Marie Rimmer Portrait

Marie Rimmer

Labour - St Helens South and Whiston


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Division Votes
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Speeches
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Children’s Social Care Workforce
I beg to move,

That this House has considered the children’s social care workforce.

It is a pleasure to serve …
Written Answers
Monday 25th July 2022
Theatres: Prescot
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 30th January 2019
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2021 HOST VENUE ANNOUNCEMENT
That this House welcomes the announcement of host venues for the Rugby League World Cup 2021; congratulates St Helens, Bolton, …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Thursday 21st July 2022
Civil service jobs in the North West
That this House is extremely concerned about the government’s plan to cut 91,000 jobs from the Civil Service within three …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Marie Rimmer has voted in 413 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Marie Rimmer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 135 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Marie Rimmer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 189 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Marie Rimmer 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
Christopher Pincher (Independent)
(13 debate interactions)
Eddie Hughes (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(8 debate interactions)
Mike Amesbury (Labour)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(20 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Marie Rimmer's debates

St Helens South and Whiston Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Reverse the plan to withdraw funding for most applied general qualifications such as BTECs and guarantee they will continue to play a major role in the qualifications landscape. Students should not be forced to choose between studying A levels or T levels from the age of 16.


Latest EDMs signed by Marie Rimmer

19th July 2022
Marie Rimmer signed this EDM on Thursday 21st July 2022

Civil service jobs in the North West

Tabled by: Margaret Greenwood (Labour - Wirral West)
That this House is extremely concerned about the government’s plan to cut 91,000 jobs from the Civil Service within three years; recognises that this amounts to around one fifth of civil service jobs based on 2021 figures; notes that, in 2021, outside of London, the North West of England was …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
13th July 2022
Marie Rimmer signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 13th July 2022

Child poverty in the North West

Tabled by: Kate Hollern (Labour - Blackburn)
That this House is alarmed by the increase in level of child poverty in the North West, with research from Loughborough University showing that 30 per cent of children in the region live in poverty; is further alarmed by statistics showing that, across the UK, 76 per cent of children …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Marie Rimmer's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Marie Rimmer, 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.


Marie Rimmer has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Marie Rimmer has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Marie Rimmer has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


30 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
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who are currently outside the energy price cap due to the use of a 100 per cent renewables energy provider can switch to a provider that falls within the energy price cap policy.

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

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to expand the eligibility criteria of the Green Homes Grant Scheme to include people who have double glazed windows with a gap smaller than the recommended 16mm.

The list of measures currently included reflects our assessment of the best balance between economic stimulus and maximising value for householders and taxpayers, in terms of bill and carbon savings.

We are listening to feedback on the scheme and will keep eligibility, including eligible measures, under review.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the Shakespeare North project in Prescot on arts education and the local regeneration of the town for residents following her visit to that project.

The Secretary of State visited Shakespeare North in Prescot last month so she could see personally the contribution the project has made and will continue to make to the local economy and the ambitious and extensive educational outreach that is planned. Shakespeare North provides many opportunities for children and young people to experience creative and cultural activities and works with education providers to ensure they can engage with the venue in a meaningful way. Education partnerships from Shakespeare North provide local schools with workshops, access to performances and Continuing Professional Development opportunities for teachers wanting to promote cultural learning and creative practice in their classrooms. Shakespeare North’s community programmes are providing creative activities and opportunities to engage with their local culture and heritage through workshops for people of all ages. These activities exemplify the Secretary of State’s priority to promote access to arts and culture and encourage residents to draw on the rich heritage of their local area.

Shakespeare North has received capital funding from central and local government, including: £5 million Treasury grant in 2016; £12 million Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (increased from £6 million); £10.5 million Liverpool City Region (LCR) (increased from £6.5 million); and £3 million from the Capital Kickstart fund.

The Government recognises that improving access to high-quality arts and culture in previously under-served areas of the country is critical to giving people pride in the cities, towns and villages in which they work and live, helping people in every part of the country to prosper and to fulfil their full potential. This is why the Government instructed Arts Council England to invest all the additional money (£43.5 million) agreed in the 2021 Spending Review outside London and where possible in Levelling Up for Culture Places – 109 areas that the Government and Arts Council England have jointly identified as having had historically low investment in arts and culture, which will be targeted for future investment. One of the areas is St Helen’s, which has already received over £6 million in funding since 2018 for 36 projects, such as Heart of Glass, which works with artists and community groups to unlock stories, reimagine public spaces and forge new connections.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education’s Schools White Paper shared their intention to work with DCMS to develop and publish a Cultural Education Plan, working in close collaboration with Arts Council England, Historic England and the British Film Institute. This plan will include how best to support children and young people to take part in cultural opportunities in their local areas and to support those who wish to pursue careers in creative and cultural industries.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of veterans who have died from suicide in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer given to PQ 88289 on 21 September 2020.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support looked after children who are placed out of borough in homes not registered with Ofsted.

Every child and young person should have access to a stable and secure placement in accommodation that can meet their needs and, most importantly, keep them safe. On 5 November 2019, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to all local authorities reminding them of their duty to keep children safe, particularly if they are placed away from their area, which requires approval by a Director of Children’s Services.

Reform is needed as a matter of urgency to ensure this provision is being used appropriately and meets the needs of the young people placed there. On 12 February 2020 we announced proposals to drive up the quality of children’s social care. The consultation invites views on a set of new measures to ensure appropriate use of these placements. The proposals include:

  • banning the use of independent and semi-independent placements for children and young people under the age of 16

  • driving up the quality of support offered in independent and semi-independent provision through the introduction of new national standards, ensuring that these standards are enforced and that young people’s interests are appropriately represented by their Independent Reviewing Officer

  • introducing new measures so that local authorities and local police forces liaise before a placement in such provision is made

  • giving Ofsted new legal powers to act against illegal providers. Under the proposal, legislation would be amended so that Ofsted could take legal action before prosecution and issue enforcement notices, which will result in illegal providers either being forced to close, register or face a penalty.

The consultation is open for response until 8 April and is available at the following link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/unregulated-provision/unregulated-provision-children-in-care/.

Ofsted has conducted over 150 investigations in the last year into settings suspected to be operating as an unregistered children’s home. They are expediting applications to make sure new homes can be inspected and have implemented a new process for informing local authorities when cease and desist letters are sent to unregistered providers so that they know not to place children with them.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide additional bespoke support to the leisure coach industry in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

HM Treasury has made several measures available to UK businesses, including the leisure coach industry to financially support them through this time.

We are encouraging all operators to make use of the wide range of support measures which have been announced by the Chancellor, including £330 billion of Government support through loans and guarantees, designed to reach as many businesses as possible. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), part of this package, has been extended until the end of October.

We are continuing to engage with the coach sector to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are, and how these could be addressed in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) the re-opening of so-called Beeching lines is implemented equitably throughout the regions according to need and (b) local authorities are (i) fully engaged with and (ii) consulted on that programme.

I have invited my fellow MPs to work with local authorities and community groups to come forward with proposals for re-opening rail passenger services axed in the 1960s and 1970s. The support and engagement of the local authorities will be an important consideration in deciding which ideas to fund. I am expecting ideas to be put forward from across our regions and we will take forward the best of these for development.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps is she taking to speed up the approval process for (a) St Helens Chamber, which is already an approved provider for her Department and (b) other kickstarter gateways.

All applications for funding from the Department for Work & Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme are assessed according to the same criteria and are subject to the same tests of due diligence. We anticipate applications to take 4 weeks although they can take longer. We anticipate that the time taken to process applications will reduce as the scheme is rolled out.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress NHS England is making on the steps it is taking to engage with people living with dementia who draw on healthcare.

NHS England regularly engages with dementia organisations and stakeholders on the delivery of NHS Long Term Plan’s commitments. In addition to planned meetings and events, NHS England engages with Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and others on an ad hoc basis. It has endorsed Alzheimer’s Society’s revised dementia guide and delivered a joint webinar on the integration of dementia services.

During the pandemic, NHS England worked with Alzheimer’s Society to launch the Dementia Change Action Network website for those living with dementia and continues to engage with people with lived experience to design and shape services, guidance and policy. NHS England and NHS Improvement also commissioned resources to support memory services, developed with input from people living with dementia and their carers. This includes an e-learning course to support memory services managing a change in practice, to ensure the delivery of a personalised assessment and diagnosis; and a guide to supporting continuous development, improvement and innovation in memory services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress NHS England is making on the steps it is taking to engage with representatives of dementia organisations.

NHS England regularly engages with dementia organisations and stakeholders on the delivery of NHS Long Term Plan’s commitments. In addition to planned meetings and events, NHS England engages with Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and others on an ad hoc basis. It has endorsed Alzheimer’s Society’s revised dementia guide and delivered a joint webinar on the integration of dementia services.

During the pandemic, NHS England worked with Alzheimer’s Society to launch the Dementia Change Action Network website for those living with dementia and continues to engage with people with lived experience to design and shape services, guidance and policy. NHS England and NHS Improvement also commissioned resources to support memory services, developed with input from people living with dementia and their carers. This includes an e-learning course to support memory services managing a change in practice, to ensure the delivery of a personalised assessment and diagnosis; and a guide to supporting continuous development, improvement and innovation in memory services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that the caretech innovation mentioned in his Department’s White Paper on social care reform will include solutions to provide timely medication doses to people with Parkinson’s.

We will work with the social care sector and partners to produce a plan for testing the use of technology for care. The role of increased digitisation in adult social care and how this can support the administration of medication is being explored, including the administration of time critical medications for those with Parkinson’s.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the 15,000 volunteers who participated in Novavax covid-19 vaccination trials can travel overseas in the same way as those who have received a UK-licensed covid-19 vaccination.

All Novavax trial participants can now access a domestic NHS COVID Pass and a majority the Pass for international travel. Discussions are ongoing with other countries and bodies such as the G7, G20, the European Union Commission and the World Health Organization to shape a common approach for trial participants around the world.

In consultation with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and in partnership with chief investigators of the trials, we are trial participants doses of approved vaccines, in addition to trial vaccines to ensure access to overseas travel.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure funding announced for hospices as part of the £750 million funding package for the voluntary and charitable sector announced on 8 April 2020 is disbursed to Willowbrook Hospice in St Helens, Knowsley.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have confirmed that Willowbrook Hospice received a total of £610,016 as part of the national funding package to purchase additional capacity from hospices between April and July 2020. This was in addition to any local funding received via clinical commissioning groups for business as usual activity.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department plans to send observers to the trial of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, following his most recent court appearance on 1 February 2022.

The UK Government has followed the case of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria closely, and has raised the importance of Mr Bala being treated in full accordance with his human rights on multiple occasions with the Nigerian authorities.

We were not able to send observers to Mr Bala's recent trial, which has now passed, because of the extant insecurity and genuine risk of violence in Kano State, where Mr Bala's trial took place. The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Kano State, due to insecurity. We are concerned about the severity and length of sentence Mr Bala received at trial, and the British High Commissioner has spoken with the Kano State Government and the Nigerian President's Chief of Staff to express those concerns. We will continue to monitor the case and consider the merit and viability of attending any future trial or appeal should one take place.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the continued detention of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, after his court appearance on 1 February 2022.

The UK Government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. This is a longstanding human rights policy priority for the UK Government, and we look forward to hosting a global summit to promote FoRB later this year.

The UK Government has followed Mr Bala's case closely, and has raised his case on multiple occasions with the Nigerian authorities, including following his recent sentencing. The UK Government believes that the right of individuals to express opinions is essential to a free and open society. We are concerned by the severity and length of sentence received by Mr Bala at trial. The British High Commissioner has spoken with the Kano State Government and the Nigerian President's Chief of Staff to express those concerns. We will continue to follow developments in Mr Bala's case closely, and will continue to stress the importance of Mr Bala being treated in full accordance with his human rights, the rule of law, and the Nigerian constitutional right to FoRB.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) case of Maira Shahbaz and (b) potential for safe resettlement for her in the UK.

The UK condemns forced marriage and the forced conversion of women and girls. We regularly raise the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief and women and girls' rights at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June 2021, Lord Ahmad met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers, and discussed the issue. He met interfaith leaders in order to better understand the situation of Pakistani minorities, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage. Most recently, he discussed the need to promote respect for all religions with Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on 28 November. The FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages and gender-based violence. The UK government has supported the Government of Pakistan in setting up eight child courts to provide child-sensitive justice to children who come in contact with the law, including victims of child abuse, trafficking and child marriage.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make representations to her counterpart in Pakistan on ending abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of women and girls in that country.

The UK condemns forced marriage and the forced conversion of women and girls. We regularly raise the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief and women and girls' rights at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June 2021, Lord Ahmad met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers, and discussed the issue. He met interfaith leaders in order to better understand the situation of Pakistani minorities, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage. Most recently, he discussed the need to promote respect for all religions with Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on 28 November. The FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages and gender-based violence. The UK government has supported the Government of Pakistan in setting up eight child courts to provide child-sensitive justice to children who come in contact with the law, including victims of child abuse, trafficking and child marriage.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help end abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of women and girls in Pakistan.

The UK condemns forced marriage and the forced conversion of women and girls. We regularly raise the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief and women and girls' rights at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June 2021, Lord Ahmad met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers, and discussed the issue. He met interfaith leaders in order to better understand the situation of Pakistani minorities, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage. Most recently, he discussed the need to promote respect for all religions with Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on 28 November. The FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages and gender-based violence. The UK government has supported the Government of Pakistan in setting up eight child courts to provide child-sensitive justice to children who come in contact with the law, including victims of child abuse, trafficking and child marriage.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to offer a place of sanctuary to people fleeing the violence in Afghanistan by expanding the Afghan Interpreters Scheme to include people engaged in UK-linked initiatives and human rights activists that mean they are at risk of targeting by the Taliban.

The Home Office administered Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will provide protection for people at risk and identified as in need. It will prioritise those people who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan who face a particular risk from the Taliban, including because of their stand for democracy and human rights. The Government has committed to welcome around 5,000 people in the first year and up to 20,000 over the coming years.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2021 to Question 7204 on Nepal: Christianity, what steps the British Embassy takes to engage with members of faith and belief groups and civil society in Nepal; and what trends the British Embassy has identified on religious and belief tolerance in Nepal.

The British Embassy in Kathmandu regularly engages with civil society to discuss a wide range of policy priorities, including human rights, climate change, girls' education, and media freedom. The embassy also meets with representatives of faith and belief groups to hear their priorities and any concerns, and is the Chair of the Human Rights Core Group, a network of like-minded diplomatic missions, which discusses concerns related to freedom of religion or belief to drive collective action.

The UK's assessment of the trends on religious and belief tolerance is that there have not been significant recent shifts in intra-community persecution or closure of civil society space. This is due to Nepal's Constitution and legal framework forming part of the peace settlement to bring marginalised communities into Nepal's institutions, related laws being largely upheld by the courts and relevant human rights commissions, and COVID-19 related lockdowns not discriminating between different faiths or beliefs.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support freedom of religion or belief in Nepal.

Nepal is a secular country, and the right to freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in Nepal's constitution. Although people may legally convert to a different religion, the constitution prohibits proselytisation, as well as religious behaviour that disturbs public order or is deemed contrary to public health, decency and morality. The British Embassy engages with members of faith and belief groups, civil society and other embassies to monitor trends.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the extent of persecution of Christians in Nepal.

Nepal is a secular country, and the right to freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in Nepal's constitution. Although people may legally convert to a different religion, the constitution prohibits proselytisation, as well as religious behaviour that disturbs public order or is deemed contrary to public health, decency and morality. The British Embassy engages with members of faith and belief groups, civil society and other embassies to monitor trends.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to implement the recommendations of the all-party Parliamentary group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief’s 2018 report on the treatment of different religious communities in Pakistan entitled Religious Minorities of Pakistan.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the top priorities in our human rights strategy for Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently my Ministerial colleague, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, raised the need to promote respect for all religions with Pakistan's Special Representative for Religious Harmony, Tahir Ashrafi, on 23 March 2021. He also raised our concerns on FoRB in Pakistan with the Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 20 February 2021.

The UK works within the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB for all. The Minister responsible for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad, underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all at a number of international meetings in November 2020, speaking at the intergovernmental Ministerial to Advance FoRB and the Ministers' Forum of the Alliance. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has prepared a written strategy for tackling freedom of religion or belief violations in Pakistan.

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the globe. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the top priorities in our human rights strategy for Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief. Most recently my Ministerial colleague, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, raised the need to promote respect for all religions with Pakistan's Special Representative for Religious Harmony, Tahir Ashrafi, on 23 March 2021. He also raised our concerns on FoRB in Pakistan with the Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 20 February 2021.

The UK works within the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to promote and protect FoRB for all. The Minister responsible for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad, underlined the UK's commitment to FoRB for all at a number of international meetings in November 2020, speaking at the intergovernmental Ministerial to Advance FoRB and the Ministers' Forum of the Alliance. On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his personal commitment to the issue by appointing Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for FoRB.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of freedom of religion or belief in Nepal.

Nepal is a secular country, and the right to freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in Nepal's constitution. Although people may legally convert to a different religion, the constitution prohibits proselytisation, as well as religious behaviour that disturbs public order or is deemed contrary to public health, decency and morality. The British Embassy engages with members of faith and belief groups, civil society and other embassies to monitor trends.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he and his Department plans to take to (a) secure details and an explanation for the arrest of Meihong Wang in Heilongjiang Province and (b) help secure the release of Meihong Wang and (c) promote freedom of religious belief in China.

We are aware of the reported abduction of Meihong Wang in Harbin, China. We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. We regularly raise our concerns about the human rights situation with the Chinese authorities, and will continue to do so.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent the exploitation by county lines drug gangs of looked-after children placed out-of-borough.

County lines have a devastating impact on our communities, and we are determined to crack down on these gangs and put an end to the exploitation of vulnerable children.

The National County Lines Co-ordination Centre (NCLCC), established with £3.6m of Home Office funding, has been vital to strengthening our response to this issue by enhancing the intelligence picture and enabling police forces to work together to tackle this complex, cross border threat. Since it became operational in September 2018 the NCLCC has coordinated four weeks of intensive law enforcement action resulting in over 2,500 arrests and over 3,000 individuals engaged for safeguarding.

The Home Office has also announced £25m of targeted investment across 2019/20 and 2020/21 to uplift the law enforcement response to county lines and increase the support available to children, young people and families that are affected.

In addition, the Government provides a range of support for county lines victims including: funding Young People’s Advocates in Birmingham, Manchester and London to provide help and support for young people exploited through county lines, and funding through the £13m Trusted Relationships fund to help foster relationships between frontline professionals and young people at risk of exploitation including county lines.

The needs of the child are paramount when deciding the right care placement and Local Authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that there is sufficient provision for their looked after children.

Lack of sufficient placements to meet young people’s needs can lead to children being placed out of area. The Government is helping to improve commissioning of placements, including providing funding through the Department for Education’s £200 million children’s social care Innovation Programme.

15th Mar 2021
What recent steps he has taken to improve the Armed Forces Covenant; and if he will make a statement.

Supporting the Armed Forces Covenant is a key priority and the Government has introduced legislation, as part of the Armed Forces Bill, further incorporating the Armed Forces Covenant into law. The legislation introduces a duty of due regard to the Covenant principles on local public bodies, in key areas of health, housing, and education.

The Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report, published each December, outlines progress we have made as a nation to strengthen the Covenant across the UK.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to allocate additional (a) powers and (b) resources to councils for the purchase of brownfield sites to help those councils meet housing targets.

Local authorities already have compulsory purchase powers which they can use to acquire land, including for the delivery of new housing. In recent years, we have taken forward wide ranging reforms to improve the compulsory purchase process. We are keen to encourage local authorities to make more effective use of these powers and we will continue to explore ways of supporting them in doing so.