Philippa Whitford Portrait

Philippa Whitford

Scottish National Party - Central Ayrshire

First elected: 7th May 2015


Scottish Affairs Committee
9th Jan 2023 - 18th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland)
12th Dec 2022 - 4th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe)
1st Feb 2020 - 12th Dec 2022
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
20th Jun 2017 - 14th Dec 2021
Health and Care Bill
7th Sep 2021 - 2nd Nov 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)
7th Jan 2020 - 31st Jan 2020
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Health and Social Care Committee
14th Jan 2019 - 13th May 2019
Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (Joint)
27th Feb 2019 - 6th Mar 2019
Draft Health Service Safety Investigation Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Apr 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Apr 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Health)
20th May 2015 - 20th Jun 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Philippa Whitford has voted in 609 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Philippa Whitford 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
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(89 debate interactions)
Edward Argar (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(65 debate interactions)
Justin Madders (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Employment Rights and Protections)
(25 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(297 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(45 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Health and Care Act 2022
(35,208 words contributed)
Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021
(3,065 words contributed)
NHS Funding Act 2020
(2,265 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Philippa Whitford's debates

Central Ayrshire 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

Cervical screening needs to be every year.

This is because women are dying, mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters and sisters are dying.


Latest EDMs signed by Philippa Whitford

18th April 2024
Philippa Whitford signed this EDM on Saturday 20th April 2024

RBS branch closures

Tabled by: Deidre Brock (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh North and Leith)
That this House recognises the importance of maintaining bank branch services; regrets the latest closures announced by the Natwest banking group, which operates Royal Bank of Scotland, and the decision to close 18 of its 86 RBS branches across Scotland, with three branches in Edinburgh set to close including Leith, …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 15
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
18th April 2024
Philippa Whitford signed this EDM as a sponsor on Saturday 20th April 2024

Father Martin Chambers

Tabled by: Alan Brown (Scottish National Party - Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
That this House expresses its profound sadness at the sudden passing of Father Martin Chambers, a beloved priest of the Diocese of Galloway and Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Dunkeld, who tragically passed away on 10 April 2024; notes with deep sorrow the loss felt by the people of Galloway …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Labour: 1
View All Philippa Whitford's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Philippa Whitford, 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.


Philippa Whitford has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Philippa Whitford has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Philippa Whitford


A Bill to provide protections for whistleblowers; to create offences relating to the treatment of whistleblowers and the handling of whistleblowing cases; to establish an independent body to protect whistleblowers and whistleblowing, in accordance with the public interest; to make provision for that body to set, monitor and enforce standards for the management of whistleblowing cases, to provide disclosure and advice services, to direct whistleblowing investigations and to order redress of detriment suffered by whistleblowers; to repeal the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 25th September 2020
(Read Debate)

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 reform the Universal Credit application process; to make provision about advice and assistance for claimants, and arrangements for payments; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 27th November 2017
(Read Debate)

25 Bills co-sponsored by Philippa Whitford

Sun Protection Products (Value Added Tax) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Amy Callaghan (SNP)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Darren Henry (Con)

Immigration and Nationality Fees (Exemption for NHS Clinical Staff) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Rob Roberts (Ind)

Banking and postal services (rural areas) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Drew Hendry (SNP)

Motor Vehicle Tests (Diesel Particulate Filters) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Barry Sheerman (LAB)

Flexible Working Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Tulip Siddiq (Lab)

Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Chris Stephens (SNP)

Wellbeing of Future Generations (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Caroline Lucas (Green)

Trade Agreements (Exclusion of National Health Services) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Peter Grant (SNP)

Tobacco Companies (Transparency) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Bob Blackman (Con)

Compensation Orders (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Andrew Griffiths (Con)

Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019
Sponsor - Geoffrey Robinson (Lab)

Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Madeleine Moon (Lab)

Defibrillators (Availability) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Maria Caulfield (Con)

Green Deal (Conduct of Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Ltd) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Alan Brown (SNP)

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

Health Impacts (Public Sector Duty) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Luciana Berger (LD)

Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Alison Thewliss (SNP)

Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (England) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Fiona Bruce (Con)

Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Bambos Charalambous (Lab)

School Holidays (Meals and Activities) 2017-19
Sponsor - Lord Field of Birkenhead (XB)

Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017
Sponsor - Kevin Hollinrake (Con)

Government Services (Telecommunication Charges) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Chris Stephens (SNP)

Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Alison Thewliss (SNP)

Defibrillators (Availability) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Maria Caulfield (Con)


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will hold discussions with employer representatives on freedom of speech in the context of the conflict in Israel-Palestine.

The Minister for Women and Equalities has met with Jewish employers to discuss the impact of rising antisemitism on their staff.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any Departments are using artificial intelligence-based systems to make automated decisions.

The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in the Cabinet Office is working with departments to establish the frameworks and policies to guide the responsible adoption of new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

The requested information relating to specific departmental use of artificial intelligence systems to make automated decisions is not centrally held.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Dec 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to issue a formal response to the report by Sir Robert Francis on compensation for those affected by contaminated blood.

I refer the Hon Member to the statement I made in the House on 15 December.

13th Dec 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date her Department last received an update from the Infected Blood Inquiry team in relation to the Government response to the report by Sir Robert Francis.

I refer the Hon Member to the statement I made in the House on 15 December.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of deaths in people’s own homes since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

A response to the hon. Member’s Parliamentary Question of 2nd September is attached. I have requested that a copy of the data summarising weekly home deaths is deposited in the libraries of both Houses in Parliament.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the immunological limits of covid-19 status certification.

The Government committed to explore whether and how COVID-status certification might be used to reopen our economy, reduce restrictions on social contact and improve safety. As set out in the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021,’ the Government will set out its conclusions on the COVID-status Certification Review in advance of Step 4 of the Roadmap, in order to inform the safe reopening of society and the economy.

An update on the Roadmap Reviews was published on 5 April and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021-reviews-terms-of-reference/roadmap-reviews-update.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform promotes innovation in the development of cancer medicines.

The Terms of Reference for the Taskforce have been published on GOV.UK. As set out there, the Taskforce has been commissioned by the Prime Minister to consider opportunities for regulatory reform across the economy independently, and to report to him in April. It is a matter for the Taskforce to decide its areas of focus within the Terms of Reference.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to involve medical research charities with the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform.

The Terms of Reference for the Taskforce have been published on GOV.UK. As set out there, the Taskforce has been commissioned by the Prime Minister to consider opportunities for regulatory reform across the economy independently, and to report to him in April. It is a matter for the Taskforce to decide its areas of focus within the Terms of Reference.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many local authorities will take part in pilot schemes of the audio voting device for blind and partially sighted voters at the next election.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote and has been working with the RNIB to improve the voting process for voters with sight loss. We are currently considering how best to implement changes better to support blind and partially sighted people to cast their vote. Announcements will be made in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government has taken to procure audio voting devices to run pilot schemes to ensure blind and partially sighted people can vote independently and in private at the next election.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote and has been working with the RNIB to improve the voting process for voters with sight loss. We are currently considering how best to implement changes better to support blind and partially sighted people to cast their vote. Announcements will be made in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his response is to the call all for a six-month delay to checks in the Irish Sea in the document entitled: Implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol: What Business in Northern Ireland needs & why published by the NI Business Brexit Working Group.

The UK Government will continue to prepare to meet our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the 20 May Command Paper, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. In this paper, we committed to providing guidance to business, including our plans for extensive HMRC support for Northern Ireland businesses engaging in any new processes under the Protocol. We will publish that guidance this summer.

We will also continue to engage with business through the Business Engagement Forum, which met for the first time on 10 June and which will play an important part in our thinking as we implement the Protocol.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department has issued to businesses on shipping goods (a) to and (b) from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK in preparation for the end of the transition period.

The UK Government will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. We will ensure that the Protocol is implemented in a way that upholds the gains of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and which protects the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland. We committed in the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol to provide guidance to business, including our plans for extensive support for NI businesses engaging in new processes. We will publish that guidance during the course of this summer.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, by what date the UK Government plans to have additional (a) staff and (b) infrastructure in place to comply with the Northern Ireland protocol in relation to checks on products moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The UK Government will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. We will ensure that the Protocol is implemented in a way that upholds the gains of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and which protects the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland. We committed in the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol to provide guidance to business, including our plans for extensive support for NI businesses engaging in new processes. We will publish that guidance during the course of this summer.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions has he had with business leaders in Northern Ireland who are calling for a six month delay to customs checks in the Irish Sea following the transition period.

Ministerial meetings with external organisations and individuals are declared quarterly on GOV.UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policy on arms exports to Israel of the International Court of Justice's order relating to the case of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v Israel), published on 26 January 2024.

Decisions on export licensing are based on the UK's Strategic Export Licensing Criteria.

The Governments export licences are kept under careful and continual review, and can amend, suspend or revoke extant licences, or refuse new licence applications, where they are inconsistent with these criteria.

The Government respects the role and independence of the International Court of Justice. However, the Government have stated that we have considerable concerns about this case.

Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas, provided this is proportionate and within the bounds of International Humanitarian Law, as we’ve said from the outset. The Government view is that Israel’s actions in Gaza cannot be described as a genocide, which is why South Africa’s decision to bring the case was wrong and provocative.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make it her policy to remove the six per cent import duty on urine drainage bags on a permanent basis by re-classifying them as medical devices under the UK Global Tariff regime.

In 2021 the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023.

HMRC has reviewed the classification of urine drainage bags and although these are used in conjunction with medical products (e.g. catheters), they are not considered to be medical devices. As such they are classified as articles of plastic (tariff heading 3926). This is in line with classification decisions previously issued by the World Custom Organization which member countries are expected to follow. Businesses can direct queries on classification to classification.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk or through this link https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries.

The Government has recently received stakeholder feedback on tariffs on urine drainage bags. We are considering the evidence provided alongside wider UK Government analysis.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will have discussions with local authorities on the provision of utilities for areas with multiple large net zero projects planned.

The Government works with local authorities through the Local Net Zero Forum, which brings together national and local government on a regular basis to discuss policy and delivery options on net zero; this provides a way for local government to raise issues they wish to discuss.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what support he plans to provide to rural households to help reduce the purchase and installation costs of heat pumps.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides grants to encourage property owners to replace fossil fuel heating with more efficient, low carbon systems. This includes up to £6,000 off a heat pump, in addition to the 0% rate of VAT on these technologies.

For homes off the gas grid, funding is also available through the Home Upgrade Grant. These schemes are part of a comprehensive policy package to grow the heat pump market and work with industry to bring down costs to consumers. Further details are set out in the Powering Up Britain publications (2022) and Heat and Buildings Strategy (2021).

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make it his policy to provide incentives for rural households dependent on oil to heat their homes to change to a renewable liquid.

The Government has no current plans to provide incentives for the use of renewable liquid fuels in rural households. Sustainable biomass is a limited resource and must be prioritised for use where there are the fewest options to decarbonise and the potential emissions reductions are greatest. The Biomass Strategy, which will be published later this year, will improve the Government's understanding of the supply of renewable liquid fuels. Policy decisions on the role of renewable liquid fuels in heating will need to reflect this Strategy.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her polices of the Scottish Roadmap for a Sustainable Space Industry; and what steps her Department is taking to promote sustainability in that sector.

The sustainability of the space environment is a priority. The 2022 Plan for Space Sustainability includes measures to improve responsibility across the sector, including regulatory and international leadership, and developing new industry-led standards. We fund important projects with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, one implementing the Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines of Outer Space Activities, and another project on Registration of Space Objects. We will consult shortly on applying variable liability limits for satellite operations to reflect mission sustainability.

The UK government will consider further the Scottish Space Sustainability Roadmap as thinking develops on how sustainability measures could be implemented.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent assessment she has made of the contribution of the space sector to (a) the economy and (b) upskilling the workforce.

The UK space sector is highly productive, employing almost 49,000 people. It is worth £17.5 billion in annual UK income with an average long-term growth rate of 6.4% since the turn of the millennium, outpacing growth of the wider UK economy (Size and Health of the UK Space Industry, 2022).

The recently announced Space Workforce Action Plan will build on findings of the Space Skills Survey to inform intervention by government, industry, and academia, in continuing to upskill the sector’s workforce. The UK Space Agency additionally plan to invest over £4m in the next two years, to enhance access to training for current and potential space sector workers. This supports the Department for Education’s ambition to produce 200,000 people with high quality technical skills by 2030.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Scotland and the UK build satellite capabilities to help support global leadership in that field.

As announced on 1 August 2023, the Government is working to establish the Connectivity in Low Earth Orbit (C-LEO) scheme, a potential £160 million R&D scheme to fund the next generation of satellite communications development and boost the UK’s leadership in the ever-growing global satellite market. The goal of the scheme would be to support suppliers across the UK in developing the technologies critical to the future of low Earth orbit satellite communications. These areas remain subject to change as the scheme develops but funding could go towards using AI to make data delivery faster, connecting satellites together for improved connection, and payload development.

The C-LEO programme is currently in development. Launch of the scheme and commitment of any funding would be subject to standard Government business case and other approvals.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what progress the Government has made on ensuring that young people have the skills for entry into the space industry.

Ensuring that people of all ages can enter the UK space sector is a whole-of-government effort. This is recognized in the UK Science and Technology Framework (March 2023), which commits to expanding participation in all STEM careers. The UK Space Agency has a strong history of ensuring children are inspired and learning about space throughout their education and as they move into potential space careers. This has included educational projects following Tim Peake’s Principia mission, which reached over 1.6 million young people nationwide (Impact Assessment: Principia Campaign, 2018).

The Agency’s Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) Programme supports university students to undertake a space-related summer internship, with over 400 participants to date. The Programme will receive a three-fold increase in funding in 2024. In July, the Department for Education launched the new Level 6 Space Systems programme, which will enable apprentices to receive quality training in the industry while earning a salary.

25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his planned timetable is for the publication of further information on the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding.

The Government is finalising the details of the Alternative Funding to have the process up and running for applications this winter. Further details on eligibility, timescales and method of delivery will be announced very shortly.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether tenants who live in farmhouses on a business energy tariff are eligible for the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) Alternative Funding will provide a £400 discount from energy bills for the small percentage of domestic households who are not reached through the main EBSS fund. This includes those who do not have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier, or who get their supply through a commercial intermediary. Further details on how this will affect those who live in farmhouses, as well as timescales and method of delivery, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to support scientific research consortia as a future funding model for domestic research and development.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave my Hon. Friend the Member for Hendon on 28 March 2022 to Question 142443.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken on the supporting research into cancer immune therapies.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave my Hon. Friend the Member for Hendon on 25 March 2022 to Question 142442.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his department has taken to develop the UK R&D Roadmap into the forthcoming R&D Plan.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave my Hon. Friend the Member for Hendon on 25 March 2022 to Question 142441.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of how the model of collaborative funding for covid-19 research at pace can be used to fund other research areas.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member for Strangford on 15 February 2022 to Question 119577.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the UK manufacturing sector fits into the future of innovation in the (a) Plan for Growth and (b) upcoming Innovation Strategy.

The Government is, and will continue to be, a champion of the needs of business and industry, including the UK manufacturing sector. This is why Build Back Better: plan for growth and its supporting strategies will put the UK at the forefront of opportunities, give businesses the confidence to invest, boost productivity across the UK, enable our green industrial revolution, and support our vision for Global Britain.

As announced in the Plan for Growth, published alongside Budget, the Department is engaging across Government to develop an Innovation Strategy. As well as working across Whitehall and with our Innovation Expert Group, we want to engage with the innovation community, including the manufacturing sector which accounts for 64% of all business expenditure on UK R&D, to ensure the evidence base is sound and the policy proposals in the Strategy are well developed.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which sectors (a) his Department and (b) HM Treasury plan to consider in the development of Sector Visions as outlined in the Plan for Growth.

As set out in ‘Build Back Better: our plan for growth’, over the next 12 months the Government will work to develop visions for high growth sectors that will help shape the UK’s future and build on our existing competitive advantage and strengths in innovation. The specific sectors will be set out in the coming months.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the maintenance of the science and research funding in the international aid budget.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary ran a cross-government process with Departments to review in detail how ODA is allocated between key priorities. The Foreign Secretary announced an ODA settlement of £706 million for my Department on Tuesday 26th January.

Though the impact of the COVID pandemic has impacted ODA budgets, international collaboration remains central to a healthy and productive R&D sector. The Government’s commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated, given we are increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22, and as set out in our Integrated Review ambition.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the level of demand on the UK Research and Innovation budget.

In contrast to the number of open calls that UKRI runs, which remained relatively stable with an additional surge to deliver specific COVID-19 related funding, the number of applications for funding from UKRI has risen over the last year, including in response to COVID-19. To date the trend has already shown an increase of over 1,000 applications ending December 2020, with a further projection of another 2,000 applications to be received in the final quarter. These increases are against an active portfolio of approximately 14,000 grants.

UKRI has also responded to increased demand to help stabilise the system and the pressures felt across the research and innovation community. Active grants continue to attract a high number of requested changes through their life, but more recently hundreds more enquiries have resulted from COVID-19 disruption, generating many requests for both costed and no cost extensions with £90 million in costed grant extensions paid this year.

Other stabilising interventions that UKRI has made in response to the pandemic include bringing forwards £100 million of Quality Related funding from Academic Year 2020-21 to AY 2019-20, and providing additional funding through the Sustaining University Research Expertise (SURE) Fund in financial year 2020-21.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support the post-pandemic career development of early career researchers.

The Government invests in research talent through PhDs and fellowship schemes. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the single biggest funder of PhDs in the UK and currently funds between six and seven thousand PhDs per year (around 53% in STEM) through its studentships and training grants, including Centres for Doctoral Training and Doctoral Training Partnerships.

Multi-year fellowship schemes funded by BEIS are delivered both by the National Academies and UKRI and are targeted at different career stages, from early career researchers to research professors and chairs. These schemes support the development and progression of a broad spectrum of researchers and their teams while supporting their excellent research.

The Department is currently working with UKRI on the development of an R&D People and Culture Strategy as one of my top priorities. The R&D People and Culture Strategy will look to ensure the UK has the people we need at all levels, working in a culture that gets the best out of everyone and delivers the best outcomes for the country.  A key part of this will be ensuring the R&D workforce has the capacity and capability to deliver the government’s ambitions for R&D with enough people with the right skills across disciplines, and throughout career stages and job roles.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding for the UK's association to Horizon Europe.

BEIS Ministers regularly speak to my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on a range of issues, including R&D funding. I am pleased that the UK reached an agreement to take part in the Horizon Europe programme. Association to Horizon has been welcomed by businesses and the research community and will bring huge benefits to the UK. We have always been clear that Horizon funding complements domestic funding programmes.

At the Spending Review in November, the Government committed to investing £14.6 billion in research and development in 2021/22. Spending Review was complete before the outcome of negotiations with the EU was known. As part of our ongoing Departmental allocations process, we are continuing to work with HM Treasury on the costs of Horizon Europe.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to encourage the decommissioning of older aircraft.

The Government remains in dialogue with industry and overseas governments about the potential benefits, practicalities and implications of an aircraft scrappage scheme.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take in response to the 2020 Spending Review to support the research undertaken by medical research charities.

The Government is aware of the challenges, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, that medical research charities are currently facing.

The Government already provides significant funding to charities’ research, for example through Research England’s Quality Related (QR) charity support funding. This year charity QR will amount to £204m, to support charity funded research in universities in England and equivalent support is provided in Scotland through devolved funding arrangements.

Additionally, the Government supports this research through investments in the necessary infrastructure, through collaborations with UKRI and through the tax system. In 2018-19 over £1.3bn in tax relief on donations was received through Gift Aid benefitting all charities, including those carrying out vital medical research.

BEIS has been working with the Association of Medical Research Charities to develop an appropriate approach to supporting the important research that their members fund.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the health benefits of bereavement leave.

The Government recognises that the death of a family member is deeply upsetting for those involved. The death of a child is particularly tragic, and this is why the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy we introduced Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay in April this year.

All employees have right to take a reasonable amount of time off work for an emergency involving a dependant, including in the case of bereavements. The entitlement could, for example, be used to make funeral and other arrangements.

We expect employers to respond with compassion and understanding in the case of all bereavements and we have given them the tools that they need to do this. In 2014 Acas published their guidance on Managing a Bereavement in the Workplace: A Good Practice Guide. This is available on the ACAS website- www.acas.org.uk.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department has published for employers helping to meet the support needs of bereaved employees.

The Government has published several sets of guidance to help employers support the need of bereaved employees.

In 2014, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to publish guidance on how to manage bereavement in the workplace. The guidance was first published in 2014 and last updated in May 2018 (https://archive.acas.org.uk/media/4114/Managing-bereavement-in-the-workplace---a-good-practice-guide/pdf/Managing-bereavement-in-the-workplace-a-good-practice-guide.pdf).

Earlier this year, the Department introduced this year a new entitlement to Bereavement Leave and Pay for employees who lost a child. Guidance was published on GOV.UK in April 2020 to help employers managing this new policy (https://www.gov.uk/employers-parental-bereavement-pay-leave).

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education,what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of tuition fees on the social mobility of young people.

The introduction of tuition fees has not resulted in fewer people going into Higher Education (HE). The 18-year-old entry rate for disadvantaged students from England increased from 14.4% in 2011 to 25.1% in 2022, and in 2022 we saw record numbers of disadvantaged 18-years-olds going to HE.

Disadvantaged entry rate - English 18-year-olds

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Disadvantaged entry rate

14.4%

14.4%

15.6%

17.0%

18.0%

18.9%

19.9%

20.2%

21.7%

24.0%

24.5%

25.1%

Notes: Disadvantage measured using POLAR, a measure of educational disadvantage.

Source: UCAS End of Cycle Resources, available at: https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis/undergraduate-statistics-and-reports/ucas-undergraduate-end-cycle-data-resources-2022.

From August 2023, interest rates for new student loan borrowers will be reduced to RPI only. Under these new terms, no one will repay more than they originally borrowed when adjusted for inflation.

Degree apprenticeships also offer a unique opportunity for people to earn while they learn, achieving degrees from some of our best universities without incurring tuition fees. We’ve seen year-on-year growth of degree-level apprenticeships (Levels 6 & 7) with over 185,000 starts since their introduction in 2014/15 academic year.

12th Oct 2020
What assessment he has made of the potential effect of the end of the transition period on (a) further and (b) higher education.

The department is considering all aspects of how exiting the EU might affect further and higher education. This includes consideration of participation in EU-funded programmes, future arrangements for migration and for access to student finance support. We are committed to ensuring the country is prepared for every eventuality.

My officials also regularly engage with sector stakeholders on a range of issues, including leaving the EU and the Transition Period.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
14th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government will carry out a public consultation on bread composition, labelling and marketing.

The United Kingdom has high standards on the information provided on food labels. Existing food labelling rules make sure that food is produced safely and labelled effectively. This means people can make informed choices about the food they buy and consume. HM Government is committed to optimising the information that is available to consumers, and the Government Food Strategy sets out work that we will be taking forward on consumer information and transparency.

On 1st September 2022, HM Government and devolved administrations jointly launched a public consultation seeking views on proposals to update and amend the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and the Bread and Flour Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998. These regulations cover specific rules on composition and labelling for bread and flour.

The proposals are primarily focused on the requirements relating to the mandatory fortification of non-wholemeal flour. The proposals included in this consultation look at ways to make sure that the regulations lead to improved public health, support UK industry, assist enforcement authorities and protect consumers. The consultation remains live until 23rd November 2022 and we would like to hear from anyone with an interest.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will commit to annual funding of £5 million for FareShare, the food waste charity.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided relates to England only.

The Defra food waste prevention programme has provided grants of nearly £12m to over 300 organisations since 2018. FareShare was awarded around £3m of funding, helping to set up the Surplus with Purpose Fund, and supporting the infrastructure required to distribute surplus food. Whilst we are not planning any further grants, we remain committed to food waste prevention action, investing £2.6 million this year to combat food waste in the supply chain and in the home through working with the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP).

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to hold discussions with representatives of manufacturers to encourage wider use of technologies like NaviLens to help make packaging more accessible to people with sight impairments.

The availability and accessibility of essential food information to all consumers is vitally important. It is already a requirement that food information must be easily visible and clearly legible. Information shall not in any way be obscured and depending on the package size, there is a minimum font size.

That said, we welcome work by industry, especially companies developing new digital technologies like NaviLens with the potential to provide the means for people with visual impairment to access food information. As part of the upcoming Food Strategy White Paper, we will look at optimising food information, including labelling, so all consumers, are better able to make informed choices.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support companies developing new technologies to help make food and drink packaging more accessible to people with sight loss.

The availability and accessibility of essential food information to all consumers is vitally important. It is already a requirement that food information must be easily visible and clearly legible. Information shall not in any way be obscured and depending on the package size, there is a minimum font size.

That said, we welcome work by industry, especially companies developing new digital technologies like NaviLens with the potential to provide the means for people with visual impairment to access food information. As part of the upcoming Food Strategy White Paper, we will look at optimising food information, including labelling, so all consumers, are better able to make informed choices.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure food and drink packaging is more accessible for people with sight loss.

The availability and accessibility of essential food information to all consumers is vitally important. It is already a requirement that food information must be easily visible and clearly legible. Information shall not in any way be obscured and depending on the package size, there is a minimum font size.

That said, we welcome work by industry, especially companies developing new digital technologies like NaviLens with the potential to provide the means for people with visual impairment to access food information. As part of the upcoming Food Strategy White Paper, we will look at optimising food information, including labelling, so all consumers, are better able to make informed choices.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to circumstances where EU REACH applies, whether UK-based companies purchasing or supplying chemicals to (a) the UK and (b) the EU will be required to access the information on each chemical they use from the original company or carry out duplicate testing if that information is not available.

Under European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (EU REACH), data is owned by individual businesses and industry consortia. Great Britain (GB) companies who do not own the data they need to support their REACH registration will need to negotiate access to it from existing data owners. Industry has some time to make these arrangements. This is because we have put in place provisions for the deadlines for the full submission of data to underpin registration dossiers to be staggered, according to the quantity and hazard profile of a substance, over a period of 2, 4 or 6 years from 28 October 2021.

The UK has been at the forefront of opposing animal tests where alternative approaches could be used. Under UK REACH, registrants will submit their testing proposals to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who can reject them if they contain unnecessary tests on animals. We will encourage the HSE to accept duplicate submissions where possible, recognising the validity of any animal testing that has already been undertaken.

GB is now considered a third country for EU REACH purposes. GB-based EU REACH registrants wanting to maintain access to the EU market needed to transfer their existing registrations to an EU/EEA/NI entity organisation by 31 December 2020. Completing this process removed the need for either purchasing access to testing data or further animal testing.

For GB exporters to the EU that have not completed this process, registration obligations fall to the European Union/European Economic Area/Northern Ireland (EU/EEA/NI) based importer of a substance. It is possible for a GB manufacturer to appoint an Only Representative to fulfil this function and either submit a new registration if one does not exist, or pay existing EU based EU REACH registrants for a letter of access to their data and/or member status of their registration.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)