Marcus Fysh Portrait

Marcus Fysh

Conservative - Yeovil

16,181 (27.3%) majority - 2019 General Election

First elected: 7th May 2015


Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill)
7th Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Sep 2022 - 27th Oct 2022
Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill
7th Sep 2022 - 9th Oct 2022
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Trade Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Trade Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Marcus Fysh has voted in 755 divisions, and 14 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
29 Nov 2023 - Data Protection and Digital Information Bill - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 264 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 269 Noes - 31
29 Nov 2023 - Data Protection and Digital Information Bill - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 267 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 274 Noes - 52
29 Nov 2023 - Data Protection and Digital Information Bill - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 265 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 209 Noes - 275
4 Dec 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 217 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 381 Noes - 37
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Marcus Fysh voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Marcus Fysh Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(6 debate interactions)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(18 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Marcus Fysh's debates

Yeovil Petitions

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

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

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

Marcus Fysh has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Marcus Fysh

22nd February 2022
Marcus Fysh signed this EDM on Wednesday 23rd February 2022

Jamal Edwards MBE

Tabled by: Rupa Huq (Labour - Ealing Central and Acton)
That this House remembers the life and achievements of Jamal Edwards MBE, a musical pioneer, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist born in Luton, raised in Acton, who never forgot his roots; recognises that Jamal’s work had a tremendous impact on music in the UK, notably launching SBTV, a ground-breaking platform that …
38 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Mar 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 26
Scottish National Party: 4
Independent: 3
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
19th December 2019
Marcus Fysh signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 42
Independent: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Labour: 1
Reform UK: 1
View All Marcus Fysh's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Marcus Fysh, 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.


Marcus Fysh has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Marcus Fysh

Thursday 9th February 2023

Marcus Fysh has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 28 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the former Second Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office (a) advised on and (b) participated in the negotiations on the Windsor Framework.

His Majesty’s Government operates on the principle of collective responsibility, and the Government would not normally comment on the internal processes of how advice may be determined. Ministers must be able to speak to officials and take advice from a position of absolute trust. Naming which individuals may or may not have provided advice on a particular topic may inhibit the ability of civil servants to provide free and frank advice and inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

Moreover, the Civil Service Code makes clear that civil servants are accountable to Ministers who in turn are accountable to Parliament.

Notwithstanding, as Ministers set out in the response of 7 March 2023, Official Report, Columns 689, it is exceptional and unprecedented for a serving Permanent Secretary to resign to seek to take up a senior position working for the leader of the Opposition. The Cabinet Office has publicly stated it is looking into the circumstances leading up to the Second Permanent Secretary's resignation.

In that exceptional context, I believe it is appropriate to confirm to the Hon. Member that the former Second Permanent Secretary neither advised on, nor participated in, negotiations on the Windsor Framework.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason, by what methodology, and with what data the Office for National Statistics adjusts raw data from its sample population testing for covid-19 and implements those adjustments in reporting the prevalence of covid-19 for the different regions of England.

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

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of whether any of the covid-19 vaccine candidates for which the Government has provided funding are on track to produce a vaccine that provides immunity that prevents the vaccinated from (a) contracting and (b) spreading that virus.

Progress is being made at an extraordinary pace to secure a safe and effective vaccine. We monitor trial results on a continuous basis and the trials look to establish different things depending on how they are designed and what they specifically look at. The outcomes of the clinical trials will not be fully known until phase 3 trials have concluded.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps (a) his Department and (b) other public bodies are taking to help ensure that emerging covid-19 vaccine candidates (a) research, (b) production and (c) administration capacity is used by vaccine candidates which have the prevention of contraction, transmission and fatal impact of covid-19 within their clinical trial objectives and outcomes for that candidate vaccine.

The Government is working at pace to secure a safe and effective vaccine for all. To date, we have secured 350 million doses through six different vaccine developers.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are helping to fund and/or deliver a range of 'rapid response' research to better understand and tackle COVID-19, including research into vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests. The government has also invested over £230 million in manufacturing facilities, to manufacture a vaccine quickly, if and when a candidate becomes successful. Manufacturers and wholesalers of COVID-19 vaccine candidates must meet the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP) and good distribution practice (GDP). MHRA carries out inspections to check if manufacturing and distribution sites comply with GMP or GDP.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps (a) his Department and (b) other public bodies (i) have taken and (ii) are planning to take to help ensure that the (A) objective and (B) outcome of covid-19 candidate vaccine trials are preventing (1) covid-19 transmission and (2) serious covid-19 cases and fatalities.

The National Institute for Health Research provides support and critical infrastructure for clinical trials – making the UK well-suited to facilitate clinical trials that are essential to the development of any vaccine.

All vaccines are tested through three phases of clinical trials, to ensure they meet the usual rigorous standards, data must include the results of clinical trials, animal studies, manufacturing and in-process quality controls, consistency in batches production, and testing data. Clinical trials of any vaccine must follow a predefined development pathway, with regulatory oversight provided by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA will seek advice from the independent expert advisors on the Commission on Human Medicines and its Expert Advisory Group on the risks and benefits of any vaccine. A vaccine will only be deployed once it has been proved to be safe and effective.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the roll out of mass rapid testing for covid-19 over the next month on the number of positive tests being reported.

Our mass testing pilot in Liverpool continues and will help inform any future rollout of large-scale population testing. We are now rolling out this localised approach to other areas. Eighty three local authorities have now signed up to receive regular batches of these new lateral flow tests, which can allow for results in minutes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made at the time of the March 2020 lockdown of the capacity of the NHS to cope with a second wave of covid-19.

The focus in March 2020 was on the required National Health Service capacity to respond to the first wave of COVID-19 cases, rather than a potential second wave.

Guidance issued by the NHS in March had set out an operational aim to expand critical care capacity to the maximum and free up 30,000 or more general and acute beds.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data on covid-19 would be required and what criteria would need to be met for him to recommend an exit from the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions in England.

Decisions on tiers are made by Ministers based on public health recommendations from senior clinical and scientific advisors, guided by five key indicators - the case detection rate in all age groups, case detection rates among the over 60 year olds, the rate at which case rates are rising or falling, positivity rate and pressures on the National Health Service.  Final decisions on tiering are made by the COVID-19 Operations Committee.

As of 6 January, all areas have moved into tier 4 and the Government will review the tiering allocations every 14 days.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) sensitivity and (b) specificity of the different methods and products used in testing for covid-19 infection; and by what methodologies each of those assessments were so made.

On-going assessment of quality, sensitivity and specificity are monitored using quality control materials. Public Health England and the National Health Service have a national quality assurance network and issues with assay performance are managed through an alert system which may result in informing appropriate authorities such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

When independently introducing new tests into service, laboratories assess the performance of assays including sensitivity and specificity according to the manufacturers stated performance in the Instructions for Use. The standard methodology is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smi-q-1-commercial-and-in-house-diagnostic-tests-evaluations-and-validations

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what methodology and data his Department uses to calculate the R reproduction rates of covid-19 transmission for local authority areas of England.

Individual modelling groups use a range of data to estimate growth rates and ‘R’ values, including:

- epidemiological data such as testing data, hospital admissions, intensive care unit admissions and deaths;

- contact pattern surveys that gather information on behaviour; and

- household infection surveys where swabs are performed on individuals.

Different modelling groups use different data sources to estimate these values using mathematical models that simulate the spread of infections. Some may even use all these sources of information to adjust their models to better reflect the real-world situation. Estimates can vary between different models, so evidence from several models is considered, discussed, combined and the growth rate and ‘R’ is then presented as ranges.

Rounding and differences between the data streams used in these individual model outputs that are combined account for differences between estimates of ‘R’ and estimated growth rates. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies calculates ‘R’ at United Kingdom, devolved administration and at NHS England regional levels. It does not produce estimates for local authority areas.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 vaccine candidates for which the Government has provided funding, what the efficacy criteria are for each of those vaccine candidate trials; to what extent each of those efficacy criteria are required to be met in order that those vaccine candidate trials can be deemed by the Government to have achieved satisfactory outcomes; and by (a) what methods and (b) what number of people (i) in which locations and (ii) over what time periods those assessments on whether those safety criteria have been met are being made.

There is broad agreement between international regulators on both the safety and the efficacy criteria that would be required for approval and authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccine. These criteria will apply to all COVID-19 vaccine candidates, irrespective of whether they receive funding from the United Kingdom Government.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will perform the assessment of the quality, safety and efficacy data submitted by developers of COVID-19 vaccines and will seek the advice of its independent expert advisors on the Commission on Human Medicines.

No approval will be given for any COVID-19 vaccine without robust evidence of efficacy and safety. The MHRA has teams of assessors available to review the submissions.

To expedite the review of COVID-19 vaccine applications, developers of COVID-19 vaccines can submit their Marketing Authorisation Applications in the form of a rolling submissions and do not need to wait to have a complete data package before submission.

The time taken for MHRA’s review will depend on what data will be submitted and when.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of the (a) development and (b) authorisation of a covid-19 vaccine that doesn't prevent (i) transmission and (ii) fatalities on public confidence in (A) the Government response to covid-19, (B) public health programmes and (C) economic growth.

A COVID-19 vaccine will only be deployed once it has been proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the appropriate licensing authority. There are numerous potential vaccine candidates in development, which the United Kingdom will have access to. Once a vaccine is ready, it will be deployed to those most at risk, and then rolled out more widely. Regular testing of virus samples will be undertaken to assess any changes in the virus that may impact on vaccine effectiveness. Safe and effective vaccines rolled out to the population will form part of our overall recovery effort from the impact of this global pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 vaccine candidates for which the Government has provided funding, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to the process of preparing each of those potential vaccines for (a) marketing, (b) manufacturing, (c) distribution and (d) administration.

In terms of the six supply agreements that have and are being negotiated, these cannot be provided at this time due to commercial sensitivity. We are currently also unable to provide information on funding allocated to each potential vaccine for marketing, manufacturing, distribution and administration, as they have not yet been finalised.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 vaccine candidates for which the Government has provided funding, what the safety criteria are for each of those vaccine candidate trials; to what extent each of those safety criteria are required to be met in order that those vaccine candidate trials can be deemed by the Government to have achieved satisfactory outcomes; and by (a) what methods and (b) what number of people (i) in which locations and (ii) over what time periods those assessments on whether those safety criteria have been met are being made.

There is broad agreement between international regulators on both the safety and the efficacy criteria that would be required for approval and authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccine. These criteria will apply to all COVID-19 vaccine candidates, irrespective of whether they receive funding from the United Kingdom Government.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will perform the assessment of the quality, safety and efficacy data submitted by developers of COVID-19 vaccines and will seek the advice of its independent expert advisors on the Commission on Human Medicines.

No approval will be given for any COVID-19 vaccine without robust evidence of efficacy and safety. The MHRA has teams of assessors available to review the submissions.

To expedite the review of COVID-19 vaccine applications, developers of COVID-19 vaccines can submit their Marketing Authorisation Applications in the form of a rolling submissions and do not need to wait to have a complete data package before submission.

The time taken for MHRA’s review will depend on what data will be submitted and when.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to publish salient trial data for covid-19 vaccine candidates and any risk-based or other analyses of them that might be used toward any marketing authorisation, with sufficient time for review prior to any authorisation being given for a candidate’s marketing in the UK.

Data or clinical study reports from clinical trials of new medicines are not published before authorisation or prior to trial completion due to commercial confidentiality and concern that publication may influence or bias the on-going trial. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) performs a thorough and robust assessment of clinical trial data together with non-clinical data and manufacturing and control data submitted as part of a Marketing Authorisation Application.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using frequent rapid antigen tests to help slow the transmission of covid-19.

We believe there are many potential merits of using frequent rapid antigen tests to help slow the transmission of COVID-19. The use of multiple new testing technologies could significantly improve our detection of positive cases, so that people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. As part of the first deployment of whole city testing, residents and workers in Liverpool will for example be tested using a combination of existing swab tests, as well as new lateral flow tests which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab, as well as LAMP technology due to be deployed in Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for National Health Service staff.

We have also started a number of pilots across schools, universities and workplaces to assess the use of rapid lateral flow antigen tests. This is in addition to ongoing pilots in Liverpool, Southampton and Salford using the LAMP no-swab saliva test and LAMP asymptomatic testing for NHS staff.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of positive covid-19 tests reported in England relates to people who have been reported as testing positive for covid-19 previously.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the extent to which (a) polymerase chain reaction testing for covid-19 may identify non-infectious remnant RNA of the covid-19 virus as a positive test result and (b) positive tests for covid-19 reported in England would not indicate contagious cases of covid-19.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is designed to detect viral RNA. Therefore, there will be cases where the PCR test is detecting remnants of viral RNA in the absence of infectious virus.

Public Health England (PHE) has not assessed the extent to which the PCR will pick up viral remnants rather than infectious virus.

An assessment of which positive cases do not reflect contagious virus would depend on individual case by case review. PHE has not performed such a review and therefore does not hold this data.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportions of positive tests for covid-19 reported in England have been undertaken by (a) the polymerase chain reaction method and (b) other methods; and how have those proportions changed since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of tests reported as positive for covid-19 were in respect of people who have taken more than one test at the same time in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what assessment he has made of whether the proportion of such positive tests conducted in that way has changed since the start of the outbreak.


The people tested measure for United Kingdom statistics was initially used to avoid counting one person tested several times in a short space of time.
Many people are now retested multiple times for valid reasons, such as regular testing of health and care workers over several months. This means that the ‘tests processed’ figure, which we have published since 4 July 2020, is a better measure of the scale of the testing service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of positive covid-19 test results in the last six weeks are from students in higher education settings in England, by (a) region and (b) local authority area.

Public Health England (PHE) does not publish data on COVID-19 cases in higher education settings in the format requested.

PHE publishes incidence data for educational aged cohorts at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/930819/Weekly_COVID-19_and_Influenza_Surveillance_Graphs_W44.pdf

In week 43, there were 311 confirmed COVID-19 clusters or outbreaks in educational settings. Further information can be found at the following link:

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

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the proportion of positive covid-19 tests recorded in respect of patients tested 7-10 days after initial infection and who are no longer likely to be infectious.

Current United Kingdom guidance is that testing should be undertaken for people who have a new onset of symptoms, and official advice is to get a test as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. Data related to the time that a swab test is undertaken relative to the time of infection or the time of symptom onset is not routinely collected. Further information on testing is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the operational false positive test rates are of PCR testing for covid-19 identified in quality assurance processes; and how such (a) quality assurance processes and (b) results have changed over time.

In June 2020 the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies published a briefing paper on the impact of false positives and false negatives in the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing programme, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gos-impact-of-false-positives-and-negatives-3-june-2020

The briefing paper states that the UK operational false positive rate is unknown.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 tests are undertaken using the PCR process; and what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) variation in number of amplification cycles in the PCR testing used to identify a positive covid-19 test result.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the (a) latest and (c) most accurate estimates of the proportion of the population that has covid-19 infection as at 21 October 2020; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the methodology used on differing estimates on covid-19 infection.

The proportion of the population that are infected with the COVID-19 virus is measured through a number of surveillance studies including the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) and the REACT-1 real-time assessment of community transmission of coronavirus study. Both studies provide an estimate of people with COVID-19 infection in the community at a given time – those with symptoms and those without.

Estimates of the population in England that were infected with the COVID-19 virus in October 2020 are as follows:

- CIS - 1.42% (25 October to 31 October); and

- REACT-1 1.28% (16 October – 25 October)

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of positive tests for covid-19 infection as recorded by (a) different health and social care organisations and (b) the Office for National Statistics are confirmed by subsequent positive tests before being reported as positive tests.

We do not publish the information requested. However, all organisations performing tests are aware that they should follow the industry best practice for pathology testing and ensure they meet all the legal and regulatory obligations required for testing for COVID-19.
Under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010, it is a legal requirement to report positive cases of COVID-19 to Public Health England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reforming funding for local government to help physical retail and hospitality businesses and high streets.

The Chancellor has announced a review of business rates. The Government is currently considering responses to the review’s call for evidence and has committed to publish a response in Spring 2021. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have benefitted from rates reliefs worth approximately £10 billion in the current financial year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Education)