Stuart C McDonald Portrait

Stuart C McDonald

Scottish National Party - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

First elected: 7th May 2015


Justice Committee
28th Mar 2023 - 12th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice)
12th Dec 2022 - 4th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration)
12th Dec 2022 - 4th Sep 2023
Home Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 28th Mar 2023
Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill
1st Feb 2023 - 8th Feb 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021 - 12th Dec 2022
National Security Bill
29th Jun 2022 - 18th Oct 2022
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
16th Sep 2021 - 4th Nov 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)
20th May 2015 - 1st Feb 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)
7th Jan 2020 - 1st Feb 2021
Home Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Home Affairs Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (Joint Committee)
5th Nov 2015 - 11th Feb 2016


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Stuart C McDonald has voted in 721 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stuart C McDonald 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
Tom Pursglove (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
(131 debate interactions)
Kevin Foster (Conservative)
(71 debate interactions)
Craig Whittaker (Conservative)
(47 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(715 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(85 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(49 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(20 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stuart C McDonald's debates

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East 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 Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East signature proportion
Petitions with most Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home office is charging almost ten times the actual processing cost of indefinite leave to remain application fee from overseas health care workers. The Government should stop making profit from foreign health workers and instead seek to retain those foreign doctors and nurses in our NHS.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.


Latest EDMs signed by Stuart C McDonald

18th April 2024
Stuart C McDonald signed this EDM as a sponsor on Friday 19th 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, …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
15th April 2024
Stuart C McDonald signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Culloden Academy and the Scottish Cup 2024

Tabled by: Drew Hendry (Scottish National Party - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
That this House congratulates Inverness school Culloden Academy on its success in the Scottish Cup, with both the first-year girls' and senior girls' teams winning national basketball championship titles; notes the performance of the first-year girls' team, winning with a score of 59-25, and the senior girls' team, achieving a …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 14
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Stuart C McDonald's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stuart C McDonald, 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 Stuart C McDonald

Monday 13th June 2022

3 Adjournment Debates led by Stuart C McDonald

Wednesday 29th November 2023
Friday 20th January 2023
Tuesday 14th January 2020

1 Bill introduced by Stuart C McDonald


A Bill to make provision about leave and pay for employees with responsibility for children receiving neonatal care.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 24th May 2023 and was enacted into law.

1 Bill co-sponsored by Stuart C McDonald

Refugees (Family Reunion) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Angus Brendan MacNeil (Ind)


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
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have had discussions with representatives of (i) LGBT organisations and (ii) conversion practices survivors in the relevant states of the US and District of Columbia on the effectiveness of legislation banning conversion practices.

No one in this country should be harmed or harassed for who they are and attempts at so-called ‘conversion therapy’ are abhorrent. That is why we are carefully considering this very complex issue. We will be setting out further details on this in due course

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Attorney General, how much his Department spends on on communications staff on average each year.

On average the department spends £348,089.16 on communications staff. We have 7 staff dedicated to communications all of which are full time employees.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Attorney General, how much her Department spends on communications staff on average each year.

On average the department spends £348,089.16 on communications staff. We have 7 staff dedicated to communications all of which are full time employees.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Attorney General, how many communications staff in her Department are employed (a) full time, (b) part time and (c) under flexible working arrangements.

On average the department spends £348,089.16 on communications staff. We have 7 staff dedicated to communications all of which are full time employees.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2020 to Question 128184 on Immigration: Prosecutions, if she will publish the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Crown Prosecution Service and Home Office Immigration Enforcement in 2016.

The Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Home Office Immigration Enforcement in 2016 will be published on the CPS website in January 2021. In the meantime, I will ensure that a copy is placed in the House library.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what representations (a) her Department and (b) the CPS has received from the Home Office on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including the offences charged by way of the Immigration Act 1971.

During the last 10 years, up to the end of March 2020, the number of offences charged by way of section 25 of the Immigration Act 1971 is as follows:

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(1) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(2) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(A)(1) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(B)(1) }

2010-2011

397

4

3

5

2011-2012

390

0

6

1

2012-2013

430

0

13

2

2013-2014

311

0

2

0

2014-2015

382

0

0

1

2015-2016

321

0

13

0

2016-2017

440

0

4

0

2017-2018

330

1

14

0

2018-2019

295

0

8

1

2019-2020

273

0

1

0

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report whether any offences involved the use or control of a vessel at sea other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

The Law Officers have not issued any guidance, advice or instructions to Crown Prosecution Service lawyers on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months. However, the CPS has clear and published policy guidance on the prosecution of immigration offences, which reflects the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the CPS and Home Office Immigration Enforcement in 2016. This establishes the agreed approach and public interest factors which prosecutors must consider when reviewing immigration cases. No further recent guidance has been issued to Crown Prosecutors on section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971.

Neither the Attorney General's Office nor the CPS have received representations from the Home Office on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months. The joint approach between the CPS and Immigration Enforcement is to consider prosecution under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 for anyone who has been involved in organising and planning the offences.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions there have been under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those prosecutions related to having control of a vessel on the sea.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including the offences charged by way of the Immigration Act 1971.

During the last 10 years, up to the end of March 2020, the number of offences charged by way of section 25 of the Immigration Act 1971 is as follows:

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(1) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(2) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(A)(1) }

Immigration Act 1971 { 25(B)(1) }

2010-2011

397

4

3

5

2011-2012

390

0

6

1

2012-2013

430

0

13

2

2013-2014

311

0

2

0

2014-2015

382

0

0

1

2015-2016

321

0

13

0

2016-2017

440

0

4

0

2017-2018

330

1

14

0

2018-2019

295

0

8

1

2019-2020

273

0

1

0

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report whether any offences involved the use or control of a vessel at sea other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

The Law Officers have not issued any guidance, advice or instructions to Crown Prosecution Service lawyers on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months. However, the CPS has clear and published policy guidance on the prosecution of immigration offences, which reflects the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the CPS and Home Office Immigration Enforcement in 2016. This establishes the agreed approach and public interest factors which prosecutors must consider when reviewing immigration cases. No further recent guidance has been issued to Crown Prosecutors on section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971.

Neither the Attorney General's Office nor the CPS have received representations from the Home Office on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months. The joint approach between the CPS and Immigration Enforcement is to consider prosecution under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 for anyone who has been involved in organising and planning the offences.

5th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the number of British citizens leaving the UK each year to join spouses and partners.

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

A response to the Hon gentleman’s Parliamentary Question of 5 December is attached.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government has made on the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 pandemic, announced on 21 May 2021.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 23 November 2020 to Questions 117283 and 117284, whether the proposed changes to the Nationality Rules referenced will seek to maintain the rights and opportunities of EU citizens as civil servants as they are now; and whether it is the Government's policy to guarantee those protections under potential future changes to the Nationality Rules.

As referenced in the Government’s response to questions asked on 23 November, the Government is committed to protecting the rights of resident EU nationals, and their family members, to enable them to live and work here as they do now after the end of the transition period. This includes maintaining the rights and opportunities of those with status under the EU Settlement Scheme to be eligible for employment in non-reserved posts within the Civil Service.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it is his policy that EU nationals currently employed in the civil service will be able to continue to work as civil servants after the transition period.

The Government remains committed to protecting the rights of resident EU nationals, and their family members, to enable them to live and work here as they do now when free movement is ended. This includes the rights of those currently working in the Civil Service and we will be updating the Civil Service Nationality Rules before the end of the year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to make changes to the Civil Service Nationality Rules before the end of the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to protecting the rights of resident EU nationals, and their family members, to enable them to live and work here as they do now when free movement is ended. This includes the rights of those currently working in the Civil Service and we will be updating the Civil Service Nationality Rules before the end of the year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent estimate she has made of (a) when neonatal care and leave will be provided under the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 and (b) the number of families that will be able to access that care and leave in its first year.

We are committed to introducing Neonatal Care Leave and Pay as quickly as possible and work is ongoing across Government to deliver these new entitlements by April 2025 at the earliest, subject to parliamentary scheduling of the necessary SIs.

In the region of 40,000 babies spend over one week in neonatal care each year and it is estimated that approximately 60,000 parents will be eligible for Neonatal Care Leave and Pay with around 34,000 parents taking up this entitlement every year.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of 5 September 2023, Official Report, column 281, what progress her Department has made on publishing a consultation on barriers to developing community energy projects.

The Government has been codesigning the consultation with the community energy sector via the Community Energy Contact Group (CECG). The Government intends to publish the consultation as soon as possible.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) assessment he has made and (b) consultation he has undertaken on the potential merits of introducing an energy social tariff.

The Government is considering new ways to protect consumers in the energy market as stated in the Autumn Statement. These changes will apply from April 2024. As part of the wider retail market reforms the Government will engage with consumer groups and industry stakeholders One option that will be considered will be a social tariff.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that households with children who need palliative care and who use pre-payment meters can access a secure and affordable supply of energy.

The Government’s Energy Price Guarantee will bring a typical household bill down to the equivalent of around £2500 per year from 1 October 2022 to end of March 2023 (with equivalent support in NI). From April 2023, the Energy Price Guarantee will be adjusted to cap typical household bills at £3,000 until the end of March 2024. Additionally, the Energy Bills Support Scheme will provide electricity customers in Great Britain with £400 off their bills from October 2022.

Ofgem Standard Licence Conditions require suppliers to ensure that prepayment meters are only installed where it is ‘safe and reasonably practicable’ - including consideration of whether a consumer’s vulnerability makes a prepayment meter a poor choice, for example where medical equipment is required.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee, for what reasons the level of support for off-grid households was set at £100; and when he plans to provide further information on support to off-grid businesses.

£100 provides comparable support to a typical household using heating oil as that provided to a gas heated household benefiting from the Energy Price Guarantee. The Government is working at speed to deliver robust support for off-grid non-domestic consumers and will publish more details in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to require button batteries to be coated with a bitter agent to discourage children from putting them in their mouths and swallowing those batteries.

The UK has a comprehensive consumer safety and protection regulatory framework that covers button batteries, with obligations on producers, manufacturers, importers and distributors to ensure their products are safe before they are placed on the market.

The safety of button batteries is regulated by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR) and there are specific requirements on button batteries used in toys under the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011.

The Government commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to publish a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standard on the safe use of button batteries. Developed with technical experts drawn from a wide range of stakeholders including consumers and businesses, it was published on 30 April this year and specifies safety requirements for button and coin batteries to mitigate the risk of ingestion.

We will continue to work with stakeholders and other interested parties to assess how technologies such as bittering agents and any other options available can be used to enhance safety.

6th Jul 2021
If he will provide further support to energy transition projects in Scotland.

The Government is intending to support the development of at least two Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) clusters to support the energy transition at industrial sites across the UK. This process is ongoing with an announcement expected later this year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the number of redundancies made from a pool of one; and what assessment he has made of whether such procedures are being operated fairly.

Employers are only required to notify my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State if they are proposing making more than 20 people redundant. However, the Office for National Statistics produce detailed statistics on redundancies by industry and individual characteristics.

There are laws in place to ensure that any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, can complain to an employment tribunal who will make an assessment. The Government publishes quarterly tribunal statistics, including on unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy that applications for bounce back loans cannot be refused by lenders on the basis that the applicant is (a) a customer of another bank or (b) not using a business banking account.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. Businesses are not required to bank with their provider in order to be eligible for a loan under the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS).

It is also not a requirement of the Scheme for businesses to operate via a business account. However, some lenders may request that an applicant opens a business account in line with their standard policies. This is at the sole discretion of the lender. There are now 14 lenders accredited under the scheme, providing more choice for SMEs. Details of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank’s website.

In order to apply for the scheme, businesses need to complete a short, simple online application form. A lender may consider paying funds into a personal current account if no business bank account is held, if it has been satisfactorily evidenced that the personal current account is being used for business purposes. In some cases, borrowers may need to include their 2018-19 HMRC self-assessment tax return alongside the form to verify their status as a business.

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions she has had with representatives from Cummins on that company's proposals to close its factory in Cumbernauld.

The Government regularly engages with manufacturers and manufacturing trade associations on opportunities to support the growth and competitiveness of manufacturing sectors in the UK. Ultimately, the proposed closure of Cummins’ Cumbernauld factory is a commercial decision for the company.

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will respond to the correspondence dated 9 January 2020 from Jamie Hepburn MSP and the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, on alternative proposals to keep open the Cummins factory in Cumbernauld.

The correspondence referred to is currently receiving attention. A reply will be issued shortly.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will ensure that the results of the gambling industry project to share data being run by GAMSTOP will be published at the end of March 2022.

In October 2019, the Gambling Commission called on the industry to work together to develop a single customer view which could support interventions across multiple operators to prevent harmful gambling. The Commission has since worked closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the industry to progress the work. The project is currently entering a pilot stage with GAMSTOP, which operates the national online self-exclusion scheme, as technical provider.

The Government and the Commission will monitor the progress of the trials closely, and further information will be published in due course. The Gambling Commission’s most recent update surrounding progress and next steps can be found here.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will ensure that the single customer view mechanism is (a) undertaken and (b) implemented independently of the gambling industry.

In October 2019, the Gambling Commission called on the industry to work together to develop a single customer view which could support interventions across multiple operators to prevent harmful gambling. The Commission has since worked closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the industry to progress the work. The project is currently entering a pilot stage with GAMSTOP, which operates the national online self-exclusion scheme, as technical provider.

The Government and the Commission will monitor the progress of the trials closely, and further information will be published in due course. The Gambling Commission’s most recent update surrounding progress and next steps can be found here.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse each month of gambling related harm.

Public Health England (PHE)’s evidence review of gambling-related harms estimated that the annual direct cost to the government associated with people who are problem gamblers was approximately £647 million per year, although it was unable to make a direct assessment of the cost of gambling harm specifically. Our Review of the Gambling Act aims to ensure that the protections in place to prevent harm are appropriate and effective for the digital age. It is looking at issues around research as part of its broad scope.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the BBC on (a) the cost of TV licences for over 75s and (b) the appropriateness of taking enforcement action, including prosecution, against people who have not paid for a licence.

The future of the over 75 concession, including cost, is now a matter for the BBC following the passage of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

The government remains deeply disappointed with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over 75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC.

The BBC also remains responsible for enforcing and administering the TV licence. The BBC must ensure that it supports those affected by its decision on the over 75s concession and we expect it to do so with the utmost sensitivity.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support the Government has put in place to ensure that Afghan children who have arrived in the UK under Operation Warm Welcome are able to access a school place; and by what date all of those children will be in school.

Children who have recently arrived from Afghanistan are entitled to full time education and one of the department’s priorities is to ensure they receive it. The duty to provide sufficient education for all school-age children rests with local authorities and the government is working closely with local authorities where Afghan families reside to ensure they can access education as soon as possible.

The department is urgently making available additional funds to local authorities to provide educational support and help Afghan children and young people settle into their local schools and communities.

The department cannot set an end date as Afghan families continue to come into the UK. We are working with departments across government and local authorities to ensure the availability of school places are taken into account as new families arrive and are settled into the country.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of Afghan children who have been relocated under Operation Warm Welcome are now in school.

Children who have recently arrived from Afghanistan are entitled to full time education and one of the department’s priorities is to ensure they receive it. The duty to provide sufficient education for all school-age children rests with local authorities and the government is working closely with local authorities where Afghan families reside to ensure they can access education as soon as possible.

The department is urgently making available additional funds to local authorities to provide educational support and help Afghan children and young people settle into their local schools and communities.

The department cannot set an end date as Afghan families continue to come into the UK. We are working with departments across government and local authorities to ensure the availability of school places are taken into account as new families arrive and are settled into the country.

7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2023 to Question 192337 on Labour Shortages in the Food Supply Chain Independent Review, what the criteria were for the appointment of the (a) chair and (b) expert panel; and whether she made an assessment of the potential merits of including people with lived experience of working as labourers in the food supply chain on the panel.

The chair and expert panel were directly appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs based on a set of criteria, including for their knowledge and expertise covering farming, fisheries, processing and manufacturing aspects of the supply chain. Since it was an independent review, Defra is not responsible for commenting on the specific evidence used to shape the final report, but notes that the Review does contain a Methodology section with more information that may be of interest. However, Defra does undertake an annual survey of workers involved in the Seasonal Worker visa route and this information was made available to the review team.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will set out the selection process for the (a) Chair and (b) panel for the Independent review into labour shortages in the food supply chain.

The chair and expert panel were directly appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs based on a set of criteria, including their expertise in the food and farming sector. This method of appointment is common practice for independent reviews commissioned by HM Government.

Now that the final report has been published, we will look closely at the findings and set out our response in the Autumn.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an estimate of the number of farms in Scotland with workers employed on the seasonal workers visa scheme; and the number of farms in Scotland with each labour provider.

We cannot publish any numbers with regards to the Seasonal Workers visa route which are outside of official approved Home Office published statistics. Details of the numbers of visas granted for seasonal workers, through the Seasonal Worker visa route, have been published in the usual way via the Home Office’s quarterly immigration statistics.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of seasonal workers working in Scotland by labour provider as of 1 August 2022.

We cannot publish any numbers with regards to the Seasonal Workers visa route which are outside of official approved Home Office published statistics. Details of the numbers of visas granted for seasonal workers, through the Seasonal Worker visa route, have been published in the usual way via the Home Office’s quarterly immigration statistics.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an estimate of the number of farms in the UK with workers employed on the seasonal workers visa scheme; and the number of farms in the UK with each labour provider.

We cannot publish any numbers with regards to the Seasonal Workers visa route which are outside of official approved Home Office published statistics. Details of the numbers of visas granted for seasonal workers, through the Seasonal Worker visa route, have been published in the usual way via the Home Office's quarterly immigration statistics.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban the import of hunting trophies.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a ban on the import of hunting trophies from endangered species. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the publication of the Government response to the recent consultation and call for evidence on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies. We will set out our plans for action on this important area as soon as it is practical to do so.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 98994, whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme; and when he plans to make an announcement on that scheme's future.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further evaluation of the pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest. The first-year evaluation information will be published later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office to better understand the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions her Department has had with (a) migrant representative organisations and (b) trade unions to assist (i) the evaluation assessing the impact of the Seasonal Workers Pilot in the agricultural sector; and (ii) the design of any future scheme to bring seasonal workers into UK agriculture.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further evaluation of the pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest. The first-year evaluation information will be published later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office – who engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, when designing and implementing immigration policy – to better understand the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Jun 2020
Whether he plans to maintain food and drink standards after the transition period.

This Government is committed to upholding our high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards as we leave the EU. The EU Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, onto the UK statute book after the Transition Period. These requirements include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products, and set out that no products, other than potable water, are approved to decontaminate poultry carcasses.

Our manifesto is clear that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

We are already engaging with the agricultural sector as part of our trade discussions and we will continue to work closely with the National Farmers’ Union and other relevant stakeholders across the food chain to understand the concerns about the impact of new trade deals, as well as the opportunities. The Government has in place a range of stakeholder groups to feed into our policy development on trade. These include the Strategic Trade Advisory Group, the Agri-Food Expert Trade Advisory Group and various supply chain groups.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Jan 2020
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on bringing forward legislative proposals to give Scotland a statutory role in negotiations on a future relationship with the EU.

It is the responsibility of the UK Government to negotiate international agreements, and it is vital that we retain appropriate flexibility to proceed with negotiations at pace.

We are nevertheless clear that the devolved administrations should be closely involved in the process. We have already engaged extensively with them in negotiation preparations, and will continue to do so. There is no need to set out in statute a course of action we are already pursuing.

Last Thursday, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Lord Callanan, Minister of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, met with Mike Russell at the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU negotiations.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether clause 11(3) of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill provides for Ministers to limit the (a) scope and (b) availability of judicial review of Home Office decisions made under clause 11(2)(g) of that Bill.

The power in clause 11(3) will be used to ensure that the Special Immigration Appeals Commission is able to hear a review of an exclusion direction made on national security grounds in relation to an individual within the scope of the EU Settlement Scheme.

There is no intention to use the power in clause 11 to limit the scope or availability of judicial review.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to address the backlog of driving tests when covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of using experienced driving instructors as temporary examiners in that context.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is committed to reducing the backlog of driving tests as quickly as possible. It has measures in place to increase the number of driving tests available, once it is safe for tests to resume. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to carry out tests (warrant card holders) to do so, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). A recruitment campaign is also underway to increase the overall number of driving examiners available for testing.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 only allows a full driving licence to be issued if the person has passed the test of competence to drive. The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) 1999 regulations requires driving test examiners to meet certain criteria and pass an initial qualification and examination before being authorised by the Secretary of State to conduct practical driving tests. The regulations also specifically prohibit an examiner from simultaneously being an active approved driving instructor (ADI).

Although ADIs are well qualified and proficient in driving and instruction, they are not experienced assessors and this is evidenced by the current practical test pass rate of 47%. Driving examiners undertake rigorous and continuing training throughout their career. They also test many types of learners and are regularly evaluated to ensure they conduct tests in a fair and consistent manner.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it a requirement for carriers to (a) notify passengers of the need to complete passenger locator forms prior to arrival in the UK, (b) make such forms available to passengers and (c) provide other information on quarantine requirements during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 were laid on 8 June 2020. These regulations require carriers to ensure that passengers who arrive at a port on a relevant service are provided with information about coronavirus, and related duties and public health guidance.

Guidance for these regulations can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-requirements-to-provide-public-health-information-to-passengers-travelling-to-england

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who will be responsible for ensuring passengers arriving in the UK have had a negative test for covid-19 prior to departure; and what training and guidance has been provided to enable those checks to operate effectively and accurately.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Pre-Departure Testing and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 require transport operators to ensure that all passengers aged 11 and over travelling from outside the Common Travel Area to England have proof of a negative test result before permitting them to board. They will need to check the test result notification of each passenger ahead of boarding.

Guidance for operators has been circulated which sets out the requirements in detail.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of (a) pre-departure testing (b) testing after arrival on the length of quarantine required for international travellers entering the UK during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government is actively working on the practicalities of using testing to release people from self-isolation earlier than 14 days. The Global Travel Taskforce is working at pace to consider how testing, technology and innovation can drive a recovery for international travel and tourism, without adding to infection risk or infringing on our overall NHS test capacity.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the two year period, from date of completion of part 1, in which a candidate can complete parts 2 and 3 of the Approved Driving Instructor certification.

The two-year validity period of the approved driving instructor (ADI) qualification process is set in legislation and the Government has decided not to lay further legislation to extend it. This is to ensure a potential driving instructor’s road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date to help them prepare for their remaining qualifying tests and deliver effective instruction once they have joined the ADI register.