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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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 Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
HM Treasury
Sanctions: Democratic Republic of Congo
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) individuals, (b) corporations and (c) other entities had assets frozen (i) in the UK, (ii) in the British Overseas Territories and (c) by UK-based institutions as a result of the sanctions applied to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017, and what estimate he has made of the value of those assets.
A
Corrected answer by: John Glen
Corrected on: 15 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 12 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The approximate aggregate value of funds frozen in the UK (under EU Regulation 1183/2005 Democratic Republic of Congo) was £ 580,000,000 at the close of business on 30 September 2016. The figures for the 2017 round of UK frozen funds reporting are in the process of being finalised and as such are not currently available. The frozen funds continue to belong to the individuals and entities listed under the Regulation and are not seized or otherwise held by HM Government. The figure is provided on an aggregate basis so as not to indirectly disclose the value of funds held by particular individuals or entities.

British Overseas Territories adopt all Sanctions listings that the UK do, to be in line with international standards. The specific information on the number of people or entities who have assets frozen in the overseas territories lies with the individual territories themselves.

A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 12 February 2018

The approximate aggregate value of funds frozen in the UK (under EU Regulation 1183/2005 Democratic Republic of Congo) was £ 580,000,000 at the close of business on 30 September 2016. The figures for the 2017 round of UK frozen funds reporting are in the process of being finalised and as such are not currently available. The frozen funds continue to belong to the individuals and entities listed under the Regulation and are not seized or otherwise held by HM Government. The figure is provided on an aggregate basis so as not to indirectly disclose the value of funds held by particular individuals or entities.

British Overseas Territories adopt all Sanctions listings that the UK do, to be in line with international standards. The specific information on the number of people or entities who have assets frozen in the overseas territories lies with the individual territories themselves.

Q
(Sheffield Central)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Women and Equalities
Pupils: Bullying
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent steps her Department has taken to tackle the bullying of LGBTQ children in schools.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government has sent a clear message to schools that bullying, for whatever reason, is unacceptable. It can have a devastating effect on individuals, blight their education and have serious consequences for their mental health.

All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. They have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies appropriate to their environment but are held to account via Ofsted

In September 2016, we announced a £3 million programme from 2016-2019 to prevent and address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in a sustainable way. This programme focuses on primary and secondary schools in England that currently have no or few effective measures in place.
Six grantees have been funded as part of the programme to deliver interventions in at least 200 schools each. The grantees are Barnardo’s, LGBT Consortium, Metro Charity, National Children’s Bureau, Proud Trust and Stonewall.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps the Government has taken to raise public awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government continues to use communications as an essential means of raising public awareness of modern slavery.

Building on the success of the 2014 ‘Slavery Happens Here’ campaign, the Home Office has carried out tailored communications activity to raise awareness of modern slavery in high-risk communities in the UK and overseas, most recently in Nigeria.

In September 2017, Crimestoppers and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority launched a joint campaign to encourage the public to spot the signs of modern slavery and to report any suspicions to Crimestoppers.The Home Office also posts regularly about how to identify and report modern slavery on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media channels.

In October 2017, the Government published awareness raising and victim identification guidance for public sector staff as well as signposting public sector organisations to training resources on modern slavery. In August 2017, the National Crime Agency held a media briefing to raise awareness of modern slavery and the response. As a result, the Modern Slavery Helpline received an unprecedented number of calls that month.

In January 2018 the National Crime Agency launched the Invisible People exhibition which uses striking images by an award-winning photographer to portray the signs of slavery and inform the public how to report it.

The display of modern slavery material in public areas is also a Government priority. Border Force, in collaboration with the Modern Slavery Helpline, has led a digital and print modern slavery campaign across UK ports and airports nationwide. The campaign provides advice and guidance about modern slavery for passengers and encourages greater disclosure to officers by vulnerable potential victims or passengers who may have seen something suspicious.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sheep Meat: UK Trade with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held, in conjunction where appropriate with the devolved administrations, with representatives of the UK's sheep farming industry about maintaining and increasing sheep meat exports to the EU post-Brexit.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Defra Ministers and officials have regular meetings with the devolved administrations and with representatives of the UK’s sheep farming industry to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the sheep sector.

Grouped Questions: HL5431
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sheep Meat: Exports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held, in conjunction where appropriate with the devolved administrations, with representatives of the UK's sheep farming industry about finding new export opportunities for that industry post-Brexit.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Defra Ministers and officials have regular meetings with the devolved administrations and with representatives of the UK’s sheep farming industry to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the sheep sector.

Grouped Questions: HL5430
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total amount spent on overseas aid, including UK aid administered by the EU, between 2010 and 2017.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Bates
Corrected on: 15 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 15 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The total amount of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) between 2010 and 2016, including UK aid administered by the EU is shown in the table below. Preliminary ODA spend figures for 2017 will be available in the spring in Statistics on International Development.

Table: Total UK ODA and UK ODA through the EU, 2010 to 2016

Year

Total UK ODA, £ billion

2010

8.5

2011

8.6

2012

8.8

2013

11.4

2014

11.7

2015

12.1

2016

13.4

Source: Statistics on International Development

The total spending on UK ODA is published annually in the statistics on International Development.

A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The total amount of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) between 2010 and 2016, including UK aid administered by the EU is shown in the table below. Preliminary ODA spend figures for 2017 will be available in the spring in Statistics on International Development.

Table: Total UK ODA and UK ODA through the EU, 2010 to 2016

Year

Total UK ODA, £ billion

2010

8.5

2011

8.6

2012

8.8

2013

11.4

2014

11.7

2015

12.1

2016

13.4

Source: Statistics on International Development

The total spending on UK ODA is published annually in the statistics on International Development.

Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Modern Working Practices Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) self employed workers, (2) employees on zero hours contracts, and (3) part-time employees, they expect to benefit from new protections brought forward following the Taylor Review.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Government will be carrying out full impact assessments in relation to employment protections once the consultations have concluded and all decisions have been taken on next steps.

Q
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fish: UK Trade with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many tonnes of fish caught by other member states of the EU in the period 2013 to 2015 were acquired by the UK.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Over the period 2013-2015, the UK imported 700,000 tonnes of fish products worth £2.5 billion from the other EU Member States. Import statistics include fish caught by EU Member States, fish caught in waters outside of the EU but imported into other Member States prior to entering the UK, and fish caught by UK vessels that are landed into and sold in another Member State before import into the UK.

Further information on UK imports of fish products can be found in the Marine Management Organisation’s annual UK Sea Fisheries Statistics publications.

Q
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animals: Overseas Trade
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any ban or strict controls on the export of live animals after Brexit will be matched by the same controls on import of live animals.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government’s manifesto commitment is that as we leave the EU, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter. We are considering all the options in line with the commitment made in the manifesto.

Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ritual Slaughter
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proportion of meat (1) sold as Halal which has not been slaughtered in accordance with Halal requirements, and (2) not sold as Halal which has been slaughtered in accordance with Halal requirements nonetheless.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

There are currently no specific EU or national requirements governing the sale and labelling of Halal or Kosher meat. Where any information of this nature is provided voluntarily, it must be accurate and must not be misleading.

It is for Muslim religious authorities to determine what is Halal and as such some Halal accreditation bodies will accept meat from animals that are stunned prior to slaughter as Halal, whereas others will only accept meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Home Office
Nuisance Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the police response to reports of an 0800 number making repeated threatening phone calls.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government takes the issue of malicious or threatening calls very seriously. Individuals who receive such calls are advised to report it to their phone provider.

If such calls are reported to the police it is for chief constables to decide how best to deploy resources to respond to the matter. It is for the directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners to hold the local chief constable to account for the performance of the force on behalf of the public.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
Asked on: 23 January 2018
Home Office
Home Office: Written Questions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to Question 115815, tabled by the hon. Member for Halifax on 27 November 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 February 2018

UIN 115815 was answered on the 14th February 2018.

Q
(Coventry South)
[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: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons the Department did not meet the target to plant 11 million trees by 2015; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 February 2018

There was no target to plant 11 million trees by 2015. The 2010 Conservative manifesto said “in addition to ongoing woodland creation, we will launch a national tree planting campaign, planting up to one million new trees in the next Parliament.” In the years from 2010-2015, it is estimated that through CAP funds, approximately 11 million trees were planted. The 2015 and 2017 manifestos both committed to planting 11 million trees over the course of the expected five-year parliaments to which the manifestos related.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by the Rt Hon Mark Field MP on 26 October 2017 (HC Deb, col 233 WH) that in partnership with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon he would write to the embassies and high commissions in key countries for which he had responsibility, asking them to report on precisely what they are doing to promote freedom of religion or belief, which embassies and high commissions responded; and what they reported.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

To date, I have received substantive replies to the letter of 26 October 2017 from our Embassies or High Commissions in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

As requested in the letter of 26 October, these letters report on the main current and planned activities of those Embassies and High Commissions in the defence and promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Due to the sensitivities of some of the material contained in those letters it would not be appropriate to disclose their contents in detail. In general terms, the responses received show that those Embassies and High Commissions are using a variety of diplomatic tools to defend and promote FoRB as appropriate for the country in which they are operating.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by the Rt Hon Mark Field MP on 26 October 2017 (HC Deb, col 233 WH) that in partnership with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon he would reissue the freedom of religion or belief toolkit to all ambassadors and high commissioners, what training has been given to staff in post overseas in the use of that toolkit; and whether the toolkit is publicly available.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reissued the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) toolkit to all Embassies and High Commissions on 10 October 2017. The aim of the toolkit is to provide British diplomats with guidance on the human right to FoRB. The toolkit sets out what FoRB means, how it is commonly denied, and how the right to FoRB can be defended and promoted. The toolkit is therefore designed as a self-standing resource for use by British diplomats in any post.

To complement the educational value of the toolkit itself, the FCO runs a variety of learning and development activities to help our staff to develop their religious literacy and their understanding of the way in which religion affects public policy across the world. Furthermore, officials from the FCO's Human Rights Policy Unit maintain very regular contact with a network of colleagues working on FoRB issues in many posts, offering guidance and support as required.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what training in the use of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's freedom of religion or belief toolkit is given to UK employed staff before deployment to posts overseas; and how frequently that training is updated.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

​The aim of the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) toolkit is to provide British diplomats with guidance on the human right to FoRB. The toolkit sets out what FoRB means, how it is commonly denied, and how the right to FoRB can be defended and promoted. The toolkit is therefore designed as a self-standing resource for use by British diplomats in any post.

We are also increasing the focus on FoRB across our diplomatic network and have encouraged a number of our missions, including those in Asia to have a greater focus on FoRB.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make available to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, the European Union Committee, and its sub-committees, the data, modelling methodology and conclusions drawn from the Brexit economic impact assessments; and if so, when.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 14 February 2018

In accordance with the Humble Address vote on 31st January, the government has provided copies of the analysis that appeared in the media to the EU Exit Commons Select Committee and the EU Lords Select Committee. All members of both Houses are able to see a copy of the analysis on a strictly confidential basis in the reading room which has been made available.

Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tideway: Pay
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what, in 2016–17, were the remuneration packages, including bonuses, of the top three executive directors of Tideway; and what assessment they have made of that remuneration given that the Thames Tideway Tunnel will not be completed, and available to deliver a service, for another six to seven years.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The remuneration packages of the top three executives of Tideway are publically available in Tideway’s annual report for 2016/17, which is published on their website. As a private company, Tideway is responsible for setting its own remuneration policy that is approved by its shareholders in the normal way, and which does not impede it from carrying out its functions under the terms of its project licence. Remuneration is directly related to the delivery of the project, and forms part of the costs reflected in the company’s Regulated Capital Value regulated by Ofwat. A key element of Ofwat’s regulatory remit is to ensure that the revenue charges made by Tideway via Thames Water to customers are fair. Tideway is also incentivised through the terms of its project licence, regulated by Ofwat, and the Government Support Package to deliver the project on time and to budget.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Education
St Stephen's School Newham
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have given to the head and governors at St Stephen's School in Newham; and what assessment they have made of whether the head and governors have been harassed and threatened in their attempts to help integrate primary school children into British society.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The department has been in contact with St Stephen’s Primary School and offered to discuss the intimidation faced by staff, and provide support as appropriate. In addition, the police have also provided support to the school.

Intimidation or bullying of any kind toward school staff is completely unacceptable and anyone who feels they are facing such behaviour should report it to their employer and the police, if necessary.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the publication of their 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, when they will announce (1) to whom the Tree Champion will report, (2) the powers they will use, and (3) the budget dedicated to the delivery of their work plan.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Further details about the Tree Champion will be available later this year.

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