Written questions and answers

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

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019 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
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[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 2019
Cabinet Office
Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has requested any (a) Ministers and (b) officials to investigate potential contacts between UK parliamentarians and foreign Governments.
A
Corrected answer by: Chloe Smith
Corrected on: 05 November 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 28 October 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The Government is fully committed to tightening up legislation so that foreign money cannot find its way into political campaigning and to tackle foreign lobbying. As such, Ministers and officials have been directed to consider the issue for consultation, which will be published in due course.

The public have a right to know who is funding campaigning and legislation in the context of Brexit.

Ministers believe this to be particularly pertinent in light of public concerns raised about the funding of campaigning and legislation against Brexit.

I further refer the Hon. Member to a letter sent by the Cabinet Secretary to the Rt. Hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Dominic Grieve); a copy of this letter will be deposited in the library of both Houses.

I also refer him to the answer to the Hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Bob Seely), of 1 November 2019, Official Report, PQ 4350, on the assessment being undertaken of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on foreign agents’ registration.

A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 28 October 2019

The Government is fully committed to tightening up legislation so that foreign money cannot find its way into political campaigning and to tackle foreign lobbying. As such, Ministers and officials have been directed to consider the issue for consultation, which will be published in due course.

The public have a right to know who is funding campaigning and legislation in the context of Brexit.

Ministers believe this to be particularly pertinent in light of public concerns raised about the funding of campaigning and legislation against Brexit.

I further refer the Hon. Member to a letter sent by the Cabinet Secretary to the Rt. Hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Dominic Grieve); a copy of this letter will be deposited in the library of both Houses.

I also refer him to the answer to the Hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Bob Seely), of 1 November 2019, Official Report, PQ 4350, on the assessment being undertaken of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on foreign agents’ registration.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 22 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Citizen Service Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the validity of the decision by the National Citizen Service Trust to withdraw NCS contracts from The Challenge; and what steps her Department and the Cabinet Office plan to take to help (a) resolve those issues that The Challenge reportedly raised with her Department on the National Citizen Service Trust before the withdrawal of its contracts and (b) maintain NCS (i) jobs and (ii) places.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 30 October 2019

The NCS Trust are the contracting authority for the NCS programme and have operational accountability for the NCS delivery chain. As such, procurement issues are a contractual matter between the NCS Trust and The Challenge, with DCMS being regularly informed. The procurement process for the re-commissioning of NCS contracts, carried out by the NCS Trust in 2019, was approved by both DCMS and HMT.

In regards to the issues raised by The Challenge, NCS Trust is an arms-length body of DCMS and, in line with standard complaint procedures, DCMS is investigating the matters raised and will address any findings as appropriate.

All NCS delivery regions have been successfully contracted for, to make sure there is minimal loss in NCS participation levels from 2020 onwards.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[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: 25 October 2019
Prime Minister
Members: Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to the then Prime Minister’s Written Statement of 4 November 2015 on the Wilson doctrine, what his policy is on the Wilson doctrine.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 30 October 2019

The Wilson Doctrine is unchanged from the position set out in my predecessor's Written Statement of 4 November 2015 (HCWS291).

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 21 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Citizen Service Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she or her Department was made aware of the contractual dispute between NCS Trust and the largest provider of National Citizen Service, The Challenge.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 29 October 2019

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport were formally made aware of the contractual dispute between NCS and The Challenge on 15th July when a letter of complaint was sent from Bill Ronald (CEO of The Challenge) to the DCMS Secretary of State.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 21 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Citizen Service Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the internal investigation into complaints regarding NCS Trust will be concluded; and if she will publish the findings of that investigation.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 29 October 2019

In line with standard complaint procedures, we are investigating the complaints raised by The Challenge against the NCS Trust and will address any findings as appropriate. The investigation is ongoing.

DCMS will let both parties know the result of the investigation when it has concluded.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 21 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Citizen Service Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress NCS Trust has made on addressing the governance issues raised in reports by the Public Accounts Committtee and National Audit Office.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 29 October 2019

In response to the governance issues raised in reports by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office, DCMS, together with the NCS Trust, have made the following progress:

  • The NCS Trust transitioned from a Community Interest Company to a Royal Charter body (RCB), in accordance with the NCS Act, on 01 December 2018. This made the NCS Trust an Arm’s Length Body (ALB) of DCMS. The ALB relationship means that the NCS Trust have a higher level of accountability to Parliament and the taxpayer, and ensures that Government have the power to appropriately scrutinise the NCS Trust as they see fit.

  • As a Government ALB, the NCS Trust is now subject to the following Government scrutiny: the National Audit Office (NAO) audits the NCS annual report and accounts; NAO submit all accounts to the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC); The NCS Act requires the NCS Trust to lay Ministerially-approved annual business plans, annual reports and accounts in Parliament; The NCS Royal Charter states that a representative of the Government must sit on the NCS Trust’s Remuneration and Audit and Risk committees; The NCS Trust is subject to all Cabinet Office Spend Controls

  • As a Government ALB, the NCS Trust must abide by all principles laid out in HMT’s Managing Public Money document.

  • As the Sponsor Department, DCMS exercises its governance scrutiny over the NCS Trust through: bi-annual Sponsor meetings between the DCMS Permanent Secretary, as Principal Accounting Officer, and the NCS Trust CEO and Board Chair; a high level of Senior Civil Servant involvement in the NCS Trust’s activities, including regular meetings between NCS Trust and DCMS Senior Sponsor and Sponsor Director; and through specialist-level meetings with officials from across DCMS.
Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 21 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Voluntary Work: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the NCS Trust’s effectiveness in (a) delivering and (b) meeting the targets set for the National Citizen Service.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 29 October 2019

DCMS assesses the NCS Trust’s effectiveness in delivering the NCS programme against the three core objectives of: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement - through consecutive, independent evaluations. Since 2013, these have demonstrated the positive impacts that National Citizen Service delivers to both its participants and their communities.

DCMS assesses the NCS Trust’s effectiveness in meeting its Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets on an ongoing basis and reviews these formally at the bi-annual Sponsor meetings between the DCMS Permanent Secretary and NCS Trust CEO and Board Chair. Performance against KPIs is published in the NCS Trust’s Annual Report, which is laid before Parliament.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 21 October 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Citizen Service Trust: Complaints
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many formal complaints have been made to her Department on the NCS Trust in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Nicky Morgan
Answered on: 29 October 2019

In the last twelve months DCMS has received one formal complaint against the NCS Trust and one formal complaint regarding the terms of the new contracts issued by the NCS Trust.

Q
Asked by Chuka Umunna
(Streatham)
[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 October 2019
Department for International Trade
Overseas Trade
Commons
What steps she is taking to support businesses with cross-border supply chains after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Conor Burns
Answered on: 17 October 2019

We are taking steps to support businesses in all scenarios and are working on securing a deal to ensure minimised disruption to supply chains. Our temporary tariff regime, in the event of no-deal, will support supply chains and sensitive sectors in the UK economy.

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