Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 02 July 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
GKN: Kings Norton
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he is planning to hold the meeting with GKN Aerospace and the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield on the future of GKN Aerospace in Kings Norton.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 08 July 2019

We are currently working with both parties to find the earliest mutually convenient date and time for the meeting to take place.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to increase the maximum sentence available under the Animal welfare (Service Animals) Act 2006.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 03 July 2019

I am pleased to say that the legislation needed to implement the increase in the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences - the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill – had its First Reading in this House on 26 June. The Bill will increase the custodial penalty for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, as well as other animal cruelty offences, from 6 months’ imprisonment to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Department for Transport
Model Aircraft: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of (a) the threat to air safety posed by Control Line model aircraft and (b) the potential merits of exempting those model aircraft from mandatory registration under the 2019 Drone Registration Scheme.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 11 June 2019

The Department keeps all risks to aviation safety under constant review. With regards to the upcoming Unmanned Aircraft Operator Registration and Education Scheme, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has explored a range of options for model aircraft users. Exemption from the scheme is not a viable option as it would compromise the Government’s overarching objective to increase accountability and safety awareness for all unmanned aircraft users.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the bombings at (a) a Sanaa school on 7 April 2019, (b) a Save the Children-supported hospital on 26 March 2019 and (c) other bombings of civilian infrastructure in Yemen, what discussions he has had with his Saudi counterpart on the timeframe for the conclusion of the Saudi-led Coalition’s investigations into those incidents; and whether the results of those investigations will be made publicly available.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 28 May 2019

We are deeply concerned by reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. Our officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation.

We are also deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan on 7 April 2019. We have raised the incident with the Coalition who have announced an investigation in line with standard practices. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure that deconflicted (a) hospitals and (b) schools in Yemen are protected from bombing.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 28 May 2019

We have been clear that all parties to the conflict in Yemen must comply with international humanitarian law. We continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the implementation of the Stockholm agreement by all parties to the war in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 15 May 2019

The UK has played a central role in diplomatic efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary hosted the Yemen Quad in London on 26 April, bringing together representatives from the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where members discussed the next steps in the UN-led peace process and how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. We will continue discussions with partners on how the UN Security Council can support the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths on the political process and improving the humanitarian situation, central to which is the full implementation of agreements reached during the Stockholm talks. We welcome reports that Houthis forces have begun their withdrawal from the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Issa and await independent verification of this by the UN.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will take steps to establish an independent investigation into the bombing of a de-conflicted hospital in Kitaf, Yemen on 26 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 14 May 2019

We are deeply concerned of reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. UK officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 08 April 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
GKN: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the planned closure of the GKN Aerospace at Kings Norton, Birmingham on the local economy; and what discussions he has had with representatives of that company on that proposed closure.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 16 April 2019
Holding answer received on 11 April 2019

Following GKN’s notification to employees on 4 April about their intention to undertake a phased closure of their Kings Norton site in Birmingham by 2021, the Secretary of State spoke to Hans Buthker (CEO of GKN Aerospace) on 7 April. He explained that this proposal was the result of an internal strategic review by GKN to help the company secure long-term sustainability that will better position it for future growth.

Mr Buthker stressed GKN’s continued commitment to the UK, evidenced by the significant new investment the company is making including, as part of this proposal, at Luton and Portsmouth and in a Global Technology R&D Centre at Filton. This comes on top of GKN’s further announcement last week for £300 million in new investment to ramp up its activities in the fast-growing electric vehicle market.

This is a commercial decision for GKN Aerospace and not in contravention of the deed of covenant agreed between BEIS and Melrose. GKN Aerospace have confirmed the site will remain operational in a phased capacity until 2021, and all affected employees will be supported in seeking new employment within and outside of GKN Aerospace. GKN Aerospace announced they will be increasing overall investment in its other UK sites, with Luton and Portsmouth becoming technology centres of excellence. GKN Aerospace invested record levels into R&D in 2018, including a new world-class Global Technology Centre opening in Bristol in 2020, hosting 300 highly skilled engineers.

We appreciate this will be an unsettling time for the 172 employees at Kings Norton and will work closely with the company, and local partners, to make sure that they are supported throughout.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 09 April 2019
Ministry of Defence
GKN: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the 2018 deed of covenant undertakings provided by Melrose Industries, whether he has plans to issue a note of concern in relation to the announcement by GKN Aerospace that it intends to close its Kings Norton plant.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 15 April 2019

As required by the undertakings provided last year, Melrose Industries have notified the Ministry of Defence (MOD) of their intention to relocate Defence work from GKN's Kings Norton site to other GKN sites. The MOD has discussed these proposals with Melrose and is confident that the important work that GKN does for Defence will continue. The MOD understands that there will be no overall reduction in GKN's defence capacity, as the defence work is being moved, not stopped. On that basis there are no plans to issue a note of concern.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Gaza: Reconstruction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with the (a) UN, (b) Palestinian Authority and (c) Israeli Government on the (i) 2018 review of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism and (ii) implementation of the recommendations of that review.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 27 March 2019

The UK values the role of the United Nations (UN) in supporting Gaza’s reconstruction following widespread destruction in the 2014 conflict through the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), which helps ensure that essential reconstruction materials reach civilians. Following the joint review of the GRM in 2018 the UN, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) began implementing the report’s recommendations in January this year. UK officials most recently discussed the review of the GRM and the implementation of its recommendations with the UN in January 2019.

The UK regularly raises movement and access restrictions in Gaza with both the Government of Israel and with the PA. DFID officials most recently raised the review of the GRM and the implementation of the review’s recommendations with the Israeli Government in February 2019. More broadly, restrictions in Gaza were most recently raised with the PA in January 2019. The UK will continue to call on the Israeli government to ease access restrictions further and for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to work together to ensure a durable solution for Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Textbooks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which international partners will take part in the review of books included in the Palestinian Authority's curriculum.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 March 2019

We cannot yet provide further public information on which international partners have joined the independent review. Our international partners are currently concluding their contracting with the service provider, and do not wish to publicise their involvement at this time. Work commissioned by the UK on the inception report has already begun; our timeline for the textbook review remains unchanged and we will publish findings by September 2019. We will inform interested parliamentarians of further details as soon as possible.

The UK government is deeply concerned about allegations of incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) new curriculum and it has been a priority for the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development to commission an independent, impartial and rigorous review of the PA’s textbooks. We are pleased that after calls by the UK government for international action, a group of international partners - including the UK - will lead a review into the books included in the PA’s pilot curriculum. The PA Minister for Education Sabri Saidam has confirmed that he will engage constructively with the findings of the review, and listen to recommendations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made in ensuring Israel's investigations into deaths at the Gaza border in 2018 are (a) independent, (b) transparent, (c) balanced, (d) inclusive of international members and (e) published in a timely manner.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 26 March 2019

​The UK fully supports the need for an independent and transparent investigation which establishes the facts about the violence last year in Gaza. We have repeatedly called for such an investigation at the highest levels, as well as in multiple forums including in Parliament in an urgent question on 22 March, and at the UN Security Council. The Prime Minister and former Foreign Secretary raised the issue directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu, stressing the need for an independent investigation, and encouraging urgent action to improve the situation in Gaza. Earlier this week British Embassy officials raised Gaza with the Israeli authorities, highlighting the importance of proportionality, and raising concerns about the volume of live fire against unarmed women, children and medics. We welcome that the Israeli Military Advocate General has recently ordered five criminal investigations which relate to 11 separate instances of Palestinian fatalities during the Gaza border protests. These investigations are ongoing. We will continue to make clear to the Israeli authorities that it is vital their investigations are independent and transparent and that their findings are made public, and importantly, if wrongdoing is found, those that are responsible are held to account.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had and on what dates with (a) the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, (b) the Israeli Government, (c) the Palestinian Authority, and (d) partner countries on the Human Rights Council on the Commission of Inquiry (i) investigation and (ii) report into protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 March 2019

We regularly raise our concerns about the situation in Gaza with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, pressing them on the need for a long-term strategy to improve humanitarian and economic conditions, and reduce movement and access restrictions. I raised Gaza with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 30 January, and with the Palestinian Foreign Minister on 4 February. On 18 March, the EU gave an intervention on the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, in which we expressed our concern about the high number of Palestinians killed and injured and the use of excessive force including live fire, and condemned violence and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, (a) what discussions he has had and (b) on what dates with the Israeli Government on Israeli investigations into deaths during protests on the Gaza border in 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 March 2019

We regularly raise our concerns about the situation in Gaza with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, pressing them on the need for a long-term strategy to improve humanitarian and economic conditions, and reduce movement and access restrictions. I raised Gaza with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 30 January, and with the Palestinian Foreign Minister on 4 February. On 18 March, the EU gave an intervention on the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, in which we expressed our concern about the high number of Palestinians killed and injured and the use of excessive force including live fire, and condemned violence and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Palestinian Territories: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on the vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council on the report and recommendations of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2019

We do not disclose our voting intentions in advance. In May the UK abstained on the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that the substance of a resolution must be impartial and balanced. Whilst the UK fully supports the need for an independent and transparent investigation into events, it is regrettable the Commission of Inquiry Report does not look comprehensively at the actions of non-state actors such as Hamas. Nevertheless the UK has serious concerns about the manner in which the Israel Defense Forces police non-violent protests and the border areas, including the use of live ammunition.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of the (a) availability of (i) Lossartin, (ii) Furosemide and (iii) Nicarindil and (b) prices beyond the NHS tariff that community pharmacies have been charged by the suppliers of those products since September 2018.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 19 February 2019

The Department is not aware of issues affecting the availability of losartan, furosemide or nicorandil tablets and can confirm that supplies of these three medicines are currently available. We are aware that there was a short-term supply issue affecting furosemide 20mg and 40mg towards the end of 2018 due to manufacturing delays, but this issue has now been resolved and supplies remain available.

When community pharmacies cannot purchase a medicine at or below the reimbursement price listed in the Drug Tariff, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (the representative body of pharmacies), drawing on reports they receive from pharmacy contractors, can request the Department to consider setting a concessionary price.

When considering whether to grant a concessionary price, the Department uses market data from suppliers, i.e. manufacturers and wholesalers on prices and stock levels intended for retail pharmacy businesses in England. If granted, a concessionary price applies only to prescriptions dispensed for the month for which it was granted.

From September 2018 onwards, the trends for these generic medicines that have been granted concessionary prices can be seen in the attached tables.

It should be noted that as concessionary prices for February are still in process, no prices have been published yet. More information on the list of concessionary prices granted for each month can be found at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/drug-tariff/drug-tariff-updates

PQ221587 attached tables (Word Document, 14.56 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2019 to Question 216933, Trade Agreements: Israel, on which borders are the (a) pre-existing agreements and (b) Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel based.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The EU-Israel Trade Agreements apply to the State of Israel. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Israel Agreement. The UK does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of the State of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Trade Agreements, nor by the UK-Israel Agreement.

The EU-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement applies to the territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement, which is due to be signed in the coming weeks.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Strokes: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has allocated to the development of a national stroke plan.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 February 2019

Improving care for people who suffer stroke, and preventing strokes, are priorities for the National Health Service as set out in the recently published NHS Long Term Plan. Building on the learning and success of the previous National Stroke strategy, NHS England will work with partners across the system to lead a programme which will drive the next step change in the care stroke patients receive. As well as significant investment in early cardiovascular disease detection and prevention, this will include funding major increases in the number of patients benefitting from potentially life-changing treatment to dissolve or remove blood clots. Further investment in higher intensity models for stroke rehabilitation will ensure patients have the best chance of returning to employment or independence, experiencing reduced disability and improved support for cognitive and psychological need.

Further information on funding will be set out in the implementation framework for the Long Term Plan, due to be published in the spring.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Omar Shakir
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January to Question 212311, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the deportation by Israel of Human Rights Watch country director Omar Shakir on the effectiveness of work to defend human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if he will again make representations on the case of Mr Shakir to the Israeli authorities.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The UK remains concerned about the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel on the implementation of its obligations under international law. We regularly and robustly raise any concerns about Israeli actions and call upon Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations and to allow them to freely operate in Israel and OPTs.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jerusalem: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Israeli authorities on the forced eviction of 45 members of the Sabbagh family from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 February 2019

We continue to be gravely concerned by the impact of demolitions and evictions on ordinary Palestinians and the viability of a future Palestinian state. Our Ambassador to Israel raised our concerns about evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities on 29 January. On 21 January, our Consul General in Jerusalem and other EU Heads of Mission visited the home of the Sabbagh family. In a follow-up statement, the EU repeated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and related actions, including evictions and demolitions, and made clear how such measures were illegal under international law and continued to undermine the viability of a two-state solution. In her intervention at the United Nations Security Council’s open debate on the Middle East on 22 January, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN encouraged Israel not to enforce the eviction notice.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost to the public purse has been of (a) due diligence checks and (b) other work carried out by or on behalf of his Department in relation to the Seaborne Freight contract.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 February 2019

For all three freight contracts, the combined costs of external legal, financial and project assurance advice up to the end of December 2018 were approximately £800,000. Subsequent costs up to termination cannot yet be derived as contracts are still live and invoices pending.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jerusalem: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the eviction order issued to the Sabbagh family in East Jerusalem.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 February 2019

Our Ambassador to Israel raised our concerns about evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities on 29 January. On 21 January, our Consul General in Jerusalem and other EU Heads of Mission visited the home of the Sabbagh family. In a follow-up statement, the EU repeated its strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy and related actions, including evictions and demolitions, and made clear how such measures were illegal under international law and continued to undermine the viability of a two-state solution. In her intervention at the UN Security Council's open debate on the Middle East on 22 January, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN encouraged Israel not to enforce the eviction notice.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jerusalem and West Bank: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number and frequency of eviction orders issued to and the forced displacement of Palestinians in (a) East Jerusalem and (b) the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 February 2019

Whilst we have not made any recent assessment of this issue, the Government supports Bedouin communities and Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank and Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem facing demolition or eviction through our legal aid programme. This helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system. We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our serious concern at the increase in demolitions of Palestinian properties in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israeli Settlements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of Israeli settlers in (a) East Jerusalem and (b) the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 February 2019

There are an estimated 622,670 settlers in the West Bank. This figure is derived from two sources: According to data provided by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2017, 413,400 people were living in the settlements of the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. According to data provided by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, the population of the Israeli neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem numbered 209,270 people at the end of 2016.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the challenges facing human rights defenders and rights-focused organisations operating in (a) Israel and (b) the occupied Palestinian territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 February 2019

The UK remains concerned about the challenges facing human rights defenders and human rights organisations operating in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Department for International Development
Burma: Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the number of internally-displaced persons in Myanmar in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what assessment she has made of trends in the number of internally-displaced people in Myanmar in the last three years.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 February 2019

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burma has increased in the last three years. The UN reports that there are 106,290 displaced people in Kachin and northern Shan states and 127,987 internally displaced persons in Rakhine State. Figures for northern Rakhine are difficult to gather as the Burmese government has restricted access for the UN and other agencies.

The UK provides humanitarian assistance in all these areas, but this is highly limited by government restrictions. The UK Government continues to push for access at every opportunity.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sri Lanka: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of progress on Sri Lankan adherence to measures outlined in (a) Resolution 30/1 of the 30th Session of the UNHRC in 2015 and (b) Resolution 34/1 of the 34th Session of the UNHRC in 2017; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The UK continues to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council through Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. We firmly believe that this is the best framework for establishing truth and to achieve justice and lasting reconciliation.

The UK welcomed the Annual Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 21 March 2018, which assessed progress made by the Sri Lankan government in the implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. This found that the Government of Sri Lanka had taken some steps to address human rights concerns and to introduce more democratic and accountable government. These steps included the return of some military-held civilian land, the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons and the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

However, as I made clear to Foreign Minister Marapana on my visit to Colombo in October 2018, more needs to be done. During my visit, I encouraged greater progress, in particular on national accountability and truth-seeking mechanisms, and the development of new counter-terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards. I was pleased to see that, following my visit, the Sri Lankan Parliament had passed a bill to establish an Office of Reparations. I look forward to seeing this implemented in the near future.

I continued to press for progress with Sri Lankan Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in January, as the Minister for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad, did with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera,

Grouped Questions: 217452
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sri Lanka: Tamils
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart on the human rights of the Tamil community in that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The UK continues to encourage and support Sri Lanka to deliver the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council through Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. We firmly believe that this is the best framework for establishing truth and to achieve justice and lasting reconciliation.

The UK welcomed the Annual Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 21 March 2018, which assessed progress made by the Sri Lankan government in the implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. This found that the Government of Sri Lanka had taken some steps to address human rights concerns and to introduce more democratic and accountable government. These steps included the return of some military-held civilian land, the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons and the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

However, as I made clear to Foreign Minister Marapana on my visit to Colombo in October 2018, more needs to be done. During my visit, I encouraged greater progress, in particular on national accountability and truth-seeking mechanisms, and the development of new counter-terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards. I was pleased to see that, following my visit, the Sri Lankan Parliament had passed a bill to establish an Office of Reparations. I look forward to seeing this implemented in the near future.

I continued to press for progress with Sri Lankan Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in January, as the Minister for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad, did with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera,

Grouped Questions: 217451
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
North Korea: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in North Korea; and what representations he has made and to whom on that subject.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The UK continues to have grave concerns over the human rights situation in North Korea. The Foreign Secretary made clear his strong concerns about freedoms in North Korea at the launch of the review into the Persecution of Christians across the Globe, on 30 January. The British Government raises its concerns over the human rights situation directly with the North Korean authorities and in multilateral fora including the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council. We urge North Korea to use its upcoming Universal Periodic Review in May as a moment to engage in meaningful dialogue on its human rights record.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will place in the Library a copy of the draft UK-Israel agreement that has been agreed in principle for trading arrangements after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

We have committed to informing Parliament as soon as agreements are signed with partner countries. The agreement will be laid in Parliament and we will be publishing a full report on trade agreements, once they are signed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the trade deal agreed in principle between the UK and Israel for trade after the UK leaves the EU announced on 23 January 2019 will continue to distinguish in relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

We have committed to informing Parliament as soon as agreements are signed with partner countries. The agreement will be laid in Parliament and we will be publishing a full report on trade agreements, once they are signed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the new UK-Israel agreement-in-principle contains a territorial clause limiting its application to within Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

We have committed to informing Parliament as soon as agreements are signed with partner countries. The agreement will be laid in Parliament and we will be publishing a full report on trade agreements, once they are signed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how his Department defines the territorial scope of pre-existing agreements between the UK and Israel.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

We have committed to informing Parliament as soon as agreements are signed with partner countries. The agreement will be laid in Parliament and we will be publishing a full report on trade agreements, once they are signed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that GP surgeries are supplied with adequate guidance for patients on their medication in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 06 February 2019

Guidance issued to all National Health Service trusts, pharmacies and general practices by the Department and NHS England has informed them of our plans for ensuring continuity of supply of medicines and advised them that they can expect to be able to continue accessing medicines through their existing supply routes in the event of a ‘no deal’ European Union exit. General practitioners (GPs) and providers should continue to prescribe medicines and other medical products as normal.

On 23 August 2018, my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care sent a letter to NHS England outlining preparations for the EU Exit, including in relation to General Practice. On 21 December 2018, the EU Exit Operational Guidance for the Health and Social Care system, including GPs, was issued. On 18 January 2019, a joint letter from the Department and NHS England from chief pharmacist, Keith Ridge, was sent to GPs, pharmacists and senior leaders within the NHS.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Gambling: Sports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of (a) trends in the level of betting on football, (b) the effect of in-play betting on gambling levels and (c) the adequacy of existing regulations on gambling advertising in relation to sport.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 06 February 2019

The Gambling Commission publishes Industry Statistics twice a year. These demonstrate an upward trend for remote betting on football, where gross gambling yield (GGY, the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of the costs of the operation) increased from £578 million to a little over £1 billion between 2015 and 2018. In the same period, offline betting on football fell by roughly one fifth, from £331 million to £265 million. This data can be found here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Statistics/Industry-statistics.aspx

The Commission also tracks gambling participation rates and data for 2017 showed that football and horse racing were the most popular activities to place a bet on, with 5% of respondents having bet on football in the past four weeks, and 4% having done so for horse racing. This report also includes data on in-play betting, and found that 26% of online gamblers had made a bet in-play during the past four weeks, a figure relatively consistent with the previous years. The most recent report can be found here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/pdf/survey-data/gambling-participation-in-2017-behaviour-awareness-and-attitudes.pdf.

Strict controls apply to the content of all gambling advertisements, including broadcast adverts and online, and adverts for gambling must not be broadcast in or around children’s TV programmes.

The Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures set out a package of measures to strengthen protections around advertising further. These include significantly strengthened guidance from the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) on protecting vulnerable people which restricted urgent calls-to-action, such as ‘bet now’ adverts, tougher sanctions for operators who breach advertising codes and a multi-million pound safer gambling advertising campaign, which will include responsible gambling messages around sports. More recently, the gambling industry has announced that it will introduce a whistle to whistle ban on adverts during sporting events. We will continue to monitor issues around advertising and consider any new evidence carefully.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 January 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hebron: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on regional security of the Israeli Government's decision not to renew the mandate of the international observatory task force in Hebron; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 February 2019

​While we have not made any assessment of this decision, our Ambassador to Israel raised our concerns over this issue with the Israeli authorities on 29 January.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 22 January 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN Human Rights Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will list his Department's priorities for the United Nations Human Rights Council session in March 2019.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 30 January 2019

​The Government's priority for all sessions of the UN Human Rights Council is to ensure that it holds those responsible for human rights violations and abuses to account, effectively addresses global threats to human rights, and strengthens protections for the future. At the 40th session, we envisage specific priorities will include the human rights situation in Syria, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Libya and South Sudan, and thematic priorities of media freedom, human rights defenders, and freedom of religion or belief.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 January 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Omar Shakir
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, further to the Answer of 5 June 2018 to Question HL8092, if he will make further representations to the Israeli authorities the concerns of the UK government regarding the threatened deportation of Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 30 January 2019

It is ultimately up to Israel to determine its immigration policy. The UK's immigration policy is similarly protected. We last made representations to the Israeli authorities on this issue in May 2018.​

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 18 January 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
India: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the government of India on non-refoulement of Rohingya refugees.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 23 January 2019

​The former Foreign Secretary raised the plight of Rohingya refugees with his Indian counterpart, the Minister for External Affairs in February 2018. Senior officials at the British High Commission in New Delhi continue to raise the Rohingya with the Indian Ministry for External Affairs, most recently in November 2018. We will continue to raise the issue of the Rohingya and call on India to support safe, voluntary and dignified returns, which respect the rights of Rohingya refugees.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what date a decision was made to include Seaborne Freight in the list of companies to be invited to tender for the provision of cross-channel ferry services.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Decisions to invite companies to tender were made in November. Companies were identified based on their potential to operate Ro-Ro services between the UK and the Continent.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, between which dates his Department carried out due diligence checks on Seaborne Freight prior to issuing a contract to that company.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Formal checks were undertaken on all bidders during December.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has confirmed as part of due diligence checks whether Seaborne Freight became VAT registered.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

All companies operating out of the UK are required to comply with relevant VAT legislation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has sought any written assurances from representatives of Seabourne Freight's (a) bank, (b) legal representatives and (c) accountants on that company’s ability to comply with its contract with the Government.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Yes. Written assurances were sought from a number of representatives as part of the contractual arrangements.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has commissioned a formal credit check on Seaborne Freight from an established credit-check company.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Yes. This was conducted as part of due diligence undertaken on Seaborne Freight.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has sought advice from Baltic Exchange or any other shipping brokers in relation to the capacity of Seaborne Freight to run a cross-channel ferry service.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

The Department was supported by advice from a number of external advisers.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department’s contract with Seaborne Freight includes provisions that require that company to (a) lease or (b) purchase ships.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Yes.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is his working assumption that Seaborne Freight will use ships for its proposed cross-channel ferry operation operating under the UK flag.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

This is a commercial decision for any vessel operator, including Seaborne Freight.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to approve an operating manual covering the safety standards of ships to be used by Seaborne Freight for cross-channel ferries; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Seaborne Freight will be required to comply with the same stringent International Maritime Organization safety standards that are applied to all vessels. In the UK these are enforced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Ramsgate Port: Channel Ferries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) infrastructure and (b) dredging work is required at the Port of Ramsgate to enable the operation of ferry services contracted by his Department; and what (a) private and (b) public institutions will fund those works.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

Maintenance dredging is currently in progress. Additionally, limited works are needed to restore the readiness of the port for regular ro-ro services, including appropriate Border Force facilities. Seaborne and my Department are working closely with Thanet Council to ensure that the Port will be ready to accept new services.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what payments from the public purse are due to Seaborne Freight under the contract issued by his Department for provision of ferry services between Ramsgate and Ostend (a) in advance of ferry services being provided and (b) in the event of the company being unable to fulfil the contract.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

No payments are due either in advance of ferry services being provided or in the event of the Company being unable to fulfil the contract.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list the third party organisations that undertook due diligence on Seaborne Freight in advance of his Department’s awarding of a contract to that company for ferry services.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 January 2019

The third party organisations who provided external advice were Deloitte UK, Slaughter & May and Mott MacDonald.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 04 January 2019
Department for Transport
Seaborne Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received any written assurances from Thanet District Council or Kent County Council that they have completed any due diligence checks on Seaborne Freight.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 11 January 2019

The contract to provide additional ferry capacity is between the Government and Seaborne Freight and therefore Government has carried out necessary due diligence.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 December 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December 2018 to Question 201109, whether he plans to make representations to his Israeli counterpart on allegations that Israeli security forces impersonated humanitarian workers while conducting a military operation inside the Gaza Strip in November 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 January 2019

​Whilst we do not have plans to raise these allegations, we routinely make clear to the Israeli authorities our concerns about their conduct of the occupation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for the middle east peace process of recent trends in the level of incitement and intolerance in Israel towards Palestinians and Muslims; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 December 2018

​We are gravely concerned by the ongoing and increasing violence in the West Bank. We condemn the recent terrorist attacks in the Old City of Jerusalem and in the West Bank. The continued incitement against Israel by Hamas and other actors is deeply concerning. The calls for the murder of Palestinian politicians are unacceptable. President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to non-violence and a negotiated two-state solution. We continue to urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to avoid engaging in, or encouraging, any type of action or language that makes it more difficult to achieve a culture of peaceful coexistence and a negotiated solution to the conflict.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of access to superfast fibre broadband in (a) Birmingham Northfield, (b) Birmingham and (c) the West Midlands; and what steps he is taking to improve such access.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 December 2018

According to Thinkbroadband (http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/england), 96.8% of premises in Birmingham Northfield constituency currently have access to Superfast Broadband. Similarly, 96.8% of premises in the city of Birmingham has access to Superfast broadband.

The West Midlands area is slightly higher with 97% of premises having this access. This is up from 60% in 2010. All three areas currently sit above the UK average.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of using alternative and emerging technologies such as G.fast to support the roll-out of superfast and ultrafast broadband.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The UK has good digital connectivity to meet the needs of today’s consumers. This includes G.fast technology, which is used by Openreach to deliver ultrafast speeds of more than 100 Mbps, using their existing part-copper infrastructure.

However, the Government is clear that demand for faster, more reliable and resilient broadband will rise and that the UK needs to increase the number of full fibre connections to deliver a nationwide gigabit capable broadband network by 2033. Our Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), published in July 2018, set out a strategy for delivering that ambition. This includes direct investment into full fibre through the £190 million Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Challenge Fund and the £67 million Gigabit Voucher Scheme. At Budget, the Chancellor announced a further £200 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to pilot innovative approaches to deploying full fibre in rural areas.

The Government is also working to improve mobile broadband. We are committed to extending geographic coverage to 95% of the UK by 2022, and to becoming a world leader in 5G, with the majority of the population covered by a 5G signal by 2027. As part of this, Government is investing £200 million in a 5G Testbeds and Trials programme.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on allegations that Israeli security forces impersonated humanitarian workers while conducting a military operation inside the Gaza Strip in November 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 December 2018

Whilst we have not discussed this specific issue, officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv are in regular discussions with the Israeli authorities on the situation in Gaza, most recently on 4 December.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of changes to levels of funding on the adequacy of provision of special needs education.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 19 December 2018

We have listened to the concerns of local authorities and others about high needs cost pressures. That is why we will provide additional high needs funding allocations for all local authorities, totalling £250 million over 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020. This brings the total allocated for high needs this year to £6.1 billion and £6.3 billion in 2019 to 2020. We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures.

Of course, extra funding cannot be our only response and we have also set out plans to support local authorities in their role of providing strategic leadership and oversight of the provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We will continue engaging with local authorities, health providers, families, schools and colleges to build our understanding of what is driving the cost pressures on high needs budgets and to work with the sector to help manage them.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on average waiting times for access to psychological therapies for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 18 December 2018

The information requested is attached. It is taken from the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) dataset held by NHS Digital.

The data shows that waiting times for IAPT services for people with post-traumatic stress disorder are decreasing both nationally and in West Midlands clinical commissioning groups.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a National Health Service programme that offers a range of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-approved therapies for treating people with depression or anxiety.

All historical IAPT publications, including annual data, are available at the following link:

http://www.digital.nhs.uk/iaptreports

Further information about the IAPT dataset is available at the following link:

http://www.digital.nhs.uk/iapt

PQ201564,PQ201573 attached data (Excel SpreadSheet, 50.33 KB)
Grouped Questions: 201573
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for access to psychological therapies for people with post-traumatic stress disorder in (a) Birmingham and (b) England.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 18 December 2018

The information requested is attached. It is taken from the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) dataset held by NHS Digital.

The data shows that waiting times for IAPT services for people with post-traumatic stress disorder are decreasing both nationally and in West Midlands clinical commissioning groups.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a National Health Service programme that offers a range of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-approved therapies for treating people with depression or anxiety.

All historical IAPT publications, including annual data, are available at the following link:

http://www.digital.nhs.uk/iaptreports

Further information about the IAPT dataset is available at the following link:

http://www.digital.nhs.uk/iapt

PQ201564,PQ201573 attached data (Excel SpreadSheet, 50.33 KB)
Grouped Questions: 201564
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the number of trains that are (a) delayed, (b) cancelled and (c) subject to incomplete journeys.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 18 December 2018

Analysis is undertaken by industry with Network Rail being responsible for rail performance. Franchised operators have benchmarks for delays (Delay Minutes), cancellations and part cancellations (combined as Cancellations) within the Franchise Agreement. Franchised operators provide industry period (4-weekly) results to the Department against the FA benchmarks that set Moving Annual Average targets (13 rolling periods), these are monitored by the Department.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Immigration Controls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what projects her Department supports to better facilitate health-related exit permits and medical delegations in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 17 December 2018

In 2018 the Department for International Development provided £1.5 million to the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) appeal which includes support to the capacity of eleven hospitals in Gaza. The ICRC has sent surgeons, nurses, and physiotherapists to Gaza to help the healthcare sector meet pressing health needs, including the large increase in injuries following the rise in violence since March.

The UK government also supports Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Britain Fund. PHRI advocate for Palestinian patients who require access for medical care. Other activities include medical delegations to Gaza with specialists, supplying medical services and supplies to the population and the health authorities and performing essential surgeries. The delegations provide a wide range of medical services, and also joint training and seminars with medical professionals in the hospitals and health centers for Palestinian medical professionals in Gaza and Israel.

The movement restrictions and the serious constraints imposed on Gaza impact the health of the population as well as the further development of quality health services. The UK Government regularly raises the matter of medical permits and access with the Israeli authorities.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 December 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November to Question 191273 on Palestinians: Females, for what reason her Department discontinued funding for the Arab Women's Enterprise Fund in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 10 December 2018

From 2016-2017 DFID undertook a full examination of its programmes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) to ensure that aid was being used in the most effective way, providing the best value for money to the UK taxpayer. One of the conclusions of the examination was to develop a stronger focus on the bilateral programme in-country over programmes managed from the UK, to ensure rigorous oversight of programme delivery and risk management, and to avoid duplication with existing bilateral programmes. In line with this decision, the AWEF component in the OPTs was recommended for closure.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department is supporting the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund initiative in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 November 2018

DFID funded the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) between October 2015 and March 2018, and currently funds the programme in Jordan and Egypt. DFID continues to monitor the sustainability and impact of AWEF in the OPTs.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the governments of (a) Bangladesh and (b) Myanmar on agreement between those countries on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 12 November 2018

​I spoke with the both Bangladeshi State Minister of Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and Burmese Minister for International Cooperation Kyaw Tin on 1 November to stress the UK's serious concern at their Governments' announcement on 30 October that refugee repatriation would commence in mid-November. The UK will continue to make representations underlining the importance of a safe, voluntary and dignified return for refugees.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Recognition of States
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what preconditions his Department has set for the UK to recognise the State of Palestine.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 November 2018

​The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. The UK continues to support efforts towards peace. We are clear that we want to see the creation of a sovereign, independent, contiguous, and viable Palestinian state - living in peace and security, side by side with Israel. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation; without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Visits Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on facilitating visits to Gaza for hon. Members.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 November 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to Gaza. Entry to, and exit from, Gaza can be very difficult. Permission to access Gaza is granted by either the Israeli or Egyptian authorities. Any specific request from Members of Parliament for assistance from the Government would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Egyptian counterpart on the proposal for the Palestinian reconciliation process to be overseen by the Egyptian Government.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 November 2018

​On 14 October, I discussed the Middle East Peace Process, including reconciliation efforts, with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, in Cairo. The UK is supportive of Egyptian efforts to facilitate the return of the legitimate Palestinian Authority to Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage the resumption of substantive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 November 2018

​​At this highly sensitive time in the region, there is an urgent need to restart the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. We regularly press both parties to resume direct negotiations towards a two-state solution. I discussed the issue of the Middle East Peace Process with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 11 October. We continue to encourage the US Administration to bring forward detailed proposals for a viable peace agreement that addresses the legitimate concerns of both parties.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to introduce a new economic development package in Gaza to (a) increase trade (b) support job creation and (c) enhance the supply of electricity and clean water.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 November 2018

In July 2018 the UK committed to provide up to £38 million over five years (2018-2023) to support economic development in Gaza and the West Bank. Through this programme we will increase trade and job creation across Gaza and the West Bank by helping to enable greater movement and access for people and goods. We will also provide support to facilitate the construction of the Gaza Central Desalination Plant, which will increase access to clean piped water and help replenish the Gaza aquifer, and in turn help Gazans access clean water. In addition, this UK aid programme will help to install solar panels for hospitals, businesses and households, increasing the availability of electricity in Gaza.

Since July 2018, we have been undertaking routine design and early-implementation stage activities, such as assessing implementing partners to ensure they meet DFID’s delivery standards, clarifying and agreeing roles and responsibilities, and setting out expected outcomes, results and timelines.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the (a) progress, (b) independence and (c) transparency of investigations into (i) the use of live fire and (ii) related deaths on the Gaza border in 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2018

​As the Prime Minister made clear to the Israeli Prime Minister in June, the UK believes there is a need for Israel to carry out a transparent, independent inquiry into protests in Gaza. During my visit to Israel in May, I also stressed the need for an independent investigation with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely and Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Hanegbi. Our Ambassador to Israel regularly discusses the situation in Gaza with Israeli officials, urging action to improve the situation. We welcome news that Israel has opened a criminal investigation into the case of Razan al Najjar.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to encourage all parties to engage with the UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2018

​Our position on the need for an independent and transparent investigation into events in Gaza is clear. The UK continues to call on all parties to engage constructively with the UN Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 01 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of international involvement in Israeli investigations on the use of live fire and related deaths on the Gaza border in 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2018

​We have not made an assessment of this matter. The UK has encouraged Israel to carry out a transparent inquiry into the Israel Defence Forces' conduct at the border fence, and to demonstrate how this will achieve a sufficient level of independence.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on the decision to close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The US' decision to close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington is a matter for the US authorities.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in examining recent events in the West Bank and Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The International Criminal Court Prosecutor has been conducting a Preliminary Examination into the situation in Palestine since 2015. We respect her independence in this matter.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the (a) definition and (b) status of refugees in the Middle East.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 October 2018

The Foreign Secretary maintains a regular dialogue with his US counterpart on Middle East issues, and discussed the US plan to withdraw funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) with the Special Advisor to the US President, Jared Kushner, on 22 August. I also discussed these concerns with the US President’s Middle East Envoy, Jason Greenblatt, on 28 September. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials routinely discuss with their US counterparts the status of refugees in the Middle East. The UK is clear that there needs to be a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for Palestinian refugees.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: International Criminal Court
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the US Administration’s relationship with the International Criminal Court on the work of that institution; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 22 October 2018

​On 10 September US National Security Advisor, John Bolton delivered a speech concerning the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Preliminary Examination into the situation of Afghanistan. On 12 September the ICC issued a statement saying it will continue its independent and impartial work, undeterred. The UK has always been clear that the ICC can play an important role in ending impunity for the most serious international crimes. It has our full support in pursuing the mandate it was given under Rome Statute.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Bedouin
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Government of Israel on the demolition order against Khan al Ahmar village in the West Bank since the beginning of September; and (a) on what dates and (b) to whom those representations were made.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 18 October 2018

I raised our concerns about the proposed demolition of Khan al-Ahmar with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 11 October. ​Our Ambassador to Israel raised the issue with the Israeli authorities on 3 October. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 6 September.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Breast Cancer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the levels of care and support available for women with breast cancer in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 10 September 2018

Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, advises that breast cancer patients in Birmingham have support from a clinical nurse specialist and have a health needs assessment, which can refer patients for services including prosthesis fitting, wig referral, psychology service and lymphoedema service. In addition, there are several third sector organisations that provide a range of support to breast cancer patients across the area.

NHS England is committed to transforming cancer care across England for all cancers, including breast cancer, aiming to reduce inequality and promoting equity of access to services. To support this ambition, NHS England has committed more than £200 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 to fund Cancer Alliances to accelerate early diagnosis of cancer, improve survival and enhance quality of life.

In February 2018, in partnership with the Department and NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) launched a Be Clear on Cancer Campaign focused on breast cancer in women aged over 70 to raise awareness of specific symptoms and encourage those with symptoms to visit their doctor.

To improve the uptake of screening, NHS England is continuing to invest in initiatives to help ensure equality of access, including through locally targeted interventions. These include text and general practitioner reminders and PHE’s new ‘Breast screening: easy guide’, which helps women decide whether screening is right for them.

NHS England agreed a Commercial Access Agreement with Roche for Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) which brought the confidential purchase price below the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence cost-effectiveness threshold, allowing approval in routine commissioning. This is offering breast cancer patients precious quality time with their families without damaging side effects.

Finally, we are committed to rolling out stratified follow-up pathways for breast cancer patients by 2020, to ensure patients get the right care after treatment, including information and support to spot signs and symptoms of recurrence or secondary cancer. As well as providing a better experience for patients and ensuring they have the information they need, stratified pathways can offer more effective use of resources by freeing up outpatient capacity. They can also ensure that in cases where there is recurrence or secondary cancer, patients are supported to return to care quickly and effectively.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Transport
Cycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of uptake for Cycle to Work Scheme; and what steps he is taking to encourage uptake of that scheme.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 September 2018

The Government has not undertaken any detailed assessment of the levels of uptake of the Cycle to Work Scheme. Bicycles provided under the cycle to work scheme are tax exempt, and so no data is reported to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The Department for Transport is currently in the process of updating the Cycle to Work Scheme guidance, and plans to make a further announcement later in the year.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Transport
Cycling: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Bikeability training places his Department funded in schools in each of the last two academic years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 September 2018

Since the start of the Bikeability training program more than 2.25 million children have been trained. The Department for Transport has provided funding to deliver approximately 350,000 Bikeability training places over the last two academic years.

Details of grant awards and delivery statistics can be found on the Bikeability website: https://bikeability.dft.gov.uk/publication.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of violence carried out by settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank; and what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on that violence.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 September 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is concerned by reports that settler violence has increased in 2018 compared to 2017. The Government condemns any violence by settlers against Palestinians. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised the issue of settler violence with the Israeli authorities on 22 May 2018. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to tackle settler violence, and urge thorough investigation of every instance to bring those responsible to justice. We have also stressed the importance of Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Out of Area Treatment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many out-of-area placements there have been for children and adolescents with psychosis in (a) England and (b) Birmingham in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data is not available in the format requested.

The Department and NHS England are committed to delivering the recommendations of 2016’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. By 2020/21, inpatient stays for children and young people will only take place where clinically appropriate, will have the minimum possible length of stay, and will be as close to home as possible to avoid inappropriate out of area placements.

To support the delivery of these targets, NHS England is funding 150-180 new Tier 4 specialist inpatient beds for children and young people in underserved parts of the country to reduce travel distances for treatment.

As part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, by 2020/21 at least 60% of people with first episode psychosis will start treatment in an Early Intervention in Psychosis service within two weeks of referral, with a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-recommended package of care focused on recovery.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people in (a) Birmingham and (b) England referred for early intervention in psychosis services received help within two weeks of being referred in the last twelve months.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Data on performance against the two-week waiting time standard for early intervention in psychosis is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

According to the latest data for England in May 2018, 75.7% of patients referred to Early Intervention in Psychosis services started treatment within two weeks. This performance exceeds our target of 50%. A breakdown for the last 12 months can be found in the following table.

Month

Number of patients started treatment by week since referral

Total number of completed pathways (all)

% within 2 weeks

More than 0-2 weeks

More than 2-6 weeks

More than 6-12 weeks

12 weeks

June 2017

873

193

39

22

1,127

77.50%

July 2017

824

226

36

14

1,100

74.90%

August 2017

816

207

45

16

1,084

75.30%

September 2017

818

187

47

15

1,067

76.70%

October 2017

836

178

50

18

1,082

77.30%

November 2017

787

230

50

22

1,089

72.30%

December 2017

699

198

39

19

955

73.20%

January 2018

722

238

65

17

1042

69.30%

February 2018

807

185

36

24

1,052

76.70%

March 18

795

178

49

26

1,048

75.90%

April 2018

783

204

44

21

1,052

74.40%

May 2018

840

210

47

12

1,109

75.70%

Information for people in Birmingham is not available in the format requested. The number of patients who started treatment for Early Intervention in Psychosis and waited less than 2 weeks are displayed for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that cover Birmingham for last 12 months of published data, which cover June 2017 to May 2018. These CCGs are:

- NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham South and Central CCG (until March 2018);

- NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG (since April 2018); and

- NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG (all 12 months).

From April this year there are only two CCGs for Birmingham: NHS Birmingham and Solihull and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCGs.

These figures are attached and can be accessed in the monthly files at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

PQ167857 attached document (Excel SpreadSheet, 19.95 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Business: Weather
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department issues to businesses on their responsibilities as employers during periods of hot weather.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 04 September 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2018 to Question UIN 136530.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding levels for maintained nursery schools in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167860 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role of maintained nursery schools in improving educational attainment among children from families living in poverty.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167861
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from local authorities on supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools beyond 2020.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In recognition of the costs that maintained nursery schools (MNS) experience over and above other providers, we are providing supplementary funding of approximately £60 million per year to MNS.

This is additional to funding received under the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This funding has been provided to enable local authorities to protect the pre-EYNFF funding levels available to MNS until the period 2019 to 2020.

Individual authorities’ allocations of the supplementary funding given to MNS for the period 2018 to 2019 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2018-to-2019.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. We have commissioned new research on the value offered by MNS, which will be published in the autumn.

Ministers continue to meet a wide variety of early years and MNS sector representatives on a wide variety of topics, including MNS funding.

Grouped Questions: 167859 | 167860
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Gaza
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps is he taking to obtain a full response from the Government of Israel that the investigation into that country’s use of force against demonstrators in Gaza includes an independent element; and what steps he is taking to promote accountability for potential violations of international law should a suitable independent element not be found.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 27 July 2018

​The Prime Minster stressed the need for Israel to carry out a transparent, independent inquiry into recent protests in Gaza when she met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in London on 6 June. We have called for this investigation to include international members.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the creation of the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary for tackling (a) over-fishing, (b) plastic pollution and (c) climate change.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The UK is a global leader on Antarctic marine protection issues, including within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. CCAMLR ensures that fish stocks in the Southern Ocean are sustainably managed, as well as having committed to the development of a network of MPAs. There is currently no commercial fishing activity in the Weddell Sea; only small-scale, fully monitored, research fishing activities. Ocean plastic pollution is a global problem which the UK Government is actively working to reduce. Plastic pollution is monitored at a number of stations around Antarctica and through dedicated surveys. Plastic pollution is mainly arriving in Antarctica from outside of the region. Nevertheless, in addition to strict marine pollution regulations around Antarctica, UK flagged fishing vessels operating within the CCAMLR Convention Area have implemented measures to reduce or eliminate plastic microbeads from waste water. While MPAs will not tackle global climate change, one of the objectives for the Weddell Sea MPA proposal is to establish scientific reference areas to monitor the effects of climate change and to study, in particular, representative, rare, unique and/or endemic examples of marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity and habitats.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Eritrea
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the yearly variation in the number of applications granted for refugee status from refugees from Eritrea in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The Government takes its international responsibilities seriously and grants protection to those who qualify. In assessing claims decision makers must still consider the individual facts and merits of a particular case aswell as the objective country information.

The table below is taken from published statistics and shows that the grant rate in 2015 and 2016 fell. This was due to a change to the Country Guidance advice over that time.


Year Claims Decisions Grants Grant Rate
2013 1387 960 787 82%
2014 3233 2463 2155 87%
2015 3695 3191 1531 48%
2016 2230 1838 1237 67%
2017 1093 1415 1145 80%


The full set of published statistics can be found at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2018-data-tables

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

I discussed plans to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza with the US Administration, during my visit to Washington D.C. on 12-13 July.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority on development plans to tackle the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 July 2018

​The former Foreign Secretary spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 16 May and raised his concerns about the humanitarian and political situation in Gaza, particularly in relation to protests taking place along the Gaza/Israel security fence. He noted that calm and restraint was required from all sides. Our Consul General in Jerusalem routinely discusses the humanitarian situation in Gaza with PA ministers, doing so most recently with the Minister of Health on 19 July.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing First: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of people who (a) have received and (b) will receive support through the Housing First scheme in (i) the West Midlands, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) Birmingham Northfield constituency.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The £28 million Housing First pilots will support around 1000 individuals over three years in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and the Liverpool City Region. The first people to be helped will move into their homes from the Autumn. We will ensure that the pilots help those in the greatest need.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Pupils: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure there are adequate levels of support in schools for LGBT+ pupils.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The public sector equality duty requires all schools to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality and foster good relations between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) pupils and those who do not share those protected characteristics. It is up to schools to decide how to support LGBT pupils and the Government is taking steps to support them.

Research shows that individuals who are, or are perceived to be, LGBT are disproportionately affected by bullying. That is why the Government Equalities Office is funding school programmes aimed at building schools’ knowledge and capacity to prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The Government Equalities Office has also provided this guidance and links to support and services for LGBT individuals, including support for children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-and-support-for-lgbt-people#children-and-young-people-up-to-the-age-of-19.

The Department is developing a resource to help schools to create Respectful School Communities, which aims to reduce bullying behaviour both offline and online. This work will help schools deliver their equalities, behaviour, bullying and safeguarding duties in a way that minimises the burdens upon them. Sex and Relationship Education also helps to provide pupils with key knowledge and skills to ensure that they can develop healthy and positive relationships, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Schools
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he is taking steps to increase the availability of pastoral support in primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 25 July 2018

It is for schools to decide what pastoral support to put in place, based on the needs of their pupils. Many schools build pastoral support around their relationships and health education provision.

To support all schools to deliver high quality Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education, the Government is consulting on new statutory guidance and regulations for schools. Following this consultation, updated guidance and regulations will be laid in both houses for debate.

In addition, the Government has provided guidance in several areas to enable schools to put pastoral support in place. ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’, which was updated in July 2017, provides links to sources of support for pastoral activity with different groups of pupils: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/623895/Preventing_and_tackling_bullying_advice.pdf.

‘Counselling in Schools’ provides advice on how to set up high quality support for those experiencing problems: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

The ‘Peer Support for Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ programme is supporting schools to set up peer support programmes, engaging pupils as part of a whole school approach to pastoral support. The Department will share the evidence and impact of the programme nationally to help schools understand what is needed to establish and maintain good practice.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's monitoring of the disposal of plastic exported to China for recycling.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 25 July 2018

Businesses involved in the shipment of wastes are required to take all necessary steps to ensure that the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.

The UK environmental regulators take an intelligence-led approach to checking compliance with these obligations, focusing on specific problematic wastes. The regulators intervene at source to stop illegal exports taking place. Enforcement activity also occurs in transit, at roadsides and at ports.

Last year the Environment Agency issued 130 stop notices prohibiting the export of unsuitable waste. It also stopped 4,565 tonnes of waste destined for illegal export at ports and intervened further upstream to prevent a further 15,113 tonnes of waste from reaching ports. This work ensures we are not exporting our problem wastes for unsuitable treatment or disposal.

There is a system of international rules on waste shipments which must be followed by both Chinese and UK authorities to ultimately ensure the environmentally sound management of waste.

Our ambition is to handle more of our waste in the UK. While there has been a significant increase in recycling over the last 10 years, there is more that needs to be done and we will set out proposals in our forthcoming Waste and Resources Strategy.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on instances of Israeli authorities using equipment from UK-based companies in demolishing or assisting with demolishing structures in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is aware of media reports that highlight possible instances of Israeli authorities using equipment from UK-based companies to demolish or assist with demolishing structures in the West Bank. We continue to raise concerns with the Israeli authorities about demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes, which cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, calls into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution, and, in all but the most exceptional cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The Government is fully committed to the promotion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines, and to encouraging and fostering respect for human rights among UK business. Where a company decides to trade is a decision for each company taking account of the legal and regulatory environment, including international human rights law.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability and waiting times for therapeutic services for mental health conditions in (a) the UK and (b) Birmingham.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The Government is committed to reducing waiting times for mental health therapies across England.

Performance against Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) waiting time standards continues to improve and we are consistently exceeding the targets. According to the latest data from April 2018, 98.9% of those people completing treatment waited less than 18 weeks for their treatment to start in England against a target of 95%, and 89.4% of people completing treatment waited less than six weeks against a target of 75%.

By 2020/21, we have set a target that at least 25% of adults with common mental health conditions will access IAPT services each year.

Updates on clinical commissioning group (CCG) performance against waiting times and access targets, including for Birmingham CCGs, are published on the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health Dashboard.

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/mental-health-five-year-forward-view-dashboard/

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Education
Children: Food Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had and with whom on the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school summer holidays in 2018.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The government recently announced a programme of research and pilots across the country that will explore ways of supporting children from disadvantaged families to access free enrichment activities and healthy food during school holidays.

This programme of work will investigate how to provide a balanced programme for the most disadvantaged school-age pupils, combining engaging activity with a healthy and nutritious meal. Work is already underway and further piloting in 2019 will follow the initial research taking place in the 2018 summer holidays.

In developing this programme of work, I met with both the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent North and with the right hon. Member for Birkenhead, and my officials have met with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss this important issue.

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