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
(Glasgow South)
[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: 03 September 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
What support his Department has offered to the Government of Ukraine in relation to that Government's democratic reforms.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 03 September 2019

The United Kingdom is providing substantial assistance to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and institutions as part of its reform programme. In July 2017, we hosted the inaugural Ukraine Reform Conference and have since participated in annual conferences including Toronto (2019). We are providing over £32 million of programme support, including at least £9.2m for reforms via the Good Governance Fund. The UK improved capacity of Central Election Commission training over 2,600 key electoral officials. In short we helped ensure that recent presidential and parliamentary elections were widely hailed as Ukraine’s freest and fairest to date. I look forward to my visit to Ukraine next week.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Intelligence Services: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to her oral contribution of 8 July 2019, Official Report, column 19, when she plans to announce the change of policy in relation to guidance on sharing and receiving intelligence.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 18 July 2019

I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made today (HCWS1746).

20190718 - Written Ministerial Statement (PDF Document, 414.57 KB)
Q
(Glasgow South)
[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 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Intelligence Services: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to her oral contribution of 8 July 2019, Official Report, column 19, if she will publish the review by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner on guidance on sharing and receiving intelligence.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 17 July 2019

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office (Mr David Lidington) on 15 July 2019 (Official Report, column 595).

276562 - Detainee Mistreatment (Word Document, 22.3 KB)
Q
(Glasgow South)
Asked on: 12 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Torture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to her oral contribution of 8 July 2019, Official Report, column 19, when she plans to announce the change of policy in relation to guidance on sharing and receiving intelligence.
 
Withdrawn
Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 28 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Russia: Natural Gas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it Government policy to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in accordance with the recommendations of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 03 July 2019

This Government has significant concerns about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and we continue to raise this important issue in discussions with key partners. We judge that it is not necessary to meet future European demand for gas and could harm European energy security and the interests of Ukraine. This is one of the reasons why we supported amendments to the EU Gas Directive that will require the pipeline to be fully compliant with EU rules. While we are an EU member state, the UK will continue to be bound by EU sanctions, which do not currently encompass Nord Stream 2.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 28 June 2019
Ministry of Justice
Investigatory Powers Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timetable is for the appointment of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 03 July 2019

The statutory process for appointing a new Investigatory Powers Commissioner under Section 227 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is underway. It is expected that the new Commissioner will be in post by the late autumn of 2019.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 06 June 2019
Home Office
Investigatory Powers Commissioner: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he had with the Scottish Government before the appointment of the first Investigatory Powers Commissioner in 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The appointment of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner is subject to a statutory process set out in section 227 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The Prime Minister must appoint a person who holds or has held high judicial office, and the candidate must be recommended jointly by the Lord Chancellor, (b) the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, (c) the Lord President of the Court of Session, and (d) the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Section 227(5) of the Act provides that the Prime Minster must consult with Scottish Ministers before making the appointment. In 2017, the Prime Minister wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice within the Scottish Government about the proposed appointment of the first Commissioner.

Grouped Questions: 260680
Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 05 June 2019
Home Office
Investigatory Powers Commissioner: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will consult with the Scottish Government ahead of the appointment of the new Investigatory Powers Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The appointment of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner is subject to a statutory process set out in section 227 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The Prime Minister must appoint a person who holds or has held high judicial office, and the candidate must be recommended jointly by the Lord Chancellor, (b) the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, (c) the Lord President of the Court of Session, and (d) the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Section 227(5) of the Act provides that the Prime Minster must consult with Scottish Ministers before making the appointment. In 2017, the Prime Minister wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice within the Scottish Government about the proposed appointment of the first Commissioner.

Grouped Questions: 260679
Q
(Glasgow South)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Defence Medical Services: Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the tapered annual allowance on the number of Defence Medical Service doctors leaving the armed forces.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 07 June 2019

The Secretary of State for Defence and Chancellor of the Exchequer have not yet discussed this particular issue. However, given concerns expressed by Defence Medical Services personnel and the well-publicised discussions in the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Defence has consulted internally on pension taxation, including the issue of tapering.

We recognise the current situation with pension taxation (including tapered annual allowance) is a risk to retention and are monitoring any associated increase in the outflow of personnel. To date, monitoring suggests no apparent increase in the voluntary outflow of Medical Officers, but we accept this might change in the future.

Grouped Questions: 259301
Q
(Glasgow South)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Defence Medical Services: Vacancies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment she has made of the effect of shortages in Defence Medical Service doctors on the ability to deploy forces.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 07 June 2019

Against a backdrop of medical workforce shortfalls nationally and across the global health care sector, we also have a number of specialty areas where we are experiencing consultant shortfalls. These are being monitored and addressed through normal workforce control mechanisms. To date this has not affected our ability to deploy forces on any directed tasks or operations.

Q
(Glasgow South)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Defence Medical Services: Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of the tapered annual allowance on the retention of armed forces doctors.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 07 June 2019

The Secretary of State for Defence and Chancellor of the Exchequer have not yet discussed this particular issue. However, given concerns expressed by Defence Medical Services personnel and the well-publicised discussions in the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Defence has consulted internally on pension taxation, including the issue of tapering.

We recognise the current situation with pension taxation (including tapered annual allowance) is a risk to retention and are monitoring any associated increase in the outflow of personnel. To date, monitoring suggests no apparent increase in the voluntary outflow of Medical Officers, but we accept this might change in the future.

Grouped Questions: 259299
Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 03 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Minimum Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his Department's policy to restore immediately the policy of naming of employers for National Minimum Wage breaches whilst the review of the National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme is ongoing.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 06 June 2019

As announced in the Government response of December 2018, the review of the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage (NMW) Naming Scheme commenced in response to recommendations made by the Director of Labour Market Enforcement in his 2018/2019 Labour Market Enforcement Strategy. Naming of employers for NMW breaches will recommence once that review has been completed.

We are reviewing the effectiveness of the naming scheme to ensure that our enforcement approach balances the need to crack down on the most egregious non-compliant employers with the need to help employers understand their responsibilities and how to comply.

Naming remains an important part of our enforcement toolkit. Enforcement of the national minimum wage and the national living wage is a priority for this Government to ensure that workers receive at least the Minimum Wage. We have more than doubled the budget for minimum wage compliance and enforcement since 2015, to a record high of £27.4 million. This resulted in over 220,000 UK workers receiving a record £24.4 million in arrears last year.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 03 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have lost severe disability premiums as a result of transferring to universal credit.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 06 June 2019

This information is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 03 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to announce the conclusions of the review into universal credit recipients affected by the loss of the severe disability premium.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 06 June 2019

On Friday 3 May 2019, the High Court handed down a judgment in relation to Universal Credit and the SDP.

We are currently considering the options open to us and will respond in due course.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 22 May 2019
Treasury
Funerals: Pre-payment
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives from the Competition and Market Authority on ensuring that the (a) delivery (b) marketing and (c) sale of funeral plans are included in the scope of the investigation into the funeral market.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 05 June 2019

In June 2018, the CMA launched a market study into the funeral sector. The CMA investigated two core areas in connection to the supply of a funeral: (1) how competition between funeral directors works and transparency issues in the provision of funerals; and (2) how competition works in the crematoria segment of the industry. In light of the findings of the market study, the CMA launched a full market investigation into the funeral sector. The scope of the CMA’s market investigation includes the funeral services supplied by funeral directors arising from the redemption of funeral plans.

HM Treasury launched a call for evidence on the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans in June 2018. The call for evidence has confirmed that consumer detriment is present in the pre-paid funeral plan sector and that there is broad demand for the sector to come under compulsory regulation. Consequently, the government intends to bring the pre-paid funeral plan market within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority and is currently consulting on the proposed legislative framework to implement this proposal.

My officials have engaged with the CMA to ensure the respective investigations are complementary and coherent.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 22 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Funeral Payments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many funeral expenses payment awards were made in 2018-19; and (ii) what the value of those payments was.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 June 2019

The number and gross expenditure of Funeral Expenses Payment awards, in Great Britain, is reported annually in Appendix 1 of the Social Fund Annual Report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018

The information requested for 2018/19 will be published in due course, and so cannot be released ahead of publication.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 22 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Funerals: Pre-payment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what data her Department holds on the number of pre-paid funeral plans that have been taken out since 2010.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 June 2019

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 29 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Blood: Donors
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the rules are on blood donations for men who have sex with men who also use PrEP.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 02 May 2019

NHS Blood and Transplant implements a three-month deferral period for men who have sex with men, irrespective of whether an individual routinely takes pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk against infection with HIV. This deferral period is based on expert independent advice, provided by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, to protect donors and the patients who receive donated blood.

At a population level, men who have sex with men have a higher risk of acquiring a blood-borne virus or a sexually transmitted disease. Using PrEP can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV but it does not eliminate it. PrEP also does not reduce the risk of an individual becoming infected by other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and hepatitis, and subsequently transmitting these infections through donated blood.

NHS Blood and Transplant appreciates that any deferral is disappointing if an individual would like to save lives by giving blood. NHS Blood and Transplant is currently working with LGBT+ groups to explore more individualised assessments and hope to report their findings towards the end of 2020.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Vote Leave: Election Offences
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the recent report of the Electoral Commission into the activities of Vote Leave, whether the Government has plans to set up a judge-led public inquiry to investigate the alleged fraud committed by Vote Leave during the EU referendum 2016.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 24 April 2019

There are no plans to establish a public inquiry. The independent Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. It regulates the spending of, and donations and loans, to political parties and other campaigners.

It is not acceptable for any organisation to breach electoral procedures – and it is regrettable that fines have been levied on multiple groups on both sides of the referendum campaigns. Pro-Remain groups outspent pro-Leave groups by £4 million in the referendum campaign.

With 17.4 million votes to leave the European Union, more people voted for Brexit than have ever voted for anything else in the United Kingdom. Almost three quarters of the electorate took part in the referendum. The result was a bigger popular vote than won by any government in history. The will of the British people must be respected and delivered. The public delivered a clear verdict and that is what the Government is implementing.

Q
(Glasgow South)
[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: 10 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Vote Leave: Election Offences
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it Government policy to revoke Article 50 as a result of (a) the recent report of the Electoral Commission into the activities of Vote Leave, and (b) Vote Leave's decision to drop its appeal against alleged fraud committed during the EU referendum in 2016.
A
Corrected answer by: Chloe Smith
Corrected on: 23 April 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 15 April 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The consultation Protecting the Debate: Intimidation, Influence and Information was launched last
year. We are currently reviewing the responses and we will issue a response in due course.

The Electoral Commission is the independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. Where it has reason to believe that electoral law has been breached it has the power to investigate, impose sanctions, or refer to the police. The Government has no involvement with Electoral Commission investigations. The Electoral Commission has produced recommendations on campaign finance which the Government is considering. These are not specific to individual cases but are about the wider system.

The Article 50 notification will not be withdrawn. The Government is committed to finding a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.

A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 April 2019

The consultation Protecting the Debate: Intimidation, Influence and Information was launched last
year. We are currently reviewing the responses and we will issue a response in due course.

The Electoral Commission is the independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. Where it has reason to believe that electoral law has been breached it has the power to investigate, impose sanctions, or refer to the police. The Government has no involvement with Electoral Commission investigations. The Electoral Commission has produced recommendations on campaign finance which the Government is considering. These are not specific to individual cases but are about the wider system.

The Article 50 notification will not be withdrawn. The Government is committed to finding a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.

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