Patricia Gibson Portrait

Patricia Gibson

Scottish National Party - North Ayrshire and Arran

First elected: 7th May 2015

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Farming, Agriculture and Rural Affairs)

(since December 2022)

Backbench Business Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 26th Oct 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021 - 12th Dec 2022
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill
15th Jun 2022 - 20th Oct 2022
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill (England and Wales)
27th Oct 2021 - 3rd Nov 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Consumer Affairs)
20th Jun 2017 - 1st Feb 2021
Backbench Business Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Patricia Gibson has voted in 658 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Patricia Gibson 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
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(84 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(55 debate interactions)
Mark Spencer (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(39 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(87 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(83 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(67 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023
(6,944 words contributed)
Building Safety Act 2022
(1,671 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Patricia Gibson's debates

North Ayrshire and Arran 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

Make it illegal for retailers and services to decline cash payments.

All businesses (excepting internet-based ones) and public services in which monetary transactions take place should be required by law to accept cash as a method of payment

Revoke all licences (PEL) for commercial breeders of laboratory animals. Require all Project Licences (PPLs) applications be reviewed by an independent Non Animal Methods (NAMs) specialist committee. Revise s24 ASPA 1986 to allow review. Urge International Regulators to accept & promote NAMs.

Amend legislation to make it a legal requirement for a driver to stop & report accidents involving cats.

The Government should prohibit the sale, use and manufacture of free-running snares under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, putting them in the same category as self-locking snares, which are already illegal.

In 2019 UK Government finalised a free trade agreement (FTA) with Faroe Islands which allows for £100 million of exports of wild caught and farmed fish to Britain per annum (20% of the Faroe Islands global trade). This FTA should be suspended until all whale & dolphin hunts on Faroe Islands end

Every year across the UK, millions of farmed animals are kept in cages, unable to express their natural behaviours and experiencing huge suffering. These inhumane systems cannot be the future of British farming. The UK Government must legislate to ‘End the Cage Age’ for all farmed animals.

The Government should reduce the cost of fuel through a reduction of 40% in fuel duty and VAT for 2 years. This can effectively offset the rise in fuel prices since 2020.

The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering' (see section 4 of the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4).

Current legislation allows for public use of fireworks 16 hours a day, every day, making it impossible for vulnerable groups to take precautions against the distress they can cause. Better enforcement of existing law is insufficient; limiting their sale & use to licensed displays only is necessary.

We would like the Government to ban all animal testing UK, including for the development of cosmetics, household products and medicines. Alternatives need to be actively funded. Many products that are tested on animals end up not being suitable for humans. Animal testing is outmoded and should end.

The Government must recognise the urgent need to use animal-free science and publish a clear and ambitious action plan with timetables and milestones to drive the phase-out of animal experiments. As well as preventing animal suffering, this will benefit public health and business.

Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.'

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.

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

I want the Government to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine. This includes restrictions on travel, social events, such as concerts or sports. No restrictions whatsoever.

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

Every year more and more people, animals and wildlife get hurt by fireworks. It’s time something was fine to stop this. There are enough organised firework groups around for us to still enjoy fireworks safely so please help me stop the needless sale of them to the public!

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

EU law recognises animals as sentient beings, aware of their feelings and emotions. Animals are at risk of losing these vital legal protections, post-Brexit. We want a BetterDealForAnimals: a law that creates a duty for all Ministers in the UK to fully regard animal welfare in policy making.

Across the UK, millions of farmed animals are kept in cages, unable to express their natural behaviours. This causes huge suffering.

We call on the UK government to end this inhumane practice by banning all cages for farmed animals. Cages are cruel.


Latest EDMs signed by Patricia Gibson

26th March 2024
Patricia Gibson signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Tuesday 26th March 2024

Female genital mutilation legislation in The Gambia

Tabled by: Patricia Gibson (Scottish National Party - North Ayrshire and Arran)
That this House expresses its deep concern regarding the Gambian National Assembly’s consideration of a Bill which would repeal that country’s ban on female genital mutilation (FGM); offers its unqualified condemnation of the practice of FGM; considers FGM to be a violation of the human rights of girls and women, …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 1
26th March 2024
Patricia Gibson signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th March 2024

Referral of matters of 21 February 2024 to the Committee of Privileges

Tabled by: William Wragg (Independent - Hazel Grove)
That this House notes the Speaker’s decision on selection and calling of amendments on 21 February 2024 was not in accordance with the established precedent for Opposition days; and accordingly considers that, notwithstanding the Resolution of this House of 6 February 1978, the matter of whether undue pressure was placed …
58 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 42
Conservative: 13
Independent: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Patricia Gibson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Patricia Gibson, 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.


Patricia Gibson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

4 Adjournment Debates led by Patricia Gibson

Monday 27th March 2023
Monday 19th April 2021
Monday 27th January 2020

2 Bills introduced by Patricia Gibson


A Bill to make provision about leave and pay for employees of whom a close family member has died.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to enable the Information Commissioner’s Office to take action against company directors for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 relating to unsolicited marketing communications made by a company; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 13th September 2016

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
1 Other Department Questions
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has had recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on tackling pensioner poverty among women.

In 2021/22 there were 200 thousand fewer female pensioners in absolute poverty than in 2009/10, after housing costs.

In 2023/24, we will spend over £151.6 billion on benefits for pensioners in Great Britain, which is 5.9% of GDP.

This includes spending on the State Pension which is forecast to be £124.3 billion in 2023/24.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of civil servants graded as senior civil servant two (SCS2) on full-time equivalent contracts in the Crown Prosecution Service are women.

43% of civil servants graded as senior civil servants (SCS2) on full-time equivalent contracts in the Crown Prosecution Service are women.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of civil servants on temporary contracts in the Crown Prosecution Service are women.

64% of civil servants on temporary contracts in the Crown Prosecution Service are women.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) hon. Members and (b) peers in the House of Lords hold non-domiciled status in the UK.

An individual's tax status is private and confidential; the Government does not hold a consolidated list of Parliamentarians' tax status. Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords are treated for the purposes of income tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax as resident and domiciled in the United Kingdom, according to Section 41 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish the Intelligence and Security Committee report on possible Russian interference or involvement in UK politics.

I refer the Hon. members to the answer given to PQ 40706 on 4 May 2020.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, when she plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran of (a) 15 September, (b) 16 October and (c) 25 October 2023.

A response was issued to the Hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran on 27 November 2023.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what discussions he has had with the Competition and Markets Authority on when it plans to conclude its review of the use of unit pricing in the groceries sector.

The Government welcomes this review and looks forward to its results. The Department understands the CMA plans to conclude its review this year.

Details of the CMA’s review can be found on its website here: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/unit-pricing.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues about removing the promotional prices exemption in supermarkets from the Price Marking Order 2004 to allow consumers to compare unit pricing of products.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently reviewing the use of unit pricing in the groceries sector.

As noted by the Chancellor in discussion with representatives of the groceries sector on 23 May, the Government will consider updating pricing rules, including by revising the Price Marking Order 2004, once the CMA review has concluded.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2023 to Question 137949 on Energy Bills Rebate: Park Homes, if he will clarify the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding eligibility criteria for park home residents, in the context of those people being likely to be eligible.

If a park home resident receives their electricity via a park site owner with a commercial contract, the park home resident should be eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding. If the park home site owner holds a domestic energy contract, the owner will have received the Energy Bills Support Scheme support automatically in six instalments, and must ensure this is passed onto park home residents in a just and reasonable manner.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) park home residents who pay for their energy usage through the park home owner and (b) other domestic energy users who do not have a domestic electricity meter or direct contract with an electricity supplier will receive support through the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount when applications open at the end of February.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) will provide £400 support to those households that do not have a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier in England, Scotland, and Wales, with the application portal due to open by 27 February. However, where a park home site manager or landlord has a domestic energy contract, they will already be receiving EBSS support automatically, and this support needs to be passed on to the end user in a just and reasonable way.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether domestic energy users who pay for their energy usage through an intermediary such as a park home manager are eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount when applications open at the end of February.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) will provide £400 support to those households that do not have a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier in England, Scotland, and Wales, with the application portal due to open by 27 February. However, in cases where a park home site manager has a domestic energy contract, they will already be receiving EBSS support automatically, and this support needs to be passed on to the end user in a just and reasonable way.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether park home residents who pay for their energy usage through an intermediary such as a park home owner will be eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount where the intermediary has benefited from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) will provide £400 support to those households who do not have a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier in England, Scotland, and Wales, with the application portal due to open by 27 February. Park home residents, where the park home owner procures their electricity through a commercial contract and is therefore eligible for the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, are likely to be eligible for the EBSS AF.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent progress his Department has made on delivering energy support payments for people (a) living in park homes, (b) who are off-grid and (c) with no direct relationship with an energy supplier.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding will provide support of £400 for energy bills for around 900,000 households without a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier. This is expected to include park home residents and off-grid homes. On 19th December 2022, the Government announced that the application portal for the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding is due to open later in January, with a dedicated customer helpline available to assist customers without online access.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of extending the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for charities.

Over the course of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme review, the Government has held discussions cross-Whitehall, as well as with businesses and trade associations, to understand those most in need of support. Charities will receive support for their energy bills. There is also wider support to help them with costs including a reduction in VAT, from 20% to 5%, and exclusion from the main rates of the Climate Change Levy on some of the energy they use.

Final outcomes of the EBRS review can be found on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-bill-relief-scheme-non-standard-cases/energy-bill-relief-scheme-non-standard-cases-guidance-for-non-domestic-customers.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help post offices maintain their role within local communities.

The Government has provided over £2.5 billion in funding to support the Post Office network over the past 10 years and is further providing £335 million for the Post Office over the next three years.

Furthermore, the Government protects the Post Office network by setting minimum access criteria to ensure that 99% of the UK population lives within three miles of a Post Office.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues about the potential merits of providing further support for businesses with energy costs after April 2023.

The Government has committed to carrying out a review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme by the end of the year to inform decisions on future support. The Government cannot confirm which sectors will receive further support after 31st March 2023 until the review has concluded.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when people who live in park homes will receive the proposed £400 under the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

As announced on 29 July, the EBSS Alternative Funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the households who will not be reached through the EBSS. This includes those who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents.

The Government is working to make the support available to applicants as soon as possible and is working with a range of organisations, such as local authorities, Devolved Administrations and across the UK Government, to finalise the details of the Alternative Funding and have the process up and running for applications this winter.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department’s press release entitled £400 energy bills discount to support households this winter, published on 29 July 2022, what his timescale is for setting out details of the equivalent support that will be available for people who are not eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

The Government is working urgently with a range of organisations, such as local authorities, as well as Devolved Administrations and across UK Government, to finalise the details and have the process up and running for applications this winter.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £400 energy bill discount will be payable to people who live in a Managed Independent Living retirement complex where each apartment has its own electricity meter, where each tenant pays their share of the electricity bill for the building and where gas is charged according to the square footage of each apartment, with electricity and gas quarterly bills paid to the Trust which manages that complex.

Only those with their own contract with a supplier are eligible for the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme payments over this winter. On 29 July, the Government announced additional funding for households not eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme and the details of this support will be announced in the coming weeks.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the UK meets its net zero targets during the period of its membership of the Energy Charter Treaty.

On 24 June 2022, Contracting Parties came to an agreement in principle on the amendments to modernise the Energy Charter Treaty. The modernised Energy Charter Treaty recognises the urgent need to address climate change and align with the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement. It promotes an accelerated energy transition and reduces the risk of successful challenge to UK net zero policies.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to support small and medium sized businesses with rising energy costs.

The recently announced Energy Bill Relief Scheme (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-outlines-plans-to-help-cut-energy-bills-for-businesses) ensures that all businesses and other non-domestic customers are protected from excessively high energy bills over the winter period. A review of the scheme, to be published in three months, will identify the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the government will continue assisting them with energy costs after the initial six months.

Government is also providing a 50% business rates relief for businesses across the UK and reducing employer national insurance. This is in addition to the billions in grants and loans offered throughout the pandemic.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that people who do not have a personal account with an energy provider, including those (a) living in park homes and (b) who live in managed independent living retirement accommodation, receive support with energy costs on the same basis as other households.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for St Albans on 20th June 2022 to Question 18990.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on its response to its consultation, Measures to reform post-termination non-compete clauses in contracts of employment.

The Government is in the process of analysing responses to the consultation and the available data. A response to the consultation will be published on the GOV.UK website in due course.

31st May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with off-grid energy supplies will receive the energy bills grant announced on 26 May 2022.

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
31st May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who purchase off-grid gas supplies, including those who are live in park homes and are elderly and vulnerable, are able to access Government support for energy bills.

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that people living in park homes, including those who are elderly and vulnerable, can access recently announced Government support for energy bills.

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as park home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for £140 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure businesses pass on reductions in fuel duty to consumers in rural areas.

The Government’s decision to cut fuel duty by 5 pence per litre for a period of 12 months will deliver savings worth over £5 billion to households and businesses over the next year, compared to uprating fuel duty in 2022-23. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to industry and held calls with major companies to impress upon them the need for these savings to be delivered to consumers across the country as soon as possible.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to ensure that Russian diesel does not arrive in the UK in non-Russian vessels as recently occurred via the STI Comandante.

The UK has committed to phasing out Russian oil by the end of 2022. The Government has established a new joint taskforce with industry, to work collaboratively on an orderly transition.

In the case of diesel, UK demand is met by a combination of domestic production and imports from a diverse range of reliable suppliers, beyond Russia, including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will take to ensure that supplies of heating oil and LPG are covered by the same regulatory controls as electricity and gas supplies are, via OFGEM.

The Government believes it is essential that consumers of domestic fuels receive a fair deal.  There is an open market for the supply of heating oil in the UK as the Government believes this provides the best long-term guarantee of competitive prices. A price cap is not necessary as consumers can shop around and switch supplier more easily than for gas and electricity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to regulate the heating oil market to protect consumers in rural areas.

The Government believes it is essential that consumers of domestic fuels receive a fair deal.  There is an open market for the supply of heating oil in the UK as the Government believes this provides the best long-term guarantee of competitive prices. A price cap is not necessary as consumers can shop around and switch supplier more easily than for gas and electricity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to regulate sales of heating oil to help protect consumers.

The Government believes it is essential that consumers of domestic fuels receive a fair deal.  There is an open market for the supply of heating oil in the UK as the Government believes this provides the best long-term guarantee of competitive prices. A price cap is not necessary as consumers can shop around and switch supplier more easily than for gas and electricity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with OFGEM on the potential merits of removing standing charges for electricity.

The setting of the standing charge is a commercial matter for individual suppliers. Standing charges are capped under the Government’s price cap.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to extend dispute resolution to sectors other than second hand car sales and servicing and home improvement.

The Government considers that a number of factors are relevant in assessing whether to extend mandatory business participation in ADR to new sectors. These include the volume or value of consumer problems, the overall consumer experience, and the structure of the market.

The Government consulted on this matter in its Reforming Consumer and Competition Policy command paper and will set out next steps on dispute resolution in its response.

26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will enable collective redress in consumer cases in line with competition cases.

The UK has an established regime for addressing collective consumer harm and enabling consumers to gain collective redress when consumer law has been broken. This covers both public collective redress procedures, whereby regulators and the CMA can seek redress on behalf of consumers under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002, and, to a certain extent, private collective redress, for example through Group Litigation Orders.

In July 2021, the Department published the Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy consultation. We sought evidence on whether there is a case for strengthening the UK’s collective redress regime, to make it easier to gather many individual claims together into a single lawsuit that can support the cost of litigation. The Department will respond to the consultation in due course.

26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that online marketplaces take greater responsibility for the safety of consumers using their platforms, including proactive measures to protect consumers from scams, fake reviews and unsafe products.

There is already robust legislation in place that protects consumers when purchasing goods and services online. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancelling and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 set out the rights consumers enjoy while shopping online and in store.

The Department consulted in July of this year on advancing online consumer rights in its “Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy” consultation. A copy of the consultation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-competition-and-consumer-policy. The consultation closed on 1 October and the department will publish a response in due course.

Existing laws also require that all consumer products, including those sold online, are safe before they can be placed on the UK market. The Office for Product Safety and Standards is currently reviewing the UK’s product safety framework, including the impact of changes brought by eCommerce, to ensure that it remains robust and is future proofed. The Government published its response to a recent Call for Evidence on 11 November at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/uk-product-safety-review-call-for-evidence. We intend to publish a consultation outlining proposals for reform in due course.

26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) adequacy of the (i) structure, (ii) powers and (iii) resources of Trading Standards and (b) ability of that organisation to effectively protect consumers from scams, rogue traders and other potential harms.

Local authorities are responsible for determining their spending priorities, including with respect for trading standards, and are accountable to their local electorate. Funding is not ringfenced, so local authorities make decisions according to their individual needs.

In July 2021, the Department published the Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy consultation. We sought evidence on how national and local enforcement bodies can work better together to ensure consumers are best protected against unscrupulous rogue traders. The Department will respond to the consultation in due course.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent changes her Department has made to regulations on the safe transport of nuclear flasks.

The most recent amendments to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment 2009 made by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy implemented emergency preparedness and response requirements in Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM.

Nuclear and radiation safety is a top priority for Government and our arrangements are kept under regular review. We have a well-respected regulatory system which reflects international best practice. All operators are answerable to a robust and independent regulator – the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). If the ONR considered that any nuclear site or nuclear transport was not safe or secure it would not be allowed to operate.

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 recent changes her Department has made to the regulations on the carriage of nuclear materials.

The most recent amendments to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment 2009 made by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy relating to the transportation of class 7 (radioactive) goods came into effect in April 2020 (The Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Amendment) Regulations 2019 No. 598). The changes implemented emergency preparedness and response requirements in Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Data Communications Company has contracts in place for the provision of communications coverage to enable smart meter technology to be installed on the Isle of Arran.

The Data Communications Company (DCC), the organisation responsible for the national smart metering infrastructure, has contracts in place for the provision of communications coverage to at least 99.5% of premises across its ‘North Region’, which covers Scotland.

The DCC is also required by licence conditions to seek to provide communications services to all premises where it is practicable and cost proportionate and is also required to assess opportunities to increase the overall level of communications coverage.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK Government's single market proposals on the movement of agricultural goods.

The UK Internal Market Bill ensures the UK can operate as a coherent internal market, guaranteeing UK companies can trade unhindered in every part of the UK while maintaining world-leading standards for consumers, workers, food and the environment.

The UK has some of the highest standards in the world on goods and some of the most robust standards on foods, with world-leading food, animal and plant health and animal welfare standards.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of converting loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme into grants for small businesses in the event that the money is used to rehire staff or pay commercial rent.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is part of a broad package of support for SMEs, including rates relief, grants and support for wage packages.

Businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, CBILS, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme at the same time. However, the eligibility criteria for the CBILS does not require lenders to take into account other forms of government support that SMEs may be benefitting from, e.g. business rate reliefs or grants unrelated to the CBILS.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of converting loans secured via the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loans scheme into grants for small businesses.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is part of a broad package of support for SMEs, including rates relief, grants and support for wage packages.

Businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the BBLS, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme at the same time. The eligibility criteria for BBLS do not require lenders to take into account the other forms of government support that SMEs may be benefitting from, e.g. business rate reliefs or grants unrelated to the CBILS.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to publish guidelines on how to observe public health and safety in hair salons when they re-open following the covid-19 lockdown.

As stated in the Roadmap for Recovery, the Government anticipates that hair salons will be opened as part of Phase 3 in July, should the science confirm that it is safe to do so.

Hairdressers and other beauty businesses still remain closed in the current phase because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher due to the indoor environment and closer physical contact. This applies also to mobile hairdressers.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads the non-essential Retail Taskforce. Part of this taskforce is focussed on salons and non-clinical therapy. We are working with the sector to develop guidance on safe ways for them to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so. The guidance will be published in due course.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending maternity leave by three months to allow time for bonding and socially engaging with other parents and babies and wider family members for mothers of babies born during the covid-19 outbreak.

We understand the impacts that the pandemic and social distancing have on new parents, such as not being able to introduce their new baby to family and friends or attend parent and baby groups. While this is of course extremely difficult for all those affected, we believe these measures are necessary to protect lives.

During this difficult time mothers retain their generous entitlement to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave, allowing them to bond and care for their new child and to recover from birth. We have no plans to extend Maternity Leave at this stage.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support consumers who are unlawfully refused refunds from travel companies.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. BEIS officials have held regular discussions with travel and tourism sector representatives, travel businesses and consumer advocacy bodies to assess the impact of cancellations made in light of the covid-19 outbreak. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses was published on 30 April by the Competition and Markets Authority who have also set up a covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department is having with travel companies which are unlawfully refusing to refund the cost of holidays to consumers.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Businesses are undoubtedly facing a significant and complex operational task in engaging with all their customers on refunds. The Government is working to find a balanced and a coordinated solution to the difficulties that have arisen as a result of covid-19 that supports the sector while protecting consumer rights.

31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to (a) increase self-reliance and (b) source suppliers of semiconductors and advanced chips alternative to those in Taiwan in response to Chinese aggression against that state.

The UK and global economy is dependent on a resilient supply of semiconductors across a wide range of applications. The global supply chain for these semiconductor chips is complex and globalised, with long lead-times on new manufacturing capabilities making it difficult to quickly respond to exogenous supply chain shocks.

The Government is reviewing its approach to the UK’s global semiconductor sector, working with industry experts, representative bodies and the wider global community. We recognise that the issues facing the semiconductor sector cannot be solved by the UK alone, and are considering how best to ensure that the UK is resilient to disruptions to semiconductor supply chains. This will include considering how to strengthen the UK's own semiconductor sector and work with international partners to improve long term resilience within the global semiconductor ecosystem.

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the 90/180 day period set out in the Schengen Borders Code for third-country nationals, whether negotiations are ongoing with the EU to help reduce potential barriers faced by artists, creatives and professionals who tour in Europe; and what other steps her Department is taking to assist those people tour in Europe.

The Government is committed to supporting UK creatives to adapt to new arrangements when touring in the EU. The UK took an ambitious approach during negotiations with the EU that would have ensured that touring artists and their support staff did not need work-permits to perform in the EU. The Government deeply regrets that the EU rejected our proposals.

Our focus now is on supporting the sector by providing clarity, working with Member States, and implementing unilateral measures where possible. This includes the introduction of a ‘dual registration’ measure to help specialist hauliers move across the UK and EU.

The vast majority of Member States offer visa and work permit free routes for musicians and creative performers. This includes Spain, which introduced 90-day visa- and work permit- free touring in November 2021, and Greece, which announced a visa and work permit free route for UK creatives in June 2022, both following engagement by the UK Government and the sector.

We are aware that musicians and their support staff are concerned about the 90 in 180 day Schengen limit. Beyond this limit, creatives will be required to obtain the relevant visa or work permit for the relevant Member State, as artists from other third countries are required to do.

As rules and definitions vary across Member States, travellers should check with Member States’ own guidance before they travel. That is why we have worked closely with Member States to ensure their guidance is clear and accessible. As well as this, we have published guidance on GOV.UK, including updated travel advice for travelling to the EU, and individual business traveller summaries for EU Member States and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking with Cabinet colleagues to tackle disinformation.

The Government takes the issue of misinformation and disinformation very seriously.

The DCMS-led Counter Disinformation Unit is leading work to tackle this, bringing together monitoring and analysis capabilities across government and working with a range of partners, including social media platforms.

Our Online Safety Bill will force companies to tackle misinformation and disinformation. However, we expect companies to take steps now to improve safety, and not wait for the legislation to come into force before acting.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)