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 2019-21 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 Lord Bates
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Modern Slavery Act 2015 Independent Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the operation and effectiveness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 led by Baroness Butler-Sloss, the Rt. Hon. Frank Field and the Rt. Hon. Maria Miller MP. The Review considered where the Act is working well and where implementation can be strengthened. The Government welcomed the findings of the Review and we responded formally in July 2019. The Government accepted or partially accepted the majority of the Review’s 80 recommendations and we are taking action to implement these recommendations.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they will suspend the return of refugees arriving on UK territory to northern France.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The UK does not return those refugees who have been granted refugee status in the UK to France or elsewhere. We do, however, return asylum seekers who are yet to have a decision on their asylum claim in the UK to ensure their claim is considered in the right place. This may be to France or other states who participate in the Dublin Regulation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to comply with the Dublin Regulation and remain committed to ensuring transfers continue to and from the UK. This is a fast-changing situation and we, along with other countries across Europe, will be subject to wider Government decisions and travel restrictions.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they are taking, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that refugees at the UK-France border belonging to at-risk groups, including (1) victims of trafficking, (2) unaccompanied minors, (3) LGBTQ+ persons, (4) people with disabilities, and (5) victims of physical, mental or sexual abuse, can access the necessary protections.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The identification and relocation of vulnerable migrants on French territory remains the domestic responsibility of the French government, who are currently working to transfer those residing in camps into reception centres. At these centres, asylum claims can be lodged and any other welfare needs assessed. Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in France, over 600 migrants have been moved to accommodation centres to aid with social distancing measures. Within these centres, individuals are provided with medical and administrative support.

The UK is also committed to meeting our obligations to transfer unaccompanied children to the UK where they have eligible family here and where transfer is in their best interests under the Dublin Regulation. An unaccompanied child must first claim asylum in the EU Member State in which they are present, and the Member State must then raise a Take Charge Request with the UK Government.

Additionally, specialist trained officers are present at all of our Juxtaposed controls, who assist in supporting those identified as vulnerable. We work closely with both French and Belgian partners to ensure that these individuals receive the support they need. All officers receive regular training on safeguarding and when to seek support from a specialist trained officer. Special arrangements are in place at the Juxtaposed controls to refer cases with vulnerability elements to the French and Belgian Police.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the use of administrative immigration detention in the UK’s short-term holding facilities in northern France will be discontinued for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Short term holding rooms in Northern France are still in operation. High-risk individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are referred to the French authorities in the first instance. All Border Force staff continue to adhere to Public Health England guidance to ensure we follow the latest scientific advice and seek specific guidance for our frontline operations.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Wakefield
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conditions, and treatment of asylum-seekers, in Urban House in Wakefield, following reports that individuals displaying COVID-19 symptoms have been forced to share rooms with others there.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

We’ve conducted a thorough assessment of Urban House with local health partners and have put in place steps in accordance with all of their recommendations. These steps include staggering meal times, increasing staff numbers, providing information and guidance in a variety of languages, stopping all new arrivals into Urban House.

Although room sharing is in place, no one is forced to share rooms with anyone displaying COVID 19 symptoms. Those with underlying health conditions and people over 70 years of age should also be moved to the appropriate hotel accommodation following PHE guidance

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum-seekers in housing provided by the Government or local authorities, including through private contractors, are still in shared rooms of two or more people.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

We do not hold he information requested. However, although room sharing is in place, no one is forced to share rooms with anyone displaying COVID 19 symptoms.

PHE Guidance recommends that separate rooms should be provided for symptomatic people, or they should be moved to hotels. Those with underlying health conditions and people over 70 years of age should also be moved to the appropriate hotel accommodation following PHE guidance, unless individuals do not wish to be moved. We are reviewing each case on an individual basis and continue to work with our providers to ensure the guidance is followed.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow those with irregular migration status leave to remain in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Immigration Rules already provide for undocumented migrants to regularise their status.

If appropriate in light of the situation in their country of origin, irregular migrants may claim asylum. The UK has a long and proud history of providing protection to those who need it and we will continue to uphold our obligations under the Refugee Convention during this time. Therefore, whilst ensuring that the Home Office is adhering to Public Health England’s advice in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, decisions are continuing to be served on asylum claims on a case by case basis where there is sufficient evidence for us to make an accurate and well-informed decision in-line with published policy.

Even if an application is refused, measures we have implemented already guarantee that an individual can remain safely accommodated and be able to follow public health guidance, whilst maintaining access to financial support and healthcare until the end of June, and this will be kept under review.

There are no plans to provide temporary leave to remain to all asylum applicants or those with insecure status.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Unmanned Air Vehicles: Surveillance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional powers, if any, have been granted to the police and other bodies in relation to the use of drone surveillance technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Decisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for police forces who are subject to the requirements of the Air Navigation Order and Data Protection legislation when operating drones. The Police have not been granted any additional powers to use drones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 give police the powers they need to enforce compliance with the social distancing measures and all use of police powers must be legitimate, necessary and proportionate.

The Civil Aviation Authority have granted the Emergency Services, including the police, an exemption from some of the requirements contained in the Air Navigation Order 2016, to support the enforcement of Government COVID-19 restrictions. These changes do not grant extra powers to police. They relax restrictions in place for operating drones for the specific case of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions. Mitigation for use of the exemption needs to be written into the Operations Manuals of drone teams and use needs to be reported to the CAA on renewal of the permission.

The Home Office does not hold any information on the use of drones by other public bodies in relation to Covid-19.

The Data Protection Act and the Surveillance Camera Code govern police use of surveillance cameras.

Grouped Questions: HL3960 | HL3961 | HL3962 | HL3963
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Unmanned Air Vehicles: Surveillance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) public bodies, and (2) private companies assisting public bodies, are using drone surveillance technology in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Decisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for police forces who are subject to the requirements of the Air Navigation Order and Data Protection legislation when operating drones. The Police have not been granted any additional powers to use drones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 give police the powers they need to enforce compliance with the social distancing measures and all use of police powers must be legitimate, necessary and proportionate.

The Civil Aviation Authority have granted the Emergency Services, including the police, an exemption from some of the requirements contained in the Air Navigation Order 2016, to support the enforcement of Government COVID-19 restrictions. These changes do not grant extra powers to police. They relax restrictions in place for operating drones for the specific case of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions. Mitigation for use of the exemption needs to be written into the Operations Manuals of drone teams and use needs to be reported to the CAA on renewal of the permission.

The Home Office does not hold any information on the use of drones by other public bodies in relation to Covid-19.

The Data Protection Act and the Surveillance Camera Code govern police use of surveillance cameras.

Grouped Questions: HL3959 | HL3961 | HL3962 | HL3963
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Unmanned Air Vehicles: Surveillance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have produced in relation to the use of drone surveillance technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Decisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for police forces who are subject to the requirements of the Air Navigation Order and Data Protection legislation when operating drones. The Police have not been granted any additional powers to use drones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 give police the powers they need to enforce compliance with the social distancing measures and all use of police powers must be legitimate, necessary and proportionate.

The Civil Aviation Authority have granted the Emergency Services, including the police, an exemption from some of the requirements contained in the Air Navigation Order 2016, to support the enforcement of Government COVID-19 restrictions. These changes do not grant extra powers to police. They relax restrictions in place for operating drones for the specific case of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions. Mitigation for use of the exemption needs to be written into the Operations Manuals of drone teams and use needs to be reported to the CAA on renewal of the permission.

The Home Office does not hold any information on the use of drones by other public bodies in relation to Covid-19.

The Data Protection Act and the Surveillance Camera Code govern police use of surveillance cameras.

Grouped Questions: HL3959 | HL3960 | HL3962 | HL3963
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Unmanned Air Vehicles: Surveillance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what mechanisms are in place to ensure that the use of drone surveillance technology during the COVID-19 pandemic is necessary and proportionate.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Decisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for police forces who are subject to the requirements of the Air Navigation Order and Data Protection legislation when operating drones. The Police have not been granted any additional powers to use drones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 give police the powers they need to enforce compliance with the social distancing measures and all use of police powers must be legitimate, necessary and proportionate.

The Civil Aviation Authority have granted the Emergency Services, including the police, an exemption from some of the requirements contained in the Air Navigation Order 2016, to support the enforcement of Government COVID-19 restrictions. These changes do not grant extra powers to police. They relax restrictions in place for operating drones for the specific case of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions. Mitigation for use of the exemption needs to be written into the Operations Manuals of drone teams and use needs to be reported to the CAA on renewal of the permission.

The Home Office does not hold any information on the use of drones by other public bodies in relation to Covid-19.

The Data Protection Act and the Surveillance Camera Code govern police use of surveillance cameras.

Grouped Questions: HL3959 | HL3960 | HL3961 | HL3963
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Unmanned Air Vehicles: Surveillance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance has been issued on the collection, use and storage of data collected by drone surveillance technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Decisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for police forces who are subject to the requirements of the Air Navigation Order and Data Protection legislation when operating drones. The Police have not been granted any additional powers to use drones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 give police the powers they need to enforce compliance with the social distancing measures and all use of police powers must be legitimate, necessary and proportionate.

The Civil Aviation Authority have granted the Emergency Services, including the police, an exemption from some of the requirements contained in the Air Navigation Order 2016, to support the enforcement of Government COVID-19 restrictions. These changes do not grant extra powers to police. They relax restrictions in place for operating drones for the specific case of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions. Mitigation for use of the exemption needs to be written into the Operations Manuals of drone teams and use needs to be reported to the CAA on renewal of the permission.

The Home Office does not hold any information on the use of drones by other public bodies in relation to Covid-19.

The Data Protection Act and the Surveillance Camera Code govern police use of surveillance cameras.

Grouped Questions: HL3959 | HL3960 | HL3961 | HL3962
Q
Asked by Lord Bradley
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Police Custody: Mental Health and Learning Disability
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect people who have been taken into police custody and have (1) mental health conditions, and (2) learning disabilities, from COVID-19.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office continues to have regular contact with the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and other key stakeholders regarding custody related matters. The NPCC have circulated guidance for all police forces in order for them to safely manage their custody suites with respect to all detainees, staff and visitors.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Greece
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the Joint Action Plan by the UK and Greece on migration in full; what assessment they have made of the impact of that Plan on bona fide refugees, even if those refugees are undocumented; and what plans they have to speed up the transfer of refugees and migrants from the Aegean Islands to the Greek mainland.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The UK-Greece Action Plan signed on 22 April 2020 has been published here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-greece-migration-action-plan

This takes forward co-operation with Greece on tackling irregular migration in the Eastern Mediterranean and joint action to improve overall management of migration. It covers joint work on organised immigration crime; sharing of expertise on asylum processes and migrant returns; renewed deployment of a Border Force cutter to the Aegean to carry our search and rescue and save lives; facilitation of family reunification of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children where it is in their best interests as quickly as possible; and establishment of a strategic migration dialogue.

The UK Government continues to engage with Greece regarding the conditions on the islands where appropriate and necessary. At present the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum has enacted emergency measures to contain potential coronavirus outbreaks, including the provision of additional medical facilities and staff to the islands through the EU’s Emergency Support Instrument. We also understand that those most vulnerable to COVID-19 - the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions – have been moved to safer accommodation on the islands and the mainland. These measures have so far been effective and there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in the camps on the Greek islands.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide temporary Leave to Remain to all asylum applicants, and others, with insecure refugee status.
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The UK has a long and proud history of providing protection to those who need it and we will continue to uphold our obligations under the Refugee Convention during this time. Therefore, whilst ensuring that the Home Office is adhering to Public Health England’s advice in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, decisions are continuing to be served on asylum claims on a case by case basis where there is sufficient evidence for us to make an accurate and well-informed decision in-line with published policy.

Even if an application is refused, measures we have implemented already guarantee that an individual can remain safely accommodated and be able to follow public health guidance, whilst maintaining access to financial support and healthcare until the end of June, and this will be kept under review.

As a result of this, there are no plans to provide temporary leave to remain to all asylum applicants or those with insecure status.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to ensure the availability of support for women experiencing domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation. We are working closely with domestic abuse charities, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and the police to understand the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse incidents.

The Government has announced £28m of funding to support domestic abuse charities. The Home Office has announced an additional £2 million in funding to help bolster specialist helplines and online services so that victims can continue to seek support.

We have also launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and signpost victims to the support services available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time. Details of these services can be found at www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on firearms licensing compiled by constabularies on the advice given by the Chairman of the National Police Chief Council's firearms and explosives committee.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Firearms licensing is an operational matter for the police who are not required to provide information on their decisions in individual cases to the Home Office. Similarly, it is open to the National Police Chiefs’ Council to provide advice or information to police forces relating to firearms licensing. We do, however, have regular discussions with the police, including the National Police Chiefs’ Council, about matters relating to firearms licensing.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department,what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the introduction of medical verification of firearms licencing on trends in the number of people applying for a grant or renewal of a (a) shotgun certificate and (b) firearms certificate.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The police are responsible for assessing the suitability of those who apply for the grant or renewal of a firearm or shotgun certificate. The police carry out a number of checks to ensure that those in possession of firearms do not pose a danger to public safety, and this includes checks relating to the medical suitability, based on information from the applicant’s GP. This is an important part of the process, as it helps to ensure that those who have lawful access to firearms do not pose a risk to themselves or to others.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from coroners on the involvement of medical practitioners in firearms licensing in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Representations received from coroners have helped to inform the discussions we have had with interested parties on strengthening the medical arrangements for firearms licensing. These representations have, in particular, highlighted the importance of the police having sight of medical information from a firearm applicant’s GP prior to granting of a licence, and for the need for a firearms marker to be placed on patient records so that GPs can advise the police if a person begins to suffer from a relevant medical condition while their licence is valid.

Following discussions with police, medical and shooting representatives, new medical arrangements were introduced in 2016 so that medical information would be requested from GPs prior to issuing of a firearms licence and GPs asked to place the firearms marker on patient records.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she place in the library the results of the pilot trials on placing markers on firearms certificate holders' medical notes that were conducted in Essex and Wiltshire.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The firearms marker on a GP’s patient’s record enables the GP to advise the police if a licensed firearm or shotgun holder begins to suffer from a relevant medical condition while their firearm certificate is valid. Trials testing the medical arrangements took place in Essex and Wiltshire prior to the introduction of a new system in 2016. The results of the trials were not placed in the House Library but were made available to, and were considered by, the members of the working group developing the medical arrangements, including police, medical and shooting representatives. The Government is supportive of the use of the medical marker as a means of helping to ensure that firearm certificates are held safely.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the implementation of the 2016 Home Office Guidance on firearms licensing.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office Guide on Firearms Licensing Law is intended to assist the police and other interested parties in applying and complying with firearms legislation. The guidance is underpinned by the publication of the Authorised Professional Practice for Firearms Licensing which was published in April 2014 through the College of Policing.

The guidance is currently under review so that all legislative amendments made to our firearms controls can be incorporated. A range of interested parties have been consulted about potential changes.

In addition, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced a power to enable the Secretary of State to issue statutory guidance to the police on their firearms licensing functions. The Government has consulted on the introduction of this guidance, which will bring greater consistency to firearms licensing across England, Wales and Scotland. The Government will publish its response to the consultation and the statutory guidance in due course. Once published, the police will be required to have regard to the statutory guidance.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department held discussions on the role of GPs in firearms licensing with the British Medical Association and not the General Medical Council.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Home Office Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. It is, however, the case that we have discussed the involvement of medical professionals in firearms licensing procedures with representatives of the medical profession, including the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association, and we will continue to do so, as appropriate.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she publish the (a) dates and (b) outcomes of the meetings held by (a) Ministers in her Department and (b) officials in her Department with representatives from the General Medical Council on the medical involvement in firearms licensing since May 2016.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Home Office Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. It is, however, the case that we have discussed the involvement of medical professionals in firearms licensing procedures with a range of interested parties including the police, representatives of the medical profession, including the General Medical Council, and shooting organisations including the British Shooting Sports Council and the Countryside Alliance, and we shall continue to do so, as appropriate.

Grouped Questions: 45993 | 45994 | 45995
Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the (a) dates and (b) outcomes of the meetings held by (i) Ministers in her Department and (ii) officials in her Department with representatives from police forces on the medical involvement in firearms licensing since May 2016.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Home Office Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. It is, however, the case that we have discussed the involvement of medical professionals in firearms licensing procedures with a range of interested parties including the police, representatives of the medical profession, including the General Medical Council, and shooting organisations including the British Shooting Sports Council and the Countryside Alliance, and we shall continue to do so, as appropriate.

Grouped Questions: 45992 | 45994 | 45995
Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she publish the (a) dates and (b) outcomes of the meetings held by (a) Ministers in her Department and (b) officials in her Department with representatives from the British Shooting Sports Council on the medical involvement in firearms licensing since May 2016.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Home Office Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. It is, however, the case that we have discussed the involvement of medical professionals in firearms licensing procedures with a range of interested parties including the police, representatives of the medical profession, including the General Medical Council, and shooting organisations including the British Shooting Sports Council and the Countryside Alliance, and we shall continue to do so, as appropriate.

Grouped Questions: 45992 | 45993 | 45995
Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she publish the (a) dates and (b) outcomes of the meetings held by (a) Ministers in her Department and (b) officials in her Department with representatives from the Countryside Alliance on the medical involvement in firearms licensing since May 2016.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Home Office Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. It is, however, the case that we have discussed the involvement of medical professionals in firearms licensing procedures with a range of interested parties including the police, representatives of the medical profession, including the General Medical Council, and shooting organisations including the British Shooting Sports Council and the Countryside Alliance, and we shall continue to do so, as appropriate.

Grouped Questions: 45992 | 45993 | 45994
Q
Asked by Matt Vickers
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Crimes Against the Person: Pharmacy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cases of assaults against pharmacists were reported in each region in each of the last six months.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office collects data relating to violence against retail staff within the ‘Commercial Victimisation Survey’ (CVS) but the latest estimates are from the 2018 CVS. This includes information on assaults and threats experienced by staff working in Wholesale and Retail premises, but these figures cannot be broken down specifically for pharmacists.

The Government recognises the damaging impact that crime can have on victims, businesses, and the wider community. Pharmacies provide vital services to our communities and it is important that they should be free to trade without fear of crime or disorder, particularly in these unprecedented times. I am working closely with the police and industry to continue to monitor these types of incidents during this challenging period.

Q
(Hemel Hempstead)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Firearms: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the placing of markers on the medical notes of those granted shotgun and firearms certificates; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The police are responsible for assessing the suitability of those who apply for the grant or renewal of a firearm or shotgun certificate. The police carry out a number of checks to ensure that those in possession of firearms do not pose a danger to public safety, including in relation to medical suitability based on information from the applicant’s GP.

Use of the firearms marker on GP patient records enables the GP to advise the police if a person begins to suffer from a relevant medical condition while their firearms certificate is valid, enabling the police to review their suitability. The Government is supportive of the use of the medical marker as a means of helping to ensure firearms licences are held safely.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Youth Mobility Scheme: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to issue further guidance for people on Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visas that have been extended to 31 May 2020 who may be unable to leave the UK by that date.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The exceptional provisions outlined in the Covid-19 guidance are being reviewed regularly. We will review the Covid-19 extensions prior to 31 May and will publish further information on Gov.uk prior to this date.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Hate Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the Hate Crime Action Plan for 2020-24.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Government is considering a range of options to tackle hate crime beyond the current Action Plan, including engagement with a range of Departments and civil society partners to explore possible approaches.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Hate Crime: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps is taking to support different ethnic and religious communities in the UK who are being targeted with online abuse and hate speech due to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office are working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), civil society partners and social media platforms to encourage victim reporting of online hate crime during the pandemic. We are also working with the NPCC to ensure that all police forces are providing reassurance to affected communities.

Government continues to work with communities around the country and the police to ensure people of all backgrounds have access to the latest information and are supported through this period.

Q
(Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
NHS: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of granting international medical students who have graduated early due to the covid-19 outbreak and are working for the NHS special dispensation to switch sponsors without having to apply for another visa.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

International students with current Tier 4 visas can already work full-time following the completion of their course without switching sponsors, provided the conditions of their visa permit work.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, those applying for new visas under Tiers 2, 4 or 5 can commence work or study with their new sponsor before a decision is made on their application provided the relevant conditions outlined on Gov.uk are met. These details can be found at:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's News story of 19 March 2019 entitled Places of worship to get security funding boost, how much of her Department's £5 million fund to provide security training for places of worship has been awarded; and how much of that funding has been awarded to each organisation.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office is working with policing and faith representatives to understand the training needs of places of worship and how these are best met. This is to ensure the training made available is suitable and effective for faith institutions.

Q
Asked by Neil Coyle
(Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Entry Clearances: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allow temporary UK residents whose leave is due to expire on 31 May 2020 a further automatic extension to their visas as a result of (a) travel restrictions and (b) self-isolation relating to covid-19.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Individuals in the UK legally whose visa expired after 24 January 2020 have had their visa extended to 31 May 2020 where they cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus.

This is being kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed and the Home Office will publish relevant information on GOV.UK prior to this date.

Q
(Rother Valley)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Migrant Workers: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the residency status is of the families of overseas healthcare workers who have been working in the NHS on a visa and die as a result of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

My Rt. Hon Friend, the Home Secretary, confirmed, in a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 29 April, families of eligible frontline healthcare workers who sadly pass away due to contracting the COVID-19 virus, will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain free of charge.

Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Hezbollah: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accuracy of reports that Hezbollah's Foreign Relations Department is raising funds and operating within the EU.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 22 May 2020

We do not provide comment on our intelligence assessment of terrorist organisations.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Home Office
Passports: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to resume the processing of routine applications to apply for, renew, replace or update a passport.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has continued to process standard passport applications throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, but with limited capacity due to implementing social distancing measures within its offices.

Due to this limited capacity, passport applications are taking longer than usual. However, to support those who need passport services the most at this time, an Urgent and Compassionate service is also being provided, and the details of how to apply are available on gov.uk.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Home Office
Police: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers have been tested for covid-19 since the start of the covid-19 outbreak, by police force.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus and on Friday 17 April the government extended coronavirus testing to more frontline workers, including for police. The number of police officers who have been tested for Covid-19 by police force is not a number that is held by centrally by the Home Office.

Q
Asked by Ian Lavery
(Wansbeck)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has revised her Department's targets for the processing of immigration cases during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Home Office closely monitors the processing of immigration cases and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has not amended its service standards due to Covid-19. UKVI continue to process applications as quickly as possible.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that access to (a) WiFi, (b) smartphones and (c) other digital devices are provided for asylum seekers living in National Asylum Support Service supplied accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 21 May 2020

Asylum seekers receiving support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 are generally provided with accommodation and a cash allowance to cover other essential living needs. The level of the cash allowance provided take into account communication needs, including the cost of buying and using a mobile phone. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis a higher proportion of asylum seekers than usual are being accommodated in full-board hostels and hotels. We are looking at practical ways of providing internet access to this group and other ways to enable them to communicate effectively. Our accommodation providers can and have provided mobile phones to those who do not have one.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration Controls: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the evidence provided to the Science and Technology Committee on 13 March, on what date advice from scientific modellers was first provided to (a) COBR, (b) the Prime Minister, (c) the Secretary of State for Health and (d) the Secretary of State for Transport on the likely incidence of covid-19 infection among travellers arriving at the UK Border; and on what dates any subsequent revision of those models was provided.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 21 May 2020

The modelling in question was done by SAGE. The Home Office cannot provide information on when SAGE advised (a) COBR, (b) the Prime Minister, (c) the Secretary of State for Health and (d) the Secretary of State for Transport.

Q
(Cambridge)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Fingerprints: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the effect on the ability of police to identify criminals following the European Parliament’s decision to reject the European Council’s proposal to allow the UK to participate in the automated searching of fingerprint data stored in the EU’s Prum DNA database.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 21 May 2020

UK Police forces are already identifying criminals as a result of the UK’s connection to Prüm DNA exchanges. Since joining Prüm in July last year, the UK’s connection to Prüm has led to tens of thousands of DNA profiles being matched in the UK and across EU Member States, advancing law enforcement investigations in the UK and the EU.

We are ready to begin sharing fingerprints with EU Member States and next steps are with the European Commission to determine when the UK can begin to exchange fingerprint data via Prüm.

The vote in the European Parliament does not affect our ability to continue to participate in DNA exchanges with EU Member States on a reciprocal basis. We are committed to cooperation that keeps our citizens safe.

Asked on: 21 May 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the net financial benefit to the NHS from the immigration health surcharge in each year since the surcharge was introduced; and what proportion of total annual income from the immigration health surcharge comes from foreign nationals working in the health and care sector.
Asked on: 21 May 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) maintain the extension of housing provision for newly recognised refugees to three months, introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a permanent measure, and (2) ensure financial support for such refugees whilst they wait for receipt of Universal Credit payments.
Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 21 May 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to participate in discussions with UNHCR about the relocation of unaccompanied refugee children now in Europe, in particular those in Greece; and if not, why not.
Asked on: 21 May 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost of exempting (1) NHS and care workers, and (2) all workers, from overseas and their families from the immigration health surcharge; and what plans they have to review their policy on that surcharge.
Q
Asked by Jess Phillips
(Birmingham, Yardley)
Asked on: 25 March 2020
Home Office
Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre has accepted new detainees since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps that centre is taking to ensure that new detainees are not exposed to that disease.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government remains committed to removing those who violate our immigration rules and foreign national offenders. Detention plays a key role in securing our borders and maintaining effective immigration control. On that basis, Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre will continue to accept new detainees.

All detainees received into Yarl’s Wood receive a nurse triage within two hours and are offered a doctor’s appointment within 24 hours.

In line with Public Health England guidance, measures such as protective isolation are considered on a case by case basis to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable groups in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including single occupancy rooms and cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 20 April 2020
Home Office
Migrant Workers: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to grant permission to work for (a) medical workers and (b) all other potential workers who have been awaiting a decision on their asylum application for over six months; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Asylum seekers with medical experience and qualifications, who have been waiting for a decision on their claim for 12 months or more, can already apply to work for the NHS in the range of medical professions on the Shortage Occupation List.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. The review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. It is crucial we take the time to get this right.

Q
Asked by Ms Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the provision of financial support to local authorities that have taken on the costs of ensuring that residents with No Recourse to Public Funds are able to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Local authorities can provide basic safety net support if it is established there is a care need which does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question. The Government has provided more than £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

Q
Asked by Ms Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under (a) what circumstances and (b) with what notice period her Department will end the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds exception during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition has not been suspended. The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and are available to migrants with NRPF.

In light of the support available, we do not believe it is necessary to suspend the NRPF condition. We will keep the situation under review and consider further measures if needed.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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: 29 April 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will increase financial support for asylum seekers during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

We are currently reviewing the level of the cash allowances, as we do each year, to ensure that they remain capable of meeting the essential living needs of asylum seekers. In addition to weekly cash payments, asylum seekers who claim support also receive free furnished accommodation in which utilities are paid for.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[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: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration Controls: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date SAGE first discussed the potential effect of introducing restrictions at the UK borders on the (a) rate of covid-19 infections in the UK and (b) ability of the NHS to respond to that rate; and whether SAGE reported the conclusions of those discussion to her.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser is a participant in SAGE and regularly updates Home Office ministers on all aspects of SAGE relating to their departmental interests.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[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: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Travel Restrictions: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what dates SAGE provided advice to Ministers on the potential effect of introducing restrictions at the UK borders on the spread of covid-19 in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser is a participant in SAGE and regularly updates Home Office ministers on all aspects of SAGE relating to their departmental interests.

Q
Asked by Liz Twist
(Blaydon)
[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: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the time frame is for the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s review of community-based support.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

To understand the complex landscape for community-based support, in the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), published on 3 March, we indicated that the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape over 2020/21.

The Government also indicated that we must better understand the existing routes by which support services are commissioned and funded and establish best practice within services in order to ensure quality provision. The precise scope and timing of the review is a matter for the independent Commissioner. I understand, however, that the review is expected to take some 12 months.

The Government does not collect statistics on the number of domestic abuse victims who do not live in safe accommodation. I would like us to look more into data in the coming months.

Grouped Questions: 43739 | 43740
Q
Asked by Liz Twist
(Blaydon)
[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: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the scope is of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s review of community-based support.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

To understand the complex landscape for community-based support, in the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), published on 3 March, we indicated that the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape over 2020/21.

The Government also indicated that we must better understand the existing routes by which support services are commissioned and funded and establish best practice within services in order to ensure quality provision. The precise scope and timing of the review is a matter for the independent Commissioner. I understand, however, that the review is expected to take some 12 months.

The Government does not collect statistics on the number of domestic abuse victims who do not live in safe accommodation. I would like us to look more into data in the coming months.

Grouped Questions: 43738 | 43740
Q
Asked by Liz Twist
(Blaydon)
[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: 05 May 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse: Refuges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will estimate the number of domestic abuse victims who do not live in safe accommodation and would not qualify for statutory support as set out in clause 53 of the Domestic Abuse Bill.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

To understand the complex landscape for community-based support, in the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), published on 3 March, we indicated that the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape over 2020/21.

The Government also indicated that we must better understand the existing routes by which support services are commissioned and funded and establish best practice within services in order to ensure quality provision. The precise scope and timing of the review is a matter for the independent Commissioner. I understand, however, that the review is expected to take some 12 months.

The Government does not collect statistics on the number of domestic abuse victims who do not live in safe accommodation. I would like us to look more into data in the coming months.

Grouped Questions: 43738 | 43739
Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Nutrition
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether meals provided for asylum seekers in temporary accommodation must meet the guidelines set out in the NHS Eatwell Guide.
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Meals provided in all catered asylum accommodation facilities meet the NHS Eatwell guide.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, what assessment the Government has made of the adequacy of funding for black and minority ethnic community specialist domestic abuse services during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

We are in frequent contact with the domestic abuse sector, including specialist BAME organisations, as well as the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, to understand the impact of covid-19 on services’ ability to operate.

Following increases in calls to domestic abuse helplines and online services, the Home Secretary announced an additional £2m to bolster organisations’ capacity on April 11.

This is in addition to £28m of Government funding for domestic abuse charities to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the coronavirus outbreak.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Home Office
Internet: Offences against Children and Terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, pursuant to the Answer of 6 May 2020 to Question 42080 on Internet: Safety, when her Department plans to publish the interim voluntary codes on tackling online terrorist and child sexual exploitation and abuse content and activity.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government will be publishing interim codes of practice on terrorist use of the internet and child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) as part of the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper. This will ensure that companies are provided with the necessary context to understand the expectations around what companies should do to address CSEA and terrorist content and activity online.

We are working on preparing the interim codes of practice and full government response to the White Paper as soon as possible. We will follow this publication with legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

Q
Asked by Conor McGinn
(St Helens North)
[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: 11 May 2020
Home Office
Common Travel Area: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the operation of the Common Travel Area.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Both the UK and Irish Governments are committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements. As such, there are no routine immigration controls on journeys from within the CTA to the UK, with no immigration controls whatsoever on the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border.

We continue to work closely with the Republic of Ireland and the Crown Dependencies on our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recognising the unique nature of the Common Travel Area, as well as the position of Northern Ireland, there are no plans to introduce the recently announced measures at the UK border on journeys from within the Common Travel Area, including on the land border with Ireland.

Q
Asked by Tom Hunt
(Ipswich)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Aviation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of preventing people from arriving in the UK if they do not have pre-arranged accommodation in which to spend 14 days in quarantine.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

All international arrivals will be required to supply their contact and accommodation information and they will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.

Asked on: 13 May 2020
Home Office
NHS: Migrant Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that any (1) NHS employee, and (2) agency worker engaged by the NHS, during the COVID-19 pandemic who is currently on (a) a Tier 5 Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa, or (b) a family visa, have the right to remain in the UK. [T]
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government has announced we will extend the visas for a range of healthcare professionals working for the NHS and independent health and care providers, where their current visa expires before 1 October. This offer also applies to their families. The 12-month extension is automatic and free of charge and those benefitting will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. Details of immigration changes, including the extended list of healthcare professionals covered by this offer, relating to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders.

Those in the UK with leave on long term basis can also extend their stay in-country and can continue to apply online.  Where an online application is made before leave expires, a person’s leave and conditions are automatically extended by virtue of Section 3C of the 1971 Immigration Act until the application can be decided.

Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend leave to remain visas until October 2020 for people that are applying for indefinite leave to remain but are unable to take a life in the UK test during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Individuals in the UK legally whose visa expired after 24 January 2020 have had their visa extended to 31 May 2020 where they cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus. This is being kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.

The Home Office is taking steps to ensure nobody will be penalised for not being able to take Life in the UK tests due to circumstances beyond their control. Therefore individuals can still apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and their application will be held until testing resumes, with their existing leave continuing until their application is decided.

Q
(Stockton North)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for Section 4 support have been (a) granted and (b) refused since 23 March 2020.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Published stats will be available on gov.uk in due course, recent statistics since March 2020 are not yet ready for release.  We can confirm that we have seen an increase in Section 4 application and we have moved people who would no longer be eligible for Section 95 support onto Section 4.  We are working to ensure that applications are dealt with efficiently, and that no one should be left destitute.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Homophobia: Hate Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Ministerial roundtables on homophobia have been held since the Home Office’s Hate Crime Action Plan refresh document was published in 2018.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

Hate crime of any kind is completely unacceptable. The 2018 refresh of the Hate Crime Action Plan addressed homophobic abuse and can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hate-crime-action-plan-2016. The Home Office engaged with Galop’s anti-LGBT hate crime roundtable in 2018 in line with the actions in this plan. The Home Office facilitates meetings with civil society partners who are experts in all strands of hate crime on a quarterly basis.

Q
(Battersea)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Stop and Search: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the (a) ethnicity was of each individual subject to and (b) outcome was of each incidence of stop and search since the beginning of the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The information requested is not currently centrally available.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of stop and searches including the ethnicity of the person searched and the outcome. Data are published annually in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, the latest of which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales

The next bulletin is due to be published in October 2020.

Q
(Huddersfield)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Criminal Records: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to reform the disclosure of criminal records to ensure that (a) minor and (b) historical crimes do not appear on enhanced criminal records checks, affecting the job prospects of those convicted years after their conviction.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The criminal records disclosure regime is designed to help employers make informed recruitment decisions through the disclosure of appropriate and relevant information, particularly for roles involving children and vulnerable adults.

The Government is considering the judgment in the Supreme Court case of P and others. This judgment found two aspects of the disclosure and barring regime disproportionate. These are the requirements for disclosure where an individual has more than one conviction, irrespective or offence type or time passed and of certain out-of-court disposals issued to young offenders, (in particular, reprimands and warnings).

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Visas: Turkey
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether those on a ECAA-2 visa are eligible for Government support during the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government is committed to ensuring people are not unfairly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a result of their immigration status.

To this end, a person who holds valid leave under the Turkish European Communities Association Agreement as a business person can benefit from the various schemes that have been introduced for businesses, where they meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Details of the support available for persons affected by COVID-19 can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

Q
Asked by Munira Wilson
(Twickenham)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that parents can apply for a passport for their child in cases where they are unable to register the birth of that child due to the closure of birth registration services as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The absence of a birth certificate where they are unable to register the birth of that child does not prevent a passport application being submitted, however alternative evidence will need to be provided.

Q
Asked by Munira Wilson
(Twickenham)
[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: 14 May 2020
Home Office
Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allowing new births to be registered over the phone where birth registry offices are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

In England and Wales, the relevant legislation does not allow for birth registrations to be completed by telephone.

The Government is considering options for how births can be registered during the situation, whilst respecting prevailing public health guidance and regulations.

Q
Asked by Munira Wilson
(Twickenham)
[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: 14 May 2020
Home Office
Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to tackle the backlog of appointments to register new births when birth registry offices that are currently closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak reopen.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Office are working with partners across government to develop recovery plans to register all births.

Q
Asked by Sarah Jones
(Croydon 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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Drugs: Organised Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many county line phone numbers have been shut down in each month since December 2019.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The National Crime Agency’s most recent strategic assessment of serious and organised crime found that more than 3,000 unique county lines deal line numbers were identified in 2019, of which 800 to 1,100 lines were estimated to be active during a given month.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests conducted by each police force in England and Wales on an annual basis. Data are held at the offence group level only (for example ‘Drug offences’). Information on the number of arrests that have been made in operations targeting county lines gangs in each month are not held centrally. The latest bulletin can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019

We are investing £20m of dedicated funding in 2020/21 to further increase activity against these ruthless gangs. This builds on the £5m programme of work delivered in 19/20 to uplift the law enforcement response. Initial assessment of the outcomes of £5m investment in 19/20 demonstrate it has had a direct impact in disrupting county lines.

Grouped Questions: 47421
Q
Asked by Sarah Jones
(Croydon 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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Drugs: Organised Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many arrests have been made in operations targeting county lines gangs in each month since December 2019.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The National Crime Agency’s most recent strategic assessment of serious and organised crime found that more than 3,000 unique county lines deal line numbers were identified in 2019, of which 800 to 1,100 lines were estimated to be active during a given month.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests conducted by each police force in England and Wales on an annual basis. Data are held at the offence group level only (for example ‘Drug offences’). Information on the number of arrests that have been made in operations targeting county lines gangs in each month are not held centrally. The latest bulletin can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019

We are investing £20m of dedicated funding in 2020/21 to further increase activity against these ruthless gangs. This builds on the £5m programme of work delivered in 19/20 to uplift the law enforcement response. Initial assessment of the outcomes of £5m investment in 19/20 demonstrate it has had a direct impact in disrupting county lines.

Grouped Questions: 47420
Q
Asked by Sarah Jones
(Croydon 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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Drugs: Organised Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Education and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on ensuring that vulnerable children are not exposed to greater risk of county lines recruitment when not in education due to the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Secretary attends a regular ministerial group, also attended by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which discusses a range of issues related to COVID-19 including the impact on vulnerable cohorts.  The Home Office Minister for Safeguarding also has regular discussions with DfE about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable children, including those at risk of criminal exploitation through county lines.

In addition, the Home Office is working closely with law enforcement partners and charities to monitor the ongoing threat to young people from county lines exploitation.  This year, we are investing £20m to uplift the law enforcement response and increase the support available to those affected.  This is in addition to continuing to the fund the Missing People SafeCall service which provides specialist advice and support to young people and families who are concerned about county lines exploitation.

Q
Asked by Emma Hardy
(Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
[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: 15 May 2020
Home Office
Migrant Workers: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy not to deport the family members of health care workers in the UK on Tier 2 visas who have died as a result of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

My Rt. Hon Friend, the Home Secretary, confirmed, in a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 29 April, families of eligible frontline healthcare workers who sadly pass away due to contracting the COVID-19 virus, will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain free of charge.

Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 266278, what plans her Department has to review the decision to not provide EU citizens with physical documentation confirming their settled status after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Home Office is developing a border and immigration system which is “digital by default” for all migrants, which over time means we will increasingly replace physical and paper-based products and services with accessible, easy to use online and digital services. This mirrors the approach adopted by other countries, such as Australia, in administering their immigration systems and the way in which people increasingly live their lives.

Individuals – including those going through the EU Settlement Scheme - will still receive written notification of their immigration status, by email or letter, which they can retain for their own records. They will also be given access to a digital version of their immigration status information, which can be accessed at any time via the online ‘view and prove’ service, and which unlike a physical document cannot be lost or stolen. It also allows individuals to view information about their status whenever they wish and share it securely with third parties such as employers or public and private service providers.

We are making this move because it provides a better level of service. Individuals have greater transparency and control over their immigration status data, and tailored digital services mean that only the information that the individual agrees to share is shown, unlike a physical document which must fulfil many purposes. Digital services also allow us to provide information in a format that is easy to understand and accessible to all users, removing the need for employers, landlords and others to interpret myriad physical documents, complex legal terminology or confusing abbreviations. Users can be confident that they are getting information direct from Home Office systems and that it tells them what they need to know.

Q
(Streatham)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her French counterpart on the strength of force used by police forces on migrants in Calais.
Q
(Motherwell and Wishaw)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average length of time was for Ministers of her Department to respond to correspondence from hon. Members in each month in the last two years.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons asylum support rates are lower in 2020 than they were in 2002; and if she will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to (a) asylum seekers and (b) migrants who are (i) vulnerable and (ii) digitally excluded, to complete their immigration applications during the covid-19 pandemic.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the deportation flight on 30 April 2020 from Stanstead Airport to Poland, what assessment she has made of its effect on (a) international efforts to contain the covid-19 pandemic and (b) the health and safety of (i) passengers and (ii) staff onboard that flight.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group’s report entitled Coronavirus, fear and how Islamophobia spreads on social media, what steps her Department is taking to work with (a) social media companies and (b) relevant statutory bodies to (i) address a potential rise in Islamophobia as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and (ii) prevent a future increase in hate crimes when the covid-19 lockdown comes to an end.
Q
Asked by Alex Norris
(Nottingham North)
[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: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the asylum support rate of £37.75 per week during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
Asked by Jess Phillips
(Birmingham, Yardley)
[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: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to question 34992, on Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Coronavirus, how many new detainees that centre has accepted since the start of covid-19 outbreak.
Q
(Stoke-on-Trent North)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent migrants from illegally crossing the English Channel.
Q
Asked by Chris Elmore
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the covid-19 lockdown, what assessment she has made of when people will be able to register births, marriages and civil partnerships.
Q
(Rother Valley)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many boats suspected to have been used for the transport of illegal immigrants to the UK have been recovered on the south coast of England in the most recent period for which such information is available.
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum interviews have been conducted (a) in person and (b) remotely in each of the last 12 weeks.
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he has taken to support asylum seekers whose interviews have been cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when his Department plans to resume asylum interviews or allow for the majority of those interviews to take place remotely during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum cases were pending in each of the last six months.
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum interviews have been cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the correct information is obtained from asylum interview to ensure that the process of making a decision on an application is expedited.
Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that legal aid for refugees and asylum seekers is effective in providing fair and high quality representation and advice.
Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on increasing funding for (a) specialist domestic abuse schemes and (b) public information campaigns to improve the protection of victims.
Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on supporting the financial welfare of asylum seekers during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to Question 41562 on asylum support, when the review will be concluded; and if she will make a statement.
Q
(North Thanet)
[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: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was the annual value of the health service charges that her Department collects from immigrants working the the NHS and social care services in each of the last two years for which figures are available.
Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to track, manage and supervise stalkers and domestic abusers routinely; and if she will make a statement.
Q
Asked by Mhairi Black
(Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
Asked on: 20 May 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help help ensure that asylum seekers living in hotel accommodation in Scotland are re-homed.
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