient safety and (c) public trust of reports of restrictions by NHS bodies on staff members who wish to speak in public or to journalists about their concerns on the situation within their workplace during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government supports the right of staff working in the National Health Service to speak up and raise concerns. Speaking up is vital for ensuring patient safety and improving the quality of services and should be a routine part of business in the NHS.

The Government has proactively encouraged NHS staff to raise concerns over recent years, and provided support by establishing an independent National Guardian to help drive positive cultural change across the NHS so that speaking up becomes business as usual.

NHS staff remain free to speak in a personal capacity about their work.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the viability of reallocating funding to the production and distribution of additional medical devices to treat patients suffering severe covid-19 symptoms in advance of the infection rate peak; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor created a £5 billion contingency fund to ensure National Health Service and public services have the resources they need, including personal protective equipment and has been clear that the NHS will get whatever funding it needs to respond to the COVID-19.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the viability of reallocating funding to the production and distribution of additional personal protective equipment to treat patients suffering severe covid-19 symptoms in advance of the infection rate peak; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor created a £5 billion contingency fund to ensure National Health Service and public services have the resources they need, including personal protective equipment and has been clear that the NHS will get whatever funding it needs to respond to the COVID-19.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the current NHS (a) stock and (b) supply chain for medical devices required to treat patients with severe covid-19 infection symptoms.

The Department has well-established procedures to deal with supply problems affecting all medical products and supplies, including medicines, medical devices and personal protective equipment regardless of the cause, and work closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised.

A product supply response group has been set up to manage supply of products and to support any response to shortages required for the COVID-19 outbreak. The group is also considering the potential mid to long-term impacts of the outbreak globally. The Department is communicating with all stakeholders, including Royal Colleges, charities, patient groups, the NHS, the adult social care sector, and the devolved nations, and will continue to keep these stakeholders updated as the situation progresses.

Personal protective equipment has been issued to general practices since 9 March the packs include facemasks, aprons and gloves.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his department has made of the adequacy of current NHS (a) stock and (b) supply chain for personal protective equipment required to treat patients with covid-19.

The Department has well-established procedures to deal with supply problems affecting all medical products and supplies, including medicines, medical devices and personal protective equipment regardless of the cause, and work closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised.

A product supply response group has been set up to manage supply of products and to support any response to shortages required for the COVID-19 outbreak. The group is also considering the potential mid to long-term impacts of the outbreak globally. The Department is communicating with all stakeholders, including Royal Colleges, charities, patient groups, the NHS, the adult social care sector, and the devolved nations, and will continue to keep these stakeholders updated as the situation progresses.

Personal protective equipment has been issued to general practices since 9 March the packs include facemasks, aprons and gloves.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what powers he has to requisition privately-owned healthcare facilities in the event that more facilities are required for patients diagnosed with covid-19.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to increase capacity and resource within the National Health Service, adding around 8000 beds and 20,000 clinical staff. This will ensure that more facilities are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to requisition privately-owned healthcare facilities in the event that more facilities are required for patients diagnosed with covid-19.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to increase capacity and resource within the National Health Service, adding around 8000 beds and 20,000 clinical staff. This will ensure that more facilities are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to co-ordinate the conversion of hospital facilities into specialist areas to treat large numbers of patients needing intensive care as a result of covid-19, in advance of the infection rate peak.

NHS England has an operating Framework for Managing the Response to Pandemic Influenza. It sets out the roles, responsibilities and functions of NHS England in preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic. It is intended to complement and support existing plans, policies and arrangements. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nhs-england-pandmic-influenza-operating-framework-v2.pdf

Extensive advice and guidance on COVID-19 has already been produced by Public Health England (PHE), the National Health Service and others, some of which will be of direct relevance to people who misuse drugs and alcohol, and those in specialist treatment for drug or alcohol misuse and dependence. Additional targeted information is being provided in specific settings, including prisons and approved premises. These populations may have particular vulnerabilities and needs that are considered within this guidance, alongside other populations. PHE cascaded this information directly to local authority commissioners on 14 February 2020. The Government will continue to carefully monitor whether further resources need to be made available to protect this vulnerable cohort.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to construct temporary intensive care facilities prior to the peak of the covid-19 infection to treat people as a result of that infection.

NHS England has an operating Framework for Managing the Response to Pandemic Influenza. It sets out the roles, responsibilities and functions of NHS England in preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic. It is intended to complement and support existing plans, policies and arrangements. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nhs-england-pandmic-influenza-operating-framework-v2.pdf

Extensive advice and guidance on COVID-19 has already been produced by Public Health England (PHE), the National Health Service and others, some of which will be of direct relevance to people who misuse drugs and alcohol, and those in specialist treatment for drug or alcohol misuse and dependence. Additional targeted information is being provided in specific settings, including prisons and approved premises. These populations may have particular vulnerabilities and needs that are considered within this guidance, alongside other populations. PHE cascaded this information directly to local authority commissioners on 14 February 2020. The Government will continue to carefully monitor whether further resources need to be made available to protect this vulnerable cohort.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will meet with representatives of (a) the London Ambulance Service and (b) the Patients’ Forum for the London Ambulance Service to ensure that the London Ambulance Service is maintaining (i) effective transparency and (ii) an engaged consultative relationship with patient representative bodies.

The London Ambulance Service remains committed to working with patient representative groups and the wider public, to further improve the care it delivers for Londoners.

I will meet with the Ambulance Trust and the Patients’ Forum to discuss the continuation of their partnership.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect of funding inequalities between areas on (a) NHS Newham clinical commissioning group, (b) North-East London sustainability and transformation partnership and (c) other areas as set out on the Royal College of Psychiatrists Mental Health Watch website.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan we have committed at least a further £2.3 billion a year to mental health services by 2023/24 meaning that spend on mental health will be growing faster than the overall National Health Service budget.

Based on core weighted population, an indicative allocation of £163.7m in clinical commissioning group (CCG) baseline investment and indicative allocation of £271.3 million in transformation funding will be made to North East London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership between 2019/20 to 2023/24, with Newham CCG modelled as receiving around 17.5% of this funding.

The Mental Health Investment Standard requires CCGs to increase the amount spent on mental health by at least as much as their overall budget increases. For the first time, in 2018/19 all CCGs met this level of investment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include outpatient hysteroscopy and the issue of uncontrolled pain for women on the agenda of a meeting of the Women's Health Taskforce for England within the next six months.

Outpatient Hysteroscopy is an important topic, and we are open to discussing it at a future meeting of the Women’s Health Taskforce. It is not currently on the agenda for the next Women’s Health Taskforce meeting.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if NHS Improvement will remove the financial incentive for outpatient hysteroscopy procedures within the proposed National Tariff Payment System 2020-21.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for the design of the National Tariff. Any changes to tariff are made following significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the sector. The final changes are consulted on alongside an assessment of the potential impact to providers and patients.

The current statutory consultation on the 2020/21 tariff is open until midnight on Wednesday 22 January. The document considers changes to outpatient tariffs to support the delivery of the Long Term Plan, including outpatient transformation.

Hysteroscopy is covered by the outpatient procedures best practice tariff (BPT). The aim of the BPT is to encourage procedures in an outpatient setting, where clinically appropriate. Outpatient procedures provide the patient with a quicker recovery, as well as allowing them to recuperate at home and get back to work and daily life sooner. The National Health Service in England does not collect data on the incidence of severe pain during hysteroscopy or women discouraged from taking up diagnostic hysteroscopy as a result of fear of severe pain due to the procedure.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the inclusion of a financial incentive for outpatient hysteroscopy procedures within the National Tariff Payment System on the incidence of (a) severe pain during hysteroscopy and (b) women discouraged from taking up diagnostic hysteroscopy as a result of fear of severe pain due to the procedure.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for the design of the National Tariff. Any changes to tariff are made following significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the sector. The final changes are consulted on alongside an assessment of the potential impact to providers and patients.

The current statutory consultation on the 2020/21 tariff is open until midnight on Wednesday 22 January. The document considers changes to outpatient tariffs to support the delivery of the Long Term Plan, including outpatient transformation.

Hysteroscopy is covered by the outpatient procedures best practice tariff (BPT). The aim of the BPT is to encourage procedures in an outpatient setting, where clinically appropriate. Outpatient procedures provide the patient with a quicker recovery, as well as allowing them to recuperate at home and get back to work and daily life sooner. The National Health Service in England does not collect data on the incidence of severe pain during hysteroscopy or women discouraged from taking up diagnostic hysteroscopy as a result of fear of severe pain due to the procedure.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the rights of (a) Shia Muslims, (b) Sikhs, (c) Hindus, (d) Christians, (e) Sufi Muslims, (f) Baháʼís, (g) Jews, (h) other religious minorities and (i) non-religious people and are protected in Afghanistan following the recent military victory of Taliban forces.

We are clear on the need for a political settlement which will provide for an inclusive government and the peace and stability Afghanistan needs. Minister for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August to underscore the UK's commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people, including all ethnic and religious communities, and holding the Taliban to account.

The UK led work on the recent UN Security Council resolution, demonstrating our commitment to holding the Taliban to account on human rights.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the rights of women and girls are protected in Afghanistan following the recent military victory of Taliban forces.

We are committed to prioritising women and girls in the UK's response to the situation in Afghanistan. We will use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever to safeguard human rights and the gains made over the last two decades. The UK led work on the recent UN Security Council resolution, demonstrating our commitment to holding the Taliban to account on human rights, humanitarian access, safe passage and preventing terror. Minister for Human Rights Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August to underscore the UK's commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people, including women and girls, and holding the Taliban to account.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to support a negotiated resolution to the conflict on the island of Cyprus.

The UK remains committed to supporting the UN process to reach a Cyprus Settlement, which will be good for Cyprus, regional stability and UK interests. On 27-29 April, in support of the efforts led by the UN Secretary General to find common ground on a way forward to resolve the Cyprus Issue, the Foreign Secretary represented the UK as a Guarantor Power at informal UN talks in Geneva.

At the meeting, the Foreign Secretary continued to urge all sides to demonstrate flexibility and compromise to find a solution to the Cyprus Issue within the UN Security Council parameters of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which we believe are broad enough to meet the objectives of all sides. This followed UK messaging to the parties ahead of the talks, including the Foreign Secretary's visit to the island on 4 February where he met President Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar and the UN. Ahead of the talks, during my visit to Cyprus (7-9 April), I reiterated this message and the UK's support for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the evidence of human rights abuses contained in the report entitled Like we were enemies in a war: China's mass internment, torture and persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang, published by Amnesty International on 10 June 2021.

Amnesty International's report of 10 June 2021 is a compelling addition to the already extensive and irrefutable body of evidence about systematic human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang. The Government has taken careful note of Amnesty's report and will continue to engage with a range of NGOs, and other experts, to inform our understanding of the situation in Xinjiang and guide policy development.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement of the UK's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Launch of Rohingya Joint Response Plan in Bangladesh on 18 May 2021, how much funding his Department has allocated to support Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in (a) 2017-18, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

£49.1m in 2017-18; £62.98m in 2018-19; £112.36m in 2019-20; and £65.5m in 2020-21. In addition to bilateral funding, the UK is providing support to the Rohingya refugee response through global funds such as the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, Central Emergency Response Fund, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. UK funds also support the Rohingya through the UN agencies and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on the peace process of the entry into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by armed Israeli police on the 10 May 2021.

The UK is clear that the violence against peaceful worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque was unacceptable. Attacks on peaceful worshippers must stop. Respect for the historic Status Quo at the Holy Sites in Jerusalem is important at all times, especially during religious festivals such as Ramadan. We encourage all parties to maintain calm, avoid provocation and uphold the Status Quo to ensure the safety and the security of the Al Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount and all who worship there.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what counter measures his Department has considered in the event of further Israeli annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We remain strongly opposed to any move to annex all or part of the West Bank. Such a move would be contrary to international law and deeply damaging to prospects for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the causes of the intercommunal violence in the Israeli city of Lod on the 11 May and 12 May 2021.

Scenes of violence between Arab and Jewish Israelis in Green Line Israel are very worrying. We remain in contact with Israeli authorities, and continue to urge them to take steps to reduce further violence. The Foreign Secretary did so with Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 11 May and 16 May.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing restrictions on the UK activities of organisations associated with the ideology of Meir Kahane.

Scenes of violence within Arab and Jewish Israelis in Green Line Israel are very worrying. We remain in close contact with Israeli authorities, and continue to urge them to take steps to reduce further violence. The Foreign Secretary did so with FM Ashkenazi on 11 May and 16 May.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the recent effect of the activities of organisations associated with the ideology of Meir Kahane on (a) incitement to violence in Israel, (b) violence against Palestinian people and their property, (c) regional security in the Middle East, and (d) the prospects for a lasting peace between two states of Israel and of Palestine.

Scenes of violence within Arab and Jewish Israelis in Green Line Israel are very worrying. We remain in close contact with Israeli authorities, and continue to urge them to take steps to reduce further violence. The Foreign Secretary did so with FM Ashkenazi on 11 May and 16 May.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterparts on the entry of armed Israeli police into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Foreign Secretary delivered messages of de-escalation in calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and Palestinian Head of Mission in London on 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm and reiterate our position on this issue.

The UK is clear that the violence against peaceful worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque was unacceptable. Attacks on peaceful worshippers must stop. We call on all sides to reduce tensions, restore calm and avoid provocation. Violence against peaceful worshippers of any faith is unacceptable. Respect for the historic Status Quo at the Holy Sites in Jerusalem is important at all times, especially during religious festivals such as Ramadan. Our priority now is to secure an immediate de-escalation on all sides.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the proposed eviction of Palestinian residents from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The UK regularly raises forced evictions of Palestinians from property with the Government of Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

I publicised on the 8 May outlining our concern over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions. UK Officials at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv continue to raise the issue regularly with the Israeli Authorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent an escalation of intercommunal violence in Israel.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. Every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children. The Prime Minister has called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions. The Foreign Secretary delivered a message of de-escalation in his calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and with Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and to the Palestinian Head of Mission in London on the 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm. We have also engaged the UN Security Council, calling for measures to reduce further violence. UK embassies throughout the Middle East are engaging regional partners, and we remain in close contact with the US administration and European allies. We call on all sides to reduce tensions, restore calm and avoid provocation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to prevent escalation of the recent violence in (a) Israel and (b) the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. Every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children. The Prime Minister has called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions. The Foreign Secretary delivered a message of de-escalation in his calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and with Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and to the Palestinian Head of Mission in London on the 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm. We have also engaged the UN Security Council, calling for measures to reduce further violence. UK embassies throughout the Middle East are engaging regional partners, and we remain in close contact with the US administration and European allies. We call on all sides to reduce tensions, restore calm and avoid provocation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on Middle East security and stability of the (a) continued annexation by Israel of East Jerusalem, (b) application of policies by Israel to prevent construction of homes by Palestinians in East Jerusalem, (c) application of policies by Israel to evict Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, and (d) application of policies by Israel to promote construction and possession of homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers.

Our concerns about evictions of Palestinians from their homes are long-standing and well-known. I [Middle East Minister James Cleverly] spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and to the Palestinian Head of Mission in London on the 11 May, to urge them to de-escalate, restore calm and to reiterate our position on this issue. I publicised on the 8 May outlining our concern over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions, which in all but the most exceptional cases are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of deaths of (a) children, (b) non-combatant adults and (c) combatant adults in Gaza following military action by Israel beginning on 11 May 2021.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning. Civilian deaths, both in Israel and Gaza are a tragedy. As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop, and every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children.

The UK condemns the firing of rockets at civilian populations and we urge all parties to de-escalate immediately. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable. All countries, including Israel, have a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend their citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and are calibrated to avoid civilian casualties.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that accurate information is available concerning the recent conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia.

We are concerned by instances of media personnel being detained or harassed in Tigray and have lobbied alongside the international community to secure their release. We are also concerned about limitations to access, including the revocation of media licenses, and access to information and communication networks. A free and independent media in Ethiopia is vital to protect human rights. The lack of telephone and internet services in Tigray is hampering humanitarian relief and extending the suffering of the 4.5 million people in Tigray in desperate need.

We continue to raise the importance of political and media freedoms with senior officials, and did so directly with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke on the 5 March. We continue to call for the restoration of communication services in Tigray. We will continue to champion open and free political expression in the run up to the 5 June elections in the country.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure peace in Ethiopia following recent violence between the Ethiopian Government and protestors.

We are concerned by the ongoing ethnic violence and protests in Ethiopia including in the Oromia and Amhara regions. I [Minister Duddridge] raised growing ethnic tensions and the need for political dialogue as long ago as July 2020 when I last visited, including with the President of the Oromo region. The Foreign Secretary raised the importance of respect for human rights and credible elections to maintain peace and security when he met with Prime Minister Abiy during his visit to Ethiopia on 22 January. We will continue to champion open and free political expression for all Ethiopians.
James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of Rohingya refugees without shelter as a result of the fire in Cox’s Bazaar camp on 22 March 2021.

Assessments of the impact of the fire on 22 March in Kutapalong camp in Cox's Bazar are still underway. It appears that approximately 45,000 Rohingya refugees may have been made homeless, with around 10,000 shelters destroyed. Through our High Commission in Dhaka and our Humanitarian Adviser in Cox's Bazar, we are working closely with the UN and our implementing partners to fully understand the scale of the needs of the affected refugees and how best we can support the refugees' immediate needs. These include shelter, and access to food, water, non-food items and healthcare.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve fire safety in the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazaar.

Assessments of the impact of the fire on 22 March in Kutapalong camp in Cox's Bazar are still underway. It appears that approximately 45,000 Rohingya refugees may have been made homeless, with around 10,000 shelters destroyed. Through our High Commission in Dhaka and our Humanitarian Adviser in Cox's Bazar, we are working closely with the UN and our implementing partners to fully understand the scale of the needs of the affected refugees and how best we can support the refugees' immediate needs. These include shelter, and access to food, water, non-food items and healthcare.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Rohingya refugees who have lost shelter as a result of the fire in Cox’s Bazaar camp on 22 March 2021.

Assessments of the impact of the fire on 22 March in Kutapalong camp in Cox's Bazar are still underway. It appears that approximately 45,000 Rohingya refugees may have been made homeless, with around 10,000 shelters destroyed. Through our High Commission in Dhaka and our Humanitarian Adviser in Cox's Bazar, we are working closely with the UN and our implementing partners to fully understand the scale of the needs of the affected refugees and how best we can support the refugees' immediate needs. These include shelter, and access to food, water, non-food items and healthcare.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of proposed farming laws in India on poverty levels in rural areas in that country.

We recognise the interest in the Indian Government's agricultural reform programme, and we respect India's democratic process, which includes the ability to debate and peacefully protest. Agricultural reform is a domestic issue for India and it is not for the UK to make public assessments about the efficacy of these reforms.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effect of proposed farming laws in India on global environmental standards.

We recognise the interest in the Indian Government's agricultural reform programme, and we respect India's democratic process, which includes the ability to debate and peacefully protest. Agricultural reform is a domestic issue for India and it is not for the UK to make public assessments about the efficacy of these reforms.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 133032, what assessment he has made of whether the Indian Government’s response to the recent farmers’ protest movement in that country has been (a) proportionate and (b) legal.

We recognise the interest in the Indian Government's agricultural reform programme, and we respect India's democratic process, which includes the ability to debate and peacefully protest. Agricultural reform is a domestic issue for India and it is not for the UK to make public assessments about the efficacy of these reforms.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to increase aid to (a) internally displaced people in Myanmar and (b) refugees from Myanmar living in neighbouring countries following the military coup in Myanmar.

Supporting displaced people and refugees is a priority for the UK. We provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to around 460,000 conflict-affected and displaced people in Myanmar and on the Thai border, and to the 890,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

We are working with the UN, the international community and national and local NGOs to assess impact of the coup on displaced populations, refugees and host communities and other vulnerable populations. We have reviewed our aid programme in Myanmar to ensure that we focus on the most vulnerable people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether UK Government sanctions against Myanmar military companies are planned to include the prohibition of the provision of services including (a) banking, (b) insurance and reinsurance, (c) finance, (d) consultancy, (e) accounting and (f) legal services.

We are clear that the military must pay the price for their actions, that is why we are exploring all options to put pressure on their economic interests, this includes sanctions.

We remain committed to the principle of 'do no harm' with sanctions, and therefore wish to ensure that any measures balance the risk of disproportionately affecting poor people in Myanmar and imposing a cost on the military. In addition as set out in the written ministerial statement of 25 February we are reviewing our approach to Trade and Investment in Myanmar, and while that review takes place have suspended all trade promotion activity. The Foreign Secretary and the International Trade Secretary are writing to British Companies active in Myanmar to make clear our expectation that they do nothing to support the military.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an estimate of the number of schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at risk of demolition in the next six months.

The UK opposes Israel's proposed demolitions of Palestinian schools and calls on Israel to reconsider its plans to do so. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February 2021. I called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised my concerns about the demolition of Palestinian infrastructure, including the potential demolition of schools, with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020. Data shared with us by our partners in the Education Cluster of relevant NGOs operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, estimates that 45 schools are at risk in Area C and 8 in East Jerusalem. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help prevent demolitions of schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The UK opposes Israel's proposed demolitions of Palestinian schools and calls on Israel to reconsider its plans to do so. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February 2021. I called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised my concerns about the demolition of Palestinian infrastructure, including the potential demolition of schools, with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020. Data shared with us by our partners in the Education Cluster of relevant NGOs operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, estimates that 45 schools are at risk in Area C and 8 in East Jerusalem. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 December 2020 to Question 127042, what assessment has he made of the Israeli authorities adherence to its legal duty of ensuring and maintaining public health and hygiene in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Under International Humanitarian Law, Israel, as the Occupying Power, has the duty of ensuring and maintaining public health and hygiene in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) to the fullest extent of the means available and with the cooperation of the local authorities. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem are in regular contact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities respectively. We again welcome the restoration of cooperation between the Government of Israel and Palestinian Authority, which shows both sides are willing to put the needs and security of Israelis and Palestinians first.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the news release entitled China: Big Data Program Targets Xinjiang’s Muslims published on 9 December 2020, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on human rights abuses in China of the reported use by Chinese authorities of information in the (a) Aksu and (b) Karakax lists of Uighur detainees.

We are aware of recent reports on the use of data by the Chinese authorities to target Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. These reports add to the growing body of evidence of gross human rights violations perpetrated against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the region. We have repeatedly condemned these abuses and call on China to end arbitrary detention, in line with its international obligations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Indian counterpart on the recent shelling by its forces of areas within Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

We are in regular contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Prime Minister has underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue to both of his counterparts. The Minister for South Asia discussed Kashmir with the Indian Foreign Secretary on 3 November and the Pakistani Foreign Secretary (both Permanent Under-Secretary equivalents) on 8 September.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether there are established processes to enable compensation by the Republic of India to families whose homes have been destroyed by its forces' shelling of areas within Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

We are concerned by levels of firing and shelling between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir. We urge both sides to exercise restraint and improve channels of communication. We encourage both India and Pakistan to find lasting diplomatic solutions to maintain regional stability.

Any compensation processes would be a matter for the Indian and Pakistani Governments, but we are clear on the importance of rights being fully respected and continue to call for constructive dialogue with affected communities. The longstanding position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) people killed, (b) people wounded, (c) households displaced and (d) civilian buildings destroyed during recent shelling by forces of the Republic of India of areas within Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

We are concerned by levels of firing and shelling between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir. We urge both sides to exercise restraint and improve channels of communication. We encourage both India and Pakistan to find lasting diplomatic solutions to maintain regional stability.

Any compensation processes would be a matter for the Indian and Pakistani Governments, but we are clear on the importance of rights being fully respected and continue to call for constructive dialogue with affected communities. The longstanding position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Indian counterpart on behalf of UK citizens who have family members whose homes have been destroyed by the shelling by Indian forces of areas within Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

We are in regular contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Prime Minister has underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue to both of his counterparts. The Minister for South Asia discussed Kashmir with the Indian Foreign Secretary on 3 November and the Pakistani Foreign Secretary (both Permanent Under-Secretary equivalents) on 8 September.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the role of Keenie Meenie Services in alleged historical war crimes in Sri Lanka.

The UK takes very seriously the allegations raised in relation to the employment of Keenie Meenie Services Ltd by the Government of Sri Lanka during the conflict in Sri Lanka.

The Metropolitan Police War Crimes Team have launched an investigation into war crimes alleged to have been committed by British mercenaries in Sri Lanka during the 1980s, in accordance with the Crown Prosecution Service's published guidelines for referrals of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are assisting the police in relation to this matter, including by sharing relevant documents. We are not able to provide further comment on the details of the investigation, as it is ongoing.

The UK Government will continue to press for truth, reconciliation, accountability and justice for all victims of the Sri Lankan civil war, including those allegedly affected by Keenie Meenie Services' activities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Police Scotland are providing training to Sri Lankan police forces.

Police Scotland and the legacy Scottish Police College have a longstanding involvement in the delivery of training, mentoring and capacity-building for the Sri Lanka Police Service (SLPS). This includes a range of programmes between 2010 and 2018 focused on a variety of training and reform requirements including community policing, development of the SLPS National Police Academy and work on issues related to gender and vulnerable groups. The programme's approach has been regularly revisited and adapted depending on context and requirements.

The current programme, which began in 2019 and is due to last until 2022, focuses on activities aimed at developing community policing, the role of women in the SLPS and improving the response to sexual and gender-based violence. Due to Covid-19, many of these activities are paused with the exception of work at the local level to support victims of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to support the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit's investigation into alleged historical war crimes committed by British citizens in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are assisting the Metropolitan Police War Crime's Unit in relation to this investigation, including by sharing relevant documents. We are not able to provide further comment on the details of the investigation, as it is ongoing.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Saudi Arabian Government on (a) releasing prisoners of conscience in that country, (b) committing to undertake an in-depth assessment of the circumstances of the death of Jamal Khashoggi and (c) ending that country's role in the conflict in Yemen.

Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia allows us to raise our concerns about human rights, including on political detainees, in private and in public. The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September. It noted our human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia, regretted the continued detention of at least five women's human rights defenders, arrested in 2018, and called for the release of all political detainees. I most recently raised our concerns about the cases of the women's rights defenders with the Saudi Ambassador to the UK on 16 November. We continue to raise concerns and are monitoring the situation closely.

The UK has always been clear that Khashoggi's murder was a terrible crime, and that Saudi Arabia must ensure such an atrocity can never happen again. The Foreign Secretary raised the issue during his visit to Riyadh in March this year. The UK has sanctioned twenty Saudi nationals involved in the murder under the global human rights regime.

The UK is deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We fully support the peace process led by the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, and urge the parties to engage constructively with him. A political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people reported to have been killed by police and military personnel during the recent End Sars protests in Nigeria.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by violence during protests in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, which tragically claimed lives. Our thoughts are with the families of all those affected. Reports of the numbers killed in Lagos on 20 October vary and we have not been able to verify their accuracy.

The Foreign Secretary issued a statement on 21 October calling for an end to the violence and for the Nigerian Government to urgently investigate reports of brutality by its security forces and hold those responsible to account. I tweeted on 21 October, encouraging the Nigerian authorities to restore peace and address concerns over brutality towards civilians. I reiterated these messages when I spoke to Foreign Minister Onyeama on 23 October. The British High Commissioner in Abuja has also raised the protests, including incidents in Lagos, with representatives of the Nigerian Government and will continue to do so. We welcome the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry to investigate alleged incidents of brutality by the security services. It is vital these panels receive full police and military cooperation. They must investigate all incidents, including those in Lagos, fully. I shared these messages in a tweet on 29 October.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterpart in Nigeria on the reported killing of protesters in Lagos, Nigeria by police and military personnel on the 20 October 2020.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by violence during protests in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, which tragically claimed lives. Our thoughts are with the families of all those affected. Reports of the numbers killed in Lagos on 20 October vary and we have not been able to verify their accuracy.

The Foreign Secretary issued a statement on 21 October calling for an end to the violence and for the Nigerian Government to urgently investigate reports of brutality by its security forces and hold those responsible to account. I tweeted on 21 October, encouraging the Nigerian authorities to restore peace and address concerns over brutality towards civilians. I reiterated these messages when I spoke to Foreign Minister Onyeama on 23 October. The British High Commissioner in Abuja has also raised the protests, including incidents in Lagos, with representatives of the Nigerian Government and will continue to do so. We welcome the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry to investigate alleged incidents of brutality by the security services. It is vital these panels receive full police and military cooperation. They must investigate all incidents, including those in Lagos, fully. I shared these messages in a tweet on 29 October.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102917 on Nigeria: Police, whether the UK Government is providing material support or equipment to the Nigerian Government as part of its support for police reform in Nigeria.

The UK Government has worked with the Nigerian Government and the Nigerian Police Force in support of police reform and improving human rights compliance. Since 2018, as part of this work, we have provided specific and limited equipment, such as communications and office equipment, to the Nigerian Police. For example, through our CSSF funded North East Public Safety and Security Programme, radios were issued to Borno Police Command by our implementing partner, Creative Associates. This was to increase coordination between police units who are working to improve security and counter violent extremist organisations, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, in North East Nigeria. All assistance is provided in line with the UK Government's Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidance.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the spread of disinformation in international media concerning the existence of concentration camps in the Xinjiang province of the People’s Republic of China.

We work with our international partners to bring attention to the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the existence of detention camps in the region. The Foreign Secretary, and the FCDO's diplomatic network, consistently raise our concerns in detail with a wide range of countries. Most recently, on 6 October, the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York. We also fund third-party research to raise awareness of the human rights violations taking place in the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps he has taken to counter disinformation on the existence of detention camps in Xinjiang province in China.

We work with our international partners to bring attention to the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the existence of detention camps throughout the region. The Foreign Secretary, and the FCDO's diplomatic network, consistently raise our concerns in detail with a wide range of countries. Most recently, on 6 October, the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York expressing deep concern at the situation in Xinjiang, including the mass detention of Uyghurs in detention camps. We also fund third-party research to raise awareness of the human rights violations taking place in the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the living conditions for Rohingya refugees living in refugee camps on the island of Bhasan Char.

The UK continues to stress to the Government of Bangladesh that a UN protection mission should be urgently able to assess the humanitarian situation of the 306 refugees currently on Bhasan Char. So far, the UN have not been given the opportunity to visit Bhasan Char, and we have been unable to make a thorough assessment of living conditions. We are extremely concerned by the recent reports of alleged sexual assaults and other forms of mistreatment on Bhasan Char and are monitoring developments closely.

The UK supports the UN position that independent, full and detailed protection and technical assessments are needed to evaluate the safety and sustainability of living on Bhasan Char before any large-scale relocation of refugees is considered. Until such assessments are conducted, Rohingya people can best be supported in Cox's Bazar camps where the UN humanitarian operation is already in place.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bangladeshi counterpart on enabling access to refugee camps on the island of Bhasan Char for a UN humanitarian visit.

We continue to stress to the Government of Bangladesh that any relocation of refugees to Bhasan Char island must be voluntary, safe, dignified and in accordance with international humanitarian principles and standards. The recent reports of alleged sexual assaults and other forms of mistreatment on Bhasan Char are extremely concerning and we are monitoring developments there closely. We continue to underline to the Government of Bangladesh that a UN protection mission should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity for the 306 refugees taken to Bhasan Char from boats in the Bay of Bengal in May. The UK fully supports the UN's position that independent, full and detailed technical and protection assessments are needed to evaluate the safety and sustainability of living on Bhasan Char before any large-scale relocation of refugees is considered.

The then Development Secretary raised the issue of Bhasan Char in a letter to Foreign Minister Momen in August this year. The Minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has discussed Bhasan Char several times with the Bangladesh High Commissioner in London. The British High Commissioner in Dhaka has also spoken with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister's Foreign Policy Adviser about Bhasan Char in June and, most recently, with Foreign Secretary Momen in October.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bangladeshi counterpart on alleged incidents of (a) physical and (b) sexual assault of Rohingya refugees by officials that government on the island of Bhasan Char.

We continue to stress to the Government of Bangladesh that any relocation of refugees to Bhasan Char island must be voluntary, safe, dignified and in accordance with international humanitarian principles and standards. The recent reports of alleged sexual assaults and other forms of mistreatment on Bhasan Char are extremely concerning and we are monitoring developments there closely. We continue to underline to the Government of Bangladesh that a UN protection mission should be urgently undertaken for the 306 refugees taken to Bhasan Char from boats in the Bay of Bengal in May. The UK fully supports the UN's position that independent, full and detailed technical and protection assessments are needed to evaluate the safety and sustainability of living on Bhasan Char before large-scale relocation of refugees is considered.

The then Development Secretary raised the issue of Bhasan Char in a letter to Foreign Minister Momen in August. The Minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has discussed Bhasan Char several times with the Bangladesh High Commissioner in London. The British High Commissioner in Dhaka has also spoken with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister's Foreign Policy Adviser about Bhasan Char in June and, most recently with Foreign Secretary Momen in October. The allegations of physical and sexual assault of Rohingya refugees were also raised in a meeting between the British High Commissioner, other Ambassadors and Bangladesh officials in October.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Pakistan on the safety and well being of Asif Pervaiz who was detained and sentenced to death in September 2020 on charges of blasphemy in that country.

We are aware of the case of Asif Pervaiz and are closely following developments. We regularly raise at a senior level the issue of the blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, in accordance with international standards. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made representations to his counterpart in France on the recent evictions of refugees from camps in (a) Calais and (b) Dunkirk.

The relocation of vulnerable individuals into reception centres remains an issue of domestic responsibility for the French Government. The Home Secretary and her department lead on and work closely with French authorities to manage the migratory pressures at our joint border. The UK is in regular discussion with France in support of our 'whole of route' approach to tackling irregular migration.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of the fires in the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos which began on the 8 September 2020.

A fire on 8 September, and subsequent fires, destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesvos (also known as Lesbos), which sheltered over 12,500 migrants. There were no reported fatalities. Greece declared a State of Emergency, and the UNHCR deployed staff on the ground to assist the Greek authorities. My thoughts are with all those affected, and I commend the swift action taken by the Greek emergency services to put out the fires.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the conditions for refugees living in the Moria refugee camp on the Island of Lesbos.

Following the devastating fire, which destroyed the Moria refugee camp, the Greek Government has set up a new provisional camp in Kara Tepe (near Moria) that has an initial capacity of 3,000 places. Migrants are tested for Covid-19 before they enter and register with the authorities. If found positive, they are moved to a special facility for quarantine. The Greek government also sent a passenger ferry and two navy ships immediately after the fires to accommodate homeless migrants, transferred 409 unaccompanied children to mainland Greece, and provided water, food and other items to homeless migrants.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the living conditions for refugees living in camps in (a) Calais and (b) Dunkirk.

We are continuing to monitor closely developments in the Pas de Calais region and the actions taken by French authorities, which include relocating individuals to accommodation centres across France where they receive support, and medical care, including hospitalisation where necessary. Since the introduction of the COVID-19 measures in France on 17 March, French authorities have worked with over 950 migrants to relocate them to accommodation centres. In these centres asylum claims can be lodged, and any other urgent needs assessed.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Pakistan on the death sentence imposed on Asif Pervaiz on the 10 September 2020 on charges of blasphemy in that country.

We are aware of the case of Asif Pervaiz and are closely following developments. We regularly raise at a senior level the issue of the blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan. The UK's position on the death penalty is well known - we are firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, in accordance with international standards. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the safety of religious minorities in Pakistan.

We remain deeply concerned by reports of discrimination and violence against religious minorities in Pakistan. Pakistan remains a FCDO Human Rights Priority Country. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of minority communities with the Pakistani Government at a senior level. Most recently, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for South Asia, raised these concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, as laid down in the constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international standards.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's diplomatic policy on the Rohingya people of the reported testimonies of (a) Zaw Naing Tun and (b) Myo Win Tun in the International Criminal Court Investigation ICC-01/19.

We are aware of the reported testimonies of two soldiers from the Myanmar military, Private Myo Win Tun and Private Zaw Naing Tun.

We are clear that the Myanmar military bears responsibility for atrocities against the Rohingya and other minorities. There has been no meaningful accountability for these acts. On 6 July, the UK listed the Myanmar Military's Commander-in-Chief and Deputy Commander-in-Chief under the Global Human Rights sanction regime (GHR), for overseeing the systematic and brutal violence against the Rohingya and other minorities, as set out in the Independent Fact Finding Mission Report. This is in addition to the sanctions which the UK secured through the EU, against 14 members of the Myanmar military responsible for serious human rights violations. The UK is clear that accountability is essential to any long-term progress on the crisis.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the compatibility of blasphemy laws in Pakistan as they are applied in practice with freedom of religion for those practising minority religions in that country.

We remain deeply concerned about reports of discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns regarding the issue of the blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan. The UK's position on the death penalty is well known - we are firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, in accordance with international standards. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns, including Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of minority religious communities, with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department has provided to reduce risks to (a) life, (b) health, (c) homes, (d) livelihoods, and (e) education from flooding of the Nile river system along its course in the last 12 months.

The UK has responded to flooding along the Nile in Sudan this year and in South Sudan in 2019. In Sudan the UK is providing £25million in 2020 to the UN Sudan Humanitarian Fund to support a range of urgent needs, including flood response. In South Sudan, the UK provided vital support to affected communities including food, clean water and sanitation, disease prevention and shelter, as well as a helicopter to deliver vital supplies to those communities and support to livelihoods recovery.

We also reduce flooding risks through the UK funded Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa programme. This support to the work of meteorological and associated offices across East Africa helps strengthen weather forecasting and early warning, as well as longer term climate forecasts. Access to early warning is one important aspect of building resilience to floods and other climate shocks.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure that UK aid distribution workers that are from religious minorities within the recipient country are not subject to religious discrimination.

The UK Government works to ensure that those responsible for the distribution of aid, including religious minorities, do not face discrimination as a result of their faith.

FCDO calls for rapid and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers to those in need. We strongly advocate for compliance with International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles, which serve to protect aid workers and those they seek to assist. International Humanitarian Law states that parties to a conflict must allow humanitarian relief for civilians in need, which is impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction. They must not withhold consent to the delivery of aid arbitrarily. Parties to a conflict must not discriminate against aid agencies and/or their personnel delivering aid of this nature because of their faith.

We work to prevent any discrimination against aid agencies and their personnel delivering aid because of their faith. FCDO conducts thorough due diligence assessments of its partners to ensure that they have the ability implement their work without discrimination. We have processes for reporting harassment or discrimination for all of our partners and staff.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what humanitarian support his Department is providing to people in Sudan following recent heavy flooding in that country.

Supplies were prepositioned in anticipation of this year's floods and in addition the UK quickly responded through the UN's Sudan Humanitarian Fund which provided US$3.25 million allowing UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO and NGOs to provide sleeping mats, clean water, food and medicines to help people affected. We also worked with our partners, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to reallocate UK funding for sandbags, water and sanitation and other immediate needs.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of persecution of religious minorities within the covid-19 pandemic response in (a) Nigeria, (b) India, (c) Bangladesh, (d) Somalia, (e) China, (f) Myanmar, (g) the Gulf region and (h) other countries.

We are continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19 on minority religious and belief communities around the world. We are deeply concerned by incidents of hate speech targeting minority religious and belief groups, including the rise in conspiracy theories that certain faiths or beliefs are to blame for coronavirus. Such incidents are unacceptable, and the UK will continue to refute these divisive and harmful claims. We are also concerned by reports that some minority communities have been denied access to aid and information. As part of our ongoing work to promote Freedom of Religion or Belief for all, we have issued statements calling for states to ensure that any restrictions to the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief are necessary, proportionate and time-limited to protect public health. The Minister for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, also urged states to take steps to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society, including religious and belief minorities, during the UK's closing statement at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risk to (a) life, (b) health, (c) homes, (d) livelihoods, and (e) education following heavy flooding in Sudan in September 2020.

According to the UN, 110 lives have been lost and over 550,000 people have been affected in Sudan. Over 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. Given the extent of this year's floods we would expect livelihoods and education to be interrupted in the worst affected areas.

FCDO is supporting the Government of Sudan-led flood response through UN and NGOs. This includes the UN Sudan Humanitarian Fund where the UK has provided £25 million in 2020 for a range of urgent needs including COVID-19, locusts and now flooding.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support he is providing to the International Criminal Court Investigation ICC-01/19 of crimes against the Rohingya people.

The UK wants to see accountability for atrocities committed in Myanmar. The UK provides both practical and financial support to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The UK currently contributes 8.4% of the ICC's total budget. ICC investigations are funded through this annual programme budget.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that religious identity is not a barrier to equal access to UK Official Development Assistance.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) use of country context analysis has increased the extent to which religious dynamics and religious groups are factored into all of our country programmes. The FCDO undertakes interdisciplinary analysis of a country's politics, society, state and economy to identify the most significant problems that hinder development and the main entry points and opportunities to create change. There is a strong emphasis on how politics, security, and demographics interact with economic growth and human development. This includes the role of religion and the persecution of religious minorities.

The FCDO is committed to working with all its partners, including faith-based organisations, to ensure that the most vulnerable people and groups are prioritised for humanitarian assistance, in line with international humanitarian principles. This includes religious and ethnic groups who are at risk of discrimination and persecution. We work closely with our partners to ensure they are rigorously assessing vulnerability and needs (including those linked with religious identity), ahead of allocating assistance, as well as conducting robust monitoring to ensure that aid is reaching those most in need.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the 2 September 2020 joint statement of Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on intervention in The Gambia v. Myanmar case at the International Court of Justice, what support he plans to give to The Gambia in that case.

UK officials were notified on 2 September of The Netherlands and Canada's intention to intervene in Gambia's case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). We continue to monitor proceedings closely and will consider carefully whether a UK intervention would add value to the merits of the case. We have been clear in our support for the ICJ process, which is putting pressure on Myanmar to protect the Rohingya, to deal with the deep rooted issues in Rakhine State and to work towards genuine accountability. The UK provided funding to support Rohingya activists to attend the hearings in December. We welcomed the International Court of Justice's decision on provisional measures and we continue to urge the Government of Myanmar to comply with the ruling. Following a request from the UK and partners, the UN Security Council met to discuss the ICJ's decision on provisional measures. In our statement to the Council, we urged Myanmar to abide by the provisional measures.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people in Kashmir that have been (a) placed in preventative custody and (b) detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 by the Indian authorities since August 2019.

According to Indian Home Ministry records dated 29 February, 7357 people have been taken into preventative custody since 5 August 2019. The Home Ministry records state that 451 persons are currently under preventative detention, which includes 396 people detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. We have raised our concerns about the ongoing detentions with the Government of India.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people in Kashmir that are currently (a) in preventative custody and (b) detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 by the Indian authorities.

According to Indian Home Ministry records dated 29 February, 7357 people have been taken into preventative custody since 5 August 2019. The Home Ministry records state that 451 persons are currently under preventative detention, which includes 396 people detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. We have raised our concerns about the ongoing detentions with the Government of India.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions on the violence affecting civilians in Idlib, Northern Syria.

We are deeply concerned about the situation in Idlib, north-west Syria, as a result of the ongoing offensive by the Syrian regime and Russia. We are calling on all parties to respect previously agreed ceasefires and their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, and to abide by relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, particularly UNSCR 2254, which calls for a nationwide ceasefire as part of a political process to end the conflict.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support he will provide for the enforcement of the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures indicated in the case Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar).

We have welcomed the International Court of Justice's decision on provisional measures, which was clear that Myanmar must do more to protect the Rohingya. We urge Myanmar to comply with the provisional measures in full. We are exploring with partners how we can best ensure that Myanmar implements the provisional measures, including through the United Nations Security Council. ​

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 963 on India: Nationality, if he will make an estimate of how many Muslims were killed in connection with protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 in Uttar Pradesh state in the Republic of India since 11 December 2019.

The British Government has not made an estimate of Muslims killed in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh since 11 December 2019. Any individual killed in a peaceful protest is one too many, and we encourage all states to ensure their domestic laws are enforced in line with international standards

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the role of Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state, in the Republic of India in connection with alleged (a) human rights abuses and (b) organised Islamophobic violence by (i) the police and (ii) others in that state following protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India are following the siutation and the Government of India's response closely. The UK has long regarded protest as a key part of democratic society. Democratic governments must have the power to enforce law and order when a protest crosses the line into illegality; yet must in turn act with restraint and proportionality. We encourage all states to ensure their domestic laws are enforced in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights abuses is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly, and transparently.

We trust the Government of India will provide reassurances to its citizens who are expressing concern about the impact this legislation may have.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an estimate of the number of people killed in connection with protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 in Uttar Pradesh state in the Republic of India since 11 December 2019.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India are following the siutation and the Government of India's response closely. The UK has long regarded protest as a key part of democratic society. Democratic governments must have the power to enforce law and order when a protest crosses the line into illegality; yet must in turn act with restraint and proportionality. We encourage all states to ensure their domestic laws are enforced in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights abuses is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly, and transparently.

We trust the Government of India will provide reassurances to its citizens who are expressing concern about the impact this legislation may have.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will provide support to Gambia in the case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in respect of allegations of genocide and human rights abuses against the Rohingya people.

​UK Ministers have repeatedly expressed their profound concern at the horrific events of August 2017 in Rakhine state. The perpetrators of these atrocities should be held to account. We are following proceedings in The Hague closely and welcome the International Court of Justice's consideration of whether genocide has occurred.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for protestors' human rights of the recent response by police and security services to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 in India.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions are following reports on the continued protests in India and the Indian Government response. We are following the situation and raise issues with Indian officials where appropriate.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to ensure the sustainability of local welfare assistance schemes after the covid-19 outbreak.

Councils have the flexibility to prioritise the funding they receive from the annual Local Government Finance Settlement for local welfare assistance schemes.

In 2021-22, the Government will provide an additional £1.55 billion of unringfenced grant funding to local authorities in England to meet additional expenditure pressures as a result of Covid-19. Local authorities can use this funding to meet local needs, including prioritising local welfare assistance schemes.

Additionally, the Government will provide £670 million to local authorities in England in recognition of the increased costs of providing local council tax support and other help to economically vulnerable people and households following the pandemic. The funding is unringfenced and can be used to provide other support to vulnerable households, including through local welfare schemes.

Addressing future local authority resourcing and stability is a matter for future Spending Reviews and Local Government Finance Settlements.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what long-term support he plans to provide to local welfare assistance schemes in England for which demand has increased as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Councils have the flexibility to prioritise the funding they receive from the annual Local Government Finance Settlement for local welfare assistance schemes.

In 2021-22, the Government will provide an additional £1.55 billion of unringfenced grant funding to local authorities in England to meet additional expenditure pressures as a result of Covid-19. Local authorities can use this funding to meet local needs, including prioritising local welfare assistance schemes.

Additionally, the Government will provide £670 million to local authorities in England in recognition of the increased costs of providing local council tax support and other help to economically vulnerable people and households following the pandemic. The funding is unringfenced and can be used to provide other support to vulnerable households, including through local welfare schemes.

Addressing future local authority resourcing and stability is a matter for future Spending Reviews and Local Government Finance Settlements.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, what recent assessment has he made of whether HMRC’s Regional Centre at 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London E20 (a) meets and (b) exceeds the 2009 British Standard 8300.

HMRC’s Stratford Regional Centre meets building regulations required by law. However, HMRC have decided to go further than this and have additional reasonable work planned beyond BS8300 2009, in relation to the updated 2018 edition of BS8300.

In addition to this HMRC are working with the Construction Industry Council to ensure its inclusive design approach is further recognised at a project level.

HMRC are working closely with their colleagues and specialist consultants in order to ensure any specific requirements in terms of parking, drop off and building evacuation support are met, in line with both legal requirements and those of BS8300 2009. HMRC have arranged for sufficient car parking which meets their obligation under BS8300 2009.

BS8300 2009 notes that “lifts not designed for evacuation can be used for evacuation in certain circumstances, provided that a fire risk assessment has evaluated that the lift is able to function as an evacuation lift”. HMRC have obtained the London Fire Brigade and the Building Control Officer’s agreement to use both firefighting lifts for evacuation on the above basis.

BS8300 2009 also notes that a drop off point should be covered “where feasible”. HMRC have arranged for the provision of a drop off/setting down point at the front of the building.

Assessments are being undertaken by HMRC for the delivery of inclusive designs including relating to BS8300 2009. A final assessment of the fit out will be completed in line with standard Practical Completion protocols in advance of HMRC taking on the lease agreement.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, what steps HMRC to to help ensure the design of its Regional Centre at 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London E20 met the 2009 British Standard 8300 in full.

HMRC’s Stratford Regional Centre meets building regulations required by law. However, HMRC have decided to go further than this and have additional reasonable work planned beyond BS8300 2009, in relation to the updated 2018 edition of BS8300.

In addition to this HMRC are working with the Construction Industry Council to ensure its inclusive design approach is further recognised at a project level.

HMRC are working closely with their colleagues and specialist consultants in order to ensure any specific requirements in terms of parking, drop off and building evacuation support are met, in line with both legal requirements and those of BS8300 2009. HMRC have arranged for sufficient car parking which meets their obligation under BS8300 2009.

BS8300 2009 notes that “lifts not designed for evacuation can be used for evacuation in certain circumstances, provided that a fire risk assessment has evaluated that the lift is able to function as an evacuation lift”. HMRC have obtained the London Fire Brigade and the Building Control Officer’s agreement to use both firefighting lifts for evacuation on the above basis.

BS8300 2009 also notes that a drop off point should be covered “where feasible”. HMRC have arranged for the provision of a drop off/setting down point at the front of the building.

Assessments are being undertaken by HMRC for the delivery of inclusive designs including relating to BS8300 2009. A final assessment of the fit out will be completed in line with standard Practical Completion protocols in advance of HMRC taking on the lease agreement.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of evacuation lifts at HMRC’s Regional Centre at 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London E20 in providing for evacuation of staff and visitors in accordance with the 2009 British Standard 8300.

HMRC’s Stratford Regional Centre meets building regulations required by law. However, HMRC have decided to go further than this and have additional reasonable work planned beyond BS8300 2009, in relation to the updated 2018 edition of BS8300.

In addition to this HMRC are working with the Construction Industry Council to ensure its inclusive design approach is further recognised at a project level.

HMRC are working closely with their colleagues and specialist consultants in order to ensure any specific requirements in terms of parking, drop off and building evacuation support are met, in line with both legal requirements and those of BS8300 2009. HMRC have arranged for sufficient car parking which meets their obligation under BS8300 2009.

BS8300 2009 notes that “lifts not designed for evacuation can be used for evacuation in certain circumstances, provided that a fire risk assessment has evaluated that the lift is able to function as an evacuation lift”. HMRC have obtained the London Fire Brigade and the Building Control Officer’s agreement to use both firefighting lifts for evacuation on the above basis.

BS8300 2009 also notes that a drop off point should be covered “where feasible”. HMRC have arranged for the provision of a drop off/setting down point at the front of the building.

Assessments are being undertaken by HMRC for the delivery of inclusive designs including relating to BS8300 2009. A final assessment of the fit out will be completed in line with standard Practical Completion protocols in advance of HMRC taking on the lease agreement.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, whether HMRC’s Regional Centre at 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford, London E20 will have a covered setting-down point in accordance with clause 4 of the 2009 British Standard 8300.

HMRC’s Stratford Regional Centre meets building regulations required by law. However, HMRC have decided to go further than this and have additional reasonable work planned beyond BS8300 2009, in relation to the updated 2018 edition of BS8300.

In addition to this HMRC are working with the Construction Industry Council to ensure its inclusive design approach is further recognised at a project level.

HMRC are working closely with their colleagues and specialist consultants in order to ensure any specific requirements in terms of parking, drop off and building evacuation support are met, in line with both legal requirements and those of BS8300 2009. HMRC have arranged for sufficient car parking which meets their obligation under BS8300 2009.

BS8300 2009 notes that “lifts not designed for evacuation can be used for evacuation in certain circumstances, provided that a fire risk assessment has evaluated that the lift is able to function as an evacuation lift”. HMRC have obtained the London Fire Brigade and the Building Control Officer’s agreement to use both firefighting lifts for evacuation on the above basis.

BS8300 2009 also notes that a drop off point should be covered “where feasible”. HMRC have arranged for the provision of a drop off/setting down point at the front of the building.

Assessments are being undertaken by HMRC for the delivery of inclusive designs including relating to BS8300 2009. A final assessment of the fit out will be completed in line with standard Practical Completion protocols in advance of HMRC taking on the lease agreement.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the statement, Government prioritises wellbeing and mental health of officers in new package to support police, published on 10 July 2019, what progress her Department has made in improving the mental health services available to police officers in England and Wales.

It is important that police officers have the training and skills to be able to identify when a person is vulnerable and intervene appropriately with people experiencing a mental health crisis. This does not mean that the police should be able to diagnose specific illnesses or disabilities, but they need to know when intervention from partner agencies – such as health professionals – may be necessary.

Training on mental-ill health is integrated throughout the initial police learning programme which all new recruits must complete. Many individual forces have also developed their own training programmes, including joint training with partner agencies, including local Mental Health trusts.

Street Triage schemes also exist, where mental health professionals and the police work together to co-ordinate the right response to people experiencing a mental health crisis. These schemes have been shown to make an immediate and positive impact on the lives of people when they are particularly vulnerable.

In relation to the mental health of police officers, the Government and police leaders take this very seriously and are working to support the mental and physical wellbeing of all police officers and staff.

This includes providing ongoing funding to the National Police Wellbeing Service in England and Wales, which is helping forces to identify where there is most risk of impacts on mental health, developing work around building resilience, as well as supporting those who need it in response to traumatic events.

Since the announcement on 10 July 2019, the Government has accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant for England and Wales, which will ensure our police get the support and protection they need. The Covenant will be enshrined in law as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, introduced to Parliament on 9 March. The legislation provides a statutory duty for the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament on the work undertaken. Our focus is on health and wellbeing, physical protection and support for families, with a real emphasis on mental health support. Our initial priorities for the Covenant include ensuring occupational health standards are embedded in forces, the consideration of appointing a Chief Medical Officer for policing in England and Wales, and the development of pre-deployment mental health support. This will all help towards improving the consistency and quality of wellbeing support police officers receive.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page nine of the report, Picking Up The Pieces, by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, published in November 2018, what plans she has to help improve the consistency and quality of mental health services available to police officers in England and Wales.

It is important that police officers have the training and skills to be able to identify when a person is vulnerable and intervene appropriately with people experiencing a mental health crisis. This does not mean that the police should be able to diagnose specific illnesses or disabilities, but they need to know when intervention from partner agencies – such as health professionals – may be necessary.

Training on mental-ill health is integrated throughout the initial police learning programme which all new recruits must complete. Many individual forces have also developed their own training programmes, including joint training with partner agencies, including local Mental Health trusts.

Street Triage schemes also exist, where mental health professionals and the police work together to co-ordinate the right response to people experiencing a mental health crisis. These schemes have been shown to make an immediate and positive impact on the lives of people when they are particularly vulnerable.

In relation to the mental health of police officers, the Government and police leaders take this very seriously and are working to support the mental and physical wellbeing of all police officers and staff.

This includes providing ongoing funding to the National Police Wellbeing Service in England and Wales, which is helping forces to identify where there is most risk of impacts on mental health, developing work around building resilience, as well as supporting those who need it in response to traumatic events.

Since the announcement on 10 July 2019, the Government has accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant for England and Wales, which will ensure our police get the support and protection they need. The Covenant will be enshrined in law as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, introduced to Parliament on 9 March. The legislation provides a statutory duty for the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament on the work undertaken. Our focus is on health and wellbeing, physical protection and support for families, with a real emphasis on mental health support. Our initial priorities for the Covenant include ensuring occupational health standards are embedded in forces, the consideration of appointing a Chief Medical Officer for policing in England and Wales, and the development of pre-deployment mental health support. This will all help towards improving the consistency and quality of wellbeing support police officers receive.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Home Department, with reference to page 53 of the 2020-21 annual Victims Commissioner Report published on 21 July 2021, how she plans to create confidence and trust in the Criminal Justice System for rape victims who are considering reporting an offence.

In the recently published end-to-end rape review the Government set out its position that victims of rape should feel confident that only data that is relevant to their investigation will be taken from their digital devices.

We will enable this by providing strong protections for victims’ most sensitive personal information in law, enabled by the appropriate technology.

The information extraction clauses under Chapter 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will ensure that only information that is necessary and proportionate for an investigation is asked for from a victim.

The Code of Practice that will accompany the PCSC Bill provides detailed guidance on when and how these powers should be used. The code makes clear that device users have the right to refuse, and it also contains specific guidance on the use of the powers with victims who may be vulnerable due to the trauma they may have experienced and who may need more support.

However, legislation is only part of the solution. Whilst there are some promising new technologies, existing data extraction technology does not always provide the ability to limit appropriately what is being taken from a digital device.

To directly tackle this challenge, we will be bringing the Criminal Justice System and industry together through a joint Ministerial led technology summit to develop rapid, innovative, technological solutions. With digital evidence increasing in volume and prevalence, it is vital that we harness technology to find solutions to challenges in capacity and in our capability to effectively extract, analyse and review only relevant data from digital devices in a way which fast and not intrusive for the victim,

Using the Summit to identify innovative solutions, we will work with the policing sector to trial technologies through via Operation Soteria to identify where innovations can be scaled up at pace to make a difference for victims. The Summit will also build valuable, sustainable partnerships to ensure we continue to innovate, at pace, as threats and challenges evolve.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Home Department, with reference to page 53 of the 2020-21 annual Victims Commissioner Report published on 21 July 2021, how she plans to ensure that rape victims are protected from excessive intrusion into their privacy during the investigation process.

In the recently published end-to-end rape review the Government set out its position that victims of rape should feel confident that only data that is relevant to their investigation will be taken from their digital devices.

We will enable this by providing strong protections for victims’ most sensitive personal information in law, enabled by the appropriate technology.

The information extraction clauses under Chapter 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will ensure that only information that is necessary and proportionate for an investigation is asked for from a victim.

The Code of Practice that will accompany the PCSC Bill provides detailed guidance on when and how these powers should be used. The code makes clear that device users have the right to refuse, and it also contains specific guidance on the use of the powers with victims who may be vulnerable due to the trauma they may have experienced and who may need more support.

However, legislation is only part of the solution. Whilst there are some promising new technologies, existing data extraction technology does not always provide the ability to limit appropriately what is being taken from a digital device.

To directly tackle this challenge, we will be bringing the Criminal Justice System and industry together through a joint Ministerial led technology summit to develop rapid, innovative, technological solutions. With digital evidence increasing in volume and prevalence, it is vital that we harness technology to find solutions to challenges in capacity and in our capability to effectively extract, analyse and review only relevant data from digital devices in a way which fast and not intrusive for the victim,

Using the Summit to identify innovative solutions, we will work with the policing sector to trial technologies through via Operation Soteria to identify where innovations can be scaled up at pace to make a difference for victims. The Summit will also build valuable, sustainable partnerships to ensure we continue to innovate, at pace, as threats and challenges evolve.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to Question 48558 on Immigration: EU Nationals, whether people who have (a) completed the EU Settled Status application process and (b) received written notification of their immigration status will be able to request a replacement copy of that notification in case it is lost or stolen.

EEA citizens who are granted settled or pre-settled status are issued with a document which is formal written notification of their leave. This is in the form of a letter sent by post or a PDF document sent by email, which sets out their immigration status in the UK.

They can retain the letter sent by post or print or electronically store the PDF document and keep it as confirmation of their status for their own personal records and for use when contacting the Home Office about their status.

If necessary, EEA citizens can show external organisations their written confirmation of status and it includes details of the view and prove service so the person checking their status can see there is an online service where they should check the individual’s status.

The written notification is not itself sufficient proof of status for right to work or right to rent checks because it is not a biometric document and could be subject to fraud and abuse.

EEA citizens are able to request a replacement written notification if they have lost or deleted their letter and cannot print out a replacement.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to expedite compensation for those people affected by the Windrush scandal.

Since April 2019 the Scheme has offered or paid more than £32.4 million in compensation to members of the Windrush generation. On 24 June the Home Office published the latest set of data on the Scheme which covers the period to the end of May 2021. During the month of May, the Home Office paid out £3.9 million in compensation and more than £24.4 million in compensation has been paid across 732 claims.

In December we overhauled the Scheme and the changes have had an immediate effect on the speed and value of offers of compensation. Since the end of December, we have paid more than seven times the total amount paid previously.

However, we recognise we still have more to do to speed up the processing of claims and are committed to reducing the time between submission and decision significantly over the coming months. To do this we are, amongst other things, recruiting more case workers, directing resources to where they are needed most to maximise final decision output and refining our processes so cases progress as quickly as possible. We are also improving the evidence gathering process, for instance by revising our data sharing agreements with other government departments.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have the right to work residency in the UK but do not have a National Insurance Number.

We do not hold this information.

A National Insurance number is an administrative reference number used by employers to record national insurance (NINo) contributions for their employees.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that (a) employers, (b) financial institutions and (c) the Student Loans Company are aware that a National Insurance number is not required for a person to have the right to (i) work and (ii) access relevant services in the UK.

The Home Office has published extensive guidance for employers on how to conduct a check to establish whether an individual has a right to work. A list of acceptable documents which enable an individual to demonstrate they have the right work is set out in the Employers Guide to Right to Work Checks:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide.

We keep our guidance under regular review and will consider whether there is more we can do to provide advice to employers on this matter.

My officials are also in regular dialogue with their counterparts in the Department for Work and Pensions, which has the lead on National Insurance Number policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting the proposals on visa renewal processes recommended by the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

The Home Office is committed to improving how we meet the differing needs of the public we serve, including by ensuring our systems and processes become as simple and straightforward as possible. All our fees are kept under review and we offer several fee waivers and exceptions from the need to pay an application fee.

Given a person’s circumstances can change, we believe we have the right balance between the length of visas we issue and the need to check people still meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. In addition, many visas are already aligned to a person’s employment or their course of study and a renewal does not need to happen until a major change in their circumstances.

We are currently analysing responses to the consultation on the new plan for immigration and will be responding in full.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting the proposals on entitlement to UK citizenship for children born in the UK recommended by the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

A child born in the UK to a British citizen or settled parent automatically becomes a British citizen. There are registration routes available for other children born in the UK to allow them to acquire this status.

We have no plans to amend the law in this respect.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting the proposals on routes to regularisation of immigration status recommended by the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

There are already several options available for those in the UK without lawful leave to regularise their status.

The Immigration Rules set out the requirements to be met to qualify for a right to remain which provides clarity for applicants and decision makers alike. There are also discretionary policies for leave to be granted outside the Immigration Rules in exceptional circumstances.

We welcome feedback and regularly engage with our partners and stakeholders on a wide range of issues, including regularisation of undocumented migrants. We note the recommendations made by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting the proposals on costs of visa processes recommended by the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

When setting visa, immigration and citizenship fees the Home Office takes into account a number of factors set by Section 68(9) of the Immigration Act 2014. Full details of which can be reviewed at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/22/section/68.

These include the cost of processing the application, the wider cost of running the migration, borders and citizenship system, international comparisons and the benefits which are likely to accrue from a successful application.

The Home Office provides exceptions to the need to pay application fees in several specific circumstances to ensure the Home Office’s immigration and nationality fee structure complies with international obligations and wider government policy. Fee waivers are available on affordability grounds where the payment of a fee would be incompatible with an applicant’s Convention, (ECHR) rights. Where the immigration application fee is waived on affordability grounds, the requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge may also be waived. The detailed guidance can be found via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment­data/file967231/Revised_fee­_waiver_guidance - FINAL.PDF

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting the proposals on responsiveness to human circumstances in the immigration system recommended by the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

Fairness is at the heart of Home Office’s new plan for immigration. It is also at the heart of our response to the Windrush Lessons learned review where our Comprehensive Improvement Plan sets out a more compassionate approach which sees the “face behind the case”.

Our ambition is to create a fundamental shift in the culture of the department to ensure the interests of the communities and individuals we serve underpin how we work every day. We have been improving our culture and the way we work, as well as changes to be made on, for example, the use of discretion, ethics, the burden of proof, our service standards and our approach to supporting vulnerable customers.

We are currently analysing the response to the consultation on the new plan for immigration and will be responding in full.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies on (a) no recourse to public funds, (b) right to work checks and (c) the offence of illegal working under section 34 of the Immigration Act 2016, of the findings of the report entitled We Are Here: Routes To Regularisation For The UK’s Undocumented Population, published by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in April 2021.

No recourse to public funds (NRPF) has been a long-standing condition applied to those staying here with temporary immigration status and those without lawful status in order to protect public funds. This reflects the need to maintain the confidence of the general public migration to the UK is not based on access to public services and welfare benefits paid for by UK taxpayers.

The ability to work illegally is a key driver of illegal migration; it encourages people to break our immigration laws and provides the practical means for people to remain in the UK without status. It encourages people to take risks by putting their lives in the hands of unscrupulous people smugglers and leaves them vulnerable to exploitative employers. Right to work checks are an important part of our efforts to tackle illegal working.

We welcome feedback and regularly engage with stakeholders on a wide range of issues, including regularisation of undocumented migrants. We have therefore noted the recommendations made by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating a statutory definition of child criminal exploitation, in terms of improving (a) sentencing, (b) probation management in the community, (c) rehabilitation in custody and (d) resettlement and probation support after release from custody.

This Government is determined to tackle Child Criminal Exploitation in all its forms. Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) is already defined in statutory guidance for frontline practitioners working with children. Specifically, this includes the Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance.

The definition used in these pieces of statutory guidance is consistent with the definition of CCE in the Serious Violence Strategy, the Home Office County Lines Guidance, the Ministry of Justice County Lines Exploitation Practice Guidance for YOTs and frontline practitioners and the Home Office Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit.

More widely, the Home Office is working across Government to ensure police and partners make full use of the powers and tools available to tackle county lines and associated child criminal exploitation and to ensure these ruthless criminals face the full force of the law.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration enforcement staff were based at the Beckett House reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the maximum detainee capacity was within the temporary holding facility at the Beckett House reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many interview rooms for people subject to immigration enforcement were located at the Beckett House reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration enforcement staff she plans to base in the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the maximum detainee capacity is for the planned temporary holding facility within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many interview rooms for people subject to immigration enforcement she plans to base within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to establish facilities at the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham which were not in operation at the Beckett House reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Immigration Enforcement are in the process of relocating the current enforcement office which includes the reporting centre based at Becket House as the current lease elapsed in August 2019 and the landlord has stated that they are looking to redevelop this site.

The operational functionality at the time was used as a template to set out the criteria to identify a suitable location factoring in staffing numbers and requirements, secure parking, location of reporting population, transport hubs and links and public access etc. In December 2018, Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham was identified as a suitable location that fulfilled the criteria to mirror the operational capability that was available at Becket House as there was no plan to establish any facilities beyond that of Becket House and the reporting centre prior to the covid-19 outbreak. The reporting centre is a component part of Becket House working in synergy with other teams to achieve the goals and priorities of Immigration Enforcement.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak there were 39.56 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) immigration enforcement staff based at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 39.56 FTE within the reporting centre to be based at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

The temporary holding facility at the Becket House reporting centre has the maximum detainee capacity of 23. It is proposed that the maximum detainee capacity for the planned temporary holding facility within the reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham is 39. Maximum detainee capacity is subject to contracted Detention Custody Officer resource availability.

Prior to the covid-19 outbreak, there was a total of 11 interview rooms available of which 3 interview rooms are designated for people subject to immigration enforcement at the Becket House reporting centre. It is proposed that there will be 14 interview rooms of which the reporting centre staff will have access to as requirements dictate for people subject to immigration enforcement within the proposed reporting centre at Warehouse K, Royal Victoria Docks, Newham.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting refuge to some of those refugees who have been affected by the recent fires in the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.

The identification and relocation of vulnerable migrants, including unaccompanied children, on French territory remains the domestic responsibility of the French government.

The Greek Government and International agencies have stated that approximately 400 unaccompanied minors were left in the Moria camp in early September following transfers of unaccompanied minors to the Greek mainland since November 2019. After the fire, it is reported that the remaining unaccompanied minors were also moved to the mainland.

The UK focusses on resettling vulnerable refugees through our refugee resettlement schemes and we rely on referrals of recognised refugees from UNHCR, who do not currently prioritise resettlement for refugees already in Europe.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of unaccompanied children refugees living in camps in (a) Calais, (b) Dunkirk and (c) the island of Lesbos.

The identification and relocation of vulnerable migrants, including unaccompanied children, on French territory remains the domestic responsibility of the French government.

The Greek Government and International agencies have stated that approximately 400 unaccompanied minors were left in the Moria camp in early September following transfers of unaccompanied minors to the Greek mainland since November 2019. After the fire, it is reported that the remaining unaccompanied minors were also moved to the mainland.

The UK focusses on resettling vulnerable refugees through our refugee resettlement schemes and we rely on referrals of recognised refugees from UNHCR, who do not currently prioritise resettlement for refugees already in Europe.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of people with a past or present National Referral Mechanism referral who are in custody in the UK as at 16 July 2020.

The Single Competent Authority (SCA) operates the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) which is a civil process for the identification and support of victims of modern slavery. The SCA does not hold real time data on the number of individuals referred into the NRM who are in custody at any specific time.

The SCA requests information from all parties, as required and relevant, in order to make effective decisions about an individual’s modern slavery/human trafficking experience(s). Information regarding remands in custody or sentences will not be relevant to the decision as to whether a person was a victim of Modern Slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a cross-Departmental assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the National Referral Mechanism for preventing the criminalisation of people who have been subject to child criminal exploitation.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced a statutory defence for victims of modern slavery, to prevent victims from being punished for crimes they were forced to commit. The non-punishment principle is an integral part of the Government’s response to safeguard victims of modern slavery who have been compelled to commit a crime. In the case of an adult, committing the crime as a direct result of being a victim; in the case of a child, at the hands of their exploiters.

The statutory defence operates independently of the National referral Mechanism (NRM), the system for identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery. A referral into the NRM is not a requirement to use the statutory defence.

The effectiveness of the statutory defence was assessed by the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act following concerns raised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police about its use. The Review found that the defence strikes the correct balance between protecting genuine victims and preventing misuse from opportunistic criminals. However, concerns about the potential misuse of the defence continue to be raised, including by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services in its recent thematic inspection on county lines. That is why we are working closely with the CPS, the police and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to monitor this.

Any person who is suspected of being a victim of modern slavery can be referred for support into the NRM. In the case of children, local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area and work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potential child victims the protection and support they require.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits to the health, safety, and welfare of sex workers of expunging criminal records relating to sex work to remove barriers to accessing other jobs.

There are a number of activities that can be associated with sex work and prostitution which are offences. This includes activities linked to exploitation, such as controlling prostitution and activities that can present a public nuisance.

Where a conviction has become spent, individuals are treated as rehabilitated in respect of that offence and are not obliged to declare it for most purposes, such as when applying for most jobs.

The Government’s priority is to tackle harm and exploitation associated with sex work and prostitution and believes that people who want to leave prostitution should be given every opportunity to find routes out. To this end, we work closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies to ensure legislation achieves these aims. Since 2016 we have also provided funding through the Tampon Tax Fund and VAWG Transformation Fund to specialist organisations and projects supporting sex workers.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under (a) what circumstances and (b) with what notice period her Department will end the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds exception during the covid-19 outbreak.

The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition has not been suspended. The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and are available to migrants with NRPF.

In light of the support available, we do not believe it is necessary to suspend the NRPF condition. We will keep the situation under review and consider further measures if needed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the provision of financial support to local authorities that have taken on the costs of ensuring that residents with No Recourse to Public Funds are able to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Local authorities can provide basic safety net support if it is established there is a care need which does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question. The Government has provided more than £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the recommendation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission of the 12 March 2019 that the use by the police of automated facial recognition technology should cease until independent impact assessments and consultations have been carried out.

How the police use technology to protect the public is an operational matter for them. The Government supports the police use of new technologies like facial recognition to identify and locate criminals, in accordance with the law. The High Court has ruled there is a clear and sufficient legal framework, including the Equality Act, for police use of live facial recognition in the UK.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Justice, (b) Education and (c) Housing, Communities and Local Government on using the findings of (i) serious case reviews following the homicides of young people, (ii) child safeguarding practice reviews, (iii) independent investigation reports and (iv) safeguarding adult reviews to help prevent violence linked to county lines child criminal exploitation.

We are determined to disrupt county lines gangs and put an end to the exploitation of vulnerable children and young people. Learning the lessons from safeguarding reviews is vital in order to prevent future tragedies and ensure that all parts of the safeguarding system are playing their part to support those exploited by county lines drug dealing.

On 4 March 2020 the Independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published the findings of its first national review looking at adolescents in need of state protection from criminal exploitation. The Home Office is working closely with the Departments for Education and Justice and others to carefully consider the Panel’s recommendations, as well as those from other safeguarding reviews relating to child criminal exploitation.

The Home Office Minister for Safeguarding meets regularly with the Minister for Children and Families to discuss issues related to vulnerable children, including those victims of child criminal exploitation and officials are working closely across government to put in place a range of support for vulnerable children and young people to ensure that they are protected and able to access the support they need.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what targets the Crime and Justice Task Force has set for his Department.

The Ministry of Defence is not aware of being subject to any targets set by the Crime and Justice Task Force within the Home Office.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department is preparing to train service personnel to perform essential (a) public health, (b) nursing and (c) civil protection functions in the event that work forces are depleted or reassigned during the peak period of covid-19 infection.

Defence has a number of existing contingency operations to provide support to the civil authorities, including the Police and Her Majesty's Prisons and Probation Service. In light of the likely additional call on military assistance to mitigate COVID-19 related staff absence in civil authorities, Defence is reviewing its plans, training and readiness in order to support additional requests.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his comments of the 4 July 2021, in cases where a building with fire safety problems was marketed by developers that are no longer solvent (a) what support he plans to make available to leaseholders to prevent them bearing the costs of remediation work and (b) what options in law building owners have to pursue former Directors or other parties responsible for the conduct of the developer at the time the defective building was marketed by them.

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

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

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

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his comments of the 4 July 2021, in cases where a building with fire safety problems was marketed by developers (a) more than 15 years ago and (b) that are no longer solvent, what support he plans to make available to leaseholders to prevent them bearing the costs of remediation work.

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

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

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

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what (a) financial, (b) advisory and c) evidential support he plans to provide to leaseholders that are seeking to take developers to court in cases involving liability for fire safety remediation.

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

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

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

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the proportion of buildings marketed by developers within the last 15 years that are affected by fire safety problems where those developers remain solvent and capable of paying for remediation, legal and other costs associated with any successful court case brought by current building owners.

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

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

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

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the average legal costs incurred by leaseholders in pursuing claims against developers in court in cases involving liability for fire safety remediation costs.

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

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

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

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to bring forward legislation to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

The Government remains committed to abolishing Section 21 through a Renters’ Reform Bill which will enhance renters’ security. However, our collective efforts are currently focused on responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

Repealing Section 21 represents the largest change to renting in 30 years and it is only right that the reforms are taken forward in a considered manner. It is important that providing tenants with greater security of tenure is balanced with an assurance that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so. This is vital to ensuring the future supply of good quality housing in the rented sector.

We will bring forward the Renters’ Reform Bill at the appropriate time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on facilitating moving on from emergency accommodation of the findings published in paragraph 15 on page 8 of the National Audit Office Investigation into the housing of rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 14 January 2021.

This Government has taken unprecedented steps to protect rough sleepers during the pandemic. This work has not stopped, and through Everyone In, by November we had supported around 33,000 people with nearly 10,000 in emergency accommodation and over 23,000 already moved on into longer-term accommodation.

We have been in close contact with councils to develop plans for the coming months, supported by the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, which aims to ensure that as few people as possible return to the streets. This includes bringing forward 3,300 new homes this year for rough sleepers, backed by £150 million, leaving a national legacy of the Government’s support for these individuals.

Through this programme and as part of the move on process, local authorities could bid for support for individuals, in line with legal restrictions, to determine or resolve their immigration status. Local authorities were also able to bid for funding to facilitate reconnections with friends or family through voluntary returns and provide employment support. The Home Office has also put in place a dedicated Rough Sleeping Support Service to prioritise support work and help people who sleep rough resolve their immigration status.

For some people, who have received all available support, they may decide to return to their home country. For people who have no means of doing so, or who need some assistance, the Voluntary Returns Service can provide practical support to assist those who wish to return.

The Government is also providing funding for charities and voluntary organisations across the country to provide help and information to vulnerable EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the steps required to scale up Housing First programmes to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness.

Housing First has an impressive international record in helping people with complex needs to recover and stay off the streets for good, which is why we awarded £28 million to pilot it at scale in three areas (the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region).

The Government committed to expanding Housing First in its latest manifesto. We will use the findings of our comprehensive evaluation that is already underway, together with the experience of the three pilots, to inform next steps.

Published Housing First evaluation reports can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-first-pilot-national-evaluation-reports

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report, Implementing Housing First across England, Scotland and Wales, published by Crisis in August 2018, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people for whom Housing First homelessness provision would be effective; what the capacity is for Housing First homelessness provision; and how many additional Housing First homelessness places he plans to create over the next two years.

Housing First has an impressive international record in helping people with complex needs to recover and stay off the streets for good, which is why we awarded £28 million to pilot it at scale in three areas (the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region). The pilots are now in their third year (ending in 2022/23) and have currently supported over 770 individuals across 23 local authorities into both permanent and temporary accommodation with over 560 clients moved into tenancies.

Government committed to expanding Housing First in its latest manifesto and we will use the findings of our evaluation, together with our experiences from the three pilots, to inform next steps.

Alongside Housing First pilots, the Government has funded a number of Housing First style schemes through the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) and Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) where local partners have identified a local need for this type of provision.

We are also putting in place an unprecedented level of support to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over 2021/22. This includes £676 million in resource funding, a 60 per cent increase compared to the Spending Review in 2019. On 28 January we launched RSI 2021/22 and will continue to work closely with local authorities to understand their local needs.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with mortgage providers on automatic movement onto variable rate terms for people who are unable to remortgage due to outstanding fire safety issues, with regard to the affordability of those variable rate terms.

The lending industry has assured the Minister for Building Safety that their existing customers in multi-occupancy and multi-storey buildings with fire safety issues should be able to access a product transfer without penalty. Individual lenders will make a commercial decision where a leaseholder is looking to re-mortgage.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with housing providers who offer shared ownership in buildings where there are outstanding fire safety issues, in relation to the (a) ability of their residents to sell their share, (b) liability of shared owners for remediation payments, (c) ability of shared owners to sub-let and (d) ability of shared owners to buy the remainder of the leasehold.

The Government has continued to engage with leaseholders and housing providers of all kinds at ministerial and official level, to understand their concerns on a range of issues and discuss various policies.

It is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they didn’t cause.

The Government is determined to remove barriers to fixing historic defects and identify financing solutions that help to protect leaseholders, whilst also helping to protect the taxpayer. The Government has asked Michael Wade to accelerate this work. We will provide an update in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what advice his Department is providing to social housing providers that offer shared ownership in buildings where there are outstanding fire safety issues, in relation to liability for remediation costs for (a) the provider and (b) individual shared owners.

The Government has continued to engage with leaseholders and housing providers of all kinds at ministerial and official level, to understand their concerns on a range of issues and discuss various policies.

It is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they didn’t cause.

The Government is determined to remove barriers to fixing historic defects and identify financing solutions that help to protect leaseholders, whilst also helping to protect the taxpayer. The Government has asked Michael Wade to accelerate this work. We will provide an update in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of insurance claims made since July 2017 against developers’ insurance for remediation costs relating to fire safety issues have been successful, in cases where defects have been accepted by developers.

This information is not held.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what liability exists for surveyors who failed to identify and report building defects that created fire risks in breach of building regulations in force at the time of the surveyor's inspection and which were identified only later.

The forthcoming Building Safety Bill, the draft of which the Government published on 20 July 2020, will introduce far-reaching building safety reforms, including industry-led measures to improve competency across the sector. Through this we will create duty holders that are responsible for a building’s safety throughout its lifecycle with existing in-scope buildings transitioning into this system.

Chartered surveyors are regulated by RICS and members are required to have PII which provides a minimum level of indemnity cover for the professional risks they accept in undertaking their work. It is for the appropriate professional standards bodies to regulate the surveying profession. Government is not able to pre-determine what liability individual professionals hold for historic work.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP/YOI Styal 2021, published on 8 September 2021, what steps he is taking to protect prisoners and staff at HMP/YOI Styal from serious fire risks.

The house blocks are currently considered safe for occupation and there are approximately 300 prisoners held there. Survey work carried out in March, however, identified fire risk issues. As a result of this the national fire safety team produced an action plan which set out measures to be taken to mitigate these risks. Action has been taken to prevent the spread of fire such as fire stopping works. To mitigate the impact of any potential fires all fire doors are regularly tested, and smoke detectors have been installed. The effectiveness of escape routes has also been confirmed and staff and prisoners are aware of appropriate actions in the event of a fire.

In order to obtain a more thorough picture of the risks involved an invasive survey is due to be undertaken shortly to identify the composition of the walls. This will enable identification of what, if any, structural building work is required.

The Ministry of Justice is currently preparing a response to the Independent Monitoring Board’s Annual Report on HMP Styal and will reply in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP/YOI Styal 2021, how many women and girls at HMP/YOI Styal are held in one of the 16 house blocks that have been classified as a red fire risk.

The house blocks are currently considered safe for occupation and there are approximately 300 prisoners held there. Survey work carried out in March, however, identified fire risk issues. As a result of this the national fire safety team produced an action plan which set out measures to be taken to mitigate these risks. Action has been taken to prevent the spread of fire such as fire stopping works. To mitigate the impact of any potential fires all fire doors are regularly tested, and smoke detectors have been installed. The effectiveness of escape routes has also been confirmed and staff and prisoners are aware of appropriate actions in the event of a fire.

In order to obtain a more thorough picture of the risks involved an invasive survey is due to be undertaken shortly to identify the composition of the walls. This will enable identification of what, if any, structural building work is required.

The Ministry of Justice is currently preparing a response to the Independent Monitoring Board’s Annual Report on HMP Styal and will reply in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to sections six and seven of Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Wormwood Scrubs by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, published on 9 September 2021, what steps he is taking to help ensure that progress is made against the recommendations made in that report.

The Governor of HMP Wormwood Scrubs and Prison Group Director for London Prisons have received and reviewed the report from the HMIP inspection from 7 to 17 June 2021.

There were 42 recommendations made on this inspection and this included 4 repeat recommendations from the last inspection in 2019. The Governor and his team have carried out a detailed review of the recommendations and are preparing their draft action plan to submit to the Prison Group Director for sign off this week. The action plan will provide responses to each recommendation and will identify the work that will be taken to address them.

It should be noted that some of the recommendations relate to COVID measures that have been implemented in prisons during the pandemic and we will naturally expect to see progress against these as regimes are opened up again in line with our recovery planning. For example, this will apply to recommendations regarding time out of cell, library attendance, staff contact with prisoners and the education provision.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Wormwood Scrubs by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, published on 9 September 2021, for what reason approval to convert cells designed for one into single accommodation has not been granted by HMPPS.

Despite a fall in the national prison population of around 5,000 since March 2020, and fewer prisoners sharing cells as a result, prisoners at HMP Wormwood Scrubs will continue to share cells where necessary, as the latest population projections indicate demand will return to pre-Covid-19 levels.

We are investing more than £4 billion, and making significant progress, in delivering 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales by the mid-2020s.This includes creating four new prisons over the next six years while expanding several other prisons over the next three years. Additionally, construction is well underway on HMP Five Wells, the new prison in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and Glen Parva in Leicestershire, creating more than 3,300 places.

We expect this additional capacity to lower the proportion of crowding within the prison estate, however, decisions to convert cells to single accommodation are dependent on demand within the region.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the finding of the Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP & YOI Low Newton by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, published on 7 September 2021, that the prison was not the appropriate place for six acutely mentally unwell women as it was not properly resourced to manage their risks and needs, if he will make an assessment of the reasons for those woman to be sent to that prison as a place of safety during the two months preceding the inspection.

The Government takes the mental health of people within the criminal justice system very seriously, including those who have been remanded to prison from court under the Mental Health Act, or under the ‘own protection’ clause of the Bail Act.

In January, together with the Department for Health and Social Care, we published a White Paper setting out proposals for landmark reform of the Mental Health Act and responding to the findings of the Wessely Review.   Among other reforms, this includes commitments to support offenders with serious mental health needs to access the care they need as quickly and early as possible. We are accepting, and intend to take forward, the vast majority of the Review’s recommendations, including a commitment to end the use of prison as a place of safety under the Mental Health Act. Work is underway between the MoJ and DHSC to introduce a Mental Health Act Bill.

The Bail Act also contains provision which enables the courts to remand an individual into custody for their own protection. We are currently internally reviewing this issue.

Regarding the particular findings of the chief inspector’s recent report at HMP Low Newton, I take the findings seriously. As well as the important work referenced, an action plan is being prepared to address the recommendations made in this report and will be published by October.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales, HMPPS, to Clinks, in response to the publication of the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Clinks on 23 August 2021, how the Government plans to monitor the proportion of Dynamic Framework contract values that are subcontracted to (a) voluntary community and social enterprises and (b) small and medium-sized enterprises.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales, HMPPS, to Clinks, in response to the publication of the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Clinks on 23 August 2021, what his timetable is for publication of the new criteria for the presumptive use of grants rather than contracts for awards less than £1 million in value.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales, HMPPS, to Clinks, in response to the publication of the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Clinks on 23 August 2021, what his timeframe is for the comprehensive lessons learned exercise to aid future commissioning and procurement.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales, HMPPS, to Clinks, in response to the publication of the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Clinks on 23 August 2021, what his timetable is for the (a) publication of and (b) consultation on the new set of competition documents.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Richard Oldfield on 23 August 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding that in more than half of the competitions held there was initially either one or zero bidders.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Richard Oldfield on 23 August 2021, what estimate he has made of the average cost to (a) an applicant organisation of making an application for Dynamic Framework approval and (b) his Department of vetting an application for Dynamic Framework approval; and what estimate he has made of the total cost to his Department of the Day 1 Dynamic Framework vetting process.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Richard Oldfield on 23 August 2021, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the finding that 85 per cent of approved organisations did not bid for any Day 1 contracts.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policy of the independent review of the Dynamic Framework of the National Probation Service, published by Richard Oldfield on 23 August 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The government welcomes the findings in Richard Oldfield’s report, in which he recognises the progress made in establishing the Dynamic Framework to commission rehabilitative services as part of the new unified probation model. As outlined in the letter from the Director General of Probation and Wales to Clinks, the report’s primary conclusion that we can do more to encourage participation of small and medium-sized organisations, is accepted and we are taking forward work to implement most of the recommendations made.

The Framework will exist for at least 7 years, and the procurement of Day 1 contracts represents just a small part of the total volume of services that will be commissioned through it. It is therefore to be expected that only a relatively small proportion of the organisations that had qualified on to the Dynamic Framework then went on to bid in the call off competitions for Day 1 contracts. Active encouragement has been given to all organisations interested in delivering services in the new probation operating model to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, regardless of whether they had expressed an interest in directly bidding for Day 1 contracts.

It is not unusual in running a large number of concurrent competitions, some of which were run below probation region level at a more local PCC level, that there will be fewer organisations with the capacity and capability to bid in some areas than others. It is a significant achievement that all 110 contracts could be successfully awarded.

It is not possible to produce a meaningful estimate of the cost an organisation may incur in participating on the Framework, as that depends on a range of factors, including how many competitions an organisation chooses to bid in, what the organisation’s starting point is in terms of understanding of staff transfer and information security requirements, what their existing staffing and estates footprint looks like. A standard selection questionnaire is used as the method by which organisations seek to qualify for the Dynamic Framework, and efforts have been made to make the call off competition process proportionate to the value of the contracts being awarded, whilst ensuring all processes remain in line with procurement regulations and established good commercial practice in government.

Evaluating (or vetting) the Day 1 competitions formed just one part of the workstream of activity to establish the Dynamic Framework, qualify bidders, run competitions, oversee mobilisation of successful bidders (which over an average 3 month mobilisation window included assessing readiness of staff, systems and premises) and implement new contract management processes and structures. It is not possible to separate out the cost of evaluating; the monthly cost of the overall workstream was c. £220k in FY2020/21, this cost covered all of the above activity.

Looking ahead, consultation has begun with market participants on the changes that are being proposed to the various procurement and competition documents. As Richard Oldfield recognises in his report, it was always the intention to learn lessons from this first round of competitions, and that work began even before transition to the new operating model had been completed. All aspects of the documentation are being considered, from the selection questionnaire to call off competition documents and the Framework Agreement itself. Changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months in a staged manner and consultation will continue as this progresses. We will continue that approach to reviewing and learning lessons throughout the life of the Dynamic Framework.

Work is underway to prepare guidance and criteria for when grants should be the presumptive first choice of funding mechanism. Richard Oldfield’s recommendation is that this should be for all awards under £1milion; arguably other factors, such as type of service, also need to be taken into consideration. Market participants will be consulted as this guidance and criteria is developed further. Whilst work on delivery has commenced, detailed timescales have yet to be determined. It is therefore too early to say what proportion of future awards may take the form of grants or contracts.

Finally, the monitoring of the proportion of contract values that are subcontracted to VCSEs and SMEs will be reviewed through contract management governance and the analysis of annual financial returns made by lead providers.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2021 to Question 38219, which nine sites have been selected to develop approaches to improve their offer for young adults; and what progress has been made on the identification of such approaches for each site.

I can confirm that nine sites have been selected, six of which the National Young Adults Project Team are currently developing, and three that the HM Prison and Probation Service, Long Term High Security Estate (LTHSE) Young Adults project are developing.

The six adult estate sites are HMP Berwyn, HMP Hull, HMP Nottingham, HMP Portland, HMP Isis, and HMP Wandsworth and visits to these six sites have taken place in July 2021. Two of these sites have definitive plans for the projects they will be working on to better support young adults, and project plans are currently being developed. The remaining four sites are considering their options in order to develop a more bespoke approach to working with young adults and follow up meetings are taking place to developing project plans throughout September and October.

The three LTHSE sites are HMP Manchester, HMP Woodhill and HMP Swaleside and each of these establishments have either had site visits or online discussions. Detailed work plans for these sites will be completed by the end of October. The young adult work is also represented in the regime recovery work and Offender Management in Custody (OMiC) keyworker work, both of which support the needs of young adults in LTHSE sites at this time. All sites have been invited to attend a series of mini-seminars that commenced in July 2021 to discuss a range of themes that are relevant to working with young adults.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Chapter 9 Table 2.2 of the HMPPS Annual Digest, April 2020 to March 2021, published on 29 July 2021, what steps he is taking to reduce crowding over the next two years.

The 2020/21 HMPPS Annual Digest shows that, compared to 2019/20, levels of crowding decreased across the prison estate, within each category of prison, and in both the public sector prison (PSP) and privately managed prison (PMP) estate. It is not unusual for the PMP estate to have higher levels of crowding than the PSP estate and it has done so since 1999. The main reason for this is that the PMP estate contains a higher proportion of Reception prisons than the PSP estate. The HMPPS 2020/21 Annual Digest shows that these prisons, regardless of their operator, are the most likely to be crowded, and they are therefore over-represented in the smaller sample of PMPs.

We are investing more than £4 billion to make significant progress in delivering 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales by the mid-2020s.This includes creating four new prisons over the next six years whilst also expanding a number of other prisons over the next three years. Additionally, construction is well underway on HMP Five Wells, the new prison in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and Glen Parva in Leicestershire, creating more than 3,300 places.

This additional capacity will have a positive impact on lowering the proportion of crowding within the prison estate. However, the extent to which the proportion of prisoners held in crowded accommodation will reduce will always be dependent on levels of demand in the system.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Chapter 9 Table 2.2 of the HMPPS Annual Digest, April 2020 to March 2021, published on 29 July 2021, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the higher crowding rate in contracted out prisons than in public prisons.

The 2020/21 HMPPS Annual Digest shows that, compared to 2019/20, levels of crowding decreased across the prison estate, within each category of prison, and in both the public sector prison (PSP) and privately managed prison (PMP) estate. It is not unusual for the PMP estate to have higher levels of crowding than the PSP estate and it has done so since 1999. The main reason for this is that the PMP estate contains a higher proportion of Reception prisons than the PSP estate. The HMPPS 2020/21 Annual Digest shows that these prisons, regardless of their operator, are the most likely to be crowded, and they are therefore over-represented in the smaller sample of PMPs.

We are investing more than £4 billion to make significant progress in delivering 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales by the mid-2020s.This includes creating four new prisons over the next six years whilst also expanding a number of other prisons over the next three years. Additionally, construction is well underway on HMP Five Wells, the new prison in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and Glen Parva in Leicestershire, creating more than 3,300 places.

This additional capacity will have a positive impact on lowering the proportion of crowding within the prison estate. However, the extent to which the proportion of prisoners held in crowded accommodation will reduce will always be dependent on levels of demand in the system.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) functional and (b) imitation firearms have been discovered (i) during entry security procedures and (ii) within a prison unconnected to entry security procedures, in each of the last five years.

The table below provides details of firearms incidents, broken down by year from March 2016 to present and the number attributable to point of entry and in prison discoveries. It is important to note that during the period we only discovered one ballistic weapon in 2020, with the remainder of incidents relating to the discovery of air guns, Taser and CS spray. The vast majority of in prison discoveries where made during routine searches of prisoner accommodation or through acting on intelligence processed through our systems.

Firearms Incidents

Year

Imitation

Real

At point of entry

Within prison

2016

0

1

1

0

2017

2

1

2

1

2018

4

2

1

5

2019

3

3

3

3

2020

1

2

0

3

2021

1

1

1

1

Totals

11

10

8

13

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September to Question 36597 on Olney Prison: Firearms, if he will published the information his Department holds on how the firearm entered HMP Onley.

The firearm was found to be a starting pistol, however it is unclear whether it could be modified to achieve functionality. As stated in the answer of 6 September, no ammunition was found with the firearm.

It has not yet been discovered how the pistol was conveyed into the prison. In the immediate aftermath of the intelligence-led discovery of the weapon, specially trained Dedicated Search Teams were used to search areas of the prison. An investigation was commissioned by the Prison Group Director to establish how the pistol may have been conveyed into the prison and the Security, Order and Counter Terrorism Directorate supported the prison in assessing vulnerabilities and mitigating risks.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021