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, Ladywood)
[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: 27 November 2018
Home Office
Police National Computer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the letter from the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, MIN/0014431/18, for what reason his Department is unable to obtain statistics from the Police National Computer on the number of person records relating to non-charge or conviction action by (a) force and (b) race.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The Police National Computer is over 40 years old and was not designed to create management information of the type sought in this question. It is being replaced by the Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS) which is being designed to provide significantly enhanced management information.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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: 26 November 2018
Home Office
Vetting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the letter from the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, MIN/0014431/18, what assessment he has made of the effect of instances of No Further Action being disclosed within enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks on people's ability to secure employment.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The principles to be applied by chief officers in making decisions about what constitutes relevant information are set out in statutory guidance issued under section 113B(4A) of the Police Act 1997 by the Home Office. The guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/452321/6_1155_HO_LW_Stat_Dis_Guide-v3.pdf

It is for the employer to decide whether an individual is suitable for any particular role. The Government does not record the employment decisions made by employers after they have undertaken a DBS check.

Grouped Questions: 195564
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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: 26 November 2018
Home Office
Police National Computer
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to review the length of time a person's event history is retained in Police National Computer records.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Home Office and the police, in conjunction with regulators including the Information Commissioner’s Office, regularly keep under review rules around the retention of a person’s event history on the Police National Computer.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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: 26 November 2018
Home Office
Vetting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the letter from the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, MIN/0014431/18, what guidance is provided to Chief Officers to enable them to make decisions on what constitutes relevant information which ought to be disclosed as part of enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The principles to be applied by chief officers in making decisions about what constitutes relevant information are set out in statutory guidance issued under section 113B(4A) of the Police Act 1997 by the Home Office. The guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/452321/6_1155_HO_LW_Stat_Dis_Guide-v3.pdf

It is for the employer to decide whether an individual is suitable for any particular role. The Government does not record the employment decisions made by employers after they have undertaken a DBS check.

Grouped Questions: 195562
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of defendants seeking to use section 76(8) of the Serious Crime Act 2015 as a key form of defence within criminal trials.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 26 November 2018

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Domestic Violence: Prosecutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions there have been under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 23 November 2018

Figures on the number of defendants prosecuted under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 can be found in the ‘Outcomes by Offence data tool’, available at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

Search ‘Offence’ for ‘8.21 - Engage in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of defences made using section 76(8) of the Serious Crime Act 2015 within criminal trials have been successful.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 23 November 2018

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 193459
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Domestic Violence: Prosecutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of prosecutions made under Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act (2015) which involved a disabled survivor of abuse giving evidence.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 23 November 2018

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 193458
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 29 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Organs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Chinese government on allegations that organ harvesting continues to be practised in China.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 06 November 2018

We are aware of reports that allege that a process of involuntary organ removal may be taking place in China, including suggestions that minority and religious groups are being specifically targeted. The UK government fully supports the Declaration of Istanbul (May 2008), which encourages all countries to draw up legal and professional frameworks to govern organ donation and transplantation activities.

As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, stated in a Westminster Hall debate in October 2016: “Although I do not doubt the need to maintain close scrutiny of organ transplant practices in China, we believe that the evidence base is not sufficiently strong to substantiate claims about the systematic harvesting of organs from minority groups. Indeed, based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot conclude that this practice of “organ harvesting” is definitely happening in China.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) collates global data on organ donations and works with China. The WHO view is that China is implementing an ethical, voluntary organ transplant system in accordance with international standards, although the WHO does have concerns about overall transparency.

We continue to review any new evidence that is presented to us.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 23 October 2018
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of regulations on the calculation of car insurance premiums.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 31 October 2018

Motor insurers are responsible for setting the terms, conditions and premiums for the policies they offer as they are accepting a level of risk when choosing to issue a motor insurance policy.

The setting of premiums is a commercial decision for individual insurers and the Government does not generally intervene or seek to control the market.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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 October 2018
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the gender equalisation of car insurance premiums on the cost of car insurance.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Following a European Court of Justice ruling, the use of gender to calculate car insurance premiums ended in December 2012.

HM Treasury is undertaking a statutory post-implementation review of the SI implementing this ban on the use of gender in insurance pricing. This will be published in due course.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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 October 2018
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on the regulation of car insurance premiums.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 26 October 2018

There has been no recent discussion with the Financial Conduct Authority on car insurance premiums.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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 October 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Antisocial Behaviour: Cars
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of local government powers to tackle car cruising.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 26 October 2018

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has not met the Secretary of State for Justice to discuss car cruising.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to different forms of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.

The powers include the Community Protection Notice which can be used by the police or the local authority to deal with particular problems or nuisances, including noise related, that are having a persistent or continuing and detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; the Civil Injunction which allows the police, local councils and other local agencies to apply to the court for an injunction against an individual or individuals in a range of circumstances where their behaviour is causing, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress; a Criminal Behaviour Order which can be issued by a court against an individual convicted of an offence to stop the behaviour of the most destructive individuals; a Public Spaces Protection Order which councils can issue to stop people committing anti-social behaviour in a public space; a Dispersal Power which can be used by the police to move-on problem groups or individuals; and a Closure Power which the police and councils can use to close premises that are a magnet for trouble.

The powers in the 2014 Act are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances which apply.

The police also have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles. This can be as a result of using a vehicle in a careless and inconsiderate manner, contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public. Before so doing, a constable is required to give a warning that the vehicle will be seized unless the behaviour stops. The only exception is where a warning is impractical, or has already been given on that occasion, or given to the same person within the previous 12 months. The requirement for a warning provides people with the chance to stop their behaviour of their own accord and ensures the power of seizure is only used when necessary. Seizure, if carried out, puts an immediate stop to the behaviour in question. The seizure is not permanent: the owner can reclaim the vehicle on payment of prescribed removal and storage charges.

Any assessment of the effectiveness of these powers would be a matter for the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 182732 | 182733
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
[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 October 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Antisocial Behaviour: Cars
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to help local authorities tackle car cruising.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 26 October 2018

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has not met the Secretary of State for Justice to discuss car cruising.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to different forms of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.

The powers include the Community Protection Notice which can be used by the police or the local authority to deal with particular problems or nuisances, including noise related, that are having a persistent or continuing and detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; the Civil Injunction which allows the police, local councils and other local agencies to apply to the court for an injunction against an individual or individuals in a range of circumstances where their behaviour is causing, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress; a Criminal Behaviour Order which can be issued by a court against an individual convicted of an offence to stop the behaviour of the most destructive individuals; a Public Spaces Protection Order which councils can issue to stop people committing anti-social behaviour in a public space; a Dispersal Power which can be used by the police to move-on problem groups or individuals; and a Closure Power which the police and councils can use to close premises that are a magnet for trouble.

The powers in the 2014 Act are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances which apply.

The police also have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles. This can be as a result of using a vehicle in a careless and inconsiderate manner, contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public. Before so doing, a constable is required to give a warning that the vehicle will be seized unless the behaviour stops. The only exception is where a warning is impractical, or has already been given on that occasion, or given to the same person within the previous 12 months. The requirement for a warning provides people with the chance to stop their behaviour of their own accord and ensures the power of seizure is only used when necessary. Seizure, if carried out, puts an immediate stop to the behaviour in question. The seizure is not permanent: the owner can reclaim the vehicle on payment of prescribed removal and storage charges.

Any assessment of the effectiveness of these powers would be a matter for the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 182731 | 182733
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 23 October 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Antisocial Behaviour: Cars
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on tackling car cruising.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 26 October 2018

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has not met the Secretary of State for Justice to discuss car cruising.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to different forms of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.

The powers include the Community Protection Notice which can be used by the police or the local authority to deal with particular problems or nuisances, including noise related, that are having a persistent or continuing and detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; the Civil Injunction which allows the police, local councils and other local agencies to apply to the court for an injunction against an individual or individuals in a range of circumstances where their behaviour is causing, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress; a Criminal Behaviour Order which can be issued by a court against an individual convicted of an offence to stop the behaviour of the most destructive individuals; a Public Spaces Protection Order which councils can issue to stop people committing anti-social behaviour in a public space; a Dispersal Power which can be used by the police to move-on problem groups or individuals; and a Closure Power which the police and councils can use to close premises that are a magnet for trouble.

The powers in the 2014 Act are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances which apply.

The police also have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles. This can be as a result of using a vehicle in a careless and inconsiderate manner, contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public. Before so doing, a constable is required to give a warning that the vehicle will be seized unless the behaviour stops. The only exception is where a warning is impractical, or has already been given on that occasion, or given to the same person within the previous 12 months. The requirement for a warning provides people with the chance to stop their behaviour of their own accord and ensures the power of seizure is only used when necessary. Seizure, if carried out, puts an immediate stop to the behaviour in question. The seizure is not permanent: the owner can reclaim the vehicle on payment of prescribed removal and storage charges.

Any assessment of the effectiveness of these powers would be a matter for the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 182731 | 182732
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 04 September 2018
Home Office
Entry Clearances: Somalia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure that Somali passport holders with the right to live in the UK are not refused entry as a result of the change from passport endorsement to a bio-metric residence permit system.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 10 September 2018

The UK does not currently recognise Somali passports for travel to the UK. However, we have put in place measures to ensure that holders of Somali passports who are in possession of a valid UK biometric residence permit are able to return to the UK.

We have informed international carriers these arrangements and shared this information with representatives of the Somali community.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds information on the number of applicants who apply for indefinite leave to remain who are unsuccessful on their first application but who are successful on a subsequent attempt.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 26 March 2018

We are unable to provide the information requested as this would involve undertaking a manual trawl of individual cases which would incur disproportionate cost.

The number of applications for indefinite leave to remain is published as part of the Migration Transparency data, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data InC 02 for all routes with a 6 month service standard.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 14 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of Congo: International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken in partnership with his international counterparts to encourage the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to adhere to the terms of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 21 March 2018

The Government is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Following the violent clampdown on protestors on 31 December and 21 January, the UK released statements condemning the violence and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

We continue to support the UN Joint Human Rights Office in their work to document human rights abuses and violations and to hold those responsible to account.

The UK supported a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in June 2017 mandating an international investigation into the violence in the Kasai regions. We have repeatedly told the DRC Government that this investigation must be allowed to operate unobstructed, to hold those responsible in the Kasais to account.

We have also called upon the DRC Government, as an HRC member, to demonstrate its commitment to the highest human rights standards and take decisive action against human rights abuses and violations.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 14 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democratic Republic of Congo: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo to support the supply of humanitarian assistance to its citizens.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 21 March 2018

The British Government regularly discusses support to humanitarian operations by the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, with our international counterparts including with the Secretary General’s Special Representative, Leila Zerrougi. We will ensure that support to humanitarian operations remains part of MONUSCO’s mandate when it is renewed this month.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 12 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners: ICT
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of online booking services for GP appointments on the ability of over 75 year olds to access GP care.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 20 March 2018

The Department prepared an equality impact assessment when introducing online booking services for general practitioner (GP) appointments. In addition, local NHS England, or the clinical commissioning group, where the responsibility is delegated to them, carry out their own assessments to take account of their GP practice populations’ needs.

Online services are not a replacement for face to face or telephone interactions, but another complementary way to access services. NHS England’s initial findings show that older people are more frequent users of online services and over 75s regularly register to use the service. In addition, carers of those who are much older are able to access appointment and order prescriptions on their behalf (with appropriate authorisation and safeguards).

The use of online services frees up staff to spend more time with those who do not wish to use online services and prefer to continue using the phone or come to the practice in person to make appointments.

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