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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on the (a) passage of the Nation State Law by the Israeli Knesset and (b) implications of that law on the rights and status of minority groups.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​The Nation-State Bill has passed through the Knesset into law. The final wording of the legislation did not contain the clause which would have explicitly allowed a community composed of people of the same faith or nationality to maintain an exclusive community. As part of their regular diplomatic work with Israeli authorities and legislators, British diplomats in Israel discussed the (Nation-State Bill) alongside other legislation and developments. Israel's long standing commitment to equality for all its citizens is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy. As friends of Israel we would be concerned about any development that would undermine this commitment

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: 19 July 2018
Department for International Development
UNRWA: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the funding shortfall for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees on front line services in (a) the West Bank, (b) Gaza, (c) Jordan, (d) Lebanon and (e) Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

UNRWA has a twin-track approach to addressing the funding shortfall: raising additional money from donors; and identifying those programme ‎activities which can be merged with its core activities or reviewing non-core activities which can be picked up by other providers. The UK supports UNRWA’s approach, and has increased our funding for UNRWA this year to £38.5 million so far.

Emergency Appeal activities currently being reviewed are:

1. West Bank

  • Emergency interventions such as cash for work activities, community mental health and mobile health work;

2. Gaza

  • Community mental health programmes and the job creation project;

3. Jordan & Lebanon

  • Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan and Lebanon will continue to receive UNRWA support, and the delivery of UNRWA’s core services are funded until late August;

4. Syria

  • UNRWA core services are currently funded until late August, and emergency services are secure until the end of 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: 19 July 2018
Department for International Development
Syria: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the number of refugees who have been displaced from Yarmouk refugee camp; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The recent Assad regime offensive on Yarmouk camp has resulted in the displacement of approximately 6,000 residents according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s assessment.

When access permits, DFID is supporting the UN, NGOs and other partners to deliver life-saving assistance to those who remain in Yarmouk and those who were displaced following the siege, by providing food, healthcare, water and other life-saving relief.

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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the distribution of land allocations between settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​The UK considers all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal under international law, and a barrier to a two-state solution.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Reconstruction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with international counterparts on the (a) Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism and (b) planned review of that programme.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

My officials are discussing the future of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism with international counterparts, including the UN. On July 17th the UK met the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General to discuss the priorities of the planned review.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Department for International Development
West Bank: Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to (a) victims of forcible transfer and (b) people at risk of forcible transfer in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK supports Palestinian communities at risk of forcible transfer in Area C of the West Bank through our legal aid programme, which helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system. In around 97% of the cases supported by this programme demolitions and evictions have been suspended. Additionally the UK supports nearly 500 Palestinian families living in Area C to remain on their land by improving infrastructure and enabling access to education and health services.

We are currently considering how best we can further support Palestinian communities at risk of forcible transfer in the West Bank, and I will update the House once this is confirmed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
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 within Rakhine State, Burma.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

UNHCR reports that there are 128,000 internally displaced persons in Central Rakhine. Figures for northern Rakhine are difficult to gather as the Burmese government has restricted access for the UN and other agencies. The UK Government continues to push for access at every opportunity.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Right to Buy Scheme: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will list the housing associations with properties within (a) Birmingham Northfield constituency and (b) Birmingham who are eligible for the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot scheme for housing association tenants; and how many tenants he estimates will take part in that scheme in both of those areas.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands Pilot will be launching later in the summer, and ahead of the launch we will announce details of the housing associations who will be taking part in the pilot, and how eligible tenants will be able to apply for the scheme.

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: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on that country's decision to reduce the fishing area off the coast of Gaza from six to three nautical miles; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns regarding the additional restrictions imposed on Gaza with the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on 18 July. The further restrictions that Israel has placed on Gaza will have an detrimental effect on the ordinary citizens of Gaza. A further deterioration in the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza is in no-one’s interests. Israel should therefore reverse this decision.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Balloons and Sky Lanterns: Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the legislation regulating the release of helium-filled balloons and sky lanterns.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 23 July 2018

There is no legislation that specifically regulates the release of helium-filled balloons and sky lanterns.

The National Association of Balloon Artists and Suppliers, the trade association for the balloon industry, has published a code of conduct to minimise the environmental impact of balloon releases. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has published a code of practice for sky lanterns to help ensure that they are manufactured to be safe and are sold responsibly.

Local councils have powers to restrict or regulate the release of balloons and sky lanterns on land that they control. Councils can also take an individual to court, or issue a fixed penalty notice, if they believe them to be guilty of a littering offence.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Ministry of Justice
Post-mortems
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's guidance on the practice of second post-mortems in accounting for recent technological advances.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The Chief Coroner, who is responsible for issuing guidance to coroners, intends to issue revised guidance on the practice of second post-mortems later this year. This will replace existing guidance (Home Office Circular 30/1999 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20040722015642/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/hoc9930.html).

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: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to publish the first quarterly update and progress report on her Department's People for Peaceful Change project in the occupied Palestinian territories before the House rises for summer recess.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

DFID is committed to ensuring the transparency of all UK official development assistance. The first annual review for this programme has been completed and submitted for publication on the Dev-Tracker website. It can take up to two months for the document to appear on the website. The first Quarterly Update will be distributed to interested Parliamentarians before summer recess.

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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the decision of the Israeli Government not to attend the adoption of its recent Universal Periodic Review report at the UN Human Rights Council; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have expressed our deep concern to officials from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressing that the Universal Periodic Review deserves universal respect.

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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the Government of Israel to act upon the three recommendations that the UK made to that country at its recent Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made clear to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Universal Periodic Review deserves universal respect. Israeli officials have informed us that they will engage with the Universal Periodic Review process, and have noted the three recommendations made by the UK at Israel’s recent Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council.

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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 and the protection of medical facilities and personnel in the context of the occupied Palestinian territory.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

​We regularly raise issues relating to medical facilities and personnel with the Israeli authorities. We have stressed the need for safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel. In particular we raise our concerns about medical facilities in Gaza, and medical permits, with the office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). The UK has announced £1.5 million in funding for International Committe of the Red Cross appeal, which will help to treat patients in 11 hospitals under pressure in Gaza

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department plans to extend long-term assistance to Gaza’s health system in order to address the needs of patients with complex limb injuries who require specialist treatment and rehabilitation.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Our current support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supports the delivery of surgical equipment, drugs and disposables and physical rehabilitation services to around 4,000 Gazans rendered disabled following the recent surge in violence. To help disabled people regain mobility the ICRC will also continue to support the Artificial Limb Centre in Gaza. Our support in the longer term looks to address the underlying causes of humanitarian strife and raise living standards by focussing on increasing trade and job creation, enabling greater movement and access for people and goods, and enhancing the supply of electricity and clean water. Nevertheless, the UK stands ready to provide further urgent health assistance in Gaza, if required.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza and West Bank: Capital Punishment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the use of the death penalty in (a) the West Bank and (b) Gaza; and what representations he has made to the Palestinian Authority on that subject.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 11 July 2018

​The UK welcomes the Palestinian signature of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as an important step towards the abolition of the death penalty. We are aware of the use of the death penalty by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The UK continues to oppose the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and works towards global abolition of the death penalty.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter of 16 May 2018 from the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield on arms trade licenses.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 10 July 2018

A response has been sent.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority on the actions of Palestinian security forces during the demonstrations in Ramallah on 13 June 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 June 2018

Our Consul General to Jerusalem raised our concerns over the actions of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and police during the demonstration held in Ramallah on 13 June with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the PA on 21 June. He urged the need for an investigation to understand what happened, to learn the lessons, and to enable appropriate action in light of the investigation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Laith Abu Zeyad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority on the detention and treatment of Amnesty International staff member Laith Abu Zeya by Palestinian Authority security forces; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 June 2018

Whilst we have not raised the case of Laith Abu Zeyad, our Consul General to Jerusalem raised our concerns over the actions of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and police during the demonstration held in Ramallah on 13 June with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the PA on 21 June. He urged the need for an investigation to understand what happened, to learn the lessons, and to enable appropriate action in light of the investigation.​

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Leishmaniasis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate she has made of the levels of Leishmaniosis in (a) the West Bank, (b) Gaza and (c) Palestinian refugee camps in (i) Lebanon, (ii) Jordan and (iii) Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The implementing partner for DFID’s People for Peaceful Change Programme monitors the incidence and prevalence of both cutaneous and visceral leishmaniosis cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan. There were 5175 reported cases of cutaneous Leishmaniosis in the West Bank between 1990-2016. There have not been any reports about the disease spreading in Gaza therefore it is considered a free area. Assessments show Leishmaniosis levels in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria are low. Camps across the region may experience seasonal variation due to sand-fly populations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she plans to publish the first quarterly update and progress report on her Department's People for Peaceful Change project in the occupied Palestinian territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The expected publication of the People for Peaceful Change project quarterly update is by the end of June.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 15 June 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the expansion of Heathrow Airport on the (a) economy of (i) the West Midlands, (ii) Birmingham and (b) sustainability of (A) Birmingham Airport and (B) East Midlands Airport.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Department has undertaken an economic assessment of the effect of a new runway at Heathrow at a national level, taking account of all regions. Businesses from across the UK, including the West Midlands, will benefit as an expanded Heathrow delivers greater connectivity for both passengers and freight, with nearly six million additional trips from passengers outside of London and the South East being made via an expanded Heathrow in 2040.

The Government is clear that while a Northwest Runway at Heathrow will help to secure the UK’s status as a global aviation hub, regional airports will continue to develop their point-to-point networks. The department’s aviation forecasts show that passenger numbers and international flights at airports outside of London are expected to increase by 80 per cent and 71 per cent respectively between 2016 and 2050 with a third runway at Heathrow. These forecasts show demand exists for airports such as Birmingham and East Midlands to continue to grow alongside any expansion in the South East, while individual airport commercial strategies could help them to grow even further.

Lastly, as the Secretary of State set out in his oral statement on 05 June, any new operational runway at Heathrow is still a number of years away. This is why the Government supports airports beyond Heathrow, like Birmingham and East Midlands Airports, making best use of their existing runways. However, the Government recognises that the development of airports can have positive and negative effects, including on noise levels. We consider that any proposals should be judged on their individual merits by the relevant planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, particularly economic and environmental.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Ministry of Justice
Voyeurism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what representations he has received from civil society groups on making the practice of up-skirting a sexual offence.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 June 2018

My department have received representations from a range of stakeholders to make upskirting a specific criminal offence and have met with campaigners to discuss their concerns.

I share their determination to ensure that the intrusive practice of up-skirting is tackled robustly and that is why I am pleased to confirm that, following detailed review of the law by my department, the Government has committed to supporting Wera Hobhouse’s PMB. This creates two new offences specifically covering the practice of upskirting and will strengthen the law, close any potential gaps and better protect victims.

Alongside this, I continue to support work across government - with police, prosecutors and others - to make sure this degrading offence continues to be prosecuted as effectively as possible.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Chronic Illnesses: Prescriptions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the financial effect of prescription charges on people with long-term health conditions.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 June 2018

We have no current plans to review the list of medical conditions which provide for exemption from prescription charges because arrangements exist to ensure that prescriptions are affordable for everyone. A broad range of prescription charge exemptions are in place, for which someone with a long-term condition and cystic fibrosis may qualify. To support those with greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, prescription prepayment certificates are available. A holder of a 12 month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

Grouped Questions: 151050
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Cystic Fibrosis: Prescriptions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing prescription charges for people with Cystic Fibrosis.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 June 2018

We have no current plans to review the list of medical conditions which provide for exemption from prescription charges because arrangements exist to ensure that prescriptions are affordable for everyone. A broad range of prescription charge exemptions are in place, for which someone with a long-term condition and cystic fibrosis may qualify. To support those with greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, prescription prepayment certificates are available. A holder of a 12 month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

Grouped Questions: 151049
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Childline
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of the role of NSPCC's Childline in the provision of early mental health support; and what steps is his Department taking to support that organisation.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 June 2018

The Government welcomes the work of the NSPCC’s Childline. The Government supports the NSPCC through an £8 million grant over four years (up to 2020), as a contribution to funding both ChildLine and the NSPCC’s National Helpline, for anyone with concerns or worries about a child.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department for Education
Open University: Student Numbers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to higher education funding on student numbers at the Open University in each year since 2011.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 13 June 2018

The government recognises the decline in part-time study within the sector, and is aware of the impact this has had on the Open University. That’s why the government is committed to supporting part time students and since 2012, it has paid the tuition fees of students studying on part-time courses up-front through a system of subsidised fee loans.

In addition, new part-time students attending degree level courses from August 2018 onwards will, for the first time, be able to apply for up-front loans to help them with their living costs. Subject to the development of a robust control regime, these loans will be extended to students on distance learning courses from August 2019.

The government continues, through the Office for Students (previously Higher Education Funding Council for England), to provide direct grant funding to support successful outcomes for part-time students. This was worth £72 million in the current academic year (2017/18), and the Open University received a sizeable amount of this funding.

This funding reflects the particular costs associated with recruiting and retaining part-time students and includes funds to support successful outcomes for part-time students. The Open University received £48 million to support teaching activity in 2017/18.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Football: Sportsgrounds
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent representations his Department has (a) made to and (b) received from professional football clubs in (i) England, (ii) Wales and (iii) Scotland on the potential introduction of safe-standing at sports stadiums.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 13 June 2018

Representations have been received from the following football clubs about the possible introduction of certain types of accommodation which could facilitate standing at parts of their respective grounds: Bristol City, Peterborough United, Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town and West Bromwich Albion. Representations about the all-seater policy have also been received from Southampton City Council.

I also met Andrew R T Davies, Leader of the Conservative Party at the Welsh Assembly in 2015 to discuss standing at football in Wales. Standing at football matches in Scotland is a matter for the relevant Scottish authorities.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Home Office
Football: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK police officers will be in Russia for the 2018 World Cup to provide advice, assistance and protection to UK citizens.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 13 June 2018

A UK policing delegation will travel to Russia, at the host country’s request, to provide assistance to host police. The size of the UK policing delegation has been specified by the Russian authorities. We do not disclose the number for operational reasons.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Department for Transport
Cycling: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of cycling uptake among ethnic minority groups; and what steps he is taking to encourage an increase in that uptake among those groups.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 13 June 2018

On the 18 January 2018 the Department for Transport published Walking and Cycling Statistics for England which contain figures on the proportion of adults that cycle, by ethnicity, frequency and purpose for England between 2015-2016 (see pp14-15). The full report can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/674503/walking-and-cycling-statistics-england-2016.pdf

This Government wants to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey, for everyone. The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published in April 2017, aims to increase cycling and walking activity, including among under-represented groups. It also commits the Government to monitoring the extent to which people from different age groups, genders and ethnic backgrounds are taking up cycling and walking.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the Saudi-led coalition's compliance with international humanitarian law in relation to the conflict in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 11 June 2018

We regularly raise, at the highest levels, the importance of compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with Saudi Arabia. The UK takes allegations of IHL violations extremely seriously. We encourage the Saudi-led Coalition to ensure that any such allegations are thoroughly investigated. Saudi Arabia has publicly stated that it is investigating reports of alleged violations of IHL, and that lessons will be acted upon. The Coalition has the best insight into its own military procedures and is able to conduct the most thorough and conclusive investigations. This also allows the coalition to really understand what may have gone wrong and apply any lessons learnt in the best possible way. The Coalition Joint Incidents Assessment Team has announced the findings of a total of 55 investigations, with the most recent released on 5 March.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 05 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) protect and (b) support civilians in Yemen; and what recent estimate he has made of the number of civilian casualties in that country since the conflict began.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 11 June 2018

​We continue to call on all sides to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We are aware of reports of alleged violations of IHL by actors in the conflict and take these very seriously. It is important that credible allegations of violations of IHL are investigated.

Addressing the continuing humanitarian crisis is a top priority for this Government. In 2017/18 the Government committed £205 million in aid to Yemen, making the UK the third largest humanitarian donor to Yemen, and the second largest to the UN appeal. We prioritised life-saving interventions including food and nutrition support to 1.7 million people and clean water and sanitation for an expected 1.2 million people. On 3 April, we announced an additional £170 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen for 2018/2019. This funding will meet the immediate food needs of 2.5 million Yemenis, and comes on top of over £400 million in bilateral support since the conflict began in 2015.

We do not maintain records of casualty figures for the conflict in Yemen. Gathering data is extremely challenging considering the complexities of the situation and the challenges faced by humanitarian monitors across the country. Estimates by the UN and NGOs vary considerably.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hong Kong: Railways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Bill on (a) British citizens residing in Hong Kong, (b) Hong Kong civil society and (c) the principle of one country two systems.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 22 May 2018

​The economic case for the High Speed Rail Link is clear. However, we believe it is important that the final arrangements for a joint border checkpoint on the territory of the Special Administrative Region are consistent with the principles of 'One Country, Two Systems' and with Hong Kong's Basic Law. We will continue to monitor developments closely and to discuss arrangements for consular assistance at the high speed rail terminal with the Hong Kong authorities as the legislative process progresses.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 May 2018
Department for International Development
Yemen: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of (a) recent trends in the capacity of the health services in Yemen to treat (i) cholera and (ii) diphtheria cases and (b) the effect of those trends on the rate of cases of each disease.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 22 May 2018

The deterioration of health facilities in Yemen remains deeply concerning. Only 22% of health facilities – half of which are either closed or not fully functional – can treat communicable diseases, such as cholera and diphtheria. The ability of health services to treat these diseases is further complicated by the on-going conflict, access obstructions, and the non-payment of salaries to public sector workers.

UK aid of £170 million to Yemen this financial year (2018/19) includes support to the UN and NGOs for tackling the underlying causes of cholera by providing emergency food, nutrition support, and clean water and sanitation to millions of people in Yemen.

DFID continues to monitor the rate of new cholera and diphtheria cases, as well as the health response in Yemen. In total, 1,097,962 suspected cholera cases have been reported between 27 April 2017 and 13 May 2018, causing 2,286 deaths. Between 13 August 2017 and 5 May 2018, 1,703 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported, causing 90 deaths.

The UK also supported the first ever phase of a cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen which was completed on 15 May in the south of the country, helping protect more than 450,000 men, women and children. In her statement on 15 May, the International Development Secretary urged all parties to the conflict to allow the next phase of the vaccination campaign to proceed and to enable full and unhindered access including in the north of the country.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 10 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Furs: Farms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of animal welfare in fur farms in (a) Poland, (b) Finland, (c) China and (d) France that export fur to the UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 18 May 2018

The Government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare and, after we leave the EU, the Government plans to retain the current regulations relating to fur imports. Strict rules apply to fur farming in the EU and there are legal frameworks for the farming of fur animals in some non-EU countries, including minimum standards and welfare inspections. Many major fur companies also have their own standards that they audit with their producers.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animals: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department has issued to online marketplaces on the regulations that apply the sale of animals.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 17 May 2018

We are in the process of drafting guidance that will accompany the new regulations which will update the laws on the selling of animals as pets, including online. This will be available in due course and well before the new regulations come into force on 1 October. The guidance will be available to local authorities and all vendors of pet animals.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Furs: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the ban on the sale of cat, dog and seal fur to other species.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 17 May 2018

The Government shares the British public’s high regards for animal welfare and, after we leave the EU, the Government plans to retain the current regulations banning the import of cat and dog fur and products, and seal skins and products from commercial hunts.

The Government has pressed for higher animal welfare standards worldwide to phase out cruel and inhumane fur farming and trapping practices in other parts of the world, which are banned here.

Grouped Questions: 142350
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 10 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Theft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the Theft Act 1968 on deterring the theft of pets.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 17 May 2018

Under the Theft Act 1968, the maximum penalty for the theft of a pet is 7 years’ imprisonment.

The Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences in February 2016.

The guidelines take account of the emotional distress and therefore harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and accordingly recommends higher penalties for such offences.

Since 6 April 2016, all dogs in England and Wales must be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old. In addition to reuniting lost or stolen dogs with their owners, this will also help to reduce the numbers of strays that have to be kennelled and re-homed by local authorities and dog re-homing charities.

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 May 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Directors: Codes of Practice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timetable is for the Financial Reporting Council to (a) complete its review and (b) publish an updated version of the UK Corporate Governance Code.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 17 May 2018

In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced plans for a comprehensive review of the UK Corporate Governance Code, and delivery of this review implements part of the Government’s wider Corporate Governance Reform package announced in August 2017. The FRC’s public consultation closed on 28 February 2018. Responses are being considered and the FRC is on track to publish an updated Code with supporting guidance in July 2018.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) Denmark, (b) Sweden and (c) Germany on deposit return schemes for single use drinks containers.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 16 May 2018

The Minister responsible for this policy area, Minister Coffey, visited Norway, Sweden and Denmark late last year to find out more about the deposit return schemes (DRS) in those countries, including meeting the then Danish Minister for Environment and Food to discuss the Danish DRS.

The Secretary of State has not had any specific discussions on DRS with his counterparts in Denmark, Sweden or Germany

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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Omar Shakir
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the deportation order against Omar Shakir the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 May 2018

We have not raised this issue. It is for the Government of Israel to decide its immigration policy. The UK’s immigration policies and controls are similarly protected.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing a deposit return scheme for aluminium cans.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 May 2018

From 2 October to 20 November 2017, an independent working group set up under the Litter Strategy for England held a call for evidence on measures to reduce littering of drinks containers and promote recycling. This included metal drinks containers that are sold sealed and used for the sale of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, often for consumption ‘on the go’. It involved seeking evidence on the costs, benefits and impacts of deposit and reward and return schemes. Early this year, Ministers received and reviewed the working group’s report summarising its call for evidence and recommendations. This can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/drinks-containers-reducing-litter-and-increasing-recycling-call-for-evidence.

The Government has confirmed that it will introduce a deposit return scheme in England, subject to a consultation later this year. The consultation will look at the details of how such a scheme would work, alongside other measures to increase recycling rates.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 May 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Allergies: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has (a) made to and (b) received from manufacturers representations on supply problems affecting the availability of EpiPens.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 May 2018

Departmental officials have been in regular contact with the supplier of Epipens, Mylan, and are working closely with them to resolve the supply situation as quickly as possible. Supplies are currently available, although limited, and are being closely managed to ensure that pharmacies can obtain stock to fulfil prescriptions for patients.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 May 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Allergies: Medical Treatemnts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of NHS stocks of EpiPens; and what steps he is taking to ensure pharmacies can meet demand for EpiPens.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 May 2018

Departmental officials have been in regular contact with the supplier of Epipens, Mylan, and are working closely with them to resolve the supply situation as quickly as possible. Supplies are currently available, although limited, and are being closely managed to ensure that pharmacies can obtain stock to fulfil prescriptions for patients.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Theft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people have been prosecuted for pet theft in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 09 May 2018

This information is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Records of prosecutions for offences under section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 do not provide breakdowns of the item or animal stolen.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Education
Pupils: Period Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of period poverty on girls in schools.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 09 May 2018

Officials at the Department for Education are in regular contact with officials in the Department for Work and Pensions about a number of issues including sanitary protection provision in schools. Ministers responsible for these issues are kept regularly updated.

Our current sex and education guidance encourages schools to make adequate and sensitive arrangements to help girls to cope with menstruation, including requests for sanitary protection. In addition, schools teach pupils about puberty in science lessons, and many schools cover the topic through personal, social and health education. Schools have discretion over how to use their funding, and can make sanitary products available to pupils if they identify this as a barrier to attainment or attendance. We support schools in addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils through pupil premium funding, worth almost £2.5 billion of additional funding this year alone.

The recently published analysis of absence statistics shows that while absence rates amongst girls do increase after a certain age, there is no evidence to suggest that this is related to pupils being disadvantaged. This suggests period poverty does not have a significant, nation-wide impact on attendance.

The Department for Education also collaborates closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which recently announced that through the current round of the Tampon Tax Fund the government will provide £1.5 million for the ‘Let’s Talk. Period.’ project, delivered by Brook Young People across England. The project will identify vulnerable and disadvantaged young women who struggle to afford sanitary products through the organisation’s existing community services and a network of local partners, including schools. The project will develop resources to educate girls about menstruation and hand out pre-paid cards allowing girls and young women in need to access free sanitary products at local distribution points.

We will continue to communicate on a regular basis with all interested government departments and devolved administrations as we continue to keep this issue under review.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dogs: Canine Distemper
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department has issued on the inspection of dogs for distemper on arrival in the UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 09 May 2018

Canine Distemper is not a notifiable disease in the United Kingdom (UK) or the European Union (EU) and there is no requirement for dogs entering the country to be inspected or tested for the disease. There is a requirement for pets entering the UK to undergo identification and documentary checks to ensure that an adequate health preparation has taken place prior to entering the country.

There is no official guidance with regard to distemper, however, the department stresses good practice for owners and kennels to protect their dogs against the virus given that there is a vaccine available globally. The guidance titled “Getting your Pet Vaccinated” has been published by the British Veterinary Association in relation to vaccinations suitable for the protection of pets which Defra promotes.

All pet dogs moving to the UK for sale or rehoming must be examined by an Official Veterinarian (OV) in the country of origin prior to embarkation to ensure compliance with the Balai Directive for commercial movements. The OV must certify that the animal does not show any signs of disease within 48 hours of travelling.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Food Banks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans he has to respond to the recommendations in the Trussell Trust report, Is universal credit truly universal?, on foodbank use; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 09 May 2018

People use food banks for many and varied reasons, and it would be misleading to link them to any single cause. Work offers people the best opportunity to get out of poverty and to become self-reliant; adults in working families are around four times less likely to be in poverty than those in workless families. This is why we are undertaking the most ambitious reform to the welfare system in decades - so that it supports people to find and to stay in work. While there are no official statistics on food bank usage, recent data from the Trussell Trust shows that the majority of users are out of work.

As a safeguard for people needing more support, we have a well-established system of hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans. Universal Credit has introduced a further package of measures announced at the Autumn Budget 2017, such as making advances of up to 100 per cent of the indicative award available and increasing the repayment period to 12 months, removing the 7 waiting days, providing an additional payment of 2 weeks of Housing Benefit to support claimants when they transition to UC, and changing how claimants in temporary accommodation receive support for their housing costs.

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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2018 to Question 135976, by what criteria he has assessed that Israel's investigation into the killings of protesters in Gaza will be independent and transparent.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 May 2018

There is an urgent need to entrust the facts of what happened during the recent protests in Gaza. The UK is supportive of an investigation which establishes the facts about the recent violence in Gaza. Given the importance of accountability, we urge that any investigation is independent and transparent, its findings are made public, and if wrongdoing is found, that those responsible be 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: 02 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to make an assessment of the effectiveness of Saudi Arabia's investigation into airstrikes carried out in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 May 2018

Saudi Arabia has publicly stated that it is committed to investigating incidents of potential concern arising from the air campaign in Yemen and that any lessons will be acted upon. The Saudi-led Coalition set up a Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in May 2016 to investigate and report on such incidents. The JIAT continues to release the outcomes of its investigations. We welcome this. To date, the JIAT has announced the findings of a total of 55 investigations, with the most recent being released on 5 March 2018. Although the UK does not have a role in JIAT investigations, we have provided advice and support to the JIAT to help it strengthen its processes. Assessing compliance with international humanitarian law, is part of the UK’s arms export licensing process, which is one of the most robust in the world. We review all relevant factors including the effectiveness of measures to identify and learn lessons from incidents of potential concern.

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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israeli Settlements: UN Resolutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to UN Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted in December 2016, what steps his Department has taken to distinguish in the UK's relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 May 2018

The UK’s Policy is to support a two-state solution: a secure Israel living side by side a viable and contiguous Palestinian state which is why we voted for UN Security Council Resolution 2334. The UK’s dealings with the state of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories reflect this policy.

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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israeli Settlements: UN Resolutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the full adherence to and implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 May 2018

UN Security Council Resolution 2334 asks the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of its provisions. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. On 26 March Nikolay Mladenov , the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, delivered his most recent report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2334.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Period Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of women who are unable to afford sanitary products.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 08 May 2018

Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions attend regular cross-departmental meetings about a range of issues linked to the availability and affordability of sanitary protection. This Department has not, however, made any estimates of the number of women who are unable to afford sanitary products, or collected any relevant data.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dogs: Canine Distemper
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of dogs with canine distemper; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce incidences of that disease.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 08 May 2018

There is an effective vaccine available for canine distemper which is administered by private vets as part of the standard vaccination programme undertaken by responsible dog owners. As there is an effective vaccine, and as the disease is not notifiable or reportable in the UK, the Government does not collect surveillance data.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: International Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department plans to fund the 2018 Occupied Palestinian Territory Humanitarian Fund administered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 May 2018

We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Our current humanitarian support includes £1.9 million via the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is supporting up to 1 million Gazans by providing clean water and rehabilitating sanitation facilities to stop the spread of disease. We continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in Gaza closely, including through contact with relevant UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian donors, and we continue to ensure that our programmes can be responsive to spikes in need.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for International Development
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April to Question 137118, on Israel: Palestinians, whether any of the organisations she held direct conversations with were (a) Palestinian or (b) groups operating in (i) the West Bank or (ii) Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 May 2018

Officials engaged directly and indirectly with a wide range of NGOs that work with both Palestinian and Israeli society including organisations that are run by Palestinians and operate in the West Bank. The programme does not currently work in Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Police: Dogs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent representations he has received from Police and Crime Commissioners on the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals for an offence of attacking service animals.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 04 May 2018

We have not received representations directly from Police and Crime Commissioners for bringing forward legislative proposals for an offence of attacking service animals.

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: 30 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government of Israel has given undertakings to the UK Government on limits on the use in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of arms and arms components imported from the UK.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 03 May 2018

​The Government takes its defence exports responsibilities extremely seriously and operates some of the most robust export controls in the world. We only approve equipment which is for Israel's legitimate self-defence and when we are satisfied that it would be consistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and other relevant commitments. All applications for export licences are assessed on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria. We will not issue a licence if there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used for internal repression, or if there is a clear risk that it would provoke or prolong conflict.

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: 30 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Peacekeeping Operations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he is investigating the use by the Israeli Government of armoured vehicles, assault rifles, small arms ammunition, sniper rifles and components for sniper rifles exported from UK to Israel.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 03 May 2018

​The UK has exported a number of military-listed items to Israel over the last 12 months. UK arms exports are subject to export controls and all decisions to approve export licences to Israel are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (Consolidated Criteria). Decisions are based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from our overseas network and military contacts. The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require consideration of the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We do not issue export licences where we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression, in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law, or where the export would provoke or prolong conflict. We keep the situation in Israel under continued review. We do not collect data on the use of equipment after sale.

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: 30 April 2018
Department for International Trade
Israel: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether he has made changes to the conditions for the use of arms to arms components sold to Israel in the last two years.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 03 May 2018

All export licence applications are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, known as the Consolidated Criteria, based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from NGOs and our overseas network.

The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to assess the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities.

We will not issue an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

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: 30 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether any arms or arms components exported from the UK to Israel have been used against Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 03 May 2018

The UK has exported a number of military-listed items to Israel over the last 12 months. UK arms exports are subject to export controls and all decisions to approve export licences to Israel are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (Consolidated Criteria). Decisions are based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from our overseas network and military contacts. The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require consideration of the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We do not issue export licences where we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression, in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law, or where the export would provoke or prolong conflict. We keep the situation in Israel under continued review. We do not collect data on the use of equipment after sale.

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: 30 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure his Department can track the use of arms and arms components exported from the UK to Israel.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 03 May 2018

The UK has exported a number of military-listed items to Israel over the last 12 months. UK arms exports are subject to export controls and all decisions to approve export licences to Israel are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (Consolidated Criteria). Decisions are based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from our overseas network and military contacts. The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require consideration of the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We do not issue export licences where we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression, in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law, or where the export would provoke or prolong conflict. We keep the situation in Israel under continued review. We do not collect data on the use of equipment after sale.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the transfer of (a) urban and industrial by-products and (b) hazardous waste from Israel to the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 May 2018

We have not made a recent assessment of this issue. The Government's broader concerns about the impact of the occupation, including the humanitarian and environmental effects, are well known to the Israeli authorities. We will continue to make representations on these matters.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of recent trends in waiting times to access children’s speech and language therapy services.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 27 April 2018

No assessment has been made of recent trends in waiting times to access children’s speech and language therapy services as this data is not reported centrally. There are no mandated referral to treatment times for speech and language therapy services. Local commissioners have responsibility for assessing the needs of their local population, and arranging services to meet those needs.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the role of speech and language therapy services in developing communication and literacy skills.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 27 April 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care are working with the Department for Education and Public Health England to enable early years professionals to identify and support children’s early speech, language and communication needs. In an exchange of letters with the former Minister of State for Children and Families (Robert Goodwill MP) last November, the Department agreed to ensure that we and Public Health England prioritise the required activities to support the social mobility action plan launched in December 2017. Detailed work is ongoing between the Department for Education and Public Health England.

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: 24 April 2018
Ministry of Justice
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to respond to the letter of 28 March 2018 from the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield on legal aid for families of the victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 27 April 2018

A response was dispatched on the 26th April.

Regarding the families’ application for legal aid for the judicial review, there is still a right of appeal to an Independent Funding Adjudicator. The law firm have been advised to submit the requisite paperwork to the LAA if they wish to exercise this right.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Dental Services: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the increase in NHS dental charges from 1 April 2018 on people’s (a) ability to pay for such services and (b) decision to access such services.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 26 April 2018

Prior to the decision to uplift patient charges, the Department undertook an equality analysis and impact assessment. These have been published and can be found at the following link:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/336/resources

The current exemption and charge remission arrangements are intended to ensure that individuals are not deterred from obtaining any necessary treatment on financial grounds.

There has been no change to the exemption arrangements as a result of current increases to National Health Service dental charges. NHS dental treatment remains free for those under the age of 18, those under the age of 19 and in full-time education, pregnant women, those who have had a baby in the previous 12 months and those on low incomes.

In addition, adults who are not in receipt of qualifying benefits, but are on a low income, may qualify for full or partial help with charges through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of existing legislation regulating the online sale of pets.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 26 April 2018

We have passed new legislation which replaces the existing law on the sale of pets. Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 it is clear that anyone in the business of selling pets, whether online or from a traditional pet shop, will need a licence from their local authority. The new regulations come into force on 1 October and will be enforced by local authorities.

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: 23 April 2018
Department for International Development
Syria: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in Idlib, Syria; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 April 2018

The humanitarian situation in Idlib is dire. Sites hosting internally displaced people and towns are severely overcrowded, and food, shelter and water are in short supply. We are deeply concerned by reports that the intensification of hostilities has displaced over 300,000 people within Idlib governorate since December 2017. An additional 50,000 people have arrived from Eastern Ghouta since mid-March, stretching scarce resources further.

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: 23 April 2018
Department for International Development
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 16 April to Question 134885, on Israel: Palestinians, which local civil society organisations her officials consulted.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 April 2018

We held conversations directly with a number of organisations and indirectly via trusted donors and NGO groupings to draw on their experience and knowledge of the sector. Publishing the names of these organisations could harm their ability to do effective people-to-people work in the region due to the inherent sensitivities.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Transport
Railways: Tickets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps is he taking to ensure that the roll-out of smart ticketing on the rail network does not exclude people without access to the necessary technology from purchasing rail travel.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 25 April 2018

Our ambition is to ensure that passengers across the rail network can use mobile phones, bar codes and smart cards across almost all of the network by the end of this year. This will mean every passenger will have the choice of travelling without a paper ticket and we do not currently have any plans to withdraw paper tickets.

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: 19 April 2018
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number students in receipt of an NHS Bursary who have been incorrectly awarded a maintenance loan; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 24 April 2018

793 Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions students are currently known to have received an overpayment of student support because of an error by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The government announced on 18 April 2018 that the SLC will provide support to ensure that none of the students affected by the error suffer hardship.

Students affected by this error will be eligible to apply for additional, non-repayable, support of up to £1,000 for the remainder of this academic year, and should contact SLC. In addition, repayment of overpaid maintenance support will be deferred for all students affected until they have finished their courses and can afford to repay.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Pension Credit and Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of universal credit and pension credit regulations on couples where one person is over the pension age and the other is below that age.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 24 April 2018

Currently, when one member of a couple has reached Pension Credit qualifying age, that member may claim Pension Credit for the couple. Under the Welfare Reform Act 2012, in order to ensure that the younger partner is subject to the same labour-market conditions as other people of the same age, couples needing benefit support where one member of the couple has yet to reach Pension Credit qualifying age will need to claim Universal Credit rather than Pension Credit. This will apply to new claims only. Existing claims to Pension Credit from such couples will be protected.

A number of Impact Assessments were published to support the passage of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 through Parliament; including the Universal Credit Impact Assessment on 10 December 2012. This can be found on GOV.UK at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/220177/universal-credit-wr2011-ia.pdf

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine: Clinics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the provision of services provided by sexual health clinics of moving responsibility for and funding of those clinics to local authorities.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The delivery of open access sexual health services is mandated for all local authorities. Sexual and Reproductive Health Profiles have been developed by Public Health England (PHE) to support local authorities, public health leads and other interested parties to monitor the sexual and reproductive health of their population and the contribution of local public health related systems. The Department closely monitors the range of indicators and outcomes at national level. Progress continues to be made: for example, in 2016, more people than ever were tested for sexually transmitted infections and the number of people infected fell, the under-18 conception rate in 2016 was 18.9 conceptions per thousand women aged 15 to 17 years; this is the lowest rate recorded since comparable statistics were first produced in 1969, declining by 10% since 2015 and 45% since 2010. The United Kingdom is one of the first countries in Europe to witness a substantive decline in HIV diagnoses. In 2016, 5,164 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK (3,938 men and 1,226 women), representing an 18% decline from the 6,286 diagnoses reported in 2015. The decrease was most apparent in gay and bisexual men. In this group, the number of HIV diagnoses reported steadily increased from 2,850 in 2007 to 3,570 in 2015, and then decreased by 21% to 2,810 in 2016.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he supports the creation of an independent body to (a) investigate, (b) document, (c) collect, and (d) analyse evidence of human rights violations in Burma.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 19 April 2018

The British Government has consistently made it clear that we seek justice to be done for the Rohingya. In line with the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, the British Government is considering how to support better co-ordination between organisations collecting evidence and testimony in Bangladesh. We are discussing this with international partners.

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: 16 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Bedouin
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to Israeli counterparts in advance of the high court hearing on the demolition of school buildings in Khan al-Ahmar which is due to take place on 25 April 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 April 2018

The UK remains concerned by proposals to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar. We have repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to halt proposals to demolish this community, and we will continue to make representations including in discussions with the Israeli Ambassador this week. An official from our Consulate General in Jerusalem attended an event on 18 April in Khan al-Ahmar to show our support for the community.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine: Clinics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the trends in the (a) availability of sexual health clinics and (b) waiting times for appointments to see clinicians in those clinics.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 17 April 2018

The Government has mandated local authorities to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including free sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, notification of sexual partners of infected persons and free provision of contraception. Local authorities are responsible for commissioning sexual health clinics based on local population need. The location and opening times of sexual health clinics are for local determination.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Developing Countries: Sexual Offences
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many staff in his Department work on (a) the preventing sexual violence initiative and (b) the preventing sexual violence team of experts; and of those staff, how many are deployed overseas.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 17 April 2018

We have three staff working full time in London on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI). The Team sits within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Gender Equality Unit, and additional staff from the unit dedicate a significant proportion of their time to PSVI. Furthermore, PSVI work is mainstreamed and taken forward by staff around our network of posts. They advance PSVI as part of a broader portfolio, including through our work on Women, Peace and Security, Girls' Education and wider human rights. This makes it very hard to establish the exact number of staff who work in some capacity on PSVI issues

The UK’s PSVI Team of Experts (ToE) is one part of the Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG), a roster of external experts managed by the UK Government Stabilisation Unit. The CSG offer a skillset that is not available in the Civil Service. The ToE currently consists of 38 independent experts (26 women), including criminal lawyers, policing advisers, gender based violence experts, international investigating officers, training experts and psychosocial experts. In 2017, twenty experts were deployed to ten countries to provide training and mentoring to judges, prosecutors and members of the armed forces on gathering and preserving evidence of sexual violence, prosecution and protection of civilians. Additional expertise on gender issues is regularly deployed from the wider CSG.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Community Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has (a) made and (b) received representations from the charitable sector on the effectiveness of people-to-people or coexistence projects.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 April 2018

DFID has engaged with several stakeholders in the people-to-people community, including not-for profit organisations, in considering the effectiveness of people-to-people projects. Ministers approved the ‘People for Peaceful change’ business case which reviewed the effectiveness of people-to-people programming including through analysis of independent research. The relevant documents can be found on the DevTracker page at this address: https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-1-300366

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Department for International Development
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what consultation her Department had prior to the announcement of the People For Peaceful Change project in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories .
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 April 2018

During the scoping phase of DFID’s People for Peaceful Change programme, officials consulted with local civil society organisations working in the people-to-people field in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of levels of violence and displacement in Rakhine State.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 16 April 2018

We remain deeply concerned by the suffering inflicted on the Rohingya people. Violence in Rakhine has decreased, but about 100 people a day are still crossing the border. More than 688,000 Rohingya have fled from Burma to Bangladesh since late August 2017.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Department for International Development
Bangladesh: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the number of Rohingya refugees crossing the Bangladesh-Burma border; and what assessment she has made of the capacity of refugee camps in Bangladesh to cope with the number of refugees entering that country.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The UN estimates that 1,000 people a week are still crossing the border from Burma to Bangladesh. Existing refugee camps are already overcrowded. In light of the imminent monsoon and cyclone season we are encouraging the Government of Bangladesh to reduce the population density of the existing camps by allocating additional land that is at lower risk of flooding and landslides, and to put evacuation plans in place including to safe places such as cyclone shelters.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
Post-mortems: Tomography
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of using computerised tomography for post-mortems; and what guidance his Department has issued to coroners on the use of that technology.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 04 April 2018

The Ministry of Justice has not assessed the use of computerised tomography for post-mortem examinations because this is a matter for individual coroners who decide how to proceed in light of guidance from the Chief Coroner. The guidance can be found on his website at: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/guidance-no-1-use-of-port-mortem-imaging.pdf

The guidance says that a coroner should consider, with the assistance of a pathologist and, where appropriate, a radiologist, whether this method is the most appropriate in any particular case, bearing in mind the wishes of the bereaved family and, if known, of the deceased.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
Post-mortems
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the extent of variations in rules and protocols surrounding second post-mortems throughout the UK; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 04 April 2018

The MoJ has not made such an assessment. Coroners continue to rely on Home Office Circular 30/1999

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20040722015642/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/hoc9930.html

Coroners are independent judicial office holders and the way they carry out their judicial functions is a matter for them.

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 2018
Department for International Development
Bangladesh: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with her Bangladeshi counterpart on the emergency relocation of Rohingya refugees living in shelters most at risk from monsoon rains and cyclones; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 26 March 2018

Given the severe humanitarian impact that heavy rains and cyclones could have on Rohingya refugees, we have been urging the Government of Bangladesh and partners to prepare for the forthcoming heavy rains. The Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development wrote to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 20 March, calling to attention the need to reduce the density of shelters in the camps, and provide options for people to move to land that is at a lower risk of flooding.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gui Minhai
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterparts in (a) Hong Kong and (b) the People’s Republic of China on the case of the missing Hong Kong bookseller, Gui Minhai.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 March 2018

I remain concerned at the developments surrounding Swedish National Gui Minhai, who was first detained, along with British national Lee Po and three others, in late 2015. We have repeatedly raised these cases at the most senior levels with the authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing. Following Mr Gui’s latest detention in January 2018, our Ambassador in Beijing raised the case with Vice Minister at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Chao, and my officials continue to liaise closely with Swedish and other EU counterparts. The EU have released two statements calling for Mr Gui’s release, which we fully support.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to Israeli counterparts on the continued use of live fire by Israeli naval forces against fishermen off the coast of Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 March 2018

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have previously raised our concerns with the Israeli authorities over the Israel Defence Force's use of live fire against fishermen.

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: 16 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government’s priorities are for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 March 2018

We want the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to agree tangible action across the four policy areas of prosperity, security, sustainability and fairness. These four areas have been agreed by all member states. With 60% of the Commonwealth's population under the age of 30, we believe it is particularly important that the summit speaks to the challenges faced by young people and addresses their ambitions. We also want the summit to celebrate the people to people and civil society ties that makes the Commonwealth such a unique and important institution.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hong Kong: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterpart in the Government of Hong Kong on the disqualification of lawmakers from the Legislative Council; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 20 March 2018

Since October 2016, six legislators have been disqualified from the Legislative Council. The FCO issued a statement in November 2016 which expressed concern about developments in the Legislative Council. The by-elections held on 11 March 2018 filled four of those seats. The remaining two disqualified legislators are appealing against the judgement, and it would not be appropriate for the Government to comment on an ongoing legal matter. My department will continue to monitor developments closely.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 March 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) birth and (b) adoptive children with parents who are British citizens have been denied entry to the UK in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The Home Office does not hold the information in the format requested.

Refusal data is published in the Home Office transparency data https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2017-data-tables

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 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Borders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) social, (b) economic and (c) humanitarian effects of the ongoing Israeli naval blockade on Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) assesses that the restrictions on access to fishing waters in Gaza is a key factor discouraging investment and perpetuating high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and aid dependency. The fishing industry is important for the social and economic wellbeing of Gaza and we want to see an increase in the fishing zone, in line with the limit of 20 nautical miles stipulated in the Oslo accords. The UK has consistently called on the Government of Israel to ease movement, including at sea, and will continue to do so.

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 2018
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the source of consumer concerns relating to ownership and use of electric vehicles; and what steps his Department taking to allay those concerns.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 19 March 2018

Recent research found that 38% of motorists are now considering an electric car or van for their next vehicle. This figure is up from 25% in 2016.

However we recognise that some consumers still have concerns about electric vehicles. Recent surveys show that price, provision of infrastructure, and understanding of the technology are the most commonly cited barriers.

We are investing nearly £1.5bn‎ between April 2015 and March 2021 in one of the most comprehensive global programmes of support for electric cars, with grants available for plug in cars, vans, lorries, buses, taxis and motorcycles, and schemes to support charge point infrastructure at homes and workplaces and on residential streets.

The Government has also been working with industry for the past four years through the Go Ultra Low campaign to communicate the benefits of electric vehicles. In particular the Go Ultra Low website provides free advice and practical information focused on addressing the concerns of motorists contemplating making the switch to electric.

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 2018
Department for International Development
Occupied Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what classification of fragility her Department uses for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The Department for International Development (DFID) assesses fragile states against three categories, reflecting higher, medium and lower levels of fragility. The last assessment found that the Occupied Palestinian Territories overall results met the criteria of the lower fragility category.

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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: International Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government was represented at the US-led meeting at the White House on 13 March 2018 on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2018

​Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and our Embassy in Washington attended this meeting. The UK remains gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We welcome all practical steps to improve conditions as a matter of urgency.

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 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: International Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department supports the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Response Plan.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The UK is providing £1.9 million to support the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Gaza urgent funding appeal which was part of the 2017 Occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Response Plan. This is being delivered through the UN Children’s Fund and is helping to provide clean water and rehabilitate sanitation facilities to stop the spread of disease, benefitting up to 1 million Gazans. DFID is currently carrying out a Resource Allocation Round to confirm 2018/2019 financial year budgets.

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: 13 March 2018
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles: Grants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to renew the plug-in car grant for electric vehicles; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 March 2018

The Plug-in Car Grant will be maintained at the current rates until at least late April 2018. We are currently undertaking a review of grant rates and will make an announcement on next steps in due course. The Plug-in Car Grant will continue in some form until at least the beginning of 2020.

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: 13 March 2018
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the uptake levels of electric and low-emission vehicles; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 March 2018

Since 2011, over 130,000 ultra-low emission battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles have been registered in the UK. Sales of ultra-low emission vehicles have been increasing rapidly, up by 27% in 2017 compared to 2016. However, they still make up only a small proportion of the total with 1.8% of all new car sales in 2017. We want to see this continue to increase and we will shortly be publishing a strategy on the transition to zero emission road transport.

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: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the abduction of the university Student Council President at Birzeit University in the West Bank on 7 March.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 March 2018

​While we are aware that the Birzeit University Student Council President was arrested on campus on 7 March, we have not raised this issue with the Israeli authorities.

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: 12 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of (a) violence and (b) harassment towards Palestinian university (i) students and (ii) staff in the West Bank; and what recent assessment he has made of the effect of those levels on student education.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 March 2018

​While no assessment has been made about this particular issue, we strongly condemn all acts of violence and all incitement to commit acts of violence. We consistently urge Israel to ease movement and access restrictions across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, not least because of the impact the restrictions on continuity of education.

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