Richard Drax Portrait

Richard Drax

Conservative - South Dorset

First elected: 6th May 2010


Richard Drax is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
Outdoor Learning
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
European Scrutiny Committee
15th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
13:45
European Scrutiny Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Retained EU law: the progress and mechanics of reform
13 Mar 2024, 1:45 p.m.
At 2:30pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP - Secretary of State at Department for Business and Trade
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2024
14:00
Defence Sub-Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence
19 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Monday 19th February 2024
Death of Alexei Navalny
It takes an extraordinary person to go back to a country where he knows he will be imprisoned, tortured and …
Written Answers
Tuesday 6th June 2023
Asylum: Housing
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department's policy that asylum seekers accommodated …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th March 2023
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
From 8 April 2019, agricultural land in Yorkshire: (i) and, from 23 April 2021, (ii). (Registered 11 December 2020; updated …
EDM signed
Tuesday 7th February 2023
Exiting the European Union (No. 2)
TThat this House calls upon the Government to withdraw the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17) …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Roadworks (Regulation) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the regulation of roadworks; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Richard Drax has voted in 767 divisions, and 26 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
6 Jan 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
22 Mar 2023 - Northern Ireland - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 515 Noes - 29
22 Mar 2023 - CRIMINAL LAW - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 14
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Richard Drax voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
5 Sep 2023 - Energy Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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
Richard Drax 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 Richard Drax Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(25 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(16 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(38 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(27 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(26 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(26 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Richard Drax's debates

South Dorset 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).

Petitions with highest South Dorset signature proportion
Petitions with most South Dorset signatures
Richard Drax has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Richard Drax

1st February 2023
Richard Drax signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Exiting the European Union (No. 2)

Tabled by: Jeffrey M Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
TThat this House calls upon the Government to withdraw the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17) because they are injurious to the integrity of the UK Internal Market in circumstances where the Northern Ireland Protocol has not been replaced by new arrangements that respect and protect …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 11
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
1st February 2023
Richard Drax signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: Jeffrey M Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17), dated 11 January 2023, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12 January 2023, be annulled.
20 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
View All Richard Drax's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Richard Drax, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Richard Drax

Monday 27th March 2023

1 Adjournment Debate led by Richard Drax

Richard Drax has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


34 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
15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much Portland Port is being paid from the public purse to accommodate the migrant barge for an initial period of 18 months.

The Home Office cannot disclose commercially sensitive information.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the dispersal arrangements are for the migrants on the barge in Portland Port when their time on the vessel comes to an end; where they will then be housed; and what responsibilities Dorset Council will have for them.

The accommodation have been contracted for 18 months. We are assessing how long asylum seekers will be accommodated before being moved further through the accommodation system.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding will be provided to statutory bodies that have responsibilities for the planned migrants on the barge in Portland Port in addition to what has already been promised to Dorset Council and the police.

The Home Office has committed to providing funding to help minimise the impact on the local community and local services. Discussions regarding the specific funding arrangements for statutory bodies are ongoing.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what role she plans that voluntary bodies and charities will play in regard to the migrant barge in Portland Port; and what funding she plans to provide to those bodies and charities.

We are working with local authorities and the voluntary sector in regular Multi Agency Forum (MAF) meetings to identify potential opportunities.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who will provide what medical facilities for the migrants on the barge in Portland Port; and who will be responsible overall for their health.

The Home Office expect to provide medical services on site, with detailed planning ongoing. All asylum seekers in the UK may contact Migrant Help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if they need help, advice, or guidance, that includes raising issues relating to safeguarding.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the service provider for the asylum accommodation on a vessel in Portland Port, who will be responsible for providing (a) heath and safety work and (b) risk assessments; and what are their relevant qualifications.

The vessel will be managed by an experienced accomodation supplier, under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year. Through the Multi Agency Forum health sub group, we are working closely with local health colleagues to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements are in place.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to asylum accommodation on a vessel in Portland Port, whether the service provider has a system to report (a) accidents, (b) incidents, (c) dangerous occurrences and (d) fatalities, in compliance with the Health and Safety Executive's Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 Guidance; and what discussions she has had with Dorset Council on this.

The vessel will be managed by an experienced accommodation provider, under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year. Through the Multi Agency Forum health subgroup, we are working closely with local health colleagues to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements are in place.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the asylum accommodation on a vessel in Portland Port, what will happen to people accommodated on the vessel if their asylum claim is later unsuccessful.

Asylum seekers accommodated on the vessel whose claims are refused and have no further appeal rights will be removed from the UK. If people are granted asylum, we will work with local authorities across the UK to provide the support and appropriate accommodation.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the asylum accommodation on a vessel in Portland Port, whether people accommodated on the vessel will be (a) new arrivals from small boats and (b) people currently placed in hotels.

The intention is to accommodate single adult male asylum seekers.

Those being accommodated are likely to be of different nationalities. They will already be in the asylum system, having been through robust security checks and health checks.

5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has hired contractors to provide food and water at Portland barge; and whether her Department plans to (a) provide and (b) require training for people providing services to that barge.
5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to provide asylum seekers accommodated in Portland Port with timely access to (a) mental health practitioners and (b) Section 12 approved doctors.

Through the Multi Agency Forum health sub group, we are working closely with local health colleagues to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements are in place. This includes on-site healthcare to limit pressures on local NHS services.

5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to provide interpreters for asylum seekers housed in Portland Port.

We are discussing with the local voluntary and community sector about appropriate provisions.

5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure the safety of doctors and nurses helping asylum seekers on the barge at Portland Port.

Through the Multi Agency Forum health sub group, we are working closely with local health colleagues to ensure appropriate health and safety arrangements are in place.

We are working closely with local police forces and other stakeholders to ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place.

5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department is taking steps to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases in Portland barge; and what assessment she has made of the potential public health impacts of housing asylum seekers in Portland Barge on (a) Dorset Council and (b) Dorset health authority.

We take both the welfare of those in our care and our wider public health responsibilities extremely seriously. At Manston, all asylum seekers are offered diphtheria vaccines and antibiotics upon arrival. The Home Office provides 24/7 health facilities at Manston, including trained medical staff and a doctor for all those on site. All asylum seekers undergo a health check upon arrival and, if needed people are taken to hospital for further care.

The vessel will be managed by a specialist and experienced provider, which has a strong track record of providing this kind of accommodation, having managed the two vessels in Scottish ports for the past year.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which local authority will be responsible for housing people who successfully apply for asylum in the UK after being accommodated on a vessel in Portland Port.

All asylum seekers will have entered the asylum process.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take to refurbish the asylum accommodation vessel she plans to use in Portland Port; what facilities she plans to provide on that vessel; and what provisions she plans to make for (a) water, (b) sewage, (c) electricity, (d) gas, (e) rubbish collection and (f) mobile phone and wifi connectivity on that vessel.

The vessel to be berthed in Portland Port will undergo statutory inspection along with any necessary refurbishment and general maintenance, in a UK port, ahead of its berthing in Portland.

It will be managed by a specialist and experienced provider, which has a strong track record of providing this kind of accommodation, having managed the two vessels in Scottish ports for the past year, and successfully with local authorities and other public organisations in Scotland.

Using Portland Port’s existing infrastructure to service vessels, appropriate utilities will be provided to support the accommodation barge, including water, power, and WiFi connectivity.

Portland Port has a Waste Management Plan that ensures that all ships using the Harbour dispose of all waste in an efficient and environmentally correct manner.

We will continue to work closely with the councils, communities, and key local partners to manage any impact in Dorset.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take with Cabinet colleagues for the provision of healthcare for asylum seekers accommodated on a vessel in Portland Port, in the context of existing levels of healthcare capacity in (a) Portland and (b) Weymouth.

For all asylum accommodation sites we consider the impact on the local service, and this includes the NHS. We will provide basic healthcare on site to limit pressure on local services. These plans are being actively discussed and considered with key stakeholders and local partners through the Multi-Agency-Forum.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plan to take to screen asylum seeks accommodated on a barge in Portland Port.

All asylum seekers who arrive in United Kingdom are subject to robust security checks at Manston. Additionally, the Home Office provides 24/7 health facilities at Manston, including trained medical staff and a doctor for all those on site and people are taken to hospital for further care if needed and all asylum seekers undergo a health check upon arrival.

The Home Office will assess an individual's suitability to reside at Portland prior to placement there and will continue to assess each person's suitability at regular intervals whilst on the vessel.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to begin housing asylum seekers in Portland Port; and whether her Department holds data on the (a) country of origin, (b) age and (c) asylum process status of the people planned to be housed in the port.

Every resident at Manston undergoes security checks and screening for health issues. Treatment is given where appropriate. We will assess an individual’s suitability to reside at Portland prior to placement there and continue to assess each person’s suitability at regular intervals whilst on the vessel.

The cohort will be single adult males who have undergone health and security checks at Manston. The cohort will be mixed nationalities that reflect the nationalities arriving in the UK and claiming asylum. They will all have entered the asylum process.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that the migrants on the barge in Portland Port do not engage with local criminals.

A specialist and experienced security provider will be working on site 24/7. We are also working closely with the local police force to ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place. The safety and security of the local communities, asylum seekers on site and staff are of the utmost importance to the Home Office.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of hours a day migrants will remain on the barge in Portland Port; whether those migrants will be required to be on the barge overnight; and what steps her Department plans to take when a migrant does not return to the barge at an appointed time.

Asylum seekers accommodated in large accommodation sites will be non-detained. The site is self-contained with essential living needs provided on site, although those living at the site would be free to come and go. If an asylum seeker were not back on site by 11pm a call would be made to the individual to establish their whereabouts.

The vessel will be managed an experienced accommodation provider, under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the risk of the migrants on the barge in Portland Port being forced into (a) modern slavery, (b) drug activity and (c) other crimes.

A specialist and experienced security provider will be working to ensure the site is run in an orderly manner with limited impact on the local community.

We are also working closely with local police forces to ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place.

Upon arrival, all asylum claimants are subject to mandatory security checks to confirm their identity and to link it to their biometric details for the purpose of immigration, security and criminality checks. These checks are critical to the delivery of a safe and secure immigration system.

The safety and security of the local communities, asylum seekers on site and staff are of the utmost importance to the Home Office.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has placed controls on the ability of the migrants on the barge at Portland Port to come and go at will.

As with all asylum accommodation sites will be non-detained. There will be no curfew. As a matter of routine, if someone is late returning from a visit off the site, they will be contacted for to ascertain their whereabouts.

The vessel will be managed by an experienced accommodation provider under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year.

It is being designed to minimise the impact on local communities and services.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the planned staff to resident ratio is for the Biddy Stockholm barge in Portland Port (a) in the day and (b) at night; and what assessment she has made of the capacity of local (i) police and (ii) other emergency services to provide relevant support to staff and residents at that site.

The vessel will be managed by an experienced accommodation supplier, under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year.

Whilst we do not comment on exact staffing ratios, the Home Office will ensure sufficient staffing is on site for the orderly running of the vessel as asylum accommodation.

Sufficient staffing is on site so the vessel is run as asylum accommodation in an orderly way with minimal impact on the local community.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of housing asylum seekers at Portland Port on local public services.

We are working closely with key local stakeholders, including local authorities, Dorset Police and NHS to develop bespoke plans that minimise the impact on local services. We have made clear that additional funding will be made available as appropriate to support these plans.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who has been contracted to provide the barge for Portland Port; and whether the same provider will be responsible for all facilities, services and staff on the barge and shore side.

The vessel will be managed by our supplier, under contractual terms agreed with the Home Office. The same supplier has safely and successfully managed two vessels for Ukrainian refugees for the Scottish Government over the past year.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the operational berth for submarines at Portland Port is currently deemed to be a strategic asset for Navy Command; and whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Defence on the potential impacts of housing asylum seekers on the barge on (a) emergency planning arrangements, (b) site security and (c) other defence matters.

The Ministry of Defence have been closely involved with our plans.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take to help resource the policing of potential protests outside Portland Port; and what assessment she has made of the potential impact of housing asylum seekers at the port on local communities in (a) Weymouth and (b) Portland.

The safety and security of the local communities, those asylum seekers on the sites and the staff are of the utmost importance.

To ensure security forms an integral part of the proposed site, a specialist security provider will be working on site 24/7. We are also working closely with the local police force to ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seeks will be initially accommodated on the barge in Portland Port when it opens; and what her Department's planned timescale is to fill the total number of spaces.

The provision of an accommodation barge at Portland Port will provide capacity for a maximum of 506 asylum seekers. There will be a phased programme of embarkation to ensure the site is run effectively, with as minimal impact on the local community as possible.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consultation her Department conducted with (a) Dorset Council, (b) local NHS, police and fire services, (c) other statutory local agencies and (d) the hon. Member for South Dorset before signing the contract with Portland Port for asylum accommodation.

The Home Office met with the Dorset council and other key stakeholders before signing the contract. We continue to work closely with the NHS, police, fire service and other statutory agencies to develop bespoke plans that take account of local environmental issues, heritage and any risks associated with the site in order to address local concerns and to ensure that we minimise any potential impact on the local area.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Biddy Stockholm barge which will house asylum seekers in Portland Port, Dorset is as advertised designed to accommodate 222 people; and how that vessel will accommodate more people than that figure.

The provision of an accommodation barge at Portland Port will provide the capacity for a maximum of 506 asylum seekers. The vessel will contain multiple occupancy rooms that are an appropriate size for the number of occupants in the appropriate space standard. The vessel will always remain in line with marine industry safety regulations and meet all statutory requirements.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has carried out a risk assessment of asylum seekers' welfare (a) on board and (b) off the proposed barge accommodation centres.

Every resident at Manston undergoes security checks and screening for health issues. Treatment is given where appropriate. We will assess an individual’s suitability to reside at Portland prior to placement there and continue to assess each person’s suitability at regular intervals whilst on the vessel. We will only accommodate single adult males who are considered suitable to reside there. There are plans for basic medical services to be provided onsite at Portland. All asylum seekers in the UK may contact Migrant Help 24 hours a day 365 days a year if they need help, advice, or guidance raising issues relating to safeguarding.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department's policy that asylum seekers accommodated on asylum vessels will be able to move freely or have restrictions on their movements.

As with all asylum accommodation, asylum seekers accommodated on vessels will be non-detained. If someone is late returning from a visit off the site, they will be contacted to ascertain their whereabouts. Those accommodated will be required to sign in and out of the site. Individuals will be subjected to security checks when they re-enter the vessel.