Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 30 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Universal Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Bahrain following the cancellation of Sheikh Isa Qassim's citizenship.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 25 July 2017

The assessment period and payment structure of Universal Credit creates a fixed period between date of entitlement and the first payment.

The policy intention is that claimants receive the first payment 5 weeks after their date of entitlement (6 weeks if waiting days are served). The assessment period runs for a full calendar month from the date of entitlement, and the UC pay date will be 7 calendar days after the end of the assessment period. This mirrors the world of work and allows for a 1 month period in which to gather information about a claimants’ earnings. Advances and budgeting support are available to support claimants during this period. Advances can provide up to 50% of a claimants indicative award straight away.

The latest internal data, for week ending 19 June, suggests some 80% of cases were paid in full at the end of the first assessment period. For the 20% of cases who were not paid in full we estimate around a third have not signed up to their claimant commitment so cannot be paid until they have. The other two thirds have an outstanding verification issue, such as providing bank statements, evidence of childcare costs, or proof of rent. Many of these claimants receive a part-payment where elements of the claim have been verified.

Grouped Questions: HL911 | HL910 | HL911
Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Qatar: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information he holds on reported Qatari contact with and support for political opposition groups in (a) Saudi Arabia, (b) the UAE, (c) Egypt and (d) Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2017

We are aware of such reports. We are encouraging all sides to address ongoing tensions in the region, and to get firmly behind Kuwait's mediation efforts.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain regarding the denial of medical care to Abduljalil Al-Singace and Hassan Mushaima, who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the National Safety Court in June 2011.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what was the allocated budget for technical assistance to Bahrain in the financial years (1) 2016-17, and (2) 2017-18, broken down by heads of expenditure; and what was the actual expenditure under each of those heads in 2016-17.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain on the disappearance of Al-Sayed Alawi Hussain al-Alawi, who was arrested on 24 October 2016.
Q
Asked by Lord Luce
Asked on: 05 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether, in response to invitations from the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, they are providing any training or assistance for that government; and, if so, in what areas.
A
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The UK has been providing a range of technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain since 2012, in support of its reform programme. Any training provided by or on behalf of the Government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

The technical assistance we have been providing to Bahrain supports the building of effective and accountable institutions, strengthening the rule of law, and police and justice reform. It has included work with the National Institution of Human Rights, the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, and the Prisoners' and Detainees' Rights Commission.

Q
Asked by Lord Luce
Asked on: 05 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they have been invited by the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain to provide support and training to improve the administration and conditions of prisons in Bahrain.
A
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The UK has been providing a range of technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain since 2012, in support of its reform programme. Any training provided by or on behalf of the Government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

The technical assistance we have been providing to Bahrain supports the building of effective and accountable institutions, strengthening the rule of law, and police and justice reform. It has included work with the National Institution of Human Rights, the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, and the Prisoners' and Detainees' Rights Commission.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Prisoners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in the Bahrain Government on the treatment of (a) Ebtisam Al-Sayegh and (b) Mohammed Khalil al Shakouri.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 July 2017

Our Embassy in Bahrain is seeking further information from the authorities concerning the details of these cases. The UK continues to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. We also encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to report these to the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman.

Q
Asked by Lord Judd
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain concerning the arrest, alleged torture and general treatment of Ebtisam Al-Sayegh, a human rights worker; what was the outcome of those representations; and how that episode will affect the UK's support for future progress on human rights within Bahrain.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether reports of the torture and sexual abuse of Ebtisam Al-Sayegh by the National Security Agency of Bahrain on 26 May, and her subsequent arrest and alleged ill-treatment on 3 July, as reported by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and Amnesty International, has been recorded in line with the FCO Torture and Mistreatment Reporting Guidance.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they have received reports of any sexual assault by staff of the National Security Agency of Bahrain and, if so, what assessment they have made of these allegations.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain regarding the detention on politically-related charges of Bahraini women in Isa Town Women's Prison.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the sentencing of Nabeel Rajab, by Bahrain's Lower Criminal Court, to two years in prison on charges of "publishing and broadcasting false news that undermines the prestige of the state", and whether they intend to make a public statement regarding the case.
Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 28 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Newspaper Press
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Bahrain on its decision to suspend indefinitely the newspaper Al Wasat.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 July 2017

​The Bahraini Ministry of Interior suspended Al Wasat in June. We are monitoring the situation closely. Where we have concerns we raise them at an appropriate level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 28 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: National Security
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has provided technical assistance to the Bahrain National Security Agency.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 July 2017

It is a long standing policy of successive British Governments not to comment on intelligence matters.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 28 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Kingdom of Bahrain on the treatment of family members of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 July 2017

The British Government raises concerns about human rights with the Bahraini authorities in private and in public. We encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain are monitoring this issue closely.

The Ministry of Interior Ombudsman has responsibility for investigating allegations of mistreatment in detention. We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman, and we urge the Ombudsman to carry out thorough investigations into any such allegations.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 28 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Police
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has provided (a) training, (b) workshops, (c) study tours and (d) other assistance to (i) the Director of Muharraq Police Station and (ii) staff of the Muharraq Police Directorate of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 03 July 2017

The UK has been providing a range of technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain since 2012, in support of its reform programme. Training is provided to the Police Service as a whole rather than to specific Police Directorates. Any training provided by or on behalf of the government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

The technical assistance we have been providing to Bahrain supports the building of effective and accountable institutions, strengthening the rule of law, and police and justice reform. It has included work with the National Institution of Human Rights, the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, and the Prisoners' and Detainees' Rights Commission.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 21 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Qatar: Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in (a) Saudi Arabia, (b) UAE, (c) Bahrain, (d) Egypt and (e) Yemen on the imposition of sanctions by those countries on Qatar since 5 June 2017; what steps he is taking to facilitate a negotiated solution to the dispute between those countries; and what assessment he has made of the prospects for restoration of full diplomatic ties between those countries.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 28 June 2017

I have been in touch with my counterparts across the region including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to discuss the actions taken against Qatar.

In the discussions I have had with all parties, I have encouraged dialogue as the way to resolve the situation. I emphasised that Gulf unity is the best way to counter extremism and ensure the region is a stable place to live, work and do business. Any demands on Qatar must be measured and realistic.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 21 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gulf Cooperation Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the terms of the Riyadh Agreement reached between members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in November 2014; and what assessment he has made of compliance by the Government of Qatar with the terms of that agreement (a) before and (b) after 5 June 2017.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 28 June 2017

As a partner of the UK in the fight against terrorism, Qatar needs to build on the steps they have already taken to tackle funding to extremist groups.

We will study all evidence very closely, and encourage Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to disclose any evidence to the relevant authorities.

Any demands made on the Qataris must be measured and realistic.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 21 June 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Qatar: International Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of sanctions imposed by other countries on Qatar since 5 June 2017 on (a) commercial flights and (b) commercial shipping between the UK and Qatar.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 28 June 2017

We are aware that air carriers registered in Qatar, including Qatar Airways, have restrictions on the airspace they can use. There are currently no direct flights between Qatar and a number of countries, including Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

We understand that alternative routes are being used for commercial shipping to and from Qatar.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and will continue to assess the impact of restrictions as the dispute continues.

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