Philip Davies Portrait

Philip Davies

Conservative - Shipley

First elected: 5th May 2005


Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since January 2020)
Women and Equalities Committee (since June 2021)
Women and Equalities Committee
9th Jun 2021 - 29th Nov 2022
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
5th Jan 2022 - 12th Jan 2022
Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill
15th Dec 2021 - 5th Jan 2022
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 9th Nov 2020
Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation
10th Mar 2020 - 9th Nov 2020
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation
10th Mar 2020 - 9th Nov 2020
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 9th Nov 2020
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
15th Jul 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
15th Jul 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
15th Jul 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Women and Equalities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
28th Jun 2010 - 3rd May 2017
Justice Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Women and Equalities Committee
19th Dec 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
27th Feb 2006 - 30th Mar 2015
Backbench Business Committee
29th Jun 2010 - 1st May 2012
Privacy and Injunctions (Joint Committee)
14th Jul 2011 - 12th Mar 2012
Modernisation of the House of Commons
12th Mar 2007 - 6th May 2010


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 9 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Financial Risk Checks for Gambling
The hon. Gentleman is making a very interesting speech. May I refer him to the comments made by the hon. …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ground Rent: Reform
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his Department's consultation entitled Modern …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
City of Bradford (Referendum on Shipley and Keighley) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision for a district-wide referendum in City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council area on the continued …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
1. Employment and earnings
26 October 2023, received £2,916.67 for presenting four episodes of a current affairs programme. Hours: 28 hrs.
EDM signed
Wednesday 29th November 2023
Dogs
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 24th January 2024
Road traffic and street works Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision about speeding offences on roads to which a 20mph limit applies; to make provision about …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Philip Davies has voted in 541 divisions, and 38 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
6 Jan 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 322 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 524 Noes - 16
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
6 Oct 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 285 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 17
30 Sep 2020 - Coronavirus Act 2020 (Review of Temporary Provisions) - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 330 Noes - 24
8 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 16
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
20 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 265 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 204
8 Nov 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 278 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 283 Noes - 163
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 269 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 246
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 244
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
1 Dec 2021 - Finance (No. 2) Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 296 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 299
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
25 Apr 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 297 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 220
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 276 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 182
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 183
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
5 Dec 2022 - Online Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 308 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 242 Noes - 308
7 Dec 2022 - Financial Services and Markets Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 269 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 206 Noes - 271
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
5 Sep 2023 - Energy Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative No votes vs 275 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 19
4 Dec 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 217 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 381 Noes - 37
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Philip Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Philip Davies Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Christopher Chope (Conservative)
(20 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(18 debate interactions)
Robbie Moore (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Business and Trade
(47 debate contributions)
Home Office
(35 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(20 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Philip Davies's debates

Shipley 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 are concerned that Parliament has not discussed and will not have a say on the 307 proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations, AND the amendments to 5 Articles of the IHR that were ADOPTED by the 75th World Health Assembly on 27 May 2022.


Latest EDMs signed by Philip Davies

27th November 2023
Philip Davies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 29th November 2023

Dogs

Tabled by: Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 1164), dated 31 October 2023, a copy of which was laid before this House on 31 October 2023, be annulled.
13 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Jan 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 8
Labour: 4
Liberal Democrat: 1
13th May 2019
Philip Davies signed this EDM on Monday 17th June 2019

IR35 OFF-PAYROLL TAX EXTENSION TO PRIVATE SECTOR

Tabled by: Ged Killen (Labour (Co-op) - Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
That this House notes with concern HM Treasury’s plans to extend the off-payroll (IR35) changes to the private sector; believes that this could damage the UK’s flexible workforce, reducing avenues for work and harm the economy; further notes that the extension could force thousands of contractors into false-employment, potentially costing …
38 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Conservative: 6
Liberal Democrat: 5
Scottish National Party: 4
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All Philip Davies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Philip Davies, 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.


Philip Davies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Philip Davies has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Philip Davies


A Bill to make provision for a district-wide referendum in City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council area on the continued inclusion of the areas covered by the Shipley and Keighley parliamentary constituencies in that district; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to prohibit the use of affirmative and positive action in recruitment and appointment processes; to repeal the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 21st October 2011

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the succession of female heirs to hereditary titles; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 5th March 2019
(Read Debate)

44 Bills co-sponsored by Philip Davies

Road traffic and street works Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Kit Malthouse (Con)

Local Authority Boundaries Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Robbie Moore (Con)

Employee Share Ownership (Reform) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - George Howarth (Lab)

Non-Disclosure Agreements (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Maria Miller (Con)

Whistleblowing Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Mary Robinson (Con)

Voter Registration Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Freedom of Speech (Universities) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - David Davis (Con)

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) (No.2) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Pauline Latham (Con)

Bat Habitats Regulation Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Green Belt Protection Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Authorities (Borrowing and Investment) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Caravan Sites Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Alex Norris (LAB)

June Bank Holiday (Creation) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Reservoirs (Flood Risk) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Holly Lynch (Lab)

Unauthorised Encampments Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Toby Perkins (Lab)

Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Louise Haigh (Lab)

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Pauline Latham (Con)

Drone (Regulation) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Hospital (Parking Charges and Business Rates) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Voter Registration (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Coastal Path (Definition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Child Cruelty (Sentences) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tom Tugendhat (Con)

Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Value Added Tax Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Act 2018
Sponsor - Maria Caulfield (Con)

Affordable Home Ownership Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Principal Local Authorities (Grounds for Abolition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Border Control Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Voter Registration Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Business of the House Commission Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

June Bank Holiday (Creation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018
Sponsor - Chris Bryant (Lab)

BBC Licence Fee (Civil Penalty) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Judicial Appointments and Retirements (Age Limits) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Benefits and Public Services (Restriction) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

International Development Assistance (Definition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Authorities (Removal of Council Tax Restrictions) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Crime (Assaults on Emergency Services Staff) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Holly Lynch (Lab)


802 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
6 Other Department Questions
14th Oct 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what guidance is provided to Select Committees seeking legal advice.

All Select Committees have access to internal legal advice from the Office of Speaker’s Counsel. In the event that external advice is sought, the Office of Speaker’s Counsel will be consulted before external lawyers are appointed.

Only certain committees have power to appoint legal advisers, but Committees may appoint legally qualified persons as Specialist Advisers.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will make an estimate of the cost to House of Commons authorities of the (a) internal and (b) external legal advice and (c) legal support provided to the Committee of Privileges on the inquiry into the Rt hon Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip; what the estimated budget for the inquiry is, and what role the Commission plays in establishing the budget for legal advice for Committee inquiries.

Internal legal advice is provided by salaried members of the Office of Speaker’s Counsel. No additional resources have been required in order to support this inquiry, which has been covered by the ordinary costs of running that Office.

External legal advice has been provided to the Committee by Sir Ernest Ryder KC, at the request of the Committee. The total cost of this advice to date has been £17,850.

Committee inquiries do not have allocated budgets.

The Commission has no involvement in establishing the budget for advice for individual Committee inquiries. Standing Order No. 148A gives the Committee of Privileges power to appoint legal advisers.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much from the public purse has been paid by the House of Commons to Sir Ernest Ryder KC in each of the last 24 months.

The amounts paid will lag the amounts due. The payments due to Sir Ernest Ryder KC for work in each of the following months are as follows:

In respect of the Committee on Standards

December 2021 £1050

January 2022 £4550

February 2022 £6300

March 2022 £700

In respect of the Committee of Privileges

June 2022 £1750

July 2022 £7000

August 2022 £3850

September 2022 £5250

13th Oct 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Second Report of the Privileges Committee 2022-23, HC 632, Appendix (Correspondence with Mr Speaker), if he will make an estimate of the cost to House of Commons authorities of (a) internal and (b) external legal advice relating to the Recall of MPs Act 2015 in the last 12 months.

Internal legal advice is provided by the Office of Speaker’s Counsel, staffed by salaried members of the House service, and has been provided as part of their ordinary work. No additional resources have been required in order to advise the House on the Recall of MPs Act 2015. The cost of external legal advice on that Act in the past 12 months has been £2,700 plus VAT.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to the Register of Interests of the hon. Member for Rhondda made in August 2022 relating to Category 2(b) legal support in connection with the Committee of Privileges and the Recall of MPs Act 2015, and with reference to the Second Report of the Privileges Committee 2022-23, HC 632, Appendix (Correspondence with Mr Speaker), if he will place in the Library a copy of all correspondence from that hon. Member to Mr Speaker relating to these matters, including the pro bono legal advice provided by Blackstone Chambers and Bindmans LLP.

The hon. Member for Rhondda sent a letter to Mr Speaker enclosing a copy of a legal Opinion on 19 July 2022. There was no other correspondence concerning this matter. The letter and Opinion will not be placed in the Library in order to protect the confidentiality of Members’ correspondence with the Speaker.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Attorney General, if she will take steps to ensure that her Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

Throughout the pandemic, all Civil Service employers including the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Government Legal Department (GLD) and Her Majesties Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) have followed government guidance in setting out their internal COVID-19 related policies. This includes complying with the Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance which sets out the key actions organisations should take to protect employees and customers in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in workplaces, along with carrying out health and safety risk assessments that include the ongoing risk from COVID-19.

The Government’s recent Living with COVID-19 document, sets out how and when the remaining restrictions will be lifted in England. Government guidance was subsequently amended, including the Working Safely guidance. Which alongside risk assessments, sets out further actions organisations can take to protect employees and customers in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning and asking people with COVID-19 to stay home. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. Employers will continue to align their policies accordingly. Should individuals wish to wear masks as a matter of personal choice this should be respected.

In respect to the SFO estate, The Canadian High Commission (CHC), in their capacity as landlord, have requested SFO employees, contractors and visitors continue to wear face coverings in the common areas of 2 – 4 Cockspur Street. This includes the lobby, lifts, stairs, toilets, and reception.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Civil Service, including the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Government Legal Department (GLD), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), have followed, and continue to follow, the latest government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

In England, the BEIS ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance provides sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff. The guidance is available via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2.

Whilst it is for individual employers to determine which mitigations are appropriate to adopt as they review their workplace risk assessments in light of the updated guidance. Face coverings, which are no longer required by law, are one possible mitigation employers could adopt if the situation / context warranted it.

HMCTS requires all court users to continue to wear face coverings in court buildings. The CPS’s advice to staff, which has been agreed with trade unions is that, unless exempt, all court users are required to wear a face covering in all public areas of court and tribunal buildings.

The AGO, GLD, CPS, SFO and HMCPSI fully support individuals who choose to wear a face covering in the workplace.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for assaulting an emergency worker have related to assaults against (a) police officers, (b) NHS staff, (c) prison officers, (d) firefighters and (e) other emergency workers since the offence was introduced.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 is legislation that amended section39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to provide offences relating to common assault or battery committed against an emergency worker while carrying out their duties.

The CPS maintains records of the number of offences in which a CPS prosecution commenced, including offences of assaulting an emergency worker. The data provided in the table detailed below shows the total number of offences in which a prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) commenced at magistrates’ courts under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 since it came into force on the 13th November 2018. However the CPS does not hold any central record of the details of complainants’ occupations.

2018/19 (Nov 18 - Mar 19)

2019/20

Total offences: Criminal Justice Act 1988 and section 1 of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 {39}

4,395

23,492

It should be noted that the figures relate to the number of offences and not the number of individual defendants. It may be the case that an individual defendant is charged with more than one offence. No data are held on the final outcome or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at finalisation.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of defendants charged with, or prosecuted for these offences. This information could only be obtained by examining CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what estimate she has made of the proportion of assaults on shop workers that were prosecuted in each of the last three years.

The CPS does not maintain a central record of complainants’ occupations, nor of the specific circumstances under which a person has been charged with an offence. This information could only be obtained by an examination of CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to paragraph 2.4.137 in the report entitled The Independent Review of the Metropolitan Police Service's handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations alleged against persons of public prominence, published on 4 October 2019, what assessment the CPS has made of the potential merits of seeking the prosecution of the two individuals referred to as potential witnesses A and B for perverting the course of justice and wasting police time.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. If a crime is reported it is for the police to decide whether to investigate.

The CPS has not been asked to consider any charges against witness A or B, nor have they provided any early investigative advice to the police. It is a matter for the police as to whether they pursue an investigation in to witness A and witness B.

Once a case is referred to the CPS, any decision to prosecute is made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and must meet the evidential and public interest tests.

12th May 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many people have been prosecuted for (a) perverting the course of justice and (b) wasting police time in relation to false allegations of domestic abuse in the last 12 months.

The Crown Prosecution Service does not maintain a central record of prosecutions against domestic abuse complainants for perverting the course of justice and/or wasting police time. Obtaining this information would therefore require a manual review of individual case files which would incur a disproportionate cost.

The Crown Prosecution Service takes cases of domestic abuse extremely seriously and is determined to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure victims are protected from repeated offending. The Crown Prosecution Service has specific guidance for prosecutors on how to approach cases where a complaint alleging a false allegation is made. When reaching a prosecution decision Crown Prosecutors apply the two stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. There must be sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it must be in the public interest for a prosecution to be brought.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, if she will extend the current 28 day limit for appealing a sentence under the unduly lenient sentence scheme; and if he will make a statement.

A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.

There are no plans to extend the 28 day deadline. The current deadline provides an appropriate balance between the rights of victims and offenders, ensuring that offenders are not left uncertain of whether their sentence may be extended for a long period of time, whilst allowing victims sufficient time to request a review of the sentence under the scheme.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many of the cases referred to her Department under the unduly lenient sentence scheme were received on the 28th day after sentence outside office hours; and what proportion of those cases were (a) accepted and (b) refused in each of the last five years for which information is available.

2015 – of the 14 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2016 – of the 28 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2017 - of the 27 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2018 - of the 31 sentences that were received out of time 2 were received on the 28th day and too late for them to be actioned.

2019 - of the 43 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

Whilst referrals for sentences are received and actioned on the 28th day, those are cases that are received early enough on the day to be actioned. An unduly lenient sentence case can only be taken forward if either myself or the Attorney General has approved action (on the basis of a complete prosecution file and proper legal advice) and an application has been filed with the Court of Appeal before the expiry of the statutory 28 day deadline. None of the above cases were accepted as being within time by my office as they were received too late to be actioned and consequently they were all marked as out of time.

A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many of the cases referred to her Department under the unduly lenient sentence scheme were received before the 28th day after sentence time period had elapsed but outside office hours and where his office did not re-open until after that 28 day deadline had passed; and what proportion of those cases were (a) accepted and (b) refused in each of the last five years for which information is available.

2015 – of the 14 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2016 – of the 28 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2017 - of the 27 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

2018 - of the 31 sentences that were received out of time 2 were received on the 28th day and too late for them to be actioned.

2019 - of the 43 sentences that were received out of time only 1 was received on the 28th day and too late for it to be actioned.

Whilst referrals for sentences are received and actioned on the 28th day, those are cases that are received early enough on the day to be actioned. An unduly lenient sentence case can only be taken forward if either myself or the Attorney General has approved action (on the basis of a complete prosecution file and proper legal advice) and an application has been filed with the Court of Appeal before the expiry of the statutory 28 day deadline. None of the above cases were accepted as being within time by my office as they were received too late to be actioned and consequently they were all marked as out of time.

A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, whether there is a legislative basis for the 28-day limit on appealing an unduly lenient sentence meaning something other than 28 days.

A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.

An unduly lenient sentence case can only be taken forward if either myself or the Attorney General has approved action (on the basis of a complete prosecution file and proper legal advice) and an application has been filed with the Court of Appeal before the expiry of the statutory 28 day deadline. Tracey Hanson emailed the Attorney General’s office, requesting a review of a potentially unduly lenient sentence. The email was received by my office at 8.41pm on the 28th day and therefore was received after the close of court business. By the time my office received the email it was impossible to act on it and it was too late to file a referral with The Court of Appeal.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what the basis was for his authority to refuse the application of Tracey Hanson in relation to a potentially unduly lenient sentence; and if he will make a statement.

A referral to the Court of Appeal for consideration of a sentence as unduly lenient must be made within 28 days of the date of the sentence as set out in Schedule 3, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The 28 day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend the time limit or to apply for leave to refer out of time.

An unduly lenient sentence case can only be taken forward if either myself or the Attorney General has approved action (on the basis of a complete prosecution file and proper legal advice) and an application has been filed with the Court of Appeal before the expiry of the statutory 28 day deadline. Tracey Hanson emailed the Attorney General’s office, requesting a review of a potentially unduly lenient sentence. The email was received by my office at 8.41pm on the 28th day and therefore was received after the close of court business. By the time my office received the email it was impossible to act on it and it was too late to file a referral with The Court of Appeal.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Attorney General, if he will extend the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to include additional offences.

The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme is an important avenue for victims, family members and the public to ensure justice is delivered in the most serious cases.

This is why the Government has extended the scheme to cover further child sexual abuse offences, as well as some domestic abuse offences, including controlling and coercive behavior.

The remit of the scheme remains under constant review. We work closely with stakeholders to ensure it appropriately reflects the needs of victims, family members and the public.

28th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of domestic abuse within (a) gay and (b) lesbian couple relationships in each of the last 5 years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 28 November is attached.

11th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

In October 2022 (latest workforce figures) the number of staff employed in my Department was 9464. In February 2020 the number of staff employed in my Department was 7960.

Most of the increase here (84%) is the result of the transfer of staff and functions into the Cabinet Office from other Government Departments under machinery of government changes.

As part of this Government’s commitment to transparency, my Department publishes workforce statistics each month. Information about staffing levels since June 2016 are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/payroll-costs-and-non-consolidated-pay-data

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many employees in his Department work on matters related to covid-19.

There are 27 full time employees in one business unit currently working on the Government’s response to the Covid-19 Inquiry. There are no other business units in the Cabinet Office that are dedicated to COVID-19. Roles are not recorded at an individual level.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the compliance rates of trade union facility time data reporting in terms of the (a) projected and (b) actual number of returns in 2019-20.

The Government is committed to ensuring that facility time usage within the public sector remains accountable and represents value for money to the taxpayer.

With the exception of the education sector, compliance rates for all other sectors, using the Government’s reporting portal, for the 2020/21 reporting year exceeded 60% of expected returns. This was an overall improvement compared to the 2019/20 reporting year where both education and the NHS sectors were below a 60% compliance rate.

The Government is taking action this year to ensure that overall compliance rates continue to rise. Greater transparency will enhance accountability over the spending of taxpayers’ money and practices within the public sector.

The full sector breakdown for the compliance rates over the last two years is below:

Sector

Compliance

2019/20

2020/21

Civil Service

100%

100%

Education

18%

18%

Local Authority

69%

64%

NHS

46%

66%

Police

69%

77%

Network Rail is not currently in scope for the relevant facility time reporting regulations; we are open to representations on this matter.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of (a) the cost of facility time and (b) the number of trade union officials who used facility time at Network Rail in 2020-21.

The Government is committed to ensuring that facility time usage within the public sector remains accountable and represents value for money to the taxpayer.

With the exception of the education sector, compliance rates for all other sectors, using the Government’s reporting portal, for the 2020/21 reporting year exceeded 60% of expected returns. This was an overall improvement compared to the 2019/20 reporting year where both education and the NHS sectors were below a 60% compliance rate.

The Government is taking action this year to ensure that overall compliance rates continue to rise. Greater transparency will enhance accountability over the spending of taxpayers’ money and practices within the public sector.

The full sector breakdown for the compliance rates over the last two years is below:

Sector

Compliance

2019/20

2020/21

Civil Service

100%

100%

Education

18%

18%

Local Authority

69%

64%

NHS

46%

66%

Police

69%

77%

Network Rail is not currently in scope for the relevant facility time reporting regulations; we are open to representations on this matter.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Cabinet Office records losses and special payments in line with managing public money and are included in the department’s losses & special payments register. The total number and amounts are summarised in the Cabinet Office’s Annual Accounts.

All losses and special payments for the years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 valued at under £300,000 are set out in the attached document.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

Throughout the pandemic, all Civil Service employers have followed government guidance in setting out their internal COVID-19 related policies. This includes complying with the Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance which sets out the key actions organisations should take to protect employees and customers in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in workplaces, along with carrying out health and safety risk assessments that include the ongoing risk from COVID-19.

On 21 February 2022, the Government published their COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19. This document sets out how and when the remaining restrictions will be lifted in England. Government guidance was subsequently amended, including the Working Safely guidance.

The Government’s Working Safely guidance continues to require organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. It also sets out additional actions organisations can take to protect employees and customers in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, asking people to wash their hands frequently and asking people with COVID-19 to stay away. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. Civil Service employers will continue to follow this guidance and align their policies accordingly.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of victims of violent crimes were (a) female aged 18 and over, (b) men aged 18 and over, (c) female under 18 and (d) male under 18 for the latest year for which figures are available.

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

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) age, (b) underlying medical conditions and (c) actual cause of death of each person recorded as having died in the last 14 days with or from covid-19.

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

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Cabinet Office has followed, and continues to follow, the latest government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

In England, the BEIS ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance provides sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff. The guidance is available via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2.

It is for individual employers to determine which mitigations are appropriate to adopt as they review their workplace risk assessments in light of the updated guidance.

Cabinet Office fully supports individuals who choose to wear a face covering in the workplace and asks staff to comply with any additional Health and Safety procedures in buildings they enter in the course of their work.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what progress has been made on ensuring that (a) local government, (b) the police, (c) the NHS and (d) other parts of the public sector review their approaches to staff training as a result of the evidence and developments in the Civil Service.

Unconscious bias training courses were removed from the Civil Service cross-Civil Service curriculum in January 2021. The Cabinet Office also took action to remove unconscious bias training from any relevant learning and related materials. The Written Ministerial Statement on this was communicated to all departments.

The Civil Service is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. A review of existing learning is being conducted to ensure new learning utilises evidence-based interventions. The government expects other parts of the public sector to review their approaches in light of the evidence and developments in the Civil Service.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps he has taken to ensure the phasing out of unconscious bias training for civil servants in Government departments.

Unconscious bias training courses were removed from the Civil Service cross-Civil Service curriculum in January 2021. The Cabinet Office also took action to remove unconscious bias training from any relevant learning and related materials. The Written Ministerial Statement on this was communicated to all departments.

The Civil Service is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. A review of existing learning is being conducted to ensure new learning utilises evidence-based interventions. The government expects other parts of the public sector to review their approaches in light of the evidence and developments in the Civil Service.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

Unconscious bias training courses were removed from the Civil Service cross-Civil Service curriculum in January 2021. The Cabinet Office also took action to remove unconscious bias training from any relevant learning and related materials. The Written Ministerial Statement on this was communicated to all departments.

The Civil Service is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. A review of existing learning is being conducted to ensure new learning utilises evidence-based interventions. The government expects other parts of the public sector to review their approaches in light of the evidence and developments in the Civil Service.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

Unconscious bias training courses were removed from the Civil Service cross-Civil Service curriculum in January 2021. The Cabinet Office also took action to remove unconscious bias training from any relevant learning and related materials. The Written Ministerial Statement on this was communicated to all departments.

The Civil Service is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. A review of existing learning is being conducted to ensure new learning utilises evidence-based interventions. The government expects other parts of the public sector to review their approaches in light of the evidence and developments in the Civil Service.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of people have died within 28 days of receiving a covid-19 vaccination.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of people have died within 28 days of receiving a covid-19 vaccination; and whether those people will all be considered to have died as a result of that vaccination.

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

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will relocate some civil services jobs to Bradford district.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ.133645.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what representations he has received from Bradford Council on the merits of relocating civil service jobs to Bradford district.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ.133645.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

The Cabinet Office promoted a number of virtual events to mark International Men’s Day on 19 November 2020, this included an event regarding Men & Mental Health.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

The data requested could have the potential to identify an individual's personal information, and therefore would not normally be disclosed.

Information on senior salaries are already published in our annual reports. Information on salaries and roles for staff is published as Organogram of Staff Roles & Salaries on Gov.UK.

Salaries of individual civil servants may change because of promotions, re-ranking with a pay band, changes to Civil Service grade, or a change of role.

For 2020, pay awards were paid in accordance with appropriate central pay guidance which differ depending on grade and profession.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the cost-benefit analysis the Government has undertaken to inform its response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government undertakes a wide range of analysis to support decision making and publishes information to keep Parliament and the wider public updated which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-statistics-and-analysis#social-impacts.

There is no single cost-benefit analysis.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the (a) value was of contracts issued, (b) which foreign governments were involved and (c) other communication services were provided by Government Communication Service International to foreign governments in the last 12 months.

Further to the information published in the Cabinet Office Annual Accounts for 2019-20, the total value of communications contracts issued by the Cabinet Office was £981,403 supporting UK security and trade objectives in Nigeria, Tunisia, Montenegro, Philippines and India. Government Communication Service International shares communication expertise and knowledge based on UK Government best practice in security, economy, health and education communications.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have died from (a) influenza, (b) pneumonia and (c) a combination of influenza and pneumonia in each of the last 12 months, by (i) region and (ii) constituency.

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

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people by ethnic group died from (a) flu and (b) pneumonia in each of the last five years.

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

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the mortality rates were for each ethnic group in each of the last five years.

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

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags his Department owns.

10 Downing Street is an integral part of the Cabinet Office and is included in this answer.

Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street owns 29 Union Flags (including internal ceremonial flags), 3 St George’s, 4 Scottish Saltires and 2 Flags of Wales.

The information on how many times each flag has been flown is not held centrally.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) the flag of Wales has been flown from the Cabinet Office in each year since 2015.

10 Downing Street is an integral part of the Cabinet Office and is included in this answer.

Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street owns 29 Union Flags (including internal ceremonial flags), 3 St George’s, 4 Scottish Saltires and 2 Flags of Wales.

The information on how many times each flag has been flown is not held centrally.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) men and (b) women were killed by their (i) male and (ii) female current or ex-partner in the latest year for which information is available.

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

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) men and (b) women were victims of homicide in the latest year for which information is available.

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

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of Ofgem have previous experience in the sectors that they regulate.

Ofgem Board members have a wide range of skills and experiences that are relevant to their role. Bios of the Ofgem Board members, and those that sit on the Executive Committee, are available on the Ofgem website:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/about-us/our-structure-and-leadership/gema-and-executive-committee-members

Ofgem employees are civil servants with individual skills and experiences. Many will have spent some time employed in the energy sector and some on secondment. Data are not available that would enable a proportion to be estimated.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to (a) the public purse and (b) businesses and individuals to reach net zero in cash terms for each year from 2023 to 2050.

The distribution of the costs and benefits of the transition to net zero will depend on future policy decision. The UK's approach demonstrates that ‘green’ and ‘growth’ go hand in hand. The transition will help shield households and business from the destabilising effects of volatile fossil fuel markets and will provide huge opportunities for jobs, investment, innovation and exports.

Energy saving schemes have also been targeted towards vulnerable households and steps have been taken to protect exposed industries. The OBR has also set out that while unmitigated climate change would spell disaster, the net fiscal costs of moving to net zero by 2050 could be comparatively modest.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2023 to Question 192282 on Carbon Emissions: Temperature, what estimate has he made of the contribution of UK emission reduction measures on global temperatures.

The UK was the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The Climate Change Committee stated that this is in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. Given the UK's leading development of global low carbon technologies, the impact of the UK's actions reach beyond its own emissions.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made of the impact of the UK reaching net zero on global temperatures.

The costs of global inaction significantly outweigh the costs of action. All countries need to make urgent emissions reductions across their economies if we are to keep 1.5 degrees within reach and the UK will play its part.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent assessment he has made of the financial cost of reaching net zero between 2023 and 2050.

We estimate that the net cost of the UK’s net zero transition, excluding air quality and emissions savings benefits, will be equivalent to 1-2% of GDP in 2050. However, the costs of global inaction significantly outweigh the costs of action; all countries need to make urgent emissions reductions across their economies if we are to keep 1.5 degrees within reach and the UK will play its part.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of Ofcom have previous experience in the industry that they regulate.

Ofcom’s board has ten members, bringing together executive and non-executive members who have the expertise relevant for providing strategic direction to Ofcom. Of its ten members, five (50%) have experience working in the industries for which Ofcom is the regulator. Ofcom hires people from a range of professional backgrounds, including its regulated sectors, but does not hold data relating to employees’ previous work experience.

16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Energy Bill Support Scheme will be made available to people living in caravan parks.

As an extension to the Energy Bills Support Scheme, alternative funding is being provided to around 900,000 households without a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier. This will be a payment of £400 per eligible household and is expected to include park home residents. On 19 December, the Government announced that the application portal for this extension to the Energy Bills Support Scheme will open later in January, with a dedicated customer helpline available to assist customers without online access. Further details will be published shortly.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

The Civil Service headcount for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 1 February 2020 and 31 October 2022* was:

31 October 2022: 5876

1 February 2020: 4577

*Date changed to 31 October 2022 as per our latest monthly Official Statistics publication.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many employees in his Department work on matters related to covid-19.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have 49 Employees (including contingent) who are currently working on matters related to Covid-19.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary 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 detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Department has disclosed information about losses and special payments in its annual report and accounts. The attached workbook holds details of remaining items disclosed in aggregate in the annual reports for the above periods.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

On 21 February 2022, the Government published COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19. This document sets out how and when the remaining restrictions will be lifted in England. Government guidance was subsequently amended, including the Working Safely guidance and BEIS will continue to follow this guidance and align its policies accordingly.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

The Written Ministerial Statement referred to in the question can be seen here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-15/hcws652.

Since the removal of Unconscious Bias training from the core Civil Service learning offer in January 2021, BEIS no longer monitors activity or provides reports on completion.

Unconscious Bias is not on BEIS’s list of mandatory training courses and is not part of our forthcoming Diversity & Inclusion Curriculum.

Unconscious Bias training does not form part of BEIS’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to allow packaged and loose goods to be displayed in imperial measurements only.

The Government recognises that some people have a preference to use imperial units in their day to day lives. At the same time, it recognises that many others are not familiar with imperial units and that the use of metric is a necessity for British businesses to compete in markets around the world. Therefore, the UK system allows for information to be provided in imperial units alongside metric.

While the majority of trade in the UK is conducted using metric units to ensure consistency in commerce and science, there are already some limited exemptions that allow for certain traditional imperial measures to be used, without metric alongside, for specific uses. Now we have left the EU we will consider whether further limited exemptions can be applied for other traditional uses.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

This Government is committed to levelling up opportunity and ensuring fairness for all - regardless of gender or background. International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight where we need to do more to improve outcomes for men and boys and to talk about some of the work taken across the Government to support this work.

This work ranges from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, looking at outcomes for the whole population. This includes ethnic minorities and White British people, as well as preparation for an Employment Bill which, subject to further consultation, will make flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to. We are also delivering the Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out action that is being taken across Government departments and the NHS to reduce suicides, including amongst men.

The Department marked International Men’s Day with an online ‘Being Real About Men’s Mental Health’ event, which all staff were invited to attend. We also shared resources with all Departmental staff on Movember and men’s health via the intranet, with links to websites offering advice and support.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

The biggest pay rise given to an employee of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the last 12 months in percentage and cash terms was (a) 4.85%, and (b) £4,500.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) names and (b) locations of the surface coal mines in the UK currently producing coal and (c) dates when they are scheduled to cease producing coal for all purposes; and if he will make a statement.

The names, location and estimated production end dates of surface coal mines are set out in the table below:

Mine Name

Status

Location

Production end date*

Bradley

Producing

Durham, England

17/08/2020

Field House

Producing

Durham, England

07/11/2020

House of Water Burnston Remainder

Producing

East Ayrshire, Scotland

13/07/2021

Ffos-y-Fran Land Reclamation Scheme

Producing

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

01/10/2022

Hartington Reclamation

Producing

Derbyshire, England

01/08/2020

Nant Helen Remainder

Producing

Powys, Wales

Under review

*Based on an assessment of remaining reserves at the site.

Source: Coal Authority May 2020

20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) new regulations have been introduced and (b) existing regulations have been abolished in each of the last four years.

BEIS does not have policy oversight for all regulations and does not maintain a central database of all those made and repealed. Information on all secondary legislation is available at www.legislation.gov.uk.

The annual business impact target reports available on GOV.UK include details of the regulatory provisions impacting business that have come into force or ceased to be in force since 2015.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) flag of Wales has been flown from the headquarters of his Department in London in each year since 2015.

The Department always flies the Union Jack. We do not hold records on how many times the St George’s flag, Scottish Saltire, and the flag of Wales have been flown.

Thirty-nine flag-flying events have taken place since 2017, with 15 instances where the type of flag flown was recorded.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags his Department owns.

The Department owns the following flags:

(a) Union Jack: 11

(b) St George: 1

(c) Scottish Saltire: 1

(d) Flag of Wales: 1.

21st Feb 2020
Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in (a) the National Living Wage and (b) the National Minimum Wage in April 2020 on the number of (i) jobs and (ii) hours that people are employed.

Through the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW), we are ensuring the lowest paid are fairly rewarded for their contribution to the economy. This April, the NLW will increase by 6.2% to £8.72, meaning that a full-time worker on the wage will see their pay increase by over £930 over the year. Young workers on the NMW will see their pay increase between 4.6% and 6.5%. Collectively, these increases to the minimum wage are estimated to directly benefit 2.4 million workers.

In setting these rates, the Government consider the expert and independent advice of the Low Pay Commission (LPC). The LPC draws on economic, labour market and pay analysis, independent research and stakeholder evidence, to assess the impact of past minimum wage increases and their proposed rates for the following year.

To date, the LPC have found that the minimum wage has increased pay for the lowest earners without harming employment. They will publish their 2020 report later this year, which will contain a further assessment on the impact of the latest increases.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains Government policy for new regulations to be subject to the one-in-two-out rule.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 requires the Government to set a Business Impact Target (BIT), which monitors changes to regulation and the economic impact this has on businesses. The ‘one-in-two-out’ rule has supported the BIT for previous Parliaments.

The Government is currently considering what the BIT should be for this Parliament.

23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the (a) Gambling Commission and (b) Financial Conduct Authority on potential proposals to regulate companies like Football Index.

The collapse of BetIndex Ltd, the operators of the novel gambling product Football Index, had a significant impact on former customers, and we recognise the frustration and anger that this has caused. As a result, the Government announced an Independent Review, conducted by Malcom Sheehan KC, which looked at how the company had been regulated and identified lessons learned for various agencies. These recommendations have since been implemented.

Following the collapse of Football Index, the then-Minister held several meetings with the Gambling Commission, and officials have worked closely with their counterparts at His Majesty’s Treasury on the role of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in this case. I also met representatives from the Football Index Action Group last year and officials from the department are discussing the issues raised by the group with the Gambling Commission.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what systems the Gambling Commission has in place to (a) monitor, (b) close down and (c) take other action against illegal gambling sites.

As set out in the response to WPQ 2835, the best available estimates suggest the black market accounts for less than 2.5% of bets in this country. The Gambling Commission takes a risk-based approach to the illegal provision of gambling facilities. The 2021 fees uplift increased investment in how the Commission monitors and tackles the black market. It operates on a system of escalating interventions where it identifies unlicensed operators interacting with British customers, from initial cease and desist letters up to more robust disruption. This includes working with internet search and service providers to delist illegal operators and restrict access, working with payment providers and financial institutions to cut illegal operators off from payments, and working with software providers to prevent access to popular products and games.

As we committed to in the white paper, we are also legislating through the Criminal Justice Bill to give stronger powers to the Gambling Commission to take down criminal gambling websites, and plan to reform the Commission's fee structure to give it greater flexibility to respond to emerging risks, such as black market gambling.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the number of online illegal gambling sites accessible from the UK.

There are inherent difficulties in accurately estimating the scale of the unlicensed gambling market in this country. We are not aware of any robust estimates for precisely how many unlicensed sites are accessible from the UK, and this is further complicated by the high churn in black market operations.

However, the Government is aware of a number of studies including from the industry which suggests that the black market accounts for less than 2.5% of bets. Data from the Gambling Commission also suggests that the scale of the black market has remained low and stable, with little variation in the number of complaints it has received about illegal gambling websites.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Charity Commission have previous experience in the industry that they regulate.

The Charity Commission does not hold information on how many employees have experience in the charity sector.

Schedule 1 to the Charities Act 2011 states that the Board of the Charity Commission must collectively have knowledge and experience of charity law, charity accounts and finances, and the operation and regulation of charities. Biographies of the current board members are available on Gov.uk.

As part of the fair and open process to recruit board members, candidates are assessed on their experience in different sectors, their commitment to the charity sector, and their understanding of the Charity Commission’s work and the importance of effective, independent, proportionate, and impartial regulation.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Gambling Commission have previous experience in the industries that they regulate.

The Commission does not collect data on previous employers of its current staff but ensures that staff are able to access specialist knowledge to make informed and evidence-based decisions. The Commission also has a Managing Conflicts of Interest Policy that explains how it identifies and manages conflicts.

Job specifications for Commissioners reflect the range of skills and experience required by the Board including customer protection and insight, law enforcement and data science and digital innovation. Biographies of the current board members are available on Gov.uk.

As part of the fair and open process to recruit board members, candidates are assessed on their experience in different sectors, their understanding of the Gambling Commission’s work and the importance of effective, independent, proportionate, and impartial regulation.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the Gambling Commission's adherence to the Regulators Code; and how many discussions have Ministers or officials in her Department had with the Gambling Commission on their requirements under the Regulators Code in each of the last three years.

As the sponsoring department of the Gambling Commission, we engage regularly to discuss their performance in line with relevant Cabinet Office guidance.

It is the responsibility of regulators to ensure that the Regulators’ Code is reflected appropriately in their own policy and procedures. The Commission’s statement of principles for licensing and regulation outlines the general principles it will apply in exercising its functions under the Gambling Act 2005. These principles were formulated with a view to ensuring that the Commission regulates gambling in line with the Regulators’ Code in a supportive, straightforward, risk based, and transparent manner.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with (a) the gambling industry, (b) gambling campaigners and campaign groups and (c) users of gambling services in each of the last 3 years.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s ministers and officials meet regularly with a range of gambling stakeholders, including industry and charity representatives, to hear their views on the sector and discuss areas of concern. These meetings are continuing following the publication of the white paper following our Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

All ministerial meetings are published on GOV.UK and can be accessed on the website.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

The civil service headcount in DCMS was as follows:

  1. 1959 total headcount; 1924.7 FTE (with BDUK); 1747 total headcount; 1714.9 FTE (without BDUK); and

  1. 1276 total headcount; 1245 FTE.

National Statistics on Civil Service employment numbers, both overall and by department, are published each quarter by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of their Public Sector Employment statistical release. The latest figures were published 13 September 2022 and showed the position as at 30 June 2022. The next figures will be published 13 December for the end of September position.

More timely workforce information is also published by departments in the interests of transparency on GOV.UK each month. This monthly workforce management information (MWMI) includes additional breakdowns on department and agency employment numbers e.g. showing contingent labour, grade breakdowns and associated costs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many employees in her Department work on matters related to covid-19.

DCMS currently has 6 FTE working on engagement with the Covid Public Inquiry. There will be a number of staff working for varying proportions of their time on matters relating to Covid-19 such as evaluating support provided during the pandemic but we do not track this information centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the revenue opportunities on offer from the growing NFT industry for English football.

The Government has not made a specific assessment of whether Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) can benefit football in England.

The Cryptoassets Taskforce, consisting of Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), was established in 2018 to explore the impact of crypto assets and the potential benefits and challenges of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in financial services, as well as assessing what, if any, regulation is required in response. HMT is not currently proposing to bring NFTs into regulation.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of Gambling Commission investigations into novel products have been brought to prosecution; what proportion of those prosecutions have been successful, and on average how long investigations take prior to prosecution.

The Gambling Commission has both regulatory and criminal powers, and its investigation remit covers either regulatory failing by licensees (under LCCP) or criminal offences (under the Gambling Act 2005). The Commission does not record whether an investigation is related to a novel product, but in response to the collapse of BetIndex Limited, the Commission updated how it assesses risk so that novel products are properly considered.

The Commission often refuses a licence to operators if they are shown to be novel at the licence application stage (e.g. if they use cryptocurrency as a source of funds or intend to offer consumers cryptocurrency as a route to play). It cannot bring a prosecution under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding an aspect of a product which is outside of its remit.

The Gambling Commission at all times strives to recruit people with the skills, knowledge and diversity required to regulate the fast moving and innovative gambling sector but it does not retain information on where its staff join from and on the scope of their earlier careers. As well as staff with specialisms in areas of gambling such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, the Commission’s market insights specialists help anticipate industry developments.

All staff in the Commission’s Operations team (around 30% of its workforce) have the technical experience to investigate novel products and new technologies and where content is challenging, call on subject matter experts as appropriate (internal or external). The most recent estimate for the Commission’s overall headcount was around 320.

In order to help equip the Commission to tackle the rate of technological change, four years ago the Commission established a Digital Advisory Panel to advise on the digital landscape and emerging trends which may impact on how the gambling market operates, how the Commission interacts with operators and how they interact with consumers. The Digital Advisory Panel works with staff to explore the impact of emerging technologies on the Commission’s regulatory and policy work to ensure that they are a future-fit and effective regulator.

The Commission does not comment on ongoing cases. Each case has its own circumstances, and the length of prosecution depends on the case complexity and the court process.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many staff who are employed by the Gambling Commission who have previously worked in the (a) technology, (b) digital assets, (c) cryptoassets or (d) NFT sectors.

The Gambling Commission has both regulatory and criminal powers, and its investigation remit covers either regulatory failing by licensees (under LCCP) or criminal offences (under the Gambling Act 2005). The Commission does not record whether an investigation is related to a novel product, but in response to the collapse of BetIndex Limited, the Commission updated how it assesses risk so that novel products are properly considered.

The Commission often refuses a licence to operators if they are shown to be novel at the licence application stage (e.g. if they use cryptocurrency as a source of funds or intend to offer consumers cryptocurrency as a route to play). It cannot bring a prosecution under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding an aspect of a product which is outside of its remit.

The Gambling Commission at all times strives to recruit people with the skills, knowledge and diversity required to regulate the fast moving and innovative gambling sector but it does not retain information on where its staff join from and on the scope of their earlier careers. As well as staff with specialisms in areas of gambling such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, the Commission’s market insights specialists help anticipate industry developments.

All staff in the Commission’s Operations team (around 30% of its workforce) have the technical experience to investigate novel products and new technologies and where content is challenging, call on subject matter experts as appropriate (internal or external). The most recent estimate for the Commission’s overall headcount was around 320.

In order to help equip the Commission to tackle the rate of technological change, four years ago the Commission established a Digital Advisory Panel to advise on the digital landscape and emerging trends which may impact on how the gambling market operates, how the Commission interacts with operators and how they interact with consumers. The Digital Advisory Panel works with staff to explore the impact of emerging technologies on the Commission’s regulatory and policy work to ensure that they are a future-fit and effective regulator.

The Commission does not comment on ongoing cases. Each case has its own circumstances, and the length of prosecution depends on the case complexity and the court process.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) employees and (b) consultants that are employed by the Gambling Commission with the relevant technical experience to investigate new technologies.

The Gambling Commission has both regulatory and criminal powers, and its investigation remit covers either regulatory failing by licensees (under LCCP) or criminal offences (under the Gambling Act 2005). The Commission does not record whether an investigation is related to a novel product, but in response to the collapse of BetIndex Limited, the Commission updated how it assesses risk so that novel products are properly considered.

The Commission often refuses a licence to operators if they are shown to be novel at the licence application stage (e.g. if they use cryptocurrency as a source of funds or intend to offer consumers cryptocurrency as a route to play). It cannot bring a prosecution under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding an aspect of a product which is outside of its remit.

The Gambling Commission at all times strives to recruit people with the skills, knowledge and diversity required to regulate the fast moving and innovative gambling sector but it does not retain information on where its staff join from and on the scope of their earlier careers. As well as staff with specialisms in areas of gambling such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, the Commission’s market insights specialists help anticipate industry developments.

All staff in the Commission’s Operations team (around 30% of its workforce) have the technical experience to investigate novel products and new technologies and where content is challenging, call on subject matter experts as appropriate (internal or external). The most recent estimate for the Commission’s overall headcount was around 320.

In order to help equip the Commission to tackle the rate of technological change, four years ago the Commission established a Digital Advisory Panel to advise on the digital landscape and emerging trends which may impact on how the gambling market operates, how the Commission interacts with operators and how they interact with consumers. The Digital Advisory Panel works with staff to explore the impact of emerging technologies on the Commission’s regulatory and policy work to ensure that they are a future-fit and effective regulator.

The Commission does not comment on ongoing cases. Each case has its own circumstances, and the length of prosecution depends on the case complexity and the court process.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much money the Gambling Commission has spent on investigating novel products in each of the last 5 years.

The Gambling Commission has both regulatory and criminal powers, and its investigation remit covers either regulatory failing by licensees (under LCCP) or criminal offences (under the Gambling Act 2005). The Commission does not record whether an investigation is related to a novel product, but in response to the collapse of BetIndex Limited, the Commission updated how it assesses risk so that novel products are properly considered.

The Commission often refuses a licence to operators if they are shown to be novel at the licence application stage (e.g. if they use cryptocurrency as a source of funds or intend to offer consumers cryptocurrency as a route to play). It cannot bring a prosecution under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding an aspect of a product which is outside of its remit.

The Gambling Commission at all times strives to recruit people with the skills, knowledge and diversity required to regulate the fast moving and innovative gambling sector but it does not retain information on where its staff join from and on the scope of their earlier careers. As well as staff with specialisms in areas of gambling such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, the Commission’s market insights specialists help anticipate industry developments.

All staff in the Commission’s Operations team (around 30% of its workforce) have the technical experience to investigate novel products and new technologies and where content is challenging, call on subject matter experts as appropriate (internal or external). The most recent estimate for the Commission’s overall headcount was around 320.

In order to help equip the Commission to tackle the rate of technological change, four years ago the Commission established a Digital Advisory Panel to advise on the digital landscape and emerging trends which may impact on how the gambling market operates, how the Commission interacts with operators and how they interact with consumers. The Digital Advisory Panel works with staff to explore the impact of emerging technologies on the Commission’s regulatory and policy work to ensure that they are a future-fit and effective regulator.

The Commission does not comment on ongoing cases. Each case has its own circumstances, and the length of prosecution depends on the case complexity and the court process.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many visits the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission has made since his appointment to (a) casinos, (b) betting shops, (c) online gambling companies, (d) bingo halls, (e) adult gaming centres and (f) family entertainment centres.

The total number of visits made to each type of premise requested since the Chief Executive’s appointment in June 2021 is detailed below.

Number of visits made by the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission since appointment

Type of premises

Casinos

Betting shops

Online gambling companies

Bingo halls

Adult gaming centres

Family entertainment centres

Number of visits

1

0

0

1

2

0

Visits to premises are only one form of engagement with licensees that the Chief Executive undertakes. He has focussed stakeholder plans each year to reach a broad range of stakeholders, including regular meetings with CEOs and trade bodies, speaking at events and attending industry conferences. Since his appointment the Chief Executive has had 9 meetings with online operators and 13 with representatives of trade bodies, as well as speaking at events such as trade shows and trade body AGMs, to reach more operators. There is a further programme of engagement for the year ahead which includes more premises visits following disruptions caused by Covid in 2021 and 2022.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for her departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

We gather information for the total number and value of losses and special payments for each financial year, but only the detailed breakdown of each of these which are above £300k. We do not gather itemised information for losses and special payments below this level (i.e. what it relates to or any other details) as there is no requirement to do so for the purposes of statutory financial reporting.

The details on the amounts over £300k are published in the Annual Report and Accounts for that year. All the information for losses and special payments requested above can therefore be found in the corresponding Annual Report and Accounts for the applicable year, available on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to ensure that her Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

The government’s Working Safely guidance continues to require organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. It also sets out additional actions organisations can take to protect employees and customers in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, asking people to wash their hands frequently and asking people with COVID-19 to stay away. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. DCMS will continue to follow this guidance and align their policies accordingly.

Government advice for self isolation (following a positive test) still remains in place, so DCMS will continue to follow this and DCMS will not be asking people with Covid symptoms or a positive test to come into the office. It remains good practice for employees to inform close contacts following a positive result, therefore DCMS will continue to assist with case response support.

DCMS will assess the new public health guidance, from 1 April and use this advice to inform decisions on how to manage the risk on a long term basis.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of restrictions on charities' marketing spend on the income of charities throughout the country.

Decisions on fundraising and marketing are the responsibility of a charity's trustees - in particular to ensure decisions reflect the charity's purpose, and deliver on their objectives.

Charities must also ensure they meet the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) and make sure all advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Where the government has provided funding to support the services that charities deliver, there may be restrictions on what this funding can be used for, to ensure public money is only used for activities intended by the grant programme, for example, direct delivery of services to those the charity works with.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made on the review of charity lottery reforms announced in January 2020; and when he expects the review to be concluded.

Increases to society lottery sales and prize limits came into force in July 2020, and we committed to reviewing their impact after 12 months.

We have received initial data from the Gambling Commission and will respond further in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, DCMS has followed, and continues to follow, the latest government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

In England, the BEIS ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance provides sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff. The guidance is available via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2.

It is for individual employers to determine which mitigations are appropriate to adopt as they review their workplace risk assessments in light of the updated guidance. Face coverings, which are no longer required by law, are one possible mitigation employers could adopt if the situation/context warranted it. DCMS fully supports individuals who choose to wear a face covering in the workplace.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many gambling licences the Gambling Commission has (a) granted and (b) refused in each of the last five years.

The table below shows the average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence. This is measured across all applicants, from the date their initial payment is received to the date a final decision is made and their case is closed.

Average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

99 days

66 days

75 days

123 days

85 days

The increase from 66 days to 99 between 2019/20 and 2020/21 was a product of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the Commission’s delivery capacity.

The average time is influenced by exceptional cases. These are reflected below in the table showing the longest time taken to make a determination on an application in each of the last five years.

Longest time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

945 days

370 days

254 days

2023 days

441 days

These are complex cases, some of which go to panel followed by appeals to the tribunal and court of appeal. Some cases resulted in the applicant withdrawing the application, or the applicant requesting additional time to provide the necessary information.

The table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission is currently considering, and the length of time that each of the applications has been under consideration.

No. of gambling licence applications the Gambling Commission is considering; and how long each of those applications has been under consideration

Time (days)

0-30 days

21-60 days

61-90 days

over 90 days

No. of licence applications

6

23

16

38

The Gambling Commission has granted 1,117 licences in total over the last five years, and the table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission has granted and refused during this period.

No. of gambling licences the Gambling Commission has granted / refused in each of the last five years

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

No. of licences granted

170

216

212

291

228

No. of licences refused

2

1

3

8

4

The Commission introduced an incomplete application process in 2017/18, in order to prevent applications being submitted which would be refused owing to lack of necessary information. This has contributed to the small number of refused licences over the last three years, with rejected applications now tending to relate to novel betting products or uncertainty over an applicant’s source of funds.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many gambling licence applications the Gambling Commission is considering; and for how long each of those applications has been under consideration.

The table below shows the average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence. This is measured across all applicants, from the date their initial payment is received to the date a final decision is made and their case is closed.

Average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

99 days

66 days

75 days

123 days

85 days

The increase from 66 days to 99 between 2019/20 and 2020/21 was a product of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the Commission’s delivery capacity.

The average time is influenced by exceptional cases. These are reflected below in the table showing the longest time taken to make a determination on an application in each of the last five years.

Longest time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

945 days

370 days

254 days

2023 days

441 days

These are complex cases, some of which go to panel followed by appeals to the tribunal and court of appeal. Some cases resulted in the applicant withdrawing the application, or the applicant requesting additional time to provide the necessary information.

The table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission is currently considering, and the length of time that each of the applications has been under consideration.

No. of gambling licence applications the Gambling Commission is considering; and how long each of those applications has been under consideration

Time (days)

0-30 days

21-60 days

61-90 days

over 90 days

No. of licence applications

6

23

16

38

The Gambling Commission has granted 1,117 licences in total over the last five years, and the table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission has granted and refused during this period.

No. of gambling licences the Gambling Commission has granted / refused in each of the last five years

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

No. of licences granted

170

216

212

291

228

No. of licences refused

2

1

3

8

4

The Commission introduced an incomplete application process in 2017/18, in order to prevent applications being submitted which would be refused owing to lack of necessary information. This has contributed to the small number of refused licences over the last three years, with rejected applications now tending to relate to novel betting products or uncertainty over an applicant’s source of funds.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the longest time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence has been in each of the last five years.

The table below shows the average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence. This is measured across all applicants, from the date their initial payment is received to the date a final decision is made and their case is closed.

Average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

99 days

66 days

75 days

123 days

85 days

The increase from 66 days to 99 between 2019/20 and 2020/21 was a product of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the Commission’s delivery capacity.

The average time is influenced by exceptional cases. These are reflected below in the table showing the longest time taken to make a determination on an application in each of the last five years.

Longest time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

945 days

370 days

254 days

2023 days

441 days

These are complex cases, some of which go to panel followed by appeals to the tribunal and court of appeal. Some cases resulted in the applicant withdrawing the application, or the applicant requesting additional time to provide the necessary information.

The table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission is currently considering, and the length of time that each of the applications has been under consideration.

No. of gambling licence applications the Gambling Commission is considering; and how long each of those applications has been under consideration

Time (days)

0-30 days

21-60 days

61-90 days

over 90 days

No. of licence applications

6

23

16

38

The Gambling Commission has granted 1,117 licences in total over the last five years, and the table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission has granted and refused during this period.

No. of gambling licences the Gambling Commission has granted / refused in each of the last five years

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

No. of licences granted

170

216

212

291

228

No. of licences refused

2

1

3

8

4

The Commission introduced an incomplete application process in 2017/18, in order to prevent applications being submitted which would be refused owing to lack of necessary information. This has contributed to the small number of refused licences over the last three years, with rejected applications now tending to relate to novel betting products or uncertainty over an applicant’s source of funds.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence has been in each of the last five years.

The table below shows the average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence. This is measured across all applicants, from the date their initial payment is received to the date a final decision is made and their case is closed.

Average time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

99 days

66 days

75 days

123 days

85 days

The increase from 66 days to 99 between 2019/20 and 2020/21 was a product of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the Commission’s delivery capacity.

The average time is influenced by exceptional cases. These are reflected below in the table showing the longest time taken to make a determination on an application in each of the last five years.

Longest time taken by the Gambling Commission to make a determination on an application for a gambling licence

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

Time (days)

945 days

370 days

254 days

2023 days

441 days

These are complex cases, some of which go to panel followed by appeals to the tribunal and court of appeal. Some cases resulted in the applicant withdrawing the application, or the applicant requesting additional time to provide the necessary information.

The table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission is currently considering, and the length of time that each of the applications has been under consideration.

No. of gambling licence applications the Gambling Commission is considering; and how long each of those applications has been under consideration

Time (days)

0-30 days

21-60 days

61-90 days

over 90 days

No. of licence applications

6

23

16

38

The Gambling Commission has granted 1,117 licences in total over the last five years, and the table below shows the number of gambling licence applications that the Gambling Commission has granted and refused during this period.

No. of gambling licences the Gambling Commission has granted / refused in each of the last five years

Year

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

No. of licences granted

170

216

212

291

228

No. of licences refused

2

1

3

8

4

The Commission introduced an incomplete application process in 2017/18, in order to prevent applications being submitted which would be refused owing to lack of necessary information. This has contributed to the small number of refused licences over the last three years, with rejected applications now tending to relate to novel betting products or uncertainty over an applicant’s source of funds.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

Following the Written Statement HCWS652, unconscious bias training was removed from DCMS’s core learning offer from January 2021 and replaced by a new learning module for all staff on ‘Inclusion in the Civil Service’. Unconscious bias training is no longer required to be completed by individuals serving on recruitment panels.

DCMS Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs) were made aware of this change and the new ‘Inclusion in the Civil Service’ course at a meeting of HR Directors on the 14th of January 2021.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will introduce a registration and licensing regime for online gambling affiliates.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including representatives of gambling affiliates. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining conclusions and next steps.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will bring online gambling affiliates under the purview of the Gambling Commission.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including representatives of gambling affiliates. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining conclusions and next steps.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will meet with representatives of gambling affiliates to discuss the role they can play in promoting responsible gambling.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including representatives of gambling affiliates. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining conclusions and next steps.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much the Arts Council spent on (a) opera and (b) brass bands in each of the last two financial years.

The figures for Arts Council England funding for opera and brass bands in financial years 2019/20, 2020/21 are given below.

The figures for each year are broken down into primary and secondary funding and then a total. Primary classification indicates that, in this case, opera or brass bands, was a major focus of the activity funded with the assumption most of this amount went to funding this activity. Secondary classification indicates this was a minor focus of the activity and so it cannot be assumed this full amount of funding went towards this activity.

A small number of projects are classified under both opera and brass bands, so these figures cannot be added together, as these projects would be double counted.

ACE Opera Funding:

Year

Primary

Secondary

Total

2019/20

£59,230,322

£26,335,477

£85,565,799

2020/21

£61,920,159

£37,675,988

£99,596,147

ACE Brass Bands Funding:

Year

Primary

Secondary

Total

2019/20

£375,339

£765,573

£1,140,912

2020/21

£392,670

£5,132,587

£5,525,257



19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to take fiscal steps to (a) promote boxing live events in the UK and (b) help ensure that a forthcoming boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury takes place in the UK.

The Government is supportive of bringing major sports events to the UK and our approach is set out in the Gold Framework publication. Fiscal responsibility sits with Her Majesty's Treasury.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to ensure that a forthcoming boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury takes place in the UK.

The UK is a world-leading host for major sporting events, having successfully delivered some of the biggest events in recent years. The location for this match is a matter for the organisers, promoters and athletes themselves to decide.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission (a) received any external support or advice and (b) used the same framework for assessment of affordability thresholds as set out in the consultation’s call for evidence ahead of publishing its short survey seeking views on how gambling companies interact with their customers, published on 18 January 2021.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction explores new requirements for operators on identifying and intervening where customers may be at risk of experiencing gambling related harm. It covers a range of issues around identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and assessing affordability.

The Commission is working to obtain a wide range of evidence and will be led by the evidence it receives in deciding how to proceed. It has extended the consultation by a month to allow for more evidence to be submitted. The Commission designed its short survey to be consistent with the main consultation and call for evidence and to give the widest range of stakeholders an opportunity to contribute.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2020 to Question 122643 on Gambling: Coronavirus, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of adult gaming centres, bingo halls and casinos reopening in tier three areas.

The government, with advice from SAGE, reviewed the impact of the previous tiering arrangements and decided that unfortunately stricter rules on tier 3 closures would be necessary to have an impact on the rate of transmission in very high alert areas. This led to the decision that all hospitality and indoor entertainment venues in tier 3 areas would have to close, including casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres. SAGE advice is independent and published on a regular basis on: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

The government has continued to engage with the land-based gambling sector throughout the pandemic, including with its trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta and the Bingo Association. The Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism has had a series of roundtable discussions with the industry to discuss the impact of Covid-19, including representatives from two of Britain’s largest AGC operators. DCMS officials have been in regular contact with the representative trade associations and fed their views into the government decision-making process, and they are continuing to do so.

Government has set out an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach. As on previous occasions, local data packs have also been published.

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, can also be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2020 to Question 122644 on Gambling: Coronavirus, if he will publish the evidence on the rate of covid-19 transmissions in adult gaming centres, bingo hall and casinos supporting the decision to close them in tier three areas.

The government, with advice from SAGE, reviewed the impact of the previous tiering arrangements and decided that unfortunately stricter rules on tier 3 closures would be necessary to have an impact on the rate of transmission in very high alert areas. This led to the decision that all hospitality and indoor entertainment venues in tier 3 areas would have to close, including casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres. SAGE advice is independent and published on a regular basis on: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

The government has continued to engage with the land-based gambling sector throughout the pandemic, including with its trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta and the Bingo Association. The Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism has had a series of roundtable discussions with the industry to discuss the impact of Covid-19, including representatives from two of Britain’s largest AGC operators. DCMS officials have been in regular contact with the representative trade associations and fed their views into the government decision-making process, and they are continuing to do so.

Government has set out an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach. As on previous occasions, local data packs have also been published.

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, can also be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what opportunity the Government made available to (a) adult gaming centres, (b) bingo halls and (c) casinos to adopt covid-secure measures as a condition of re-opening in areas subject to Tier Three covid-19 restrictions from 2 December 2020.

The government, with advice from SAGE, reviewed the impact of the previous tiering arrangements and decided that unfortunately stricter rules on tier 3 closures would be necessary to have an impact on the rate of transmission in very high alert areas. This led to the decision that all hospitality and indoor entertainment venues in tier 3 areas would have to close, including casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres. SAGE advice is independent and published on a regular basis on: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

The government has continued to engage with the land-based gambling sector throughout the pandemic, including with its trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta and the Bingo Association. The Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism has had a series of roundtable discussions with the industry to discuss the impact of Covid-19, including representatives from two of Britain’s largest AGC operators. DCMS officials have been in regular contact with the representative trade associations and fed their views into the government decision-making process, and they are continuing to do so.

Government has set out an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach. As on previous occasions, local data packs have also been published.

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, can also be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what evidence his Department received on the rate of covid-19 transmission in (a) adult gaming centres, (b) bingo halls and (c) casinos to support the decision for those businesses based in tier three local covid alert level areas to remain closed from 2 December 2020.

The government, with advice from SAGE, reviewed the impact of the previous tiering arrangements and decided that unfortunately stricter rules on tier 3 closures would be necessary to have an impact on the rate of transmission in very high alert areas. This led to the decision that all hospitality and indoor entertainment venues in tier 3 areas would have to close, including casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres. SAGE advice is independent and published on a regular basis on: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

The government has continued to engage with the land-based gambling sector throughout the pandemic, including with its trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta and the Bingo Association. The Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism has had a series of roundtable discussions with the industry to discuss the impact of Covid-19, including representatives from two of Britain’s largest AGC operators. DCMS officials have been in regular contact with the representative trade associations and fed their views into the government decision-making process, and they are continuing to do so.

Government has set out an analysis of the health, economic and social impacts of the tiered approach, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach. As on previous occasions, local data packs have also been published.

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, can also be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight where we need to do more to improve outcomes for men and boys and to talk about some of the work across Government to tackle those issues.

This work ranges from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities looking at outcomes for the whole population - including ethnic minorities and White British people; preparation for an Employment Bill which, subject to further consultation, will make flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to; delivering the Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out action that is being taken across Government departments and the NHS to reduce suicides, including amongst men.

This Government is committed to levelling up opportunity and ensuring fairness for all - regardless of gender or background.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how long it takes the Gambling Commission to approve an application from a charity for accreditation to receive LCCP RET contributions.

The Gambling Commission requires all operators licensed under the Gambling Act 2005 to make an annual contribution to fund research, prevention and treatment of problem gambling, and publishes a list of organisations to which operators may direct this contribution. The time taken by the Commission to reach a decision about whether an organisation can be included on that list depends on a number of factors. These include the quality and completeness of the information provided by the organisation, the complexity of issues associated with information provided and whether further investigation into independent oversight or potential conflicts of interest is required.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

The biggest pay rise given to a member of staff in DCMS in the last 12 months was £20,035.00 which was an increase of 59.95%. This was a member of staff being promoted from close to the old band B minimum (£33,107) to the new band A floor (£51,729), plus a Recruitment & Retention Allowance to retain specialist skills within the organisation.The average pay increase as part of the pay award across the workforce was 2.5%.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he and his Ministers have had discussions with Ministers in the Departments for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the potential effect on heritage railways of the (a) proposals in the DEFRA consultation on the cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood and (b) number of planning permissions granted by MHCLG for new surface coal mines; and if he will make a statement.

I attended an MP-level meeting on the future of coal for heritage railways in March of this year. My Defra Ministerial colleague was in attendance at this meeting, at which discussions included the economic and social benefits of the heritage rail industry, the industry’s efforts to diversify the sector through carbon offsetting and seeking alternative fuels, and the status of extant planning permissions for mines in the UK.

My Defra Ministerial colleague confirmed that the consultation on the cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood applies only to residential settings, thereby placing heritage railways outwith the scope of this consultation.

Heritage railway representatives took an action from the meeting to contact officials at MHCLG regarding planning permissions for new and existing surface coal mines.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) flag of Wales has been flown from the headquarters of his Department in London in each year since 2015.

The Union flag is generally flown everyday above the DCMS offices. For certain occasions we fly other flags including the Commonwealth Flag, Merchant Navy Flag, Rainbow Flag, Armed Forces Flag, Transgender Flag and Red Ribbon Flag.

We have flown the Flag of St George on St George’s Day since 2007. We also fly the Home Nations flags in support of England, Scotland or Wales when they reach the latter stages of major sporting events.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Gambling Commission plans to announce the outcome of their consultation into Society Lotteries; and whether that announcement will include the implementation date for the new society lottery sales limits.

The Gambling Commission’s consultation on changes to its licence conditions and new transparency measures closes on 12 March. Secondary legislation to implement the reforms to society lotteries announced in July 2019 was laid in January 2020 and is scheduled to be debated on 9 March in the House of Lords, and 10 March in the House of Commons. The Gambling Commission expects to publish its response to the consultation in April, subject to the replies it receives.

A 3-month notice period for the sector is also required before the Gambling Commission is able to bring the changed licence conditions into force, so I therefore expect these changes to be introduced in the summer.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags his Department owns.

The Department owns the following:

a) 260 Union Flags plus 114 Union Banners for flying in Windsor

b) 27 Flags of St George

c) 1 Scottish Saltire

d) 1 Flag of Wales

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timeframe is for the proposed increase in charity lottery limits announced on 16 July 2019 to come into force.

New limits to the per draw sales, annual sales and maximum prize for society lotteries were announced on 16 July 2019. Affirmative secondary legislation is required to change the limits, and the Gambling Commission is also required to consult on changes to its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

I hope to lay the draft Order in Parliament in January 2020, and the changes to come into force during 2020. The Order will include transitional arrangements for the first year, to enable operators to take advantage of the new limits as soon as possible.

The Gambling Commission has already launched its consultation in anticipation of the legislation, and this will help ensure the new limits can come into force as swiftly as possible. Their consultation also covers measures to improve transparency of society lotteries and will run until 12 March 2020. There will then be a further 3 month notice period before the changes can be implemented, which is likely to be in the summer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2023 to Question 197731 on Schools: Redundancy Pay, if she will take steps to ensure that all severance payments over £50,000 for school staff are approved by her Department or the Treasury.

The responsibilities for academy trusts on severance pay and exit packages are set out in the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH), which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academy-trust-handbook. Where the academy trust is considering a staff severance payment, including a non-statutory/non-contractual element (also referred to as a special severance payment) of £50,000 or more, the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) prior approval must be obtained before making any offer to staff. The ESFA will refer such transactions to HM Treasury. Additionally, in accordance with HM Treasury’s Guidance on Public Sector Exit Payments, academy trusts must obtain prior ESFA approval before making a non-statutory/non-contractual staff severance payment where: an exit package, which includes a non-statutory/non-contractual severance payment, is at, or above, £100,000; and/or the employee earns over £150,000. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-sector-exit-payments-guidance-on-special-severance-payments.

The ATH is also clear that staff severance payments should not be made where they could be seen as a reward for failure, such as gross misconduct or poor performance.

The responsibility for maintained schools’ severance and exit payments sits with the school and the Local Authority.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many paid severances have been made by (a) all schools and (b) academy trusts in each of the last five years; and what the total cost to the public purse for those severances was in each of the last five years.

The Government requires a high level of accountability and transparency of academy trusts. Academy trusts’ status as companies, charities, and public sector bodies means they have a rigorous tri-partite framework and are held up to greater scrutiny.

Academy trusts’ responsibilities on severance payments are set out in the Academy Trust Handbook available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academy-trust-handbook. Additional information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-severance-payments-form. Data on severance payments is provided in academy trusts’ accounts and at sector level in the Academies Consolidated Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/academies-sector-annual-reports-and-accounts. In each report, severance payments are covered under the ‘Staff Costs’ section. Special severance payment (payments paid to employees outside statutory or contractual requirements) are listed under ‘Losses and Special Payments’. The latest sector data for the Consolidated Annual Report and Accounts year ending 31 August 2022 will be published in autumn 2023.

As the responsibility for maintained schools’ severance payments sits with the school and the local authority, the department does not collect the number of severances or amounts paid by Local Authority maintained schools.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of Ofsted have previous experience in the sector that they regulate.

The role of Ofsted’s chair and non-executive board is to determine strategic priorities, objectives and targets for Ofsted, and to provide challenge and support in relation to the inspectorate’s overall work and performance.

Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State and recruitment processes follow the public appointment guidelines. All board members have the appropriate strategic and corporate expertise to perform their roles effectively. That includes board members with experience of working in the sectors in which Ofsted operates, as well as other relevant experience, including of other regulators, other services and third sector organisations that support children and young people. Ofsted’s board membership is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted/about/our-governance.

Recruitment of Ofsted’s employees is a matter for Ofsted, as a separate government department. I have therefore asked His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, to write to the hon. Member for Shipley directly on this matter. A copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the reasons for the difference in the number of men and women entering university.

A person’s access to university should not be determined by their personal characteristics, but by their ambition and ability. We want to provide a ladder of opportunity for everyone to get the education and skills they need for job security and prosperity and to support levelling up across the country, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic background.

There are challenges related to gender representation in higher education (HE). Data shows that more than half (50.6%) of female pupils from state-funded schools in England entered HE by age 19 by 2020/21, compared to 38.4% of males. The gap in progression rates between males and females rose from 11.4 to 12.2 percentage points between 2019/20 and 2020/21.

We know that prior attainment is a key determinant of successful participation in HE, and that is why we have asked universities to take on a more direct role in driving up the standards in schools.

Our access and participation reforms announced in 2021 are playing a pivotal role in ensuring that students are supported to access and succeed on the right course for them. As part of this refresh of the system, the Office for Students (OfS) has asked more institutions to set targets for increasing the proportion of level 4 and 5 qualifications, and higher and degree apprenticeships that they offer, so that more students can access flexible and skills-related courses.

In March 2023, the OfS launched its Equality of Opportunity Risk Register (EORR). This will empower HE providers to deliver interventions for groups of students least likely to experience equal opportunity in HE settings by highlighting 12 key sector risks and the groups most likely to experience these, including gender. We welcome the EORR as a key marker for social justice which will help ensure that no student groups are left behind.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

As at 1 February 2020, the headcount of the Department was 7179.

As at 15 November 2022, the headcount of the Department was 8358.

This growth reflects a number of key areas, such as emergency response functions in response to COVID-19 and Ukraine, and policy and delivery teams supporting the Department’s skills, schools and families reform agenda. This includes ongoing growth of the academies sector. This also reflects specialist digital, data, and technology, and commercial roles, including replacing managed services where possible to deliver greater value for money.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for the departmental group for the years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 as already held on the record of losses for the public sector organisations within the departmental group, in accordance with Managing Public Money (Annex A4.10.7), or as otherwise held for the purposes of special payment disclosures, are set out in the attached tables. These disclosures are consistent with the organisations’ obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, all Civil Service employers have followed government guidance in setting out their internal COVID-19 related policies. This includes complying with the ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance, which sets out the key actions organisations should take to protect employees and customers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in workplaces. This guidance was followed along with carrying out health and safety risk assessments that include the ongoing risk from COVID-19. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19.

In line with the government's plans to live with COVID-19, the department does not operate a mask mandate, though to encourage individual liberty, it does support an employee’s individual choice to wear a mask if they would like to. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. Civil Service employers will continue to follow this guidance and align their policies accordingly.

After two years of working from home and hybrid working, all employees are capable of working from home, and we encourage them to follow the government's common sense guidance to work from home if they have COVID-19 and are exhibiting only mild symptoms.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2021 to Question 40787 on Free Schools: Sports, if he will set out the location and nature of the (a) indoor and outdoor facilities for sport and (b) site for additional sporting facilities referred to in the Answer.

One in a Million Free School currently has access to an indoor creative arts studio area and an outdoor single Multi-Use Games Area on site. The department does not hold information on the off-site facilities that the school is currently accessing. The site that the department has identified to provide additional sporting facilities for the school is on Bolton Road in Bradford and the department is currently in the process of assessing its suitability for use by the trust.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2021 to Question 33181 on Free Schools: Sports, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the sporting facilities at One in a Million Free School.

One in a Million Free School currently has access to both indoor and outdoor facilities for sport, either within the school grounds or through off site arrangements. The Department has identified a site to provide additional sporting facilities for the school.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department has followed, and continues to follow, the latest Government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

In England, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance provides sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff. The guidance is available via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2.

It is for individual employers to determine which mitigations are appropriate to adopt as they review their workplace risk assessments in light of the updated guidance. Face coverings, which are no longer required by law, are one possible mitigation employers could adopt if the situation warranted it.

The Department fully supports individuals who choose to wear a face covering in the workplace.

Other related bodies to the Department set their own policies on how their staff should work in offices and are not required to report this back centrally.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of free schools which do not yet have adequate sporting facilities.

All free schools have indoor facilities for sport and are required to have suitable outdoor provision for physical education. This could be through sports facilities within the school grounds or through off-site arrangements.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

In October 2020, the Department began phasing out the unconscious bias training by removing the product from the mandatory training schedule.

Following the Ministerial Statement on 15 December 2020, in January 2021 the Department fully removed unconscious bias training.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to make teaching on the risks of gambling addiction compulsory in PSHE lessons in secondary schools.

The Department has made relationships education compulsory for all primary schools, relationships and sex education compulsory for all secondary school pupils and health education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools. Health education includes teaching pupils about the risks associated with gambling. The statutory guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

These subjects will make sure that children and young people are taught about the risks associated with gambling and are able to make informed decisions about their own actions. These subjects will also support pupils to understand the importance of their mental wellbeing and promote safe online behaviour. For example, under the topic of internet safety and harms, the guidance sets out that young people should be taught about the risks related to online gambling, including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them and how to be a discerning consumer of information online.

To support schools to deliver this content, the Department has produced teacher training modules. This includes teaching pupils about the risks associated with gambling as part of health education. A link to the training modules is available on GOV.UK and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#primary-teacher-training-modules.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of masks on levels of (a) learning and (b) development in secondary school students.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department is continuing to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, in order to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the effect of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

On 22 February, the Department published ‘Evidence summary: COVID-19 - children, young people and education settings’, which includes a section on face coverings, details of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evidence-summary-covid-19-children-young-people-and-education-settings.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

In addition, the Department also published updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education for schools and other education institutions that teach people in Years 7 and above in England which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, in settings where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and pupils when moving around the premises, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

Since 8 March, the Department has recommended that face coverings should also be worn by staff and pupils in classrooms and in other learning environments, such as workshops, and during activities, unless social distancing can be maintained.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

We recognise that the wearing of face coverings may impact communication, but, on balance, increased use of face coverings will strengthen the current safety measures in place in schools following the increased transmissibility of new COVID-19 variants and whilst prevalence remains high in the community.

We are recommending these additional precautionary measures for a for a time limited period until Easter. As with all measures, we will keep this under review and update guidance as necessary.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of how much parents spend on average on school uniform, per (a) primary and (b) secondary pupil in the state-maintained sector each year.

The Department commissioned the Cost of School Uniform report in 2015: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/436576/RR474_Cost_of_school_uniform.pdf. This report found that the average expenditure for a school uniform at primary school was £192.14 for boys and £201.04 for girls. For secondary pupils, the average costs were £231.01 for boys and £239.93 for girls.

No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to the school of their choice. The Government is supporting the current Private Members' Bill (Guidance about the Cost of School Uniform) which was introduced to Parliament on 5 February 2021, to make our guidance on the cost considerations for school uniform statutory.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of covid-19 lockdowns on the attainment gap between boys and girls in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 disruption on the attainment and progress of all students is a key research priority for the Government, and we have commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to provide a baseline assessment of catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the year. This research is based on assessments that schools are already using over this academic year. Initial findings from the research were recently published on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report. The next stages of the research will enable us to break down impacts on different subgroups of pupils, including analysis of how boys’ and girls’ attainment may have been differentially affected by time out of school due to COVID-19.

The Government recognises that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education and are committed to helping pupils make up learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister committed to work with parents, teachers and pupils to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this Parliament.

In February 2021, the Department appointed Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on the approach for education recovery and the development of a long-term plan to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this Parliament. As an immediate step, we have made available a further £700 million to support education recovery measures. This builds on the £1 billion from last year and brings total available in education recovery to £1.7 billion. Funding will support pupils across nurseries, schools and colleges and provides an additional one-off ‘Recovery Premium’ for schools, expansion of tutoring in schools and colleges, summer schools in 2021 and early language support.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish advice that received by his Department from the DHSC Moral and Ethical Advisory Group on the ethics of mass screening in children.

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for home use. The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives. For this reason, we have confidence in the value and accuracy of lateral flow tests.

Those who test positive using an LFD test at home are being asked to self-isolate and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the positive result. This is a further measure designed to minimise the chance of false positives. We are asking that the family members and close contacts self-isolate to help break the chains of transmission.

Regarding ethics, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have discussed ethical considerations with regard to testing in a number of forums. The Department for Education has not received separate advice from the DHSC Moral and Ethical Advisory Group, with minutes of meetings of this group found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/moral-and-ethical-advisory-group.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish his estimate of the number of family members required to self-isolate in England as a result of lateral flow test results in English school and college pupil and student populations.

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for home use. The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives. For this reason, we have confidence in the value and accuracy of lateral flow tests.

Those who test positive using an LFD test at home are being asked to self-isolate and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the positive result. This is a further measure designed to minimise the chance of false positives. We are asking that the family members and close contacts self-isolate to help break the chains of transmission.

Regarding ethics, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have discussed ethical considerations with regard to testing in a number of forums. The Department for Education has not received separate advice from the DHSC Moral and Ethical Advisory Group, with minutes of meetings of this group found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/moral-and-ethical-advisory-group.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish his assessment of the predictive (a) value and (b) accuracy of lateral flow tests in English (i) school and (ii) college pupil and student populations.

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for home use. The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives. For this reason, we have confidence in the value and accuracy of lateral flow tests.

Those who test positive using an LFD test at home are being asked to self-isolate and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the positive result. This is a further measure designed to minimise the chance of false positives. We are asking that the family members and close contacts self-isolate to help break the chains of transmission.

Regarding ethics, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have discussed ethical considerations with regard to testing in a number of forums. The Department for Education has not received separate advice from the DHSC Moral and Ethical Advisory Group, with minutes of meetings of this group found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/moral-and-ethical-advisory-group.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking in response to the World Health Organisation's guidance on the requirement for children to wear face masks in schools.

On 21 August 2020, the World Health Organisation published a statement advising that children aged 12 and over should wear a face covering “under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.” Therefore, since September 2020, face coverings have been included as an element of the system of controls that schools are putting in place to reduce risk.

The Department has recently published updated guidance to support the full opening to education from 8 March 2021, which includes updated advice on face coverings which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf.

The Department has also published its evidence summary, ‘COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings’, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963639/DfE_Evidence_summary_COVID-19_-_children__young_people_and_education_settings.pdf.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

In addition, from 8 March 2021, the Department now also recommends that in schools where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained.

In primary schools, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a limited period until Easter. As with all measures, the Department will keep this under review and update guidance as necessary.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he made of the benefits and risks of face masks for children before recommending face masks be worn by students in secondary schools.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. The Department continues to work to ensure that policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the results and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department has recently published updated guidance to support the full opening to education from 8 March 2021, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf.

The Department has also published its evidence summary, ‘COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings’, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963639/DfE_Evidence_summary_COVID-19_-_children__young_people_and_education_settings.pdf.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, the Department recommends that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

In addition, from 8 March 2021, the Department now also recommends that in schools where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

The Department recognises that the wearing of face coverings may impact communication. However, on balance, increased use of face coverings will strengthen the current safety measures in place in schools and colleges and support the return to face-to-face education.

The Department is recommending these additional precautionary measures for a limited period until Easter. As with all measures, the Department will keep this under review and update guidance as necessary.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the scientific evidence which shows that mask wearing among school children prevents transmission of covid-19 in a real world setting.

The Department continues to work closely with other government departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. We continue to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department has recently published updated guidance to support the full opening to education from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf

The Department has also published its evidence summary on COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963639/DfE_Evidence_summary_COVID-19_-_children__young_people_and_education_settings.pdf

As the guidance outlines, where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by adults, pupils and students when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

In addition, from 8 March, the Department now also recommends that in those schools and colleges where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained.

In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

The Department recognises that the wearing of face coverings may impact communication. However, on balance, increased use of face coverings will strengthen the current safety measures in place in schools and colleges and support the return to face-to-face education.

The Department is recommending these precautionary measures for a limited time during this period of high COVID-19 prevalence in the community. These measures will be in place until Easter, and as with all measures, we will keep this under review and update guidance at that point.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) benefits and (b) harms of children wearing face masks in school; and if he will publish the scientific evidence upon which that assessment is based.

The Department continues to work closely with other government departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. We continue to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department has recently published updated guidance to support the full opening to education from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf

The Department has also published its evidence summary on COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963639/DfE_Evidence_summary_COVID-19_-_children__young_people_and_education_settings.pdf

As the guidance outlines, where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by adults, pupils and students when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

In addition, from 8 March, the Department now also recommends that in those schools and colleges where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained.

In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

The Department recognises that the wearing of face coverings may impact communication. However, on balance, increased use of face coverings will strengthen the current safety measures in place in schools and colleges and support the return to face-to-face education.

The Department is recommending these precautionary measures for a limited time during this period of high COVID-19 prevalence in the community. These measures will be in place until Easter, and as with all measures, we will keep this under review and update guidance at that point.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many meetings (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) his officials have had with Professor Ellen Townsend in each of the last 12 months.

The department does not have a record of any meetings between our ministers or officials with Professor Ellen Townsend in the last 12 months.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the value for money of sole-supply arrangements for school uniforms.

The Department has not carried out an assessment of the value for money of sole supply arrangements. The Department publishes guidance for schools on school uniform. Our guidance is clear that when deciding how to source school uniform, the governing body should give highest priority to the consideration of cost and value for money for parents. The governing body should be able to demonstrate how best value has been achieved. The guidance also recommends that schools avoid exclusive single-supply contracts unless a regular competitive tendering process is run to secure best value for parents. The Department believes that this approach provides the right balance to secure open and transparent arrangements and good value for money.

The Government is supporting the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members' Bill to enable us to issue statutory guidance on the cost of school uniform. The Department’s existing guidance on cost considerations will form the basis for the new statutory guidance.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight where we need to do more to improve outcomes for men and boys, as well as an opportunity to talk about some of the work being done across Government to tackle those issues.

Work includes preparation for an Employment Bill which, subject to further consultation, will make flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to; and delivering the Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out action that is being taken across Government departments and the NHS to reduce suicides, including amongst men.

The Government is committed to levelling up opportunity and ensuring fairness for all - regardless of gender or background.

Civil Service Local events to mark the day were promoted by our staff networks. A virtual panel event was organised by the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Network in Coventry, to commemorate International Men's Day on the importance of role models and men’s mental health issues.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

The highest individual pay award in the last 12 months for an employee of the Department, including its Executive Agencies, in a) percentage and b) cash terms is:

a) 9.94% and

b) £6,250.

These figures relate to two different individuals and do not include staff who have received an increased salary following a promotion or change of role.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Welsh flag has been flown from the headquarters of his Department in London in each year since 2015.

?The table below shows the number of times per year that each flag has been flown from the Department for Education’s London headquarters, since 2015.

Flag type

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Union

365

366

365

365

365

St. George’s

0

0

0

6

3

Scottish Saltire

0

0

1

1

0

Welsh

0

1

0

0

0

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags his Department owns.

The Department owns one of each of the flags.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of Ofwat have previous experience in the sector that they regulate.

Ofwat board members bring a range of relevant skills and experience, however no current board members have direct experience of working in a regulated water company.

For employees of Ofwat, we do not hold this information. Ofwat recruits people on the basis of their skills and experience which can help us to hold companies to account. Once employed by Ofwat, they are subject to civil service rules on independence, propriety and probity as part of the Ofwat Code of Conduct applicable to all employees.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Environment Agency have previous experience in the sectors that they regulate.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs appoints members to the Environment Agency board based on the skills and experience they bring from a wide range of sectors, including finance, business, regulation, and agriculture.

The Environment Agency attracts and recruit’s employees with a wide range of skills and experiences also from a range of sectors. However, the information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of (a) reward-only training and (b) e-collar training to deter escaped dogs from attacking sheep.

The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs includes guidance on how to keep dogs safe and under control, and can be found here: Code of practice for the welfare of dogs (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Defra published research in 2014 on the use of e-collars which can be found here: Science Search (defra.gov.uk)

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

The Core Defra civil service headcount was (a) 6,469 and (b) 4,965.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many employees in her Department work on matters related to covid-19.

There are currently 9 employees working on matters relating to Covid-19.

The Government published its Living with Covid plan in February 2022 to help and support citizens as we transition out of the pandemic.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will place a copy of all correspondence between the Government and Bradford Council relating to the introduction of a Clean Air Zone in the Library.

Placing details of all correspondence in the Library would incur disproportionate cost. We will be placing copies of the relevant Ministerial directions under the Environment Act in the Library. Comprehensive information on the Clean Air Zone is available via breathe better BRADFORD | Bradford Council.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for the departmental group for the years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 as already held on the record of losses for the public sector organisations within the departmental group, in accordance with Managing Public Money (Annex A4.10.7), or as otherwise held for the purposes of special payment disclosures, are set out below. These disclosures are consistent with the organisations’ obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018.

(a) 2018-19

Loss / Special Payment

Amount (£)

Description

Loss

137,750.00

1 project that the European Court of Auditors reduced the project value, resulting in a reduction of £137,750

Loss

122,157.55

2 projects were subject to Legal proceedings by MMO (Marine Management Organisation). The applicant was found guilty, but the Court judgement was that funding could not be recovered.

Loss

64,239.52

2 projects where the company is bankrupt and administrators have advised repayment of grant is unlikely

Loss

32,559.55

9 projects paid at incorrect intervention rate totalling £32,559.55. The irregularity was detected by Audit and covered the period from 2010 - 15.

Loss

9,997.88

1 Project subject to both Ombudsman referral and MMO Legal consideration

Loss

3,449.67

Invoice number 1000052670 dated 17 June 2015 for £5,249.67 to recover a salary overpayment. Regular repayments had been made but these ceased in January 2017. SSCL have been unable to contact person & there has been no response to the final notice that SSCL (Shared Services Connected Ltd) sent in May 2017.

Loss

2,577.94

1 project was subject to overpayment, which was detected after final payment at the end of the EFF (European Fisheries Fund) scheme. Identified as part of formal EFF closure activity.

Loss

1,897.81

3 Projects were detected by Audit activities during the course of the Programme and total £1,897.81. One project was overpaid due to exchange rate calculation, one refused to repay the small OP and cited bankruptcy, with the final applicant being untraceable from 2015.

Loss

1,469.90

Invoice 1000064304 dated 22 April 2016 for £1,469.90 to recover an overpayment of a season ticket advance. SSCL have been unable to contact him & there has been no response to the final notice that SSCL sent in May 2017.

Loss

1,108.94

Damage to cage traps used during badger control culling operation for bovine TB disease controls in 2018 by anti culling activists. 12 cage traps were damaged beyond repair.

Loss

580.35

System error which added an incorrect VAT sum to an invoice. Beyond legal recovery period.

Loss

454.14

Paid £587.50 to wrong supplier. Partially recovered in legacy. Beyond legal recovery period.

Loss

193.52

Travel reimbursement paid to wrong employee who left shortly after. Would require full trace at circa £50 plus staff time to find sufficient records to instigate plus potential chasing costs. Uneconomic to recover.

Loss

101.46

Land line phone calls billed after employee left. Would require full trace at circa £50 plus staff time to find sufficient records to instigate plus potential chasing costs. Uneconomic to recover.

Loss

44.40

Legacy system error which added VAT. Beyond legal recovery period.

Loss

42.24

Credit note for 2 invoices paid in legacy system which was partially recovered in final payment to supplier in February 2012. Beyond legal recovery period.

Loss

27.97

Personal mobile calls billed after employee left. Beyond legal recovery period.

Loss

27.00

SSCL have advised that the remaining balance on the invoice of £27.00 has arisen due to the deduction of bank charges from the customer's payment and exchange rate variances. As the customer is based overseas it is uneconomical to pursue.

Loss

5.90

Personal mobile calls billed after employee left. Uneconomic to recover.

Loss

0.23

Personal mobile calls billed after employee left. Uneconomic to recover.

Loss

0.01

Invoice 1000064804 dated 30 April 2016 for £24,000. This invoice was raised to recover Defra's incorrect payment of invoice 1129585 on 16th March 2016. The invoice has been part paid but given the outstanding amount of £0.01, it is uneconomical to pursue the remaining balance.

Special Payment

3,250.00

A consolatory payment of £3,250 has been recommended by the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman (PHSO). £500 has been paid leaving an outstanding balance of £2,750. PHSO found that there had been maladministration by Defra in relation to the online portal in relation to the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones scheme and that someone had suffered injustice from Defra

Special Payment

119.00

Request for a replacement of a damaged item of clothing - A member of staff had their jacket damaged by a fire door whilst on duty on MMO premises.

(b) 2019-20

Loss / Special Payment

Amount (£)

Description

Loss

20,395.66

Damage to cage traps, GPS trackers and smart phone with tracking devices used during badger control culling operation for bovine TB (Tuberculosis) disease controls in 2019 by anti culling activists. 5 cage traps, 178 smart phones and 8 trackers were damaged beyond repair.

Special Payment

54,596.00

Derbyshire Lunar Cull – costs to company after cancelled cull programme.

Special Payment

5,000.00

HR staff case (sensitive and details not for circulation outside of Defra Finance and HR teams).

Special Payment

1,224.00

Judicial Review / Costs of cancelled mediation to claimant’s solicitors.

Special Payment

1,000.00

Allegations of failure to arrange reasonable adjustments.

Special Payment

75.00

Missing personal property.

(c) 2020-21

Loss / Special Payment

Amount (£)

Description

Loss

240,257.00

Historic invoicing not recovered

Loss

15,597.62

Damage to cage traps, GPS (Global Positioning System) trackers and smart phones/sims with tracking devices used during badger control culling operation for bovine TB disease controls in 2020 by anti culling activists. 2 cage traps, 132 smart phones and 38 trackers were damaged beyond repair.

Loss

1,445.04

TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) from EA (Environment Agency) to Defra. Came in on a TARA (Temporary Additional Responsibility Allowance) and her manager subsequently increased her TARA payments outside of existing policy. Her revised salary was confirmed to her by SSCL HR (Human Resources). Staff member was unaware this additional payment was not allowed. As no fault of the individual HR are proposing that this is written off rather than recovered

Loss

740.15

Sick pay was entered on SOP incorrectly by her manager leading to overpayment of £740.15. Staff member has since died and as such HR do not want to pursue her estate for the recovery of the overpayment

Special Payment

9,000.00

Race and Disability case. Settlement to offset tribunal costs.

Special Payment

8,500.00

Reflects liability on the unfair dismissal claim

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

Throughout the pandemic, all Civil Service employers have followed Government guidance in setting out their internal COVID-19 related policies. This includes complying with the Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance which sets out the key actions organisations should take to protect employees and customers in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in workplaces, along with carrying out health and safety risk assessments that include the ongoing risk from COVID-19.

On 21 February 2022, the Government published its COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19. This document sets out how and when the remaining restrictions will be lifted in England. Government guidance was subsequently amended, including the Working Safely guidance.

The Government’s Working Safely guidance, which was launched on 24 February 2022, continues to require organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. It also sets out additional actions organisations can take to protect employees and customers in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, asking people to wash their hands frequently and asking people with COVID-19 to stay away. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. Civil Service employers will continue to follow this guidance and align their policies accordingly.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic Defra, our Executive Agencies and Arms-Length Bodies have followed, and continue to follow, the latest Government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

In England, the BEIS 'Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)' guidance provides sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff. Guidance on face coverings is currently different for Wales and in Scotland so the respective guidance is followed for our workplaces located within those countries.

Our workplace risk assessments determine which mitigations are appropriate to adopt in light of the updated guidance. In line with the revised Government 'working safely' guidance it is expected and recommended that staff wear face coverings in our workplaces in specified areas and when using public transport for work-related travel. Additionally:

a) Within core Defra, face coverings may be required where a risk assessment has identified the need to wear one for a particular work activity or working environment.

b) Within Defra's departmental agencies, face coverings may be required where a risk assessment has identified the need to wear one for a particular work activity or working environment. Within science laboratories, there is currently a mandatory requirement to wear a face covering within specified areas and for certain laboratory-based work activities.

c) Within Defra's non-departmental public bodies and other related bodies, face coverings may be required where a risk assessment has identified the need to wear one for a particular work activity or working environment.

Organisational policies reflect that some people are not able to wear face coverings, and that face coverings may make it harder to communicate with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions, and clear sound. We expect our employees to be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons he imposed a charging clean air zone in Bradford.

Air pollution is a major public health risk and is a particular threat to vulnerable groups including the elderly and those with chronic respiratory and heart diseases. The mortality burden of the air pollution mixture based on both PM2.5 and NO2 in the UK is an effect equivalent to 28,000 to 36,000 deaths (Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, 2018).

Under the 2017 UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations and its further Supplement in 2018, 61 local authorities were directed to develop plans for delivering NO2 compliance in the shortest possible time. Bradford was identified in the 2018 supplement as having roads exceeding legal levels for NO2, and since then has been working on a local plan to identify and implement measures to address these exceedances in the shortest possible time to safeguard public health.

As the 2017 plan sets out, it is for local authorities to determine what the appropriate solution is for tackling NO 2 concentrations, reflecting the highly localised nature of the problem. In some cases, local authorities will determine that a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is the intervention required. However, given the potential impacts on individuals and businesses, when considering between equally effective alternatives to deliver compliance, Government has been consistently clear that if a local authority can identify measures other than charging zones that are at least as effective at reducing NO2 to legal levels but with less of an impact, those measures should be preferred. Any alternative will need to deliver compliance as quickly as a charging CAZ if it is to be preferred for inclusion in the plans which local authorities develop.

Having gone through a detailed business case development process following guidance provided by the Government's Joint Air Quality Unit, Bradford has identified that a Class C Clean Air Zone is needed in order to deliver the legal obligation to tackle NO2 exceedances in the shortest possible time. Government considered the business case submitted by Bradford earlier this year and has accepted Bradford's evidence that a class C CAZ is required. As part of this approvals process, the business case and supporting evidence were considered by an independent technical panel established to review the evidence submitted by local authorities to support their proposals. The Government is now working with Bradford on the implementation of the CAZ and has also provided Bradford with £31 million from the Clean Air Fund to help local businesses and individuals adapt to the CAZ, including grants to help upgrade vehicles.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

Defra draws its training provision from Civil Service Learning (CSL), which included access to unconscious bias training products for all staff including Senior Civil Servants. It is mandatory for civil servants to use CSL for their learning.

In January 2021, CSL took the decision to withdraw the product in line with the Ministerial Statement that outlined why this training should cease. The learning pages on our internal intranet were updated and staff are now directed to the CSL product called Inclusion in the Civil Service, therefore ensuring that unconscious bias training has been phased out in Defra. Natural England took the same action.

The Environment Agency removed unconscious bias training from its list of mandatory learning in January 2021. A short e-learning product remains accessible as a topic of interest.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

Every year, International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight how outcomes for men and boys can be improved and the important work going on every day to address this. This year’s theme was “Better health for men and boys”. Defra group marked this day with a blog by our Deputy Gender champion, Mark Thompson. Mark highlighted the inclusion agenda for men, in particular mental health issues and how our networks help and support employees. In addition, our newly formed Gender Board has raised the need to engage men better in gender equality conversations.

Linked to this year’s theme, details of the ASK TWICE campaign were shared with employees. The campaign is specifically aimed at men, and is part of the national Time To Change initiative led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which aims to change the way we think about, and take action on, mental health problems.

In addition to supporting International Men’s Day this November, across Defra group we support many UK gender-based initiatives, including Movember. One example is a panel discussion on International Men’s Day itself, hosted by our Women’s Network and the Defra Movember campaign. During this session various Equality, Diversity and Inclusion network leads discussed a range of subjects related to male stereotypes: e.g. men’s health, mental health, fatherhood and how to support men in the workplace. These sessions reflected the fact that these issues affect everyone: colleagues, friends, husbands, wives, partners, families and organisations. Another example this November has been the Defra Cancer Network partnering with our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Network to run two online events highlighting how different aspects of cancer may affect individuals across gender lines. These events were supplemented by the sharing of personal stories of prostate cancer across the group via blogs, with the objective of tackling stigma around men’s health issues. This content featured links to useful information with messages encouraging employees “if in doubt, get it checked”.

To complement these network-led sessions, groups have been set up on our internal Yammer pages. Examples include #Team EA Movember which provides an opportunity for employees to fundraise and the Movember page for anyone wanting to join the conversation, or to become a Movember Workplace Ambassador. We have also started an anonymous WhatsApp group, providing a safe place for men to talk with others who are currently suffering or have previously suffered from cancer or mental health problems.

Finally, we use other opportunities throughout the year to raise and address issues of concern to men. For instance, Defra group marked Carers’ Rights Day on 26 November in support of men with caring responsibilities. Through our HR policies and standard work practices, Defra group continues to ensure all men have access to flexible working and shared parental leave, giving them the opportunity for work-life balance and the ability to take time away from the workplace to fulfil their caring responsibilities.

Defra organisations recognise that talking is important. We appreciate that for many people it is easier to simply say “I’m OK” than to admit they have problems. In recognition of our differences, Defra group is committed to finding ways that enable anyone and everyone to reach out for help, regardless of their gender identity - whether cis, trans, fluid or non-binary.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

Defra follows the pay remit guidance set by HM Treasury for staff at delegated grades and Cabinet Office for Senior Civil Servants. For the most recent pay reviews, this meant that Defra implemented average pay awards within the 2.5% limit for delegated grades and 2% for Senior Civil Servants, as set out in the guidance.

The biggest pay rise given to someone in Core Defra in the last 12 months in percentage terms was 68.5%.

The biggest pay rise given to someone in Core Defra in the last 12 months in cash terms was £22,000.

These pay rises are the result of promotions to new roles with greater responsibilities and accountability.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 65969 on air pollution: Shipley, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on air quality levels in Shipley of the proposed incinerator at Marley, Keighley.

The Environment Agency (EA) assesses the emissions from new energy from waste (EfW) plants as part of its permitting process.

The EA has assessed the impact of emissions from the proposed plant on air quality. The permit assessment process includes a comparison of the maximum predicted concentrations of different pollutants from the plant against the relevant air quality standards, also taking into account the levels of background pollution already present in the area. The EA will not grant a permit for an EfW plant if it could have a significant impact on air quality.

The EA is currently carrying out a public consultation on this application and the consultation documents contain the EA’s assessment of the emissions from the plant and the measures proposed to regulate those emissions should the permit be granted.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of air quality levels across the Shipley constituency.

Local authorities take the lead on monitoring levels of air pollution within their boundaries. City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) was one of eight local authorities directed in October 2018, as part of the supplement to the 2017 UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Concentrations, to develop a local plan to tackle identified NO2 exceedances, following a Government-funded targeted feasibility study conducted by the council. This study identified persistent long-term exceedances of legal NO2 limit values in and around the city centre including the Shipley area, and that without further action CBMDC would not be compliant with legal NO2 limits until 2027.

Following approval of its plan early this year, CBMDC was subsequently directed and funded to introduce a charging Clean Air Zone in late 2021 that will cover the city centre, Canal Road corridor, Shipley and Saltaire, enabling CBMDC to achieve compliance by 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions her Department has had with smokeless fuel manufacturers in the last two years; and if she will make a statement.

During the Government’s consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood, Defra officials engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including smokeless fuel manufacturers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings in his Department (a) Ministers and (b) officials have held with the Coal Merchants’ Federation in the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

Over the course of the consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood, the Government has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including a number of trade organisations representing the coal industry. One meeting was held at official level with the Coal Merchants’ Federation. There have been no Ministerial meetings with this organisation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to reduce the amount of wet wood (a) sold and (b) burnt in England for domestic heating; and if he will make a statement.

The Government response to the consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood was published on 21 February 2020. This outlines plans to restrict the sale, distribution and marketing of wet wood. The proposed policy will require suppliers of wood sold in volumes below 2m3 to have their product tested and certified to show that its moisture content is below 20%, those supplying wood in volumes greater than 2m3 will be required to provide their customers with instructions for seasoning wet wood, which will be accompanied by a warning advising that the wood is not suitable to be burnt without appropriate drying. Further to this, retailers of wood in volumes below 2m3 will be required to store it in a way that ensures its moisture content is kept below 20%.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release entitled, Government takes bold action to cut pollution from household burning, published on 21 February 2020, what the evidential basis is for the statement that manufactured solid fuels are cheaper than house coal; and if he will make a statement.

Defra recognises that on face value, manufactured solid fuels (MSFs) are more expensive than coal, however, we are also aware that MSFs burn more efficiently than coal. Recent tests have found that coal is actually more expensive than MSFs when energy efficiency is taken into account. These tests suggest that coal burned on an open fire is more expensive per unit of heat output in all areas of England compared to the cheapest MSF fuel. The full results of the fuel efficiency tests have been published on gov.uk and can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/867429/burning-wood-consult-bsria-report1.pdf

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the potential reduction in emissions that will result from the phasing out of coal and wet wood for domestic heating from February 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recently published its response to the consultation on using cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood, which included proposals for the regulation of the sales, distribution and marketing of bituminous coal and wet wood sold in units of up to 2m3 and restricting the sale of manufactured solid fuels with a sulphur content greater than 2%. A full impact assessment was published alongside the Government response and is available on the GOV.UK website. This analysis estimates the following cumulative emission reductions between 2020 and 2030: 91.53kt of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), 24.9kt of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and 430kt of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/air-quality-using-cleaner-fuels-for-domestic-burning

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2019.

Every year International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight how outcomes for men and boys can be improved and the important work going on every day to address this. Defra group marked the day through a webinar available to all staff entitled “Why We Need International Men’s Day”. This shared key information and work underway to address these issues. Other webinars included topics such as “Being a 21st Century man”, “Managing mental ill health from a male perspective” and “Raising boys”. The day concluded with a panel Q and A session comprising senior managers, the webinar presenters and the lead of the Women’s Network.

In addition to International Men’s Day, in November Defra group celebrated Carers’ Rights Day which also supports men with caring responsibilities. As part of the ‘Movember’ campaign we highlighted men’s health issues, from cancer to suicide prevention, and the Cancer and Mental Health Networks encouraged employees to support this initiative. More widely across Defra group we promote other gender-based initiatives, such as marking International Women's Day in March.

On an ongoing basis, we continue to support flexible working and shared parental leave for all employees across Defra. This gives men as well as women the opportunity to manage their work-life balance and take time away from the workplace to be with their new children.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Irish counterpart on that Government's consultation on the regulation of domestic burning of solid fuels and peat; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State has not had discussions with her Irish counterpart on the Irish Government’s consultation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will publish a revised impact assessment before the Government publishes its response to the consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood; and if she will make a statement.

We intend that a revised impact assessment will be published alongside our response to the consultation on the cleaner burning of solid fuels and wood in the near future.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the effects of a potential ban on house coal on former coalfield communities as part of the consultation on the cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood; and if she will make a statement.

As we said when we consulted on our proposals, we want to ensure that our measures achieve environmental benefits but do not have an adverse impact on vulnerable groups. Our response to the consultation will reflect this approach, and we intend to publish this in the near future.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to publish the outcome of the consultation on Cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood that closed on 12 October 2018; and if she will make a statement.

Following the required pause for the 2019 General Election, we are working at pace to publish our response to the consultation on the cleaner burning of solid fuels and wood as soon as possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) flag of Wales has been flown from the headquarters of her Department in London in each year since 2015.

DFID flies flags in accordance with DCMS policy.

In the London office the Union Jack is flown every day that another flag is not flown. The Scottish Saltire is flown every day from the DFID office in East Kilbride, Scotland.

Since 2015, the other flags were flown from the London office as follows:

Date

St. George

Scottish Saltire

Wales Flag

2015

1

0

0

2016

1

0

0

2017

1

1

0

2018

5

0

0

2019

1

0

0

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags her Department owns.

DFID has two headquarter buildings in the UK; one at 22 Whitehall and the other at Abercrombie house in East Kilbride.

DFID own and fly flags in accordance with DCMS policy. The total number of flags owned across both buildings are:

(a) 9 x Union Jacks

(b) 2 x St George

(c) 4 x Scottish Saltire

(d) DFID does not own any Welsh flags.

11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

a) As of 31 October 2022 (the latest payroll figure for 15 November 2022), Department for International Trade (DIT) employed 3,481 Civil Servants. 3,302 Civil Servants in the UK and 179 overseas UK based staff working on DIT objectives. In addition, UK Export Finance employed 515 staff.

b) As of 31 January 2020 (for 1 February 2020), Department for International Trade employed 2,229 Civil Servants. 2,077 Civil Servants in the UK and 152 overseas UK based staff working on DIT objectives. In addition, UK Export Finance employed 337 staff.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many employees in her Department work on matters related to covid-19.

Following a search of our central records and engagement with teams across the Department for International Trade, there are no employees with a job title including COVID-19.

The Government published its Living with Covid plan in February 2022 to help and support citizens as we transition out of the pandemic. Additional guidance has also been published on the Department for International Trade intranet to support staff.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for her departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for the departmental group for the years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 as already held on the record of losses for the public sector organisations within the departmental group, in accordance with Managing Public Money (Annex A4.10.7), or as otherwise held for the purposes of special payment disclosures, are set out below. These disclosures are consistent with the organisations’ obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Department promotes UK exports and showcases business at international trade shows. A number of events due to take place during 2019-20 were cancelled due to COVID-19 and the Department was unable to recoup all amounts incurred towards them.

  • The total number of cases of losses in each year.

The total number of cases of losses in each year

2018 -2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

23

178

25

  • The total cost of losses in each year.

The total cost of losses in each year

2018 -2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

£466,443

£920,363

£650,195

  • The total number of special payments in each year.

The total number of special payments in each year

2018 -2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

2

None

None

  • The total value of special payments in each year.

The total value of special payments in each year

2018 -2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

£88,000

None

None

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will take steps to ensure that her Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) continues to follow the Government’s Working Safely guidance, requiring organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. DIT have retained our Personal Risk Assessment process to meet this criteria.

Following the easing of restrictions in England, guidance on social distancing and similar office measures have been removed. To note, DIT have never mandated facemasks in our office buildings.

DIT is committed to encouraging employees to return to the workplace while also supporting flexible working.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in her (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department remains aligned to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance so does not currently mandate the wearing of face coverings in any of its UK offices. Those working for the Department are expected to follow guidance on face coverings in operation in the geographical area they are working while on official business.

The Department continues to prioritise other control measures such as minimising contact, ventilation, and screens over face coverings on its UK estate. The Department works with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to agree working practices overseas in line with local guidance.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

The Department for International Trade is committed to ensuring fairness for all - regardless of gender or background. International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight how outcomes for men and boys can be improved and to talk about some of the work going on every day across Government to do this.

To mark International Men’s Day, the department undertook a range of events, including a virtual event held by the Gender network, mentoring sessions for male members of staff by the Permanent Secretary, and a conversation for men from the department hosted by the Second Permanent Secretary. The Permanent Secretary also spoke at two virtual Civil Service-wide events, including the Cross-Government Gender Network event.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in her Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

The biggest pay rise given to employees in percentage and cash terms over the last 12 months for the Department for International Trade (DIT), including UK Export Finance (UKEF), is in the table below. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £100 to protect individual’s identities.

(a) highest percentage

(b) highest cash value

DIT

21%

£15,900

UKEF

29.6%

£11,700

For DIT, the pay increase was the consequence of a SCS1 (Deputy Director) being promoted to SCS2 (Director) via fair and open competition in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles and moving to the band minima of their new grade. The Civil Service pay range for SCS2 with effect from 1 April 2020 is £93,000 - £162,500.

For UKEF, the pay increase was the result of an employee at the minimum of their existing pay band being promoted to the minimum pay of the next pay band.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) flag of Wales has been flown from the headquarters of her Department in London in each year since 2015.

Records of flag flying are held by our facilities management provider. Records prior to 2018 are not held.

The Union Jack is flown all year round unless replaced with the flag of St. George.

The flag of St. George was flown 3 times in 2018, 5 times in 2019 and has not yet been flown in 2020.

The Scottish Saltire Flag or Welsh Flag were not flown in the period for which records are held.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags her Department owns.

The department owns 8 flags which are flown externally. These are: 4 Union Flags, 2 St George’s Flags, 1 Scottish Saltire Flag and 1 Flag of Wales. This list does not include free standing flags in Ministerial offices.

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Access For All works at Menston railway station will be completed.

We are committed to delivering the Menston Access for All programme in full. Network Rail currently expect work to start on site in late March 2024 and completion is planned for late February 2025.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with Bradford Council on a commencement date for construction of the Shipley eastern relief road.

Following the Prime Minister’s Network North announcement, my officials have been in contact with Council officers to resume the review of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for the scheme, the first stage of business case development, in order that a decision can be made on whether the scheme can progress to the next stage.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on the development process for the Shipley Eastern Relief Road.

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (the Council) submitted a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for the Shipley Eastern Congestion Relief Scheme in October 2022.

The Department has informed the Council that this scheme can be considered for possible government investment under the current Major Road Network/ Large Local Majors programme, subject to a commitment being made by the Council that it can provide a funding contribution of a minimum of 15% of scheme costs. This commitment is needed in order for the Department now to progress its consideration of whether to approve the SOC, but no such commitment from the Council has yet been received.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many additional direct trains per day between Shipley/Bradford and London Kings Cross will be in place by 2025.

Bradford is currently served by two London North Eastern Railway services per day from London. The aspiration to increase this service to seven trains per day remains.

Investment in the infrastructure at Bradford Forster Square and a resolution to timetabling and operational factors are required before these services can be introduced. The Government has recently confirmed funding for ‘Design’ stage work on infrastructure upgrades at Bradford Forster Square and Shipley stations.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the works on the accessible footbridge at Menston railway station will be completed.

Works to make Menston station accessible with funding from our Access for All programme is underway and due to be completed by April 2024.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many employees in his Department work on matters related to covid-19.

As of the 15th November 2022 there are 19 members of staff undertaking work on matters directly relating to Covid-19 where this work constitutes the majority of their working time. These staff members are primarily in DfT’s Covid-19 Inquiry Response Division. Their work will include input and support from relevant functions and modal teams as necessary.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Department comprises the Core Department together with its 19 agencies and arm’s length bodies, many of which are large organisations who conduct a significant level of transactional activity and may incur a relatively high volume of low value losses. Detailed registers of all Losses and Special Payments are held locally by each agency and arm’s length body, in accordance with MPM paragraph A4.10.7. In order to meet MPM reporting requirements, the central department holds summary level information on the total number and value of Losses and Special Payments across the departmental group and specific details of items above £300,000, as disclosed in the Annual Report & Accounts. Due to the high volume of low value cases, it would not be practicable for the Department to provide a detailed analysis of all Losses & Special Payments below £300,000.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

I can confirm that following the publication of the COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19 plan on 21 February the Department for Transport and its Agencies has taken steps to ensure our internal Covid-19 policies and principles align with the latest Government guidance.

This includes the Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance published on 24 February. This continues to require organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. It also sets out additional actions organisations can take to protect employees and customers in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, asking people to wash their hands frequently and asking people with COVID-19 to stay away. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high.

These principles align with the current advice provided by the Department and will support and reassure our employees that they can continue to return to the workplace in a safe and controlled way. Our policies will be updated to reflect any further changes in Government advice. This includes where there may be differences in approach in the devolved administrations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the improvements at Menston railway station under the Access For All scheme will be carried out.

The project at Menston station is currently at detailed design phase to provide a new step-free accessible route and tactile paving, with works anticipated to be completed in 2023.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on the feasibility study for the Shipley Eastern Bypass.

The Department is waiting for Bradford Council to submit the feasibility study for the proposed Shipley Eastern Bypass, following which it will be assessed.

28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of Bradford Council on its timetable for completing the feasibility study into the Shipley eastern bypass.

We are waiting for Bradford Council to submit the initial business case which will then be assessed.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Penalty Charge Notices were issued to HS2 Ltd vehicles in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021; and what the total value was of those charges in each of those years.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent by HS2 Ltd on branded (a) hard hats, (b) overalls and (c) other workwear in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent by HS2 Ltd on the design and manufacture of physical models of (a) trains, (b) platforms, (c) buildings and (d) other items associated with the project in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent by HS2 Ltd on (a) calls to the speaking clock and (b) other directory enquiries in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent by HS2 Ltd on unconscious bias training in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was spent by HS2 Ltd on childcare services and creches for HS2 staff in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

HS2 Ltd produces data on senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality and publishes all transaction over £25,000 and all corporate card transactions over £500. This is available on gov.uk and is updated quarterly. It is not possible to find the information you have requested within a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with US authorities on general travel by British citizens from the UK to the US; when he expects such travel to be able to commence again; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Transport has regular contact with the US, including the US Secretary of Transportation.

On 20 September the US government confirmed that they will be allowing vaccinated Brits into the US from early November, reciprocating the policy introduced by the UK on 2 August. This demonstrates the hard work and progress made by the UK-US Experts Working Group to restart transatlantic travel and kick start the economy. The Experts Working Group will continue to work together to ensure the return of safe and sustainable international travel.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport, its departmental agencies and related bodies are following the relevant guidance for each location and are undertaking all mitigations identified in each building’s risk assessment. All organisations fully support individuals who choose to wear a face covering in the workplace.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24147 on High Speed 2 Railway Line: Construction, what estimate he has made of the pension liabilities incurred by people employed by the HS2 project.

HS2 Ltd has a Group Personal Pension plan in place for its employees so there are no future liabilities. The annual provision for employer contributions to that plan are published in the Annual Report & Accounts.

For further information please follow the below link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-ltd-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24147, on High Speed 2 Railway Line: Construction, what the highest salary is of a person at HS2 Ltd; and how many HS2 Ltd staff are earning over (a) £100,000 and (b) £150,000.

The highest earning individual at HS2 Ltd is the Chief Executive, Mark Thurston. We publish information regarding remuneration of those earning over £150,000 annually: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/senior-officials-high-earners-salaries

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the longest time is that the DVLA has taken to issue a driving licence in each of the last five years.

The information requested cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average time taken by the DVLA to issue driving licences was in each of the last five years.

The information requested cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving licences the DVLA has issued in each of the last five years.

Guidance on how to apply for a driving licence is published on GOV.UK and can be found here.

The volume of driving licences issued in each of the last five years is shown in the table below:

Year

Number of Driving Licences Issued

2016 – 2017

10.4 million

2017 – 2018

11.2 million

2018 – 2019

10.6 million

2019 – 2020

11.2 million

2020 – 2021

8.8 million

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the guidance issued by the DVLA on the process for issuing and reissuing driving licences.

Guidance on how to apply for a driving licence is published on GOV.UK and can be found here.

The volume of driving licences issued in each of the last five years is shown in the table below:

Year

Number of Driving Licences Issued

2016 – 2017

10.4 million

2017 – 2018

11.2 million

2018 – 2019

10.6 million

2019 – 2020

11.2 million

2020 – 2021

8.8 million

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people are employed by the HS2 project; and what the average salary is.

Staff numbers and average salaries (as at 31 March) are disclosed annually in the Company’s Annual Report and Accounts. However, as of 28 June 2021, HS2 Ltd directly employs 1,597 staff with an average salary of £60,198.44. The salaries are full-time equivalent Basic Pay (annual entitlement at point of reporting). This figure does not include Non-Executive Directors, Independent Panel Members, Project Representatives and non HS2 Ltd staff (secondees, Engineering Delivery Partners, agency staff, etc).

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list the office spaces occupied by HS2 in the UK.

HS2 Ltd headquarters is at 2 Snowhill, Snowhill, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA. In addition, it occupies space at 1 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN and Albany House, Petty France, London, SW1 9EA. The Company also rents one room in Barlow House, Minshull Street, Manchester, M1 3DZ.

This list does not include site offices that are leased and occupied by suppliers working on behalf of HS2 Ltd.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost of HS2 Ltd’s office space in London was in (a) each financial year and (b) total since 2018.

(a) The HS2 Ltd London whole office estate costs are as follows:

2018/19 £7,270,000

2019/20 £5,180,000

2020/21 £5,280,000

Note the figures include rent, VAT on rent, utilities, facilities management costs, National Non Domestic rates and other building costs. Accommodation costs are disclosed in the HS2 Annual Report and Accounts.

(b) The total for the period 2018/19 to 2020/21 £17,730,000

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

In response to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, the Department has stopped providing interventions where the evidence does not support their continued use, this has been the case with unconscious bias training.

Most of Civil Service unconscious bias training was delivered via an e-learning platform, and is no longer available through this platform. The Department no longer promotes unconscious bias training to be included as part of any other training that is delivered elsewhere.

The Department is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. This includes deploying a range of evidence-based interventions within the Department, for example training to improve fairness in recruitment decisions, or new learning offerings targeted at working on creating more inclusive work cultures. We are using data to inform where bias may be occurring and to help eradicate it, for example in our approach to recruitment. This approach will allow us to ensure that activity can be focused on those interventions which do make a difference in order to progress this important work.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to review the mandatory use of face coverings on public transport.

Since 15 June, passengers travelling on the public transport network have been required to wear a face covering, unless exempt. On 14 December, the Secretary of State reviewed the regulations and deemed that this requirement remained necessary and proportionate in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As set out in the roadmap, the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures, which will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted. We have seen continued high compliance with face covering regulations and the latest evidence indicates that face coverings are likely to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 where used correctly. As such their continued use is important to ensure that those who need to travel now and in the future are able to do so in safety and with confidence.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the feasibility study for the Shipley Eastern Bypass will be completed.

The feasibility study for the proposed Shipley Eastern Bypass is being produced by Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council. I understand Bradford MBC are due to submit the study to my Department for consideration shortly.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, what steps his Office took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

In a message on my official twitter account, I recognised the incredible contribution men and boys make to our society, and, in recognition of the mental health problems that 1 in 8 men face, made clear that support is available.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in his Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

Between the period of 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2020 the biggest pay rise given to someone in the Department was (a) 6.9% in percentage terms and (b) £7,064 in cash terms. The mean average award for all staff for the same period was 2%.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June to Question 62617, if he will provide a list of the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries currently being undertaken by his Department.

The Department is not undertaking any inquiries. It is currently contributing to the Home Office’s inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when (a) Network Rail and (b) the East Coast Franchise Operator first notified his Department that the scheduled additional train services between London Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford would not meet the 2019 timescale set out in the franchise.

The Department became aware in late 2018 that the additional train services would not be delivered in May 2019 due to delays to the delivery of the IEP fleet and as a consequence of the revised industry approach to timetable development following the May 2018 timetable change. Following our recent meeting on this issue, I look forward to working with my Honorable Friend to ensure these services are delivered as soon as is feasible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the additional train services between Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford as set out in the East Coast franchise will be fully delivered.

An additional service between Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford will be delivered in July 2020. The outstanding committed services will be delivered as soon as capacity is available.

The introduction of the additional services was originally delayed from May 2019 because of delays to the introduction of LNER’s new Azuma trains, in line with guidance from the Industry Programme Management Office Steering Group established following the May 2018 timetable issues. Since then it has become clear that capacity constraints in the Bradford area mean that integrating the LNER services with the existing, intensive Northern commuter services, while protecting their reliability, will be challenging. Infrastructure upgrades may be needed to resolve these capacity constraints

I and my officials met by video conference with Network Rail and LNER, with the Honourable Member present, on 1 June 2020.

The Department has not made a specific recent estimate of the cost to the public purse. The additional services were contracted as part of an overall package in 2015 from Virgin Trains East Coast, the then franchisee, and delivery of them was not affected by the transfer of services to LNER. LNER expects the additional services to be revenue generative, and to have additional wider economic benefits for the areas and communities they serve

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason there has been a delay in the provision of additional train services between London Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford as set out in the East Coast Franchise.

An additional service between Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford will be delivered in July 2020. The outstanding committed services will be delivered as soon as capacity is available.

The introduction of the additional services was originally delayed from May 2019 because of delays to the introduction of LNER’s new Azuma trains, in line with guidance from the Industry Programme Management Office Steering Group established following the May 2018 timetable issues. Since then it has become clear that capacity constraints in the Bradford area mean that integrating the LNER services with the existing, intensive Northern commuter services, while protecting their reliability, will be challenging. Infrastructure upgrades may be needed to resolve these capacity constraints

I and my officials met by video conference with Network Rail and LNER, with the Honourable Member present, on 1 June 2020.

The Department has not made a specific recent estimate of the cost to the public purse. The additional services were contracted as part of an overall package in 2015 from Virgin Trains East Coast, the then franchisee, and delivery of them was not affected by the transfer of services to LNER. LNER expects the additional services to be revenue generative, and to have additional wider economic benefits for the areas and communities they serve

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department last met with (i) Network Rail and (ii) LNER to discuss additional train services between London Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford.

An additional service between Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford will be delivered in July 2020. The outstanding committed services will be delivered as soon as capacity is available.

The introduction of the additional services was originally delayed from May 2019 because of delays to the introduction of LNER’s new Azuma trains, in line with guidance from the Industry Programme Management Office Steering Group established following the May 2018 timetable issues. Since then it has become clear that capacity constraints in the Bradford area mean that integrating the LNER services with the existing, intensive Northern commuter services, while protecting their reliability, will be challenging. Infrastructure upgrades may be needed to resolve these capacity constraints

I and my officials met by video conference with Network Rail and LNER, with the Honourable Member present, on 1 June 2020.

The Department has not made a specific recent estimate of the cost to the public purse. The additional services were contracted as part of an overall package in 2015 from Virgin Trains East Coast, the then franchisee, and delivery of them was not affected by the transfer of services to LNER. LNER expects the additional services to be revenue generative, and to have additional wider economic benefits for the areas and communities they serve

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse to provide the additional train services between London Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford as set out in the East Coast franchise.

An additional service between Kings Cross, Shipley and Bradford will be delivered in July 2020. The outstanding committed services will be delivered as soon as capacity is available.

The introduction of the additional services was originally delayed from May 2019 because of delays to the introduction of LNER’s new Azuma trains, in line with guidance from the Industry Programme Management Office Steering Group established following the May 2018 timetable issues. Since then it has become clear that capacity constraints in the Bradford area mean that integrating the LNER services with the existing, intensive Northern commuter services, while protecting their reliability, will be challenging. Infrastructure upgrades may be needed to resolve these capacity constraints

I and my officials met by video conference with Network Rail and LNER, with the Honourable Member present, on 1 June 2020.

The Department has not made a specific recent estimate of the cost to the public purse. The additional services were contracted as part of an overall package in 2015 from Virgin Trains East Coast, the then franchisee, and delivery of them was not affected by the transfer of services to LNER. LNER expects the additional services to be revenue generative, and to have additional wider economic benefits for the areas and communities they serve

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many times the (a) Union Jack, (b) St George's flag, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) flag of Wales has been flown from the headquarters of his Department in London in each year since 2015.

The Union Jack has been flown every day since 2015 at the Department for Transport’s London headquarters building. The Department does not own any of the other flags mentioned.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) Union Jack, (b) St George, (c) Scottish Saltire and (d) Flag of Wales flags his Department owns.

The Department for Transport owns 5 Union Jack flags. The Department does not own any of the other flags mentioned.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, by what date all of the additional direct trains between Shipley/Bradford and London under the East Coast franchise will be introduced.

LNER intends to introduce the outstanding direct services as soon as possible and is working to finalise timescales. I’ve asked LNER to meet the Honourable gentleman to provide an update.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Pensions Regulator have previous experience in the sector that they regulate.

The Department does not hold this information.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Office for Nuclear Regulation have previous experience in the sector that they regulate.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) Board has ten members. Four have a background in the Nuclear Sector, two have energy sector experience and one has experience in related procurement. 408 of ONR’s headcount of 671 are nuclear inspectors with previous Nuclear Industry experience. ONR also recruits individuals with alternative high hazard sector experience to broaden the organisations range of skills and expertise.

ONR’s expertise is sought after internationally, and work with regulators across the globe builds ONR’s own capability. ONR also regularly works with partner regulators such as the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and regulators sponsored by the Ministry of Defence which supports the pooling of experience and knowledge.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

DWP only reports month end figures, not mid-month figures. Both periods below are taken on the last day of the month to represent that period.

February 2020 – 78,418

October 2022 – 86,345

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employees in his Department work on matters related to covid-19.

Since August 2022 COVID-19 work has become ‘business as usual’, therefore any work specifically connected to COVID related activities is no longer tracked or recorded by the department.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for her departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost to the Department.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what diversity training is carried out for civil servants in her Department.

DWP has two mandatory e-learning modules: Public Sector Equality Duty and Inclusion in the Civil Service.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in her (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has followed, and continues to follow, the latest government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

All of our offices comply with the legal requirements of the UK government and where appropriate, of the devolved administrations. The wearing of face coverings remains a legal requirement in both Scotland and Wales

In England there is no such legal requirement but the latest BEIS guidance “encourage(s) the use of face coverings by workers or customers in enclosed and crowded spaces” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2

DWP therefore strongly encourages the wearing of face coverings by customers in our job centres and colleagues when in communal areas.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on the wearing of face coverings for (a) staff at and (b) people attending job centres during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has followed, and continues to follow, the latest government guidance in relation to managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, including any variations between the four nations of the UK.

All of our offices comply with the legal requirements of the UK government and where appropriate, of the devolved administrations. The wearing of face coverings remains a legal requirement in both Scotland and Wales

In England there is no such legal requirement but the latest BEIS guidance “encourage(s) the use of face coverings by workers or customers in enclosed and crowded spaces” https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-7-2

DWP therefore strongly encourages the wearing of face coverings by customers in our job centres and colleagues when in communal areas.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps she has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in her Department.

Standalone unconscious bias training ceased within the Department at the end of December 2020.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the proportion of her Department’s spending that was (a) fraud and (b) error in each of the last five years.

DWP takes fraud and error very seriously. Estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain in the financial years from 2005/2006 to 2020/2021 are available in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-financial-year-2020-to-2021-estimates

The Department for Work and Pensions is increasingly moving from detecting fraud and error to actively preventing it from happening and has optimised its digital capability and organisational design to enable this. The recent money secured via the Spring Budget will enable the Department to expand the Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS), develop pre-payment ‘risking’ techniques (Transaction Risking) and maintain the new Enhanced Checking Service, who intervene on high risk claims before they get in to payment.

Where fraud does enter the benefit system, there are dedicated teams to investigate this. The Department is committed to the use of appropriate penalties and the recovery of monies from the perpetrators, where fraud is established. To support this work, DWP’s Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt team is undertaking an ambitious recruitment programme which will significantly further expand our counter-fraud capacity.

We will continue to work with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies nationally and across borders to ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to eliminate (a) fraud and (b) error from the spending in her Department.

DWP takes fraud and error very seriously. Estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain in the financial years from 2005/2006 to 2020/2021 are available in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-financial-year-2020-to-2021-estimates

The Department for Work and Pensions is increasingly moving from detecting fraud and error to actively preventing it from happening and has optimised its digital capability and organisational design to enable this. The recent money secured via the Spring Budget will enable the Department to expand the Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS), develop pre-payment ‘risking’ techniques (Transaction Risking) and maintain the new Enhanced Checking Service, who intervene on high risk claims before they get in to payment.

Where fraud does enter the benefit system, there are dedicated teams to investigate this. The Department is committed to the use of appropriate penalties and the recovery of monies from the perpetrators, where fraud is established. To support this work, DWP’s Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt team is undertaking an ambitious recruitment programme which will significantly further expand our counter-fraud capacity.

We will continue to work with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies nationally and across borders to ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what acceptable level of (a) fraud and (b) error her Department has set for its expenditure.

DWP takes fraud and error very seriously. Estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain in the financial years from 2005/2006 to 2020/2021 are available in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-financial-year-2020-to-2021-estimates

The Department for Work and Pensions is increasingly moving from detecting fraud and error to actively preventing it from happening and has optimised its digital capability and organisational design to enable this. The recent money secured via the Spring Budget will enable the Department to expand the Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS), develop pre-payment ‘risking’ techniques (Transaction Risking) and maintain the new Enhanced Checking Service, who intervene on high risk claims before they get in to payment.

Where fraud does enter the benefit system, there are dedicated teams to investigate this. The Department is committed to the use of appropriate penalties and the recovery of monies from the perpetrators, where fraud is established. To support this work, DWP’s Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt team is undertaking an ambitious recruitment programme which will significantly further expand our counter-fraud capacity.

We will continue to work with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies nationally and across borders to ensure appropriate intelligence and resources are shared, enabling the totality of any criminality to be identified and investigated.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department took to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2020.

In the department (DWP), every year, International Men’s Day (IMD) offers an opportunity to highlight some key issues and policies that are available to support men. Our policies range from our flexible working hours, the introduction of shared parental leave, which allows men to take time away from the workplace and bond with their new children, benefitting that crucial long-term relationship for both parent and child, to our support for Domestic Abuse and Mental Health through our community of 1600+ Mental Health First Aiders.

In DWP we have a series of national events taking place over the week to mark IMD. The DWP’s Director General Gender Champion opened an IMD session which included male senior leaders talking about their own personal journey.

DWP have partnered with The Good Lad Initiative (GLI), following the success of last year’s events. The specific events cover Thinking about Masculinities and Workplace Cultures and Allyship and Inclusion - men reflecting on their own workplace cultures and positions as leaders and communication skills needed to be effective and compassionate bystanders and to generate debate around the question

DWP has also updated its Gender and Wellbeing pages with support available to colleagues and a number of blogs have been published by colleagues of all genders with titles ranging from “Men who inspire me”, “how talking has helped me” to men’s mental health.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the factors resulting in parents being unable to afford to feed their children.

Building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme has been created to support children, families and the most at risk over winter. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to help with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.

The Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be expanded across England next year. It will cover Easter, Summer and Christmas in 2021, and cost up to £220m. It will be available to children in every local authority in England, building on previous programmes – including this summers, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

In May, the Government provided £16m to charities to provide food for those struggling due to the immediate impacts of the pandemic. Earlier this month, a further £16m was announced to fund local charities through well-established networks and provide immediate support to front-line food aid charities who have a vital role to play in supporting people of all ages.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of the number of parents who cannot afford to feed their children.

Building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme has been created to support children, families and the most at risk over winter. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to help with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.

The Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be expanded across England next year. It will cover Easter, Summer and Christmas in 2021, and cost up to £220m. It will be available to children in every local authority in England, building on previous programmes – including this summers, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

In May, the Government provided £16m to charities to provide food for those struggling due to the immediate impacts of the pandemic. Earlier this month, a further £16m was announced to fund local charities through well-established networks and provide immediate support to front-line food aid charities who have a vital role to play in supporting people of all ages.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the proportion of parents of children entitled to free school meals who cannot afford to feed their children during the school holidays.

Building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme has been created to support children, families and the most at risk over winter. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to help with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.

The Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be expanded across England next year. It will cover Easter, Summer and Christmas in 2021, and cost up to £220m. It will be available to children in every local authority in England, building on previous programmes – including this summers, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

In May, the Government provided £16m to charities to provide food for those struggling due to the immediate impacts of the pandemic. Earlier this month, a further £16m was announced to fund local charities through well-established networks and provide immediate support to front-line food aid charities who have a vital role to play in supporting people of all ages.

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on levels of unemployment in (a) the Shipley constituency, (b) the Bradford district and (c) West Yorkshire of being in Tier (i) 1, (ii) 2 and (iii) 3 of covid-19 restrictions.

The latest data on the level of unemployment available for Shipley, Bradford and West Yorkshire is for the period July 2019-June 2020. This is before the introduction of the tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England

The department is increasing unemployment support for people in all areas of the country, including Shipley, Bradford and West Yorkshire, through the Plan for Jobs package. Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) were recently launched with the Job Finding Support Service to follow. In addition, 13,500 extra Jobcentre Work Coaches are being recruited nationally to support claimants to re-enter employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the biggest pay rise given to someone in her Department was in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in the last 12 months.

Within the last 12 months, the largest increase in pay, both in percentage and cash terms, awarded within the Department for Work and Pensions was a 15.8% increase in the amount of £17,700. The recipient was a Senior Civil Servant (SCS) Pay Band 2 member of staff.

The uplift was the result of a pay exception on appointment following a level transfer from another Government Department. This was based on the recipient’s high level of skill and experience, their sustained performance, the increased responsibility associated with the role as well as their relative position on the pay range in comparison with their peers. DWP fully complied with the pay exception control process for this increased pay on appointment, meeting all relevant criteria.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to review the suspension of face-to-face (a) work capability and (b) personal independence payment assessments during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our priority throughout this health emergency continues to be to protect the public and staff, while ensuring people get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and safely. Face to face assessments remain suspended while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice. We will confirm next steps as soon as possible.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many work capability assessments have been completed in each month since 1 February 2020.

Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance Work Capability Assessment (WCA) outcomes are published quarterly. The latest figures covering the number and outcome of completed initial and repeat WCAs, by month of completed assessment up to December 2019, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

Additional breakdowns of the ESA WCA figures can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The statistics for completed assessments to March 2020 and June 2020 will be published in September and December 2020 respectively.

Statistics on Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit claimants are intended for publication in the near future as Official Statistics.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to review the uplift to universal credit.

On 20 March the Government announced a temporary increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance of £20 per week. Legislation allows this measure to continue for the 20/21 tax year.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to review the suspension of the requirement to attend Jobcentre appointments during the covid-19 outbreak.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to introduce an escalation route for complex benefits cases referred to her Department by Macmillan Cancer Support and other advice services so that urgent benefits cases can be resolved more swiftly.

We already have escalation routes in place. We have had assurance from Area Directors that escalation routes are open and working and have sufficient capacity. We are exploring alternatives to further refine the process.

We have previously advised Macmillan if they could provide specific examples of where a Jobcentre has not been able to support them or has not had capacity, that these could be shared with their National Account Manager within National Employer & Partnership Team in DWP.

In addition, we have now mobilised 10 senior safeguarding leaders who between them will cover all our regions, these roles are temporary and will be reviewed in 3 months. These leaders don’t replace any of our existing routes into DWP where there is a concern about a customer, but they are there to be the region’s escalation point if a solution cannot be found locally, or it is a serious and complex case. These leaders will also be active members of multi-agency boards in their geography.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people aged 100 years old and over receive the state pension in each country outside the UK.

The table below provides how many people aged 100 years old and over, who receive the State Pension in each country outside the UK.

Caseload

Abroad not known

20

Alderney

-

Australia

340

Austria

-

Bangladesh

-

Barbados

10

Belgium

-

Benin

-

Bermuda

-

Brazil

-

Canada

190

Cayman Islands

-

Chile

-

Cyprus

10

Denmark

-

Djibouti

-

Equatorial Guinea

-

France

30

Germany

10

Greece

-

Guernsey

10

Hong Kong

-

India

-

Israel

10

Italy

20

Jamaica

70

Jersey

10

Kenya

-

Latvia

-

Lithuania

-

Luxembourg

-

Monaco

-

Montserrat

-

New Zealand

150

Norway

-

Not known

20

Pakistan

20

Poland

-

Portugal

-

Republic of Ireland

100

Republic of Yemen

10

Sierra Leone

-

Somalia

-

South Africa

30

Spain

50

St Kitts and Nevis

-

St Lucia

-

St Vincent and The Grenadines

-

Sweden

-

Switzerland

-

Thailand

-

The Netherlands

-

Trinidad and Tobago

-

United Arab Emirates

-

USA

210

Zimbabwe

-

Total

1,390

Source: DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, August 2019.

Caseload figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Caseloads identified with ‘-‘ are negligible, but non-zero.

Caseloads exclude suspended cases.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will meet with the WASPI campaign group once the Court of Appeal proceedings are over.

The government won on all grounds in the High Court action of this matter - defending the actions of the Coalition government 2010-2015, the labour government 1997-2010 and the Conservative government 1992-1997; the department does not comment on live litigation.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2024 to Question 9342 on UK Health Security Agency: Finance, if she will publish a breakdown of the source of the vaccines income.

The vaccine income within the annual report and accounts for the UK Health Security Agency breaks down between devolved administrations, alongside a small amount of income from third parties.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much external funding the UK Health Security Agency has received in each year since it was formed; and who provided that funding.

The following table shows the details of the external funding received by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in 2021/22:

2021/22 (£,000)

Sale of Goods and Services

Laboratory and other services

41,237

Products and royalties

24,230

Education and training

959

Vaccines income

56,525

Total sale of goods and services

122,951

Other operating income

Research and related contracts and grants

6,543

Grants from the United Kingdom government

2,280

Grants from the European Union

749

Rental from investment property

212

Other operating income

9,057

Absorption gain

-

Total other operating income

18,841

Finance income

Interest receivable

272

Total finance income

272

Income Total

142,064

Note: Details of how much external funding UKHSA received in 2022/23 will be published in the UKHSA Annual Report and Accounts 2022/23.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy plans to reply to the letter of the hon. Member for Shipley dated 3 November 2023.

I replied to the hon. Member on 31 January 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she plans to introduce smoking wardens to enforce the generational ban on tobacco products.

Smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom and causes around one in four cancer deaths in the UK. It also costs our country £17 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service.

This is why the Government is planning to create a smokefree generation by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 years old or younger this year will never be legally sold tobacco products.

The Government is providing an additional £30 million a year for enforcement agencies such as trading standards, Border Force and HM Revenue and Customs to implement and enforce the law. The Smokefree generation consultation also proposes to introduce new powers for local authorities to issue on-the-spot fines, otherwise known as fixed penalty notices.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department plans to provide guidance to retailers on preventing proxy sales of tobacco products under proposals for a generational ban on the sale of those products.

Smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom and causes around one in four cancer deaths in the UK. It also costs our country £17 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service.

This is why the Government is planning to create a smokefree generation by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 years old or younger this year will never be legally sold tobacco products. The Government plans to provide guidance for retailers on the smokefree generation proposal before it begins to take effect on 1 January 2027.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Shipley to her predecessor, dated 27 September 2023.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lord Markham) replied to the hon. Member on 20 November 2023.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the level of capacity in the independent health sector which can be used to help reduce waiting times in the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

The Elective Recovery Taskforce heard that service planning in the independent sector, including to help reduce waiting times, is best informed by close working relationships with local systems and confidence in patient flows. To better inform planning and capacity utilisation in the independent sector, we are working with NHS England to enhance the patient choice offer. At the point of referral, patients will be actively offered a list of providers, including local independent sector providers, which are clinically appropriate for their condition.

From October 2023, all patients waiting over 40 weeks who have not had a first outpatient appointment booked, or where a decision to treat a patient has been made but the patient does not have a date for their treatment, will be able to initiate a request to transfer to another provider via the Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System. This will include independent sector providers where appropriate.

To reduce waiting times for diagnostic tests, NHS England recently announced 13 Community Diagnostic Centres run by the independent sector, creating capacity, and enabling treatments to be started sooner.

12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September to Question 197441 on Surgery: Shipley, in what format the is data held.

Data for elective referrals is collected and published in official statistics by NHS England, but none match the format of the data requested. Referrals particularly are not counted or recorded for “surgery” specifically but to see a consultant which may result in treatment including surgery.

Published referral to treatment statistics show, amongst other things, the number of referrals for National Health Service-funded care that resulted in elective inpatient treatment and can be disaggregated at NHS provider, independent provider, commissioner & integrated care board level geographies, but not at a constituency or general practitioner (GP) level. The monthly outpatient referrals data shows the number of referrals for an NHS funded outpatient appointment and can also be disaggregated at the provider level, including both NHS and independent. The annual hospital episode statistics (HES) publications include the total number of admissions by provider.

Furthermore, NHS England can provide from HES data a count of Finished Admission Episodes by GP practice with an elective admission where the patient was resident in the Shipley parliamentary constituency and the placement was NHS funded for the period 2018/19 to 2022/23. However, this is a count of activity rather than of referrals, namely a demand metric.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the (a) number of people directly employed by, (b) freelancers and (c) consultants in each of the health and care regulators in each of the last 10 years.

The Department does not hold information regarding the number of people employed, or the basis of that employment, within each health and care regulator. Healthcare regulators are independent from the Government.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of healthcare professional regulators; and if he will take steps to consolidate them.

In 2021 the Government commissioned a review of the number of healthcare regulators, considering whether opportunities exist for simplifying the landscape. There are no current plans to reduce the number of healthcare professional regulators, but the Government is committed to reforming the system of regulation for healthcare professionals in the UK, making it faster, fairer, more flexible, and less adversarial.

A modernised regulatory framework will be introduced first for anaesthesia associates and physician associates, who will be brought into regulation under the General Medical Council by the end of 2024, before the reformed legislation is rolled out to doctors, and to the professions regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Health and Care Professions Council over the following couple of years.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average hourly pay for NHS consultants is (a) on a typical day and (b) when covering strike action.

Within the NHS Staff Earnings Estimates collection, NHS England publishes annual earnings estimates for staff working in Hospital and Community Health Services. This shows the estimated average annual full-time basic pay for National Health Service consultants is £105,484 for the 12 months to March 2023, giving an average hourly basic pay for NHS consultants of £50.57 per hour.

The Department does not hold data on the average hourly pay for NHS consultants when covering strike action.

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introudce a cap on the cost of agency workers in the NHS.

The Agency Rules include price caps on the total amount a trust can pay per hour for an agency worker. Trusts should not pay more than this amount except in exceptional patient safety circumstances.

Additionally, the 2023/24 NHS Priorities and Operational Planning Guidance states that NHS England must reduce agency spending across the National Health Service to 3.7% of the total pay bill in 2023/24

5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of productivity in the NHS.

The most recent indicator of National Health Service productivity comes from the January to March 2023 Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) quarterly total public sector productivity measure, which is available at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/publicservicesproductivity/bulletins/publicserviceproductivityquarterlyuk/januarytomarch2023#:~:text=Public%20service%20productivity%20rose%20by%200.9%25%20in%20Quarter%201%202023,increase%20of%207.3%25%20in%202021.

This measure doesn’t specifically identify health productivity but as health is around 40% of the measure, it is an indication of health productivity. The latest figures for January to March 2023 showed public service productivity was 11.6% above the average 2020/21 level suggesting NHS productivity is recovering.

4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many referrals for elective surgery were made by each GP surgery in Shipley constituency and funded through the NHS which were made to (a) the NHS and (b) independent health providers in each of the last five years.

The data is not held in the format requested.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill.

The Department has considered the Committee’s recommendations carefully and we will publish our response shortly.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of (a) board members and (b) employees of the Care Quality Commission have previous experience in the sectors that they regulate.

There are currently 11 members of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Board, of whom eight are non-executive members appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and three are executive members appointed by the non-executive members.

Of those 11 members, all but two have experience in the sectors that CQC regulates. Details of board members’ experience can be found on CQC’s website, which is available at the following link:

https://www.cqc.org.uk/about-us/our-board

CQC does not hold data centrally to give the number and proportion of employees with previous experience in the sectors they regulate.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Health and Safety Executive has issued recent guidance to (a) NHS England and (b) the UK Health Security Agency on the use of face coverings for workers in health care settings.

The Health and Safety Executive has not issued any specific advice or guidance to the UK Health Security Agency or NHS England on the use of face coverings for workers in health care settings. Such guidance would routinely be produced by NHS England and implemented through NHS England’s National Infection Prevention and Control Manual. The National Infection Prevention and Control Manual, published in April 2022, is used by health care providers in all healthcare settings in England.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Health and Safety Executive has (a) issued guidance and (b) provided other advice to his Department on the use of face coverings for workers in health care settings.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has not issued any specific advice or guidance to the Department on the use of face coverings for workers in health care settings. This would routinely be done through NHS England or UK Health Security Agency and implemented through the NHS England’s National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM). The NIPCM, published by NHS England in April 2022, is used by health care providers in all healthcare settings in England.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 182258, tabled by the hon. Member for Shipley on 24 April 2023.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 June 2023 to Question 182258.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 31 May 2023 to Question 186059 on Protective Clothing, whether his Department has considered the potential merits of conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the recommendation.

The Department relies on a wide range of evidence and research, which may include cost-benefit analyses, when making recommendations about protective clothing and patient health. Healthcare providers in all healthcare settings across England use the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual, which was published by NHS England in April 2022. This is complemented by pathogen/disease specific guidance from the UK Health Security Agency.

NHS England has not conducted a cost-benefit analysis specifically for the guidance on protective clothing, nor do they have plans to do so. The focus of this guidance is on patients and their choice to wear their own masks within clinical settings.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 31 May 2023 to Question 186059 on Protective Clothing, if he will withdraw the recommendation for patients to wear face coverings in the absence of a cost-benefit analysis.

The Department’s recommendations regarding protective clothing and patient health are informed by a wealth of evidence and literature, sometimes including, but not limited to, cost-benefit analyses.

The recommendations in NHS England’s National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) regarding the use of face masks is informed by a literature review conducted by ARHAI Scotland, which is available at the following link:

https://www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk/media/2113/2022-01-06-surgical-masks-sicps-and-tbps-v20-final.pdf

As set out in the United Kingdom’s five year national action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance, NHS England’s National Infection Prevention and Control Team is currently undertaking literature reviews to support the NIPCM. While this process is on-going, the scientific and epidemiological data and literature remain under constant review.

22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 February 2023 to Question 141370 on Protective Clothing, if he will publish the evidence that supports the recommendation for patients at high risk of infection due to immunosuppression to continue wearing masks in NHS settings; and if he will undertake a cost benefit analysis of that recommendation.

The National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM), published by NHS England in April 2022, is used by health care providers in all healthcare settings in England and is complimented by pathogen/disease specific guidance produced by UK Health Security Agency.

The NIPCM recommends that, following risk assessment, face coverings can be worn by patients as a form of source control, providing this does not compromise their clinical care or safety. This would include patients deemed to be at increased risk of infection, such as those who are immuno-compromised, and during periods where local epidemiology indicates a likely increase in risk of nosocomial transmission of a specific pathogen. At local level, the decision regarding the implementation of this measure should be informed by clinical judgement and risk assessment.

Recommendations regarding the use of face masks is informed by a literature review conducted by Antimicrobial Resistance & Healthcare Associated Infection Scotland, which is available at the following link:

https://www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk/media/2113/2022-01-06-surgical-masks-sicps-and-tbps-v20-final.pdf

As set out in the United Kingdom’s five year national action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance, NHS England’s National Infection Prevention and Control Team is currently undertaking literature reviews to support the NIPCM. While this process is on-going, the scientific and epidemiological data and literature remain under constant review.

The Department’s first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of patients and staff, with no current plans to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the recommendation.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what peer-reviewed evidence UK Health Security Agency holds on the effectiveness of wearing face masks in public for the prevention of transmission of covid-19.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and one of its predecessor organisations, Public Health England, undertook and published multiple rapid evidence reviews on the effectiveness of face coverings in community settings for the prevention of transmission of COVID-19. The first review of the effectiveness of face coverings masks in non-healthcare settings was published on 26 June 2020, with the first updated published on 29 January 2021, followed by a second update on 9 November 2021.

The second update included 25 studies, two randomised controlled trials and 23 observational studies. Although the quality of the evidence was low/medium, it predominantly suggested that face coverings help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, through source control, wearer protection and universal masking. 14 of the 25 studies identified were peer-reviewed, nine were preprints and two were non-peer-reviewed reports. All studies were assessed by an experienced UKHSA evidence reviewer and checked by a second reviewer using the quality criteria checklist.

Due to the pace of the UKHSA COVID-19 pandemic response, independent peer review was not sought prior to publication but all evidence reviews have been subject to an internal quality assurance and formal clearance process prior to publication. All UKHSA publications contain information regarding evidence quality and review processes included for each subject reviewed.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the health implications of first cousin marriages.

The first ever National Health Service genomics strategy, published in October 2022, seeks to drive equity in access to genomic testing. One of the ways NHS England is driving equity in access to genomic testing is through the roll out of culturally competent genetics services for consanguineous couples.

Culturally competent genetics services for consanguineous couples aims to improve access to genomics services for underserved groups and give families the opportunity to make informed reproductive decisions, whilst respecting their culture, values and beliefs. Through the Equity & Equality Guidance for Local Maternity & Neonatal Services, NHS England will provide around £2.7 million of funding over three years to improve access to culturally sensitive care for families in high need areas and to make available training and support for all health and care professionals.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2023 to Question 176701 on Coronavirus: Contracts, how much funding was provided to each of the contracts that were awarded in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

A table is attached showing the individual current contract values for the majority of the 220 contracts reported as still active. On re-examining our data systems we have concluded that three of the contracts were in fact not active and should not have been included in the previous total of 220 contracts.

Individual values for 21 contracts with a total value of £7.8 billion cannot be provided as this is commercially confidential information. The great majority of these contracts by value are concerning the vaccines programme for which much information has been published in the form of Contract Award Notices on Contracts Finder, but the values have been excluded.

The remaining contracts within this group are classified as Official Sensitive due to the subject matters which they address.

29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts relating to covid-19 are ongoing; and what the value is of those contracts.

A report from the Department’s central procurement and contracts database shows 220 contracts with a value of £9.7 billion awarded by the Department and the UK Health Security Agency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are still active and ongoing as of 3 April 2023.

13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the policies are of healthcare regulations on the publication of (a) fitness to practice decisions, (b) sanctions and (c) warnings when a person changes their gender and requests their former public record is suppressed.

Professional Regulators have a statutory duty to ensure patient safety and public protection and one way in which they achieve this is by publishing relevant information relating to a professional’s fitness to practise. A healthcare professional’s fitness to practise record is tied to their unique registration record held by the relevant regulatory body, which will remain associated with the individual throughout their career. This is regardless of whether a professional changes their name and or gender. As independent bodies, the policies relating to publication of such information is a matter for each professional regulator, within the scope of their governing legislation and in line with existing data legislation and other law.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 February 2023 to Question 141370 on Protective Clothing, what the evidential basis is for the pathogen and disease-specific guidance produced by the UK Health Security Agency; and what the local risk assessment procedure is.

UK Health Security Agency considers a range of evidence when producing pathogen and disease-specific guidance. For example, reviewing the published literature and relevant guidance published by main stakeholders, such as the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; consulting with medical and subject matter experts; and considering lessons learnt from previous outbreak investigations. Guidance for specific pathogens or infectious diseases is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/topic/health-protection/infectious-diseases

All National Health Service providers have responsibility for their own Infection, Prevention and Control guidance and risk assessments. All decisions are based on clinical evidence, local infection data and are signed off by senior clinicians.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses published on 30 January 2023, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of that report's recommendations on wearing of face masks; and if he will make it his policy that no patients or visitors are required to wear face masks in NHS settings.

The Government is aware of the Cochrane Review published on 30 January 2023, which concludes that there is uncertainty about whether wearing masks helps to slow the spread of respiratory viruses based on the studies assessed.

The National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM), published in April 2022, is consistent with the recommendations in the Cochrane Review. The NIPCM is used by healthcare providers in all healthcare settings in England and is complemented by pathogen/disease specific guidance produced by UKHSA.

The NIPCM does not require patients or visitors to NHS settings to routinely wear a face mask. However, there are some circumstances where it is recommended by a local risk assessment that patients and visitors to care settings wear masks. For example, where patients are at high risk of infection due to immunosuppression.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what happens to the disciplinary records of (a) doctors and (b) nurses when they change (i) gender and (ii) name.

Healthcare workers are issued with a unique staff number when they are first appointed into a National Health Service position. This number is one of the main identifiers for personnel records and does not change during their term of employment. This is regardless as to whether the employee changes their gender and/or name.

Employers are required to retain information about their employees in accordance with employment, gender recognition and data protection laws and must follow good human resources practice, this includes any information that might be held about an individual’s disciplinary record.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of general practice appointments were carried out by (a) GPs in face-to-face consultations and (b) non-GPs in each of the last five years.

The following table shows the available data from January to October 2022 and August to December 2021 on the number and proportion of appointments conducted face-to-face by general practitioners (GPs), excluding COVID-19 vaccinations.

January to October 2022

August to December 2021

Number of face-to-face appointments with GPs

72,510,020

33,609,864

Percentage of face-to-face appointments with GPs

54.5%

49.0%

The following table shows the number and proportion of appointments undertaken by non-GP staff in general practices in England, excluding COVID-19 vaccinations since 2018.

January to October 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

Number of appointments

128.87 million

141.27 million

125.31 million

138.03 million

131.46 million

Proportion of appointments

47.5%

45.4%

45.3%

45.4%

45.6%

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 21 November to Question 83584, how many people in his Department are working on matters relating to covid-19.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 November 2022 to Question 83584.

11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the civil service headcount for their Department was on (a) 15 November 2022 and (b) 1 February 2020.

As of 15 November 2022, there were 3,978 civil servants in the Department. There were 1,766 civil servants in the Department on 1 February 2020.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many regulatory bodies NHS trusts are required to engage with.

This information is not held centrally.

There are a range of regulatory bodies with a remit for sections of National Health Service trusts’ operations, which can vary. NHS England and the Care Quality Commission are the principal organisations which every trust can expect to engage with on the quality of care, delivery of services and financial efficiency.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many employees in his Department work on matters related to covid-19.

This information is not collected centrally in the format requested. Departmental staff work on multiple policy matters simultaneously.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of A&E consultations were (a) face to face consultations and (b) carried out by GPs, in each of the last five years.

This information is not collected in the format requested.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much NHS England has spent on gender identification services in each of the last five years.

The following table outlines the total NHS England expenditure on gender identity services in each of the last five years. It provides a break down by services provided to children and adolescents versus services provided to adults.

Year

Gender identity development service for children & adolescents (£m)

Gender identity services for adults (£m)

Total (£m)

2021/22

n/a

n/a

n/a

2020/21

n/a

n/a

n/a

2019/20

8.0

26.4

34.4

2018/19

6.1

25.5

31.6

2017/18

6.8

21.6

28.4

The total expenditure for 2020/21 or 2021/22 is not held due to the financial arrangements that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2022 to Question 5377 on Health Professions: Migrant Workers, in what format the General Medical Council holds that information.

The General Medical Council (GMC) holds information about doctors with a non-United Kingdom primary medical qualification and a fitness to practise complaint enquiry received between 2019 and 2021. The GMC also holds information on how doctors with enquiries initially joined its register and the country of the primary medical qualification.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the highest ten incomes for GP practices were in each of the last 5 years for which figures are available.

This information is not held in the format requested. However, NHS Digital publishes an annual summary of National Health Service payments to general practices. These payments relate to all categories of funding paid to general practices, such as payments for direct patient care, information technology, premises, waste disposal and dispensing. The data constitutes the payments made to the practice or the invoices processed during the reporting period. It excludes additional payments which may be provided by local authorities, accruals, prepayments, other accounting adjustments and payments for non-contractual work.

Tables showing NHS payments made to the practices with the highest ten incomes in each year from 2016/17 to 2020/21 is attached. The data for 2020/21 is shown in two tables, firstly excluding payments for COVID-19 vaccinations, support and expansion and the second including such payments.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many complaints against medical professionals from overseas were not resolved within six months in each of the last three years.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints received about medical professionals and the administration of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.

The GMC has advised that the percentage of non-UK qualified doctors obtaining registration using the PLAB pathway was 42% in 2019; 40% in 2020; and 40% in 2021. The information on the number of overseas medical professionals is not held in the format requested. However, the attached table shows the number of failed sittings of part one and part two of the PLAB test by medical professionals from overseas in each of the last five years, by country of where the primary medical qualification was obtained.

As of 20 May 2022, there are 10,741 doctors with a current booking to sit the PLAB1 and 7,831 doctors with a PLAB2 exam place.

The GMC has advised that the information on the number of complaints resolved within six months is not available in the format requested. The GMC's internal target is for complaints to be resolved within 12 months. Of the complaints the GMC received in 2018 which did not meet the GMC’s internal 12-month closure target, 370 or 4.3% related to doctors with a non-UK primary medical qualification. Of complaints received in 2019, this was 460 or 5.2% and 354 or 4.2% in 2020. This includes all potential outcomes of a complaint – from closure at triage if the complaint did not meet the threshold for investigation, to full investigation with an outcome at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many medical professionals from overseas are waiting to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test as of 19 May 2022.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints received about medical professionals and the administration of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.

The GMC has advised that the percentage of non-UK qualified doctors obtaining registration using the PLAB pathway was 42% in 2019; 40% in 2020; and 40% in 2021. The information on the number of overseas medical professionals is not held in the format requested. However, the attached table shows the number of failed sittings of part one and part two of the PLAB test by medical professionals from overseas in each of the last five years, by country of where the primary medical qualification was obtained.

As of 20 May 2022, there are 10,741 doctors with a current booking to sit the PLAB1 and 7,831 doctors with a PLAB2 exam place.

The GMC has advised that the information on the number of complaints resolved within six months is not available in the format requested. The GMC's internal target is for complaints to be resolved within 12 months. Of the complaints the GMC received in 2018 which did not meet the GMC’s internal 12-month closure target, 370 or 4.3% related to doctors with a non-UK primary medical qualification. Of complaints received in 2019, this was 460 or 5.2% and 354 or 4.2% in 2020. This includes all potential outcomes of a complaint – from closure at triage if the complaint did not meet the threshold for investigation, to full investigation with an outcome at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many medical professionals from overseas have failed (a) part one and (a) part two of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test in each of the last five years, by country of origin.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints received about medical professionals and the administration of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.

The GMC has advised that the percentage of non-UK qualified doctors obtaining registration using the PLAB pathway was 42% in 2019; 40% in 2020; and 40% in 2021. The information on the number of overseas medical professionals is not held in the format requested. However, the attached table shows the number of failed sittings of part one and part two of the PLAB test by medical professionals from overseas in each of the last five years, by country of where the primary medical qualification was obtained.

As of 20 May 2022, there are 10,741 doctors with a current booking to sit the PLAB1 and 7,831 doctors with a PLAB2 exam place.

The GMC has advised that the information on the number of complaints resolved within six months is not available in the format requested. The GMC's internal target is for complaints to be resolved within 12 months. Of the complaints the GMC received in 2018 which did not meet the GMC’s internal 12-month closure target, 370 or 4.3% related to doctors with a non-UK primary medical qualification. Of complaints received in 2019, this was 460 or 5.2% and 354 or 4.2% in 2020. This includes all potential outcomes of a complaint – from closure at triage if the complaint did not meet the threshold for investigation, to full investigation with an outcome at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of medical professionals from overseas seeking employment in the UK have taken the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test in each of the last three years.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints received about medical professionals and the administration of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.

The GMC has advised that the percentage of non-UK qualified doctors obtaining registration using the PLAB pathway was 42% in 2019; 40% in 2020; and 40% in 2021. The information on the number of overseas medical professionals is not held in the format requested. However, the attached table shows the number of failed sittings of part one and part two of the PLAB test by medical professionals from overseas in each of the last five years, by country of where the primary medical qualification was obtained.

As of 20 May 2022, there are 10,741 doctors with a current booking to sit the PLAB1 and 7,831 doctors with a PLAB2 exam place.

The GMC has advised that the information on the number of complaints resolved within six months is not available in the format requested. The GMC's internal target is for complaints to be resolved within 12 months. Of the complaints the GMC received in 2018 which did not meet the GMC’s internal 12-month closure target, 370 or 4.3% related to doctors with a non-UK primary medical qualification. Of complaints received in 2019, this was 460 or 5.2% and 354 or 4.2% in 2020. This includes all potential outcomes of a complaint – from closure at triage if the complaint did not meet the threshold for investigation, to full investigation with an outcome at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many complaints have been made against medical professionals from overseas who (a) have and (b) have not sat the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board in each of the last three years, by country of origin of the medical professional.

No specific estimate has been made and information on the number of complaints is not collected centrally. The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints it receives about medical professionals and the administration of Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board tests. The GMC has advised that the information is not currently held in the format requested. The GMC is analysing and validating this data for future publication.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of medical professionals from overseas practicing in the UK who have not taken the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test.

No specific estimate has been made and information on the number of complaints is not collected centrally. The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints it receives about medical professionals and the administration of Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board tests. The GMC has advised that the information is not currently held in the format requested. The GMC is analysing and validating this data for future publication.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will detail the losses and special payments valued at under £300,000 for his departmental group as defined by section A4.10.7 in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The departmental group includes 25 arm’s length bodies, 135 clinical commissioning groups and 219 National Health Service providers. Each legal entity within the group discloses the losses and special payments within its annual report and accounts. The Department’s Annual Report and Accounts includes the consolidated number and total value of losses and special payments for the entire departmental group.

The Department does not collect details relating to all losses and special payments below £300,000 from its underlying group bodies, therefore this information is not available for the departmental group. The Department’s losses and special payments from 2018/19 to 2020/21 is shown in the attached tables.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department and its agencies remove all internal covid-19 related policies, restrictions and mask mandates.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department has followed the Government’s guidance in setting out its internal COVID-19 related policies. This includes complying with the Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance which sets out the key actions organisations should take to protect employees and customers in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in workplaces, along with carrying out health and safety risk assessments that include the ongoing risk from COVID-19.

On 21 February 2022, the Government published their COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19. This sets out how and when the remaining restrictions will be lifted in England. The Government’s guidance was subsequently amended, including the Working Safely guidance.

The Government’s Working Safely guidance, which was revised on 24 February 2022, continues to require organisations to carry out a risk assessment which includes the risk from COVID-19. It also sets out additional actions organisations can take to protect employees in the workplace, such as ensuring adequate ventilation, frequent cleaning, asking people to wash their hands frequently and asking people with COVID-19 to stay away. The guidance advises that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet, when rates of transmission are high. Civil Service employers will continue to follow this guidance and align their policies accordingly. There is no mandation for Departmental colleagues to wear masks in offices.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to end requirements for mandatory covid-19 vaccination for care workers and NHS staff.

The Secretary of State announced on the 31 January that the Government intends to revoke the regulations making vaccination a condition of deployment in health and social care, subject to consultation.

We have today published the Government’s response to the consultation undertaken. This confirms that we will revoke the vaccination as a condition of deployment requirements.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will increase the funding for research into tinnitus.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including tinnitus, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

The NIHR’s support for tinnitus research was over £1.5 million between 2016/17 and 2021/22. This included funding for research projects and funding for NIHR managed infrastructure to support tinnitus research. Current NIHR funding includes £15 million over five years from April 2017 to support deafness and hearing loss research in NIHR’s Manchester, University College London and Nottingham Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). The Nottingham BRC has a core research theme on tinnitus and noise sensitivity.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing an opt-out independent mental health advocacy service as part of his reforms of the Mental Health Act.

The white paper ‘Reforming the Mental Health Act’, published in January 2021, set out proposals to expand access to an advocate to voluntary or informal patients and to consider an ‘opt out model’. These proposals received significant support at public consultation and we are now exploring the associated costs and practicalities. This includes examining current independent mental health advocate uptake and existing opt out models which have been successfully implemented in some areas.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help expand entitlement to independent mental health advocacy to voluntary or informal patients as part of his reforms of the Mental Health Act.

The white paper ‘Reforming the Mental Health Act’, published in January 2021, set out proposals to expand access to an advocate to voluntary or informal patients and to consider an ‘opt out model’. These proposals received significant support at public consultation and we are now exploring the associated costs and practicalities. This includes examining current independent mental health advocate uptake and existing opt out models which have been successfully implemented in some areas.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people in hospital with covid-19 were (a) in hospital with another condition and contracted covid-19 while in hospital and (b) admitted to hospital with covid-19 in each of the last three months.

The information requested on the proportion of people who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and those who contracted the virus in the last three months is not available. The following table shows the number of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst in hospital between 7 April and 30 June.

Month

Number of patients

7 - 30 April

1,957

May

1,479

June

2,799

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Note:

  1. Data is only available from 7 April 2021.

The following table shows the number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between 1 April and 30 June.

Month

Number of patients

April

5,258

May

2,569

June

4,158

Source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

Note:

  1. Data only includes confirmed cases.
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his current policy is on the wearing of face coverings in his (a) Department, (b) departmental agencies and (c) related bodies during the covid-19 outbreak.

A COVID-19 risk assessment has been carried out following the framework provided by the Health and Safety Executive. In line with this assessment, the Department does not currently require face coverings to be worn by staff in departmental buildings. Those who do wish to wear them will be supported to do so safely.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the consultation Women's Health Strategy Call for Evidence, if he will make it his policy to launch a consultation into men's health outcomes.

The women’s health strategy for England is in development. The Department does not have a specific men’s health strategy. However, relevant issues are identified and policy developed on a condition specific basis, for example in cardiovascular disease and mental health. There are no current plans to launch a consultation on men’s health outcomes.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve health outcomes for gender-specific health matters for (a) men and (b) women.

The women’s health strategy for England is in development. The Department does not have a specific men’s health strategy. However, relevant issues are identified and policy developed on a condition specific basis, for example in cardiovascular disease and mental health. There are no current plans to launch a consultation on men’s health outcomes.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the number of (a) men and (b) women receiving the covid-19 vaccination; and what steps he is taking to ensure that equal numbers of men and women receive that vaccination.

No specific comparative assessment has been made on the number of men and women receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The ‘UK COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan’ published in February sets out the Government’s approach to ensure that all groups have the opportunity to receive the vaccine. The plan is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-uptake-plan/uk-covid-19-vaccine-uptake-plan

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of which mental health hospitals are most in need of capital investment.

The Department has made no specific assessments. Trusts are legally responsible for maintaining their estates and providing healthcare services, with their boards deciding which investments they make. The Estates Returns Information Collection is completed by all trusts, including mental health trusts, on an annual basis and contains information relating to the costs of providing, maintaining and servicing the National Health Service estate, including the capital cost of bringing the full estate to a defined standard. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement draw on this assessment and other data to secure and direct national funding.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of need for capital funding in acute mental health hospitals.

The Department has made no specific assessments. Trusts are legally responsible for maintaining their estates and providing healthcare services, with their boards deciding which investments they make. The Estates Returns Information Collection is completed by all trusts, including mental health trusts, on an annual basis and contains information relating to the costs of providing, maintaining and servicing the National Health Service estate, including the capital cost of bringing the full estate to a defined standard. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement draw on this assessment and other data to secure and direct national funding.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will meet the Bradford District Care Trust to discuss the need for investment at Lynfield Mount Hospital.

We have no current plans to do so.

On 17 July we launched the process for trusts to express an interest in being selected for funding for eight new hospitals to be built by 2030 in England.

The Department welcomes applications from all trusts, including Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, who meet the criteria. Local health systems have received confirmation of their capital funding for 2021/22 which enables them to progress priority investments agreed with local health partners.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have developed a disability as a result of receiving the covid-19 vaccination.

It is not possible at present to quantify the number of people left disabled as a result of a COVID-19 vaccination. Disability has a wide-ranging definition, including the length of time for which a condition persists. It should be noted that a report of an adverse drug reaction does not mean that it was caused by the drug or vaccine. Clinical decisions on whether a vaccine has caused a disability are considered on a case by case basis and will include consideration as to whether there may have been other factors involved, such as other pre-existing conditions. Any functionality outcomes for such patients evolve over time and depend on multiple factors such as type of adverse event that occurred, patient’s age and underlying conditions.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2020, HCWS652, on Unconscious bias training, what steps he has taken to phase out unconscious bias training in his Department.

The Civil Service is committed to maintaining a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. This includes deploying a range of evidence-based interventions but where the evidence does not support its continued use, as is the case with unconscious bias training, we have removed from our mandatory training.

In line with advice and guidance from Civil Service Human Resources, we provide training that focuses on inclusion.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been left disabled as a result of a covid-19 vaccination.

It is not possible at present to quantify the number of people left disabled as a result of a COVID-19 vaccination. Disability has a wide-ranging definition, including the length of time for which a condition persists. It should be noted that a report of an adverse drug reaction does not mean that it was caused by the drug or vaccine. Clinical decisions on whether a vaccine has caused a disability are considered on a case by case basis and will include consideration as to whether there may have been other factors involved, such as other pre-existing conditions. Any functionality outcomes for such patients evolve over time and depend on multiple factors such as type of adverse event that occurred, patient’s age and underlying conditions.

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been hospitalised within 28 days of receiving a covid-19 vaccination.

This data is not available in the format requested.

The technical briefing published by Public Health England provides the latest data regarding hospitalisations and deaths by variant, including the Delta variant and data on those who are vaccinated with one and both doses and unvaccinated. This data is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-novel-sars-cov-2-variant-variant-of-concern-20201201

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 165, what steps he has taken to record the number of urgent operations cancelled since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

The collection of data on cancelled operations has remained paused in order to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the ongoing pandemic response.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium's tendering process for contracts for rapid covid-19 tests is equitable and competitive.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is not a Government organisation therefore the information requested on its creation and internal processes is not held centrally.

No funding has been allocated through the UK-RTC.

Members of the Consortium who have been awarded contracts have done so through compliant procurement processes unrelated to the UK-RTC.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the criteria are for membership of the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is not a Government organisation therefore the information requested on its creation and internal processes is not held centrally.

No funding has been allocated through the UK-RTC.

Members of the Consortium who have been awarded contracts have done so through compliant procurement processes unrelated to the UK-RTC.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated to the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium (a) centrally and (b) to each of its members.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is not a Government organisation therefore the information requested on its creation and internal processes is not held centrally.

No funding has been allocated through the UK-RTC.

Members of the Consortium who have been awarded contracts have done so through compliant procurement processes unrelated to the UK-RTC.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the membership of the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium; and on what date each Member was admitted to that consortium.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is not a Government organisation therefore the information requested on its creation and internal processes is not held centrally.

No funding has been allocated through the UK-RTC.

Members of the Consortium who have been awarded contracts have done so through compliant procurement processes unrelated to the UK-RTC.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the purpose is of the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium; and on what date that consortium was founded.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is not a Government organisation therefore the information requested on its creation and internal processes is not held centrally.

No funding has been allocated through the UK-RTC.

Members of the Consortium who have been awarded contracts have done so through compliant procurement processes unrelated to the UK-RTC.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has entered into any contracts for the provision of rapid covid-19 tests with organisations that are not members of the UK Rapid Antigen Test Consortium.

The Department has entered into contracts with Innova for the provision of self-test lateral flow devices (LFDs) and Innova, Abbott and Orient Gene, through their distributor Tanner Pharma, for the provision of assisted LFDs.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his cancellation of outstanding orders for rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests with Abingdon Health in January 2021, what steps he has taken to improve his Department’s commissioning process.

No contract was awarded to Abingdon Health Limited in October 2020.

The Department continues to use the appropriate procurement procedures within the Public Contract Regulations to award contracts to suppliers. All suppliers pass through a rigorous regulatory and validation process to ensure that they meet the same high quality standards.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which companies and organisations competed for the contract that was awarded in October 2020 to Abingdon Health to provide 1 million rapid covid-19 tests; and which criteria Abingdon Health fulfilled in order to be awarded that contract.

No contract was awarded to Abingdon Health Limited in October 2020.

The Department continues to use the appropriate procurement procedures within the Public Contract Regulations to award contracts to suppliers. All suppliers pass through a rigorous regulatory and validation process to ensure that they meet the same high quality standards.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how Surescreen Diagnostics was awarded a contract for 24 months until January 2023 for the manufacture of Lateral Flow Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2; where and how that contract was advertised; and what criteria were used to select that company.

This contract was awarded in January 2021, before the current lockdown easing measures were announced. The contract is flexible and does not contain committed volumes of purchasing of tests. We are able to alter the amount of tests bought through this contract on a monthly basis and have the necessary contract clauses to exit the contract at short notice if required.

The contract was awarded under Regulation 32 measures in procurement procedures, based on the urgent nature of the requirement for lateral flow antigen tests and the lack of sovereign capability to produce these products in the United Kingdom. Worldwide manufacturers with tests validated for use in the UK were invited to make manufacturing proposals, including licencing production and were evaluated on the basis of a range of criteria including cost, performance and location/ability to provide security of supply.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason Surescreen Diagnostics has been awarded a contract for 24 months until January 2023 for the manufacture of lateral flow antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 in the context of the potential removal of legal limits on social contact on 21 June 2021 as set out in the Government's roadmap out of lockdown.

This contract was awarded in January 2021, before the current lockdown easing measures were announced. The contract is flexible and does not contain committed volumes of purchasing of tests. We are able to alter the amount of tests bought through this contract on a monthly basis and have the necessary contract clauses to exit the contract at short notice if required.

The contract was awarded under Regulation 32 measures in procurement procedures, based on the urgent nature of the requirement for lateral flow antigen tests and the lack of sovereign capability to produce these products in the United Kingdom. Worldwide manufacturers with tests validated for use in the UK were invited to make manufacturing proposals, including licencing production and were evaluated on the basis of a range of criteria including cost, performance and location/ability to provide security of supply.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of the equipment loaned by his Department to Omega Diagnostics; what the purpose is of each such loan; and what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the equipment is used exclusively for the purpose of delivering its contract with the Government formed in March 2021 for the manufacture of Lateral Flow Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The end date for the Omega Diagnostics contract is March 2022, with the option for a further year extension if necessary. The contract is a flexible contract which does not contain any commitment to volume or value. Manufacturers worldwide with tests validated for use in the United Kingdom were invited to make proposals including licencing production and were evaluated on the basis of a range of criteria including cost, performance and location/ability to provide security of supply. We engaged with the UK Rapid Test Consortium and members were invited to provide capability statements on their ability to manufacture at scale. Based on these statements, qualified Consortium members were invited to enter precontract agreements and contract discussions.

The following table shows the equipment loaned to Omega Diagnostics and the purpose of each loan. The equipment loaned is specific mass production technology to allow increased production for lateral flow antigen tests. All equipment has been loaned under strict contractual arrangements that constrain its use solely for the purpose of Government need in addressing the pandemic. No other use of the equipment is permitted.

Equipment

Function/purpose of loan

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what market engagement exercise took place which led to the formation of the contract with Omega Diagnostics in March 2021 for the manufacture of Lateral Flow Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The end date for the Omega Diagnostics contract is March 2022, with the option for a further year extension if necessary. The contract is a flexible contract which does not contain any commitment to volume or value. Manufacturers worldwide with tests validated for use in the United Kingdom were invited to make proposals including licencing production and were evaluated on the basis of a range of criteria including cost, performance and location/ability to provide security of supply. We engaged with the UK Rapid Test Consortium and members were invited to provide capability statements on their ability to manufacture at scale. Based on these statements, qualified Consortium members were invited to enter precontract agreements and contract discussions.

The following table shows the equipment loaned to Omega Diagnostics and the purpose of each loan. The equipment loaned is specific mass production technology to allow increased production for lateral flow antigen tests. All equipment has been loaned under strict contractual arrangements that constrain its use solely for the purpose of Government need in addressing the pandemic. No other use of the equipment is permitted.

Equipment

Function/purpose of loan

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the end date is of the contract with Omega Diagnostics signed in March 2021 for the manufacture of Lateral Flow Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2; and what the value is of that contract.

The end date for the Omega Diagnostics contract is March 2022, with the option for a further year extension if necessary. The contract is a flexible contract which does not contain any commitment to volume or value. Manufacturers worldwide with tests validated for use in the United Kingdom were invited to make proposals including licencing production and were evaluated on the basis of a range of criteria including cost, performance and location/ability to provide security of supply. We engaged with the UK Rapid Test Consortium and members were invited to provide capability statements on their ability to manufacture at scale. Based on these statements, qualified Consortium members were invited to enter precontract agreements and contract discussions.

The following table shows the equipment loaned to Omega Diagnostics and the purpose of each loan. The equipment loaned is specific mass production technology to allow increased production for lateral flow antigen tests. All equipment has been loaned under strict contractual arrangements that constrain its use solely for the purpose of Government need in addressing the pandemic. No other use of the equipment is permitted.

Equipment

Function/purpose of loan

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Reel to reel

Plotting

Laminator

Laminating

Reel to reel

Plotting

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Foil wrapper

Wrapping

Thermal transfer printer

Wrapping

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Automated assembler

Cassette assembling

Converging conveyor

Wrapping

Desiccant dispenser

Wrapping

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Cutter

Cassette assembling

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of the (a) revenue and (b) capital expenditure of the NHS was spent on (i) physical health and (ii) mental health in each of the last three years.

Information on the capital and revenue spend on both mental and physical health is not held in the format requested. There is no specific measure for spending on ‘physical health’ and some spending on physical health conditions will include treatment for mental health. While spend on specialist mental health services is available, it is not known how much non-specialist activity is devoted to mental health.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many urgent operations have been cancelled since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak in the UK in March 2020.

The information requested is not held.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Government holds on the amount of funding disbursed from the public purse for the provision of critical care beds in each of the last 30 years.

This information is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were admitted from the community into NHS hospitals specifically for the treatment of covid-19 symptoms, as opposed to being discovered to be infected after admission, from 1 March 2020 to 1 August 2020; and of those so admitted, how many were (i) admitted from a care home and (ii) readmitted after prior discharge from hospital with a covid-19 diagnosis.

This data is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Question 157049 on Coronavirus: Disease Control, what informal assessment has been made on that matter.

Public Health England (PHE) has made no such assessment.

PHE collects data on disease surveillance for example on flu and other respiratory pathogens. However, these reports do not show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immunity of children and adults.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, (a) how many and (b) on what topics Ministerial Directions have been issued by his Department to Public Health England.

Public Health England has not received any ministerial directions since its inception in April 2013.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 135878, on Coronavirus: Disease Control, in what format that data is available.

The data collected on each individual positive case from a specific date does not show whether that individual is later admitted to hospital.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what organisational change in public health he has identified as necessary to prepare for future pandemics.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 24 March (HCWS884), from 1 April, we will formally establish the new United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The UKHSA will be the country’s permanent standing capacity to prepare for, prevent and respond to threats to health.

While Public Health England’s remit has spanned both health protection and health improvement, the UKHSA will be focused entirely on planning for, preventing and responding to the risk of future infectious disease pandemics and other major health threats. The UKHSA will work with partners around the world, lead the UK’s global contribution to global health protection research and hold responsibility for health security scientific capabilities including those at Porton Down and Colindale.

The transition of responsibilities and capabilities from Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace into the new Agency will take place over the coming months, with the UKHSA fully operational from October 2021. Key performance metrics for the UKHSA will be determined as part of this transition.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has for the role of National Institute for Health Protection in public health; how that role will differ from the role currently performed by Public Health England; and what the body’s Key Performance Indicators will be.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 24 March (HCWS884), from 1 April, we will formally establish the new United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The UKHSA will be the country’s permanent standing capacity to prepare for, prevent and respond to threats to health.

While Public Health England’s remit has spanned both health protection and health improvement, the UKHSA will be focused entirely on planning for, preventing and responding to the risk of future infectious disease pandemics and other major health threats. The UKHSA will work with partners around the world, lead the UK’s global contribution to global health protection research and hold responsibility for health security scientific capabilities including those at Porton Down and Colindale.

The transition of responsibilities and capabilities from Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace into the new Agency will take place over the coming months, with the UKHSA fully operational from October 2021. Key performance metrics for the UKHSA will be determined as part of this transition.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made in establishing the National Institute for Health Protection as a replacement for Public Health England.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 24 March (HCWS884), from 1 April, we will formally establish the new United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The UKHSA will be the country’s permanent standing capacity to prepare for, prevent and respond to threats to health.

While Public Health England’s remit has spanned both health protection and health improvement, the UKHSA will be focused entirely on planning for, preventing and responding to the risk of future infectious disease pandemics and other major health threats. The UKHSA will work with partners around the world, lead the UK’s global contribution to global health protection research and hold responsibility for health security scientific capabilities including those at Porton Down and Colindale.

The transition of responsibilities and capabilities from Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace into the new Agency will take place over the coming months, with the UKHSA fully operational from October 2021. Key performance metrics for the UKHSA will be determined as part of this transition.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the Leipzig University Hospital study relating to impaired breathing caused by face coverings.

The Department has not undertaken a specific assessment. However, the Scientific Group for Emergencies and Public Health England regularly monitor and review the international evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of wearing a mask on the level of microplastic inhalation by the wearer.

Masks which fall under the classification of personal protective equipment (PPE) must meet stringent safety and technical standards, which are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-specifications-for-personal-protective-equipment-ppe/essential-technical-requirements-for-ppe-medical-devices-further-information-for-manufacturers-and-suppliers

Any mask manufactured to a standard will have passed essential health and safety requirements. A product regulator such as the Health and Safety Executive or the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will have confirmed they are safe for use. For fabric face coverings, microplastic inhalation should not arise as the Government’s guidance states that a face covering should cover nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably and therefore be made of a material the wearer finds breathable, such as cotton.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of hospital beds that will be needed for (a) covid and (b) influenza patients in January 2022; and what steps he is taking to ensure that there is capacity in respect of (i) beds and (ii) staffing in the NHS during that period.

There remains significant uncertainty on scenarios for future hospital bed occupancy levels for COVID-19 and flu. Planning guidance for the National Health Service for the financial year 2021-2022 will be published shortly by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 157048, what investment he is making in primary care and community services to increase capacity to prepare for a potential increase in demand.

The NHS Long Term Plan guarantees that investment in primary medical and community services will grow faster than the overall National Health Service budget. The Plan commits to a record level of additional annual investment in primary medical and community care of an extra £4.5 billion in real terms by 2023/24. In 2020, committed to at least a further £1.5 billion in cash terms for general practice until 2023/24.

Recognising additional pressures on general practice as a result of the pandemic, NHS England has made available £150 million to help expand general practitioner capacity up to the end of March 2021. The potential need for further COVID-19 funding for the early part of 2021/22 is being kept under review.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the evidence base for wearing facemasks during the covid-19 outbreak is kept up to date.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and Public Health England (PHE) regularly monitor and review the international evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings. PHE has also undertaken rapid reviews of the evidence related to the effectiveness of face coverings in the community for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 with the latest update in January 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with Professor Neil Ferguson in each of the last 12 months.

Departmental Ministers have been present at two meetings where Professor Ferguson was invited to attend.

Departmental officials have been present at over 60 meetings where Professor Ferguson also attended. In addition, there are a range of standing weekly meetings where Professor Ferguson is a member or participant and Departmental officials are also present or provide the secretariat function.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February to Question 157295 on Coronavirus: Protective Clothing, if he will publish those reviews and the scientific evidence upon which they were based.

Copies of the reviews ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19: a rapid review’ and ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19 A rapid review (update 1)’ are enclosed. Both documents contain references to the scientific literature that was reviewed as part of the study.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of face masks in controlling the transmission of covid-19.

In June 2020, Public Health England (PHE) completed a rapid review of the evidence related to face coverings in the community and COVID-19 and concluded that “the beneficial effects of wearing masks may be increased when combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as hand washing and social distancing.” A second review, published in January 2021, found evidence consistent with the findings of the first review, that the use of face coverings in the community helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, PHE continue to advocate the same measures of wearing face coverings in specified community settings, alongside social distancing and good hand hygiene. We keep our face covering policy under review, guided by the advice of our scientific and medical experts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence his Department used to implement mandatory face coverings to control the transmission of covid-19.

Face coverings are largely intended to protect others and not the wearer against the spread of infection. Evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings is constantly developing.

In June 2020, Public Health England (PHE) used an established methodology to complete a rapid review of the evidence related to face coverings in the community and COVID-19 and concluded that “the beneficial effects of wearing masks may be increased when combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as hand washing and social distancing.” A second review, published in January 2021, found evidence consistent with the findings of the first review, that the use of face coverings in the community helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, PHE continue to advocate the same measures of wearing face coverings in specified community settings. We keep our face covering policy under review, guided by the advice of scientific and medical experts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) lockdowns and (b) social distancing on the immunity of (i) children and (ii) adults to other viruses; and if he will publish the scientific evidence upon which that assessment is based.

No formal assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to review the mandatory use of face coverings in shops.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020, on the wearing of face coverings in shops, came into force on 24 July 2020. They include a requirement for a review to be undertaken within six months of coming into force. This internal review took place in January and concluded that the Regulations remain necessary, proportionate to protect public health and minimise the spread of COVID-19 and therefore should remain in force. The Principal Regulations will expire after 12 months from the day on which they came into force.

We keep our face covering policy under constant review, guided by the advice of our scientific and medical experts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the risk to public health of face coverings being discarded as litter.

COVID-19 is known to spread primarily through respiratory particles and the advice of our scientific experts has been that the risk of transmission is greater in enclosed, indoor spaces. Therefore, we do not expect face coverings that are incorrectly discarded as litter to pose a major source of transmission and hence a risk to public health.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on the compulsory wearing of face masks of the November 2020 Danish study on such coverings.

In January 2021, Public Health England (PHE) updated their rapid evidence review of the international literature on the effectiveness of face coverings for reducing community transmission of COVID-19. This review concluded that the use of face coverings in the community can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community when used as part of a range of mitigations (including social distancing). PHE continues to monitor the evidence on the use of face coverings, including the DANMASK study, which reported inconclusive results.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to permanently increase bed capacity in the NHS.

There are currently no plans to permanently increase bed capacity across the National Health Service. However, we continue to work closely with the NHS on capacity planning to ensure we have sufficient beds to meet future demand. Our hospitals continue to flex their bed capacity as part of planning to meet the demand from both elective and emergency streams and we are working hard with trusts to maximise the number of open beds.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many meetings (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) his officials have had with (i) Professor Robert Dingwall, (ii) Professor Carl Heneghan, (iii) Professor Anthony Brookes and (iv) Professor Hugh Pennington in each of the last 12 months.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Innovation (Lord Bethell) joined meeting 13 of the Moral and Ethical Advisory Group via teleconference on 10 June 2020 at which Professor Robert Dingwall was also present.

The Chief Medical Officer attended a roundtable meeting of scientists, chaired by the Prime Minister on 20 September 2020, at which Professor Carl Heneghan was present.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of reduction in transmission of covid-19 as a result of the public wearing face coverings.

In making its recommendations to the Government, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies considered the evidence from a number of different studies and their conclusions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-21-april-2020

In June 2020, Public Health England (PHE) used an established methodology to complete a rapid review of the evidence related to face coverings in the community and COVID-19 and concluded that “the beneficial effects of wearing masks may be increased when combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as hand washing and social distancing”. A second review, published in January 2021, found evidence consistent with the findings of the first review, that the use of face coverings in the community helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, PHE continue to advocate the same measures of wearing face coverings in specified community settings, alongside social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the full scientific basis for the compulsory wearing of face coverings in public places to control the spread of covid-19.

In making its recommendations to the Government, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies considered the evidence from a number of different studies and their conclusions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-21-april-2020

In June 2020, Public Health England (PHE) used an established methodology to complete a rapid review of the evidence related to face coverings in the community and COVID-19 and concluded that “the beneficial effects of wearing masks may be increased when combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as hand washing and social distancing”. A second review, published in January 2021, found evidence consistent with the findings of the first review, that the use of face coverings in the community helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, PHE continue to advocate the same measures of wearing face coverings in specified community settings, alongside social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2021 to Question 135883 on Care Homes: Coronavirus, in what format his Department holds that information.

Information on the number of deaths in care homes involving COVID-19 notified to the Care Quality Commission in England is published by the Office of National Statistics is available at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/numberofdeathsincarehomesnotifiedtothecarequalitycommissionengland

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 135882 on Hospitals: Coronavirus, in what format his Department holds that information.

Given the incubation period of the virus and local differences in application of testing protocols, it is not possible to definitively determine the number of people who contracted the virus while in hospital in England to date. NHS England and NHS Improvement publish daily deaths data, but the number of those who may have caught COVID-19 in hospital is not collected.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 135884 on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, in what format his Department holds that information.

The annual data for mental health services presents numbers and percentages of individuals in contact with National Health Service-funded secondary mental health, learning disability and autism services including those referred throughout the year. This takes into account the fact that some individuals may have been referred multiple times during a year. Data is broken down by age and percentage of the population. Data relating solely to the rate of referrals per 100,000 population is not available.

Due to changes in the dataset in 2016/17, it is not possible to provide comparable rates for years prior to 2017/18. The annual data is published by NHS Digital as part of its annual mental health bulletin and the most recent publication, published on 28 January, is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-bulletin

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 100316 on Coronavirus: Contact Tracing, in what format his Department holds that information.

The following table shows the number of people in the Test and Trace Programme at each civil service grade.

Grade

Total

Administrative Officer

2

Executive Officer

138

Higher Executive Officer

399

Senior Executive Officer

212

Grade 7

301

Grade 6

181

Senior Civil Servant Payband 1

108

Senior Civil Servant Payband 2

31

Senior Civil Servant Payband 3

2

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the rate of referrals to mental health services in 2020 for (a) adults and (b) children compared to previous years.

The information in the attached table shows that adult and child referrals to secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services increased during the first and second month of 2020 compared with 2019. Referrals then decreased from March and increased again from June onwards. Data for November and December 2020 have not yet been published. We have provided the last two years of data, to data quality.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the ratio of covid-19 (a) hospital admissions to (b) community infections in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Public Health England has not yet conducted an analysis of the ratio of COVID-19 hospital admissions to community infections.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS beds in acute hospitals were available for use on 31 December in each of the last 10 years.

The total number of National Health Service beds available in acute hospitals is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Jan 2021