Virendra Sharma Portrait

Virendra Sharma

Labour - Ealing, Southall

First elected: 19th July 2007


Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since January 2020)
International Development Committee (since March 2020)
4 APPG memberships (as of 8 Apr 2024)
British Gujaratis, Global Tuberculosis, Jainism, Population, Development and Reproductive Health
68 Former APPG memberships
Afghanistan, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Antibiotics, Bangladesh, British Council, British Hindus, Business Travel, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK (CANZUK), Cayman Islands, Children in Police Custody, Coeliac Disease, Crossrail, Dentistry and Oral Health, Diabetes, Diaspora, Development and Migration, Down Syndrome, Entrepreneurship, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Professionals, Excluded UK, Extreme Poverty, Fairtrade, Gaps in Support, Gasworks Redevelopment, Heart Valve Disease, Hepatology, Hindus, Hong Kong, Honour Based Abuse, Honour Based Abuse., Honour-Based Abuse, Indo-British, India (Trade and Investment), Indian Traditional Sciences, Indo-Pacific, Integrated Healthcare, Inter-Faith, Interfaith, Islamic Finance, Kabaddi, Liver Disease and Liver Cancer, Liver Health, London's Planning and Built Environment, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Mauritius, Micromobility, Mutuals, Nepal, Nutrition for Development, Nutrition for Growth, Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care, Patient Safety, Primary Care and Public Health, Sixth Form Education, Social Integration, Sri Lanka, Street Children, Tamils, Taxis, Tuberculosis, Ukraine, United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, Vaping, Visas and Immigration, Vulnerable Groups to Pandemics, Youth Affairs, Zimbabwe, Zoroastrian, Zoroastrianism
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
5th Jan 2022 - 12th Jan 2022
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
13th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
International Development Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
2nd Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Health and Social Care Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
International Development Committee
9th Mar 2009 - 6th May 2010
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2007 - 6th May 2010
Justice Committee
6th Nov 2007 - 25th Jan 2010
Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill (Joint Committee)
1st May 2008 - 22nd Jul 2008


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Virendra Sharma has voted in 703 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Virendra Sharma 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(8 debate interactions)
Justin Tomlinson (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
Tom Pursglove (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(35 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Virendra Sharma's debates

Ealing, Southall Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to commit to not signing any international treaty on pandemic prevention and preparedness established by the World Health Organization (WHO), unless this is approved through a public referendum.

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.


Latest EDMs signed by Virendra Sharma

18th March 2024
Virendra Sharma signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 21st March 2024

100th anniversary of the Buddhist Society

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House notes the 100th anniversary of the Buddhist Society, one of the oldest Buddhist societies in Europe, founded in 1924 by Christmas Humphreys; further notes that the society presents the major authentic Buddhist schools and traditions holding lectures, classes, courses, and activities in the Therevada, Zen, Pure Land …
7 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Labour: 1
Conservative: 1
18th March 2024
Virendra Sharma signed this EDM on Thursday 21st March 2024

World Down Syndrome Day 2024

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House celebrates with pride, World Down Syndrome Day 2024, which is a global event that aims to raise awareness, and advocate for the rights of individuals with Down syndrome; marked each year on March 21st, this signifies the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome; highlights …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 6
Labour: 5
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Conservative: 2
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Workers Party of Britain: 1
View All Virendra Sharma's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Virendra Sharma, 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.



Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has made an assessment with Cabinet colleagues of the potential merits of establishing an independent Equality Act regulator.

My assessment is that such a body already exists. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is the independent public authority which enforces the Equality Act 2010. The EHRC’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 makes clear that acting as an independent, authoritative, agile regulator of equality and human rights is central to its strategy.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when her Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban conversion therapy in the UK.

The Government is committed to bringing forward legislation, when Parliamentary time allows, to ban conversion therapy. We are currently analysing responses to our recent public consultation.

The Government’s actions to protect people from conversion therapy extend beyond legislating. We are procuring a support service for victims and those at risk via a helpline and website which will provide initial pastoral support, and signposting to services such as counselling and advice about emergency housing.

The Government has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel this summer’s Safe To Be Me conference. We have been proud to work alongside civil society partners, businesses and others to develop ambitious plans for the conference and appreciate the time and effort that all stakeholders have put into this.

We are disappointed that the conference will no longer be going ahead and remain committed to strengthening LGBT rights and freedoms. We will continue to support human rights defenders globally and to influence and support countries on the path to decriminalisation.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the prosecution of people responsible for the public disorder in Leicester around on 20 September 2022.

CPS East Midlands are working closely with Leicestershire Constabulary on this matter, who are responsible for the investigative strategy. Experienced local CPS prosecutors have been allocated in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court teams to deal with submissions for charging decisions when they are received from the police. There is ongoing daily liaison and planning between both organisations and information sharing to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
26th May 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the CPS in ensuring access to justice for the victims of crime.

In 2021, the CPS prosecuted: 69 alleged terrorists of which 63 were convicted. Over 19,000 alleged violent crimes, with a conviction rate of over 75%. Over 10,000 hate crimes, nearly 11,000 domestic abuse crimes and in that same year the Government introduced a Victims Code to ensure that victims are placed at the heart of the criminal justice system and that their voices are heard.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to lengthen the time in which a complaint may be brought to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The time limit for making a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is comparable to other ombudsman institutions and may be set aside if special circumstances exist.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of complaints raised with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman are rejected for being submitted after more than 12 months.

Information on complaints decided by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is set out in its Annual Reports and Accounts, and can be found on page 37 here: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/default/files/886%20PHSO%20Annual%20Report%20and%20Accounts%202022-23%20FINAL%20ONLINE.pdf

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to ensure adequate contingency planning for food security in the context of the (a) cost of living crisis and (b) market unpredictability.

My department works closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and industry figures to monitor food supply, which overall remains resilient. We continue to work to ensure we are well equipped to deal with situations which may cause disruption.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many outstanding (a) emails and (b) letters he has from the public as of 23 February 2022; and what criteria he uses to determine which enquiries he responds to.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 February to PQ 113707.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2022 to Question 128229, how many outstanding (a) emails and (b) letters he has from the public as at 28 February 2022.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from members of the public. The Cabinet Office aims to respond to all correspondence within 20 working days.

As of 28 February 2022, the Cabinet Office had 1719 outstanding emails or letters from members of the public. 94% of these were received in the 20 working days prior to 28 February 2022 and were therefore within the departmental target.

17th Dec 2020
What guidance he has provided to Cabinet colleagues on the timescale for responding to written questions.

My Right Honourable Friend, the Leader of the House, has been clear to the House on this issue, he expects written questions to be answered and dealt with in good time.

Furthermore, my Right Honourable Friend has written to all members of the Cabinet to remind them of the importance of timely and helpful responses.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the review into Supply Chain Coordination Limited; and what plans he has to hold a public consultation during that review; and if he will make a statement.

In line with successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had discussions with her counterpart in Ukraine on the role of Ukraine's private sector in the country's economic resilience (a) during and (b) after the war.

I met with Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, at the end of February.

We discussed the role of Ukraine’s private sector in the country’s resilience and reconstruction, the importance of transparent and clear procurement and the alignment between Ukraine’s reform agenda and enhancing its business environment both during and after the war. My department works closely with colleagues in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and Government of Ukraine counterparts to address these important topics.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of financial pressures resulting from Horizon compensation on Southall Broadway Crown Post Office.

Government has provided over £2.5 billion in funding to support the Post Office network over the past decade and is providing a further £588 million for the Post Office between 2022 and 2025.

As part of the funding package up to 2025, Government is providing Post Office with £150 million to enable the company to meet the costs of participating in the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry and delivering compensation to postmasters.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will hold discussions with Royal Mail on offering a letter delivery service six days a week.

Ministers and officials meet with Royal Mail regularly to discuss a range of issues in relation to its role as the universal service provider.

The Government currently has no plans to change the minimum requirements of the universal postal service which are set out in the Postal Services Act 2011, including the provision of a letter delivery service six days a week.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had discussions with Ofcom on monitoring whether Royal Mail is meeting its universal service obligation.

Ministers and officials meet with Ofcom regularly to discuss a range of issues in relation to its role as the regulatory authority for the postal sector, including the overall provision of the universal service obligation.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department has had recent discussions with Ofcom on the affordability of 1st class postal products.

Ministers and officials meet with Ofcom regularly to discuss a range of issues in relation to its role as the regulatory authority for the postal sector, including the overall provision of the universal service obligation.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the conclusion in the Seventh Report of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee entitled Royal Mail, published on 17 March 2023, HC 1045, that Royal Mail has breached its universal service obligation.

The Government’s objective continues to be ensuring the provision of a sustainable, accessible and affordable universal postal service.

It is for Ofcom, as the independent regulator of postal services, to set and monitor Royal Mail’s service standards and decide how to use its powers to investigate and take enforcement action should Royal Mail fail to achieve its obligations without good justification. The Government has no role in Ofcom’s regulatory investigations.

On 15 May 2023, Ofcom announced an investigation into Royal Mail’s quality of service performance for 2022-23.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had recent discussions with Ofcom on the impact of (a) increases in the cost of first class stamps and (b) the difference in price between first and second class stamps on the affordability of the postal service.

The Government’s objective continues to be ensuring the provision of a sustainable, accessible and affordable universal postal service.  However, as the independent regulator of postal services, regulatory decisions are a matter for Ofcom in which Government is not involved.

Ofcom’s regulatory framework imposes price controls, ‘safeguard caps’, on certain second-class products to ensure a basic universal service is available to all at affordable prices.  Ofcom will conduct a public consultation later this year to inform a review of the safeguard caps that should apply from April 2024.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make it her policy that the UK-India free trade agreement does not increase the cost of medicines for (a) the UK, (b) India and (c) other low and middle income countries.

In negotiations with India, the UK’s approach to intellectual property (IP) is to strike a balance between rewarding research and innovation, which can benefit all countries, whilst reflecting wider public interests such as ensuring access to medicines. We will not agree to any provisions that would increase the cost of medicines for our National Health Service. The NHS, its services, and the cost of medicines are not on the table.

In addition to our work on the FTA, we remain committed to the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, and its agreed flexibilities that support access to medicines.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether the Government has made an assessment of the impact of pre-grant oppositions in India on access to medicine.

The UK’s approach to intellectual property (IP) with all partners is to strike a balance between rewarding research and innovation, which can benefit all countries, whilst reflecting wider public interests such as ensuring access to medicines.

We do not comment on specifics of live negotiations.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if the Government will commission an independent assessment of the potential impact of a UK-India free trade agreement on global access to medicines.

We have always been clear that the NHS, its services, and the cost of medicines are not on the table in our free trade negotiations.

When a signed treaty text is laid in Parliament, it will be accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum and the Government will publish an independently scrutinised impact assessment. The impact assessment will set out the updated potential long-run impacts of the FTA on UK GDP, sectors, and employment as well as the potential implications for the UK’s nations and English regions. Specific assessments will not be provided on the global impacts for each sector as a result of the deal.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March to Question 158878 on Youth Mobility Scheme, when she plans for the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement to come into force.

We are working with the Australian Government to ratify the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement at the earliest opportunity so that businesses can reap the benefits. We expect to be able to bring the agreement into force in Spring 2023.

The commitments in the Youth Mobility Scheme were taken in a separate side letter which specifies that the changes will need to be implemented within two years of entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement. UK and Australian officials are working together to bring these changes into effect as soon as operationally possible.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of Royal Mail Customer Service point closures on (a) that organisation meeting its Universal Service Obligation and (b) people with protected characteristics; and if she will make a statement.

Decisions on the closure of customer service points are an operational matter for Royal Mail, provided they are consistent with Ofcom’s regulatory obligation on Royal Mail to provide access points for the universal service.

While the Government has no role in Royal Mail’s operational decisions, I understand that Royal Mail has completed the first stage of its review of customer service points and decided to maintain the current estate.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if his Department will make an estimate of the number and proportion of Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers that were delivered late due to Royal Mail delays in the 2022-23 financial year.

The Department does not hold the data that would allow us to make an estimate.

Expectations set for suppliers factored in small delays in postage and suppliers and voucher providers had contingencies in place during postal strikes.

Vouchers that are expired due to loss, damage or not having been received can be reissued by suppliers and will have an expiry date of 30 June 2023.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what support her Department provides for the development of new non-animal technologies and approaches in science.

The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and continues to actively support and fund the development and dissemination of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) for the use of animals in scientific procedures. This is achieved through UK Research and Innovation’s funding of the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies, and through research into the development of alternatives by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an estimate of the potential economic benefit of innovation in advanced methods and approaches to replace the use of animals in research and testing.

The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and continues to actively support and fund the development and dissemination of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) for the use of animals in scientific procedures. This is achieved through UK Research and Innovation’s funding of the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies, and through research into the development of alternatives by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the potential opportunities for increasing the (a) development and (b) uptake of non-animal alternatives to experiments on animals.

The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and continues to actively support and fund the development and dissemination of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) for the use of animals in scientific procedures. This is achieved through UK Research and Innovation’s funding of the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies, and through research into the development of alternatives by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps she is taking to help ensure that the UK is a global leader in the use of non-animal technologies and approaches in scientific research.

The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) provides core funding for the National Centre for 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) (NC3Rs), which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies. The UK has a world leading reputation for the delivery of the 3Rs principles and the NC3Rs is widely recognised as being world leading, supporting research and innovation that provides researchers in academia and industry with technologies that are more predictive, cost-effective and humane than current animal models.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2023 to Question 131224 on Refuges: Energy, what metrics his Department has used to asses the adequacy of the packages of support for energy bills for domestic abuse refuges.

The Government has conducted a review of the operation of the Energy Bill Relief Schemes and it considered a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence, including input from businesses and stakeholders. As part of the review, BEIS developed a framework to assess which sectors may be most affected by rising energy prices based on financial vulnerability, energy intensity and ability to pass through costs. The results of this were used alongside results from a business survey conducted by BEIS, inputs from other government departments, and wider economic and public policy considerations, to support ministerial decision-making.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an estimate of the number of domestic abuse refuges that have accessed Government support with energy bills.

Refuges that are on a domestic electricity contract benefit from the Energy Bills Support Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee. Refuges that have a non-domestic electricity contract benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the adequacy of Government support with energy bills for domestic abuse refuges.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business talks to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department regularly on a wide range of issues.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received from the domestic abuse sector on the level of Government support with energy bills for domestic abuse refuges.

Discussions have taken place with a number of charities regarding increased energy costs and the Government is fully aware of the impact this is having on the voluntary sector. This is why the Energy Bill Relief Scheme has been introduced, shielding eligible businesses and charities from soaring energy prices. Following an HMT-led review, the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme, will run from April until March 2024, and continue to provide a discount to eligible non domestic customers including charities.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many reports have been received by Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline relating to illegal tobacco in each of the last five years.

The total number of cases referred to Trading Standards by Citizens Advice consumer service totalled 249,001 in the last financial year. Information on the main topics Citizens Advice clients seek advice on is provided via the Citizens Advice website.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential equality implications of the Royal Mail Group's proposal to move to five-day letter delivery.

The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service which are set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the universal service obligation remains affordable and accessible to all users, and that it is financially sustainable in the longer-term.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
29th Nov 2022
Whether his Department plans to take further steps to help tackle late invoice payments to small businesses.

We are tackling the culture of late payments with measures including Payment Practices Reporting, the Small Business Commissioner and Prompt Payment Code. Government is setting an example: the Cabinet Office Procurement Bill will ensure 30-day payment terms in contracts throughout the public sector supply chain.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 17 October 2022 to Question 59578, what assessment his Department makes of the proportion of biomass that is generated sustainably.

The Government only supports sustainable biomass and there are strict sustainability criteria. Suppliers must demonstrate to the regulator Ofgem that they have met the criteria and their evidence is independently verified.

Consequently only biomass that complies with stringent sustainability criteria is eligible for support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a comprehensive roadmap of activities and milestones for the development of UK Conformity Assessment arrangements.

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking can already be used in Great Britain as a way to place products on the market. The Government has published extensive guidance on GOV.UK regarding the activities businesses need to undertake to meet UKCA requirements. Currently the CE marking can also be used to place products on the market in Great Britain. The Government will continue to provide updates, engage and communicate with industry.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will work with industry throughout the development of the UK Conformity Assessed marking system to ensure that aligned messaging on reassurance can be provided even whilst the longer-term uncertainty remains.

The Government will continue to take a pragmatic approach in developing the UK’s regulatory framework to ensure it works for businesses, while maintaining high standards of product safety to protect consumers. In order to achieve this, it is vital we continue to work closely with industry.

The Government also continues to welcome any feedback, comments, and suggestions from industry on any challenges they are facing, to understand how they can be best supported

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the report by BBC Panorama on 3 October 2022, regarding the type of wood products selected for burning at Drax power station, if he will make an assessment of how far Drax complies with sustainability criteria for biomass energy.

The Government only supports sustainable biomass and generators only receive subsidies for biomass that complies with strict sustainability criteria.

The regulator, Ofgem, is responsible for auditing the sustainability of biomass used by biomass electricity generators who receive support under the Renewables Obligation and has a process in place for this. As is routine, Ofgem is establishing whether the sustainability criteria have been met by the generator.

Sustainability information is publicly available on Ofgem’s website, with the latest dataset accessible here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/biomass-sustainability-dataset-2020-21.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to take steps to phase out North Sea oil and gas developments.

The UK still needs oil and gas for heating, cooking, transport and electricity generation during the energy transition. In meeting net zero, the UK’s use of both these fuels is set to reduce significantly.

The production of natural gas from the UK Continental Shelf creates under half the greenhouse gas of imported Liquefied Natural Gas. Turning off the UK’s domestic source of oil and gas now would put energy security and British jobs and industries at risk. Therefore, the North Sea Transition Authority plans to launch another licensing round this autumn, taking into account the forthcoming climate compatibility checkpoint.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department made available for neurological research in each year from 2012-13 to 2020-21.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a variety of research within this broad-ranging area. The UKRI Gateway https://gtr.ukri.org/ provides data on publicly funded research and innovation which is searchable by year and subject area.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to respond to the letter of 25 February 2022 to the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation from the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall.

I have been in touch with the hon. Member on 20 April 2022 to organise a meeting.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the proportion of energy generated by renewable sources; and by what year he estimates that the UK will generate all of its energy from renewable sources.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the Government’s flagship scheme for supporting new renewable electricity generation projects in Great Britain. The latest round aims to secure more capacity than the three previous rounds combined by supporting an expanded number of renewable technologies including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, tidal and floating offshore wind. The next CfD round will be brought forward to March 2023, and future rounds will run annually from now on. These steps will help drive forward the deployment of renewable power. The Government has committed to fully decarbonise the electricity system by 2035, subject to security of supply.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on increasing spending on dementia research.

The Government will invest at least £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases including dementia.

The Government is working to finalise outcomes from the Spending Review and to identify ways to boost dementia research. We will be setting out our plans on dementia for England for future years in 2022. This will include our ambitions for dementia research and boosting dementia research funding.

1st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the value of Russian energy imported to the UK for the latest twelve month period for which data is available.

The UK and its international partners stand united in condemning the Russian state’s outrageous attack on Ukraine as a clear breach of international law and the UN Charter.

The UK is not dependent on Russian gas. In 2021, less than 4% of the UK’s gas supply was Russian gas, via liquified natural gas imports.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to legislate for more energy efficient homes.

The Government remains committed to the Clean Growth Strategy ambition to upgrade as many homes as possible to EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.

In the Net Zero Strategy, the department committed to consult on phasing in higher minimum standards across all sectors to meet this ambition.

The Government has already consulted on raising the energy performance standard in domestic private rented sector to EPC Band C and how mortgage lenders could support homeowners in making upgrades. The Government will publish its response in due course.

The Government will then seek primary powers to enable a long-term regulatory framework to improve the energy performance of homes.

Huge progress is already being made to increase the energy efficiency of UK homes. In 2008, just 14% had an Energy Performance of C or above, however it is now at 46% and rising.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £20 billion in funding for research and development announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will be allocated to TB treatments and vaccines.

Following the Spending Review, BEIS is currently working to set detailed R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.