122093 - Northern Ireland Government (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when she plans to meet the leaders of the four main churches to discuss the restoration of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive; and if she will make a statement.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The department’s priority is to re-establish the fully functioning, inclusive devolved administration that works for everyone in Northern Ireland. In doing so, I will work not just with politicians but all sections of the community in Northern Ireland.

122098 - Belfast Agreement: Anniversaries (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Belfast Agreement; and if she will make a statement.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The UK Government remains fully committed to the terms of the Belfast Agreement, its principles and its institutions. Events are being planned across a range of sectors to mark this significant anniversary in Northern Ireland - discussions are underway regarding the details of these.

121862 - Northern Ireland Government (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the conduct of the hon. Member for West Tyrone in relation to the Kingsmil massacre on the talks to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Shailesh Vara

121860 - BBC Northern Ireland: Equal Pay (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what representations she has made to the Northern Ireland Equality Commission on ensuring equal pay for BBC employees in Northern Ireland.

Mr Shailesh Vara

Neither the Secretary of State nor the previous Secretary of State has made representations to the ECNI regarding BBC pay.

121000 - Elections: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Paul Girvan
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent steps his Department has taken to deter and prevent electoral fraud in Northern Ireland.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The administration of elections in Northern Ireland is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland, and all cases of suspected electoral fraud are referred by her to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. I am aware that a very small number of cases of possible fraud were referred to the PSNI last year.

42400 - Slavery (Answered)

Paul Blomfield
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, (a) who holds responsibility for training magistrates and (b) how many magistrates have received training on the use of (i) slavery and trafficking risk orders and (ii) slavery and trafficking prevention orders.

Mr Shailesh Vara

Judicial training is the responsibility of the Lord Chief Justice and is exercised through the Judicial College.

41872 - Domestic Violence: Legal Aid Scheme (Answered)

Andy Slaughter
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to investigate the effect of means testing for legal aid on the ability of domestic violence survivors to access justice.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The Government is absolutely clear that victims of domestic violence must have access to the help that they need, including access to legal aid.

41673 - Courts: Greater London (Answered)

Philip Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department plans further court closures in Greater London in the next 10 years.

Mr Shailesh Vara

Her Majesty's Courts & Tribuanls Service keeps its operational estate under review to make sure that it aligns with the delivery of reformed court and tribunal services.

Any new proposals to close courts will be subject to public consultation.

41733 - Social Security Benefits: Merseryside (Answered)

Conor McGinn
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many decisions taken on claims for (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payments have been appealed in (i) St Helens North constituency and (ii) Merseyside in each of the last five years; and how many of those appeals have been successful.

Mr Shailesh Vara

41460 - Work Capability Assessment: Appeals (Answered)

Hywel Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average cost to the public purse was of an appeal hearing for a work capability assessment in the latest period for which figures are available.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The information requested is not held centrally.

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