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 2016-17 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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Asked by Jeff Smith
(Manchester, Withington)
[N]
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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: 23 May 2016
Ministry of Justice
Prison Sentences: Cannabis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were serving prison sentences for offences related to cannabis in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 26 May 2016

Prior to June 2015, information held centrally on prisoners serving sentences for drug related offences was not sufficiently detailed to identify offences relating to cannabis as opposed to other drugs. Providing data back to 2010 could therefore only be done at disproportionate cost.

According to centrally held data, as at 30 June 2015 (latest available), there were 1,363 offenders in prison custody for cannabis related offences in England and Wales. This number includes all offenders who have had their offence categorised as a ‘drug offence’ and in which cannabis is explicitly stated in their offence description. This number does not include instances where cannabis may have been a contributing factor to the main offence committed.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

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