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
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Social Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, which social media advertising campaigns his Department ran in the last 12 months; and what audience targeting each of those campaigns used.
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Prime Minister
Cambridge Analytica
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, when he last met (a) Alexander Nix and (b) staff members from Cambridge Analytica.
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sheep: Transmissible Encephalopathies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to enable the identification of the age of ovine animals other than by the eruption of the permanent incisor under the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Regulations (2018).
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The Government is preparing to consult on amendments to the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Regulations (2018) in line with changes to EU rules, which would permit the introduction of an optional method of ageing of sheep alternative to dentition.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 12 July 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Social Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how much his Department has spent on social media advertising in each month since July 2017.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 18 July 2019

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has not spent any money on social media advertising since July 2017.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 05 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Navy: Military Bases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many visits there have been to UK naval bases by foreign vessels carrying nuclear weapons in each of the last ten years; which bases those vessels visited; and what nations those vessels originated from.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 10 July 2019

It is UK and NATO policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons onboard specific ships or submarines at any particular place or time, for the purposes of safeguarding national security and international relations.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
HMS Talent and HMS Triumph
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when HMS Talent and HMS Triumph will be based at HMNB Clyde; and when and where those vessels will be decommissioned.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The planned out-of-service dates for Royal Navy submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member to Question 269749 answered on 3 July 2019 which stated that the three Trafalgar Class submarines were based at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde. While all Royal Navy submarines operate under the administrative command of the Submarine Flotilla, on current plans HMS Talent's base port change will take place in the next few weeks and HMS Triumph's in 2020.

Grouped Questions: 272215
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Trafalgar Class Submarines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 1 July 2013 to Question 162999 on Trafalgar Class Submarines, whether those planned end of service dates remain the same for each boat.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The planned out-of-service dates for Royal Navy submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member to Question 269749 answered on 3 July 2019 which stated that the three Trafalgar Class submarines were based at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde. While all Royal Navy submarines operate under the administrative command of the Submarine Flotilla, on current plans HMS Talent's base port change will take place in the next few weeks and HMS Triumph's in 2020.

Grouped Questions: 272213
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
HMS Audacious
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when HMS Audacious will enter service.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 08 July 2019

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 February 2019 to Question 220928 to the hon. Member for Dunfermline and West Fife (Mr Chapman).

220928 - HMS Audacious (Word Document, 21.9 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 26 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Warships
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many ships and submarines of each type are in service in each branch of the armed forces; and where each ship and submarine is based.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 03 July 2019

The following table lists how many ships and submarines of each type are in service in the Royal Navy and where each ship and submarine is based as at 1 June 2019.

Naval Vessels in Service as at 1 June 2019

Type of Vessel

No

Based

Aircraft Carrier

1

HMNB Portsmouth

Type 45 Destroyer

6

HMNB Portsmouth

Type 23 Frigate

5

HMNB Portsmouth

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

6

HMNB Portsmouth

Offshore Patrol Vessel – River Class

4

HMNB Portsmouth

Inshore Patrol Boat

14

HMNB Portsmouth

Offshore Patrol Vessel - Helicopters

1

HMNB Portsmouth

Landing Platform Dock

2

HMNB Devonport

Type 23 Frigate

8

HMNB Devonport

Ocean Survey Vessel

1

HMNB Devonport

Survey Vessel Hydrographic/Oceanographic

2

HMNB Devonport

Inshore Survey Vessel

1

HMNB Devonport

Ice Patrol Ship

1

HMNB Devonport

Ship Submersible Nuclear Trafalgar Class

3

HMNB Clyde

Sandown Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

7

HMNB Clyde

Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron

2

HMNB Clyde

Ship Submersible Nuclear Astute

3

HMNB Clyde

Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear

4

HMNB Clyde

Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron

2

Gibraltar

Fleet Tanker

5

Not base ported

Fleet Replenishment Ship

3

Not base ported

Landing Ship Dock

3

Not base ported

Primary Casualty Receiving Ship/Aviation Training Ship

1

Not base ported

TOTAL

85

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 June 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Radioactive Waste
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the environmental effects of the dumping of radioactive waste in Hurd Deep and Atlantic Deep as detailed in the Ministry of Defence archived document entitled British Isles Explosive Dumping Grounds.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 28 June 2019

Dumping of radioactive waste (before being banned under the London Convention of 1972 for highly contaminated and in 1993 for low contaminated waste) was subject to approval by the MAFF Approval Committee, whose procedures included careful checks on the containment and transport of the waste. Both the Hurd Deep and Atlantic Deep sites have been subject to monitoring.

Hurd Deep:

From 1946 to 1993, the UK disposed of amounts of both civilian and radioactive waste at sea, in accordance with national policy and legislation, and with later international agreements regulating such disposals. These disposals were seen at the time as routine and uncontroversial.

The total estimated activities in curies (TBq) for these dumpings were: Alpha activity, 400 curies (14.8 TBq); Beta-Gamma activity, 1,200 curies (44.4 TBq). The very low active waste (mainly sludges) dumped into the Hurd Deep was packed in approved light metal drums to permit rapid dispersion of the contents. The UK regularly monitors the Channel Island States and report the results in the annually produced RIFE (Radioactivity in Food and the Environment) report series. These reports can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/radioactivity-in-food-and-the-environment-rife-reports

In addition, Cefas and the Food Standards Agency have jointly published a peer reviewed paper (MARINE RADIOACTIVITY IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, 1990 – 2009) which looked further at time trends over around 20 years. UK monitoring shows that there is no evidence for significant releases of radioactivity from the Hurd Deep site and the effects of discharges from local sources have continued to be of negligible radiological significance.

North Atlantic Dump site:

The Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA) surveillance of the North-East Atlantic dump site used by OECD/NEA member countries (including the UK) started in 1977 and ended in 1995. In 1985, the OECD/NEA Co-ordinated Research and Environmental Surveillance Programme (CRESP) delivered a report on the dump site. The report concluded that the North-East Atlantic dump site posed negligible human radiological risk although the report noted that in the absence of baseline data on the benthic biology, it was difficult to draw firm conclusions about the environmental impacts. A new report on the dump site conducted by CRESP in 1996 reached the same conclusions.

A summary of the “Historic Dumping of Low-Level Radioactive Waste in the North-East Atlantic” was recently compiled by the Radioactive Substances Committee of OSPAR. OSPAR’s document can be found here:

https://www.ospar.org/site/assets/files/1173/factsheet_historic_dumping_final.pdf

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 June 2019
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Social Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much money his Department has spent on social media advertising in each month since February 2019.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 27 June 2019

The figures requested are as follows:

February 2019

March 2019

April 2019

May 2019

£ 12,973.86

£ 10,728.55

Nil

£ 1,540.51

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: CTF Partners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have entered into contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Ministry of Justice has not entered into any contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 June 2019
Church Commissioners
Church of England: Scotland
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2019 to Question 262402, if she will provide the details of those landholdings.
A
Answered by: Dame Caroline Spelman
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Church Commissioners publish their largest 20 direct equity holdings and the largest 20 property holdings in their annual report (pg 76) a copy of which is available in the Library of the House of Commons or here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Church%20Commissioners%20Annual%20Report%202018.pdf.

Due to commercial sensitivities the Church Commissioners do not give more detailed breakdowns of their holdings. A full list of holdings in Scotland would be identifiable via the Land Registry.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 17 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Explosives: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to her Department's archived document entitled British Isles Explosive Dumping Grounds, what monitoring her Department undertakes of explosives dumped at the following areas and positions (a) Off the Continental Shelf 48 20 00 N 13 40 00 W, (b) East of Aberdeen 57 09 00 N 01 58 30 W, (c) Loch Linnhe 56 30 00 N 05 37 00 W, (d) Inner Sound 57 19 00 N 05 51 00 W (e) Isle of May, Firth of Forth 56 10 45 N 02 30 15 W, (f) Hurd Deep 49 30 00 N 03 34 00 W ,(g) St Catherines Deep 50 34 00 N 01 12 00 W, (h) East of Orford Ness 52 07 00 N 01 55 00 E, (i) East Swin (Kings Channel) 51 47 30 N 01 30 00 E, (j) NW of Alderney 49 50 00 N 02 18 00 W, (k) NW of Alderney 49 47 00N 02 17 00 W, (l) SSW Guernsey 49 18 00 N 02 42 00 W, (m) Whitesand Bay (Plymouth) 50 18 45 N 04 16 00 W, (n) Milford Haven 51 34 30 N 05 01 00 W, (o) Milford Haven 51 38 00 N 05 20 00W, (p) Milford Haven 51 43 30 N 05 33 45 W, (q) Sound of Mull 56 30 00 N 05 37 00 W and (r) Isle of May (Firth of Forth) 56 11 24 N 02 29 00 W.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 25 June 2019

The Ministry of Defence conducts no routine monitoring of these sea-dumping sites.

Grouped Questions: 265541 | 266294
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 17 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Chemical Weapons: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to her Department's archived document entitled British Isles Explosive Dumping Grounds, what monitoring her Department undertakes of chemical weapons dumped on the following dates and at the following areas and positions (a) 02.07.45, Lat 58 00.9 N, Lon 11 00.0 W, Empire Fal, 2000M, (b) 11.09.45, Lat 55 30.00 N, Lon 11 00.00 W, Empire Simba, 2500M, (c) 01.10.45, Lat 55 30.00 N, Lon 11 00.00 W, Empire Cormorant, 2500M, (d) 30.10.45, Lat 55 30.00 N, Lon 11 00.00 W, Wairuna, 2500M, (e) 30.12.45, Lat 55 30.00 N, Lon 11 00.00 W, Botlea, 2500M, (f) 25.08.46, Lat 47 57.00 N, Lon 08 33.24 W, Empire Peacock, 700-800M, (g) 03.09.46, Lat 48 03.00 N, Lon 08 09.00 W, Empire Nutfield, 500M, (h) 01.10.46, Lat 47 54.00 N, Lon 08 21.00 W, Kindersley, 1000M, (i) 02.11.46, Lat 59 00.00 N, Lon 07 40.00 W, Empire Woodlark, 800M, (j) 11.11.46, Lat 48 00.00 N, Lon 08 21.00 W, Lanark, 800-900M, (k) 05.02.47, Lat 47 40.00 N, Dora Oldendorf, 3500-4000M, (l) 27.07.47, Lat 47 55.00 N, Lon 08 17.00 W, Empire Lark, 750-800M, (m) 09.08.47, Lat 56 22.00 N, Lon 09 27.00 W, Leighton, 1300M, (n) 08.09.47, Lat 47 47.30 N, Lon 08 21.00 W, Thorpe Bay, 1500M, (o) 03.11.47, Lat 47 36.00 N, Lon 09 31.00 W, Margo, 4100M, (p) 01.03.48, Lat 47 55.00 N, Lon 08 58.00 W, Harm Freitzen, 2500M, (q) 22.08.48, Lat 47 16.30 N, Lon 09 24.00 W, Empire Success, 4200M, (r) 22.09.48, Lat 47 23.00 N, Lon 09 24.00 W, Miervaldis, 4000M, (s) 20.06.49, Lat 47 52.00 N, Lon 08 51.00 W, Empire Connyngham, 2000M, (t) 27.07.55, Lat 56 30.00 N, Lon 12 00.00 W, Empire Claire, 2500M, (u) 30.05.56, Lat 56 30.00 N, Lon 12 00.00 W, Vogtland, 2500M, (v) 23.07.56, Lat 56 31.00 N, Lon 12 05.00 W, Krotka, 2500M, (w) ??.06.56, Lat 56 00 N, Lon 10 00 W, UNKNOWN, 2000M and (x) ??.06-09.56, Lat 56 00 N, UNKNOWN, 2000M.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 25 June 2019

The Ministry of Defence conducts no routine monitoring of these sea-dumping sites.

Grouped Questions: 265539 | 266294
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Radioactive Waste: Hurd Deep
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether her Department monitors radiation levels around the radioactive waste disposal site at Hurd Deep.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 25 June 2019

The Ministry of Defence conducts no routine monitoring of these sea-dumping sites.

Grouped Questions: 265539 | 265541
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: CTF Partners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have entered into contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 June 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not entered into any contracts with CTF Partners Ltd. Information relating to FCO Executive Agencies is not held centrally and therefore not readily available.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: CTF Partners
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have entered into contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 24 June 2019

Records of Government contracts above £10,000 in central government and £25,000 in the wider public sector are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

These show no records of any contracts with CTF Partners since 2015

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Home Office
Home Office: CTF Partners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have entered into contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 24 June 2019

Our records show that neither; (a) the Home Department, or (b) the Department’s agencies have entered into any contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.


Home Office are committed to the HMT Transparency Agenda and EU Competition regulations and therefore all contract requirements and awards that exceed the EU procurement directives' financial thresholds are advertised in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) via contract notices. Furthermore, all requirements and contract awards over £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder at this link: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder .

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: CTF Partners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have entered into contracts with CTF Partners since 2015.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 24 June 2019

There are no contracts held in the Departments eProcurement system with CTF Partners.

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