Mick Whitley Portrait

Mick Whitley

Labour - Birkenhead

First elected: 12th December 2019


International Trade Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 26th Apr 2023
Procurement Bill [HL]
25th Jan 2023 - 21st Feb 2023
Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill
2nd Mar 2022 - 22nd Mar 2022
Professional Qualifications Bill [HL]
12th Jan 2022 - 18th Jan 2022
Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill
1st Dec 2021 - 14th Dec 2021
Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill
9th Nov 2021 - 25th Nov 2021
Subsidy Control Bill
20th Oct 2021 - 18th Nov 2021
Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill
1st Jul 2021 - 8th Jul 2021
Highgate Cemetery Bill Committee
16th Jun 2021 - 16th Jun 2021


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Mick Whitley has voted in 707 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Mick Whitley voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 124 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
31 Jan 2023 - Procurement Bill [ Lords ] (Second sitting) - View Vote Context
Mick Whitley voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 3 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 4 Noes - 11
View All Mick Whitley Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(30 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Environment Act 2021
(948 words contributed)
Procurement Act 2023
(925 words contributed)
Illegal Migration Act 2023
(772 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Mick Whitley's debates

Birkenhead Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

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

Join other nations in providing a route to safety for refugees. Waive all visa requirements for Ukrainian passport holders arriving in the UK.

We demand the Government restore England’s publicly funded, publicly provided NHS by reversing all privatising legislation, ending ongoing PFI contracts, and scrapping plans for Integrated Care Systems and for-profit US-style ‘managed care’.

Make it illegal for any employer to mandate vaccination for its employees. This should apply to all public sector (including the NHS, armed forces, care workers), third sector and all private sector.

Bring in a law which enforces professional football clubs to have at least 51% fan ownership similar to how the Bundesliga operates this rule.

The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game. This should happen by December 2021.

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme

Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.


Latest EDMs signed by Mick Whitley

26th March 2024
Mick Whitley signed this EDM on Monday 15th April 2024

Access to State Pension for people with a terminal illness

Tabled by: Dave Doogan (Scottish National Party - Angus)
That this House notes that people with terminal illnesses cannot currently access their State Pension until their retirement age; recognises that this is the case even for individuals who have made full National Insurance contributions; acknowledges that poverty rates are disproportionately high amongst the terminally ill; commends research by Loughborough …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 20
Labour: 7
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Independent: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
21st March 2024
Mick Whitley signed this EDM on Monday 15th April 2024

Teachers’ Pension Scheme and universities

Tabled by: Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)
That this House notes that employers’ contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), of which approximately 58,000 university staff are members, are soon to increase by 5% in England and Wales; further notes, with concern, that while schools and colleges will receive additional funding from the Department for Education (DfE) …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Mick Whitley's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mick Whitley, 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.


Mick Whitley has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Mick Whitley

Thursday 3rd March 2022

1 Bill introduced by Mick Whitley


A Bill to regulate the use of artificial intelligence technologies in the workplace; to make provision about workers' and trade union rights in relation to the use of artificial intelligence technologies; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 17th May 2023

Latest 50 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
3 Other Department Questions
24th Feb 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, whether the Committee plans to make an assessment of the implications for the work of the Electoral Commission of the number of voters turned away at polling stations for not having acceptable ID on 4 May 2023.

The Speaker's Committee does not have any plans to make an assessment of the matter referred to.

However, the Electoral Commission will publish a full report on how the May elections were delivered, including how voters found taking part, and what lessons can be learned for the future.

As part of this process, the Commission will independently examine evidence about how the new voter ID requirement was implemented. It will collect data from every local authority that held elections, including the number of voters who did not bring an accepted form of ID with them to the polling station and were therefore unable to vote.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment his Department has made of the potential implications for the UK's decarbonisation targets of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report entitled Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change.

The UK is committed to Net Zero by 2050 and has an ambitious 2030 emission reduction target, which the independent “Climate Change Committee” has noted is aligned with the Paris Temperature goals.


Our Net Zero Strategy, published last year, set out our plan to decarbonise our economy.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of fracking on delivering the UK's COP26 commitment to tackling climate change.

The government has commissioned the British Geological Survey to advise on the latest scientific evidence around shale gas extraction.

This in no way changes our commitment to achieving net zero, and we remain guided by the science.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she has made an assessment of the level of daily standing charges for (a) gas and (b) electricity in (i) North Wales and (ii) Merseyside.

Standing charges are regulated by Ofgem. Regional standing charges may be found online at www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/get-energy-price-cap-standing-charges-and-unit-rates-region .

The main factor determining differences in standing charges is the cost of operating and maintaining the gas and electricity networks in each region.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of regional variations in (a) energy costs and (b) daily standing charges for (i) electricity and (ii) gas on regional economic inequalities.

Standing charges are a commercial matter for suppliers, although Ofgem regulates standing charges as they do with other elements of billing. This includes setting a cap on standing charges as part of the overall default tariff cap.

The variance in standing charges is partially due to regional differences in energy distribution costs. These costs reflect the expenses of maintaining and upgrading the distribution network in a specific area, and the number of consumers those costs are spread across.

Ofgem launched a call for input on standing charges, which closed on Friday 19 January 2024, looking at how it is applied to energy bills and what alternatives could be considered.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether her Department has had discussions with energy suppliers on taking steps to reduce the daily standing charges for gas and electricity in (a) North Wales and (b) Merseyside to at least the national average.

The regulation of standing charges is a matter for Ofgem. The cost of distributing electricity varies regionally, mirroring differences in distribution expenses across the country. These disparities stem from maintaining and upgrading distribution networks in specific areas and the number of consumers sharing these costs. Consequently, less densely populated and remote regions incur higher operational expenses.

Ofgem launched a call for input on standing charges, which closed in January 2024, looking at how they are applied to energy bills and what alternatives could be considered. I am supportive of Ofgem’s decision to gather information and evidence on the current standing charge model. Ofgem are currently assessing the responses received and will publish a decision in due course here: www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/launch-review-standing-charges-energy-bills.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2024 to Question 13068 on Energy: Standing Charges, whether her Department has had discussions with Ofgem on the equitability of daily standing charges for gas and electricity in (a) North Wales and (b) Merseyside.

I regularly meet with Ofgem to discuss the energy retail market, including standing charges. Ofgem’s recent Call for Input (CfI) on standing charges closed on January 19th 2024. Ofgem are considering the responses they received and are thinking about next steps.

Network charges vary by region to reflect the different costs of supplying consumers in each region. In 2015, Ofgem carried out an assessment of moving away from regional charging and the assessment showed that it would risk an increase in overall costs and reduce accountability to the customers being served.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of allowing private tenants who would otherwise qualify for the Warm Homes Discount but are ineligible because they pay for their energy costs through their landlord to receive the Warm Homes Discount as a direct payment into their bank account.

I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave to the hon Member for Liverpool, Walton (Dan Carden) on 7 September 2023 to Question UIN 196887.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps his Department has taken to support households which require further assistance in understanding the process to redeem energy pre-payment vouchers.

The Government has carried out extensive communications including through the Help for Households campaign, via charities and consumer groups, through community radio, translated materials and the media. This work continues alongside enhanced effort by electricity suppliers to reach customers with unused vouchers. I have raised this with a number of city region mayors and have provided resources for Local Authorities to use with their local networks. The Government will shortly be sharing these resources with Hon. Members to use within their constituencies. The Department continues to work with stakeholders to ensure every effort is made to reach all eligible households.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to her letter of 23 October 2023 to UK Research and Innovation on that organisation's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion board, whether her Department has paid a sum to Professor Kate Sang in relation to that letter.

I refer the hon. Member to the opening statement by the Secretary of State at the Lords Science, Innovation and Technology Select Committee on 12 March 2024.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent discussions her Department has had with the British Academy on the work of the British Institute at Ankara, in the context of the recent Turkish general election.

The Government provides funding to the British Academy for eight British International Research Institutes (BIRI), including the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). The BIRIs are independent organisations, overseen by Boards of Trustees. The BIAA promotes academic collaboration between scholars based in the UK, Turkey and the wider Black Sea region, and acts as a centre of research excellence. The Government reviews funding and delivery of the British Academy and its BIRIs on an ongoing basis with regular reporting, monitoring and evaluation from the British Academy to ensure funding objectives are met.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the British Academy's future funding plans for the British Institute at Ankara, in the context of the recent Turkish general election.

The Government provides funding to the British Academy for eight British International Research Institutes (BIRI), including the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). The BIRIs are independent organisations, overseen by Boards of Trustees. The BIAA promotes academic collaboration between scholars based in the UK, Turkey and the wider Black Sea region, and acts as a centre of research excellence. The Government reviews funding and delivery of the British Academy and its BIRIs on an ongoing basis with regular reporting, monitoring and evaluation from the British Academy to ensure funding objectives are met.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional funding to the British Academy to support the British Institute at Ankara.

The Government provides funding to the British Academy for eight British International Research Institutes (BIRI), including the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). The BIAA has not raised the need for additional funding with the British Academy. The Government reviews funding and delivery of the British Academy and its BIRIs on an ongoing basis with regular reporting, monitoring and evaluation from the British Academy to ensure funding objectives are met.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2022 to Question 960, if he will place in the Library a copy of the equality impact assessment carried out by the Insolvency Service on its plan to close offices including in Birkenhead.

An overarching Equality Impact Assessment has been completed for all offices, including Birkenhead, affected by the plan to restructure the Insolvency Service’s estate to eleven regional offices. A copy of this document will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether an equality impact assessment has been carried out for the closure of the Insolvency Service office in Birkenhead.

As part of the business case to restructure its estate, the Insolvency Service has carried out an Equality Impact Assessment on the plans to close offices including Birkenhead.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the (a) local Chambers of Commerce or (b) Federation of Small Businesses was consulted on the decision to close the Insolvency Service office in Birkenhead.

The agency is engaging stakeholders as part of an on-going process.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to enable households to exempt themselves from the Energy Bills Rebate.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 February, is currently the subject of a government consultation issued on 11 April. The implementation of the policy will be reviewed following the conclusion of the consultation. Allowing consumers to opt out of receiving the reduction on their bills would likely increase the administrative costs and complexities of the scheme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to prevent businesses advertising vacancies for seafarers in British territorial waters at rates of pay less than the minimum wage, in breach of the National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) Order 1999.

The Government is clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it. In 2020, the Government legislated to ensure that seafarers who are working in the UK territorial sea are entitled to be paid the minimum wage, regardless of where they ordinarily work or where their ship is registered. This means that most individuals working in our waters are entitled to be paid at least the National Living Wage or relevant National Minimum Wage rate for their age.

An individual’s entitlement to the minimum wage is not dependent on the rates of pay included in a job advert or job offer that they accepted. If an individual is not being paid at least minimum wage when they are entitled to it, they should complain to HMRC using the online form on GOV.UK. HMRC will consider ever complaint they receive and since 2015 they have returned over £100 million in unpaid wages to 1 million workers.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) recruitment agencies and (b) job sites do not advertise vacancies that do not comply with minimum wage legislation.

This Government is clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it and will take robust enforcement action against employers who do not pay their staff correctly.

The Employment Agencies Act 1973 and its associated regulations are the main pieces of legislation that directly regulate employment agencies and employment businesses, including online recruitment services, which operate within Great Britain. This legislation is enforced by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate. It is the responsibility of the agency to check the validity of the adverts before they post them online and that they include the required information.

An individual's entitlement to the minimum wage is not dependent on the rates of pay included in a job advert or job offer that they accepted. Therefore, if an individual is not being paid at least minimum wage when they are entitled to it, they should complain to HMRC using the online form on gov.uk. HMRC consider every complaint they receive and, if they identify underpayment, they will require the employer to repay the arrears to workers and a penalty to government.

HMRC support employers and workers by actively raising awareness of employers’ obligations and workers’ rights relating to the minimum wage. For example, HMRC routinely contact employers who advertise unpaid internships, signposting them to guidance to help ensure they are compliant.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility of 11 March 2021, Official Report, column HL 1803, what assessment his Department has made of the potential role that the GeoEngine technology being developed by Titan Electricity could play in decarbonising the process of sour and acid natural gas extraction.

BEIS engineering experts met with Titan Electricity at a meeting on the 5th July to discuss their geo-engine concept and its use in removing hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from sour and acid natural gas.

Technologies similar to the geo-engine could help achieve the ambitious decarbonisation targets set in the North Sea Transition Deal for offshore gas published by BEIS in March. This commits the UK offshore oil and gas sector to a carbon dioxide production emission reduction of 10% in 2025, 25% in 2027, and 50% in 2030 compared to a 2018 baseline.

The Department does not specify the equipment used on gas rigs however, this being a matter solely for the individual scheme developers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the (a) financial and (b) logistical support available to small and medium-sized enterprises involved in the development of net-zero technologies.

Small and medium-sized businesses have a vital role in developing the technologies needed to deliver net zero. There is a wide range of financial and logistical support available to aid them in doing so.

The Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, a £1 billion fund announced in my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, aims to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models in power, buildings, and industry. Funding is available for projects across the UK for companies of all sizes. Within the portfolio, the ‘Energy Entrepreneurs Fund’ particularly aims to assist small and medium sized enterprises, including start-ups. Those companies that are selected will receive acceleration support.

More widely, Innovate UK (IUK) acts as the prime channel through which the Government incentivises business-led technology innovation. Its role is to fund business-led innovation through the allocation of competitively awarded grants, delivered through competitions. Through their Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK EDGE, IUK help connect innovative businesses with the right partners, expertise, facilities, financiers and influencers to help them bring their ideas to market, grow and scale their companies, and build collaborations, partnerships and supply chains.

In addition, the Government established a network of Catapult Centres in 2011 to commercialise new and emerging technologies in areas where there are large global market opportunities and a critical mass of UK capability to take advantage of them. There are nine Catapults, across 40 locations throughout the UK, supporting a broad range of technologies. The Catapult Centres have supported in excess of 8000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Between 2014 and the third quarter of 2020 a total of £160m has been invested into clean technology businesses by equity funds backed by the British Business Bank. The Bank crowds in additional private sector capital to support equity investment for small and medium sized enterprises, maximising the impact of government investment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 7th June 2021 to Question 7763, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential role that the GeoEngine technology being developed by Titan Electricity could play in meeting the decarbonisation targets laid out in the North Sea Transition deal.

BEIS engineering officials have recently discussed with Titan Electricity at a meeting their geo-engine concept.

Technologies similar to the geo-engine could help achieve the ambitious decarbonisation targets set in the North Sea Transition Deal for offshore gas published by BEIS in March. This commits the UK offshore oil and gas sector to a carbon dioxide production emission reduction of 10% in 2025, 25% in 2027, and 50% in 2030 compared to a 2018 baseline.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if officials in his Department will meet representatives of Titan Electricity to discuss the Geo Engine and the potential role it could play in helping to meet national net-zero targets.

Officials from the Department met with Titan Electricity on the 5th July where they discussed the GeoEngine technology and the various BEIS energy innovation competitions that Titan would be eligible to apply for to get funding for further development of the concept. Officials would be pleased to meet with Titan again if they would find another meeting helpful, although for any live competitions Titan should engage through the standard process.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that people with (a) physical and (b) learning disabilities are aware of their consumer rights when dealing with energy providers.

The Government, and the energy Regulator Ofgem, has a duty to protect the interests of electricity and gas consumers and to have specific regard to the interests of vulnerable consumers, including individuals who are disabled or chronically sick.

Ofgem Supply Licence Conditions require energy companies to treat all customers fairly, including customers in a vulnerable situation.

Ofgem also requires energy companies to maintain a Priority Services Register of vulnerable customers, including people with certain mental health conditions which impact their understanding of a bill. Customers on a Priority Service Register are offered a range of services relating to safety, access and communication free of charge. Full details of who is eligible and the support that can be accessed is available online at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has met representatives of energy providers to discuss the steps they are taking to ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place to allow people with limited mobility to access their gas and electricity meters.

The energy Regulator Ofgem, requires energy companies to maintain a Priority Services Register of vulnerable customers, including individuals who are disabled or unable to top up their prepayment meter due to injury. Customers on a Priority Service Register are offered a range of services relating to safety, access and communication free of charge. These services include arrangements to ensure it is safe and practical for customers to use a prepayment meter, such as moving a meter that cannot be safely accessed to top up and meter reading services if a customer is unable to read their meter. Full details of who is eligible and the support that can be accessed is available online at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register

Smart meters are benefitting people with limited mobility by ending the need for manual meter reads, delivering accurate bills and enabling prepayment customers to conveniently track and top-up credit from home. The In-Home Display (IHD), which households are offered when they have smart meters installed, can be placed anywhere in the home and provides easily accessible, near-real time information about energy consumption, credit and costs.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has met representatives of energy providers to discuss the steps they are taking to guarantee the equitable treatment of customers with (a) learning and (b) physical disabilities.

Ministers in the Department regularly meet with energy providers to discuss a range of issues, including support for vulnerable energy consumers.

Government, and the energy Regulator Ofgem, has a duty to protect the interests of electricity and gas consumers and to have specific regard to the interests of vulnerable consumers, including individuals who are disabled or chronically sick.

Ofgem Supply Licence Conditions require energy companies to treat all customers fairly, including customers in a vulnerable situation. Ofgem also requires energy companies to maintain a Priority Services Register of vulnerable customers, including people with certain mental health conditions which impact their understanding of a bill. Customers on a Priority Service Register are offered a range of services relating to safety, access and communication free of charge. Full details of who is eligible and the support that can be accessed is available online at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register

Ofgem monitors energy company performance with their requirements through their Social Obligations Reporting. The latest report can be found online at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2019/09/vulnerable_consumers_in_the_energy_market_2019_final.pdf.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional funding he plans to allocate to local authorities to support the creation of new jobs in the low-carbon sector.

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

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the data-set released by the Green New Deal UK group on 19 April 2021 and based on the European Climate Foundation’s 2018 report, Unlocking the Job Potential of Zero Carbon, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that at least (a) 1580 green jobs are created within two years and (b) 4484 green jobs are created within 10 years in Birkenhead constituency.

As we rebuild, we must build back better, greener, and faster. This means supporting green jobs, levelling up, accelerating our path to net zero, and creating long-term advantage for the UK.

Spanning clean energy, buildings, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the Ten Point Plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030. In doing so we will support a further 90,000 green jobs across the UK by 2024, and up to 250,000 by 2030. Job estimates at a constituency level are not available.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to allocate funding for a pilot trialling hydrogen-based steelmaking in the UK.

The Government recognises the importance of research and development in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role in developing a cleaner, greener economy in the UK.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’.

Our current Government initiatives include:

  • Up to £66m as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to help key foundation industries, such as steel, develop innovative technology to reduce energy and resource use;
  • £22m to the Materials Processing Institute in Teesside to deliver a R&D programme of transformative manufacturing - to help UK steel and metals sector improve efficiencies, cut emissions and ultimately boost its global competitive edge;
  • Plans to establish a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (previously Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund): with £240m of capital co-investment out to 2024/25. This will support at-scale hydrogen production projects, allowing companies, such as steel producers, the potential to access to secure supplies of lower cost hydrogen;
  • More broadly, the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio provides funding for low carbon technologies and systems to support decarbonising our power, homes and industry as set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the progress made in (a) Germany, (b) Sweden and (c) China on hydrogen-based steelmaking.

Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one potential way to decarbonise steel production. Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution and, as part of the UK’s ongoing engagement in key international initiatives focused on industry decarbonisation, we are engaging with a range of stakeholders in Germany, Sweden and China (as well as other countries) to better understand the latest plans to decarbonise steel production. This includes engagement under Mission Innovation, the Clean Energy Ministerial, and the Leadership Group for Industry Transition.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage UK firms and manufacturers to use British steel.

The Department is actively supporting the UK steel sector to ensure it is in the best position to benefit from future market opportunities, including domestic opportunities which are estimated to be worth £3.8 billion a year by 2030.

We have published a steel pipeline signalling upcoming steel requirements for national infrastructure, which are estimated to require around 5 million tonnes of steel over the next decade.

We have established a new joint industry and BEIS Steel Procurement Taskforce (launched on 12 March) with the aim of working with the sector to promote the unique selling points of UK steel and explore how best to support and position the industry for success in forthcoming major public contracts.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits using hydrogen-based steelmaking to help the (a) British steel industry to decarbonise and (b) UK to meet its target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy[1], published on 17 March, commits government to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen, electrification, and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) are the main technological options being examined as part of this process. The industry decarbonisation pathways technical annex of the strategy (pg. 153-155) presents two possible options for the decarbonisation of the iron and steel industry:

  • The first option shows fuel switching to hydrogen and electric arc furnace. This suggests abatement potential from hydrogen fuel switching of 3.9 MtCO2e and 3.5 MtCO2e of electric fuel switching by 2050.
  • The second option shows the abatement potential of carbon capture utilisation and storage (abatement of 6.7 Mt CO2e).

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-decarbonisation-strategy

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help the British steel industry to decarbonise.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution.

The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy published on 17 March, commits to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’.

Our recent and on-going work to support the steel sector includes:

o Announcing the £250m Clean Steel Fund to support the decarbonisation of the steel sector, including its transition to new low carbon technologies and processes.

o The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund. This £315m fund aims to support businesses, including those in the steel sector, with high energy use to cut their bills and reduce carbon emissions.

o The newly re-constituted Steel Council offers the forum for government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of hydrogen-based steelmaking on the commercial viability of the British steel industry.

Our new Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy sets out, for the first time, the Government’s comprehensive assessment of how industry, including the steel sector, can decarbonise in line with net zero, in a way that supports competitiveness and clean growth.

The newly re-constituted Steel Council offers the forum for government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy commits to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen is one of the technological approaches being considered as part of this process.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that industry in the North West has access to carbon capture and storage infrastructure needed to meet regional and national decarbonisation targets by 2026.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution made clear, we are committed to two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s and for a further two clusters by 2030. These are expected to be in areas of heavy industry such as the North East, the Humber, North West, Scotland, and Wales. In February we published a consultation on a potential approach to sequencing the deployment of clusters; we have gathered and considered stakeholder feedback and intend to launch Phase-1 of that process shortly. In order to support this deployment, the Government has announced a £1 billion CCS Infrastructure Fund, alongside £240 million to fund low-carbon hydrogen, and is developing business models across power, industry and hydrogen to encourage private investment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what weighting he plans to give to the potential regional economic benefits of a project for domestic and industrial heat decarbonisation in the selection of track one and phase one carbon capture and storage projects.

Phase-1 of the Government’s Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Cluster Sequencing Process aims to sequence industrial clusters for decarbonisation over the next decade. The focus of the process will be in identifying those clusters most suited for deployment of CCUS from the mid-2020s, whilst also delivering wider benefits such as economic benefits and learnings that will enable the CCUS to be deployed at scale in the future. The Department is finalising the evaluation criteria and weightings, building on the weighting ranges that were set out in our recent consultation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what weighting he plans give to (a) cost and (b) deliverability by 2026 in the selection of track one carbon capture and storage projects.

Phase-1 of the Government’s Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Cluster Sequencing Process aims to sequence industrial clusters for decarbonisation over the next decade. The focus of the process will be in identifying those clusters most suited for deployment of CCUS from the mid-2020s, whilst also delivering wider benefits such as economic benefits and learnings that will enable the CCUS to be deployed at scale in the future. The Department is finalising the evaluation criteria and weightings, building on the weighting ranges that were set out in our recent consultation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of green infrastructure projects in Merseyside.

Since 2017 the Government has funded the North West Energy Hub, hosted by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The Hub works with LEPs and local authorities in their region to help them to identify a pipeline of low carbon projects and provide practical support for the initial stages of project development.

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the level of financial support available to pubs that do not serve food in areas that are under tier 2 local covid alert level restrictions.

We are providing hospitality businesses in Tier 2 areas with a wide package of support to help them through the current crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants and additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses. On 1 December, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister also announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3.

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing the level of financial support available to pubs that do not serve food in areas that are under tier 2 local covid alert level restrictions.

We are providing hospitality businesses in Tiers 2 and 3 with a wide package of support to help them through the current crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants and additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses. On 1 December, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister also announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3.

5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of banning the sale and use of fireworks after 5 November 2020 for the remainder of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown period of restrictions.

We remain committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through the effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures – an action also recommended by the House of Commons Petitions Committee. This has included running a public awareness campaign on fireworks for this fireworks season involving safety charities, animal welfare organisations and retail bodies.

The public must follow the latest Covid-19 restrictions at all times, including when using fireworks.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to introduce additional regulations on the sale of fireworks.

There is already a comprehensive regulatory framework in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks to people and disturbance to animals. Existing legislation controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit.

We remain committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through the effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of the ending of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on levels of job losses in the automotive industry.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was welcomed and widely utilised by the automotive sector. Surveys carried out by the industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, showed that during the lockdown earlier this year, the Job Retention Scheme was accessed by 60.6% of the automotive manufacturing workforce in April and by 34.2% of the workforce in May.

In order to support the retention of jobs, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Job Retention Bonus in June. This will see businesses receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every previously furloughed employee if they are still employed at the end of January next year.

As part of his Winter Economy Plan, the Chancellor announced the Job Support Scheme, which is designed to protect jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap (£697.92 per month), with the employer also contributing a third.

In order to protect jobs and UK businesses, we are expanding the Job Support Scheme for businesses legally required to temporarily close their premises as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions. The Government will provide employers with a grant for employees that have been instructed to cease work, covering two-thirds of their usual wages and subject up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of projected job losses in the automotive industry in the North West of England in financial year 2020-21 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the challenges facing the automotive industry as a result of Covid-19. Firms can draw upon our package of support, which is one of the most generous and comprehensive globally, with a fiscal response so far totalling £160 billion.

The Government has been working closely with key industry stakeholders throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to understand how we can support the resilience and continued competitiveness of the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector at this time.

At the same time, we are continuing our long-standing programme of investment in the automotive sector. To date, the Government has invested £497 million through the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s innovation grants to develop the next generation of low carbon technologies, which have helped to secure or create?over 40,000 jobs?and have saved around 225 million tonnes of CO2.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of potential job losses in the automotive industry in the event that the UK and EU fail to secure a trade agreement before the end of the transition period.

The Government remains committed to reaching an agreement with the EU. There are large areas of convergence and we will keep working to bridge the gaps.

The Government is continuing to engage extensively with business and industry about how to prepare for changes to trade at the end of the transition period. Many businesses have already begun preparing for life outside the Customs Union and we urge others to do the same. This includes getting an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number and making plans for completing customs declarations, where traders will need a customs agent or their own software.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest in the awarding of contracts to develop a vaccine for covid-19.

All decisions on spend are made in line with expectations in Managing Public Money.

External experts are required to complete a conflict of interest declaration; these are then assessed on a case-by-case basis and where conflicts arise, those individuals are required to recuse themselves from the decision-making process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to ensure that no employee is dismissed from their job as a result of experiencing long covid symptoms.

Employees with the necessary qualifying service who consider that they have been dismissed unfairly may complain to an employment tribunal. The case of an employee who has been dismissed as a result of health issues clearly demands special consideration. For example, a tribunal will expect the employer to have considered whether there was suitable alternative work available. Employees may also be able to seek redress through the civil courts or employment tribunals if their dismissal breaches the terms of their contracts, for instance, because the employer has failed to comply with provisions relating to sickness absence.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits to local economies of awarding contracts for the construction of Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet solid support ships to British shipyards.

The Department recognises the important role that naval procurement programmes play in creating construction opportunities in British shipyards and across the marine engineering supply chain. The procurement of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet solid support ships is a matter for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The Department works closely with the MoD to support the opportunities for UK construction of these vessels through the MoD led National Shipbuilding Strategy.