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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Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Crimes Outside National Territories: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to assess the effectiveness of extraterritorial jurisdiction in allowing the UK police force to investigate crimes committed against UK citizens abroad.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 April 2017

I am not aware of any fundamental concerns with the UK police force's extraterritorial jurisdiction. Issues relating to individual cases are treated on a case-by-case basis

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobseeker's Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on claimants of jobseeker's allowance who have their entitlement stopped and subsequently lose their entitlement to housing benefit.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 April 2017

Housing Benefit can continue to be paid on the grounds of low income if a claimant loses their entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance. Therefore, the Department has not undertaken any assessment of the effect of losing Jobseeker’s Allowance on Housing Benefit claimants.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Home Office
Immigrants: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken to process checks by the Employer Checking Service is.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 18 April 2017

The published service standard for the Employer Checking Service is 5 working days but the average processing time between 01/11/2011 and 28/02/2017 was 4.5 working days.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department of Health
Antibiotics: Drug Resistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the Government will adopt the recommendation from the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Anti-Microbial Resistance for research and development to be guided by principles of affordability in relation to the Ross Fund.
A
Answered by: Nicola Blackwood
Answered on: 16 March 2017

The Government is already implementing the commitments made in relation to research and development at the recent United Nations General Assembly in its Declaration on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), through the launch of a £50 million Global AMR Innovation Fund which is a Ross Fund project.

In line with the declaration commitment the fund aims to leverage substantial new international investment in AMR research and development for new antimicrobials and alternative medicines, rapid diagnostic tests, vaccines and other important technologies, interventions and therapies. While still in its scoping phase, central to the project’s aims is the commitment to ensuring lower and middle income countries benefit from the AMR research and development. Affordability is therefore a key concern. We recognise the importance of equitable access and we will look to address this in the design of the project.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department for International Development
USA: Family Planning
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department plans to take to support the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rights of those people affected by the US Administration's Mexico City policy.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 16 March 2017

The UK is the second largest bilateral donor in the world for family planning, after the US. We will continue to be a global leader on family planning, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health, including where appropriate access to safe abortion.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 06 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nigeria: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken with EU officials on the negotiations with the Nigerian Government on an agreement to allow Italy and other EU member states to return Nigerian migrants not found eligible for asylum.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 March 2017

​The UK has exercised its right not to opt in to the EU Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on an agreement between the European Union and Nigeria on readmission.

The UK recognises the responsibility countries have to accept the return of their own nationals when they have no right to remain elsewhere and to control their own borders. Our High Commission in Nigeria works closely with our EU partners on this agenda including through sharing expertise on returns arrangements. In conjunction with the EU and other member states the UK is pursuing a comprehensive approach to addressing migration, including from Nigeria.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 06 March 2017
Department for International Development
Somalia: Famine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to ensure that food is disbursed to people affected by the famine in Somalia.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 13 March 2017

DFID has allocated £110 million for the 2017 Drought Response in Somalia, making us the largest bilateral donor to the appeal. This support will provide up to one million people with emergency food assistance. We are also providing life-saving assistance to over 600,000 starving children and mothers; safe drinking water and hygiene to one million people and emergency health services to 1.1 million people.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Department for International Development
Procurement: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what criteria are used to guide procurement decisions on HIV and TB medicines in her Department's bilateral programmes.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 13 March 2017

All bilateral and multilateral procurement of health commodities and medicines follow standard World Health Organisation guidelines to ensure they are global standard approved medicines. All investments are also driven by value for money considerations and best commercial practice.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Department for International Development
USA: HIV Infection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the US Administration's Mexico City policy on levels of funding for the global HIV and AIDS response.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 13 March 2017

The full implications of the reinstated and expanded Mexico City policy on global funding for the HIV response are not yet clear, but we are closely following developments. DFID will consider the implications with our offices, with UK civil society and with donors. The UK has made a £1.1 billion pledge to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for the 5th replenishment 2017-2019, increased from £800m for the 4th replenishment. This will boost funding for HIV through the Global Fund and will support the firm commitment to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Department for International Development
HIV Infection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the UN programme on HIV/AIDS, published in June 2016, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the decline in global HIV funding by 13 per cent between 2014 and 2015.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 13 March 2017

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I provided on 24 November 2016 to Question number 53850.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 27 February 2017
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Abortion
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will contribute to the new, global fund to help women access abortion services launched by the Netherlands on 25 January 2017.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 06 March 2017

The UK is the second largest bilateral donor in the world for family planning, after the US. Our funding is allocated on the basis of whatever mechanism will deliver the best value and outcomes for women around the world. We will continue to be a global leader on family planning, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health, including where appropriate access to safe abortion.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 17 February 2017
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Older People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the absence of a reference to age in the Bilateral Development Review commitment to Leave No One Behind represents a change of policy to no longer include older people in the Government's implementation of that commitment.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 24 February 2017

There has been no change in DFID’s policy on older people. In implementing the commitment to Leave No One Behind DFID is focusing on understanding, including and empowering those at risk of being left behind. This includes collecting age disaggregated data to better understand the needs of older people and how DFID programmes are reaching them.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 09 February 2017
Department of Health
Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether women in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre are tested for TB, HIV and malaria on arrival from (a) West Africa, (b) East Africa, (c) South Africa and (d) South-East Asia.
A
Answered by: Nicola Blackwood
Answered on: 20 February 2017

Healthcare in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) is commissioned by NHS England. Testing for infectious diseases among new entrants to IRCs, including Yarl’s Wood, is guided by advice from Public Health England and, where applicable, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance.

New entrants to all IRCs have a symptom-based questionnaire at first reception screening where healthcare staff ascertain whether patients have either signs or symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) or past history of infection or recent contact with someone with TB.

Since 2014, IRCs are advised to offer testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to new entrants as part of an ‘opt-out programme’ for blood-borne virus testing promoted by Public Health England, NHS England and the Home Office through the National Partnership Agreement.

Testing for malaria is usually done following presentation of symptoms consistent with malaria in someone with a history of travel from endemic countries and is not done routinely on asymptomatic patients.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 07 February 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum decisions were made in cases of applicants who were detained at the point of decision in each quarter since 1 January 2014.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 15 February 2017

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 10 January 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to Centrepoint's statement to The Independent newspaper of 9 January 2017, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of zero-hour contracts on the ability of young homeless people aged between 16 and 25 to escape homelessness in the long term.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 01 February 2017
Holding answer received on 13 January 2017

The Government is committed to tackling youth homelessness and ensuring that young vulnerable people get the help they need to secure accommodation and find employment.

That is why the Government has taken a range of steps, including investing £15 million in the Fair Chance Fund programme, which is currently supporting around 1,900 homeless 18-25 year olds with complex needs into accommodation, education, training and employment. We have also invested in other initiatives designed specifically to support young homeless people into accommodation so they have a stable platform for work. A great example of this is the £40 million Platform for Life programme, which provides affordable shared accommodation for homeless young people.

We have also taken steps to ensure that zero hours contracts are used appropriately and not abused. Measures in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 prohibit the use of exclusivity clauses or terms in any zero hours contract, which means employers cannot stop an individual looking for work or accepting work from another employer. On average, people on zero hour contracts work 25 hours a week and nearly 70 per cent of people on zero hours contracts do not want more hours, according to ONS figures.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 10 January 2017
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2016 to Question 56463, when in 2017 her Department will ask Stephen Shaw QC to carry out a review of the adults at risk guidance.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 January 2017

We have invited Stephen Shaw to carry out a short review in autumn 2017 in order to assess progress against the key actions from his previous report. This will not specifically be a review of the adults at risk guidance - Mr Shaw’s previous report covered a range of issues related to vulnerable people in immigration detention.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 11 January 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been identified as potential victims of modern slavery or trafficking as a result of Operation Magnify; and how many of those people have been detained due to lack of documentation.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The data requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 10 January 2017
Prime Minister
Seeta Kaur
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, whether she raised the case of Seeta Kaur with Prime Minister Modi, as requested by the hon. Member for Edmonton in a letter to the Prime Minister ahead of her visit to India.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 18 January 2017

While I did not specifically raise the case of Seeta Kaur with Prime Minister Modi, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, both in India and the UK, has provided assistance to her family following her tragic death and remain ready to provide support to her family should they require it.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Leasehold: Forfeiture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate she has made of the number of lease forfeitures that have occurred in the last year.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 13 January 2017
The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Honour Based Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on extra-territorial effects for offences related to honour-based violence
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 13 January 2017
We already have extra-territorial jurisdiction over some offences committed ostensibly to protect the ‘honour’ of a family or community, including the common law offence of murder, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. The Government has confirmed that it will bring forward legislative proposals to take extra-territorial jurisdiction over certain other offences that may be committed in this context, to comply with the requirements of the Istanbul Convention which the UK signed in June 2012. Where our courts do have jurisdiction, the investigation of alleged criminal offences is a matter for the police.
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