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Written Statements

Volume 704: debated on Wednesday 24 November 2021

Written Statements

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

National Data Strategy Mission 1 Policy Framework

I am pleased to inform the House that the Government are today publishing the “National Data Strategy Mission 1 Policy Framework: Unlocking the value of data across the economy”, which sets out the Government interventions needed to make private and third sector data more usable, accessible and available across the economy, while protecting people’s data rights and private enterprises’ intellectual property.

A commitment to developing this framework was set out in the “National Data Strategy”. Published in 2020, the strategy outlined for the first time in a single publication our ambitions to unlock the power of data. Since then, we have launched a monitoring and evaluation framework against which we will check our progress in delivering these ambitions. We have also begun a public consultation on reforms to the UK’s regime for the protection of personal data.

The publication of this framework underlines our commitment to a thriving and responsible data economy where the power of data from the private and third sectors is unlocked. The Government now have a set of levers for intervention and principles for when to apply them, as well as seven priority areas for action to take forward. These include making sure we have good data standards, encouraging the use of privacy enhancing technologies and data intermediaries and developing international co-operation to support the UK’s data agenda on the world stage.

We will continue to engage widely to implement the national data strategy, including working through the National Data Strategy Forum.

A copy of this update will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

[HCWS415]

Justice

Sentencing Update

I am today announcing the Government’s decision to bring forward “Harper’s Law”.

PC Andrew Harper was tragically killed responding to a theft in July 2019. The defendants in the case, two aged 17 and one aged 18, were convicted of the unlawful act manslaughter of PC Harper, with two receiving a sentence of detention of 13 years, and another receiving an extended sentence of 19 years. These sentences correctly reflected the law at the time, but I do not believe the law goes far enough here.

PC Andrew Harper’s widow, Lissie Harper, has campaigned tirelessly for justice for her late husband, alongside the Thames Valley Police Federation and with support from other police federations across the country and Members across this House.

Following detailed discussion with the Home Secretary, I am today announcing “Harper’s Law”. This measure will extend mandatory life sentences to those convicted of the unlawful act manslaughter of an emergency worker who is exercising their functions as such a worker.

This sentence will apply to 16 and 17-year-olds as well as adult offenders. It will include judicial discretion to allow for the imposition of an alternative sentence in truly exceptional circumstances. The minimum term of the life sentence, or the minimum amount of time the offender must spend in custody before being considered by the Parole Board for release on licence, will still be for the courts to determine.

This measure reflects the vital role which our emergency workers fulfil in protecting all of us. It recognises the risks that emergency workers face. I will bring forward this measure at the earliest legislative opportunity.

[HCWS416]