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.
Showing 1-20 out of 111
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Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he will attend the UN discussions on a global ocean treaty in New York in June 2020.
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions (a) he has had with Cabinet colleagues on Hikvision’s alleged involvement in human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in China.
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 February 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria his Department used in the decision to invite Hikvision to the Security and Policing Trade Fair in March 2020.
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to regulate police use of facial recognition technology in public spaces.
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 10 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Plan proposals, what plans the Government has for financial support for (a) local businesses and (b) sole traders to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 17 February 2020

The Government is committed to improving air quality in the UK and has provided £572 million to support the development and implementation of required measures by local authorities. This includes a Clean Air Fund that is aimed at mitigating the impact of local plans on individuals and businesses including sole traders.

We are mindful of the challenges of delivering a clean air plan across Greater Manchester and the need to support individuals and businesses that may be affected by the resulting charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ). We have provided at this stage a first tranche of £36 million towards implementing the CAZ and intend to provide further funding, both for implementation and for mitigating the impacts of the CAZ, from the Clean Air Fund, once we have a clearer picture of the scale of need based on our assessment of additional evidence being provided by Greater Manchester.

Grouped Questions: 14785
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Home Office
Retail Trade: Crimes of Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take in response to her Department’s call for evidence on abuse and violence towards shopworkers.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 12 February 2020

The Government recognises the damaging impact that violence and abuse can have on victims, businesses, and the wider community; and we are committed to tackling this issue.

The call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff was intended to help strengthen our understanding of the scale and extent of the issue. We are carefully analysing the responses before deciding what further action may be required and intend to publish the government’s response in due course.

Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Radicalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s news story entitled Tougher sentencing and monitoring in government overhaul of terrorism response, published on 21 January 20202, what the (a) process for recruitment or selection and (b) oversight process will be for Imams tasked with challenging the beliefs of radicalised offenders.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The Government has formulated a combined response to the Member’s questions given the connected nature of the questions.

23 Chaplaincy Intervention Providers (IPs) were selected to deliver the Theological and Ideological Interventions (TII) Programme in prisons which launched in January 2019.

All were existing HMPPS Chaplaincy employees – recommended by HMPPS Counter-Terrorism specialist staff, and subject to Government vetting and due diligence checks. They are therefore not independent of government, but selected based on experience, knowledge and skills in challenging extremism.

Existing skills are supplemented with a diverse set of training; for example, in one-to-one interventions, theology, counter-narratives, and psychology. Training is delivered and reviewed in partnership with local Counter-Terrorism teams, and other practitioners working in complementary fields.

The recruitment of additional chaplains is kept under review to ensure needs are being met. We take continuous improvement seriously and consult community and academic partners wherever possible.

Grouped Questions: 12378 | 12379 | 12380 | 12381
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Radicalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s news story entitled Tougher sentencing and monitoring in government overhaul of terrorism response, published on 21 January 20202, what steps she is taking to help ensure that Imams tasked with challenging the beliefs of radicalised offenders are sufficiently independent from government.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The Government has formulated a combined response to the Member’s questions given the connected nature of the questions.

23 Chaplaincy Intervention Providers (IPs) were selected to deliver the Theological and Ideological Interventions (TII) Programme in prisons which launched in January 2019.

All were existing HMPPS Chaplaincy employees – recommended by HMPPS Counter-Terrorism specialist staff, and subject to Government vetting and due diligence checks. They are therefore not independent of government, but selected based on experience, knowledge and skills in challenging extremism.

Existing skills are supplemented with a diverse set of training; for example, in one-to-one interventions, theology, counter-narratives, and psychology. Training is delivered and reviewed in partnership with local Counter-Terrorism teams, and other practitioners working in complementary fields.

The recruitment of additional chaplains is kept under review to ensure needs are being met. We take continuous improvement seriously and consult community and academic partners wherever possible.

Grouped Questions: 12377 | 12379 | 12380 | 12381
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Radicalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s news story entitled Tougher sentencing and monitoring in government overhaul of terrorism response, published on 21 January 20202, what plans she has to consult with (a) Muslim communities and (b) Muslim leaders on proposals for specially trained Imams to assess risk of and challenge the beliefs of radicalised offenders.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The Government has formulated a combined response to the Member’s questions given the connected nature of the questions.

23 Chaplaincy Intervention Providers (IPs) were selected to deliver the Theological and Ideological Interventions (TII) Programme in prisons which launched in January 2019.

All were existing HMPPS Chaplaincy employees – recommended by HMPPS Counter-Terrorism specialist staff, and subject to Government vetting and due diligence checks. They are therefore not independent of government, but selected based on experience, knowledge and skills in challenging extremism.

Existing skills are supplemented with a diverse set of training; for example, in one-to-one interventions, theology, counter-narratives, and psychology. Training is delivered and reviewed in partnership with local Counter-Terrorism teams, and other practitioners working in complementary fields.

The recruitment of additional chaplains is kept under review to ensure needs are being met. We take continuous improvement seriously and consult community and academic partners wherever possible.

Grouped Questions: 12377 | 12378 | 12380 | 12381
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Radicalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s news story entitled Tougher sentencing and monitoring in government overhaul of terrorism response, published on 21 January 20202, what training will be given to Imams tasked with challenging the beliefs of radicalised offenders.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The Government has formulated a combined response to the Member’s questions given the connected nature of the questions.

23 Chaplaincy Intervention Providers (IPs) were selected to deliver the Theological and Ideological Interventions (TII) Programme in prisons which launched in January 2019.

All were existing HMPPS Chaplaincy employees – recommended by HMPPS Counter-Terrorism specialist staff, and subject to Government vetting and due diligence checks. They are therefore not independent of government, but selected based on experience, knowledge and skills in challenging extremism.

Existing skills are supplemented with a diverse set of training; for example, in one-to-one interventions, theology, counter-narratives, and psychology. Training is delivered and reviewed in partnership with local Counter-Terrorism teams, and other practitioners working in complementary fields.

The recruitment of additional chaplains is kept under review to ensure needs are being met. We take continuous improvement seriously and consult community and academic partners wherever possible.

Grouped Questions: 12377 | 12378 | 12379 | 12381
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Offenders: Radicalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s news story entitled Tougher sentencing and monitoring in government overhaul of terrorism response, published on 21 January 20202, whether her proposals include religious leaders of faiths other than Islam being used to challenge the beliefs of radicalised offenders.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The Government has formulated a combined response to the Member’s questions given the connected nature of the questions.

23 Chaplaincy Intervention Providers (IPs) were selected to deliver the Theological and Ideological Interventions (TII) Programme in prisons which launched in January 2019.

All were existing HMPPS Chaplaincy employees – recommended by HMPPS Counter-Terrorism specialist staff, and subject to Government vetting and due diligence checks. They are therefore not independent of government, but selected based on experience, knowledge and skills in challenging extremism.

Existing skills are supplemented with a diverse set of training; for example, in one-to-one interventions, theology, counter-narratives, and psychology. Training is delivered and reviewed in partnership with local Counter-Terrorism teams, and other practitioners working in complementary fields.

The recruitment of additional chaplains is kept under review to ensure needs are being met. We take continuous improvement seriously and consult community and academic partners wherever possible.

Grouped Questions: 12377 | 12378 | 12379 | 12380
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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: 04 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 10 February 2020

The UK is committed to making progress towards a two-state solution. We consistently call for an immediate end to all actions that undermine the viability of the two-state solution, including terrorism, anti-Semitic incitement, settlement expansion, and the demolition of Palestinian property in the West Bank. Steps to transform the situation in Gaza are also needed. We have a regular dialogue with both the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel at all levels. We are encouraging both sides to maintain calm and avoid taking actions which make peace more difficult to achieve. We continue to work closely with international partners strongly advocating a two-state solution and encouraging a return to meaningful negotiations between both parties.

Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish guidance on the criteria for reasonable grounds for people missing the registration deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 07 February 2020

The Government has made clear that, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

EU citizens can apply to the scheme, free of charge, simply by completing three key steps: proving their identity, showing that they live in the UK and declaring any criminal convictions. There is support available for any who need help in applying, including through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre, which is open seven days a week.

We have not estimated the number of EU citizens who may miss the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as our focus remains on ensuring everyone who is eligible applies before the deadline.

Grouped Questions: 5538
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of EU citizens that will miss the registration deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme with a reasonable excuse for doing so.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 07 February 2020

The Government has made clear that, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

EU citizens can apply to the scheme, free of charge, simply by completing three key steps: proving their identity, showing that they live in the UK and declaring any criminal convictions. There is support available for any who need help in applying, including through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre, which is open seven days a week.

We have not estimated the number of EU citizens who may miss the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as our focus remains on ensuring everyone who is eligible applies before the deadline.

Grouped Questions: 5537
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children were reunited with relatives in the UK under paragraph 319X of the Immigration Rules in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 07 February 2020

Within the published visa tables, decisions on applications made under paragraph 319X of the Immigration Rules are included in the ‘Dep. joining or accompanying: Other’ category, which also includes applicants in other routes covered by this category. The latest figures available are up to July to September 2019 and can be found in the Visa table Vis_D02 of the managed migration detailed datasets, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets.

The Home Office sets visa, immigration and citizenship fees at a level that helps provide the resources necessary to operate the Border, Immigration and Citizenship (BIC) system. Fee-setting criteria is set out in Section 68(9) of the Immigration Act 2014, full details of which can be reviewed via the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/22/section/68.

Grouped Questions: 6161
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
[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 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to remove the application fee for family reunions under paragraph 319X of the Immigration Rules.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 07 February 2020

Within the published visa tables, decisions on applications made under paragraph 319X of the Immigration Rules are included in the ‘Dep. joining or accompanying: Other’ category, which also includes applicants in other routes covered by this category. The latest figures available are up to July to September 2019 and can be found in the Visa table Vis_D02 of the managed migration detailed datasets, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets.

The Home Office sets visa, immigration and citizenship fees at a level that helps provide the resources necessary to operate the Border, Immigration and Citizenship (BIC) system. Fee-setting criteria is set out in Section 68(9) of the Immigration Act 2014, full details of which can be reviewed via the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/22/section/68.

Grouped Questions: 6160
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Asbestos: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the equalisation of payments made to people with asbestos-related diseases and their dependants under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 06 February 2020

The 1979 Act and 2008 Act schemes were designed to pay those who suffer from eligible diseases at a higher rate than is paid to their dependents. It is right that available funding is prioritised where it is needed most, that is to people living with these diseases.

Grouped Questions: 9779
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Asbestos: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made on the equalisation of payments under the 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases and their dependents.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 06 February 2020

The 1979 Act and 2008 Act schemes were designed to pay those who suffer from eligible diseases at a higher rate than is paid to their dependents. It is right that available funding is prioritised where it is needed most, that is to people living with these diseases.

Grouped Questions: 9778
Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 27 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what security mechanisms are in place to ensure data belonging to an individual granted settled or pre-settled status and stored by her Department under the EU Settlement Scheme cannot be (a) tampered with, (b) stolen and (c) accessed without the individual’s consent.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 04 February 2020

The Home Office takes the security and integrity of all our data extremely seriously. Our staff are security cleared, and controls applied to data such that only those who have a valid business need to access data can do so.

Security audits are performed to ensure controls and processes are followed, and The Home Office monitors systems for abuse and misuse.

We engage independent third parties, accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre, to perform tests upon our networks and systems, to test cybersecurity controls.

The online service for those granted under the EU Settlement Scheme allows an individual to share their immigration status with an employer or third party, and in keeping with GDPR legislation, this process is initiated by the individual with their consent.

Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 27 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EEA Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons applications by third country dependents of EEA nationals to the EU Settlement Scheme frequently take longer to process than applications by EEA nationals.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 04 February 2020

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. Complete applications are usually processed in around five working days. More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications.

Where a non-EEA national is applying as the family member of an EEA citizen and does not already hold a permanent residence document, they must provide evidence of the family relationship for the relevant period, and in some cases, evidence of their dependency on the EEA citizen during the relevant period. The non-EEA national applicant will also need to provide proof of the identity and nationality of the EEA citizen and evidence of that person’s residence or status in the UK. Such cases can therefore be more complex and take longer for caseworkers to process.

Grouped Questions: 8463
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