Stuart C McDonald Portrait

Stuart C McDonald

Scottish National Party - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

(since February 2021)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)
7th Jan 2020 - 1st Feb 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)
20th May 2015 - 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


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:30
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The state of policing and the fire and rescue services
27 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Sir Tom Winsor - Chief Inspector at HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services
View calendar
Oral Question
Wednesday 27th October 2021
12:00
Cabinet Office
Oral Question No. 15
If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 27 October.
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
09:25
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
2 Nov 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
14:00
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
2 Nov 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
09:30
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Appointment of the Chair of the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority
3 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 4th November 2021
11:30
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
4 Nov 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 4th November 2021
14:00
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
4 Nov 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill (Ninth sitting)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 2 Scottish National Party Aye votes vs 0 Scottish National Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 7 Noes - 9
Speeches
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill (Ninth sitting)

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship again, Sir Roger. I will speak to amendment 56 and the …

Written Answers
Wednesday 27th October 2021
Immigration: Fees and Charges
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many overseas entry clearance fee waivers have been granted …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021 (SI 2021, No. 962)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
EDM signed
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Death and recognition of Walter Smith OBE
That this House expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Rangers Football Club legend, and one of the great …
Supported Legislation
Refugees (Family Reunion) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stuart C McDonald has voted in 270 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
Kevin Foster (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(61 debate interactions)
Tom Pursglove (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
(42 debate interactions)
Holly Lynch (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
(30 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(372 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(30 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 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 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.

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.


Latest EDMs signed by Stuart C McDonald

26th October 2021
Stuart C McDonald signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th October 2021

Death and recognition of Walter Smith OBE

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Rangers Football Club legend, and one of the great modern day football managers, Walter Smith OBE; recognises Walter's extraordinary contribution to Scottish football, both as a manager and as a player, beginning his playing career at Dundee United in …
39 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 31
Labour: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Independent: 1
23rd September 2021
Stuart C McDonald signed this EDM on Monday 25th October 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
110 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 76
Scottish National Party: 11
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Independent: 2
Green 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.


Stuart C McDonald has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Stuart C McDonald has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Stuart C McDonald has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


270 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
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.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, whether she has issued guidance, advice and instructions to Crown prosecution lawyers on prosecutions under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in the last 18 months; and if she will make a statement.

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.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
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.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
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.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
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
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for voluntary exit payments for HMRC staff aged over 60 of the tribunal ruling in Ms J Elliot v Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

It is not appropriate to comment on a case that is currently subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
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.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on the reduction or elimination of the use of natural gas for domestic heating and cooking; and what targets his Department has on that matter.

As set out in the Energy White Paper, the Government will provide a clear path for moving away from fossil fuels, including natural gas, in homes over the next fifteen years as consumers replace their appliances.

By the mid-2030s, we expect all newly installed heating systems to be low carbon or to be appliances that we are confident can be converted to a clean fuel supply. In order to achieve this ambition, we are moving forward with plans to deploy low carbon technologies, having set a target for 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028. We are also continuing to support research and development projects to help determine the feasibility of using low carbon hydrogen for domestic purposes including trials planned throughout the decade.

For new homes, the Government is introducing the Future Homes Standard by 2025. We expect that homes built to the Future Homes Standard will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80% lower than those built to current Building Regulations standards, which means they will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards. In order to support this, we will be consulting on whether it is appropriate to end gas grid connections to new homes.

We will be publishing a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
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.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
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.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that EU citizens with status and British citizens living in the UK who have received letters from the Department stating that they must apply for immigration status, following the UK's departure from the EU, within 28 days or their benefits will stop, do not have their entitlements terminated.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps EU nationals with settled and pre-settled status need to take to access a National Insurance number; and when procedures will be in place for EU nationals without settled or pre-settled status to access National Insurance numbers.

When applying for a National Insurance Number (NINo) all applicants are required to have their identity verified. For some applicants whose identity has been verified by another UK Government Department, primarily the Home Office, we are able to offer a postal service. For the remainder, UK and EU/EEA citizens, their ID is verified at a face-to-face appointment.

Due to COVID-19, the face-to-face identity verification appointment process is presently suspended.

The NINo allocation service has continued to offer a service, throughout the pandemic, to our most vulnerable customer groups and students who are entitled to Student Finance. In June 2020, we resumed our postal service for visa applicants.

DWP started testing a partial digital solution on a small scale in mid-October to support the issuing of NINos, which is still ongoing. This solution enables collection of the applicant’s data, but not the online verification of their identity. Alternative identity verification solutions to reduce the need for a face-to-face identity check for some customer groups, including EU nationals with Settled or Pre-Settled status, is under development as part of this test.

The digital solution will be considered by the Government Data Service for its ability to move into Public Beta, and thereby deliver a service to a greater number of customers early next year.

EU nationals without Settled or Pre-Settled status will still be required to attend a face-to-face appointment with DWP for identity verification.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants have moved from legacy benefits to universal credit in each of the last six months through (a) natural migration and (b) managed migration.

a) Claimants move from existing benefits to Universal Credit when they experience a significant change in their circumstances that triggers a new claim to benefit. We do not centrally collate the number of claimants that have made a new claim to Universal Credit as a result of such a change in circumstances.

Data surrounding Universal Credit caseload growth at national, regional and constituency level is published at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

b) The Move to UC Pilot has been temporarily suspended following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to suspend repayment of all universal credit advances during the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, DWP is making a number of changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system.

Universal Credit New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to claimants who have requested them. Face-to-face checks for Universal Credit advances have been suspended and claimants can apply for an advance by phone or online without attending their Jobcentre.

Universal Credit is already much more generous than the legacy benefit system it replaces. From 6th April 2020, we have increased the standard allowance for everyone by over £80 a month for one year. This is on top of the existing 1.7% increase already announced. The increase in the Universal Credit standard allowance provides additional support to claimants in order to help them manage the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the repayment of new claim advances.

The Government has reduced the maximum deduction from 40% to 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance from October 2019 and this will be further reduced to 25% from October 2021. The repayment time for advances has already been extended from 6 months to 12 months, and will be further extended to 24 months from October 2021.

If a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions being made they can contact the Department to request that a reduction in deductions be considered. Any adjustment to repayments will be based on the individual circumstances of the claimant.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take to ensure that people that are unable to access the internet as a result of the closure of libraries and other public institutions during the covid-19 outbreak can (a) apply for universal credit and (b) manage their claim.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) monitor the quality of (i) accommodation and (ii) food provided to people and families and (b) promote the welfare of children required to quarantine in hotels during the covid-19 outbreak.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on placing material related to the contaminated blood scandal at the National Archives; what plans are in place for ensuring appropriate access to the material for the public and for the Infected Blood Inquiry; and whether documents previously declared lost are included and identifiable.

The Department is obliged by the Public Records Act 1967, as amended, to consider records for permanent preservation at the National Archives, including those related to blood policy. The schedule for transfer is set out in secondary legislation, the Freedom of Information (Definition of Historical Records) (Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2012.

The Infected Blood Inquiry has reviewed thousands of files from the Department and has always been free to request access to files they wish to review. We have been transparent in making available documents believed to have been lost but subsequently returned by third party solicitors, having already made these available on the Department’s website in 2006.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of a person's vitamin D levels on the severity of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) supported the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) to review emerging evidence on vitamin D and the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in spring 2020. The review concluded that there was currently no robust evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19. The review is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-rapid-review-vitamin-d-and-acute-respiratory-tract-infections

In autumn 2020, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and PHE were asked to re-consider the evidence on vitamin D and COVID-19. The resulting rapid guideline on vitamin D and COVID-19 reiterated existing advice for everyone to take a daily 10 microgram supplement of vitamin D during winter months and noted that there was not enough evidence on vitamin D and the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. However, NICE, PHE and the SACN will monitor emerging evidence on this issue. The guideline on vitamin D and COVID-19 is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng187

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on clinically extremely vulnerable asylum seekers under his jurisdiction accessing covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has advised that for Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, the vaccine first be given to care home residents and staff and those over 80 years old, followed by health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.

Asylum seekers have the same access to the COVID-19 vaccine as the rest of the population. If they have not done so already, they should register with a general practice, and if they have health conditions that would make them clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable then that should be recorded.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Oct 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of negotiations on the future relationship with the EU on the health and social care sector.

The negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom are ongoing. The UK has been engaged continuously and constructively in those negotiations, and issues which affect the health and social care sector play an important part in them. We must not prejudge the outcome of those negotiations.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people who have (a) been infected with and (b) died from covid-19 were (i) British nationals, (ii) EEA or Swiss citizens, (iii) family members of EEA or Swiss citizens, (iv) Non-EEA or Swiss nationals with indefinite leave to remain or a right of abode, (v) Non-EEA or Swiss nationals with any temporary leave to remain and (vi) Foreign nationals with no leave to enter or remain in the UK.

This information is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to work with EU member states to procure medical equipment needed during the covid-19 pandemic

The Government is working with industry, the National Health Service, social care providers and the army to ensure the supply of key medical equipment for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are in active discussions with the European Union Commission on future shared procurement opportunities and we will decide whether to participate in each on the basis of public health requirements at the time. We are exploring all procurement options for medical equipment to give the NHS and the social care sector everything they need to tackle this outbreak.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department is targeting advice at people aged over 70 when the World Health Organisation advice targets people aged over 60 as being at risk.

International data shows that the hospitalisation rate is greatest in the vulnerable, including those aged 70 and older. Asking this group to be most stringent with social distancing is important for reducing the pressure on intensive care beds. The United Kingdom policy is based on a review of the scientific evidence by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the economic crisis in Lebanon on its covid-19 response and vaccination roll-out.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the economic crisis in Lebanon. The economic crisis in turn has impacted Lebanon's response to the pandemic and wider healthcare provision. The UK is at the forefront of support to Lebanon's response to coronavirus and has contributed nearly £4.5m for medical supplies via the World Health Organisation and support through the British Red Cross as well as funding 10 Covid-19 isolation centres.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department will take to support the provision of (a) health and (b) education services for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The UK is one of the leading donors in supporting Lebanon in hosting both Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Since 2011, the UK has allocated over £780 million in humanitarian and development funding to Lebanon. Our humanitarian assistance will continue to promote access to education and provide those most in need with timely, flexible assistance and protection services to cover their basic survival needs and reduce gender-based violence, saving lives and reducing suffering.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on maternal and child health services in developing countries; and what steps he is taken to help mitigate that effect.

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to put pressure on essential services, resulting in disruptions with significant impacts for maternal and child health services in developing countries. For example in a World Health Organisation (WHO) country survey, 56% of responding countries reported disruption to antenatal care services.

The UK Government remains committed to supporting child, newborn and maternal health interventions as part of our manifesto commitment to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children by 2030. Globally we are working with agencies such as the WHO, GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Financing Facility to support governments to maintain health systems in affected countries, provide technical assistance and immunise children.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what rights UK nationals (a) arrested, (b) tortured and (c) detained abroad have to consular (a) assistance and (b) protection; and if he will make a statement.

Our consular staff endeavour to give tailored support to British nationals overseas and their families in the UK, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. We help around 30,000 British nationals abroad every year - 20,000 new cases and around 10,000 long running cases, such as those in detention. The UK Government has the power to grant consular assistance to British nationals abroad on such requests. Each request for consular assistance will be considered individually. The UK is a party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which is a multilateral agreement setting out how States will cooperate in the support of their nationals in distress overseas including for example granting access to detained nationals. The Government's ability to provide consular assistance remains at all times dependent on other states respecting the VCCR and must be done in accordance with the laws of that country. The assistance the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can provide to British nationals abroad is set out in the publication: Support for British nationals abroad: A Guide. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide). It includes further information on what we can seek to do for victims of torture and mistreatment, and for those detained overseas. The level and type of assistance we offer is tailored to the individual circumstances of each case but we take all allegations of torture or mistreatment seriously, treat those who have made allegations of torture and mistreatment as vulnerable cases and follow up with action appropriate to the circumstances of each case. Consular assistance is often referred to as consular protection. It is distinct from diplomatic protection.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on (a) the security situation in Somalia and (b) reports of potential troop withdrawals in that country by Ethiopia and the US.

The UK regularly engages international partners on the security situation in Somalia, including the threat from Al Shabaab, the role of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somalia's ongoing needs for international support, as it takes greater control of its own security after 2021. UK efforts in November, for example, included a very active role in UN Security Council consultations, participation in an international conference on security support in Somalia and, with the UK as 'penholder', renewal of UN Somalia sanctions. I also recently discussed security in Somalia with Kenyan Ministers and the Somali Foreign Minister.

We are aware of reports about the withdrawal of some Ethiopian troops present in Somalia in a national capacity. We have not seen indications of Ethiopian proposals to withdraw from AMISOM. On 4 December the US announced the repositioning of US forces in Somalia, with some relocating to Djibouti or Kenya and others returning to the US. US officials have briefed UK counterparts on their decision, and been clear that this is a change in force posture and not a change in US policy on Somalia. We continue to work with international partners on our collective interests in building long-term security and stability in Somalia, and ensuring an effective international presence to support this.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to ensure the fate of Syrians kidnapped by ISIS is investigated effectively.

The UK is committed to highlighting the appalling violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria including those committed by Daesh and to pursuing accountability for the most serious crimes. As penholder for the Syria text at the Human Rights Council, we have included language on enforced disappearance in recent Resolutions. We continue to support the UN Commission of Inquiry's investigations into human rights violations and abuses in Syria and the work of the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism which is gathering evidence for the prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law in Syria. The UK has contributed over £13 million since 2012 in support of Syrian and international efforts to gather evidence and assist victims of human rights abuses and violations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken towards supporting a stable end to violence in Syria; and if he will make a statement.

On 22 October, the Foreign Secretary and like-minded counterparts issued a statement following a Ministerial meeting of the Syria Small Group: only a political settlement in line with Security Council Resolution 2254 can resolve the conflict. We regularly raise this matter in bilateral discussions and multilateral fora, including the UN Security Council. We call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to adhere to agreed ceasefires and abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law. We support the UN-facilitated political process to reach a lasting settlement to the Syrian conflict and a political settlement on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. To this end, we continue to support UN Syria Envoy Pedersen's efforts to convene the Constitutional Committee, most recently for a fourth round of talks in Geneva on 29 November. The UK remains a top donor to the Syria crisis. In June 2020 we committed at least £300 million at the Brussels Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region". This brings the UK's support to Syria and the region since 2012 to £3.3 billion, the UK's biggest ever humanitarian response.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with overseas Governments to (a) protect and (b) facilitate the return to the UK of UK seafarers who are having to work indefinitely onboard ships overseas.

We recognise this is a worrying time for British crew on board cruise ships around the world. It is primarily the responsibility of their employers - the cruise ship operators - to ensure the welfare and safety of their crew.??The Government is in direct contact with these operators, as well as directly with many crew members and their families, and we will continue to do what we can to ensure UK crew can access flights home.? The Government restated its commitment to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at the start of this crisis, ensuring we lead globally on our obligations to seafarers welfare, and this is a position we intend to uphold.

Not all British crew are seeking to return to the UK. Some may wish to stay with the ship (with their employer's consent), while others may be required by their role to do so as part of the minimum safe manning requirements for the vessel. This is a legislative and flag state requirement to ensure the continued seaworthiness of vessels.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on short selling the financial market of The Short Selling (Notification Thresholds) Regulations 2021; and what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate short selling in the future.

Short selling is regulated in the UK under the Short Selling Regulation, introduced in 2012. As with all regulation, the Treasury works closely with the regulators and market participants to monitor the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, in line with the government’s objectives of supporting economic growth and financial stability.

The Short Selling (Notification Thresholds) Regulations 2021 lowered the threshold for the reporting of net short positions to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in relation to the issued share capital of a company that has shares admitted to trading on a trading venue, to 0.1%. HM Treasury will continue to consider with the FCA whether the notification threshold remains appropriate given market conditions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what impact assessment has been carried out on the effect on staff at HMRC's office in Cumbernauld of requiring those employees to travel to a new office in Glasgow; and if he will publish that assessment.

HMRC undertake People Equality Impact Assessments (PEIA) on a regular basis at national and regional levels, covering all the impacts on employees as a result of their Locations Programme. The impact on employees in Cumbernauld who will be required to travel to a new office in Glasgow will be included in the wider PEIA for the Glasgow Region and will be updated later this year. HMRC publish national PEIAs externally; the regional PEIAs are published internally and made available to all employees.

HMRC provided the Honourable Member with the most recent Glasgow Regional PEIA, which included Cumbernauld, in December 2020.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many temporary workers have been recruited by HMRC in the last twelve months; and what roles those workers have performed.

HMRC have recruited c.3,794 temporary workers into the department over the last twelve months. The largest proportion, 2,564, relates to workers recruited to supplement the existing workforce to support UK Transition and COVID-19 schemes.

The table below provides a breakdown;

Area

Business Unit

Temporary Workers

Covid19 and UKT Schemes (Bulk)

CSG/CCG

1588

Borders Design to Delivery

976

Digital / Technology

CDIO

198

RCDTS

100

CSTD

40

Operational Delivery

Customer Services

671

Finance / Tax / Legal

Solicitors Office

33

CFO

31

Compliance

CCG

75

Other

Communications

1

CPO

52

HR

17

Transformation

2

UK Transition

4

Customs Border Design

6

Total

3794

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff have been made redundant as part of HMRC's Building our future programme to date; and what recent estimate he has made of what the total number of redundancies will be under that programme.

Since the commencement of HMRC’s Location Programme activity, 45,158 people have been invited to undertake a one-to-one discussion to determine whether or not they are able to migrate to a future HMRC location and/or opt-in to move. Of those people, 5,251 have subsequently left HMRC on an exit package. A further 204 people have accepted Voluntary Redundancy offers and are due to leave HMRC by 30 June 2021.

Learning from HMRC’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has given the department the opportunity to look at what flexibilities HMRC can allow to help people to stay working in HMRC, HMRC will review their approach for the remainder of the programme.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when HMRC's lease on its office in Cumbernauld will expire.

The lease for the HMRC office in Cumbernauld (Accounts Office) expires on 1 April 2021. Under the exit provisions of the STEPS PFI contract, HMRC have the option to extend the lease. In line with their locations strategy and to allow them to remain in the property until the Glasgow Regional Centre opens, HMRC are actively working on an extension and expect to issue an update soon.

HMRC will undertake to inform the Honourable Member of the outcome.

27th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what contingency plans he has put in place for the potential eventuality that customs declarations software fails after the transition period has ended.

HMRC continue to test their customs systems to ensure they will remain effective following the end of the Transition Period. In the unlikely event of an unplanned outage there are fallback procedures in place. In addition, there is a disaster recovery system for CHIEF, and the new Customs Declaration Service is protected by the cloud-based environment it is hosted on.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many reports of abuse of the furlough scheme the Government has received; and what progress he has made in investigating them.

As of 19 June, HMRC have confirmed receipt of 3,351 allegations of fraud relating specifically to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. These have been assessed in line with HMRC’s standard operating procedures for fraudulent allegations.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the number of firms using the furlough scheme towards the cost of redundancy payments.

As per the latest updates to the guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

HMRC will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.

Full guidance can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support is available to support (a) childminders, (b) driving instructors and (c) other self-employed people during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced new support for the self-employed on 26 March 2020.

The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will help those with lost trading profits due to COVID-19. It will allow eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed and is one of the most generous self-employed support schemes in the world.

To qualify, an individual’s self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of their income must come from self-employment. Some 95% of people who receive most of their income from self-employment will benefit from this Scheme.

HM Revenue & Customs will contact individuals if they are eligible and will invite them to apply online using a simple form. HMRC are working on this urgently and expect people to be able to access the Scheme no later than the beginning of June.

More information about the Scheme, including the full eligibility criteria and how to claim, is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

The Scheme supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses and employees, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and deferral of tax payments.

More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he will take to protect the incomes of self-employed people affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is deferring tax payments, through the Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) and VAT system to help support businesses and the self-employed with cash flows. VAT payments due between now and mid-June will be deferred. No business will have to make a VAT payment to HMRC in that period. Income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021, benefitting up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.

The Government has also announced it is delaying the reforms to the off-payroll working rules (IR35) from April 2020 to April 2021 and the reforms will be legislated for in the 2020 Finance Bill. This deferral has been announced in response to the spread of Covid-19, to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available to self-employed individuals with an eligible business entity. By providing an 80% government guarantee on finance facilities up to £5 million, this scheme will help more businesses access the finance they need. The Government will not charge businesses for this guarantee, and will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments for businesses. For more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme go to: www.British-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS.

The Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for all self-employed UC claimants for 1 year from 6 April. This means a drop in earnings due to the economic impacts of Covid-19 will not affect the amount of UC a claimant receives. This goes further than the Budget announcement to temporarily relax the MIF only for claimants who are directly affected by Covid-19, which has already come into effect. For those directly affected or self-isolating, there will be no attendance requirements, and Universal Credit can be claimed online or via phone.

Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating will be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth. Eligible claimants under 25 will be entitled to £57.90 per week, and over 25s £73.10 per week.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to make available for employees who are requested or required to take unpaid leave as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a wide-ranging package of measures to support employees affected by Covid-19.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be available for individuals diagnosed with Covid-19 or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with government guidance. This is in addition to the change announced by the Prime Minister that SSP will be payable from day one instead of day four for affected individuals.

Those who are not eligible for SSP can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance:

· For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have Covid-19 or are self-isolating, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support. ·

- People will be able to claim?Universal Credit and access?advance payments upfront without the current requirement to attend a jobcentre if they are advised to self-isolate.

- Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week for those over 25, for eligible people affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating in line with advice from day one of sickness, rather than day eight.

From Friday 20 March onwards, those who are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain?an “isolation note” by contacting?NHS 111?, rather than by visiting a doctor.

The Budget also announced a £500 million Hardship Fund to help Local Authorities to support economically vulnerable people and households.

Banks and building societies are also ready and able to support consumers affected by Covid-19. On 17 March, the Chancellor announced on behalf of the sector that banks and building societies will offer a 3-month ‘mortgage holiday’ for borrowers that are financially struggling with their repayments. This forbearance measure will enable affected borrowers to defer their mortgage payments for up to three months while they get back on their feet. Customers who are concerned about the current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff have left HMRC as a result of (a) voluntary exits, (b) voluntary redundancies and (c) compulsory redundancies since the start of the Building Our Future Programme, broken down by region.

Since the start of the Building Our Future Programme, 2,695 people have left HMRC as a result of Voluntary Exit, Voluntary Redundancy or Compulsory Redundancy at a cost of £91,618,846. Tables a) and b) below provide a breakdown of those numbers and associated costs.

For offices closing in 2020-21, HMRC estimate that there will be approximately 3,138 exits at a cost of £128,523,595. Table c) provides a breakdown of those estimated exits by type.

a) Breakdown of exits to date, by type and by region

Region

Total number of exits

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

East

278

171

97

10

East Midlands

138

61

73

4

London

162

54

106

2

North East

4

0

4

0

North West

644

0

580

64

Northern Ireland

188

16

161

11

Scotland

233

0

214

19

South East

373

18

315

40

South West

525

116

350

59

West Midlands

103

20

78

5

Yorks & Humber

47

15

30

2

Grand Total

2695

471

2008

216

b) Breakdown of exit cost to date, by type

Total Exit Costs

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

£91,618,846

£17,494,697

£71,110,401

£3,013,748

c) Breakdown of exits relating to 2020-21 office closures

Estimated number of exits

Estimated exit cost

Estimated Voluntary Exit

Estimated Voluntary Redundancy

Estimated Compulsory Redundancy

3,138

£128,523,595

0

2,887

251

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the cost has been of (a) voluntary exits, (b) voluntary redundancies and (c) compulsory redundancies among the staff of HMRC since the start of the Building our Future Programme.

Since the start of the Building Our Future Programme, 2,695 people have left HMRC as a result of Voluntary Exit, Voluntary Redundancy or Compulsory Redundancy at a cost of £91,618,846. Tables a) and b) below provide a breakdown of those numbers and associated costs.

For offices closing in 2020-21, HMRC estimate that there will be approximately 3,138 exits at a cost of £128,523,595. Table c) provides a breakdown of those estimated exits by type.

a) Breakdown of exits to date, by type and by region

Region

Total number of exits

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

East

278

171

97

10

East Midlands

138

61

73

4

London

162

54

106

2

North East

4

0

4

0

North West

644

0

580

64

Northern Ireland

188

16

161

11

Scotland

233

0

214

19

South East

373

18

315

40

South West

525

116

350

59

West Midlands

103

20

78

5

Yorks & Humber

47

15

30

2

Grand Total

2695

471

2008

216

b) Breakdown of exit cost to date, by type

Total Exit Costs

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

£91,618,846

£17,494,697

£71,110,401

£3,013,748

c) Breakdown of exits relating to 2020-21 office closures

Estimated number of exits

Estimated exit cost

Estimated Voluntary Exit

Estimated Voluntary Redundancy

Estimated Compulsory Redundancy

3,138

£128,523,595

0

2,887

251

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) voluntary exits, (b) voluntary redundancies and (c) compulsory redundancies there will be among HMRC staff in 2020-21; and what the projected cost is of those exits and redundancies.

Since the start of the Building Our Future Programme, 2,695 people have left HMRC as a result of Voluntary Exit, Voluntary Redundancy or Compulsory Redundancy at a cost of £91,618,846. Tables a) and b) below provide a breakdown of those numbers and associated costs.

For offices closing in 2020-21, HMRC estimate that there will be approximately 3,138 exits at a cost of £128,523,595. Table c) provides a breakdown of those estimated exits by type.

a) Breakdown of exits to date, by type and by region

Region

Total number of exits

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

East

278

171

97

10

East Midlands

138

61

73

4

London

162

54

106

2

North East

4

0

4

0

North West

644

0

580

64

Northern Ireland

188

16

161

11

Scotland

233

0

214

19

South East

373

18

315

40

South West

525

116

350

59

West Midlands

103

20

78

5

Yorks & Humber

47

15

30

2

Grand Total

2695

471

2008

216

b) Breakdown of exit cost to date, by type

Total Exit Costs

Voluntary Exit

Voluntary Redundancy

Compulsory Redundancy

£91,618,846

£17,494,697

£71,110,401

£3,013,748

c) Breakdown of exits relating to 2020-21 office closures

Estimated number of exits

Estimated exit cost

Estimated Voluntary Exit

Estimated Voluntary Redundancy

Estimated Compulsory Redundancy

3,138

£128,523,595

0

2,887

251

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of UK payments due to the EU under the withdrawal agreement in each of the next five financial years.

The OBR publish a five year forecast of UK payments to the EU at each fiscal event in their Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Their most recent forecast was published at the time of the Spring Budget on 11 March 2020 and can be found at: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-march-2020/

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the cost to the public purse of a parent in a single-parent household leaving paid employment and accessing benefits to look after their children, in each year since 2010.

It is not possible to make an assessment with the information available. Assessing the total cost to the Exchequer is highly dependent on the individual’s circumstances. If a parent in a single-parent household left paid employment and accessed benefits to look after their children, under Universal Credit their total claim would be dependent on the claimant’s age, where they live and their housing tenure type, how many children are in the household and whether they or any of their children have a disability. Depending on the level of previous earnings, it may be the case that the person would also be eligible to Universal Credit whilst they were in work.

The overall public spending impact will also include lost Exchequer revenues from any taxation paid (such as National Insurance and Income Tax) which is again is dependent on the level of previous earnings, and other circumstances determining their National Insurance category.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
7th Jan 2020
What discussions he has had with (a) HMRC and (b) the Secretary of State for Scotland on proposals to close HMRC's Cumbernauld office.

HMRC announced its Locations Programme in 2015, which included the establishment of the Glasgow Regional Centre and closure of the Cumbernauld office. Ministers are kept up to date on HMRC’s progress in delivering the Locations Programme.

The former Secretary of State for Scotland (Rt Hon David Mundell MP) met with HMRC representatives to discuss the closure of the Cumbernauld office and the relocation of staff to the Glasgow Regional Centre.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for a fee waiver in respect of an overseas entry clearance human rights application her Department has received from Afghan nationals since 15 August 2021; and how many of those applications have been placed on hold.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended and the new route has not been officially launched.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for Tier 5 visas were received from people wishing to volunteer for charities in the UK in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021 to date.

The Home Office publishes data on visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of applications and the number of granted applications regarding Temporary Work – Charity Worker visas are published in tables Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes dataset, respectively.

Please note, for the outcomes of applications data, the year and quarter refer to the date at which the case outcome was decided and not the date at which the application was received. If you wish to calculate the grant rate of Temporary Work – Charity Worker visa applications, it is recommended the best estimate is found by calculating the proportion of the number of grants to the total number of resolved cases for each quarter.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending June 2021.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Tier 5 visas were granted to volunteers in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

The Home Office publishes data on visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of applications and the number of granted applications regarding Temporary Work – Charity Worker visas are published in tables Vis_D01 and Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes dataset, respectively.

Please note, for the outcomes of applications data, the year and quarter refer to the date at which the case outcome was decided and not the date at which the application was received. If you wish to calculate the grant rate of Temporary Work – Charity Worker visa applications, it is recommended the best estimate is found by calculating the proportion of the number of grants to the total number of resolved cases for each quarter.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending June 2021.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many overseas entry clearance fee waivers have been granted since March 2021.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended and the new route has not been officially launched.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that EU citizens with status and British citizens living in the UK who have received letters from the Department for Work and Pensions stating that they must apply for immigration status, following the UK's departure from the EU, within 28 days or their benefits will stop, do not have their entitlements terminated.

The Home Office has worked closely with the DWP to identify individuals in receipt of benefits who may be eligible but have yet to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). In trying to reach as many people as possible, there were a small number of instances where letters were sent to recipients who were naturalised, or dual British and EU citizens, or had other forms of immigration status.

We have taken a range of steps to ensure EU citizens with status and British citizens were removed from our data matching exercise, including re-running the exercise and establishing a dedicated customer service team to manage queries from those who had received a letter and are British or Irish citizens, or already held a valid immigration status. The helpline number was included in the letter sent out in August.

In September, DWP wrote to benefit holders who had still not applied to the EUSS or confirmed their immigration status in the UK with the Home Office, to determine whether they remained entitled to their benefits. Due to some overlap between the sharing of data lists and the DWP mailout, a small number of individuals were contacted by DWP despite having previously contacted the Home Office to confirm their status. Details of the individuals in this small cohort who have verified their status have now been passed to DWP to remove them from their data lists so no further action to suspend or terminate their benefits is taken as a result of not applying to the EUSS.

Individuals wishing to evidence their eligibility for benefits as a result of a letter received from DWP - including those who are British or Irish citizens or already have immigration status - must contact DWP. DWP will carry out further checks, including with the Home Office, and carefully consider evidence before taking any suspension or termination action.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has (a) reached any agreements with countries to remove people it considers inadmissible to the asylum procedure and (b) identified any locations for offshore processing of asylum claims to the UK.

In response to part (a), we have several bilateral agreements with key third countries that assist in expediting the return of individuals we consider inadmissible. This includes within the EU and other international partners.

In response to part (b), we must consider every possible option to prevent people from putting their lives at risk to make perilous journeys – deterring abuse of the asylum system and criminality associated with it. As part of offshoring, we are in discussion with a number of international partners but will not comment on the detail of individual negotiations. We would only ever work with countries that we know are safe and will treat asylum seekers in accordance with the Refugee Convention and relevant international human rights laws.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she will publish the final inspection report on contingency asylum accommodation by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is still conducting this inspection and has not yet produced a final report.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applicants referred into the National Referral Mechanism received (a) refugee leave, (b) positive conclusive grounds status and (c) both statuses since April 2016.

Figures on the number of asylum applicants who have been referred into the National Referral Mechanism and received refugee status, a positive conclusive grounds decision or both are not currently published.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism who have received a positive conclusive grounds decision can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics and the number of individuals granted refugee status can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021/how-many-people-do-we-grant-asylum-or-protection-to.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Official report, column 470WH, when her Department plans to publish the revised policy on overseas fee waivers.

The overseas fee waiver policy is being revised to include an assessment of the criterion of affordability for specified applications under the Article 8/human rights route. The revised policy is expected to be published by the end of 2021.

Applicants can still apply for an overseas fee waiver, but the application will be placed on hold pending the revised guidance. If an application is received and it is clear the applicant’s need to travel to the UK is urgent, the application will be considered.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's statistical release entitled, How many people do we grant asylum or protection to?, published on 26 August 2021, which countries the 7 people who were deemed inadmissible between January and June 2021 were deemed to have a connection to; and to which countries is their return being sought.

The Home Office holds this information however has obligations under data protection legislation and in law generally to protect personal data. Releasing the information at this time could lead to identification of the individuals, which would breach data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

We continually review our statistical publications and it may be possible in future to list the countries involved without breaching data protection obligations. We will not however provide a running commentary on our negotiations with our international partners.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to introduce dental x-rays to help to determine the age of undocumented migrants; and if she will make a statement.

Assessing someone’s age is an extremely challenging task and it is only right we explore how the current system can be improved by harnessing scientific evidence alongside existing methods. We will be guided by the research and evidence on which scientific methods to use.

The UK is one of the only countries in Europe not to use scientific age assessment methods to help determine a person’s age when they arrive into the country. Various scientific methods are used to assess age in, among others, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

We should not underestimate the significant safeguarding risks there are if an adult were to successfully pass themselves off as a child and be placed in young people’s accommodation or schools. It also reduces the resources available to help genuine asylum-seeking children.

We have already laid marker clauses in the Nationality and Borders Bill on the use of scientific methods of age assessment will shortly bring forward amendments with the full clauses at the committee stage in October

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 149254, how many and what proportion of the UK Government’s return and readmission agreements have provisions for receipt by states of third country nationals, including those considered inadmissible under the UK’s asylum procedure.

We have returns and readmissions agreements with many countries across the world. These agreements provide a formal operational process for effecting returns and readmissions. Though the nature of these agreements varies, several of these agreements have provisions for returning and readmitting third country nationals.

Treaties that have been signed and ratified are in the public domain and the provisions of these are accessible to all. However, some agreements are not published so as to preserve good international relations or for operational reasons. Whether an agreement contains provisions for third country nationals will depend on the particular agreement.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to compensate charities that have provided emergency funds and food to people who have not had access to asylum support following the transition to a new payment card from May 2021.

Fully functioning Aspen cards, including translated instructions on how to activate them, were distributed to all service users via first class post prior to the transition date of 24 May. The majority of eligible card holders had completed this activation process by 24 May and have had access to funds via their card. However, some card holders had yet to successfully activate their card by this date. We continue to work with strategic delivery partners to ensure all cards are successfully received and activated with targeted assistance.

Emergency cash payments (ECPs) are a longstanding operational contingency provision which has been in place for several years. The position on ECPs has not changed, and they have been used to support service users who had issues with their Aspen card over the transition period.

The only element which has changed during the service transition is the value of payments (increasing from £20 to £40 per week) and the fact accommodation providers can now self-authorise Emergency Cash Payments to expedite requests. Emergency Cash Payments will continue to be provided to service users who have not yet activated their new Aspen card.

The Home Office is in regular dialogue with Charites and third sector partners about the support they provide to service users.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on asylum seekers in receipt of emergency payments following the transition to a new asylum support payment card.

Fully functioning Aspen cards, including translated instructions on how to activate them, were distributed to all service users via first class post prior to the transition date of 24 May. The majority of eligible card holders had completed this activation process by 24 May and have had access to funds via their card. However, some card holders had yet to successfully activate their card by this date. We continue to work with strategic delivery partners to ensure all cards are successfully received and activated with targeted assistance.

Emergency cash payments (ECPs) are a longstanding operational contingency provision which has been in place for several years. The position on ECPs has not changed, and they have been used to support service users who had issues with their Aspen card over the transition period.

The only element which has changed during the service transition is the value of payments (increasing from £20 to £40 per week) and the fact accommodation providers can now self-authorise Emergency Cash Payments to expedite requests. Emergency Cash Payments will continue to be provided to service users who have not yet activated their new Aspen card.

The Home Office is in regular dialogue with Charites and third sector partners about the support they provide to service users.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of asylum seekers in the asylum support system who do not have (a) a new or (b) functioning payment card that would allow them to access financial support.

Fully functioning Aspen cards, including translated instructions on how to activate them, were distributed to all service users via first class post prior to the transition date of 24 May. The majority of eligible card holders had completed this activation process by 24 May and have had access to funds via their card. However, some card holders had yet to successfully activate their card by this date. We continue to work with strategic delivery partners to ensure all cards are successfully received and activated with targeted assistance.

Emergency cash payments (ECPs) are a longstanding operational contingency provision which has been in place for several years. The position on ECPs has not changed, and they have been used to support service users who had issues with their Aspen card over the transition period.

The only element which has changed during the service transition is the value of payments (increasing from £20 to £40 per week) and the fact accommodation providers can now self-authorise Emergency Cash Payments to expedite requests. Emergency Cash Payments will continue to be provided to service users who have not yet activated their new Aspen card.

The Home Office is in regular dialogue with Charites and third sector partners about the support they provide to service users.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the Government’s proposals on asylum with the (a) UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and (b) rule of law.

The New Plan for Immigration will deliver a fair but firm asylum system. We have a proud history of providing to protection to those who need it, and all policy measures will uphold our legal obligations, including the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to ensure that any asylum seekers who have been adversely affected in the ongoing Aspen payment card transition will (a) have all back-payments due from 24 May 2021 automatically paid in full and (b) not suffer over-payment claw-backs of emergency payments given as a consequence of the payment card transition.

Weekly payments are continuously accruing on Aspen cards for eligible asylum seekers, even if they have not yet received or activated their new card. Once successfully activated, service users can access their accrued funds, therefore no back-payments will be required.

The vast majority of cards have been activated and payments were available for those without ASPEN access.

The position on emergency cash payments and reconciliation of balances will be reviewed in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an EU citizen care worker who fails to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 will be prosecuted if they continue to work without status.

Where an EEA citizen has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given an opportunity to make a late application.

Any EEA citizen encountered by Immigration Enforcement after 30 June 2021, who may be eligible to apply to the EUSS, will be issued with a notice which provides a further 28 days for the individual to submit their application. Further information will be provided to employers shortly about what they should do if they have an employee who finds themself in this situation.

Each individual case will be considered on its own merits.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an employer conducting right-to-work checks after 30 June 2021 will be obliged to terminate the employment of an EU citizen where that EU citizen is unable to demonstrate proof of their status or proof that they have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Where an EEA citizen has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given an opportunity to make a late application.

Any EEA citizen encountered by Immigration Enforcement after 30 June 2021, who may be eligible to apply to the EUSS, will be issued with a notice which provides a further 28 days for the individual to submit their application. Further information will be provided to employers shortly about what they should do if they have an employee who finds themself in this situation.

Each individual case will be considered on its own merits.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether observations by (a) security and (b) other ancillary staff at facilities where asylum seekers are being held may be used as evidence to determine the admissibility of asylum claims.

Our expectation is that in almost all cases, admissibility considerations will be informed by evidence obtained by officials, usually through physical evidence found or submitted by an applicant, or disclosed to them by an applicant at first contact or in subsequent interviews or meetings. International data-sharing may also provide relevant information. There may conceivably be cases where third party evidence is relevant and valuable to such considerations - it would depend on the specific nature of the information and the circumstances in which it was obtained, recorded and passed to the Home Office. Any such evidence and its provenance would always be carefully scrutinised by officials. Where the evidence was material to the decision and contentious, an applicant would have the opportunity to address this before any action to remove proceeded.

Information provided in confidence to medical professionals would not ordinarily be used by officials when making inadmissibility decisions. However, applicants may choose to ask for such information to be considered and provide it to caseworkers themselves, or consent in writing to disclosure.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether observations by staff conducting medical assessments of a person seeking asylum can be used as evidence to determine the admissibility of that person’s asylum claim.

Our expectation is that in almost all cases, admissibility considerations will be informed by evidence obtained by officials, usually through physical evidence found or submitted by an applicant, or disclosed to them by an applicant at first contact or in subsequent interviews or meetings. International data-sharing may also provide relevant information. There may conceivably be cases where third party evidence is relevant and valuable to such considerations - it would depend on the specific nature of the information and the circumstances in which it was obtained, recorded and passed to the Home Office. Any such evidence and its provenance would always be carefully scrutinised by officials. Where the evidence was material to the decision and contentious, an applicant would have the opportunity to address this before any action to remove proceeded.

Information provided in confidence to medical professionals would not ordinarily be used by officials when making inadmissibility decisions. However, applicants may choose to ask for such information to be considered and provide it to caseworkers themselves, or consent in writing to disclosure.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many transfers have been carried out under the inadmissibility rules for asylum claims published in December 2020, from 1 January 2021 to 5 May 2021.

Figures on the number of asylum application decisions made in the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021. We are working to bring inadmissibility data in line with current reporting and hope to publish that information in the same timeframe.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in the absence of bilateral agreements with third countries, how many case-by-case agreements for the return of asylum-seekers have been reached since 1 January 2021.

Figures on the number of asylum application decisions made in the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021. We are working to bring inadmissibility data in line with current reporting and hope to publish that information in the same timeframe.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many members of staff work in the Third Country Unit.

Work from the former Third Country Unit was separated in April 2019 with returns related activity moving to the National Returns Command.

Initial decision making on the latest inadmissibility provisions also sits within the National Returns Command. The National Returns Command currently has 584 staff in post.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish a policy equality statement in respect of the inadmissibility rules published in December 2020.

An equality impact assessment covering the inadmissibility rules changes will be published in the near future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of delaying asylum determinations for people issued with a Notice of Intent on the number of outstanding asylum cases.

We will continue to issue Notices of Intent in line with the Immigration Rules and our published policy. It is right that we consider inadmissibility action and explore all reasonable removal options where there is evidence that someone applying for asylum in the UK was in a safe third country and already has been: granted asylum; had a claim for asylum rejected as unfounded; or had reasonable opportunity to claim asylum there but failed to do so.

The published policy is clear that this consideration is not open-ended: in broad terms, a case must be admitted for substantive consideration in the UK asylum system if it is concluded that there are no reasonable prospects of an EU state, including France, or any other safe country, agreeing to the person’s return, or if no such agreement has been secured within a maximum of 6 months. (This 6-month timescale does not apply to the period after a country agrees to an individual’s return, during which time practical arrangements for the removal will be confirmed and, if necessary, enforcement action taken.)

This system will not introduce significant delays either for individuals entering the asylum system, or the asylum system as a whole.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will cease issuing Notices of Intent to asylum-seekers and revoke those already issued in response to authorities in (a) France and (b) other EU states declining to agree a bilateral agreement with the UK on the return of people seeking asylum.

We will continue to issue Notices of Intent in line with the Immigration Rules and our published policy. It is right that we consider inadmissibility action and explore all reasonable removal options where there is evidence that someone applying for asylum in the UK was in a safe third country and already has been: granted asylum; had a claim for asylum rejected as unfounded; or had reasonable opportunity to claim asylum there but failed to do so.

The published policy is clear that this consideration is not open-ended: in broad terms, a case must be admitted for substantive consideration in the UK asylum system if it is concluded that there are no reasonable prospects of an EU state, including France, or any other safe country, agreeing to the person’s return, or if no such agreement has been secured within a maximum of 6 months. (This 6-month timescale does not apply to the period after a country agrees to an individual’s return, during which time practical arrangements for the removal will be confirmed and, if necessary, enforcement action taken.)

This system will not introduce significant delays either for individuals entering the asylum system, or the asylum system as a whole.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an employer conducting right-to-work checks after 30 June 2021 will be required to terminate the employment of an EU citizen where a EU citizen is unable to demonstrate proof of their status and has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 1 July right-to-work checks will change, and all EEA citizens will be required to demonstrate they have a right to work through evidence of their immigration status, rather than their nationality.

We will be updating our guidance and communicating with employers in the coming weeks to set out the support available and ensure they are clear on the steps they should take at the end of the grace period.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179171, on Windrush Generation: Compensation, if she will estimate the number of applications to the Windrush Compensation Scheme that remain outstanding more than (a) two years, (b) 18 months and (c) 12 months after the applicants first submitted those applications.

The number of cases being worked through the Windrush Compensation Scheme as of 21 April are 1417. Of these 1417 cases:

  • 281 have been in the process for 12-18 months;
  • 214 have been in the process for over 18 months;
  • 5 have been in the process for over 24 months.

Windrush Compensation Scheme staff continue to work hard to resolve these claims from the moment they are received and individuals are provided with an update on the progress of their claim on a monthly basis as a minimum, unless they have requested otherwise. A case is finally closed when an individual accepts a final offer or an application to the Scheme is unsuccessful as it does not meet the criteria. All claims will have been considered for a preliminary payment of £10,000 within 6 weeks of eligibility being confirmed under the terms of the Scheme, including these open applications. A preliminary payment is offered as soon as we receive the minimum level of information required to show that they will be entitled to compensation under the Scheme. Some of these people may also have received an urgent and exceptional payment. This policy remains available for those who have an urgent and exceptional need that cannot wait for a payment to be made under the Windrush Compensation Scheme. As of 25 March 2021, the Scheme had offered 362 preliminary awards (totalling £3,620,000); of which 255 (£2,550,000) had been accepted. 228 awards (£2,280,000) had been paid.

That said, each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires careful and detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences. There are 13 different categories of claim and some individuals’ experiences are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure these are considered carefully. We want people to receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and work closely with individuals, for example by contacting other government departments and third parties to help gather evidence to support their claim.

This holistic approach necessarily takes time but is ultimately beneficial to individuals.

Data on the number of claims received and the number of payments made is published as part of the regular transparency data release which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-march-2021.

Since April 2019 the Scheme has paid or offered £18 million. Of this, more than £6.1 million have been accepted and paid, an increase of £2 million in one month.

We have made fundamental improvements to the Scheme to ensure people receive significantly more money, more quickly. We increased the value of awards for impact on life at every level so everyone will be paid more in this category, with the maximum award increasing from £10,000 to £100,000 (with options for even higher awards in exceptional circumstances).

Within six weeks of these changes, we had offered more than we had in the first 19 months of the scheme (at the end of January we had offered £12m) and since the end of December we have more than doubled the amount of compensation paid to individuals (from £2.8m to £6.1m).

In December 2018, the Home Office established an Urgent and Exceptional Payments process for those members of the Windrush generation who had an urgent and exceptional need in advance of the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The process remains open for those who need it. The total value of the payments approved as of 29 March 2021 is £104,338.58.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179170 on Windrush Generation: Compensation, notwithstanding that her Department does not routinely publish the information requested, how many applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme her Department is aware of who have died in the period between applying for and receiving compensation under that scheme.

It is very regrettable that a claimant passes away before a compensation award can be made or an apology sent to them.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme staff are working hard to ensure that where they are aware of claimants with critical or life shortening illnesses, that their cases are prioritised.

In the deeply unfortunate circumstances where a claimant has passed away after submitting a compensation claim, but before the claim is fully resolved, the team continues to work closely with the appointed representative, usually members of the family, to ensure the compensation payment is made as quickly as possible to that family member.

Out of the 1,996 applications made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, we are aware of 21 cases to date where unfortunately the claimant has passed away after having submitted a claim but before receiving compensation. We are working closely with the families and legal representatives to determine the right person to whom the compensation can be paid as quickly as possible.

It must be noted that this data is manually recorded and is reliant on the person receiving the information on an applicant notifying the Windrush Compensation Scheme to record this information. The data isn’t recorded in a reportable field in the casework system.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of outstanding settled status applications ahead of the application deadline; and what steps she is taking to ensure that people with applications outstanding at that date (a) are protected from discrimination in (i) seeking work, (ii) renting accommodation and (iii) providing services and (b) retain full access to public services.

We are committed to ensuring our operational teams have the resources they need to run an efficient and effective system, and we actively monitor workflows to ensure sufficient resources are in place to meet demand. We currently have 1,500 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) European Casework staff in post.

In line with the Withdrawal Agreement, the rights of someone who has made a valid application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before the deadline of 30 June 2021 will be protected while the outcome of the application is pending. This includes any appeal against a decision to refuse status.

Someone who applies by 30 June 2021 and has not yet been granted status under the EUSS can continue to live their life in the UK as now, until their application is finally determined.

Employers and landlords should provide individuals with every opportunity to demonstrate their right to work and rent and should not discriminate on the basis of race or any of the other protected characteristics.

Legislation provides for a Code of Practice on avoiding unlawful discrimination at:

From 1 July, individuals who have made an in time application and are awaiting a decision on their application, will be able to utilise their Certificate of Application as proof of their right to work or rent when verified by Home Office status checking services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what most recent information her Department holds on the number of people whose applications to the Windrush Compensation Scheme remain outstanding more than (a) two years, (b) 18 months and (c) 12 months after first submitting those applications.

Data on the number of claims received and the number of payment made is published as part of the regular transparency data release which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-march-2021.

Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires careful and detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences. There are thirteen different categories of claim and some individuals’ experiences are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure these are considered carefully. We want people to receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and work closely with individuals, for example by contacting other government departments and third parties to help gather evidence to support their claim.

This holistic approach necessarily takes time but is ultimately beneficial to individuals. The average calendar days from the date the claim was received to a Full and Final payment date is 434, as at 31st January 2021.

However, we recognise that we need to go further and faster which is why, following feedback from the Windrush Cross Government Working Group, members of the Windrush generation, community leaders and those affected, we have made fundamental improvements to the Scheme to ensure people receive significantly more money, more quickly. As we continue to make decisions on the oldest cases, we expect to see the time taken from application to final decision fall significantly in the coming months.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what most recent information her Department holds on the number of applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme who have died in the period between applying for and receiving that compensation.

Representatives of the estate of affected individuals who have sadly passed away can claim compensation. Close family members of an eligible primary claimant, including in cases where the primary claimant has died, can also make a claim for compensation in their own right. Guidance and claim forms are available on GOV.UK

The specific information requested on the number of Windrush Scheme overseas applicants who had passed away before the application process was completed is not included in statistical data published by the Home Office.

The Home Secretary provides updates to the Home Affairs Select Committee on the work of the department in connection with Windrush.

The updates can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/correspondence-on-the-work-of-the-home-office-windrush.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people being moved elsewhere from Penally barracks have (a) an adequate supply of prescription medication and (b) their medical records transferred; and what steps her Department is taking to ensure that those involved in the care of asylum seekers are informed in sufficient time of where they are being transferred to so that such arrangements for continuity of medical treatment can be made.

The Home Office and its accommodation provider Clearsprings Ready Homes (CRH) is working closely with the partners at Hywel Dda Health Board, to ensure steps can be taken to ensure they have enough medication and continuity of care is maintained.

Transfers from Penally have taken place for several weeks to longer-term dispersal accommodation and well-developed relationships are in place to ensure receiving health boards are aware of new arrivals to their area.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance is in the UK.

The Home Office is unable to report what the average duration of the asylum procedure at the first instance is in the UK as this information is not recorded and held in a reportable format.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration. This data can be found at This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-december-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average duration of the Dublin procedure at first instance was, from the making of the application up until the outgoing transfer was effectively implemented, in 2020.

The Home Office does not hold records relating to the duration of individual Dublin claims in 2020 and are unable to provide an average figure.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cessation of international protection (Articles 11 and 17 Directive 2011/95/EU) decisions were made by the UK in 2020 (a) in total, (b) by nationality of applicant and (c) by applicant's protection status.

Information regarding the number of cessation of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2020, and the nationality and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many withdrawal of international protection Article 14 and 19 Directive 2011/95/EU decisions were made by the Government in 2020 (a) in total and (b) by nationality of applicant and (c) by applicant's protection status.

Information regarding the number of withdrawal of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2020, and the nationality and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the UK's immigration returns agreements with (a) Afghanistan, (b) Algeria, (c) Angola, (d) Azerbaijan, (e) China, (f) Djibouti, (g) Democratic Republic of Congo, (h) Guinea, (i) Iraq, (j) Kuwait, (k) Nigeria, (l) Sierra Leone, (m) Somalia, (n) South Korea, (o) South Sudan, (p) Switzerland and (q) Vietnam.

We have good longstanding migration relationships with many countries including through formal returns and readmission agreements with the countries listed in the question. The content of such agreements varies in scope. Some of the agreements are published on Gov.UK or are in the public domain. However, some agreements are not published so as to preserve good international relations or for operational reasons.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the UK's immigration returns agreements with (a) Afghanistan, (b) Algeria, (c) Angola, (d) Azerbaijan, (e) China, (f) Djibouti, (g) Democratic Republic of Congo, (h) Guinea, (i) Iraq, (j) Kuwait, (k) Nigeria, (l) Sierra Leone, (m) Somalia, (n) South Korea, (o) South Sudan, (p) Switzerland and (q) Vietnam cover the return of (i) nationals and residents of the country listed and (ii) nationals of third countries.

We have good longstanding migration relationships with many countries including through formal returns and readmission agreements with the countries listed in the question. The content of such agreements varies in scope. Some of the agreements are published on Gov.UK or are in the public domain. However, some agreements are not published so as to preserve good international relations or for operational reasons.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers who have claimed to be under 18 have been accommodated at Napier Barracks; and how long were they accommodated at that location.

None

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the current (a) capacity and (b) occupancy rate is of each immigration removal centre.

The Home Office publishes statistics on people in detention on the last day of each quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release(opens in a new tab)’. Data on people in detention under immigration powers, are published in Table Det_03a of the ‘Detention summary tables(opens in a new tab)

The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures on people in detention at the end of December 2020 will be published on 25 February 2021.

The table below sets out the operational capacity for each immigration removal centre (if all rooms and beds are in use) and the current occupancy rate as of 28 January 2021.

IRC

Total Operating Capacity 2021

Current occupancy rate as of 28 January 2021

Brook House

448

11

Colnbrook

330

30

Dungavel House

125

21

Harmondsworth

635

108

Morton Hall

352

90

Tinsley House

162

0

Yarl’s Wood

410

30

Total

2462

290

In order to meet operational needs and demands, we will continue to operate the immigration removal estate, in a flexible manner.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what arrangements exist to allow people (a) accommodated at temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites and (b) working at those sites, to leave from and return to the premises freely.

Asylum seekers accommodated are not detained and so are free to come and go, but are required to follow Covid-19 regulations (including observing a period of self-isolation where required in line with regulations). Movements in and out of sites are monitored and managed, for safety reasons. Asylum seekers are expected to stay in accommodation overnight, and a welfare call is made to anyone not on site by 10pm.

Those working at the sites are also free to come and go freely, again in line with Covid-19 regulations.

The Ministry of Defence has given permission to use the sites for 12 months. The use of contingency initial accommodation is temporary, and we will discontinue it as soon as we are able.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what length of lease she has for each temporary alternative asylum accommodation site; and what options she has to extend each of those leases.

Asylum seekers accommodated are not detained and so are free to come and go, but are required to follow Covid-19 regulations (including observing a period of self-isolation where required in line with regulations). Movements in and out of sites are monitored and managed, for safety reasons. Asylum seekers are expected to stay in accommodation overnight, and a welfare call is made to anyone not on site by 10pm.

Those working at the sites are also free to come and go freely, again in line with Covid-19 regulations.

The Ministry of Defence has given permission to use the sites for 12 months. The use of contingency initial accommodation is temporary, and we will discontinue it as soon as we are able.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to end the use of temporary asylum accommodation sites.

Asylum seekers accommodated are not detained and so are free to come and go, but are required to follow Covid-19 regulations (including observing a period of self-isolation where required in line with regulations). Movements in and out of sites are monitored and managed, for safety reasons. Asylum seekers are expected to stay in accommodation overnight, and a welfare call is made to anyone not on site by 10pm.

Those working at the sites are also free to come and go freely, again in line with Covid-19 regulations.

The Ministry of Defence has given permission to use the sites for 12 months. The use of contingency initial accommodation is temporary, and we will discontinue it as soon as we are able.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has made for (a) when and (b) how the covid-19 vaccine is planned to be offered to people held in immigration detention.

The safety and health of people detained in our care is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. Additionally, all admissions to Heathrow, Gatwick, Yarl’s Wood and Dungavel IRCs are offered a Covid-19 test on arrival at the IRC.

COVID-19 vaccinations are at the centre of the Government’s plan to ensure life can return to normal as soon as possible. Detailed planning is underway between the Home Office, NHS and Public Health Authorities to prepare for the delivery of vaccinations in IRCs when they become available. Vaccinations in IRCs will be administered by the NHS, or other commissioned healthcare service provider.

The decision about who will be eligible for the vaccine in Health and Justice settings, which includes IRCs, is being decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in line with JCVI priorities 1 – 9, with NHS plans in place to have offered a first vaccine dose to all those in priority groups 1-4 by mid- February.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to provide access to temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites including military barracks for (a) legal representatives, (b) NGOs and (c) health professionals.

Our accommodation providers will accommodate visits from legal representatives, NGOs and health professions wherever possible and appropriate provided they have prior notice (except for in the event of an emergency) and social distance guidelines are followed.

We do not hold information on the number of visits made to alternative accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many visits have been made to each temporary asylum accommodation site since 1 October 2020 by (a) legal representatives, (b) NGOs and (c) health professionals.

Our accommodation providers will accommodate visits from legal representatives, NGOs and health professions wherever possible and appropriate provided they have prior notice (except for in the event of an emergency) and social distance guidelines are followed.

We do not hold information on the number of visits made to alternative accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been moved out of temporary alternative asylum accommodation; and to what locations those people have been moved.

Asylum seekers who have made an application for support and accommodation are accommodated in temporary “initial” accommodation while they are waiting for their support application to be considered. The current pandemic is resulting in people being accommodated in initial accommodation for longer than usual before being dispersed.

We do not publish the information requested, although the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been (a) detained or (b) accommodated in temporary alternative asylum accommodation for (i) longer than 28 days and (ii) longer than 3 months.

The Home Office does not detain anyone in temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating are free to come and go as they please.

We do not publish data on the length of time spent in initial or temporary accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 October 2020 to Question 93608 on Asylum: Housing, which (a) disused military barracks, (b) former young offender institutes and (c) other sites are (i) in use and (b) under consideration for being used as temporary alternative accommodation for asylum seekers.

Two former Ministry of Defence sites, Napier Barracks and Penally Training Camp are currently in use. We continue to explore further options to ensure that we continue meet our statutory obligations to support and accommodate destitute asylum seekers at all times.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken decisive action to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have the support they need.

We have provided accommodation and support for everyone in the asylum system, including those whose applications have been rejected and new applicants who have claimed.

Given the unique challenges over recent months, it has been necessary to use additional hotel accommodation and two former Ministry of Defence sites in Napier and Penally, on a temporary, contingency basis to ensure there is always sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory obligations to destitute asylum seekers. We continue to examine further options to ensure we maintain the robustness of our contingency planning and take full account of all relevant factors in doing so, engaging with partner organisations as necessary.

Multi-agency forums including public health partners and emergency services were established when the Minister of Defence sites were stood up and these continue to meet regularly.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Increased asylum intake, alongside measures taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the Home Office has had to deal with growing demand for asylum support and accommodation services.

In recent months we have faced additional challenges which have required us in some instances to use contingency accommodation, including hotels, to fulfil or statutory obligations to house destitute asylum seekers whilst their claims are examined.

Even with the use of hotels, there has remained the need to increase capacity further to ensure statutory obligations are met at all times. Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent.

These sites were immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers and are safe, secure, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation.

In order to reduce the use of such contingency accommodation we have been working closely with local authorities and devolved administrations to identify opportunities to increase the amount of dispersal accommodation available and to assist those that are no longer eligible for asylum support to ‘move-on’ from asylum accommodation.

It remains our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical; however, our immediate priority is to ensure that we continue to meet our legal duty to house destitute asylum seekers and ensure their safety and well-being.

The Home Office does not detain anyone in temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating are free to come and go as they please.

We do not publish the information requested, although the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum claims have been made in the UK since 1 January 2021; and how many of those claims have been found inadmissible under the terms of the immigration rules introduced by the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, HC 1043, published on 10 December 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum applications are published in Table Asy_D01 and data on the number and type of asylum initial decisions are published in table Asy_D02 of the Asylum and Resettlement datasets.

Figures on the number of asylum application decisions made in the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. We are working to bring inadmissibility decisions in line with current reporting and hope to publish that information in the same timeframe.

We are reviewing the cases of those who claimed asylum before 1 January and their suitability for decision-making under the new rules. If it is appropriate for any claimants to receive decisions under the new provisions, they will be informed of that, in line with the Home Office published policy guidance.

The Home Office current published guidance is clear that we will serve an inadmissibility decision only when an individual’s return is agreed by a third country. The Home Office continues to work closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development to secure agreements to enable returns to be made. Any case where return is not possible within 6 months from the date of claim will be admitted to the asylum process and will have their asylum claim substantively considered in the UK.

Information on the Home Office inadmissibility rules can be found on gov.uk under ‘Inadmissibility: third country cases’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative assessment she has made of the safety of (a) military barracks and other such temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites, (b) existing immigration detention centres and (c) hotels and other such asylum accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 during the covid-19 outbreak.

Two former Ministry of Defence sites, Napier Barracks and Penally Training Camp are currently in use. We continue to explore further options to ensure that we continue meet our statutory obligations to support and accommodate destitute asylum seekers at all times.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken decisive action to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have the support they need.

We have provided accommodation and support for everyone in the asylum system, including those whose applications have been rejected and new applicants who have claimed.

Given the unique challenges over recent months, it has been necessary to use additional hotel accommodation and two former Ministry of Defence sites in Napier and Penally, on a temporary, contingency basis to ensure there is always sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory obligations to destitute asylum seekers. We continue to examine further options to ensure we maintain the robustness of our contingency planning and take full account of all relevant factors in doing so, engaging with partner organisations as necessary.

Multi-agency forums including public health partners and emergency services were established when the Minister of Defence sites were stood up and these continue to meet regularly.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Increased asylum intake, alongside measures taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the Home Office has had to deal with growing demand for asylum support and accommodation services.

In recent months we have faced additional challenges which have required us in some instances to use contingency accommodation, including hotels, to fulfil or statutory obligations to house destitute asylum seekers whilst their claims are examined.

Even with the use of hotels, there has remained the need to increase capacity further to ensure statutory obligations are met at all times. Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent.

These sites were immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers and are safe, secure, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation.

In order to reduce the use of such contingency accommodation we have been working closely with local authorities and devolved administrations to identify opportunities to increase the amount of dispersal accommodation available and to assist those that are no longer eligible for asylum support to ‘move-on’ from asylum accommodation.

It remains our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical; however, our immediate priority is to ensure that we continue to meet our legal duty to house destitute asylum seekers and ensure their safety and well-being.

The Home Office does not detain anyone in temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating are free to come and go as they please.

We do not publish the information requested, although the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum claims made prior to 1 January 2021 have been found inadmissible under the terms of the immigration rules introduced by the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, HC 1043, published on 10 December 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum applications are published in Table Asy_D01 and data on the number and type of asylum initial decisions are published in table Asy_D02 of the Asylum and Resettlement datasets.

Figures on the number of asylum application decisions made in the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. We are working to bring inadmissibility decisions in line with current reporting and hope to publish that information in the same timeframe.

We are reviewing the cases of those who claimed asylum before 1 January and their suitability for decision-making under the new rules. If it is appropriate for any claimants to receive decisions under the new provisions, they will be informed of that, in line with the Home Office published policy guidance.

The Home Office current published guidance is clear that we will serve an inadmissibility decision only when an individual’s return is agreed by a third country. The Home Office continues to work closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development to secure agreements to enable returns to be made. Any case where return is not possible within 6 months from the date of claim will be admitted to the asylum process and will have their asylum claim substantively considered in the UK.

Information on the Home Office inadmissibility rules can be found on gov.uk under ‘Inadmissibility: third country cases’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason she took the decision to use temporary alternative asylum accommodation instead of (a) increasing use of hotels and other such asylum accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and (b) using existing immigration detention centres; and if she will make a statement.

Two former Ministry of Defence sites, Napier Barracks and Penally Training Camp are currently in use. We continue to explore further options to ensure that we continue meet our statutory obligations to support and accommodate destitute asylum seekers at all times.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken decisive action to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have the support they need.

We have provided accommodation and support for everyone in the asylum system, including those whose applications have been rejected and new applicants who have claimed.

Given the unique challenges over recent months, it has been necessary to use additional hotel accommodation and two former Ministry of Defence sites in Napier and Penally, on a temporary, contingency basis to ensure there is always sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory obligations to destitute asylum seekers. We continue to examine further options to ensure we maintain the robustness of our contingency planning and take full account of all relevant factors in doing so, engaging with partner organisations as necessary.

Multi-agency forums including public health partners and emergency services were established when the Minister of Defence sites were stood up and these continue to meet regularly.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Increased asylum intake, alongside measures taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the Home Office has had to deal with growing demand for asylum support and accommodation services.

In recent months we have faced additional challenges which have required us in some instances to use contingency accommodation, including hotels, to fulfil or statutory obligations to house destitute asylum seekers whilst their claims are examined.

Even with the use of hotels, there has remained the need to increase capacity further to ensure statutory obligations are met at all times. Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent.

These sites were immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers and are safe, secure, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation.

In order to reduce the use of such contingency accommodation we have been working closely with local authorities and devolved administrations to identify opportunities to increase the amount of dispersal accommodation available and to assist those that are no longer eligible for asylum support to ‘move-on’ from asylum accommodation.

It remains our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical; however, our immediate priority is to ensure that we continue to meet our legal duty to house destitute asylum seekers and ensure their safety and well-being.

The Home Office does not detain anyone in temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating are free to come and go as they please.

We do not publish the information requested, although the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been made at the asylum intake unit at Kent since 1 October 2020; and how many of those applicants have been (a) detained in military barracks and other such temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites, (b) detained in immigration detention centres and (c) placed in hotels and other such asylum accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

The Home Office does not publish data on the number of asylum applications made at the Asylum Intake Unit at Kent or breakdown data on claims made at Kent that are (a) detained in military barracks and other such temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites, (b) detained in immigration detention centres and (c) placed in hotels and other such asylum accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

However, the Home Office does publish data on how many people applied for asylum broken down by location (in-country or at Port) and can be found in the Immigration Statistics;, Asy_D01: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Additionally, the Home Office does publish data on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority and can be found in the Immigration Statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Furthermore, the Home Office does not detain anyone in supported temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating have free movement.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are detained in military barracks and other temporary alternative asylum accommodation sites by site at the most recent date for which that information is available; and how many of those people have been moved to those sites from (a) an asylum intake unit, (b) an immigration detention centre and (c) accommodation under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or other asylum accommodation.

Two former Ministry of Defence sites, Napier Barracks and Penally Training Camp are currently in use. We continue to explore further options to ensure that we continue meet our statutory obligations to support and accommodate destitute asylum seekers at all times.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken decisive action to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have the support they need.

We have provided accommodation and support for everyone in the asylum system, including those whose applications have been rejected and new applicants who have claimed.

Given the unique challenges over recent months, it has been necessary to use additional hotel accommodation and two former Ministry of Defence sites in Napier and Penally, on a temporary, contingency basis to ensure there is always sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory obligations to destitute asylum seekers. We continue to examine further options to ensure we maintain the robustness of our contingency planning and take full account of all relevant factors in doing so, engaging with partner organisations as necessary.

Multi-agency forums including public health partners and emergency services were established when the Minister of Defence sites were stood up and these continue to meet regularly.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Increased asylum intake, alongside measures taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the Home Office has had to deal with growing demand for asylum support and accommodation services.

In recent months we have faced additional challenges which have required us in some instances to use contingency accommodation, including hotels, to fulfil or statutory obligations to house destitute asylum seekers whilst their claims are examined.

Even with the use of hotels, there has remained the need to increase capacity further to ensure statutory obligations are met at all times. Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent.

These sites were immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers and are safe, secure, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation.

In order to reduce the use of such contingency accommodation we have been working closely with local authorities and devolved administrations to identify opportunities to increase the amount of dispersal accommodation available and to assist those that are no longer eligible for asylum support to ‘move-on’ from asylum accommodation.

It remains our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical; however, our immediate priority is to ensure that we continue to meet our legal duty to house destitute asylum seekers and ensure their safety and well-being.

The Home Office does not detain anyone in temporary asylum accommodation. Our accommodation providers do not have enforcement powers and those we are accommodating are free to come and go as they please.

We do not publish the information requested, although the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, it she will make it her Department's policy that (a) EU care workers and (b) other EU citizens who are unable to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30 June 2021 because they were unaware of the scheme or the deadline do not lose their status and rights.

The Home Office has run three bursts of marketing campaigns for the EU Settlement Scheme, spending £4.6 million, with the latest running throughout December 2020, to encourage EU citizens across the UK to apply. Nearly 4.9 million applications to the scheme had been received by 31 December 2020.

In line with the Withdrawal Agreement, the Government has made clear where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Non-exhaustive guidance will be published on what constitutes such reasonable grounds, to underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, based on the circumstances of each case.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what adjustments have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme to mitigate the disruptions caused by the covid-19 outbreak in order to ensure that all EU citizens are able to obtain their status through that scheme by the 30 June 2021 deadline.

The Home Office has continued to receive and process thousands of applications daily to the EU Settlement Scheme throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in nearly 4.9 million applications had been received by 31 December 2020.

Support for applicants who need it has remained available, including from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and the network of now 72 organisations across the UK grant-funded by the Home Office to help vulnerable people apply to the scheme.

In line with the Withdrawal Agreement, the Government has made clear where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Published guidance for EUSS applicants on the impact of COVID-19 is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-eu-settlement-scheme-guidance-for-applicants.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people residing at an address in Scotland made an in-country asylum application in each of the last five years.

Whilst we hold data on the current addresses of asylum claimants, data on the place of residence at the time they made an in-country asylum application could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

However, the Home Office does publish data on how many people applied for asylum in each of the last five years, broken down by location (in-country or at Port) found in the Immigration Statistics, Asy_D01:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people applied for asylum at Scottish (a) ports and (b) airports in each of the last five years.

The Home Office are unable to state how many people applied for asylum at Scottish ports and airports in each of the last five years as the Home Office do not publish this data.

However, the Home Office do publish data to state how many people applied for asylum in each of the last five years, broken down by location (in-country or at Port) found in the Immigration Statistics, Asy_D01:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on visa-free 90-day tours by musicians between the EU and UK; and whether she plans to take steps to secure an improved agreement on visa-free travel for musicians.

The UK Government already makes a range of generous provision for musicians and other cultural performers to help support the vibrant cultural life of our Union.

Musicians visiting the UK may perform at events, make personal appearances, take part in competitions, promotional activities and auditions, for up to 6 months without the need for formal sponsorship or, for non-visa nationals, without a visa if they are not being paid beyond expenses or prize money. They can also receive payment for appearances at permit free festivals for up to 6 months, or for up to one month for a specific engagements, under the Visitor route.

Musicians and support staff who are being paid in the UK may also qualify for entry under the Tier 5 Creative Worker route, if they are sponsored by a UK entity licensed with UK Visas and Immigration for this purpose. Entry is for up to 12 months and the relevant rules also provide for accompanying dependants.

Entry under the Tier 5 Creative Worker route is visa-free for non-visa nationals, which includes EU Nationals, where entry is for no more than three months.

We set our provisions based on the assessment of the needs of our United Kingdom’s cultural sector, rather than tying them to decisions made by foreign jurisdictions and Governments. As I recently outlined to Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, we are specifically reviewing the provisions on Permit Free Festivals and Permitted Paid Engagement for other cultural events in response to the points raised by those in the sector, particularly the Edinburgh International Festival.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential public health risks of continuing with enforced removals while the UK is subject to covid-19 restrictions, particularly in light of new strains of that virus; and if she will make a statement.

We remain committed to removing foreign national offenders or those who violate our immigration rules and we have shown that we can continue to do this safely.

Immigration Enforcement are following the latest guidance from Public Health England. On all removal flights public health guidance is adhered to, those on flights are seen by a healthcare professional before they are returned and anyone who is exhibiting symptoms would be removed from the flight and placed into medical isolation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential level of risk of continuing to operate immigration removal centres during the covid-19 outbreak, particularly in light of new strains of that virus; and if she will make a statement.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Everyone entering an IRC spends a minimum of 14 days on a ‘reverse cohorting’ unit; this is dedicated accommodation designed to prevent an asymptomatic individual transmitting the virus to the wider centre population. Reverse cohorting is supported by further measures such as single occupancy rooms in all IRCs and the cessation of social visits. Protective shielding is available to those who are deemed medically high or very high risk. In addition, all staff and visitors to IRCs and short term holding facilities are required to wear a face mask, at all times, when undertaking direct contact duties with those detained and when in the main centre or holding facility.

The Home Office published statistics relating to COVID-19 and the immigration system on Gov.uk on 28 May, and the latest Immigration Statistics publication includes the numbers of individuals detained under immigration powers in prisons. Further information about the operational response to COVID-19 in immigration detention is available on Gov.uk and has been updated throughout the outbreak. This has been supplemented by the publication of guidance associated with COVID-19 and immigration detention on 30 November. We have no current plans to publish further data on COVID-19.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish regular data on rates of covid-19 among people in immigration removal centres comparable to the Ministry of Justice's monthly data publication on coronavirus cases and deaths in prisons.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS).

All immigration removal centres (IRCs) have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. Detained individuals arriving at IRCs are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival, are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours and have access to medical assistance throughout their detention. In addition, we are in the process of rolling out COVID 19 testing on reception in all IRCs.

Everyone entering an IRC spends a minimum of 14 days on a ‘reverse cohorting’ unit; this is dedicated accommodation designed to prevent an asymptomatic individual transmitting the virus to the wider centre population. Reverse cohorting is supported by further measures such as single occupancy rooms in all IRCs and the cessation of social visits. Protective shielding is available to those who are deemed medically high or very high risk. In addition, all staff and visitors to IRCs and short term holding facilities are required to wear a face mask, at all times, when undertaking direct contact duties with those detained and when in the main centre or holding facility.

The Home Office published statistics relating to COVID-19 and the immigration system on Gov.uk on 28 May, and the latest Immigration Statistics publication includes the numbers of individuals detained under immigration powers in prisons. Further information about the operational response to COVID-19 in immigration detention is available on Gov.uk and has been updated throughout the outbreak. This has been supplemented by the publication of guidance associated with COVID-19 and immigration detention on 30 November. We have no current plans to publish further data on COVID-19.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the recent covid-19 outbreak at Brook House, how many and what proportion of detainees were subsequently transferred to Colnbrook; how many of the people transferred had been tested for covid-19; how many of the detainees transferred had been tested for covid; and who was consulted in advance about the (a) safety and (b) public health implications of that transfer.

Immigration Enforcement is responding to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak and following the latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE). The safety of those detained, our staff and our suppliers' staff are our utmost priority.

In agreement with Public Health England, we have temporarily closed Brook House for a short period due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases among staff. A very small number of detained individuals remaining at Brook House were moved to another immigration removal centre as a result.

We have robust contingency measures are in place across the immigration removal estate. Measures such as protective shielding are considered on a case-by-case basis and further measures, including enhanced hygiene, 'reverse cohorting' and single occupancy rooms have been introduced to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the immigration removal estate. This has been supported by the High Court, which last year ruled that our approach to detention and COVID-19 was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

To supplement the preventative measures already in place, on 26 October 2020 the Home Office introduced a voluntary programme of COVID-19 testing on induction for all individuals arriving at an IRC. This testing programme began with the Heathrow and Gatwick IRCs and now includes those arriving at Yarl's Wood. Accordingly, all individuals that were detained at Brook House had been offered a COVID-19 test.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the additional UK border force staff that will be required to implement the UK EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Border Force has the resources in place to meet anticipated overall operational requirements. Border Force recruited over 1,000 additional officers in preparation for the end of transition and continues to ensure maximum flexibility in their recruitment and deployment approach. Further staff will be in place in time for July 2021 when full customs import controls are implemented on movements of goods from the EU to Great Britain.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of transitioning to replacement systems for (a) Eurojust, (b) Schengen Information System II and (c) accessing Europol databases.

The Home Office worked closely with operational partners to ensure they were appropriately funded for the end of the Transition Period. As a result, operational partners were appropriately staffed and resourced to implement the new law enforcement and criminal justice arrangements within the UK-EU Trade Co-operation Agreement. Following the recent Spending Review process, the Home Office continues to work with operational partners to ensure they have appropriate funding into the next financial year.

More widely, as part of the Spending Review process £363m has been provided in 2021/22 primarily to recruit 1,100 Border Force officers to deliver transit customs arrangements and to continue supporting law enforcement cooperation with EU Member States.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are currently subject to outstanding UK requests under the European Arrest warrant.

The Home Office does not hold the information requested.


The National Crime Agency handles requests made through the European Arrest Warrant as well as those made under the new surrender arrangements.


Statistics on the European Arrest Warrant have been published by the National Crime Agency for each year of its operation. These figures are published at: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the cost of implementing new procedures to replace access to the European Arrest Warrant.

The Home Office worked closely with operational partners to ensure they were appropriately funded for the end of the Transition Period. As a result, operational partners were appropriately staffed and resourced to implement the new law enforcement and criminal justice arrangements within the UK-EU Trade Co-operation Agreement. Following the recent Spending Review process, the Home Office continues to work with operational partners to ensure they have appropriate funding into the next financial year.

More widely, as part of the Spending Review process £363m has been provided in 2021/22 primarily to recruit 1,100 Border Force officers to deliver transit customs arrangements and to continue supporting law enforcement cooperation with EU Member States.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the reasons why British citizens were stopped by immigration enforcement teams more than any other nationality over the last two years in Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and London; and if she will make a statement.

Immigration Enforcement operations including visits, crime reduction and street operations play a critical role in detecting and deterring immigration abuse and reducing the harm caused by illegal immigration, such as modern slavery, people trafficking and smuggling. Immigration Enforcement do not carry out random visits and nor do they stop individuals at random; all operational activity is intelligence-led.

Immigration Enforcement officers are empowered to carry out an in-country examination of a person to establish their immigration status where they reasonably suspect that the person is in breach of immigration law. Where a person shows an adverse reaction to an immigration presence, typically attempting to flee from premises when Immigration Officers arrive, an Immigration Officer may arrest a person if that adverse reaction gives them reasonable grounds to suspect they may be in breach of immigration law. The person, if British, would be de-arrested as soon as their nationality was established. An arrest of a British citizen could also occur following a criminal offence such as the obstruction of an Immigration Officer in the execution of their duty and for assaulting an Immigration Officer.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of spouse/partnership visa applications in each of the last three years have been for same sex partners (a) in total and (b) in relation to (i) Uganda, (ii) USA, (iii) China, (iv) Brazil, (v) Pakistan and (vi) Australia.

The Home Office publishes data on entry clearance visa applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of spouse/partnership visa applications are published in table Vis_D01 of the Entry clearance visa detailed datasets https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasetswhich include nationality breakdowns. The data does not show whether the application was from a same sex partner as these do not have a separate visa endorsement.

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relate up to September 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance

The data from the table mentioned above are outlined below.

Entry clearance visa applications as a partner or spouse

2017

2018

2019

2020 Jan to Sep

Family: Partner1 total all nationalities

38,590

39,749

39,503

18,577

of which:

Australia

726

848

761

358

Brazil

500

521

555

206

China

992

940

982

298

Pakistan

7,715

7,909

7,845

3,638

Uganda

124

166

167

51

United States

2,540

2,744

2,649

1,269

Family: Partner (for immediate settlement) total all nationalities

409

269

218

86

of which:

Australia

40

3

0

0

Brazil

3

1

0

0

China

3

0

0

0

Pakistan

4

6

0

0

Uganda

0

0

1

0

United States

13

2

1

0

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics year ending September 2020 Visa Table Vis_D01

Table notes:

‘Family: Partner’ includes partners, spouses, Fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect on the willingness of an applicant for a same sex spouse/partner visa to submit the application of the processing of that application being out-sourced to a local company; and whether applications may be allowed to bypass that local company in certain circumstances.

Commercial Partners have no involvement in visa decision-making, which is undertaken by UKVI Decision Makers only, and are unable to influence a visa decision outcome in any way.

Where Commercial Partners provide front end services to UKVI customers, customers also have the option of either uploading their supporting documents prior to their appointment or having these scanned by a commercial partner representative during the appointment.

UK Visas and Immigration also monitor the performance of the Commercial Partners who deliver services on behalf of the Home Office to ensure they comply with contractual service standards on applicant confidentiality, including providing equal treatment to all customers through The Equality Act 2010.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review the effectiveness of the Minimum Income Requirement, as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee in its annual report of 15 December 2020.

In February 2017 the Supreme Court upheld the lawfulness of the minimum income requirement, which prevents burdens on the taxpayer and promotes integration, ruling it strikes a fair balance between the interests of those wishing to sponsor a partner to settle in the UK and of the community in general. The Court found the minimum income requirement is not a breach of the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and is not discriminatory.

We continue to keep the family Immigration Rules under review, including taking into account recommendations made in the Migration Advisory Committee’s annual report of 15 December 2020, and will make adjustments should these prove necessary. However, our overall assessment is the Rules, including the minimum income requirement, are having the right impact and are helping to ensure public confidence in the immigration system by ensuring family migration is not based on access to the welfare system paid for by taxpayers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking (a) nationally and (b) locally to monitor, prevent and mitigate the risk of Far Right activities at contingency hotels and military barracks being used for asylum accommodation.

The Home Office works closely with law enforcement and others at a national level to monitor far right activity and ensure that local law enforcement and providers are joined up and have effective plans to tackle incidents.

Our accommodation providers liaise closely with local police colleagues and asylum seekers are briefed on risks and encouraged to report hate crimes accordingly.

The Home Office keeps security arrangements under review at its accommodation sites.

When incidents occur at these sites, providers report to the Home Office immediately, and then the Home Office works with the providers, putting additional measures in place if required.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish any reviews she has undertaken of covid-19 safety in contingency hotels and military barracks being used as asylum accommodation.

A rapid review of asylum accommodation came out of a series of Cabinet Office COVID-19 taskforce visits to asylum accommodation and a recommendation that the Home Office conduct a ‘deep dive’ on our approach to initial accommodation during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Office is reviewing the recommendations of the rapid review and, as previously stated, will seek to publish a summary of the recommendations. We will also hold round tables with stakeholders to discuss the recommendations, actions taken and proposed next steps.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) consultation and (b) assessment of compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights her Department is undertaking in advance of the introduction of the Sovereign Borders Bill.

The UK remains committed to meeting our obligations under both the European Convention of Human Rights and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The Home Secretary has set out the Government’s ambition to overhaul our approach to asylum and illegal migration, delivering a firm but fair system, including bringing forward new legislation next year. All legislation is assessed against compliance with our international obligations including ECHR.

Any consultation that may take place will do so in line with established principles as well as taking into account any other relevant statutory duties.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2020 to Question 126060 on Undocumented Migrants: English Channel, how many additional Police Nationale and Gendarmerie land patrols will be deployed as part of the bilateral agreement agreed with France in November 2020.

In November the UK and France agreed a package of funding to support a range of activity as part of ongoing efforts to address illegal migration. The funding agreed by the Home Secretary and Minister Darmanin will enable an uplift to the number of Gendarmes and Police Nationale deployed daily on French beaches, which will improve capability for monitoring the coastline and surrounding areas and preventing small boats Channel crossings. Due to operational sensitivities, we cannot outline the exact number of personnel deployed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that asylum seekers can access covid-19 (a) home tests, (b) testing centres and (c) mobile testing facilities; and if she will make a statement.

Like everyone else in the UK, asylum seekers are being asked to abide by the relevant Government guidance and adhere to national and local measures to help fight coronavirus.

Asylum seekers can access coronavirus testing services in the same way as the wider UK population. Our contracted accommodation and advice providers can offer support and signposting to local health and mobile testing services, and to the Government’s official website where orders for home tests can be placed if appropriate.

We remain in continued dialogue with national and local health leads in relation to rapid testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish a breakdown of how the £28.1 million committed to France as part of the bilateral agreement of 28 November 2020 to tackle migrant activity in the Channel will be spent; and to which French police forces funding will allocated.

We remain committed to tackling illegal migration with France and this is a joint effort. The funding recently agreed for £28.1m supports a range of activity including continued deployment of French reservists from the Gendarmerie and Police Nationale, technical equipment to improve detections of crossings; suitable alternative accommodation for migrants away from the immediate port and beach areas; and border security infrastructure and capabilities at priority ports in France. We are not intending to publish detailed information on the package agreed with the French Government, as it relates to sensitive operational activity.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she will take to ensure asylum interviews of persons applying for refugee status on grounds of sexual orientation are not affected by the potential views and prejudices of interpreters present at the interview.

All interpreters are subject to qualification checks when joining the Home Office interpreter panel and performance is regularly monitored and assessed. Interpreters are also governed by a Code of Conduct that clearly sets out requirements and expectations. Any breaches of standards are rigorously investigated, assessed and appropriate action taken.

A revised version of the Code of Conduct was published in November 2020. We are also in the process of revising our sexual orientation guidance for caseworkers, which will highlight and enhance these requirements.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in the devolved Administrations on the new discretionary powers in the Immigration Rules to refuse or cancel a person’s permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that person’s rough sleeping; whether consent was sought from the devolved Administrations for the introduction or exercise of such a power where housing and homelessness is devolved; what consultation her Department conducted with police forces in (a) Scotland (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland on the introduction of that power; what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of existing levels of co-ordination between police forces in England and the other UK nations in implementing that power; and what team in her Department leads on the implementation of that power.

Immigration is a reserved matter. The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA nationals from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA nationals from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals refuse to engage with the range of support mechanisms available and are repeatedly engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

Tackling rough sleeping is not a primary responsibility for the police unless there is crime or anti-social behaviour perpetrated by a person who is sleeping rough. The police rely upon integrated support to be in place across relevant partner agencies and services to help rough sleepers move off the streets.

The Home Office and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government are working together to encourage local authorities and approved charities to resolve the immigration status of eligible rough sleepers and unlock access to any benefits and entitlements that rough sleepers may be eligible for.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) housing and (b) homelessness charities on the new discretionary powers in the Immigration Rules to refuse or cancel a person’s permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that person’s rough sleeping, and how she plans to work with those charities in relation to use of that power.

Immigration is a reserved matter. The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA nationals from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA nationals from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals refuse to engage with the range of support mechanisms available and are repeatedly engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

Tackling rough sleeping is not a primary responsibility for the police unless there is crime or anti-social behaviour perpetrated by a person who is sleeping rough. The police rely upon integrated support to be in place across relevant partner agencies and services to help rough sleepers move off the streets.

The Home Office and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government are working together to encourage local authorities and approved charities to resolve the immigration status of eligible rough sleepers and unlock access to any benefits and entitlements that rough sleepers may be eligible for.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what Government Departments and agencies she has consulted on potential sites for asylum accommodation; what sites she has under consideration; and whether she plans to use additional Ministry of Defence sites for asylum accommodation in the 2020-21 financial year.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. This has included the need to source sufficient accommodation to meet demand.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites in Kent and Pembrokeshire which are now being used to house asylum seekers.

Whilst this is contingency accommodation used on a temporary basis, our primary focus remains to ensure that we maintain sufficient capacity to meet our statutory obligations during these unprecedented times and will continue to examine further opportunities which may be utilised if necessary.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 96929 on Asylum: Housing, whether local health colleagues includes local authority Public Health Directors; and whether she consulted with local authority Public Health Directors on her decision to resume asylum support cessations for people who have had a negative decision on their asylum case, as announced on 15 September 2020.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was to ensure that people were not made homeless and able to follow social distancing.

We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system.

The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance. The issuing of notices was paused on 27 March, but resumed on 15 September for some cases, starting with failed asylum seekers living in tier 1 and 2 areas in England at the time of the decision being prioritised over other cases.This is being kept under continual review, particularly in light of the fact that we are only issuing negative cessation notices where a route back to the home country exists for the individual, amongst other things. An offer of voluntary return is made, in each case, including flights being paid for and a cash sum of X is offered as well.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so. We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 102848 on Undocumented Migrants: English Channel, what representations she has received from legal professional bodies on her use of the phrase activist lawyers; when those representations were received; and what steps she took in response to those representations.

The Home Secretary has not received any representations from legal professional bodies on the phrase “activist lawyers”.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will pause asylum support cessations and evictions in areas designated as Tier 3 or above of local covid-19 restrictions in (a) England and (b) Scotland; and if she will make a statement.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was to ensure that people were not made homeless and able to follow social distancing.

We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system.

The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance. The issuing of notices was paused on 27 March, but resumed on 15 September for some cases, starting with failed asylum seekers living in tier 1 and 2 areas in England at the time of the decision being prioritised over other cases.This is being kept under continual review, particularly in light of the fact that we are only issuing negative cessation notices where a route back to the home country exists for the individual, amongst other things. An offer of voluntary return is made, in each case, including flights being paid for and a cash sum of X is offered as well.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so. We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the Home Affairs Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2019-21, Home Office preparedness for COVID-19 (Coronavirus): institutional accommodation, published 28 July 2020.

The government’s response was published on 03 November 2020.

This can be found at https://committees.parliament.uk/work/184/home-office-preparedness-for-covid19-coronavirus/publications/

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons she used the phrase activist lawyers in her tweet of 3 September.

The Government rejects the underlying insinuation of this question. Lawyers play an important role in upholding the law and ensuring people have access to justice. They are however, just like politicians, not immune from criticism.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she had with the Prime Minister on representations she received from legal professional bodies on the use of (a) the phrase activist lawyers and (b) other language targeting lawyers representing migrants by her Department prior to the Prime Minister's party conference speech on 5 October 2020.

Home Office Ministers have regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the (a) Attorney General and (b) Lord Chancellor on the use of the phrase activist lawyers since 1 September 2020.

Home Office Ministers have regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from legal professional bodies on the effect of her use of the phrase activist lawyers on the safety of legal professionals; when those representations were received; and what steps she took in response.

The Government rejects the underlying insinuation of this question. Lawyers play an important role in upholding the law and ensuring people have access to justice. They are however, just like politicians, not immune from criticism.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether (a) she, (b) officials in her Department and (c) political advisors in her Department have briefed members of the press with the name of the (i) law firm and (ii) lawyer that represents individuals the Home Office is attempting to remove under the Dublin III regulations in the last six months.

The Home Secretary, Home Office officials and political advisors have not briefed members of the press with either the name of the law firm or lawyer that represent individuals the Home Office is attempting to remove under the Dublin III regulations in the last six months.

The names of law firms and lawyers involved in legal cases are publicly available.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96931 on Asylum: Interviews, whether the pilot of third parties carrying out asylum interviews will include interviews of those who are or claim to be under 18 years; and whether additional safeguards will be put in place for such interviews carried out by third parties.

Asylum Operations are exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylum claims. Alongside seeking temporary resource from within the Home Office and other government departments, we are also exploring with third-party suppliers to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required as a temporary, short term measure. Asylum interviews have not been outsourced, and at this stage we are only exploring the potential feasibility.

Third party interviewing officers will complete a bespoke training package, delivered by the qualified asylum operations training team, that has been designed specifically to meet their needs. The course will include training specifically about modern slavery and safeguarding awareness. Third party interviewing officers will not be carrying out the interviews of those who are or claim to be under 18 years.

Anyone who conducts asylum interviews receives thorough training to ensure they are fully equipped for the role. Third party interviewing officers will not be carrying out the interviews of those who are or claim to be under 18 years.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme; and when she plans to make an announcement on its future.

We are working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Work and Pensions to evaluate and consider the findings of the Pilot, including balancing measures to recruit in the UK Labour Market with any access to overseas labour.

We will publish further details in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what processes she used to identify third party suppliers to conduct asylum interviews and gather evidence on asylum cases; and which such suppliers she has selected to deliver her Departments pilot of the use of those suppliers.

The Home Office have been exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylums claims and interviews. As a short-term measure, the department have consulted with Commercial colleagues to explore with third-party suppliers to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required.

An existing supplier has offered to support the proof of concept to test viability over a short period. Any plans to make more long-term use of the private sector for interviews will be reviewed and subject to a procurement process. A key success factor is to ensure interviews conducted are of a good standard and equal to existing approaches.

To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, a bespoke training package has been developed and will be delivered by the department.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what training he plans to provide to proposed external suppliers of asylum interviews; and who he plans will deliver that training.

The Home Office have been exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylums claims and interviews. As a short-term measure, the department have consulted with Commercial colleagues to explore with third-party suppliers to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required.

An existing supplier has offered to support the proof of concept to test viability over a short period. Any plans to make more long-term use of the private sector for interviews will be reviewed and subject to a procurement process. A key success factor is to ensure interviews conducted are of a good standard and equal to existing approaches.

To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, a bespoke training package has been developed and will be delivered by the department.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what governance and accountability mechanisms his Department plans to put in place for the oversight of outsourced asylum interviews.

The Home Office have been exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylums claims and interviews. As a short-term measure, the department have consulted with Commercial colleagues to explore with third-party suppliers to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required.

An existing supplier has offered to support the proof of concept to test viability over a short period. Any plans to make more long-term use of the private sector for interviews will be reviewed and subject to a procurement process. A key success factor is to ensure interviews conducted are of a good standard and equal to existing approaches.

To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, a bespoke training package has been developed and will be delivered by the department.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what his policy is on the recourse available to claimants participating in the pilot of outsourced asylum interviews if there is evidence of poor interview practice; and if he will make it his policy to re-start consideration of all asylum cases in which such evidence is established.

The Home Office have been exploring many options to reduce the number of outstanding asylums claims and interviews. As a short-term measure, the department have consulted with Commercial colleagues to explore with third-party suppliers to test the viability of whether they can deliver the support required.

An existing supplier has offered to support the proof of concept to test viability over a short period. Any plans to make more long-term use of the private sector for interviews will be reviewed and subject to a procurement process. A key success factor is to ensure interviews conducted are of a good standard and equal to existing approaches.

To ensure external suppliers are suitably equipped to carry out the role, a bespoke training package has been developed and will be delivered by the department.

To guarantee governance and accountability, mechanisms are in place for the oversight of third-party interviews, the department has a quality assurance process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she consulted public health directors in asylum dispersal areas on her recent decision to resume cessation of asylum support for people whose applications for refugee status have been refused.

At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was to ensure that people were not made homeless and able to follow social distancing. We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. This means moving people out of Home Office accommodation and ending subsistence payments from the Home Office.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Ministry of Defence sites (a) have been agreed for use and (b) are being considered for use to house asylum seekers; and what the location is of each such site.

The Home Office has agreed the use of two sites with the Ministry of Defence; Napier Barracks, Kent, and Penally Training Camp, Pembrokeshire. Discussions are ongoing about whether any other sites may meet requirements.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to help ensure people in Lebanon due for resettlement through the paused refugee resettlement scheme retain the ability to resettle in the UK.

Families who were due to be resettled to the UK when resettlement was paused remain eligible to be resettled when resettlement resumes.

We remain unable to undertake resettlement activity at this stage due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. We are continuing to evaluate how to respond given these restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume when safe.

We are in regular contact with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and are working with them (and UNHCR) to ensure that those accepted for resettlement to the UK are able to access any additional support they may need.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the International Organisation for Migration on the legal status and other circumstances of refugees in Lebanon whose resettlement to the UK has been delayed.

Families who were due to be resettled to the UK when resettlement was paused remain eligible to be resettled when resettlement resumes.

We remain unable to undertake resettlement activity at this stage due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. We are continuing to evaluate how to respond given these restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume when safe.

We are in regular contact with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and are working with them (and UNHCR) to ensure that those accepted for resettlement to the UK are able to access any additional support they may need.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department first discussed with the Ministry of Defence the housing of asylum seekers in military barracks or other accommodation.

The Home Office has a statutory obligation to provide support and accommodation to destitute asylum seekers.

As a result of Covid-19, movement of service users out of accommodation was temporarily paused. This combined with the continued large numbers of arrivals in small boats from France has put considerable strain on the accommodation system. As part of the emergency response to this, the Home Office has worked with other government departments to identify alternative accommodation for asylum seekers as a temporary measure.

The Ministry of Defence and Home Office entered into discussions from mid-August regarding the possibility of the Ministry of Defence assisting in identifying accommodation options for asylum seekers.

The Ministry of Defence responded with an offer to review their estate with a view to being able to loan suitable and available sites to the Home Office for up to 12 months. The Defence Secretary confirmed that the two sites at Penally and Napier were indeed able to be offered to the HO on 12 September.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the (a) evidence, (b) reasons and (c) analysis for the decision to resume cessations of support and evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was to ensure that people were not made homeless and able to follow social distancing.

We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. This means moving people out of Home Office accommodation and ending subsistence payments from the Home Office.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she had discussions with (a) Public Health England, (b) Public Health Scotland, (c) Public Health Wales and (d) local public health officials, prior to the decision to resume cessations of support and evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was to ensure that people were not made homeless and able to follow social distancing.

We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. This means moving people out of Home Office accommodation and ending subsistence payments from the Home Office.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she had with local authorities in asylum dispersal areas prior to the decision to resume cessations of support and evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers; and in which dispersal areas the first cessations of support will take place.

We are resuming negative asylum support cessations in England, and soon after in the rest of the United Kingdom following discussion with officials in the Devolved Administrations.

Local authorities have been consulted about cessations and we continue to work closely with councils to plan for these changes. Data has been shared with authorities as part of move-on planning and communication channels are open throughout the move-on period.

We remain committed to working closely with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible, however it is only right that recently granted refugees move into local authority care to assist with their integration. It is also right that those no longer entitled to asylum support leave the United Kingdom.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the decision to resume cessations of support and evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers, what (a) public health and (b) other criteria will be used to inform decisions on whether to evict and cease support for individual unsuccessful asylum claimants.

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. This means moving people out of Home Office accommodation and ending subsistence payments from the Home Office.

For those whose asylum claims have been rejected and appeal rights exhausted, they will be expected to leave the country, assistance is available to those who opt to leave voluntarily. The Voluntary Returns Scheme will pay for travel and provide a cash amount, and this can and should be utilised whenever possible.

People who are awaiting a Covid test result should not be asked to leave their current dwelling until they receive a negative test result and are symptom free and that those self-isolating due to a positive test result should adhere to the full 14-day self-isolation period for close contacts.

These factors, applied to an individual case, might mean that a failed asylum seeker continues to be eligible to receive support because they are unable to leave the UK or take the necessary practical steps to enable them to leave (for example by attending an interview for the purposes of obtaining a necessary travel document).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of direct funding to asylum dispersal local authorities in recognition of dispersal area status.

Local authorities receive funding for their costs of providing support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

However, they do not receive funding for adult asylum seekers and their dependants; this is because the costs of providing these individuals with any necessary accommodation and other support to cover their essential living needs are met by the Home Office. There are no plans to change these arrangements.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to increase the asylum support rates, beyond the increase made in June 2020.

The standard allowance given to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute was raised to £39.60 per week from £37.75 per week with effect from 15 June, an increase of around 5%. This increase was significantly higher than the general rate of inflation, which Office for National Statistics data shows was only 0.5% in the 12 months period to May.

Further work is being done, as it is every year, to ensure the rate is enough to meet the essential living needs of asylum seekers (the legal test) and we will announce the outcome in due course.

The taxpayer also provides free accommodation, with utilities and council tax paid for and there is free access to the NHS and free access to education for their children.

The UK has a generous record in supporting asylum seekers. Last year, we made around 20,000 grants of asylum or protection (one of the higher figures in Europe), as well as offered protection to 3,000 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children – the highest number of any country in Europe. In addition, we have directly resettled around 20,000 people from the most dangerous areas of the world (especially Syrians) in the UK over the last 5 years. Finally, we spend around £14 billion per year in Overseas Aid, helping millions of people around the world. This is the highest amount of any country in Europe and we are the only G7 country to meet the 0.7% of GNI Overseas Aid target.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to move residents from asylum accommodation hotels into dispersal housing; and what the target timeframe is for that work to be completed.

It is Home Office policy to move people into suitable Dispersed Accommodation (DA) once their claim for support has been assessed.

The current global pandemic has presented significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. This has included the need to source sufficient accommodation to meet demand.

Work to explore further options to accommodate asylum seekers included work with the Ministry of Defence to identify and to utilise MOD sites at short notice.

This accommodation is contingency accommodation, whilst pressures in the system are addressed and will be discontinued as soon as the Home Office is able to do so.

A comprehensive cessation plan has been established with input from Local Authorities, Other Government Departments and Stakeholders to reduce the number of people in hotels.

Our accommodation providers are working to maximise their procurement plans throughout the UK, but they can only do so with Local Authority agreement. It is our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable DA as soon as reasonably practical.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on covid-19 testing and safety for people in asylum accommodation; and if she will publish that guidance.

The Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing, as set by Public Health England.

We do not publish figures in relation to COVID 19. Asylum seekers who have been tested, would appear in the nationally published statistics on testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in asylum accommodation have been tested for covid-19.

The Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing, as set by Public Health England.

We do not publish figures in relation to COVID 19. Asylum seekers who have been tested, would appear in the nationally published statistics on testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in asylum accommodation are classed as shielding.

The Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing, as set by Public Health England.

We do not publish figures in relation to COVID 19. Asylum seekers who have been tested, would appear in the nationally published statistics on testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in asylum accommodation have tested positive for covid-19.

The Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing, as set by Public Health England.

We do not publish figures in relation to COVID 19. Asylum seekers who have been tested, would appear in the nationally published statistics on testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in asylum accommodation have died from covid-19.

The Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing, as set by Public Health England.

We do not publish figures in relation to COVID 19. Asylum seekers who have been tested, would appear in the nationally published statistics on testing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to complete and publish the full report of its evaluation of asylum accommodation and support services relating to Glasgow during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to improving accommodation and support services experienced by asylum seekers, as evidenced by the evaluation of the provisions in Glasgow during the pandemic and our commitment to act on the findings.

The evaluation is on-going, and publication will be considered once the evaluation has been concluded.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the safety of asylum seekers in hotel accommodation across the UK in response to recent Far-Right activities and harassment at those hotels.

We are working closely with our providers to review security arrangements within all of the hotels currently being used to accommodate asylum seekers. Our accommodation providers liaise closely with local Police colleagues and asylum seekers are briefed as to risks and encouraged to report Hate Crimes accordingly.

We are also working with Home Office and local authority colleagues to develop strategic responses to any further harassment of asylum seekers accommodated in hotels nationally.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to implement asylum support cessations and evictions of people in asylum accommodation who have been refused asylum.

We are resuming negative asylum support cessations in England, and soon after in the rest of the United Kingdom following discussion with officials in the Devolved Administrations. Those without an ongoing right to be in the UK should be taking steps to leave the country. All cases that receive a negative cessation will have an available route of return and we offer support through a Voluntary Returns Scheme that will pay for travel and provide a cash amount, and this can and should be utilised whenever possible.

The general advice received was that people who are awaiting a Covid test result should not be asked to leave their current dwelling until they receive a negative test result and are symptom free and that those self-isolating due to a positive test result should adhere to the full 14-day self-isolation period for close contacts.

These factors, applied to an individual case, might mean that a failed asylum seeker continues to be eligible to receive support because they are unable to leave the UK or take the necessary practical steps to enable them to leave (for example by attending an interview for the purposes of obtaining a necessary travel document).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish any public health guidance or advice that informed her decision of 11 August 2020 to restart asylum support cessations and evictions.

We are resuming negative asylum support cessations in England, and soon after in the rest of the United Kingdom following discussion with officials in the Devolved Administrations. Those without an ongoing right to be in the UK should be taking steps to leave the country. All cases that receive a negative cessation will have an available route of return and we offer support through a Voluntary Returns Scheme that will pay for travel and provide a cash amount, and this can and should be utilised whenever possible.

The general advice received was that people who are awaiting a Covid test result should not be asked to leave their current dwelling until they receive a negative test result and are symptom free and that those self-isolating due to a positive test result should adhere to the full 14-day self-isolation period for close contacts.

These factors, applied to an individual case, might mean that a failed asylum seeker continues to be eligible to receive support because they are unable to leave the UK or take the necessary practical steps to enable them to leave (for example by attending an interview for the purposes of obtaining a necessary travel document).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on support and standard operating procedures in relation to its hotel accommodation; and whether those procedures are published.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated in “dispersal” accommodation (generally flats and houses) receive £39.60 per week to cover their other essential living needs. Asylum seekers accommodated in hotels and other full-board facilities do not receive this payment because their essential living needs are provided for in kind, or a mixture of in kind support and some cash.

The detail of the support arrangements for those supported in full-board accommodation are set out in the contracts with the accommodation providers; specifically the “Statement of Requirements”, which can be found at:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-1112/AASC_-_Schedule_2_-_Statement_of_Requirements

The accommodation providers receive payments for providing services consistent with those requirements.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason it is her policy to exclude financial support to asylum residents in full board hotels.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated in “dispersal” accommodation (generally flats and houses) receive £39.60 per week to cover their other essential living needs. Asylum seekers accommodated in hotels and other full-board facilities do not receive this payment because their essential living needs are provided for in kind, or a mixture of in kind support and some cash.

The detail of the support arrangements for those supported in full-board accommodation are set out in the contracts with the accommodation providers; specifically the “Statement of Requirements”, which can be found at:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-1112/AASC_-_Schedule_2_-_Statement_of_Requirements

The accommodation providers receive payments for providing services consistent with those requirements.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department pays its three accommodation contractors directly for meeting its definition of essential living needs in relation to hotel residents in full board asylum accommodation.

Asylum seekers who are accommodated in “dispersal” accommodation (generally flats and houses) receive £39.60 per week to cover their other essential living needs. Asylum seekers accommodated in hotels and other full-board facilities do not receive this payment because their essential living needs are provided for in kind, or a mixture of in kind support and some cash.

The detail of the support arrangements for those supported in full-board accommodation are set out in the contracts with the accommodation providers; specifically the “Statement of Requirements”, which can be found at:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-1112/AASC_-_Schedule_2_-_Statement_of_Requirements

The accommodation providers receive payments for providing services consistent with those requirements.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many hotels are being used by her Department for asylum accommodation; how many people are resident in those hotels; and what the average length of stay is in hotel asylum accommodation.

The number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

This includes the numbers of those accommodated under Section 98, Section 95 and Section 4.

The average length of stay is not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

It is Home Office policy to move people into suitable Dispersed Accommodation (DA) once their claim for support has been assessed.

The current global pandemic has presented significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. This has included the need to source sufficient accommodation to meet demand.

A comprehensive cessation plan has been established with input from Local Authorities, Other Government Departments and Stakeholders to reduce the number of people in hotels.

Work to explore further options to accommodate asylum seekers included work with the Ministry of Defence to identify and to utilise MOD sites at short notice.

This accommodation is contingency accommodation, whilst pressures in the system are addressed and will be discontinued as soon as the Home Office is able to do so.

Our accommodation providers are working to maximise their procurement plans throughout the UK, but they can only do so with Local Authority agreement. It is our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable DA as soon as reasonably practical.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has paid to (a) Serco, (b) Mears Group and (c) Clearsprings for the provision of hotel asylum accommodation since 1 April 2020.

Total asylum spends are published as part of transparency data which can be found using this link https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what countries her Department has assessed it safe to return refused asylum seekers to during the covid-19 pandemic.

All asylum and human rights claims are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations. Each individual assessment is made against the background of the latest available country of origin information and any relevant caselaw.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been subject to enforced removal since since 1 April 2020; and to what countries they have been removed.

The Home Office publishes data on returns from the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of enforced returns, by return destination, are published in table Ret_D02 within the returns detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the Returns summary tables. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on returns. The latest data relate to June 2020.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.] https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department and its contractors are taking to ensure that people in asylum accommodation can comply with the new public health stipulation of a maximum of six people gathering, in (a) hotels, (b) other initial accommodation centres and (c) HMOs used for asylum accommodation.

We have worked closely with Public Health to ensure asylum accommodation providers are following relevant guidance and are supporting asylum seekers to follow Public Health guidance within the estate.

Providers are applying controls to further support social distancing such as providing translated public health guidance and instruction to service users. Communal dining rooms have staggered meal times and appropriate marking to delineate social distancing. Where service users are isolating, food is placed outside of their rooms.

Laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education apply to everyone. The Home Office are working closely with accommodation providers to ensure that the new health stipulation of “the rule of six” is followed and implemented accordingly. The varying types of accommodation require different approaches, the Home Office are working closely with providers to understand the implementation of those approaches and to assure themselves that Public Health guidance is applied appropriately.

During these unprecedented times the government is working with a range of partners and across departments to secure further accommodation and the MOD has offered use of some of its sites. We have sought Public Health England/Wales advice on how we can make best use of this accommodation, working within the constraints of the configuration, whilst minimising risks from covid-19.

We will follow the model which the MOD has adopted which is to continue to use the dormitories as shared rooms but to limit occupancy ensuring a minimum distance between beds of at least 2 metres. This will be complemented by a range of additional safety measures including increased cleaning of surfaces, availability of hand sanitisers, a track and trace system and extensive communications with residents around covid-19 control measures.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the resettlement of refugees into the UK will resume.

It is not currently possible to undertake resettlement activity due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are evaluating how to respond given these restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe and operationally viable to do so.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in regular dialogue with our international and domestic stakeholders.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to continue resettlement of refugees in the long term; and if she will make a statement.

It is not currently possible to undertake resettlement activity due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are evaluating how to respond given these restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe and operationally viable to do so.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in regular dialogue with our international and domestic stakeholders.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many farms have participated in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme since September 2018.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether workers on the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme are provided with a Written Statement of Employment Particulars guaranteeing them 35 hours or more work per week.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme, whether the Written Statement of Employment Particulars must be translated by employers into the native language of the worker.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been deprived of British Citizenship in each year since 2010 by (a) nationality, (b) race, (c) ethnicity and (d) religion.

The Home Office publishes data relating to those deprived of British Citizenship.

Figures for conducive deprivation orders, which are made under Section 40(2) of the 1981 British Nationality Act, have been published as part of the HM Government Transparency Report: Disruptive and Investigatory Powers. Four reports have been published to date in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-government-transparency-report-on-the-use-of-disruptive-and-investigatory-powers

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disruptive-and-investigatory-powers-hm-government-transparency-report

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disruptive-and-investigatory-powers-transparency-report-2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transparency-report-disruptive-powers-2018-to-2019

Section 40(3) of the 1981 British Nationality Act, allows for deprivation of citizenship where fraud, false representation or concealment of material facts have been used to obtain British citizenship. Since February 2020 these figures have been published via the Transparency report on asylum data, which can be found using the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asylum-transparency-data-february-2020

Breakdown by nationality, race, ethnicity and religion is not available in a reportable format within cost limits. There will also be instances where a person who has been deprived of British citizenship has not previously declared their race, ethnicity or religion to the Home Office.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer on 22 July 2020 to Question 76041, whether her Department collects information on the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot that have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer on 22 July 2020 to Question 76043, which overseas agencies Concordia deal with as part of the seasonal pilot scheme; and whether those agencies have been licensed for labour provision by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

The responsibility for inspecting locations under the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (SAWS) sits with UK Visas and Immigration. The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) accompany UK Visas and Immigration on their inspections to provide them with information, advice and guidance.

Concordia have engaged with 15 suppliers as part of the SAWS, all of whom are licenced by the GLAA. The GLAA’s public register lists the labour providers who are licensed including licence holders based outside the UK. Further information about the register can be found at: https://www.gla.gov.uk/our-impact/who-has-a-glaa-licence/

The GLAA also works with overseas labour providers to ensure licences are granted to those supplying workers to the UK, as required by section 5 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, which sets out the territorial scope and application of the Act.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority has had with overseas labour providers on labour licensing activity since 1 September 2018.

The responsibility for inspecting locations under the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (SAWS) sits with UK Visas and Immigration. The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) accompany UK Visas and Immigration on their inspections to provide them with information, advice and guidance.

Concordia have engaged with 15 suppliers as part of the SAWS, all of whom are licenced by the GLAA. The GLAA’s public register lists the labour providers who are licensed including licence holders based outside the UK. Further information about the register can be found at: https://www.gla.gov.uk/our-impact/who-has-a-glaa-licence/

The GLAA also works with overseas labour providers to ensure licences are granted to those supplying workers to the UK, as required by section 5 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, which sets out the territorial scope and application of the Act.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many inspections the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority has undertaken on farms employing workers under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme since September 2018.

The responsibility for inspecting locations under the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (SAWS) sits with UK Visas and Immigration. The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) accompany UK Visas and Immigration on their inspections to provide them with information, advice and guidance.

Concordia have engaged with 15 suppliers as part of the SAWS, all of whom are licenced by the GLAA. The GLAA’s public register lists the labour providers who are licensed including licence holders based outside the UK. Further information about the register can be found at: https://www.gla.gov.uk/our-impact/who-has-a-glaa-licence/

The GLAA also works with overseas labour providers to ensure licences are granted to those supplying workers to the UK, as required by section 5 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, which sets out the territorial scope and application of the Act.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many workers on the seasonal workers pilot have left early.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many migrants were provided to each UK region under the Seasonal Workers’ Pilot.

With regard to the Honourable Members question about the number of workers in the Seasonal Workers Pilot who have made a request to their pilot operator to change their employer I refer him to the response I gave to his question of 17 July (76041).

The UK operates a national immigration system. We do not break down the distribution of pilot workers within UK by geographic region.

The Home Office does not hold data on the numbers of individual growers that have participated in the pilot. We also do not hold data on the number of pilot workers who left the UK before the end of their visa in a reportable format. This information is recorded and held by the Scheme Operators

All pilot workers are provided with a contract, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided in their native language. As part of this contract, the scheme operators are required to ensure pilot workers receive at least the national minimum wage for every week of their employment. The mechanism for achieving this, be it guaranteed payment or guaranteed hours of employment, is at the discretion of the scheme operators.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to improve the transparency of EU Settlement Scheme reporting.

Statistical information on the EU Settlement Scheme is published by the Home Office monthly and quarterly. The latest published information on applications received can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics.

The monthly reporting on the EU Settlement Scheme has recently been changed to allow for more timely release of the figures on applications and outcomes, placed on the GOV.UK website.

The quarterly publication will continue to provide more detailed breakdowns, including data on nationality, UK country of residence, age group, and regional and local authority numbers. In future, we also plan to include numbers of non-digital (paper) applications and further analysis of application outcomes, including those applicants for pre-settled status who subsequently apply for full status.

In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, the Home Office openly invites feedback from users to continue developing the quality, usefulness and presentation of statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme. Feedback is continually sought across our suite of Home Office immigration statistics, alongside regular internal consultation, and external engagement through multiple stakeholder channels.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the Policy Equality Statement in relation to the EU Settled Status Scheme.

The Policy Equality Statement for the EU Settlement Scheme will be published shortly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which overseas labour providers have been licensed for labour provision to the Seasonal Workers' Pilot by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority since 1 September 2018.

Two labour providers were selected to run the Seasonal Workers’ Pilot: Pro Force and Concordia.

Concordia deal with a small number of agencies as part of the seasonal pilot scheme and Pro Force do not use other licensed labour provider businesses as they manage the recruitment directly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many workers on a Tier 5 Seasonal Worker Visa have made a request to (a) Concordia and (b) Pro Force to change their employer since the start of the Seasonal Workers Pilot.

The Home Office does not hold this data, only the scheme operators do. Therefore, we are unable to answer the question.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many workers have received a Tier 5 Seasonal Worker Visa to work in UK agriculture since the start of the Seasonal Workers’ Pilot, by (a) nationality and (b) UK constituent country.

The published statistics on the Seasonal Worker Pilot may be found at the links below. Please note that the data is not broken down by region.

The Home Office publishes data on Tier 5 Seasonal Workers visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on grants of Tier 5 Seasonal Workers visas, by nationality, are published in table Vis_D02 of the entry clearance detailed datasets.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to year ending March 2020. Data for April to June 2020 are due for future publication on 27 August 2020.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the entry clearance summary tables. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visasThe ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on entry clearance visas.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what overseas visits have been undertaken by officials from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority for the purpose of labour licensing activity since 1 September 2018.

No overseas visits have been undertaken by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority for the purpose of labour licensing activity since 1 September 2018.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Written Statement of 23 July 2019, Official Report, HCWS1803, on Immigration, stating that her Department accepted that the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendation to pilot such a visa was worth pursuing and that further details would follow, for what reasons the Answer of 14 July 2020 to Question 71803 stated that her Department has not had plans to pilot a remote areas visa scheme; and if she will make a statement.

Whatever position the previous Government may have taken, this Government has never had plans to pilot a remote area visa scheme. Instead this Government will introduce a points-based immigration system which will benefit all parts of the United Kingdom.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral answer of the The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department of 13 July 2020 on Covid-19: Support for Asylum Seekers, Official Report, column 678, what the evidential basis was for her Department's conclusion that 109 people who might have been moved from the temporary serviced accommodation into the hotels were not moved as a consequence of vulnerability assessments; and what the criteria of those vulnerability assessments was.

Prior to the moves into hotels Mears considered individuals’ health records and a meeting took place with each service user.

Based on this, 102 (not 109 as stated in the question) service users were moved to alternative Mears accommodation, rather than hotels. All other service users were moved to hotels, where further health and welfare assessments were carried out, and some service users were subsequently moved to alternative dispersed accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer on 14 July 2020 to Question 71801, what steps were taken prior to her decision to lift the pause on asylum support cessations and evictions to ensure that due regard was paid to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The temporary suspension of asylum support cessations remains in place whilst the review described to the Strategic Engagement Group on 24 June is underway.

This review is being undertaken in accordance with our Public Sector Equality duties and includes careful discussion and planning with Public Health Agencies, Local Authorities, Other Government Departments and Stakeholders, which included members of the voluntary and community sector, on how support cessations should appropriately recommence

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what protections are in place for self-employed people whose income continues to be affected by the covid-19 outbreak after 31 July 2020, and who are unable to meet the Minimum Income Requirement when sponsoring a non-EEA partner’s UK visa.

The Home Office has established a range of measures to support those affected by Covid-19. For the purpose of the minimum income requirement, in addition to the range of ways the requirement can already be met through sources of non-employment income:

  • a temporary loss of annual income due to Covid-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications beyond 31 July. Income received via the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will also be taken into account;

  • a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to Covid-19 will be disregarded, provided the requirement was met for at least six months up to March 2020;

  • an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;

  • evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Guidance for our customers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members.

These are unprecedented times and as the UK returns to work, we continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account. We may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of (a) visa fees and (b) the immigration health surcharge on the number of EEA nationals migrating to the UK from 1 January 2021.

An Impact Assessment on the wider impacts of the ending of free movement for EEA and Swiss citizens was laid alongside the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. It can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885682/2020-05-18_IA_ImmSSC_Billl_v21_with_Signature.pdf

On 19 March 2020 the Home Office published a literature review of the evidence relating to the elasticity of demand for visas in the UK. This evidence is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-review-of-evidence-relating-to-the-elasticity-of-demand-for-visas-in-the-uk

The impact of the imposition of both visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge on EEA and Swiss citizens will be published alongside the Immigration Rules and Fee Regulations in the Autumn.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral answer of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department of 13 July 2020 on Covid-19: Support for Asylum Seekers, Official Report, column 678, what her timescale is for the urgent review and report back by officials looking into adequacy of accommodation for asylum seekers in Glasgow; and whether that report will be published.

There is constant monitoring of accommodation providers and formal governance in place, including quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Throughout COVID-19 officials have spoken daily with the providers and continue to have formal meetings once a week.

The accommodation provided is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and it is required to comply with the Decent Homes Standard in addition to standards outlined in relevant national or local housing legislation.?If it is found that standards are not being met, appropriate action is taken to hold providers to account and resolve concerns.

Anyone receiving asylum support can contact the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility service, operated by Migrant Help. This is available 24-hours a day and I encourage people to use this to report any issue that will then be investigated.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral answer of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department of 13 July 2020 on Covid-19: Support for Asylum Seekers, Official Report, column 678, whether the review and report back by officials on the adequacy of housing for asylum seekers in Glasgow will include (a) interviews and (b) consultation with (i) affected asylum seekers, (ii) refugee agencies in the city, (iii) Glasgow City Council, (iv) Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, (v) the Asylum health bridging team, (vi) Mears Group and (vii) hotel staff.

There is constant monitoring of accommodation providers and formal governance in place, including quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Throughout COVID-19 officials have spoken daily with the providers and continue to have formal meetings once a week.

The accommodation provided is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and it is required to comply with the Decent Homes Standard in addition to standards outlined in relevant national or local housing legislation.?If it is found that standards are not being met, appropriate action is taken to hold providers to account and resolve concerns.

Anyone receiving asylum support can contact the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility service, operated by Migrant Help. This is available 24-hours a day and I encourage people to use this to report any issue that will then be investigated.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will complete and publish the Safeguarding Framework for its asylum accommodation service and contract.

The safeguarding framework is a living document which is designed to develop and grow throughout the lifetime of the contracts. It is not a contract requirement but is designed to be an overarching set of principles which sit alongside the more formal contract requirements. There are no plans to publish it.

The contracts are designed in a way that safeguarding elements are factored into several of the KPIs, a copy of the contract for Scotland can be found at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/a569f254-af0a-4ec8-a6a1-6622baa435ab.

There are no current plans to introduce a safeguarding KPI although we will keep this under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to introduce a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) on safeguarding and vulnerabilities in the asylum accommodation contracts and performance management.

The safeguarding framework is a living document which is designed to develop and grow throughout the lifetime of the contracts. It is not a contract requirement but is designed to be an overarching set of principles which sit alongside the more formal contract requirements. There are no plans to publish it.

The contracts are designed in a way that safeguarding elements are factored into several of the KPIs, a copy of the contract for Scotland can be found at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/a569f254-af0a-4ec8-a6a1-6622baa435ab.

There are no current plans to introduce a safeguarding KPI although we will keep this under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she made of the level of compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty of (a) the decision on 27 March 2020 to pause asylum support cessations and evictions and (b) the decision to lift that pause on 24 June 2020, as announced to refugee sector agencies on the Strategic engagement group; and what assessment she has made of the effect on BAME asylum seekers of the covid-19 outbreak.

In accordance with our PSED duties, the HO has given due regard to equalities issues in respect of additional support provided to asylum seekers in response to COVID pandemic. The decision to temporarily extend support and accommodation for those who would otherwise no longer be eligible was undertaken in consultation with Public Health Agencies across the UK. We are continuing to work closely with public health, local government and others to plan an appropriate resumption to termination of statutory support, taking full account of equalities duties and potential impacts on those SUs with protected characteristics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 61728 on Asylum: Coronavirus, when the advice in relation to the pause of asylum support cessations and the subsequent review was received by her Department.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and have sought advice about the cessations and review a number of times.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date she decided to reverse her plans to pilot a remote areas visa scheme.

Given the Home Office has not had plans to pilot a remote areas visa scheme, there cannot have been a decision to reverse them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what Partnership Agreements are in operation between HMRC and her Department; and plans she has to revise those plans in response to the UK leaving the EU.

The Home Office and HMRC have a long-established relationship underpinned by a single Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement sets out the framework under which HMRC and the Home Office work together to ensure the effective enforcement of customs controls at the border. The Partnership Agreement is undergoing a review to ensure governance of the relationship remains rigorous, robust and effective into the future.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 54929 on UK Border Force: Recruitment, if she will publish the number of Border Force officers empowered to carry out customs tasks under section 3 of the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Act 2009; and how many of those officers will be based in (a) Scotland and (b) the rest of the UK.

Border Force has a workforce model clearly setting out roles and skills coupled with a strategic workforce planning process enabling effective identification of resourcing needs, training requirements and the effective deployment of staff. Any requirement to increase activity in one area will be managed in this context.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Home Department, pursuant to to the Answer of 7 May 2020 to Question 42081 on Asylum: Detention Centres and the Answer of 19 May 2020 to Question 46686 on Asylum: Housing, if he will publish the guidance issue by Public Health England to the Home Office that informed (a) the decision on 27 March 2020 to pause asylum support cessations and evictions and (b) the current review of this pause to be completed by end of June 2020.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach.?? PHE guidance focused initially on the provision to self-isolate and social distance and, in the review, to follow MHCLG guidance in relation to moving home and social bubbles which was supported by PHE. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak and - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household.

We also sought specific advice in relation to the pause of asylum support cessations and the subsequent review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's blog post, Border Force recruitment, published in August 2019, how many of the Border Force officers trained for no deal will be empowered to carry out customs tasks under section 3 of the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Act 2009; and how many of those officers will be based in (a) Scotland and (b) the rest of the UK.

Border Force resource and staffing requirements are continually reviewed, and we deploy resources flexibly as and when they are required. Border Force will continue to build a pipeline of resource to flexibly respond to future requirements.

We?have already delivered a largescale recruitment and training exercise, which has seen an uplift of permanent staff, bringing the number of full-time equivalent Border Force staff to over 8,700 from c7,700 in March 2018. This includes a multi-disciplinary Readiness Task Force (RTF) of c.300 officers, which is available to deploy across the?UK?at short notice to deal with emerging issues and peaks in demand.

We are working closely across government to ensure we have the necessary trained staff, processes and infrastructure in place to respond to the increased custom checks from January in 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been newly detained under immigration detention powers since the beginning of the covid-19 lockdown in (a) immigration removal centres and (b) prisons, broken down by nationality.

The Home Office publishes data on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of people entering detention under immigration powers by quarter and nationality are published in table Det_D01 of the immigration detention detailed datasets.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘Summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people whose leave to remain in the UK was due to expire between 24 January and 31 May 2020.

The Home Office does not publish the information requested.

Published information relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people whose leave to remain in the UK was due to expire between 24 January and 31 May 2020 applied to extend their leave to remain in the UK until 31 May 2020.

The Home Office does not publish the information requested.

Published information relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people whose leave to remain the UK was due to expire between 24 January and 31 May 2020 have left the UK.

The Home Office does not publish the information requested.

Published information relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of her proposed future immigration policy on net international migration to (a) the UK and (b) each of the devolved nations.

The effect of the proposed future immigration policy on net migration to the UK and impact on inflows to regions and devolved nations has been assessed in the corresponding Impact Assessment (IA) for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. This analysis does not account for the impact of COVID-19.

The published IA can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885682/2020-05-18_IA_ImmSSC_Billl_v21_with_Signature.pdf

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2020 to Question 42081 on asylum: detention centres, if she will take steps to ensure that the advice from Public Health England is published before her Department reviews its policy on evictions and asylum accommodation.

As outlined by Minister Chris Philp, the Home Office will be reviewing the current policy to allow service users to remain in their asylum accommodation before the end of June. We will do this in line with the Government advice in place at that time, which will take into account Public Health England guidance. Publication of PHE guidance is a matter for PHE.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department gave approval to Mears Group for plans to move some 300 asylum seekers from self-contained accommodation into hotels in Glasgow in April.

The moves that took place in Glasgow were moves from contingency accommodation (serviced apartments) to contingency accommodation (hotels). Contingency use is permitted under the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts.

Where a provider needs to move an Initial Accommodation (IA) or Dispersed Accommodation (DA) service user they may have to do so as a matter of urgency and in such circumstances there is no contractual requirement to notify the Home Office in advance, but rather within one day of such a move taking place. A provider may only move an IA Service User once.

All accommodation providers are required to undertake risk assessments for the activities and services they perform and risk is formally managed on a monthly basis at formal contract government meetings, the most recent of which updated the risk register in relation to the use of hotel contingency across the AASC contracts held by Mears.

Risk assessment of the suitability of a property for use for supported asylum seekers would normally form part of the engagement with a Local Authority on the use of a particular hotel contingency.

The AASC Contract does not require service users in receipt of S98 support to be given 7 days-notice of moves and there may be times when service users need to be moved quickly, as a matter of urgency. In all cases relating to the moves in Glasgow, Mears have confirmed that the moves were discussed with service users in advance which included discussing requirements, assistance with packing belongings and arranging transport.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) consultation with, (b) engagement with and (c) notification of relevant (i) individuals and (ii) organisations her Department undertook prior to the Mears Group moving asylum seekers from self-contained accommodation into hotels in Glasgow in April 2020.

The moves that took place in Glasgow were moves from contingency accommodation (serviced apartments) to contingency accommodation (hotels). Contingency use is permitted under the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts.

Where a provider needs to move an Initial Accommodation (IA) or Dispersed Accommodation (DA) service user they may have to do so as a matter of urgency and in such circumstances there is no contractual requirement to notify the Home Office in advance, but rather within one day of such a move taking place. A provider may only move an IA Service User once.

All accommodation providers are required to undertake risk assessments for the activities and services they perform and risk is formally managed on a monthly basis at formal contract government meetings, the most recent of which updated the risk register in relation to the use of hotel contingency across the AASC contracts held by Mears.

Risk assessment of the suitability of a property for use for supported asylum seekers would normally form part of the engagement with a Local Authority on the use of a particular hotel contingency.

The AASC Contract does not require service users in receipt of S98 support to be given 7 days-notice of moves and there may be times when service users need to be moved quickly, as a matter of urgency. In all cases relating to the moves in Glasgow, Mears have confirmed that the moves were discussed with service users in advance which included discussing requirements, assistance with packing belongings and arranging transport.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been held in the UK's four short-term holding facilities in Calais and Dunkirk since the beginning of the UK's covid-19 lockdown.

The Home Office does not routinely publish location specific statistics on the people held in the short term holding facilities at juxtaposed ports.

Any high-risk individuals displaying symptoms are referred to French authorities in the first instance. Border Force continue to adhere to Public Health England guidance to ensure we follow the latest scientific advice to seek guidance of our frontline operations.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much of the funding allocated to border security in northern France under the (a) 2015 Joint Declaration, (b) 2018 Sandhurst Agreement and (c) 2019 Joint Action Plan have been spent; and if she will provide a breakdown of that spending.

As of May 2020, the full package of funding committed under the Joint Declaration (2015), the Sandhurst Treaty (2018) and Joint Action Plan on small boats (2019) has been spent, representing a total investment of €68.6 million.

This funding has been utilised to implement the obligations as detailed in the agreements, including investments in improving border infrastructure at the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, the delivery of strategic communications campaigns, cooperation on return charter flights, and developing access to French asylum services.

The funding allocated under the Joint Action Plan was committed to the delivery of strategic communications campaign as well as the purchase of equipment to improve detections of boats making crossings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what risk assessments her Department have (a) requested, (b) conducted and (c) received in relation to the move by Mears Group of asylum seekers from self-contained accommodation into hotels in Glasgow in April 2020.

The moves that took place in Glasgow were moves from contingency accommodation (serviced apartments) to contingency accommodation (hotels). Contingency use is permitted under the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts.

Where a provider needs to move an Initial Accommodation (IA) or Dispersed Accommodation (DA) service user they may have to do so as a matter of urgency and in such circumstances there is no contractual requirement to notify the Home Office in advance, but rather within one day of such a move taking place. A provider may only move an IA Service User once.

All accommodation providers are required to undertake risk assessments for the activities and services they perform and risk is formally managed on a monthly basis at formal contract government meetings, the most recent of which updated the risk register in relation to the use of hotel contingency across the AASC contracts held by Mears.

Risk assessment of the suitability of a property for use for supported asylum seekers would normally form part of the engagement with a Local Authority on the use of a particular hotel contingency.

The AASC Contract does not require service users in receipt of S98 support to be given 7 days-notice of moves and there may be times when service users need to be moved quickly, as a matter of urgency. In all cases relating to the moves in Glasgow, Mears have confirmed that the moves were discussed with service users in advance which included discussing requirements, assistance with packing belongings and arranging transport.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department was notified by Mears Group of plans to move some 300 asylum seekers from self-contained accommodation into hotels in Glasgow.

The moves that took place in Glasgow were moves from contingency accommodation (serviced apartments) to contingency accommodation (hotels). Contingency use is permitted under the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts.

Where a provider needs to move an Initial Accommodation (IA) or Dispersed Accommodation (DA) service user they may have to do so as a matter of urgency and in such circumstances there is no contractual requirement to notify the Home Office in advance, but rather within one day of such a move taking place. A provider may only move an IA Service User once.

All accommodation providers are required to undertake risk assessments for the activities and services they perform and risk is formally managed on a monthly basis at formal contract government meetings, the most recent of which updated the risk register in relation to the use of hotel contingency across the AASC contracts held by Mears.

Risk assessment of the suitability of a property for use for supported asylum seekers would normally form part of the engagement with a Local Authority on the use of a particular hotel contingency.

The AASC Contract does not require service users in receipt of S98 support to be given 7 days-notice of moves and there may be times when service users need to be moved quickly, as a matter of urgency. In all cases relating to the moves in Glasgow, Mears have confirmed that the moves were discussed with service users in advance which included discussing requirements, assistance with packing belongings and arranging transport.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she will publish (a) the advice, guidance and recommendations it has received from the Public Health England Director embedded in the Home Office during Covid-19, on (i) asylum support, (ii) asylum accommodation and (iii) immigration removal centres; and (b) her response to such advice, guidance and recommendations.

We are aware that Public Health England intend on publishing this information soon.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration detainees have been moved from Larne House detention centre in Northern Ireland to immigration detention centres in (a) Scotland and (b) England since 23 March 2020; and what risk assessments have been undertaken in respect of those moves.

We take the welfare of the detainees in our care very seriously. The safety and health of those in residential short-term holding facilities and immigration removal centres (IRC) is of the utmost importance.

Management information indicates that since the 23 March 2020, three detainees have been transferred from Larne House to an IRC. All these moves were to Dungavel House IRC in Scotland.

The Home Office undertake careful risk assessments when considering detainee placement in the detention estate. This is done on a case by case basis to ensure placement in the most suitable IRC that can best accommodate the individual’s needs.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of no recourse to public funds rules on the public health response to covid-19; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Testing and treatment for Covid-19 is free of charge to all regardless of immigration status and NHS Trusts have been advised no immigration checks are required for these patients. This message has been widely communicated to the public through various means including in PHE’s migrant health guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide)

£3.2 billion will be provided to local authorities in England with additional funding for the devolved administrations under the Barnett formula as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's policy paper entitled Home Office immigration and nationality fees published on 20 February 2020, what recent assessment she has made of compliance of the fee for registering a child as a British citizen with the ruling in PRCBC and others v SSHD [2019] EWHC 3536 (Admin).

Although the judge ruled that there had not been proper consideration of the Government’s section 55 duties, the Immigration and Nationality Fees Regulations 2018 were not found to be unlawful.

We therefore continue to charge Child Registration fees as set out in the Fees Regulations. The court case remains on-going; the Home Office notes the Court’s judgment from the Admin Court and is considering its implications carefully, while awaiting the appeal hearing.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) women and (b) men prevented from sponsoring a non-EEA partner to join them in the UK as a result of insufficient earnings to meet the Minimum Income Requirement in the Immigration Rules, in 2019.

The Home Office does not collate or publish the information requested.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the outcomes of entry clearance visa applications at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what equalities assessment her Department has undertaken on the effect of the minimum income threshold on rates of successful application for a spouse or partner visa.

In February 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the lawfulness of the minimum income requirement, which prevents burdens on the taxpayer and promotes integration, declaring that the policy is neither a breach of the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights nor discriminatory.

The Immigration Rules are kept under continuous review, including the minimum income requirement, and adjusted where necessary in light of feedback, impact and the findings of the courts.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) applications and (b) different individual applicants there have been to the EU Settlement Scheme.

There have been more than three million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme according to the latest internal management information.

The milestone was reached less than a year after the scheme was fully launched to the public, with more than 2.7 million people already granted status. The Home Office publishes regular statistics relating to the EU Settlement scheme on a monthly basis and more detailed statistics each quarter, the latest edition being released 6th February,

The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

To apply they only need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions.

Our initial analysis of applications suggest that repeat applications currently represent less than two per cent of applications. This is a small percentage of the over 3 million applications we have received. We will continue to investigate this number and plan to report further as part of our regular statistical publications.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will suspend charter flights to Jamaica pending the publication of the Windrush lessons learned review.

The planned Home Office charter flight to Jamaica is specifically for removing foreign national offenders with deportation orders in place. The Government, as obliged by law, has continued to remove foreign national offenders to Jamaica, some on charters and some on scheduled flights. It is incorrect to make a connection between these cases and Windrush.

Many of those have been convicted of very serious crimes – rape, attempted murder, sexual activity with a child and GBH.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ascertain the safety of individuals involuntarily removed on the charter flight to Jamaica, which took place on 6 February 2019, after they reached Jamaica.

The Home Office does not routinely monitor the treatment of people once they are removed from the UK. Returns are only undertaken when the Home Office and courts deem it is safe to do so.

All asylum and human rights claims from Jamaican nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations. Each individual assessment is made against the background of the latest available country of origin information and any relevant caselaw.

Country of origin information is based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.Where a person is found not to need protection, they usually have a right of appeal to the courts. The Home Office only seeks to return those whose asylum claim has been unsuccessful. By definition, they do not need protection and not at risk on return.

The UK is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers who have returned to their country of origin. They are, by definition, foreign nationals who have been found as a matter of law not to need the UK’s protection, and who have no legal basis of stay in the UK. It would be inappropriate for the UK to assume any ongoing responsibility for them when they return to their own country.

Should the Home Office receive any specific allegations that a returnee has experienced ill-treatment on return to their country of origin, these would be investigated in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the safety of people involuntarily removed to Jamaica on charter flights.

The Home Office does not routinely monitor the treatment of people once they are removed from the UK. Returns are only undertaken when the Home Office and courts deem it is safe to do so.

All asylum and human rights claims from Jamaican nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations. Each individual assessment is made against the background of the latest available country of origin information and any relevant caselaw.

Country of origin information is based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.Where a person is found not to need protection, they usually have a right of appeal to the courts. The Home Office only seeks to return those whose asylum claim has been unsuccessful. By definition, they do not need protection and not at risk on return.

The UK is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers who have returned to their country of origin. They are, by definition, foreign nationals who have been found as a matter of law not to need the UK’s protection, and who have no legal basis of stay in the UK. It would be inappropriate for the UK to assume any ongoing responsibility for them when they return to their own country.

Should the Home Office receive any specific allegations that a returnee has experienced ill-treatment on return to their country of origin, these would be investigated in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to resume charter flights for the involuntary repatriation of people to Jamaica.

The planned Home Office charter flight to Jamaica is specifically for removing foreign national offenders with deportation orders in place. The Government, as obliged by law, has continued to remove foreign national offenders to Jamaica, some on charters and some on scheduled flights. It is incorrect to make a connection between these cases and Windrush.

Many of those have been convicted of very serious crimes – rape, attempted murder, sexual activity with a child and GBH.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the powers granted under section 8 (2) of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, when a scheme for the issuance of Frontier Worker’s documents under Article 26 of the Withdrawal Agreement will be implemented.

Regulations will be made under section 8(2) of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 protecting the rights of EEA and Swiss citizens who are frontier working into the UK by 31 December 2020 and establishing a scheme to enable them to apply for a frontier worker document to prove their right to enter the UK for work after that date.

The scheme will be implemented as soon as possible, and further information will be set out in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance in the UK is for (a) Syrian nationals, (b) Afghan nationals and (c) Iraqi nationals.

Information regarding the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance in the UK, and the average duration of the asylum procedure of those who are Syrian nationals, Afghan nationals and Iraqi nationals is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

However, information relating to the percentage of asylum applications processed within 6 months can be found on table ASY_10 of the Asylum Transparency data, published 22nd August 2019:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asylum-transparency-data-august-2019

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance is in the UK.

Information regarding the average duration of the asylum procedure at first instance in the UK, and the average duration of the asylum procedure of those who are Syrian nationals, Afghan nationals and Iraqi nationals is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

However, information relating to the percentage of asylum applications processed within 6 months can be found on table ASY_10 of the Asylum Transparency data, published 22nd August 2019:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asylum-transparency-data-august-2019

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many withdrawal of international protection (Article 14 and 19 Directive 2011/95/EU) decisions were made by the UK in 2019 and what the (a) nationality and (b) protection status was of each applicant subject to those decisions.

Information regarding the number of cessations or withdrawals of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2019, and the nationality, and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cessation of international protection (Articles 11 and 17 Directive 2011/95/EU) decisions were made by the UK in 2019; and what the (a) nationality and (b) protection status was of each applicant subject to those decisions.

Information regarding the number of cessations or withdrawals of international protection decisions made by the UK in 2019, and the nationality, and protection status of each applicant subject to those decisions, is not held centrally and to obtain it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for the Armed Forces of 9 December 2020, Official Report, column 872, what assessment he has made of the significance of gold mining to the financing of terrorist organisations in (a) Mali and (b) neighbouring countries; what discussions he has had with international counterparts on that matter; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence has made an assessment of the relationship between artisanal gold mining and the funding of Violent Extremist Organisations (VEOs). The level of funding for VEOs, originating from the sale of gold is assessed to be low, with ransom for kidnap activities and their illicit smuggling activities more of a concern. Nonetheless, part of the UN MINUSMA mission is to encourage better governance in Mali which would tackle the funnelling of funds to support VEOs. The UK will also seek to raise the issue with the Economic Community of West African States.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the deadline for when significant spend on successful bids to the Levelling Up Fund has to be achieved.

In the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, we will prioritise projects which are able to demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the 2021-22 financial year. We would expect all funding provided from the Fund to be spent by 31 March 2024, and, exceptionally, into 2024-25 for larger schemes. The approach set out in the Prospectus will be kept under review for future rounds and announcements about the future of the Fund will be made later this year.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date he plans to announce which bids to the first round of the Levelling Up Fund have been successful.

I am delighted to say that the first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's press release, £105 million to keep rough sleepers safe and off the streets during coronavirus pandemic, published on 24 June 2020, whether that additional funding can be used to support people with no recourse to public funds.

At the beginning of the crisis, our priority was to urgently bring vulnerable people inside so they could self-isolate and stop the virus spreading. We backed this with £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers, and a further £3.2 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of COVID-19, including supporting homeless people. The £3.2 billion funding is not ringfenced and can be used across any local services facing pressures, including rough sleeping.

On 24?June?we announced that we are?providing local authorities with?a further?£105 million?to enable them?to?best?support the c15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.?This funding is on top of the £433 million which we announced on 24 May to provide thousands of additional?long-term?homes for vulnerable rough sleepers.?This commitment?will help?to ensure that as few of these people as possible return to the streets.?The funding will cover a range of interventions, from moves into the?private?rented?sector, to?extending?or procuring interim accommodation?such as hotels or student accommodation?and supporting individuals to reconnect with friends or family. This could also include provision for people eligible through the suspension of the derogation or support to return home.

It is at the discretion of local authorities to decide who they can support, whether this is British citizens or foreign nationals. The rules relating to eligibility, including those for individuals with no resource to public funds, have not changed. Local authorities must use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give to each person on an individual basis, considering that person’s specific circumstances and support needs. Local authorities already regularly make such judgements on accommodating individuals who might otherwise be ineligible, during extreme weather for example, where there is a risk to life. The Government recognises that these are unprecedented times and expects local authorities to support people who are sleeping rough, and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the loss of mutual recognition of qualifications within the EU on the UK legal services industry.

Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK and the EU have agreed a framework under which both parties may agree arrangements on the recognition of professional qualifications, such as mutual recognition agreements. While frameworks like this are conventional practice in free trade agreements, the Government successfully negotiated improvements to those agreements, which are designed to make the system more flexible and easier for regulatory authorities, including those within the legal services sector, to use, should they wish.

It is possible that some UK legal services regulatory authorities, professional bodies or associations might also seek to conclude other agreements with EU counterparts outside of this framework.

The Government will continue to provide help and guidance to UK regulatory authorities and professional bodies on issues of mutual recognition of professional qualifications. As of 1 January 2021, UK-qualified professionals in the legal services sector who wish to supply services in the EU should seek recognition of their qualifications according to the local laws and regulations of individual Member States.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Dec 2020
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on upholding the rule of law.

Naturally, the Government does not disclose the details of private conversations that are had amongst Cabinet colleagues, but there should be no doubt that the Government will continue to be very active in supporting the rule of law.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, whether (a) he, (b) officials in his office and (c) political advisors in his office have briefed members of the press with the name of the (i) law firm and (ii) lawyer that represents individuals the Home Office is attempting to remove under the Dublin III regulations in the last six months.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer my Hon Friend the Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts gave him on the 29 October 2020, UIN 102849.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
15th Sep 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on lorry driver shortages in Wales.

The Secretary of State for Wales and I have a wide range of discussions with Ministerial colleagues, including how to solve the current shortage of lorry drivers.

That is why the government is increasing the availability of HGV driving testing. However, I would like to remind the honourable Member that the HGV driver shortage is not exclusive to the UK and is a Europe wide issue.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)