Mark Durkan

Social Democratic & Labour Party - Former Member for Foyle

Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
7th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development)
1st Jun 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice)
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury)
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
31st Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Treasury)
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Jun 2010
Leader of the Social Democratic & Labour Party
1st Oct 2001 - 6th May 2010
Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland
6th Nov 2001 - 14th Oct 2002


Division Voting information

Mark Durkan has voted in 1476 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

16 Mar 2010 - Higher Education - View Vote Context
Mark Durkan voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Social Democratic & Labour Party Aye votes vs 1 Social Democratic & Labour Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 182
4 Mar 2010 - Crown Estate (Proposed Sale of Homes) - View Vote Context
Mark Durkan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Social Democratic & Labour Party No votes vs 2 Social Democratic & Labour Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 404 Noes - 53
1 Jul 2009 - Bank Lending Policies - View Vote Context
Mark Durkan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Social Democratic & Labour Party No votes vs 2 Social Democratic & Labour Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 212
View All Mark Durkan Division Votes

All Debates

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
David Cameron (Conservative)
(67 debate interactions)
Theresa Villiers (Conservative)
(64 debate interactions)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(46 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Northern Ireland Office
(235 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(217 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(215 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(108 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Mark Durkan's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Mark Durkan

26th April 2017
Mark Durkan signed this EDM on Wednesday 26th April 2017

CHILDHOOD TOOTH DECAY

Tabled by: Steve McCabe (Labour - Birmingham, Selly Oak)
That this House notes with concern that a quarter of five-year olds in England have tooth decay; further notes that tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions for five to nine-year olds, despite being largely preventable, with tens of thousands of children undergoing general anaesthesia for tooth extractions …
18 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Ulster Unionist Party: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
20th April 2017
Mark Durkan signed this EDM on Monday 24th April 2017

JASMINE FREEMAN AND FAMILY FUND

Tabled by: Brendan O'Hara (Scottish National Party - Argyll and Bute)
That this House welcomes the commitment contained within the Scottish Government's publication, A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People - Our Delivery Plan to 2021 for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to continue to invest in Family Fund, an organisation which provides funds to low …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 10
Independent: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Mark Durkan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Durkan, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Mark Durkan

Mark Durkan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Mark Durkan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Mark Durkan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


164 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
5 Other Department Questions
9th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps the Government is taking to maintain current spending levels on the core elements of the science budget in real terms over the course of the Parliament.

The Government made clear in the Spending Review its commitment to science and research. We will protect science resource funding in real terms from its current level of £4.7 billion per annum for the rest of the Parliament. Growth in the ring fence will be used to invest in a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund for UK science to pioneer new ways of tackling global problems. As well as increasing resource spending for science, we are investing in new scientific infrastructure on a record scale, delivering on the £6.9 billion science capital commitment in our manifesto to provide the infrastructure and funding to keep the UK globally competitive.

The allocation of budgets to individual funding bodies, programmes and facilities has yet to be determined. As per previous spending rounds this allocation process will take place over the coming months.

24th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to promote the development of a bio-plastics industry within a UK circular economy; and what the implications for his policy are of the effect of the EU's Europe 2020 programme in supporting that sector at a regional level.

The Government recognises the potential for the bio-plastics sector to contribute to a circular economy. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is engaged with a range of businesses in the bio plastic industry including via the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association and is working to help promote the potential growth of that sector. The EU 2020 strategy and the funding programmes that support that initiative offer opportunities for the UK. BIS is actively promoting and facilitating engagement and participation in the Horizon 2020 Programme via the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

24th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the finding in the report, The future potential economic impacts of a bio-plastics industry in the UK, published by the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association in October 2015, that, given the correct legislative environment, a UK bioplastics industry could support 35,000 jobs and contribute £1.9 billion to the economy.

I note the report by the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association into the future potential impacts of a bio-plastics industry in the UK.

The Government delivers a range of policies across the business landscape – including research funding and innovation - that will be helpful in supporting the development of this sector. At the recent Autumn Statement, it was confirmed that science funding of £4.7 billion will be protected in real terms over the Parliament, and we will protect the Catapult network to support innovative firms and sectors.

3rd Mar 2015
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, if he will collect information on the number of people with a learning disability who (a) register to vote under the new individual electoral registration system and (b) vote in the 2015 General Election.

It is not possible to monitor the number of people with a learning disability who (a) register to vote and (b) vote in the forthcoming election as no record is made of disability when registering to vote or when voting.

The Cabinet Office is funding Mencap to increase the representation of people with learning disabilities on the electoral register. This includes engagement activity highlighting to disabled people why they should register to vote and how to do so.

17th Nov 2014
To ask the Ministers for Women and Equalities, what representations she has received on the timetable for the amendment of the definition of race to include caste in the Equality Act 2010.

Since July 2013 when the timetable was published, the government has received a number of representations from MPs, Peers, organisations and individuals. These representations have concerned whether the timetable should go ahead as well as the length of time required to implement the various stages it contains. Representations from organisations in particular have included both those in favour of and those opposed to the introduction of legislation.

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on continued freedom of movement for EU nationals who contribute to dementia medical research in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

We hugely value the contribution of EU and international staff. The UK will maintain its status as a global centre for research and innovation, including for medical research. There will be no immediate changes in circumstances for EU citizens working or studying in the UK.

My Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister has been clear that during negotiations we want to protect the status of EU nationals already living here, and the only circumstances in which that would not be possible is if British citizens’ rights in European member states were not protected in return.

18th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people were (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of an offence under the Hunting Act 2004 in each police force area in 2014.

2014 figures for the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 are set out, by police force area in England and Wales, in table 1.

Table 1: Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 (1), by police force area, England and Wales, 2014(2)(3)

Police force area

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Avon and Somerset

5

-

Bedfordshire

-

-

Cambridgeshire

3

-

Cheshire

-

-

Cleveland

2

-

Cumbria

2

-

Derbyshire

-

-

Durham

3

3

Essex

-

-

Gloucestershire

-

-

Hampshire

-

-

Hertfordshire

-

-

Humberside

17

13

Kent

3

3

Lancashire

5

5

Leicestershire

1

-

Lincolnshire

4

2

Merseyside

-

-

Metropolitan Police

-

-

Norfolk

4

-

Northumbria

3

3

North Yorkshire

-

-

Nottinghamshire

-

-

South Yorkshire

-

-

Staffordshire

-

-

Suffolk

7

4

Surrey

-

-

Sussex

-

-

Thames Valley

2

2

West Mercia

3

-

West Yorkshire

-

-

Wiltshire

-

-

England and Wales

64

35

(1) Includes Section 1,3(1)(2), 5(1)(a)(b)(c)(d), 5 (2)(a)(b)(c) and 6 of Hunting Act 2004.

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Ref: PQ3270

18th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people were (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of an offence under the Wild Animals (Protection) Act 1996 in each police force area in 2014.

The Government is committed to tackling crimes against wildlife. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is part-funded by Defra, monitors and gathers intelligence on illegal activities, including those relating to badger persecution and poaching, which are UK wildlife crime priorities. The Unit also provides assistance to police forces when required.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 1.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 2.

No proceedings were brought to court for offences under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 in 2014.

Table 1

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992(1), England and Wales, 2014(2)(3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

25

18

(1) Includes all Sections under Protection of Badgers Act 1992

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Table 2

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991(1), England and Wales, 2014(2) (3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

2

-

(1) Includes all Sections under Deer Act 1991

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.


18th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people were (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in 2014.

The Government is committed to tackling crimes against wildlife. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is part-funded by Defra, monitors and gathers intelligence on illegal activities, including those relating to badger persecution and poaching, which are UK wildlife crime priorities. The Unit also provides assistance to police forces when required.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 1.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 2.

No proceedings were brought to court for offences under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 in 2014.

Table 1

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992(1), England and Wales, 2014(2)(3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

25

18

(1) Includes all Sections under Protection of Badgers Act 1992

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Table 2

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991(1), England and Wales, 2014(2) (3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

2

-

(1) Includes all Sections under Deer Act 1991

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.


18th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people were (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of an offence under the Deer Act 1991 in 2014.

The Government is committed to tackling crimes against wildlife. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is part-funded by Defra, monitors and gathers intelligence on illegal activities, including those relating to badger persecution and poaching, which are UK wildlife crime priorities. The Unit also provides assistance to police forces when required.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 1.

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991, in England and Wales, in 2014, can be viewed in table 2.

No proceedings were brought to court for offences under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 in 2014.

Table 1

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992(1), England and Wales, 2014(2)(3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

25

18

(1) Includes all Sections under Protection of Badgers Act 1992

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Table 2

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Deer Act 1991(1), England and Wales, 2014(2) (3)

Proceeded against

Found guilty

England and Wales

2

-

(1) Includes all Sections under Deer Act 1991

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.


13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will take steps in the negotiations on the UK leaving the EU to maintain labour mobility for EU nationals who contribute to dementia research after the UK leaves the EU.

As a government we recognise the contribution that our world-class research base makes to our economy and wellbeing. We will always welcome those with the skills, the drive and the expertise to make a positive contribution. If we are to win in the global marketplace, we must win the global battle for talent.

We place huge value on maintaining the UK’s unique arrangements with Ireland and the friendly, cooperative relationship we have built of recent years. The open border for people and businesses has served us well and no-one wants to see a return to the borders of the past. There is a very strong commitment from the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive as well as ourselves to see that this does not happen.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if the Government will support free movement for EU nationals who contribute to dementia research in the UK when the UK leaves the EU.

As a government we recognise the contribution that our world-class research base makes to our economy and wellbeing. We will always welcome those with the skills, the drive and the expertise to make a positive contribution. If we are to win in the global marketplace, we must win the global battle for talent.

We place huge value on maintaining the UK’s unique arrangements with Ireland and the friendly, cooperative relationship we have built of recent years. The open border for people and businesses has served us well and no-one wants to see a return to the borders of the past. There is a very strong commitment from the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive as well as ourselves to see that this does not happen.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the implications of the increase in the cost of work permits for foreign workers in South Sudan for the amount of aid delivered in that country.

The proposal by the Government of South Sudan to increase the cost of work permits is a further obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian aid by the government. If these fees are imposed it will have serious consequences for the agencies that are doing all they can to tackle the famine that has been declared. Together with our international partners we raised these issues with the South Sudanese First Vice President on 15 March, and made clear that the government of South Sudan has a responsibility to stop the suffering of its own people, and allow full humanitarian access across the country.

6th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to consult non-governmental organisations on the next stages of policy development in relation to her Department's recent programme of multilateral and bilateral development reviews.

In the Civil Society Review we set out how we will engage with Non-Governmental Organisations in the future, for example we will host an annual civil society open day and UK regional roadshows to ensure we involve a broader range of organisations. NGOs contributed views to the Multilateral Development Review and Bilateral Development Review. Ministers and officials also consulted BOND, the body that represents UK international development NGOs. We will continue to work closely with them and will discuss the next steps on both reviews in due course.

6th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department will continue to fund (a) the European Commission Development Cooperation Instrument, (b) the European Development Fund and (c) ECHO after the UK has left the EU.

Leaving the EU means we will want to take our own decisions about how to deliver the policy objectives previously targeted by EU funding. Over the coming months we will consult closely with stakeholders to ensure that any ongoing funding commitments best help the world’s poorest and deliver value for money for UK taxpayers.

20th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding from the public purse the UK will contribute to the Better Migration Management programme.

The €46 million ‘Better Migration Management’ programme is part of the EU’s joint work on addressing unmanaged flows from Africa under the Horn of Africa component of the €1.9 billion EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The UK has made no direct financial contribution to this programme. However, we have committed to a contribution of €3 million to the Horn of Africa component of the Trust Fund overall. That is in addition to the UK’s underlying contribution to the Trust Fund, which amounts to approximately 15% of the EU’s total €1.8 billion contribution, predominantly drawn from the European Development Fund.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in South Sudan; what estimate she has made of the number of (a) refugees, (b) displaced people and (c) people with severe malnutrition in that country.

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains dire. More than 2.4 million people are displaced; over 785,000 of them to neighbouring countries as refugees. 4.8 million South Sudanese people, almost half of the population, are at risk of severe food insecurity. Although famine has not yet been declared, there is a looming risk in parts of Unity State. Through DFID, the UK remains the second largest bilateral donor to South Sudan.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies focuses on the most marginalised children including girls and children with disabilities.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I provided on 23rd May to Question number 37287.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to become a founding donor to the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies.

The UK has played a leading role in the development of the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, which was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit on 23rd May.  The UK has committed to provide £30million in support over two years to the new fund as a founding donor, which was announced by the International Development Secretary at the fund’s launch.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to protect schools in conflict zones.

HMG deplores the fact that armed conflict can expose students and teaching personnel to harm. We believe that better implementation of, and better compliance with, existing International Humanitarian Law will provide the best protection for civilians, including children, in all situations of armed conflict.

25th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support communities affected by land grabs being in the Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

DFID’s development support is improving millions of peoples’ lives in Ethiopia by supporting basic services for the poorest; promoting job creation, particularly for women; tackling female genital mutilation and early child marriage which ruins lives; and boosting people’s nutrition and ability to cope with natural shocks.


DFID does not have programmes that specifically target those affected by resettlement, nor does DFID fund resettlement programmes in the Omo Valley or elsewhere in Ethiopia. However since 2011, DFID, alongside other donors in Ethiopia, has visited resettlement sites, including in South Omo, to view implementation against international good practice. We have found no evidence of forced resettlement, but we have concerns about the level of consultation, speed of implementation and respect for international good practices on resettlement. We have regularly raised these concerns with the Government of Ethiopia. Further information can be accessed on the Development Assistance Group website: www.dagethiopia.org


19th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to improve nutrition for women and children in lower middle income countries.

The UK Government has made a commitment to improve the nutrition of 50 million people by 2020, including in lower middle income countries. Those being helped includes children under five, breast feeding women, women of childbearing age and adolescent girls. This commitment builds on our previous 2010 commitment to reach 20 million children under five and pregnant and breast feeding women with nutrition programmes by 2015. By mid 2015 we had reached 28.6 million people.


Further details can be found on Development Tracker: http://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/


Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
23rd Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of integrating early childhood development interventions on nutrition, immunisation and education on the effectiveness on strength of local health systems; and what contribution such an assessment has made to decisions on the funding of (a) her Department's country programmes and (b) multilateral programmes supported by her Department.

DFID recognises the value of early childhood investments and supports a range of early years’ research and investments, including integrated investments in nutrition, child health, water, sanitation, hygiene and education. Assessment of the impact of these programmes on the strength of health systems are made on a case by case basis at country level. Decisions on country and multilateral investments take account of context, programme objectives, the strength of evidence and analysis of the delivery channels that offer the best value for money.

18th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of humanitarian conditions in eastern Sudan.

The lack of development in the east of Sudan has driven chronic humanitarian needs which continue to be of concern. According to the latest Ministry of Health national nutrition survey, the east of Sudan has some of the highest rates of malnutrition in the country, in many places exceeding emergency thresholds. High rates of malnutrition are of even greater concern as they increase the vulnerability of children to disease and the likelihood of fatality. The east of Sudan has been particularly affected by the ongoing measles outbreak.

There is also a long term refugee population of some 92,000 people who continue to require the services of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure that they receive protection and their humanitarian needs are met.

5th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much financial aid the UK plans to provide (a) the central government and (b) local authorities in South Sudan in 2014-15.

The UK will not provide any financial aid to central government or local authorities in South Sudan in 2014-15. The UK will provide around £150m in aid for South Sudan in 2014/15, which is channelled through UN agencies, commercial contractors and NGOs to deliver both humanitarian support and longer term development programmes.

24th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the value of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership as a mechanism for co-ordinating research into (a) a new tuberculosis vaccine and (b) paediatric formulations for antiretroviral treatment.

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) provides an effective coordination mechanism for clinical research. Member States provide funding which is matched by the European Commission, and funding is also provided from third parties (e.g. philanthropic foundations and the private sector). .

EDCTP has played an important role in research into a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, by increasing the amount of TB vaccine trial activity in countries with a high burden of TB. This includes capacity building and developing sustainable infrastructures which will facilitate TB vaccine trials in the future, as new products emerge. EDTCP has also helped to improve paediatric formulations of antiretroviral treatment (ART). The findings from EDCTP-funded research were used by WHO to develop treatment guidelines for children. This resulted in the first fixed-dose combination antiretroviral drug being made available for a large number of HIV-infected children.

24th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the UK has taken as Chair of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) General Assembly to encourage other member states of EDCTP to increase their contributions to and investment in the partnership.

In 2013, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) member state partners agreed to commit Euros 125million to the second phase of the EDCTP programme. Members also agreed to commit up to a further Euros 1.5billion of in-kind contributions, such as support for infrastructure and staff time. This was a significant increase in contributions and investment from the first phase of the programme.

Progress made by EDCTP members towards meeting these commitments will be published in the business plan. Progress will be monitored by the European Commission and by the General Assembly, which is currently chaired by the UK.

24th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the value of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership as a mechanism for co-ordinating research into global health goods.

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) provides an effective coordination mechanism for clinical research, making effective use of available funding, and coordinating technical and research expertise from a variety of countries and sectors over a ten year period. This long-term coordination is important, given the nature of the research the EDCTP supports.

The European Commission undertakes impact assessments of EDCTP, in line with the requirements of the European Parliament and European Council. The UK has used these assessments for the ongoing process of review of spend and to judge the value and impact of the programme.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of humanitarian conditions in eastern Sudan.

The UK remains extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in eastern Sudan. The needs assessment carried out to inform the 2014 UN response showed that health and nutrition indicators were above emergency thresholds in many locations and access to services was extremely poor. A UK funded UNICEF national nutrition survey revealed large numbers of children were suffering from acute malnutrition especially in Kassala and Red Sea State. These findings have been incorporated into the recently revised Humanitarian Strategic Response Plan for 2014 which is used for determining where donor resources are allocated.

The UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) plays an important role in funding the humanitarian response in Sudan using the Strategic Response Plan as a guide. In 2014 the UK contributed £17m to the CHF. We are also investing in longer term programmes to build the resilience of communities and improve access to water and sanitation in eastern Sudan.

12th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the scale of the threat of rape faced by women in South Sudan; and what steps her Department plans to take to reduce such threats.

Sexual violence has been widespread during the conflict. We have pressed the Government and Opposition to act to prevent sexual violence. Our humanitarian programmes help protect vulnerable women and girls, and provide support for case management for the victims of sexual and gender based violence.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Answer of 8 May 2014, Official Report, column 279W, on developing countries: family planning, how much of her Department's budget has been allocated to achieving outcomes in her Department's policy paper Safe and Unsafe Abortion in each of the last two years.

DFID adheres to Development Co-Operation Directorate (OACD-DAC) expenditure coding requirements to allow comparison across donor spending towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goal targets. This measures against coding titles as have been internationally agreed. Only coding titles as have been internationally agreed can be individually disaggregated by DFID systems.

31st Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the role the European Convention of Human Rights in future trade deals the UK makes with other countries.

The UK has a strong history of protecting human rights and promoting our values globally. We will in due course consider all options in the design of future bilateral trade and investment agreements. We will of course continue to honour our international human rights obligations.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the role of his Department is in overseeing the operation of the Pilotage Act 1987 and in ensuring compliance with the provisions of that Act.

The Department for Transport has no powers to oversee or direct Competent Harbour Authorities in the execution of their duties to provide pilotage services in accordance with the 1987 Pilotage Act.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what mechanisms his Department has put in place for responding to allegations that a competent harbour authority has not acted in conformity with the provisions of the Pilotage Act 1987.

It is a Competent Harbour Authority which has the statutory duty to determine what pilotage services need to be provided to secure the safety of navigation of vessels operating in their waters. Where a ruling on the legality of its actions is needed, that is a matter for the court rather than the Department.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals on the Port and Marine Safety Code.

There are no plans to make the Port Marine Safety Code mandatory. The non-statutory status of the Code is vital to its success, enabling port operators to apply industry-agreed good practice flexibly in ways most appropriate to the size and operations of their facility.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how his Department observes the Sea Empress ruling in its observation of the Pilotage Act 1987; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Pilotage Act 1987, it is Competent Harbour Authority’s duty to keep under review what pilotage services are needed for safe navigation and to provide those services accordingly, for which a proper assessment of the interests of safety is relevant as spelt out in the Sea Empress case.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been placed in (a) the support group and (b) the work-related activity group with a prognosis statement of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) 12 months, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years and (iv) longer than two years since the introduction of employment and support allowance.

The information requested is shown in the table below.

Prognosis

Support Group

Work Related Activity Group

All

2,121,500

1,564,500

3 months

225,400

344,900

6 months

475,900

334,000

12 months

339,700

226,900

18 months

272,600

152,600

Not for 2 years

120,500

131,300

Not in longer term

545,100

257,400

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
23rd Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits to the health and well-being of children of the early identification of cerebral palsy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published on 25 January 2017 the clinical guideline Cerebral palsy in under 25s: assessment and management NICE guideline (NG62).

This provides recommendations for clinicians on the importance of enhanced clinical and developmental follow-up for children up to two years of age who are at increased risk of developing cerebral palsy, and the need for referral for an urgent assessment following the early recognition of possible signs of cerebral palsy.

20th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department provides on the use of (a) paediatric speech and language therapy, (b) paediatric physiotherapy and (c) paediatric occupational therapy for children and young people with cerebral palsy.

The Department does not provide specific guidance on the use of paediatric speech and language therapy, paediatric physiotherapy and paediatric occupational therapy for children and young people with cerebral palsy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on the management of spasticity in under 19s includes recommendations on the provision of physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy.

In addition, at the request of the Department, NICE published, on 25 January 2017, the clinical guideline Cerebral palsy in under 25s: assessment and management.

6th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what treatment options are available for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who stop responding to Herceptin (trastuzumab).

The available treatment option for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who stop responding to trastuzumab (Herceptin) is trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla).

Trastuzumab emtansine is currently only available through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England. However, on 29 December 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published draft guidance that did not recommend its use in the National Health Service in England. If the final NICE guidance remains negative, from 90 days after the publication of the final guidance, patients already receiving the drug via the CDF will continue to receive it until the patient and their prescribing physician consider it appropriate to discontinue treatment. However, no new patients will be able to receive it from that point and the treatment options for those patients will still be standard cytotoxic chemotherapy.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will next report to his Department on the cost-effectiveness framework for vaccinations.

Upon the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the Department commissioned the Cost Effectiveness Methodology for Immunisation Programmes and Procurement (CEMIPP) Review. The Government expects to receive the CEMIPP report later this summer.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to make (a) Nivolumab and (b) other immuno-oncology treatments for lung cancer available on the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently carrying out technology appraisals of nivolumab for two lung cancer indications:

(i) previously treated locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. The expected publication date for this final guidance is September 2016.

(ii) Previously treated locally advanced or metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer after prior chemotherapy in adults. The publication date for this final guidance is to be confirmed.

The NICE is also appraising pembrolizumab for treating advanced or recurrent PD-L1 positive non-small cell lung cancer after progression with platinum-based chemotherapy [ID840]. The expected publication date for the final guidance on this appraisal is January 2017.

Commissioners are legally required to fund drugs and treatments recommended in the NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of its final guidance being issued. In the absence of guidance from the NICE, it is for commissioners to make decisions on whether to fund new medicines based on an assessment of the available evidence.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will consider a de-linked model for biomedical research and development.

The Department is currently in discussion with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry on models that delink company revenues from usage in the context of pricing of antibiotics.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with NHS England on funding for Erbitux from April 2016.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 February 2016 to Question 27585.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that approved personalised medicines are available to patients with colorectal cancer.

On 24 September, the NHS England Board agreed the development of a Personalised Medicine Strategy for the National Health Service. Personalised medicine is a move away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the treatment and care of patients with a particular condition. It uses emergent approaches in areas such as diagnostic tests, functional genomic technologies, molecular pathways, data analytics and real time monitoring of conditions to better manage patients’ health and to target therapies to achieve the best outcomes in the management of a patient’s disease or predisposition to disease. The high-level vision and strategy is to create a Personalised Medicine service in the NHS embracing four overarching principles: the prediction and prevention of disease; more precise diagnoses; targeted and personalised interventions; and a more participatory role for patients.

The independent Cancer Taskforce’s five-year strategy for cancer, Achieving World-Class Outcomes (July 2015), recommends improvements across the cancer pathway, with the aim of improving survival rates.

NHS England is currently working with partners across the health system to determine how best to take forward the recommendations of the Cancer Taskforce. NHS England has appointed Cally Palmer as National Cancer Director to lead on implementation, as well as new cancer vanguards to redesign care and patient experience. She has set up a new Cancer Transformation Board to implement the strategy, and this met for the first time on Monday 25 January. There will also be a Cancer Advisory Group, chaired by Sir Harpal Kumar, to oversee and scrutinise the work of the Transformation Board.

The Accelerated Access Review, chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, will make recommendations to government on reforms to accelerate access for NHS patients to transformative new medicines and technologies making our country the best place in the world to design, develop and deploy these products. The terms of the reference for the review focus on faster access to innovations, which may include personalised medicines for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department is having with NHS England on ensuring patients continuing access established precision treatments for colorectal cancer.

We are not aware of any discussions with NHS England on this matter.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to encourage routine use of NHS medicines throughout the NHS.

The Government is committed to ensuring that patients have access to new and effective treatments on terms that represent value to the National Health Service and the taxpayer.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for providing advice to the NHS on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of health technologies. NHS commissioners are legally required to fund treatments recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance, ensuring consistent access to clinically and cost effective drugs across England.

The Accelerated Access Review, chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, will make recommendations to government later this spring on reforms to accelerate access for NHS patients to innovative medicines, medical technologies, diagnostics and digital products.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department, NHS England and NICE will publish work undertaken to analyse variation between areas in treatment for patients during the transition from the current Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) to proposed a new CDF scheme.

NHS England has advised that it plans to publish analyses of variation in use of Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) drug indications according to geographical areas in the spring of 2016 and then routinely in the future for the new CDF.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on whether the resource impact assessment that NICE plans to publish alongside its guidance following its review of TA 85[ID456] of immunosuppressant agents for kidney transplant will include the effect on (a) the number of successful kidney transplants, (b) kidney dialysis capacity, (c) the UK national transplant waiting list and (d) the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has advised that it will publish a resource impact report to accompany its final technology appraisal guidance on immunosuppressive therapy for kidney transplant in adults (review of TA85).

The current draft version of the report makes no comment on the effect of this appraisal on these issues.

Further information on the ongoing appraisal is available at:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-tag348

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with (a) NICE and (b) NHS England on the availability of Erbitux for metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

The Department has regular discussions with both NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on a wide range of issues including the availability of cancer drugs.

NICE is currently updating its technology appraisal guidance on the use of Erbitux (cetuximab) for colorectal cancer along with guidance on another drug Vectibix (panitumumab) (TA240) for previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer. The anticipated publication date for NICE’s final updated guidance is April 2016.

NHS England is responsible for the operational management of the Cancer Drugs Fund. Erbitux is available in England through the Fund for the first line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer subject to certain criteria including those indications not approved under TA176.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with NHS England and NICE on the cancer drugs fund consultation.

NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) consultation on draft proposals on the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund closed on 11 February 2016 and they are currently considering the feedback received. A consultation report will be published on NHS England’s website in due course.

The Department has regular discussions with both NHS England and NICE on a wide range of issues including the future direction of the Fund.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of additional dialysis beds and staff costs to the NHS in the event of NICE's review of TA 85 [ID456] of immunosuppressant agents for kidney transplant is upheld.

We have made no such estimate.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its technology appraisal guidance on immunosuppressive therapy for kidney transplant in adults. NICE consulted on its draft recommendations in August 2015 and published its final draft recommendations in December. NICE currently expects to publish its final guidance later this year.

It will be for local National Health Service organisations to consider the impact of the NICE recommendations following guidance publication. NICE will publish a resource impact assessment alongside its guidance to support local implementation of its recommendations.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Royal College of Anaesthetists' report entitled, Core Standards for Pain Management Services in the UK, published in October 2015, whether his Department has given any consideration to the contents of that report.

NHS England has welcomed the publication of the Core Standards for Pain Management report in the United Kingdom, published by the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in October 2015. Andrew Baranowski, the Chair of NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Pain contributed to this work, which sets out core standards and key recommendations in the management of pain; the commissioning of pain management services and the development of the workforce.


The report is available at:


http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/system/files/FPM-CSPMS-UK2015.pdf


13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ask NHS England to publish a case study of the revised Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) patient journey and give examples for how people are initiated onto CDF-approved treatments now and how people will be treated under the proposed new CDF scheme.

NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are currently consulting jointly on draft proposals on the future direction of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). The consultation document states that all patients receiving treatment funded through the CDF on 31 March 2016 will continue to receive treatment until the point that they and their consultant agree that it is appropriate to stop.


NHS England has advised that the aim of the future CDF is to help patients receive new treatments with genuine promise, while real world evidence is collected for up to two years on how well they work in practice. This will then help determine whether the treatment should be accepted for routine use in the National Health Service in the future. It is not possible to make comparisons between the current and future CDF until such time as the consultation has concluded and the responses reviewed.


The consultation was published on 19 November 2015 and is open until 11 February 2016. Further information is available at:


www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/cdf-consultation

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions the his Department, NHS England and NICE have had on the effect of proposed Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) changes on patients prescribed current CDF treatments who will not receive interim funding under that proposed new scheme.

NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are currently consulting jointly on draft proposals on the future direction of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). The consultation document states that all patients receiving treatment funded through the CDF on 31 March 2016 will continue to receive treatment until the point that they and their consultant agree that it is appropriate to stop.


NHS England has advised that the aim of the future CDF is to help patients receive new treatments with genuine promise, while real world evidence is collected for up to two years on how well they work in practice. This will then help determine whether the treatment should be accepted for routine use in the National Health Service in the future. It is not possible to make comparisons between the current and future CDF until such time as the consultation has concluded and the responses reviewed.


The consultation was published on 19 November 2015 and is open until 11 February 2016. Further information is available at:


www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/cdf-consultation

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve one-year cancer survival rates over the next five years.

We want to lead the world in fighting cancer. Survival rates have never been higher, but we want to go further. In England, the independent Cancer Taskforce’s five-year strategy for cancer, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes, published in July 2015, recommends improvements across the cancer pathway with the aim of improving survival rates.


Updated National Institute for Health and Care Excellence referral guidelines for suspected cancer could save about 5,000 lives with general practitioners urged to think of cancer sooner and lower the referral threshold for tests. Whilst health is, of course, a devolved matter, we know that these guidelines are often used by the devolved administrations.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ensure that any new system of appraisal for cancer medicines will include in its remit appraisal for drugs which treat conditions with small patient populations.

NHS England has advised that it intends to jointly consult with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on proposals for a new Cancer Drugs Fund operating model. This will include the future arrangements for the evaluation of cancer drugs, including drugs for rarer cancers with small patient populations. Members of the public and any interested parties will have the opportunity to consider and comment on these proposals.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure to new medicines on the Cancer Drugs Fund list on patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia.


Neither the Department nor NHS England has made any such assessment. NHS England has advised that, although it is not considering new applications to the national Cancer Drugs Fund list at this time, there have been no new drugs launched for chronic myeloid leukaemia in the past 12 months.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve public awareness of pancreatic cancer.

Early diagnosis of cancer including for those with pancreatic cancer is a major priority for this Government in helping us to improve cancer survival. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published an updated guideline “Suspected cancer: recognition and referral” on 23 June 2015. The guideline reflects latest evidence and will continue to support general practitioners to identify patients, including those with symptoms of suspected pancreatic cancer, and urgently refer them as appropriate.

In England, to support early diagnosis of cancer, we have invested over £22 million in Be Clear on Cancer campaigns between 2010-11 and 2014-15, to raise awareness of various cancer types and encourage people with relevant cancer symptoms to visit their doctor promptly. Public Health England working with the Department, NHS England and other partners will continue to keep these campaigns under review to see and work with relevant experts to see what might be done to tackle other cancers.

Research and evidence of best practice is shared widely across the United Kingdom. However, as health is a devolved matter Ministers do not routinely discuss health issues with their counterparts.

More generally, NHS England is working jointly with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support to test seven new approaches to identifying cancer more quickly. The aim is to evaluate a number of initiatives across more than 60 sites around the country to collect evidence about what makes the most difference to patients.

In January 2015, NHS England announced an independent Cancer Taskforce to develop a five-year strategy for England which will recommend improvements across the cancer pathway, including awareness and early diagnosis. The strategy will be published in the summer.

29th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent conversations he has had with Health Ministers in the devolved administrations to improve awareness of (a) pancreatic cancer and (b) other types of cancer across the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Early diagnosis of cancer including for those with pancreatic cancer is a major priority for this Government in helping us to improve cancer survival. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published an updated guideline “Suspected cancer: recognition and referral” on 23 June 2015. The guideline reflects latest evidence and will continue to support general practitioners to identify patients, including those with symptoms of suspected pancreatic cancer, and urgently refer them as appropriate.

In England, to support early diagnosis of cancer, we have invested over £22 million in Be Clear on Cancer campaigns between 2010-11 and 2014-15, to raise awareness of various cancer types and encourage people with relevant cancer symptoms to visit their doctor promptly. Public Health England working with the Department, NHS England and other partners will continue to keep these campaigns under review to see and work with relevant experts to see what might be done to tackle other cancers.

Research and evidence of best practice is shared widely across the United Kingdom. However, as health is a devolved matter Ministers do not routinely discuss health issues with their counterparts.

More generally, NHS England is working jointly with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support to test seven new approaches to identifying cancer more quickly. The aim is to evaluate a number of initiatives across more than 60 sites around the country to collect evidence about what makes the most difference to patients.

In January 2015, NHS England announced an independent Cancer Taskforce to develop a five-year strategy for England which will recommend improvements across the cancer pathway, including awareness and early diagnosis. The strategy will be published in the summer.

29th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of a potential link between a diagnosis of diabetes and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

The Department has made no recent assessment of a potential link between a diagnosis of diabetes and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. However, it is recognised that diabetes is a risk factor for development of pancreatic cancer. This is reflected in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence updated guideline Suspected cancer: recognition and referral, published on 23 June 2015. This sets out that an urgent referral for a computerised tomography scan or ultrasound scan should be considered in people aged 60 or over with weight loss and new-onset diabetes.

10th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of women over the age of 50 being diagnosed with advanced stage cervical cancer.

Early diagnosis of cancer is a major priority for this Government in helping us to improve cancer survival.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England offers screening to women aged 50 to 64 every five years to help detect and treat any cervical abnormalities at an early stage. Public Health England continues to work with NHS England to develop a system of performance improvement to increase screening coverage amongst all eligible age groups, particularly in disadvantaged communities. We fully support efforts to warn women aged 50 to 64 about the risks of missing their appointments, as it is important that women above vaccination age realise that cervical screening is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.

In April 2012 the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) gave its support for a pilot to assess the value of using human papilloma virus (HPV) testing as primary screening for cervical disease, rather than the currently used cytology test. The pilot is establishing the feasibility of using HPV as the primary screen for cervical disease in order to achieve better outcomes for women, while minimising over-treatment and anxiety, and whether it is practical to roll out nationally. The UK NSC will open a public consultation shortly on whether HPV as primary screening for cervical disease should replace the currently used cytology test.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is in the process of updating the “Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer” (2005) to ensure that it reflects latest evidence and can continue to support general practitioners (GPs) to identify patients with the symptoms of suspected cancer, including gynaecological cancers and urgently refer them as appropriate. Women under 25 who are concerned about their risk of developing cervical cancer should contact their GP.

A cervical screening test is primarily used for screening purposes, and is unlikely to be appropriate when a woman has gynaecological issues that are symptomatic of cancer.

When a woman is experiencing gynaecological problems which are symptomatic of gynaecological cancer, their GP would be expected to refer them to the appropriate specialist without needing to conduct a screening test.

9th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve cervical screening coverage for women over the age of 50.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England offers screening to women aged 50 to 64 every five years to help detect and treat any cervical abnormalities at an early stage.

Public Health England continues to work with NHS England to develop a system of performance improvement through the use of performance floors, and strengthened governance for screening. The aims of the performance floors are:

- Improving performance and equity of service over time by reducing the range of variation at a local level including improving access to cervical screening for women aged 50 and over; and

- Enabling easy identification of poor performance and the setting of objectives and plans for local action, to reduce variation and improve performance.

In April 2012 the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) gave its support for a pilot to assess the value of using human papilloma virus (HPV) testing as primary screening for cervical disease, rather than the currently used cytology test. The pilot is establishing the feasibility of using HPV as the primary screen for cervical disease in order to achieve better outcomes for women, while minimising over-treatment and anxiety, and whether it is practical to roll out nationally. The UK NSC will open a public consultation shortly on whether HPV as primary screening for cervical disease should replace the currently used cytology test.

Information for women of all ages on cervical cancer and HPV is freely available on the NHS Choices website at:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-cervix/pages/introduction.aspx

9th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve public awareness of the link between HPV and the development of cervical cancer.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England offers screening to women aged 50 to 64 every five years to help detect and treat any cervical abnormalities at an early stage.

Public Health England continues to work with NHS England to develop a system of performance improvement through the use of performance floors, and strengthened governance for screening. The aims of the performance floors are:

- Improving performance and equity of service over time by reducing the range of variation at a local level including improving access to cervical screening for women aged 50 and over; and

- Enabling easy identification of poor performance and the setting of objectives and plans for local action, to reduce variation and improve performance.

In April 2012 the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) gave its support for a pilot to assess the value of using human papilloma virus (HPV) testing as primary screening for cervical disease, rather than the currently used cytology test. The pilot is establishing the feasibility of using HPV as the primary screen for cervical disease in order to achieve better outcomes for women, while minimising over-treatment and anxiety, and whether it is practical to roll out nationally. The UK NSC will open a public consultation shortly on whether HPV as primary screening for cervical disease should replace the currently used cytology test.

Information for women of all ages on cervical cancer and HPV is freely available on the NHS Choices website at:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-cervix/pages/introduction.aspx

24th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to increase investment in pancreatic cancer research in the UK.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health (Jane Ellison) has met recently with my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw) to discuss pancreatic cancer research and the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pancreatic Cancer and will write to the APPG shortly with comments on the report’s recommendations.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health including pancreatic cancer. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

The available funding for all topic areas including pancreatic cancer is subject to future allocation of the Department’s research and development budget. A budget figure for 2015-16 will be set later this year.

The NIHR is funding a £2 million five-year programme of research to understand the reasons why cancer diagnosis may be delayed, and to consider new designs for testing for cancer. The programme is a partnership between the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Bangor, Durham, Oxford, Exeter, the NIHR and Bristol NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. The programme objectives are to design and test new service pathways to cancer diagnosis which are based on sound medical evidence, make efficient use of resources and take full account of patients' views. The programme includes a study of factors influencing patient appraisal of symptoms and associations with cancer diagnosis. Participants in this study have been referred by their general practitioner to hospital for further investigation of symptoms suggestive of pancreatic, lung, or colorectal cancer.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will commission early diagnosis research projects specific to pancreatic cancer.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health (Jane Ellison) has met recently with my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw) to discuss pancreatic cancer research and the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pancreatic Cancer and will write to the APPG shortly with comments on the report’s recommendations.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health including pancreatic cancer. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

The available funding for all topic areas including pancreatic cancer is subject to future allocation of the Department’s research and development budget. A budget figure for 2015-16 will be set later this year.

The NIHR is funding a £2 million five-year programme of research to understand the reasons why cancer diagnosis may be delayed, and to consider new designs for testing for cancer. The programme is a partnership between the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Bangor, Durham, Oxford, Exeter, the NIHR and Bristol NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. The programme objectives are to design and test new service pathways to cancer diagnosis which are based on sound medical evidence, make efficient use of resources and take full account of patients' views. The programme includes a study of factors influencing patient appraisal of symptoms and associations with cancer diagnosis. Participants in this study have been referred by their general practitioner to hospital for further investigation of symptoms suggestive of pancreatic, lung, or colorectal cancer.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much his Department has spent on licensed drugs in each of the last four years.

Information on National Health Service expenditure on drugs is in the table. It is not possible to determine if a drug is prescribed within its licensed indication as information on the condition for which a drug is prescribed is not available.

Year

Primary Care1

£m

Secondary Care2

£m

Total

£m

2010-11

8,280

4,257

12,537

2011-12

8,243

4,482

12,725

2012-13

7,887

5,055

12,942

2013-14

8,015

5,324

13,339

Sources:

Primary care figures are from primary care trusts’ audited summarisation schedules and Department of Health annual accounts.

Secondary care figures are from NHS trusts’ finance returns and Foundation Trust year-end accounts.

Notes:

1 Primary care figures include amounts paid to pharmacy and appliance contractors by the NHS Business Services Authority and amounts authorised for dispensing doctors and personal administration in England. The data include the cost of dressings and appliances but do not cover costs for drugs prescribed in hospital but dispensed in the community or private prescriptions.

2 Secondary care expenditure on drugs includes medical gases. Drugs prescribed in hospitals but dispensed in the community are also included.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to inform young people aged 16 and over about joining the bone marrow donor register.

NHS Blood and Transport (NHSBT) manages the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR), the NHS Cord Blood Bank and provides specialist services related to the provision of stem cells which can turn into blood cells for the treatment of blood cancers and is responsible for raising awareness of these issues.

NHSBT recruits stem cell donors to the BBMR exclusively from the pool of active blood donors (aged 17 years and above), however those wishing to join at age 16, can do so through Anthony Nolan.

All registered stem cell donors are in the United Kingdom's aligned register. Anthony Nolan manages this single UK bone marrow register, which is known as the 'Anthony Nolan & NHS Stem Cell Registry', and is aligned with the NHS BBMR and the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

NHSBT has programmes in place to support education about donation and transplantation for children and young adults including Give and Let Live, a national education programme aimed at promoting awareness of bone marrow, blood, tissue, cord blood and organ donation amongst 14-16 year old pupils.

Within the UK strategy ‘Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020’ (published in July 2013 and available at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/to2020/), the UK Government Health Departments have agreed to explore with Education Departments the possibility of incorporating donation and transplantation into schools’ curricula.

4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Answer of 7 May 2014, Official Report, column 230W, on abortion, whether his Department has formed a view as to when the Royal college of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians publication, The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, should be updated in order to take into account new research; and if he will make a statement.

An updated guideline, The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, was published in 2011. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is maintaining a watching brief on the needto review recommendations in the light of new research evidence.

10th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has raised the increase in the cost of work permits for foreign workers in South Sudan with the South Sudanese Government.

We are concerned by the increasingly challenging environment for foreign workers in South Sudan, especially those working for humanitarian organisations and aid agencies. The continued obstruction of their work by the Government of South Sudan is particularly troubling following the declaration of famine in parts of Greater Unity State. The proposal to increase the cost of work permits will hinder their response. In light of the desperate situation, we are planning together with our international partners urgently to raise these issues with the Government of South Sudan.

2nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effect on freedom of religion or belief in Sudan as a result of the verdict in the recent case related to Reverend Hassan Abduraheem, Petr Jasek and Abdumonem Abdumawla in that country.

We are deeply concerned by the verdict in the case against Pastor Hassan Abduelraheen Kodi, Petr Jasek, and Abdulmonem Abdumawlla. We are aware that the defendants have the right to appeal. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum were present in court for the verdict, and together with our international partners, coordinated attendance at all hearings since their initial arrest. We have regularly raised our concerns over this case directly with the Government of Sudan, most recently on 22 January; and we will continue to do so as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue.

More widely, freedom of religion or belief in Sudan remains a concern. We continue to urge the Government of Sudan to uphold the commitments of the Interim Constitution of 2005, within which religious freedom is enshrined.

2nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the sentence given to Reverend Hassan Abduraheem, Petr Jasek and Abdumonem Abdumawla in Sudan; and if he will make a statement.

We are deeply concerned by the verdict in the case against Pastor Hassan Abduelraheen Kodi, Petr Jasek, and Abdulmonem Abdumawlla. We are aware that the defendants have the right to appeal. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum were present in court for the verdict, and together with our international partners, coordinated attendance at all hearings since their initial arrest. We have regularly raised our concerns over this case directly with the Government of Sudan, most recently on 22 January; and we will continue to do so as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue.

More widely, freedom of religion or belief in Sudan remains a concern. We continue to urge the Government of Sudan to uphold the commitments of the Interim Constitution of 2005, within which religious freedom is enshrined.

30th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the alleged torture of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam by Sudanese authorities during his ongoing detention without charge; and if he will make a statement.

We remain deeply concerned by the ongoing detention of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, and allegations that he has been tortured. Both our Ambassador in Khartoum and the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan most recently raised our concerns about this case directly with senior Sudanese government figures, including Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on 24 January, during the visit of the UK Special Representative to Khartoum between 21-28 January. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum also pressed the Sudanese government to allow access for Dr Mudawi’s family, and we are aware that they visited him in prison on 27 January.

30th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Chris Trott, raised the ongoing detention without charge of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam during his meeting with the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, on 24 January 2017.

We remain deeply concerned by the ongoing detention of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, and allegations that he has been tortured. Both our Ambassador in Khartoum and the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan most recently raised our concerns about this case directly with senior Sudanese Government figures, including Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on 24 January, during the visit of the UK Special Representative to Khartoum between 21-28 January. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum also pressed the Sudanese government to allow access for Dr Mudawi’s family, and we are aware that they visited him in prison on 27 January.

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the death sentence of Mohammed Ramadan in Bahrain.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain continute to closely monitor Mohammed Ramadan's case. We also continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. We have raised concerns both in public and in private, by having frank discussions including at the most senior levels. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) was very clear during her recent visit that we want to see Gulf states embed international norms and see through essential reforms.
24th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Sudanese counterpart on the trial of members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development.

We continue to raise our concerns about the trial of members of the human rights NGO TRACKs directly with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue, most recently during the visit of the Sudanese Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs on 10 October. I also made our wider human rights concerns clear to the Sudanese delegation during the same visit.

In coordination with our international partners we have ensured that there is a diplomatic presence at each stage of the trial of the members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development. Officials from our Embassy last attended on 30 August, and US officials attended the most recent hearing on 22 November.

24th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the fairness of the trial relating to members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development in Sudan.

We continue to raise our concerns about the trial of members of the human rights NGO TRACKs directly with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue, most recently during the visit of the Sudanese Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs on 10 October. I also made our wider human rights concerns clear to the Sudanese delegation during the same visit.

In coordination with our international partners we have ensured that there is a diplomatic presence at each stage of the trial of the members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development. Officials from our Embassy last attended on 30 August, and US officials attended the most recent hearing on 22 November.

24th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Sudanese counterpart on the six-month detention of Khalafalla Al-Afif Mukhtar, Midhat Afif Al-Deen Hamdan and Mustafa Adam on charges relating to their work and affiliation with the Centre for Training and Human Development.

We continue to raise our concerns about the trial of members of the human rights NGO TRACKs directly with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue, most recently during the visit of the Sudanese Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs on 10 October. I also made our wider human rights concerns clear to the Sudanese delegation during the same visit.

In coordination with our international partners we have ensured that there is a diplomatic presence at each stage of the trial of the members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development. Officials from our Embassy last attended on 30 August, and US officials attended the most recent hearing on 22 November.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he has received reports on forced closure of Baha'i shops and businesses in Iran and associated economic repression by the Iranian authorities; and if he will make a statement.

​The UK regularly raises human rights concerns with the Iranian government including the continued persecution of religious minorities and treatment of the Baha'i community. We are aware of the enforced closures of Baha'i businesses by the Iranian authorities. We call on Iran to cease harassment of all religious minorities and to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to allow freedom of religion to all Iranians.

20th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle extremism in Sudan.

The UK has engaged directly with the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum on counter extremism issues. This led to us supporting two parallel events in 2015 – one at the university in Khartoum and one in Manchester for alumni – which aimed to raise awareness and to engage staff, students and the graduate association on options for tackling the risks of radicalisation.

20th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will list the joint projects between the UK and Sudanese governments that are tackling extremism in the Horn of Africa region.

We are not engaged in any joint projects with the Government of Sudan directly designed to tackle extremism in the Horn of Africa. We are, however, exploring options for cooperation in this area with relevant Sudanese Government bodies, as we believe the Government of Sudan has an important role to play in countering these threats.

18th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will place in the Library a copy of all of his Department's assessments of security contracts funded by his Department in Bahrain.

​These programmes are routinely monitored and evaluated on a quarterly basis to ensure that they are on track for delivery. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides updates on its programme work in its annual Human Rights reports.

All FCO programmes that support security reform are carefully considered in line with Her Majesty's Government's Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Guidance in order to assess and mitigate human rights risks. Our assistance is specifically designed to assist the Government of Bahrain improve human rights standards and strengthen the rule of law.

18th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department advised the Northern Ireland Executive on human rights concerns and other sensitivities for Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas Ltd undertaking a contract for Bahrain's prison system.

The UK Government continues to assist Bahrain in their reform agenda including by working with the Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas programme, whose aims are to assist the Government of Bahrain to bring its justice system into compliance with international standards. The UK Government continues to have frank discussions with the Government of Bahrain about our concerns on human rights cases. We continue to encourage the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of all its citizens and we have encouraged them to protect the universal rights of freedom of expression most recently at the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in September.

18th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has received representations from Northern Ireland authorities on potential human rights, reputational implications and other concerns for the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas Ltd undertaking a contract to work for the Bahraini prison system.

The UK Government continues to assist Bahrain in their reform agenda including by working with the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas programme whose aims are to assist the Government of Bahrain to bring its justice system into compliance with international standards. We enjoy a close relationship with the Devolved Administrations and would certainly work with the Northern Ireland authorities on any issue.

The UK Government continues to have frank discussions with the Government of Bahrain at all levels about our concerns on some cases brought against political opposition members and human rights activists.

18th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the Reprieve report, entitled Belfast to Bahrain: the Torture Trail and its findings of work carried out by Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas Ltd in Bahrain.

​The UK Government continues to assist Bahrain in their reform agenda including by working with the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NICO) programme. Our and NICO's aims are to assist the Government of Bahrain to bring its justice system into compliance with international standards. All of NICO's work in Bahrain is regularly monitored and reviewed and continues to comply with rigorous UK human rights standards, which are in line with international human rights law. The impact of their work has been and continues to be positive.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens are known to have been (a) detained and (b) delayed when entering Israel in the past 12 months.

​According to Israeli figures 129 000 British nationals have visited Israel since 1 January 2016, and 50 British nationals have been refused entry into Israel through Ben-Gurion Airport. Of these, 25 sought assistance from the British Embassy. A further 65 British nationals have been refused entry at the Allenby Bridge.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens held in Israel's airport detention facilities have been provided with consular assistance by the UK embassy in Tel Aviv in the last 12 months.

​Since January 2016, 25 British nationals who have been detained at Ben-Gurion Airport have requested consular assistance from the UK Embassy.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens have raised the issue of poor treatment by Israeli authorities at border crossings and entry points with the (a) UK Government, (b) embassy in Tel Aviv and (c) consulates in Jerusalem and Ramallah in the last 12 months.

Since January 2016, 15 British nationals have alleged poor treatment by Israeli authorities at border crossings.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people with dual Palestinian and British citizenship have been (a) refused entry to, (b) detained by and (c) deported by Israel in the last 12 months.

Palestinians are not allowed to enter Israel through Ben-Gurion Airport. Dual British/Palestinian nationals enter on their Palestinian documents through Allenby Bridge. We are not aware of any Dual nationals who have been refused entry.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens have been deported by Israel after initially being granted entry to the state in the last 12 months.

​We are not aware of any British nationals that have been deported after being allowed entry, with the exception of people who have overstayed their visa.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens are known to have been detained, interrogated and subsequently denied entry by Israel in the last 12 months.

​According to Israeli figures 129 000 British nationals have visited Israel since 1 January 2016, and 50 British nationals have been refused entry into Israel through Ben-Gurion Airport. Of these, 25 sought assistance from the British Embassy. A further 65 British nationals have been refused entry at the Allenby Bridge.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the obstruction of humanitarian agencies delivering assistance to civilians and the expulsion of international NGOs in South Sudan would trigger the sanctions regime provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 2304.

The sanctions threat in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2304 relates specifically to the obstruction of the UN Mission in South Sudan or the deployment of a Regional Protection Force. However, the obstruction of the activities of international peacekeeping, diplomatic, or humanitarian missions in South Sudan or of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance are some of the criteria set out in UNSCR 2290, which renewed the sanctions regime on South Sudan until 31 May 2017.

12th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to ensure that people recently displaced by violence in South Sudan receive humanitarian protection.

We are working with humanitarian partners, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (who both receive Department for International Development funding) to assess the situation and mobilise responses where possible, including the provision of water, food and health services for internally displaced persons. However, at present, continued insecurity is a significant barrier to humanitarian operations in some areas. We are pressing for action at the UN Security Council to ensure that United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan has the equipment and unrestricted access it needs to fulfil its mandated task of providing a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
12th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to First Vice-President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to encourage their political dialogue.

Whilst we have not been able to be in direct contact with President Salva Kiir or First Vice President Riek Machar since the escalation in fighting on 10 July, we have in the past made repeated representations to both, urging them to abide by the terms of the peace agreement they signed up to in August 2015. The further fighting that has broken out is therefore deeply disappointing and we are working with regional and international partners to ensure a clear message on the necessity for a lasting ceasefire and condemnation of violence from all sides.

12th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the preliminary ceasefire recently agreed in South Sudan.

The former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge) condemned the violence and called on all sides to cease fighting. The former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge) and senior members of Her Majesty's diplomatic service have also been in touch with regional colleagues on how to bring an immediate end to the crisis. At the UN, we are pressing for action at the Security Council including on securing an arms embargo to tackle the flow of weapons and ammunition to those pursuing violence.

6th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's objectives are for the UK-Sudan strategic dialogue.

The dialogue is an important juncture in our relationship and we were invited by Sudan to commence it. Let me make it very clear that we need to continue to support Sudan. It is a source, host and transit country for migration. What is going on there affects the rest of Europe, and so we want to continue to help with the dire humanitarian situation there. Given that 2.5 million people are long-term displaced in Darfur alone, people need our support.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether the Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services had a role in the recent deaths of student protestors.

We are deeply concerned by the deaths of two students during recent protests, including allegations of the National Intelligence and Security Service’s involvement. We have raised our concerns with the Government of Sudan and believe that a full and transparent investigation should be undertaken to ensure those responsible are held to account.

19th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the reported raid of Nabil Adib's office by Sudan's national security and intelligence services and the alleged assault and arrest of people in that office.

The International Federation for Human Rights, World Organisation Against Torture and African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies have all reported on the alleged raid on Nabil Adib’s office on 5 May. We have raised our concerns about this case directly with the Government of Sudan, most recently during the visit of the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan on 11 to 12 May. We will continue to monitor this case closely.

19th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will make representations to the government of Sudan on the arrests and daily reporting conditions imposed on at least six clergymen and two lay members from three church denominations in Khartoum since December 2015.

Freedom of religion or belief in Sudan continues to be an area of concern for the UK. We have consistently called on the Government of Sudan to ensure all legislation is in line with the commitment to their citizens in the Interim Constitution of 2005; within which religious freedom is enshrined. Our Embassy in Khartoum raised the detention and requirement to report on a daily basis to the National Intelligence and Security Service, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 10 May.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to the Iranian government on the continued detention of seven Bahá'í leaders.

The UK regularly raises our concerns at the treatment of the Baha’i community in Iran. We call on Iran to cease harassment of all religious minorities and to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to allow freedom of religion to all Iranians.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the preservation of cultural sites in Sudan.

The UK Government is not directly involved in the preservation of cultural sites in Sudan. However, the British Council has previously sought to increase the awareness and appreciation of Sudan’s cultural heritage, including its cultural sites, amongst Sudanese youth. In addition, the British Museum has long-been involved in the archaeology of Sudan, including the preservation of cultural sites in Sudan, often with the support of the British Council.

29th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of human rights in Sudan in the period from 2011 to 2016 in preparation for the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 4 May 2016.

Sudan remains a priority country for UK engagement and we have made regular assessments of the human rights situation during this period, as set out in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual Human Rights and Democracy reports, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/human-rights-and-democracy-reports.

During the Universal Periodic Review process at the UN Human Rights Council we raised a number of areas of concern including the impact of the ongoing conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas, the immunity from prosecution provided to the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service and restrictions on freedom of religion or belief.

11th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Government will increase its political and economic support for the UN Human Rights Office in Bogota to increase the capacity of that office to observe the human rights situation in that country; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is one of the top ten donors to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) giving £2.5m annually in global un-earmarked funding, in addition to our assessed voluntary contributions. We will also give another £1m in earmarked funding towards Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) and conflict prevention related work globally in 2016/17. I announced a contribution of £4.2m to the UN Post Conflict Trust Fund for Colombia and £1.1 for an EU Trust Fund. Both will be an important part of the multilateral effort once the peace deal is signed.

11th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on the number of human rights defenders and community leaders who have been killed in the last 30 days.

I raised the issue of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) on 29 September 2015 when I met Deputy Foreign Minister Holguin of Colombia during the UN General Assembly, and in March when I met the Colombian Ambassador in London. We take every opportunity to raise our concerns with contacts in Colombia. Our Embassy officials raised our concerns with the Colombian Interior Minister and with the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights in February. The Minister of State, my noble Friend the Rt Hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns, raised her concerns about the situation of HRDs in Colombia with the Interior Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister during her visit there last month. On 1 April, our Ambassador to Colombia accompanied the Minister of Interior to a regional Human Rights roundtable, where the role of local authorities in taking effective action on HRD cases was discussed. The UK was the only member of the international community invited to this event.
7th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take in the event of a continued deterioration in the political and security situation in Burundi.

The UK Government is extremely concerned about the situation in Burundi. We remain committed to supporting efforts to end the crisis and broker a peaceful solution as soon as possible. We have played an active role in ensuring that the international community maintains the pressure on the Government of Burundi to stop the cycle of violence and participate meaningfully in dialogue.

On 17 December I visited Burundi at the end of a three day visit to the region also including stops in Uganda and Rwanda. I used the visit to highlight the deteriorating situation, condemn the violence, and urge all parties, including regional players, to take concrete steps together to find a political solution. On 22 January the UK participated in a UN Security Council Visit to Burundi which delivered a similar, united message. On 27 and 28 January I attended the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa. In my various meetings at the Summit, including with AU Chairperson Madam Zuma, AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui and a range of other regional leaders, I stressed the importance of the AU continuing to lead the international response to the deteriorating situation. The UK has led efforts to put into place EU sanctions against four human rights offenders. Should Burundi continue to refuse to engage in dialogue and the political and security situation continue to deteriorate, we will push for further EU sanctions against those blocking progress towards peace. On 14 March the EU announced the suspension of its direct development funding to the Burundian Government.

The UK is the second largest bilateral donor to the regional refugee crisis. In Tanzania, Department for International Development (DFID) is providing £14.5 million and in Rwanda £6.9 million to support refugees. DFID is also supporting the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) to strengthen humanitarian coordination in Burundi. We are also planning to enhance the British Embassy Liaison Office (BELO) in Bujumbura with a joint DFID and FCO Burundi Coordinator who will support the UK’s non-resident Ambassador to Burundi and ensure that the UK is represented on the ground.

We are also working with our partners, including at the UN and AU, to ensure that the international community is ready to respond should the security situation in Burundi deteriorate rapidly. We stand ready to contribute to an international intervention, should the need arise.

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the time taken for Anguilla to respond to his Department's consultation on a public register of beneficial ownership; and what assessment he has made of the legitimacy of the reasons for the time that was taken.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for East Devon (Hugo Swire MP) Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the answer of 10 November 2015 (PQ 15153), and to the answers given by my Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 16 October 2015, to (PQ10437, PQ10438 and PQ10448).

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his estimate is of the number of human rights activists and community leaders killed in Colombia during the first eight months of 2015.

The latest report from the NGO coalition ‘Somos Defensores’ recorded 51 murders of human rights defenders in the first nine months of 2015, compared to 55 for the whole of 2014 which indicates a worrying upward trend. Despite recent significant developments on the peace process we remain concerned by this increase in violence and threats against human rights defenders there. I again raised the issue of human rights with the Colombian Deputy Foreign Minister, Patti Londono, on 29 September. Officials in London met British NGOs on 9 November, to understand their concerns in greater detail.


5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the time taken by the Cayman Islands government to respond to its consultation on a public register of beneficial ownership.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to questions 10437, 10438 and 10448, which sets out the criteria we expect the Overseas Territories to meet in relation to their central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system.

We are continuing our dialogue with the Anguilla authorities on this and have offered any technical support that might be required as they develop their proposals.

5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress made by Anguilla since June 2013 in meeting the Prime Minister's ambition for a public register of beneficial ownership.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to questions 10437, 10438 and 10448, which sets out the criteria we expect the Overseas Territories to meet in relation to their central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system.

We are continuing our dialogue with the Anguilla authorities on this and have offered any technical support that might be required as they develop their proposals.

5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will ensure that any agreement on a central registry of beneficial ownership in Anguilla will include access for the public with legitimate reason.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to questions 10437, 10438 and 10448, which sets out the criteria we expect the Overseas Territories to meet in relation to their central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system.

We are continuing our dialogue with the Anguilla authorities on this and have offered any technical support that might be required as they develop their proposals.

5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will ensure that any agreement on a central registry of beneficial ownership in the Cayman Islands will include access for the public with legitimate reason.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to questions 10437, 10438 and 10448, which sets out the criteria we expect the Overseas Territories to meet in relation to their central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system.

We are continuing our dialogue with the Anguilla authorities on this and have offered any technical support that might be required as they develop their proposals.

5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress made by the Cayman Islands since June 2013 in meeting the Prime Minister's ambition for a public register of beneficial ownership.

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend, the Member for South West Hertfordshire (David Gauke MP), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to questions 10437, 10438 and 10448, which sets out the criteria we expect the Overseas Territories to meet in relation to their central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system.

We are continuing our dialogue with the Anguilla authorities on this and have offered any technical support that might be required as they develop their proposals.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for peace talks in Colombia of the on-going violence perpetrated by paramilitaries in that country.

We strongly believe that the best way to achieve a sustainable peace in Colombia after decades of conflict is through the current Peace Process. We welcome the announcement by both sides on 23 September, on an agreement for justice and victims' reparations. The agreement ends any notion of impunity, including those alleged to be involved in Paramilitary groups.

Our Embassy in Bogotá receives regular reporting on the security and human rights situation in Colombia from a range of sources including non-governmental organisations operating in Colombia. This includes allegations of abuses by paramilitary groups such as attacks against leaders of land restitution claims and human rights defenders. The majority of such abuses continue to take place in areas affected by the ongoing conflict. We remain concerned about the ongoing activity of paramilitary forces operating in Colombia and we continue to raise this issue of Human rights regularly with the Colombian authorities.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on the recent assassination of three members of the Zenu indigenous peoples.

Our officials in Bogota meet regularly with indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in Bogota, and met the Zenu community of Córdoba in May 2015 in a joint visit with ABColombia. We have raised their demands for protection of their rights with the Colombian government, most recently through meetings with the Ministry of Interior on 5 August and 17 September.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on the number of Colombian human rights defenders assassinated in the last six months.

Human rights continue to be an integral part of our dialogue and relationship with Colombia. We remain concerned by the number of threats that continue to be made against human rights defenders (HRDs) in Colombia and I raised the issue of human rights with the Colombian Deputy Foreign Minister, Patti Londoño, on 29 September 2015 during the UN General Assembly.

Although the number of HRDs murdered fell by a third between 2013 and 2014, threats and assassinations continue. Colombian non-governmental organisation Somos Defensores reports 32 murders and 332 threats from January to July of 2015. Our Embassy is supporting a project on collective protection measures for HRDs in rural areas through our Human Rights and Democracy Fund and regularly raises concerns about the violence and intimidation suffered by human rights defenders in Colombia with the Colombian government. In his last meeting before leaving Post, the then British Ambassador met the Colombian Interior Minister on 5 August 2015 and raised a number of human rights cases of concern. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

7th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received on threats against Colombian human rights defenders Berenice Celeita, Claudia Julieta Duque, Andrea Torres and Jorge Molano.

On 3 July, our officials were informed by the non-government organisation, Peace Brigades International, about the recent threats encountered by these four Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). Although the Government is unable to interfere in the judicial process of another country, we will continue to monitor specific cases where our resources allow. Our Embassy in Bogotá was already aware of the cases of Claudia Julieta Duque and Jorge Molano. Jorge Molano met our officials in the United Kingdom on 4 June to discuss the security situation of HRDs and justice for victims of the conflict. We remain concerned by the number of threats made against HRDs in Colombia. We regularly raise these concerns with the Colombian government and our Ambassador in Bogotá has discussed human rights issues with the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights and the Attorney-General’s Office.

7th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise threats made against Berenice Celeita, Claudia Julieta Duque, Andrea Torres and Jorge Molano with the Colombian government.

On 3 July, our officials were informed by the non-government organisation, Peace Brigades International, about the recent threats encountered by these four Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). Although the Government is unable to interfere in the judicial process of another country, we will continue to monitor specific cases where our resources allow. Our Embassy in Bogotá was already aware of the cases of Claudia Julieta Duque and Jorge Molano. Jorge Molano met our officials in the United Kingdom on 4 June to discuss the security situation of HRDs and justice for victims of the conflict. We remain concerned by the number of threats made against HRDs in Colombia. We regularly raise these concerns with the Colombian government and our Ambassador in Bogotá has discussed human rights issues with the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights and the Attorney-General’s Office.

18th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has taken a position on the viability of forthcoming elections in Sudan; and what discussions he has had with his Sudanese counterpart on ensuring that conditions are met for those elections to be free and fair.

Due to the ongoing conflicts, political detentions, and clampdown on media freedoms, it is hard to see how elections scheduled in April 2015 could be free and fair. Our Embassy in Khartoum continues to call on the Government of Sudan to address these issues and stand by their commitments to National Dialogue. A genuine National Dialogue remains the best opportunity to achieve a genuinely representative political system in Sudan
18th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of levels of political freedoms in eastern Sudan.

The Government of Sudan continues to restrict political and individual freedoms throughout Sudan, including eastern Sudan. HMG ministers and officials consistently raise our serious concerns about human rights in Sudan with its government.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will place in the Library the protocols, memorandum of understanding and any other documents relating to the UK-Colombia defence relationship.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) to the Member for Stoke-on-Trent South (Mr Flello) on 4 February 2014, Official Report, column 168W.

Pursuant to this, the Memorandum of Understanding to promote cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Colombian Ministry of Defence was placed in the House of Commons Library on 4 February 2014 by the Ministry of Defence.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on the UK's programme of counter-narcotics assistance to Colombia; and if he will make a statement.

We receive regular updates on our ongoing programme of support to Colombia in the area of counter-narcotics. However, we do not release detailed information as to do so would risk undermining operational effectiveness and could prejudice the capability or security of those undertaking operations. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Home Office, National Crime Agency and Ministry of Defence are in regular dialogue to ensure this activity is in line with our international obligations.

12th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure women from caste communities are taken into account in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 National Action Plan.

The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) is focused on ending impunity for crimes of sexual violence committed in conflict and the provision of greater support to the survivors of these crimes. Where caste based sexual violence and so-called punishment rape are used in conflict they fall within the overarching objectives of the Initiative.

The UK’s National Action Plan (NAP) on implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 reaffirms and strengthens the Government’s ambition to pursue visible change for women and girls affected by conflict. The 2014-2017 NAP promotes the participation of women, from all backgrounds, in decision-making processes related to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

PSVI and the NAP are complemented by wider government activity on tackling violence against women and girls, underpinned by the cross-government action plan, ‘A Call to End Violence against Women and Girls’, which sets out the Government’s programme of domestic and international work in this area. This includes working though our network of embassies overseas and with non-governmental organisations to address the full range of violations of women’s rights, including sexual and other forms of violence committed against them

10th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to encourage female participation in peace processes in Sudan in order to ensure that women from all sections of society are represented in those processes.

We are taking steps to ensure female participation in Sudan’s peace processes. At the national level we have regularly called on the Government of Sudan to include all parts of society in the ongoing National Dialogue, which aims to secure peace in Sudan. We have also supported engagement by UK parliamentarians with female parliamentarians in Sudan to strengthen the role of women in Sudan. Additionally, we are supporting work in Darfur and South Kordofan to ensure women are represented in community peace and conflict resolution processes.

10th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Sudanese government in support of raising the legal age of marriage in Sudan from 10 to 18 year in order to comply with international standards on child rights.

The UK ensured that the Government of Sudan was represented at the Girl Summit, which took place in London in July this year. The Government of Sudan will now develop the first National Strategy and Action Plan to combat Child, Early and Forced Marriage. The UK has been invited to participate and will continue to press the Government of Sudan to raise the legal age of marriage to 18.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the demobilisation and integration of former Beja Congress fighters into civil and military services is adequately supported.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s engagement in Sudan does not include direct support to the demobilisation and integration of former Beja Congress fighters into civil or military roles.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received of recent developments in Sudan's National Dialogue process.

The British Government continues to monitor Sudan’s National Dialogue process closely, including via regular reporting from its Embassy in Khartoum. We continue to call on the Government of Sudan to live up to its commitment to hold an inclusive national dialogue as the best way of achieving sustainable peace and a prosperous Sudan

21st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on the treatment of the Bahá'í community in Iran.

It was reported in May 2014 that a Bahai’i cemetery in Shiraz, where over 950 Baha’is are buried, was destroyed – there have been a number of similar such incidents in recent years. As well as the threat of imprisonment, Baha’is continue to face ongoing harassment and discrimination.

The UK works closely with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, who’s most recent report of March 2014 addressed the plight of Baha’is and other religious minorities in the country. The UK’s non-resident Chargé d’Affaires to Iran discussed freedom of religion and other Human Rights issues with the Iranian authorities during his visit to Iran in March 2014. My hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Hugh Robertson), issued a public statement on 14 May 2014 calling for Iran to abide by its international commitments to ensure all Iranians are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution.

18th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether discussions that officials of his Department had with officials of the Northern Ireland Executive included (a) budgetary challenges facing the Executive during 2015 and (b) the escalated spending exposure under the Northern Ireland non-domestic renewable heat incentive scheme.

Treasury officials regularly discuss matters of mutual interest with their counterparts in the devolved administrations. At relevant points in time, those discussions will have covered each of the matters highlighted.

18th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions officials of his Department have had with officials of the Northern Ireland Executive on (a) the Autumn Statement 2015 and (b) the settlement letter referring to the costs of Northern Ireland's non-domestic renewable heat incentive scheme.

Treasury officials regularly discuss matters of mutual interest with their counterparts in the devolved administrations. At relevant points in time, those discussions will have covered each of the matters highlighted.

17th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether AME funding for the Northern Ireland non-domestic renewable heat incentive continued on an interrupted basis from 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015.

The Treasury’s role is to set an annual budget allocation for renewable heat schemes in Northern Ireland proportionate to the budget provided to the department which manages similar schemes in Great Britain. Administering the scheme, including the disbursal of payments to recipients, is the responsibility of the relevant Northern Ireland Executive departments.

17th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether any misuse of funds attached to the uptake of the Northern Ireland non-domestic renewable heating incentive was confined to devolved spending only and did not entail use of AME funds.

All spending on the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive is ‘devolved spending’ in respect of the Northern Ireland Executive’s devolved responsibilities.

17th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) his Department and (b) the National Audit Office were notified that the Northern Ireland Department for Finance and Personnel had declined to give retrospective approval for spending on the non-domestic renewable heat incentive scheme from 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015.

Neither the Treasury, nor the NAO, would expect to be notified of interactions between departments of the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to internal Northern Ireland Executive spending approval processes.

9th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether discussions between Ministers of his Department and Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive on budgetary challenges facing the Executive during 2015 included the escalated spending exposure under the Northern Ireland non-domestic renewable heat incentive scheme.

Treasury ministers did not discuss the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme with Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive in 2015. The Treasury’s role is to set a budget allocation for renewable heat schemes in Northern Ireland proportionate to the budget provided to the department which manages similar schemes in Great Britain. It is for the Executive to meet any costs in excess of that budget from its block grant or the other resources available to it.

20th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many tax credits were stopped by HM Revenue and Customs during the week commencing (a) 8 and (b) 15 August 2016.

Between 1 August 2016 and 31 August 2016 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically stopped 365,483 tax credit claims as a direct result of customers failing to comply with the requirements of the annual renewal process.

Alongside the annual renewal process, HMRC records the number of awards that have been amended, which could be stopped, reduced or increased. Therefore, data showing the total number of claims stopped following a compliance intervention is unavailable.

During the course of the contract, HMRC delegated a total caseload of 2,209,500 cases for high risk renewal checks by Concentrix. Of these 1,635,676 cases were not the subject of further investigation for fraud or error by Concentrix. This amounts to 74% of the total caseload.

The volume of high risk renewals referred to Concentrix are broken down into the three risk categories as follows:

  • Undeclared Partner: 1,398,908

  • Work & Hours: 564,983

  • Child Care: 245,609

20th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many tax credit claims classed as high risk renewals by HM Revenue and Customs have been referred to Concentrix in each of the three risk categories.

Between 1 August 2016 and 31 August 2016 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically stopped 365,483 tax credit claims as a direct result of customers failing to comply with the requirements of the annual renewal process.

Alongside the annual renewal process, HMRC records the number of awards that have been amended, which could be stopped, reduced or increased. Therefore, data showing the total number of claims stopped following a compliance intervention is unavailable.

During the course of the contract, HMRC delegated a total caseload of 2,209,500 cases for high risk renewal checks by Concentrix. Of these 1,635,676 cases were not the subject of further investigation for fraud or error by Concentrix. This amounts to 74% of the total caseload.

The volume of high risk renewals referred to Concentrix are broken down into the three risk categories as follows:

  • Undeclared Partner: 1,398,908

  • Work & Hours: 564,983

  • Child Care: 245,609

20th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many and what proportion of tax credits referred to Concentrix by HM Revenue and Customs as high risk renewals were streamed out by Concentrix from further investigation for fraud or error.

Between 1 August 2016 and 31 August 2016 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically stopped 365,483 tax credit claims as a direct result of customers failing to comply with the requirements of the annual renewal process.

Alongside the annual renewal process, HMRC records the number of awards that have been amended, which could be stopped, reduced or increased. Therefore, data showing the total number of claims stopped following a compliance intervention is unavailable.

During the course of the contract, HMRC delegated a total caseload of 2,209,500 cases for high risk renewal checks by Concentrix. Of these 1,635,676 cases were not the subject of further investigation for fraud or error by Concentrix. This amounts to 74% of the total caseload.

The volume of high risk renewals referred to Concentrix are broken down into the three risk categories as follows:

  • Undeclared Partner: 1,398,908

  • Work & Hours: 564,983

  • Child Care: 245,609

20th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many of the tax claims stopped directly by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the last 12 months had previously been referred to Concentrix by HMRC as high risk renewals.

Between 1 August 2016 and 31 August 2016 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically stopped 365,483 tax credit claims as a direct result of customers failing to comply with the requirements of the annual renewal process.

Alongside the annual renewal process, HMRC records the number of awards that have been amended, which could be stopped, reduced or increased. Therefore, data showing the total number of claims stopped following a compliance intervention is unavailable.

During the course of the contract, HMRC delegated a total caseload of 2,209,500 cases for high risk renewal checks by Concentrix. Of these 1,635,676 cases were not the subject of further investigation for fraud or error by Concentrix. This amounts to 74% of the total caseload.

The volume of high risk renewals referred to Concentrix are broken down into the three risk categories as follows:

  • Undeclared Partner: 1,398,908

  • Work & Hours: 564,983

  • Child Care: 245,609

20th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many tax claims stoppages made directly by HM Revenue and Customs in August 2016 were related to compliance with annual renewals.

Between 1 August 2016 and 31 August 2016 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically stopped 365,483 tax credit claims as a direct result of customers failing to comply with the requirements of the annual renewal process.

Alongside the annual renewal process, HMRC records the number of awards that have been amended, which could be stopped, reduced or increased. Therefore, data showing the total number of claims stopped following a compliance intervention is unavailable.

During the course of the contract, HMRC delegated a total caseload of 2,209,500 cases for high risk renewal checks by Concentrix. Of these 1,635,676 cases were not the subject of further investigation for fraud or error by Concentrix. This amounts to 74% of the total caseload.

The volume of high risk renewals referred to Concentrix are broken down into the three risk categories as follows:

  • Undeclared Partner: 1,398,908

  • Work & Hours: 564,983

  • Child Care: 245,609

2nd Sep 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he plans to introduce a MP hotline number for Concentrix.

I refer the Right Honourable gentleman to the answer I gave on 1 December 2015 (17151).

17th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what research he has commissioned into the implications for developing countries of the OECD Automatic Exchange of Tax Information.

As made clear during our G8 Presidency, we are committed to helping developing countries benefit from increased tax transparency including the new global standard of automatic exchange of information. The G20 asked the Global Forum to produce a Roadmap setting out how developing countries can overcome obstacles to participate in automatic exchange. Since G20 Finance Ministers welcomed the Roadmap in September, my officials and their counterparts in DfID and HMRC have engaged in discussions with a number of developing countries on the possibility of piloting implementation of the new global standard. These discussions are ongoing.

11th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the scope of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on automatic exchange of taxpayer information recently signed in Berlin; and if he will make a statement.

The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) signed in Berlin is the instrument which will give effect to exchange under the new global standard of automatic tax information exchange by its signatories. At the signing event in Berlin 51 countries and jurisdictions signed the MCAA and we expect the other countries committed to implementation to do so shortly.

Implementation of the global standard will lead to step change in the international communities’ ability to tackle offshore tax evasion.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
11th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how he plans to respond to the OECD's proposals on involvement of low income countries in development of the automatic exchange of tax payer information.

As made clear during our G8 Presidency, we are committed to helping developing countries benefit from increased tax transparency including the new global standard of automatic exchange of information. Since G20 Finance Ministers welcomed the Global Forum’s Roadmap in September, my officials and their counterparts in DfID and HMRC have engaged in discussions with a number of developing countries on the possibility of piloting implementation of the new global standard. These discussions are ongoing.

11th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing process; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is at the forefront of multilateral action through the G20 and OECD to tackle the issue of tax avoidance by multinational enterprise. The UK used its Presidency of the G8 to successfully build international support for this work.

Work is well underway at the OECD, in the form of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The first phase of the BEPS project is now complete, with participants reaching agreement on seven reports which have been produced by the OECD and endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers at their Summit in Cairns 20-21 September.

Of these outputs, this government has already taken domestic action towards implementation. In September 2014 the UK announced it would be the first of 44 countries to formally commit to implementing the newly agreed BEPS output of a country-by-country reporting template.

Subsequently, in October 2014 the UK announced its commitment to publish a consultation on the BEPs project’s 2014 output to neutralise hybrid mismatches - a tax avoidance technique used by multinationals to exploit differences between countries’ tax rules to avoid paying tax in either country, or to obtain more tax relief against profits than they are entitled to.

The BEPS project is due to finish by December 2015. In order to achieve success by creating effective recommendations for the remaining Actions, in line with the Action Plan, the collaboration and momentum of the process must continue.

As set out in the publication at Budget 14, one of the key principles underpinning the UK’s approach to the BEPS project is that the solutions should be consistent with the Government’s wish to promote UK growth and competitiveness.

Whilst the project will not be completed until the end of 2015, if we can achieve our goals, we will succeed in fundamentally changing the international tax landscape, and shift the balance of the rules in favour of tax authorities, enabling us to clamp down on those who refuse to play by the rules.

11th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the G20's 2013 St Petersburg Declaration, what plans he has for a spillover analysis of the effects of UK tax rules on developing countries.

The St Petersburg Declaration refers to Action 11 of the G20-OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, which is developing an economic analysis to determine the scale and impact of aggressive tax planning by multinationals, including on the spillover effects into other countries. The UK supports this work.

11th Nov 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will pilot a scheme on automatic information exchange with a developing country.

As made clear during our G8 Presidency, we are committed to helping developing countries benefit from increased tax transparency including the new global standard of automatic exchange of information. Since G20 Finance Ministers welcomed the Global Forum’s Roadmap in September, my officials and their counterparts in DfID and HMRC have engaged in discussions with a number of developing countries on the possibility of piloting implementation of the new global standard. These discussions are ongoing.

24th Jun 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of cutting the rate of tourism VAT on the tourism balance of payments.

No such assessment has been made. There is no single rate of tourism VAT. The VAT rate paid on goods and services bought by tourists in the UK is exactly the same as that which applies to UK residents. This means for example, that tourists can benefit from the UK's zero rates of VAT on certain foods, children's clothing and certain transport. But it also means they are charged VAT on things like catering services (the supply of meals, alcohol, snacks and drinks) sold by restaurants, pubs, cafes and canteens.

23rd Jun 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on the level of youth unemployment in the UK of the tourism VAT rate.

No specific assessment has been made of the effect on the level of youth unemployment in the UK of the current levels of VAT that apply to the tourism sector.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what account she took of the recommendations of (a) the Report of the Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review presented to her on 16 December 2013 and (b) the report from the Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill published on 3 April 2014, HC 1019, when establishing the review of migrant domestic worker arrangements.

Both reports were considered carefully when establishing the review of the
Overseas Domestic Worker visa. That is why the review will focus on all aspects
of this visa regime, including the support available to those who are subject
to modern slavery offences whilst holding these visas. The Government is
determined to ensure that our visa regime does not encourage or facilitate
abuse. James Ewins was asked to conduct the review in light of his significant
background in tackling modern slavery, including as specialist adviser to the
pre-legislative scrutiny Committee and as a member of the steering committee
for the Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review Panel. The Review will report by
the end of July 2015.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of removing the reasonable person test in defence for children from the Modern Slavery Bill.

The statutory defence is an important additional protection for victims of
modern slavery who have been compelled to commit certain offences as a direct
consequence of their slavery or trafficking situation. In addition, the Crown
Prosecution Service will continue to use its discretion to not charge an
offence or discontinue a prosecution which is not required, in the public
interest.

It is imperative that the defence protects child victims of modern slavery from
being inappropriately criminalised whilst also avoiding providing complete
immunity for the most serious categories of offending. The reasonable person
test is an important safeguard in ensuring that the defence cannot be abused.

The defence for child victims has been amended in the House of Lords to remove
the requirement for compulsion and we have also tabled an amendment at Lord’s
Report of the Modern Slavery Bill to the reasonable person test for child
victims to make it easier for child victims to gain protection from the
statutory defence. This amendment will remove the reference to the child having
no realistic alternative to committing the offence and will mean that once the
defence is raised, the prosecution would have to show beyond reasonable doubt
that the child acted unreasonably in committing the offence.

10th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average processing time is for first-time UK child passport applications submitted via the British High Commission in New Delhi, India.

All passport applications from persons resident in India are submitted via one of the visa application centres in India. The .gov.uk website sets out the expected turnaround times for applications from individual countries. These are provided as a guide so that the applicant is aware of the minimum period they may expect their application to take once it has been received by HM Passport Office in the UK. Applications from India are expected to take a minimum of 16 weeks. The time taken to process an individual case varies depending on the circumstances of the case, whether HM Passport Office needs to ask for further information or documents, or whether the photographs which accompany the application are rejected.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in how many instances his Department's procurement department sought further information from a company on potential corruption, bribery or fraud in the last two years.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) routinely carries out checks on potential contractors prior to contract award, including on criminal activity, such as convictions for tax evasion, bribery or fraud, and a review of a company's audited accounts. These enquiries are conducted in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.

This process is reiterated in all competitive and single source tender documentation issued to tenderers prior to any contract award.

Any suspicion of corruption is reported to the appropriate authority. Where justified, the MOD can exclude potential suppliers who pose an unacceptable risk to public money.

10th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the de Silva Report of the Patrick Finucane Review, published in December 2012, whether any Home Office guidance on the recruitment of agents was followed by his Department for the recruitment of Brian Nelson as an agent.

Sir Desmond de Silva's report indicates (page 90) that there was no relevant Home Office guidance in force at the time.

10th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 98 of the de Silva Report of the Patrick Finucane Review, published in December 2012, what the reasons were for the medical discharge of Brian Nelson from the Army.

Brian Nelson's personal file states that he was discharged from the Army on medical grounds in 1970 suffering from duodenal ulcers.

10th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 99 of the de Silva Report of the Patrick Finucane Review, published in December 2012, whether his Department had a role in (a) recruiting and (b) deploying Brian Nelson as an informant; and what the seniority of the officials from his Department involved was.

There is no evidence to suggest that any official from the Ministry of Defence - as opposed to members of the Army - was aware at the time of Mr Nelson's recruitment as an Army informant, nor would this have been expected.

10th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the de Silva Report of the Patrick Finucane Review, published in December 2012, what information his Department holds on where Brian Nelson served his criminal sentence.

While the locations at which Mr Nelson served his sentence are not within the responsibilities of the Ministry of Defence, the Department's records indicate that he served the sentence he received in 1973 at HMP Maze, and that for his conviction in 1990 he served the first part of his sentence at Crumlin Road Prison, Belfast before transferring to HMP Usk in South Wales.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the discussions between Ministers and officials of his Department and HM Treasury on budgetary challenges facing the Northern Ireland Executive during 2015 included the escalated spending exposure under the Northern Ireland non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

Ministers and officials of the Northern Ireland Office engage regularly with HM Treasury to discuss matters of mutual interest in relation to Northern Ireland. However, I am not aware of any specific discussions on the costs of the Northern Ireland renewable heating scheme during the period in question.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether discussions between Ministers or officials of his Department and the Northern Ireland Executive on budgetary challenges facing that Executive during 2015 included the escalated spending exposure under the Northern Ireland non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

Ministers and officials of the Northern Ireland Office engage regularly with the Executive to discuss matters of mutual interest. However, I am not aware of any specific discussions on the costs of the Northern Ireland renewable heating scheme during the period in question.

9th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the amendments to the Child Poverty Act 2010 in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill require a Legislative Consent Motion to be brought before the Northern Ireland Assembly.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions wrote to the Northern Ireland Executive in July 2015 on introduction of the life chances clauses in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. As well as setting out the Government’s approach to child poverty and improving life chances, and inviting the Northern Ireland Executive to consider amendments they might wish to have introduced, he set out that he did not consider that legislative consent was required for any of the provisions as introduced.

9th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the amendments to the Child Poverty Act 2010 in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill are included in the welfare clauses referred to in the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Order 2015.

The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 does not include any reference to the Child Poverty Act 2010.