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 Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 21 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the names of businesses (a) that have contacted the Government offering to produce personal protective equipment and (b) whose offers have been accepted.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020
Holding answer received on 27 April 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Grouped Questions: 38447 | 38448 | 38449 | 38883
Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 21 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to assess the viability of businesses that have approached the Government to produce personal protective equipment to the necessary standard for use in the NHS and social care settings.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020
Holding answer received on 27 April 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Grouped Questions: 38446 | 38448 | 38449 | 38883
Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 21 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mechanism he has established for the receipt and assessment of offers from businesses for the production of personal protective equipment.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020
Holding answer received on 27 April 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Grouped Questions: 38446 | 38447 | 38449 | 38883
Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 21 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what level of production of personal protective equipment he estimates will be produced by UK businesses in each of the next three months; and when that equipment will be available for use.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020
Holding answer received on 27 April 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Grouped Questions: 38446 | 38447 | 38448 | 38883
Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 22 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which UK businesses have contacted the Government with offers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE); what process the Government used to assess these offers; which offers were accepted; and when PPE from those successful offers will be available for use.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020
Holding answer received on 27 April 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Grouped Questions: 38446 | 38447 | 38448 | 38449
Q
Asked by Rachel Reeves
(Leeds West)
[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: 24 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many UK businesses have offered support to the Government for the manufacture of personal protective equipment.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks. Details of this work can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
Asked by Helen Hayes
(Dulwich and West Norwood)
[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: 24 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many UK businesses have been contacted by his Department to provide support in the manufacture of personal protective equipment.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks. Details of this work can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
Asked by Lee Anderson
(Ashfield)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will take steps to prioritise the development of personal protective equipment in the UK to reduce reliance on the import of those products.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
Asked by Simon Baynes
(Clwyd South)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with UK manufacturers to increase the supply of personal protective equipment.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
Asked by John Spellar
(Warley)
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Manufacturing Industries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to incentivise companies to use their manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks. Details of this work can be found at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
(Feltham and Heston)
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to incentivise companies to use their manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 May 2020

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks. Details of this work can be found in the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Q
Asked by Zarah Sultana
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Department for Transport
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will ensure that theory test refunds are administered for (a) people whose theory test (a) has expired during the driving test suspension (b) will expire while they are on the waiting list for a practical test after the suspension is lifted.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 22 May 2020

There is no provision in legislation for refunds of test fees in these circumstances. It would therefore not be legal for the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency to provide refunds.

Q
Asked by Ms Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Ministry of Justice
Remand in Custody: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Youth Justice Statistics, England and Wales, April 2018 to March 2019, published on 30 January 2020, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on the use of remand for children of the finding that 66 per cent of children given a remand to youth detention accommodation did not subsequently receive a custodial sentence.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The decision on whether a child should be remanded into custody is a matter for our independent judiciary. We are clear that custody, including custodial remand, should always be used as a last resort for children, and the remand framework ensures the court considers all other options, including bail and remand into local authority accommodation, before remanding a child to custody.

We are currently undertaking work to consider the use of youth custodial remand and in due course we aim to identify options to reduce the numbers of children remanded to custody where appropriate, while ensuring victims and the public are protected.

Q
Asked by Ms Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Ministry of Justice
Remand in Custody: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an estimate of the proportion of unconvicted children held on remand during 2019 who were denied bail on the basis of (a) the child’s own welfare or protection, (b) the child already being in custody serving a sentence, (c) there being insufficient information relating to the case, (d) the child already having been on bail during the proceedings and having been arrested for breach of those bail conditions, and (e) it being impracticable to complete enquiries or make a report unless the child is in custody.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The Ministry of Justice routinely publishes the number of unconvicted children on remand, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2018. Figures for 2019 will be published later in May.

The Ministry of Justice does not centrally hold data on the reasons why children are held on remand or why they were refused bail.

The decision to grant or refuse bail is a matter for our independent judiciary. There is a general presumption to bail in criminal proceedings, but there are exceptions to this. The remand framework ensures the court considers all options, including bail and community remand options, before a remand into custody would be considered.

We are currently undertaking work to consider the use of youth custodial remand and in due course we aim to identify options to reduce the numbers of children remanded to custody where appropriate, while ensuring victims and the public are protected.

Q
Asked by Henry Smith
(Crawley)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Department for Transport
International Transport: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it remains Government policy to work with international partners on global common screening standards for international travel.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 22 May 2020

The UK is engaging with a number of key international organisations (including ICAO and IATA), and we are working with our international partners to drive forward a shared agenda on public health measures for international travel.

The Government has also established five ministerial-led taskforces to develop plans for reopening sectors which have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, including a taskforce on international aviation.

The Government aims to support industry in developing guidance on a baseline set of measures, based on the available evidence, and for these to become widespread and well-understood, thereby avoiding confusion and uncertainty for both industry and passengers.

Q
(York Central)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that transport for children to travel to school during the covid-19 outbreak is safe.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Parents and children should consider walking and cycling to school where possible or driving if necessary. They should avoid the use of public transport where possible. The Department for Transport has published guidance on safer travel for the public. Parents and children may wish to refer to the guidance when planning their journeys, and to help them minimise risk where the use of public transport is unavoidable. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.

Some children have their home to school transport arranged by their local authority or school. Local authorities and schools should put in place arrangements which fit local circumstances and minimise the risk of transmission, as far as is possible. This should include ensuring transport providers follow hygiene rules. They may wish to refer to the Department for Transport’s guidance for transport operators, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.

The phased wider opening of schools will limit the number of children travelling on home to school transport in the initial phase. Where transport capacity allows, local authorities could consider substituting smaller vehicles with larger ones, or running 2 vehicles rather than one, to reduce the number of passengers per vehicle and help passengers keep their distance.

We are in contact with local authorities to help resolve issues as they arise.

Q
(Argyll and Bute)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Iran: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Iran on releasing prisoners of conscience (a) Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, (b) Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and (c) Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee as a result of the threat of covid-19 to detainees in overcrowded prisons.
A
Answered by: James Cleverly
Answered on: 22 May 2020

We have regularly expressed our concerns to the Government of Iran at the ongoing incarceration of prisoners of conscience, including the sentencing of Christians for practicing their faith. The reality is that many non-Muslims in Iran face discrimination. We will continue to take action, both bilaterally and with the international community, to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record.

Q
(East Renfrewshire)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Treasury
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2020 to Question 43961 on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, what offence will be committed in (a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland by an individual who (i) uses or (ii) authorises the use of funds paid under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for any purpose other than those specified in clause 8.1 of the Schedule to the Treasury Direction dated 15 April 2020.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 22 May 2020

HM Treasury’s Direction to HMRC under the Coronavirus Act 2020 in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the guidance published in respect of the CJRS scheme, and the online portal through which claims are made, all make clear that any payments are for the purposes specified in paragraph 8.1 of the HM Treasury Direction and for no other purpose. The Direction and associated guidance also make clear that any money paid out under the scheme must be returned to HMRC if the claimant becomes unwilling or unable to use the payment for the specified purposes.

Those who submit claims to HMRC for payment under CJRS are required to state that any money paid by HMRC will be used for the specified purposes. Any claimant who states that the payment will be used for the proper purposes when this is not the case is likely to have committed a criminal offence.

In England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland, it is a crime of fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, dishonestly to make a false representation with intent to make a gain. Those who dishonestly state in their claims to HMRC that any money they receive under CJRS will be used for the specified purposes, when this is not the case, are likely to have committed fraud. Those who encourage or assist the commission of a crime can also be found guilty of the offence. Those who aid and abet another’s crime can also be convicted.

In Scotland, those who engage in a false pretence with an intention to deceive HMRC will commit a common law fraud. Such a false pretence could include stating that the payment under CJRS will be used for the specified purposes when this is not the case. Those who act in concert with the perpetrator of such crimes can also be convicted and punished.

In all parts of the UK, where claimants obtain payments from HMRC through fraudulent claims to the CJRS scheme, any money obtained would be the proceeds of crime. Any dealing with this fraudulently obtained money could amount to the offence of money laundering, contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The money laundering offences contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are punishable with a sentence of imprisonment of up to 14 years, a fine without limit, or both. Fraudulently obtained payments can also be recovered through the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act dealing with summary forfeiture of assets representing the proceeds of crime.

HMRC will subject CJRS claims to scrutiny and use their usual compliance tools to carry out proportionate risk-based compliance checks before and after payment to test the veracity of CJRS claims. HMRC will take robust steps to prevent fraudulent claims being paid, to recover any payments made to those who are not eligible, and to respond to those who make fraudulent claims. In doing so, HMRC aim to protect essential public services and the livelihoods at risk during these challenging times.

Q
Asked by Ian Paisley
(North Antrim)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services and Social Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on ensuring NHS and care staff are able to access covid-19 tests in Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 21 May 2020

National Health Service and care staff in Northern Ireland can book a test through the Government’s online self-referral portal, which allows them to register for a home test kit or to book a drive-through test at a regional test site. Three regional testing sites have been set up in Northern Ireland; in Belfast, Derry and Craigavon. We recognise that each devolved administration will have its own eligibility criteria and testing priorities in their region, however we are working closely to align our approaches.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS and Social Services: Protective Clothing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that all (a) NHS and (b) social care staff are able to access covid-19 tests.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 21 May 2020

All National Health Service and social care staff are now able to register for COVID-19 tests, whether or not they are symptomatic. The Government has sufficient capacity to provide COVID-19 tests to all NHS and social care staff that need one. NHS and social care staff can book a test through the Government’s online self-referral portal, which allows them to register for a home test kit or to book a drive-through test at a regional test centre. Testing is also available through mobile and satellite test centres that are placed where need is greatest, including to NHS hospitals or care homes. Testing within an NHS facility, such as a hospital, is available for NHS workers.

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